|A Fab Fabiaceae with a tiny pollinator
|Pollinator nectaring on Great Blue Lobelia
- Will they survive the difficult conditions at Clay and Limestone?
- Is this plant a nectar or pollen source for pollinators?
- Is it a host plant for pollinators?
- Is this plant available locally, therefore, more likely to survive the extremes of the Central Basin?
- Will this plant add to the diversity of my pollinator friendly garden?
- Is there a native plant that makes more sense than that seductive exotic?
|Baptisia australis with pollinator
|Shooting Star/Dodecatheon meadia
I am happy to report, that our heroine kept those guidelines in mind the entire time~Kept them in mind when she walked past the Swamp Azaleas three times and did not grab them all! Kept them in mind when she walked past swamp anything! Kept those guidelines in mind as she added a few that pushed the Central Basin guidelines! Kept them in mind when she added the following native lovelies to the pile. Here's what was added!
- Lobelia siphilitica: One accidentally arrived to C and L with a new aster and it's a keeper. But more were needed. Blooming a lovely blue in the August, it was a bee magnet; survived the droughty summer; and, tolerated the wet winter. The flowers attract long-tongued bees primarily, including Little Carpenter bees, Miner bees, Mason bees, and Leaf-Cutting bees. Small butterflies and skippers also visit the flowers.
- Dodecatheon meadia: A Central Basin native, Shooting Star thrives at C and L. The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to slightly dry soil. Queen bumblebees and Carpenter Bees are the most typical visitors. They use 'buzz pollination'; that a rapid vibration of their thoracic muscles to get pollen from the flowers. Anthophorine bees, Eucerine Miner bees, and Green Metallic bees also visit. All of these insects collect pollen, as the flowers offer no nectar reward.
- Campanulastrum americanum: American Bellflower is a Central Basin beauty that I have wanted to get established in the garden for years. Long-tongued bees are the primary pollinators of the flowers, including bumblebees and large Leaf-Cutting bees. Other visitors of the flowers include Halictid bees, butterflies, and skippers. These insects seek nectar, and some of the bees collect pollen from the anthers. Syrphid flies may feed on the pollen, but they are not effective pollinators. Deer occasionally eat the flowers and foliage. (source)
|American Bellflower/Campanulastrum americanum
- Thermopsis villosa: A terrific legume, that can take the heat. Lovely spikes of large deep yellow flowers on foot long racemes from May-June. Host plant for Wild Indigo Duskywing Butterfly caterpillars.
- Chionanthus virginicus: Fringe tree is found from eastern Texas and southern Missouri eastward to the Atlantic Coast and north to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trees grow in moist wooded areas, swamp borders, rocky bluffs, streams and outcroppings. It grows in the Central Basin in areas with richer, deeper soils. Fringe tree fruits are among the favorite foods of wild turkeys, blue jays, cardinals and mockingbirds. White-tailed deer and other animals browse the foliage.
- Echinacea pallida: A Tennessee native, but, not a native of Davidson County. Long-tongued bees (Carpenter bees, Bumbles, Leaf cutting bees) butterflies, and skippers are the most important visitors to the flowers. Occasionally small bees like Green Metalic bees, Short-tongued Green Metallic bees and other Halictine bees also visit the flowers occasionally. The caterpillars of the butterfly Silvery Checkerspot feed on the foliage, as do the caterpillars of the moths Wavy-Lined Emerald and Common Eupithecia. Goldfinches eat the seeds.
- Euonymus americanus: I love this marvelous semi evergreen native with its spindly branches and gorgeous seeds that bust open each fall. I have several but, thought a few more would make a nice showing. The inconspicuous flowers attract small bees and flies. The foliage is eaten by the caterpillars of the moths. Birds including~the Northern Flicker, Brown Thrasher, Catbird, Eastern Bluebird, Cardinal, and Eastern Towhee eat the fruit to a limited extent (Source: Morton Arboretum). These birds help to spread the seeds in the fruits to new locations. White-Tailed Deer browse on the leaves and young shoots.
- Silene carolina: Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers sunny sites in dryish sandy or gravelly soils with some part afternoon shade. Plants are best left undisturbed once established. Requires excellent drainage. Just reading this description and you know that I am pushing the envelope!
- Trillium luteum: A sweet lemon scented Tennessee native that was happy in my garden until a wall decided it needed to be built right on top of it! Bees, carrion flies and others have been observed visiting the blooms and ants are known to aid seed dispersal (myrmecochory).
PS Because it bears repeating~ If you want to attract pollinators~Never, never, never, ever, use pesticides in your garden.
This post is part of a series on native pollinators in the garden~ Earlier posts and their links are listed below for your convenience.
Part I~Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)
Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
We can't All be pretty Pollinators (here)
Eye, Eye Skipper, Big Eyed Pollinators (here)
What's In Your Garden (here)
Carpenter Bees (here)
Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies (here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)
This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.