There are many different trees here at the nature center. Among them is the Bald Cypress, a swamp loving, coniferous tree. You can find these trees around the pond at our nature center.
Unlike most trees at the nature center, something strange happens to the Bald Cypress. Their tree roots come out of the ground vertically. These roots are called cypress knees. Cypress knees are common among species located in a swamp.
Although reasoning behind this strange phenomenon is not well understood, some speculate that these exposed roots are utilized for accumulating oxygen, collecting nutrients, and housing vital carbohydrates. People commonly buy these cypress knees for decoration or use them in art.
As people are purchasing plants, planning out their garden beds, and planting, many want to know what kind of plants attract certain pollinators. Here at the nature center, we plant a large diversity of native plants to attract wildlife. A great variety of colors, shapes, and smells!
Today, I wanted to show you some of our favorite garden must-haves and the pollinators that they attract! Our prairies, wetland, woodland, and garden beds around the site are loaded with beautiful plants and right about now, more and more pollinators can be seen buzzing about. The first one pictured is, Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya) and Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).
Speaking of being great for butterflies, Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a great choice! As the name implies, it attracts an abundance of them—especially Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus).
Not only are butterflies’ fantastic pollinators, but bees are also! One of the plants that attracts a lot of bees is Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum). This is a great plant that smells amazing, which is a main reason that bees are attracted to it!
Not only are bees and butterflies’ great insect pollinators, but beetles are as well. One plant that attracts beetles, such as the Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida), is Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium). This plant attracts the greatest diversity of pollinators! Beetles, bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, birds, and even mammals! It is a great addition to any garden.
When most people think of pollinators, they think of insects. However, birds and hummingbirds are great pollinators as well! A large number of native plants that attract insects, also attract birds. One of them is Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). This flower attracts numerous birds, including the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis).
Hummingbirds are also fantastic pollinators! There are a couple of native flowers that hummingbirds absolutely love. One of them is Royal Catchfly (Silene regia). There is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) getting nectar from this one.
The other one is Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). There is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) getting nectar from this one.
Pollinators are crucial to the environment and there are many native options to provide the most for our pollinator friends! No matter what you want to attract, there is a plant for it. Check out some of these native must-haves and happy gardening!
We are excited to launch our new Nature Niches Blog! Staff at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center wanted to provide a resource outlet to all of you on a variety of topics from flora, fauna, gardening, conservation, family activities, and more. We hope to share how-to videos or step by step guides or basic information about topics that interest you. Be sure to submit a topic idea via the blog website: www.dhnature.org/blog, email: email@example.com, message us on Facebook: @dhnature.org or comment in the blog below. Be on the lookout for our next blog featuring: Dragonflies.