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…

Featured Project: DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church

duuc_2015
The savanna in the foreground and raingarden in the background are teeming with life.
duuc_2013
The first year, new grasses and forbs sprouted right away.

Prompted by an addition to expand the church, native landscaping is building a greater sense of community between nature and people to DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church in Naperville. Beginning in 2012, The Pizzo Group was contracted to redesign and rebuild the entire greenspace of the church. The landscape architects at ecology + vision, llc designed a planting plan using live plugs for the front entrance areas, raingarden, and parking lot. The rest was seeded by Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. “The front yard, with the savanna under the big trees on one side and the raingarden on the other, began blooming the first season and continues to impress visitors with the succession of colorful flowers throughout the growing season,” says church member Pat Clancy. Read More…

Plan a Pollinator Paradise

CoButterflies on Stiff Goldenrod 2nsider planning an area for pollinators and create your own buzzing paradise! Late fall and winter is an ideal time to take some time and decide how you can help our many beneficial insects. We welcome many species of bees and butterflies in Illinois, but don’t forget that wasps, flies, moths, bugs, and spiders are important too.

Pollinators are active from the first thaw past the first frost. Plan on nectar rich native flowers as a quick and easy food source for your insect population. Choose wildflowers thoughtfully so that you have blossoms spring to fall. For example, shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) blooms in April and is favored by bumblebees. Asters (Symphyotrichum sp.) can bloom well into November and offer an important late season stock up for migrating butterflies. Choose a variety of flower shapes to attract the most diverse array of species. Remember to add some milkweed species for monarchs, too! Read More…