Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1858
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Native fauna, native flora

There is a growing and good trend to have native plants in the yard for native pollinators, butterflies etc. There is also confusion and inconsistencies abounding which leaves me scratching head. There is also a difference (often) between flowers that provide nectar and the host plants for hungry caterpillars. We like our yards to be pollinator friendly in food (nectar flowers) and habitat. A few things come to mind.

There are advocates for planting milkweed native to one's region. That is basically good, but most of us bend the basics. Does the monarch have GPS to say it is in W TN and shouldn't lay eggs on a milkweed not from here?! What about the pretty cultivars? The flowers are good for many pollinators, and adults nectar on many different flowers. Such as zinnias (not native). Note. If there's coneflower, zinnias etc blooming, and milkweeds not in bloom, adult butterfly may find her nectar food then lay eggs on milkweed leaves.
Black swallowtails nectar on many different flowers, and lay eggs on parsley, dill and others in family. Those herbs are introduced.

I am like many others and let some herbs (thyme, oregano, basil) go to flower for the bees. Most are introduced plants. I have several catnip pots around the yard. I let it go to flower, bee magnet, cut back and let it grow out for more. I'm trying rubbing the leaves on arms and legs as skeeto repellent. Honey bees are introduced, so in a different category!

About those hummers we love! How many of us have crocosmia, red salvias, pineapple sage and more for their benefit?!

Some flowers I see suggested for pollinators and butterflies-
zinnias
butterfly bush
lantana
salvias (not ones native to one's region)
Mexican sunflower
parsley, dill, fennel etc.
rue

This is thinking out loud, open for discussion, not argument!
Have fun!
Susan

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1858
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Native fauna, native flora

Just a couple of notes, perhaps. I may be more aware of native plants than many. With my interest in 18th c living history including the gardens, am on the ever going learning curve for plants introduced and those native and used by the native Americans. From 1st contact there was sharing both ways of plants and uses.
Now that I am more serious about growing (and selling) plants, and with the interest in native varieties on another ever going learning curve.
I certainly don't stay with all native varieties, but try to know the difference, and origins of the various plants. The internet is awesome for this quick check! I am forever checking on the this or that, often come up short for my midsouth region. For example, Showy Milkweed advocated by a monarch site (in MN). It's more west and north from me, by 2 states. Sigh.
Have fun!
Susan

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applestar
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Posts: 28237
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Native fauna, native flora

I try to plant natives here, too, though some of my plants -- especially trees and shrubs -- date back to BEFORElearning about them.

Please keep posting about what you've learned, it helps to know what belongs on this side of the continent set least, and although NJ is further north, some species seem to coincide. ;wink:

Sometimes I have the "luxury" of planting non-natives that don't survive the winter and can't even self seed because the winter lows drop down below their viability threshold. 8)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Posts: 11676
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Native fauna, native flora

From what I understand monarch butterflies in particular main food source are milkweeds like the butterfly bush or crown flower for me. Other butterflies are less fussy. Butterflies like red tubular flowers. bees like fragrant small flowers and especially the composites and corn tassels. Carpenter bees like blue flowers. Other polinators are birds, beetles, bats, and flies. Creating and preserving habitat is important too. That is why polinator friendly gardens that are pesticide free are important, but so is the protection of wild habitat.
https://millionpollinatorgardens.org/
https://pollinator.org/million-pollinato ... llenge.htm
https://www.pollinator.org/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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