Pollinator/Local wildflower plants to use on properties

ducks4you

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My Village board is looking for money saving ventures. Two board members have researched grants for free seeds for pollinator gardening and probably also planting local native flowers.
They/I wish to save money mowing properties that the Village owns, especially one property too small to develop.
I want your input, with your Own experiences, to pass on to the board so that we make good decisions.
If you are new to this, understand that many plants that the Internet people recommend will actually spread through seeds or runners underground.
Butterfly Bush, for example, is a poor pollinator for monarchs--milkweed is preferred, but must be contained or IT spreads--and it spreads aggressively.
So, give my your thoughts!! :love
 
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Blueberry Acres

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Dill is a great pollinator plant. The bees love the flowers, and it is a host plant for swallowtails. I let mine "bolt" last year, and the bees adored it. A swallowtail laid eggs on it as well.
You might be concerned about it spreading by seed, though.

I love goldenrod for pollinators, but it spreads by roots, and sometimes it can overtake a garden quite quickly.
milkweed is preferred, but must be contained or IT spreads--and it spreads aggressively.
Are you referring to the seeds? What if you cut off the seed pods before they opened, so they wouldn't blow around?
 

Blueberry Acres

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You could also cut off the dill seeds or any other seed pods on the more aggressive plants
smile.png
 

digitS'

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Wouldn't it be special if the plants are both good for pollinators and that they are natives to North America?


Those photos are from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for American Vetch. They have also posted that Vicia americana is "Recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees." LINK

This is not the common vetch that is grown for livestock "Hairy Vetch," which is not a native. The USDA shows that American vetch grows in most of Canada and everywhere in the US except the Southeast and the northern part of New England.

Both Dad and I had hairy vetch as hay crops and grew it with oats. The native vetch is a perennial and doesn't grow especially tall. It may benefit from something to climb on. I don't know. Seed is available.

Gaillardia is a native, in the sunflower family. Bees really like it in my yard. I'm not sure how it would handle competition from something like vetch. More research would be needed for both these plants.

Steve
edit: problem with photo link
 
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flowerbug

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i wrote that:
... some varieties (of butterfly weed) are now available with yellows and reds in the flowers. very pretty. :) no idea if monarchs would use them as food sources.

but i only meant that i didn't know if the yellow or reddish ones would be used as monarch food, but i do know for sure that the orange native type they will use as food because i've had them here eating it many times already.
 
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ducks4you

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SO much food for thought so far.
@digitS'
"Wouldn't it be special if the plants are both good for pollinators and that they are natives to North America?"
YES!!
Natives are the best, But, again, I am concerned about spread.
 
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Blueberry Acres

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But, again, I am concerned about spread.
It's hard to find natives that won't spread (it's what they were created to do!) They would need regular maintenance and upkeep to stop the spreading. You could also grow them in pots/containers or raised beds.

Aromatic aster is said to be a compact type; they're are a great late-season food source.
 

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