Did you know that the U.S. Senate has found something to agree on: Native Plants!On March 25th, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced a resolution declaring April as "National Native Plant Month." Amazingly, the Senate passed the declaration by unanimous consent. They all agreed!
Wherever you live, native plants are vital to your local wildlife.
Flowering native plants provide the pollen and nectar vital to native insects.
This mallow was one of the first native plants we grew successfully. It provides food for native insects, which in-turn provide food for the Bewick's wren and bushtits that regularly nest in our yard.
A family of western fence lizards live in the protection of its branches and leaves.
The mallow also helps hold our hillside. We know it is in the right location because it has grown from a single plant to patch of plants.
This cultivar of California fuchia (Epilobium canum) feeds our Anna's and Allen's hummingbirds. I love the brilliant red flowers.
Ceanothus has long been some of our favorite native plants. Also known as California lilac, they bloom in a range of purple to white flowers. This new specimen is a 'Ray Hartman'. It will grow to the size of a small tree. We used it as a living Christmas tree in a pot this past December and now it is filling out nicely to become a screening plant between us and our neighbors.
The purple to blue flowers feed a variety of bee species, including valley carpenter bees. It has grown six inches in the past four months. We are thinking of adding a second plant beside it.
The Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana) (in white and purple) are showstoppers in the spring and their ground cover provides a year-round home for a lovely alligator lizard, another insect eating native species.
Native plants are adapted for their location and native wildlife is adapted to interact with them. Planting native plants can change your yard from sterile landscaping to a wildlife refuge.