Pollinator Project - Go Native! - friendsofconwr

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Pollinator Project - Go Native!

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GO NATIVE --- Wildflowers! Native plants are beneficial to our native pollinator insects (and hummingbirds!) and many are great plants for home landscaping. Take for example 2 of the wildflowers currently blooming in the Pigeon Creek Prairie Restoration area: Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) and Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis). Having evolved in our midwestern area, both are well adapted to the local climate and soils, and have developed stategies to lure (host and feed) our native insects.

Butterflyweed is a perennial and one of the showiest of the milkweed family. It grows to 2 1/2 feet tall and should be planted in full sun. The bright orange blooms flower during eary to mid summer and are an excellant nectar food source for monarch, coral and coral hairstreak butterflies; hummingbirds; a large variety of native bees (note the bumblebee feeding in the photo taken on the refuge prairie); and honeybees. It is a larval food for Monarch caterpillars.

Foxglove Beardtongue is a perennial wildflower that starts the spring as a rosette of basal leaves (see photo below from my home flower bed.) before sending up a 3 foot flowering stalk in early summer. It should be planted in full sun to partial shade, is not bothered by disease, and is easy to cultivate. The delicate tubular flowers bloom for about a month and attract long-tongued native bees and honeybees.
                                                                                                            by Judy Groskind

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