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Characteristics and Attributescharacteristics and atributes

Swamp Milkweed

Photograph by and (c)2009 Derek Ramsey, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’

Lightly fragrant white flowers will attract nectaring hummingbirds and pollinators, while the plant also serves as a host plant for Monarch butterflies. Deer-resistant, swamp milkweed performs best in moist to wet conditions in full sun. (2 gal.)

 

 

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Price: $15.00

Highbush Blueberry

Highbush Blueberry Jersey and EarliBlue Patriot (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Who says that we should plant only for the birds and pollinators? Here is an addition where you can decide who should harvest the fruit – you or the birds. The pollinators will be happy no matter who eats the fruit. Highbush blueberries are better pollinated when two varieties are planted nearby.

Earliblue Patriot is an early season blueberry, and Jersey a mid-late season variety. Plant in full sun with acidic soil (usually not a problem in New England).

Photograph by Kurt Stüber, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Brilliant scarlet fall foliage makes this multi-season performer the perfect substitute for invasive burning bush.

White urn-shaped flowers in early summer produce delicious berries that, if you don't get them first are loved by Wild Turkey, Scarlet Tanager, most thrush species, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, Eastern Towhee, and orioles. (2 gal.)

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Price: $23.00

Red Twig Dogwood

 Red-twigged Dogwood Cornus sericea ‘Baileyi’

Tolerating deer while attracting birds and butterflies, red-twigged dogwood thrives in soil that is consistently moist in full sun to part shade, and is an ideal plant for rain gardens. While it can attain a height of 6-10 feet, best winter color is achieved by pruning back 25% of the stems each spring. Alternatively, prune back the entire shrub to 8 inches every 3 years to rejuvenate and maintain a shorter stature.Small white flowers in summer produce clusters of white drupes that will persist into the winter months and will provide forage to many species of bird including Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, Wood Duck, Tree Swallow, finches, flycatchers, woodpeckers, thrushes, Ring-necked Pheasant and Wild Turkey. (3 gal.)

Photograph by Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Price: $32.00

Sweet Pepperbush

Hummingbird Sweet Pepperbush Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’

A compact (3-4 foot) form of the native Clethra, Hummingbird will attract a wide variety of pollinators and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds with its highly fragrant white mid-summer blossoms. Full sun to partial shade, and moist to well-drained soil support growth for this shrub. Yellow foliage will enhance the fall landscape. (2 gal.)

 

 

 

 

Photo: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Price: $23.00

Swamp Azalea

Photograph by HorsePunchKid, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Pink Mist Swamp Azalea Azalea viscosum 

A later blooming azalea (late June-early July), Pink Mist is a fragrant nectar source for pollinators and hummingbirds. As with most members of the Rhododendron family, it prefers acidic humusy soils in part shade, but will tolerate moist to wet soils well. Not deer resistant, the shrub averages 4-6 feet in height. (2 gal.)

 

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Price: $26.00

Storm Cloud Bluestar

Photo: Proven WInners

Storm Cloud Bluestar Amsonia tabernaemontana ’Storm Cloud’

Introduce some blue into your late spring to early summer garden and provide food for foraging bumblebees. This deer-resistant 24-30 inch mounding perennial requires average soil and moisture, and full to partial sun. (1 gal.)

 

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Price: $13.00

Red Chokeberry

Red Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantisima

This upright (6-10 foot) shrub produces small white flowers in mid-late May, providing nectar to native bees, followed by brilliant red berries prized by birds like sparrows, orioles, many thrushes, Cedar Waxwings, and Northern Mockingbirds. In addition, bright red fall foliage enhances the landscape. Easy to grow, chokeberry has no special soil or light requirements. (1 gal.)

 

 

 

 

 

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Price: $30.00

Prairie Dropseed

Photograph by David J. Stang, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis

Prairie dropseed is another clump-forming grass that attracts birds with the seed it produces and functions as a larval food for butterflies. Its fine texture provides movement in the garden. This full sun native provides fall/winter interest with its golden foliage at that time of year. Plant in full sun. The highly nutritious seeds are much sought after by birds. (1 gal.)

