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Bearberry

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a 6-inch shrub, which once established can form an attractive groundcover that requires little maintenance. Small urn-shaped and waxy white to pink flowers bloom from May to June and bear bright red fruit in drupes. Leathery dark green leaves are an inch long and in fall change from a dark green to a reddish-green to purple. The flowers of bearberry attract butterflies and hummingbirds and the fruit is a favorite of birds and other wildlife. (1 gal.)

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Brown-Eyed-Susan

Wikipedia: Joshua Mayer

Brown-Eyed-Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) is a short-lived perennial which self-seeds readily. It grows 2 to 5 feet tall, with numerous 1-2” wide, daisy-like, golden-yellow flowers with flat, purplish-brown centers that bloom from late summer until a hard frost. Brown-eyed Susan prefers moderate moisture, however, once established will tolerate most conditions including drought. Its prolonged floral display attracts native bees, pollinating flies, beneficial wasps, and butterflies. The late season seed heads attract finches and other birds. (2 gal.)

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Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly MilkweedButterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a 1-3-foot-tall perennial that has striking yellow and orange, repeat-blooming flowers that are attractive to many insect species, including milkweed beetles, many native bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. As with other milkweeds it is a host plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars. It grows in full sun or part shade and tolerates moist to dry soil and is deer resistant. (2 qt.)

 

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Great Blue Lobeila

Great Blue LobeilaGreat Blue Lobeila (Lobelia siphilitica) has deep blue flowers crowded along the upper section of 2 to 3 feet tall spikes and makes an impressive show in the perennial garden where it attracts hummingbirds. Great Blue Lobelia plants were used medicinally by native Americans. Blue Lobelia plants prefer average to moist rich soil in full sun and make a striking contrast in color when planted near red Cardinal Flower. (2 qt.)

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Labrador Tea

USFS - Superior NF

Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) is a wetland shrub that can reach up to three feet tall and can often have multiple stems. Its alternate evergreen leaves are oval or oblong shaped. Small, showy, and fragrant flowers appear in late May to early June. Labrador tea is an important nectar source for butterflies and bees, including bumble bees.(1 gal.)

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New York Aster

Wikimedia: Rob Young

New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, formerly Aster novi-belgii) is a 3-4-foot-tall perennial that blooms from August through October.  While it will grow on nutritionally poor soil in semi-shade, it prefers a sunny location and will also tolerate growing on the borders of salt marshes, inland marshes, and other moist areas. The purple daisy-like flowers of New York aster are an important fall source of nectar and pollen for bees, monarchs and other butterflies, flies, beetles, and moths. It is a host plant for the caterpillars of several moths, and songbirds will eat the seeds. It is deer and rabbit resistant. (2 qt.)

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Prairie Dropseed

Jason Ryndock,PA Natural Heritage Program

Prairie Dropseed  (Sporobolus heterolepis) is a 2-4-foot tufted warm season perennial grass with narrow fine textured leaves. It flowers in August and September with open flower panicles that are shades of pink and brown with a coriander scent. Its seed heads have a pinkish-brown color, and the foliage turns a golden color that lasts well into the winter, adding year-round interest to the garden. It is a crucial habitat for many native pollinators, butterflies, and songbirds. Prairie dropseed provides nesting material and structure for native bees. It is a nectar boon for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The seeds are eaten by sparrows and other granivorous songbirds from late summer into winter, species which include the Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco. It is deer resistant. (1 gal.)

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Pussy Willow

Wikipedia: Silk666

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) is a narrow shrub or small tree to 20 ft. with multiple trunks and dark-gray, scaly bark. An early herald of spring, the Pussy Willow’s silky catkins open well before other spring blooms. The flowers, conspicuous because they bloom on bare stems before leaves appear, are an important source of pollen for native bees and other pollinators very early in the season. The blue-green leaves are a larval food source for Mourning Cloak and Viceroy butterflies. (2 gal.)

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Scarlet Bee Balm

Wikimedia

Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’) is an erect 2-5-foot perennial that grows best in full sun but will adapt to partial sun. It prefers rich loamy soil. After becoming established it is drought-resistant. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds flock to the scarlet red flowers for nectar through the blooming period beginning in midsummer. Its aromatic foliage makes it unpalatable to deer and other herbivores. (2 qt.)

