Thursday, June 25, 2009
A FEW GOOD PLANTS TO HAVE TO ATTRACT BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES
Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush is a butterfly and honey bee magnet. A native, this plant thrives in full to partial sun, zones 4- 10. A wonderful tall shrub for riparian and wetland environments. It gets to be about 10- 15 feet tall and is deciduous. This specimen is in the York County Learning Garden in our Wildlife Area. There is a dry stream bed that during rains fills very quickly, the Buttonbush is next to it. As you can see butterflies love these Sputnik shaped flowers. Truly a bonus in any garden!
Next we have the Chaste Tree or Vitex agnus-castus.
Those of you who read other blogs may have seen this posted on Racquel's posting from the other day. This one is also in the Learning Garden, also in the Wildlife Area. Another deciduous tree --this tree's blooms attract bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It will get up to about 15 feet tall, careful pruning will lend itself to a wonderful structured tree. This tree needs full sun for the blooms to really shine.
If you don't want a woody shrub or small tree but want to draw the birds and butterflies into your yard, this perennial might be your cup of tea. Common name is Green Coneflower or Rudbeckia laciniata. It too is a native.
The Goldfinches as well as other seed eating birds love this flower. This is a herbaceous perennial and leaves only a basal set of foliage in the winter. I have this growing outside my family room window looking through it to the water. It is apparently not bothered by the brackish water when we have high tides. It likes full to partial sun. As with many of my flowers in my garden, I leave the spent seedheads on the stems for the birds to enjoy.
The only caution I give you is that this coneflower gets tall....
See the pinkish circle at the top? That is the bloom-- so from inside it is right at eye level. This can get up to 12 feet tall. OH do the finches love this!!!!