Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) Trunkline Magazine: March 2017 - Page 19

GARDEN TALK Wild about Wildflowers and Pollinators With the ground thawing for springtime, many of us are consider- ing new landscape plantings around our homes. It’s wonderful to experi- ence the majesty of nature in spring bloom in our own backyard. While making your gardening plans, it’s im- portant to understand the effect of what you plant on our local ecosys- tem. Many of the landscaping plants available in nurseries are non-native Pollinators provide an essential species from other countries. While and incredibly valuable ecosystem they may be nice to look at, these service. These pollinators visit fl ow- exotics are not as benefi cial to the ers in their search for food such as ecosystem as native plant species. nectar and pollen. During a fl ower They can be more demanding of visit, a pollinator may accidentally care and resources, and many have brush against the fl ower’s reproduc- become invasive and are out com- tive parts, unknowingly depositing peting native species. pollen from a different fl ower. The By planting native species, plant then uses the pollen to pro- habitat is created and ecological duce a fruit or seed. biodiversity (the variety of This pollination is a key- life in a particular ecosys- stone process that is an tem) can be restored. Approximately integral component Native wildfl owers, of natural ecosys- 80% of the world’s tems, agriculture shrubs and trees also offer many and critical for fl owering plant advantages over food production. species require planting non-native Many plants can- species including: not reproduce with- pollination by out pollen carried • low maintenance • low water con- to them by foraging animals. sumption pollinators. Approximate- • excellent drought tolerance ly 80 percent of the world’s • adaptations to heat and/or cold fl owering plant species require pol- extremes lination by animals. Approximately • no need for fertilizers, pesticides, 35 percent of the world’s food and herbicides crops depend on animal pollinators • nearly yearlong color from spring to reproduce. Over 100 crop species fl owers, foliage and fruits, to in North America require a visit from brilliant seasonal autumnal hues an insect pollinator to be produc- Along with these benefi ts, native tive. Insect pollinated crops, includ- plants provide vital habitat and food ing food, medicines, dyes, and for native wildlife species, especially fabric fi bers in North America are pollinators like ants, bees, wasps, worth almost $30 billion annually. fl ies, birds, bats, beetles, butterfl ies and moths. Now that you know why native plants are so important, here are ten great native plant species from Kentucky to create a native landscape around your home. Plants have a variety of needs such as sunlight/shade, soil moisture, etc. Be sure to consult a plant nursery professional for choosing the right species for your site conditions. 1. Any of the milkweed species: butterfl y, purple, common, swamp (Asclepias spp.) 2. Purple conefl ower (Echinacea purpurea) 3. Scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma) 4. Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) 5. spice bush (Lindera benzoin) 6. Any of the blazing stars species (Liatris spp.) 7. Wild bergamot (Monarda fi stulosa) 8. Trumpet honeysuckl P6W&6VW'f&V2vB&VRFv&F7FW7G&Ɨ2RRvVV@WWG&6Vf7GV7VҐV7fRG'VƖR( "7&r#r( "