It's Tephrosia virginiana also known as Goat's Rue and it's our Wildflower Wednesday star of the month. It's blooming in my garden and the fuchsia pink, creamy white and yellow blooms that resemble sweet peas are striking against the silvery stems and leaves.
|hairy stems and buds|
|pale yellow to cream standards and fuchsia pink wings|
|the telltale pinnate leaves of a pea family member|
Be not afraid of this pretty! Goat's Rue is a pollinator attractive plant! The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp., Hoplitis spp.) and possibly other long-tongued bees. The caterpillars of the skipper, Thorybes bathyllus (Southern Cloudywing), feed on the foliage of Goat's Rue and other species in the Bean family. (source)
Family: Fabaceae, the third largest plant family. An easy family to id if you remember these key words~ "banner, wings, and keel" and pea-like pods, often with pinnate leave.
Flowering: May sometimes into June
Habitat: Rocky open woods, glades, prairies. Mesic soil, acidic ph.
Origin-Native to Eastern U.S. and Canada
Hardiness zones- 3a to 9b
Size- 1 to 2 feet with a tap root that makes it difficult to move.
Flower- Pea-like with pale yellow to cream standards and fuchsia pink wings.
Wildlife value- Food for birds, bees visit for pollen and nectar, butterflies and skippers for nectar.
Garden use: Wildflower gardens and natural gardens.
My dear friends, you have to give this cutie pie a try...You can get seeds from Prairie Moon Nursery, please follow their instructions because establishing this plant from seed might be difficult~You will need inoculum and they provide it free. Also available from Everwild Farms I can't divide it to share~It has that tap-root.
Wildflower Wednesday is about sharing wildflowers and other native plants no matter where one gardens~the UK, tropical Florida, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, India or the coldest reaches of Canada. It doesn't matter if we sometimes share the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most.
I hope you join the celebration..It's always the fourth Wednesday of the month!
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.