Regular readers might remember how very much I love Symphyotrichum praealtum. It's a wonderful very late blooming native Ex-aster that begins blooming in mid to late October just as the Little ex-asters are starting to fade and continues blooming through most of November. All the pollinators adore this beauty, and by all, I mean every Bumble, tiny little fly, beetle, small bee or Skipper that's in the garden can be found nectaring on the sweet lilac-blue flowers from the time the sun moves past the canopy trees and warms up the garden, until it sets and everything cools off.
|native bees are valued for the role in pollinating our wildflowers and food crops|
|Composite plants produce high quality nectar|
|Verbesina is perfect for short tongued bees|
|They're floral generalists, meaning they will visit a wide range of flower types and species when seeking out pollen|
|The females forage our gardens for nectar and pollen to feed herself and her offspring.|
It's quite easy to do, just...
- Plant more native plants, annual and perennial, known to attract your regional bees
- Make sure you have several different plants in bloom from early spring to late fall
- Provide shelter from the wind, rain, or cold
- Provide nesting spots~Soft and exposed soil, decaying logs, nesting boxes, build a pollinator condominium. (see here). Research what they need.
- Don't be in such a hurry to tidy up the garden or cover every piece of earth with mulch.
- Provide water.
- Never, ever, ever, ever, ever use pesticides. They're poisonous to pollinators.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.