Thursday, April 20, 2017

This 'n That Thursdays: 2017 Native Plants of the Year

A native plants-based woodland garden in New York
(from Dawn's Wild Things).

Just when you thought I had forgotten about plants of the year, I have one more post about the 2017 native plant picks for birds and other wildlife from the Onondaga (New York) Audubon Society in conjunction with the group Habitat Gardening in Central New York (HGCNY).  Even though these plants are regional selections, I decided to feature them because I think this is a good idea for all regional gardening and native habitat organizations to adopt!  Take a look at some of the beautiful native species that could be added to any garden in the central and northern New York region (or any other region where they are native):

From NC State Extension

1) Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alterniflora) - small deciduous tree or large multi-stemmed shrub with white flowers and bluish-black fruits eaten by birds; also provides cover and nesting habitat.

From Flora Pittsburghensis

2) Common Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) - tall herbaceous perennial with tiny white flowers; attractive to insects and can provide cover for birds.

From Go Botany

3) New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) - tall herbaceous perennial with yellow-centered purple flowers in the fall; provides late season nectar for bees and butterflies.

From Shaker Lakes

4) White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) - herbaceous perennial with spikes of distinctive white flowers; partial to moist shady areas; nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects.

From Santa Rosa Gardens

5) Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) - dense perennial bunchgrass with fine-textured foliage  and blue-green stems; seeds attract birds and can be a winter food source.

From Go Botany

6) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - herbaceous perennial with small, fragrant pink flowers visited by hummingbirds; plant in moist areas; preferred host for monarch butterfly caterpillars.

From NC State Extension

7) Oswego Tea or Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma) - spreading, clumping herbaceous perennial with clusters of bright red, tubular flowers very attractive to hummingbirds.

From Plants & Ridiculousness

8) Purple-Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) - shrubby, thornless perennial with fragrant purple flowers; fruits eaten by many birds; also provides cover.

From Wood Thrush Natives

9) Black Cohosh or Black Bugbane (Actaea racemosa) - clumping herbaceous perennial with spires of tiny white flowers in late summer visited by hummingbirds and butterflies; prefers rich soil and partial shade.

From The Foraging Photographer

10) Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) - fast-growing medium-sized oak (50-75 feet tall) with small acorns eaten by birds such as Blue Jays, Wild Turkeys, and Ruffed Grouse; also provides good nesting habitat.

And because I live in Georgia, I have one more plant to profile that was chosen by the Georgia Native Plant Society as its 2017 Plant of the Year:

From State-by-State Gardening/Georgia Gardening

Sweet Betsy Trillium (Trillium cuneatum) - this shade-loving plant is so low to the ground it might be overlooked, but to miss this lovely early bloomer would be a shame!  The mottled bracts surround good-sized scented flowers which are usually maroon, but can be bronze, reddish-green, or even yellow in color.  Native to deciduous woodland coves, the sweet Betsy is a great choice for shade gardens.  It prefers moist soil, but is hardy and drought-resistant.  It is also deer-proof to a certain extent and very long-lived.  If you are ever in Athens, GA, in the early spring and would like to see this plant, try paying a visit to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where the sweet Betsy trillium is planted along the walkway from the parking lot to the garden entrance, and which is where my husband and I saw it this year!


Well, that's it for 2017 plants of the year posts here.  I hope you've found some good ideas, or at least enjoyed the show!

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