|'Irish Eyes' with that green center|
|'Indian Summer' displaying hairy parentage|
|'Cherry Brandy' and 'Prairie Sunset'|
The Gloriosas have most of the characteristics of their R hirta parent, except the flowers are three times as large and their colors are mixtures of pure yellow or bicolored, many with dark mahogany red splotches at the base of the petals.
Yes, I do love the many colorful varieties and the big flowers, but I also love that they're all rough and tumble flowers that can take the heat and humidity of our Middle South summers and continue to bloom until frost (deadhead them).
|The cats of the Silvery Checkerspot feed on the leaves and nectar at the flowers|
Plant them in your garden and sit back and watch the pollinators. I've already seen small Carpenter Bees, Green Metallic bees, Bumbles and skippers visiting the flowers to feed and/or gather pollen.
Now get your wildflower on and share a favorite or two for National Wildflower Week!
PS If you want to help pollinators this week and every week of the year, then, never, ever, ever, ever, ever use pesticides. Also, make sure the plants you bring into your garden have never been treated with neonicotinoids.
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.