The first time I noticed a butterfly in my garden this Spring was when I saw the first sign of tiny white flowers on this stunning multi-stemmed bush. Native to Asia, it is found in woodlands here is Ireland. I’m lucky to have one in my backyard and don’t find it invasive at all. It has a great display of color; both in terms of foliage and the stunning flowers which are breath taking. I’m sure the blooms are a big inspiration to jewelry designers the world over. No wonder it is called the ‘Grootmoeders oorbellen’ plant in Holland; which translates to grandmother’s earrings. The hummingbirds, bees and butterflies seem to love it. The bees can’t get enough of it and hover around like greedy little things gorging on an ‘eat all you can’ buffet.
The ethereal blooms are followed by deep maroon almost purplish berries which eventually turn black and are mostly food for birds. The berries are edible and are supposed to taste like a concoction of coffee and caramel. Adventurous as I am, I tasted one and found it to be too bitter for my liking, more like burnt caramel. So, I am leaving these to the birds for sure.
The appearance of this bush as a whole is so exotic that you miss it when fall arrives and all the blooms and berries and foliage die down. But come Spring and there are signs of new shoots and healthy leaves. Its then a curious wait to see this stunner put on more growth and then finally do its thing from June all through to September. Four months of such high performance makes this bush a winner. I love it like my own child and am so impressed with its personality. In a strange way it seems like my son’s sibling; one that adopted me as its ‘parent’. It’s so special and endearing to be the chosen one 😊