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Short-toothed Mountain Mint

Short-toothed Moutain Mint

Wikimedia Commons

Short-toothed Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) is a 2-3-foot-tall branching perennial with a 2-foot spread. It blooms from July through September with disk-like flowers that are in small clusters and slightly pink in color, surrounded by attractive silvery bracts. Mountain Mint is especially important to native bees including bumble bees. It expands into colonies from shallow rhizomes but is not the garden thug that is culinary mint. Native bees, beneficial wasps, flies, beetles, skippers, and small butterflies frequent the blossoms. It grows in sunny or partly shaded sites with moist well-drained average soil. Its aromatic foliage makes it unpalatable to deer and rabbits. (2 qt.)

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Sweet-scented Joe Pye Weed

Flickr: PROKingsbrae Garden

Sweet-scented Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) is a 4-7-foot-tall perennial that grows in moist, rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Its 10-inch domed flower head is composed of several branches bearing tiny, vanilla-scented pinkish-purple florets. Joe Pye weed blooms mid-summer to early fall and produces attractive seed heads that persist well into winter. Honey bees, bumble bees, other native bees, and butterflies visit the flower heads for nectar and pollen. Songbirds eat the seeds. (1 gal.)

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Switchgrass

 

Wikipedia: David J. Stang

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’) is a perennial warm season grass that varies in height from 2 to 3 feet with feathery panicles rising 1-2 feet above the foliage. Flowers are pinkish to reddish, maturing to silvery gray. Autumn color of the plants is various shades of red. Plants remain upright throughout the winter. The plant is a larval host for skippers. The seeds provide food for turkeys, doves, and songbirds. Switchgrass prefers full sun, and moist, fertile soil however will tolerate a wide variety of soil types. Switchgrass thrives along the coast by the ocean, tolerating salt spray and wind, and is deer resistant. (2 gal.)

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Trumpet Honeysuckle

Trumpet HoneysuckleTrumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens ‘John Clayton’) is a twining vine with round to oval leaves. The lovely clear yellow tubular flowers make quite a show in late spring to early summer and are a favorite of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. After flowering, the plant bears glossy red berries that attract songbirds. Trumpet honeysuckle prefers well-drained neutral soil and should be encouraged to climb a trellis or other support.  It does best in full sun. 'John Clayton' has clear yellow flowers. ( 2gal)

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Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium

Nicholas A. Tonelli, Flickr

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’) is an 18-24-inch perennial with a dense spreading form that works well in the front of any planting and is very tolerant of partial or even full shade conditions. Its dark red-brown foliage serves as a colorful backdrop for loads of small pink to lilac flowers that bloom from mid-May through late June. Bumblebees, mason bees, other native bees, pollinating flies, butterflies, and skippers visit the flowers for nectar or pollen. Plants host the caterpillars of several moth species. Some birds eat the seeds. (1 gal.)

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Wild Indigo

Wild indigo (Baptisia australus) is a 3-4-foot dense shrubby perennial with attractive blue-green leaves. In late spring, blue to indigo pea-shaped flowers are held aloft on upright flower stalks. Wild indigo is a nectar source for bees and butterflies, and the plants host caterpillars of Frosted Elfin, Eastern tailed Blue, Wild Indigo Duskywing, and Clouded and Orange sulfur butterflies, as well as the caterpillars of moths and skippers. The plants are somewhat unpalatable to deer and rabbits. (2 gal.)

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Woodland Phlox

Woodland Phlox

Wikipedia

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) is an indispensable spring ephemeral for eastern shade gardeners. Enjoy a knee-high sea of elegant, violet-blue flowers that provide valuable early season nectar for swallowtail butterflies, day-flying sphinx moths, and hummingbirds. Its 1-foot flowering stems die back after blooming and in the summer spread low stems of more rounded, dark green foliage. It will usually begin to self-sow and create great drifts that blend well with other woodlanders in successional plantings. The leaves and stems are somewhat unpalatable to deer but are often nibbled by rabbits. (2 qt.)

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Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod

Flickr: F. D. Richards

Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’) is a 3-4-foot perennial that grows in unexceptional mounds of green foliage until the light-yellow flowers explode into bloom in late summer. Fireworks wrinkle-leaf goldenrod attracts many pollinating insects when flowering and has special value to native bees. Small songbirds will eat the seeds. Wrinkle-leaf goldenrod prefers moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. (2 qt.)

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Plants for Birds Sign

Menunkatuck Audubon Society is participating in Audubon’s One Million Plants for Birds program. The goal is to plant 1,000,000 native plants in five years. Show your participation with the Menunkatuck Plants for Birds yard sign. The 9"X12" aluminum sign can be yours for $10.

More information about Plants for Birds is at audubon.org/plantsforbirds.

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