A plant that can bring a hiker to their knees is being blamed for injuring many outdoor enthusiasts in the Hudson Valley.

The shrub is appropriately named Witch Hobble due to the fact that it lurks in the woods waiting to surprise an unsuspecting nature lover by knocking them off of their feet. The New York State Department of Conservation says Witch Hobble, whose scientific name is Viburnum lantanoides, is something that local hikers need to be on the lookout for as they head to the trails this spring.

The plant can easily be identified by its "softball-sized" bunches of small white flowers. A ring of larger flowers surrounds this cluster. The interesting thing about this shrub is that the smaller flowers in the center never grow to the size of the larger, surrounding flowers. This unique display attracts many insects including bees and butterflies, but its hidden power is the ability to bring down an adult human.


The Witch Hobble, also referred to as "Hobblebush" can be found throughout the Hudson Valley and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is warning hikers to be on the lookout for risk of injury after being tripped up by its sinister branches. Because it grows so thick, the plant becomes entwined within itself in such a way that it commonly traps the shoes of hikers, causing them to fall.

So, the next time you head out into the woods make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this hazardous shrub that could be waiting to trip you up. No one wants to be the victim of a tricky Witch Hobble.

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