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Price: $13.00

Pink Muhlygrass

Pink Muhlygrass Muhlenbergia capillaris

Native pink muhlygrass forms a 2-3 foot tall clump which is attractive to both beneficial insects and birds, providing both food, shelter and nesting material. Its fine-textured blue foliage makes way for airy pink flowers in late summer. The grass prefers full sun, and once established, is drought tolerant. In addition, neither rabbits nor deer find it appealing. (1 gal.)

 

 

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Pink Garden Phlox

Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Pink Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’

Soon to become a garden favorite, this summer blooming garden phlox is highly mildew resistant. Tall in stature (4-5 feet) it is a perfect back of the garden magnet for butterflies. In fact, garden trials at the Mt. Cuba center found this to be the best performing and most attractive garden phlox to butterflies of all the varieties that they tested. Plant in full sun with average soil moisture. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed on the nectar. (2 gal.)

 

 

 

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Ninebark

Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Center Glow’

While the flowers (pink, in June) provide an excellent nectar source, the fruit are enjoyed by songbirds, the dense growth habit provides shelter and a nesting site for birds, the colorful foliage will add excitement to your garden. Ninebark is a tough, quick grower, tolerant of infertile soils, and will provide the best foliage color in full sun. (2 gal.)

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Price: $25.00

New Jersey Tea

Photograph by User:JohnOyston, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus

Fragrant white flowers in late May will attract both pollinators and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. It also attracts insectivorous birds. This easy to grow 3-4 foot shrub is drought tolerant and prefers sun to part shade. Yellow twigs provide winter interest. Historical anecdotes claim that the leaves were used as a tea substitute during the Revolutionary War. (2 gal.)

 

 

 

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Price: $25.00

Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scopolarium ‘The Blues’

Yes, the Latin name may be a mouthful, but don’t let that prevent you from planting this colorful, clump-forming 3-4 foot grass. Its leaves are larval food for butterflies and its seeds provide food for birds like Dark-eyed Juncos, as well as Chipping, Field, Song, White-throated, and Tree Sparrow and winter cover for many small birds. Purplish bronze flowers in August precede the plant’s orange to bronze fall color. Plant this grass in groups in full sun. (1 gal.)

 

 

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Goldenrod

Photograph by David J. Stang, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Goldenrod Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’

Provide some vitally important late season pollen with goldenrod. Monarch butterflies as well as other species will welcome this addition to your August and September garden as will birds later in the season. The plant is tolerant of dry soils, and prefers full sun. Plant in groups to provide a greater target for all. American Goldfinch, Black-Capped Chickadee, Dark-Eyed Junco, Tufted Titmouse, and White-Throated Sparrow feed on goldenrod seeds. It also attracts insectivorous birds. (2 gal.)

 

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Buttonbush

Photograph by i_am_jim, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis

Thriving in very wet environments, this native shrub provides nectar to hummingbirds with its June flowers which enlarge to “Sputnik”-like spiky, white ornamental globes. Both waterfowl and ground-feeding birds benefit from the seeds produced. Rain gardens and wetlands in partial sun provide the best environment for this shrub. (3 gal.)

 

 

Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.

 

 

 

 

 

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Price: $32.00

Big Bluestem

Red October Big Bluestem Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October’

This 4-6 foot clump-forming native grass is attractive all season long, sprouting in spring with reddish highlights which change to deep green during the summer, climaxing with a late summer show of red-burgundy. Pollinators and birds will benefit by its presence in the landscape without attracting deer. Full sun and average to dry conditions are preferred. (2 gal.)

 

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Price: $17.00

Bee Balm

Photograph by David J. Stang, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Jacob Cline Bee Balm Monarda didima ‘Jacob Cline’

The bright red tubular blossoms of this easy to grow, spreading 3-4 foot perennial is a hummingbird magnet which also attracts butterflies July to September. Moist soil in full sun is preferred, however the deer-resistant plant will also tolerate part shade and a drier soil. This variety is highly resistant to mildew, but good air circulation will also ensure healthy foliage. Insectivorous birds also find food on bee balm. (2 gal.)

 

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Beard Tongue

Photograph by David J. Stang, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Beard Tongue Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

Declared the 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year, Husker Red penstemon will thrive despite us. The tubular white flowers in June and July attract and function as a landing platform for both pollinators and hummingbirds. Do not remove the seed heads later in the season, as they are enjoyed by Northern Cardinals and finches. Plant this red-foliaged perennial in full sun for best color. (1 gal.)

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Price: $11.00

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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Price: $10.00

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