Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wild flower in a garden

Virginia Bluebells/mertensia virginiana
Very important in my garden as early pollen and nectar source.

The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees primarily, including honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorid bees, Mason bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, and Miner bees; these insects seek nectar and collect pollen.
Other visitors of the flowers include hummingbirds, bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths, including hummingbird moths seeking nectar from the flowers.

Rurality blog hummingbird-clearwing-moth picture feeding at bluebell
Flicker picture bee at bluebell

Eastern Redbud/Cercis canadensis next to garage.

The periodical cicada, Magicicada septendecim, lays its eggs in more than 70 species of trees and other plants, including redbud.

It is a host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly

Leaf cutter bees use redbud leaves for nest lining.

Seeds have been consumed by game birds such as ring-necked pheasants,

rose-breasted grosbeaks,cardinals and bobwhites.

Flowers are another important early pollen and nectar source.

Virginia Creeper/Parthenocissus quinquefolia growing on a trellis

Berries eaten by mice, chipmunks and skunks.

Foliage and twigs browsed by white-tailed deer.

Yellow-Shafted Flicker
Fox Sparrow
Crested Flycatcher
Wood Thrush
Red-Eyed Vireo
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-Breasted Sapsucker

Nectar and pollen of the flowers occasionally attract various bees, including Leaf-Cutting bees (Megachile spp.),andLeaf-Cutting bees may use the leaflets of Virginia Creeper as construction material for their nests.

Several species of Sphinx moths rely on Virginia Creeper as a host plant.

Virginia creeper after the berries turn blue and the foliage begins to show touches of its fall color.

The photo contest this month at Gardening Gone Wild ask for A photo of any native plant(in a garden setting), either a close up or in the landscape, that you think merits attention to qualify.

Hard decision that.

Can you help me decide?


Blogger Cheryl said...

HI Gloria......I love the bluebells, our's are not blooming yet....another week and they should be covering the garden and local woodlands with their dainty blooms......

I have just planted a virginia creeper to cover a horrible wire fence.....although it is not native, it is fast grower and will give good coverage for wildlife during the summer months......

Of course you are absolutely right about the is a cycle..........

17/4/09 8:35 AM  
Blogger garden girl said...

Hi Gloria,

My pick would be the bluebells! I love them! I'm trying them this spring, and hope they'll tolerate the dry soil during their summer dormancy.

17/4/09 9:53 AM  
Blogger WiseAcre said...

I'll go with the Eastern Redbud. I like the way the blooms seem to burst from the branch.

21/4/09 10:06 AM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Thanks for the votes.

Todays post at Gardening Gone Wild said thatnow three pictures can be entered.
So I get to use all three plants?
It is hard to decide because of that "merits attention" caveat. I'm not a great photographer but am eager to point out the beauty and utility of native plants anytime...

21/4/09 1:55 PM  
Blogger lostlandscape said...

I hope it doesn't complicate things if I vote for the first virginia creeper photo...I really like the all-over green patterns accented by the orange stems. Beautiful and interesting.

22/4/09 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Saxon Holt said...

Well the contest is done and results posted over at GGW early next week. Thanks for your entry and I am giving each photo bit of constructive criticism.
You are lucky to have native mertensia . I love the blue. The photo for a contest needs to have a stronger composition using the whole frame and I would like to see a more obvious garden setting.

25/4/09 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

2/1/10 7:32 PM  

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