A note for those of you who like to point out your desire for a full photograph of the plant in the comments or by email: please follow the links in the text. It’s uncommon that one of the various BPotD writers won’t link to full plant images — we do try to accommodate!
Hobblebush is a shrub native to eastern North America. It is so named because it is often responsible for hobbling, or tripping, those who walk in the shaded forests where it grows; its pendulous branches touch the ground and root at the contact point, creating natural tripwires. The shrub often reaches a height of 2.5-3.5m, but Dirr, in Viburnums — Flowering Shrubs for Every Season, writes of an encounter with a plant 4.5m high by 5.5m wide on Monhegan Island in Maine.
It was challenging for me in New Brunswick to be in an area where the plants, broadly speaking, were familiar but many of the species were unknown to me. Fortunately, in this case, I had a giant clue as to this plant’s identity: the “praying hands” leaf buds of Viburnum are quite diagnostic of the genus. Even though I thought the plant was something else due to the large, ovate leaves, a close look at the buds pushed me in the right direction of identifying it as Viburnum. A quick perusal of a text with illustrations of Viburnum leaves in eastern North America led me directly to Viburnum lantanoides.
On a different topic for local readers: there are two presentations tomorrow (Wednesday) that may pique your interest. At 5:15pm (coffee at 4:30pm), former director of IPGRI (now Bioversity International) Dr. Geoffrey Hawtin will be speaking as part of the Namkoong Family Lecture Series: Saving the World’s Heritage: Some Recent Initiatives to Safeguard Plant Genetic Diversity (PDF). At 7pm, former UBC Botanical Garden director Quentin Cronk will be talking at the Native Plant Society of BC’s South Coast Meeting on The Peavines of BC, or the genus Lathyrus. I have plans to attend both, so hopefully I’ll see you there!