Clearwing Moth and Other Novelties

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe)

It’s a good sign that the season is advancing when I see the first of the Clearwing Moths hovering about the garden.  They look like miniature hummingbirds with tiny sunglasses and are among the prettiest moths that you will ever see.  A couple of Allium in the rock garden were the main attraction.  This one hung around long enough that I could definitely see the long feeding tube in use sipping nectar from the flowers.

Clearwing moth

Clearwing detail

I had a major surprise this last week in wandering our woods.  As I was checking out the daffodils that I had planted last Fall at the bottom of our hill I encountered a three-leaved plant which (once I concluded wasn’t poison ivy) looked like it might be a Trillium.

Three leaves among the daffodils

I sent a picture to my eldest in Boston and he suggested that it looked a lot more like his Arisaemas.  And indeed, as I walked further down toward my neighbor’s stream it was clear that it was a Jack-in-the-pulpit without it’s most salient feature.  At the time I walked about the area hoping that even more plants had found their way across the boundary.  But alas, I saw none.  I have so far resisted taking such beauties either from my neighbor or the public land along the creek near the railroad tracks.

Just two days later though I was planting some Bellwort in the woods and looked up from my planting to see a Trillium — oops no, an Arisaema.  You would think I would recognize it by now.

Baby Arisaema

This one was more than 50 feet onto our property so that’s a very positive sign that we will get more in our woods.  So I took a more determined look and behold, let the real Jack stand up

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

So I now count 4 Jack-in-the-Pulpit in our woods — whoopee!

One of the new arrivals in the Camellia garden this week was a little Iris that we picked up at the Garden Vision visit last year (since we went there for the epimediums who know that some of the other little plants would be such hits).  This is a little crested iris with fantastic coloring.

Iris cristata 'Dick Redfield'

It is hard to have too many of the crested Iris since they seem to multiply and fill their allotted space so charmingly.  I need to try them out in the woods next by taking some of the clumps that are growing so well.

Another delightful little iris blooming right now is the Iris gracilipes.  This one came from my visit to the open house at Asiatica last year.

Iris gracilipes

Again I went for other things but came back with this little Iris as a bonus.

4 comments on “Clearwing Moth and Other Novelties

  1. Les

    That ‘Dick Redfield’ is beautiful, and your moth photos are fantastic. Did you have to bribe it with nectar to stay still?

  2. joco

    Is that a day time moth?
    Nice mixed post, John. I am glad you found the plants on your land too. Over here those have very different leaves and are darker with deep brown stripes. Also called ‘Lords and ladies’.Arum maculatum.Probably a totally different group.

    1. jw

      Yes, the clearwing moth is around during the daytime, sipping up that nectar from the flowers 🙂

      The Arums are in a different genus from the Arisaemas, though there are certainly a lot of similarities…

  3. Salix

    Wow, what great shots. We have the clearwing moth here too, but I never caught them like that. Your Irises are gorgeous.