Late Season Pollinator Partners

bees and syrphid fly on sym_nov
Bees and Syrphid Fly on New England Aster

With autumn’s arrival, Aster and Goldenrod have taken the stage to not only dazzle with pretty flowers, but also offer rich nectar sources for pollinators. These staples of gardens and natural areas are an important late-season stop for bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and more. You may have noticed the bright golden flowers of Goldenrods in fields and roadsides. Asters’ small daisy-like blooms come in white, blue, lavender, purple and sometimes pink. They pair beautifully together and with the rich fall color of native grasses. Read More…

Fantastic Native Ferns

Northern Maidenhair Fern
Northern Maidenhair Fern

One of the loveliest woodland plants is the fern. We have almost 20 species native to Illinois and we’re very excited to offer these this spring. Ferns add a particular grace to shade gardens or woodland areas and blend well with wildflowers and sedges. Our ferns are still growing, but will be ready in a few weeks for pick up or delivery.

Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)

One of the loveliest of the native ferns, Northern Maidenhair Fern can reach up to two feet high and wide. Its wiry black stems allow the foliage to almost float, providing a delicate texture for the shade. This fern prefers moist, rich soils and is deer resistant. Read More…

Nectar Plants for Fall Pollinators

Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed

A recent study has demonstrated that late-season nectar plants are key to migrating butterflies and pollinators. You can enjoy blossoms through October by adding some of these beauties to your yard or natural area. Tough, tolerant, and lovely, try one for a burst of late summer and autumn flowers.

 

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

A terrific rain garden plant, Swamp Milkweed prefers full sun sites that have wet to average soils. Reaching about two to four feet high, it blooms beginning in July and August with rosy pink clusters of upright fragrant flowers. Forming colonies when conditions are right, it is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. Other pollinators find it attractive, including the occasional Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Read More…

Purple Prairie Favorites

Agastache scrophulariaefoliarevPurple, the color of royalty, graces our prairies throughout the season. There are many purple-flowering plants native to the Chicago area that can add richness to your landscape or natural area. We’ve chosen to highlight a mix of the common and unusual for your sunny spot. All of these species attract and support pollinators.

Agastache scrophulariifolia or Purple Giant Hyssop

Purple Giant Hyssop is a large clumping perennial in the mint family with square stems and pale lavender flower spikes from July until fall. Reaching about six feet high, this hyssop prefers prairie and savanna situations with moist soils, although it will readily adapt to average and dry areas. Its long-blooming flowers are extremely popular with bees and butterflies. Read More…