Build it (a native garden) and they will come (insects)! He he he. That was the famous quote from the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams, without the garden and insects insert. But in all seriousness, they will come. Why do we need to help the insects? Because they’re disappearing and they pollinate our food. More details on the Wild Geranium post. Not only that, but grass does not serve much good. It costs time and money to maintain but doesn’t do much for wildlife.
Today Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) and Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii) are in bloom.
Both are super easy to grow. They can tolerate bad soil and drought.These plants are on year two of growth. I have witnessed strange bees on the golden Alexander already! Hopefully one day I will capture their photo, research, and sketch them.
Prairie Alumroot has the most delicate tiny green bells as flowers that have brilliant red anthers which hang below the bell shape. I have witnessed the tiniest of flying insects pollinating the bells. Like the other plant, I wish to record and research all of the native insects visiting this plant.
The non-native plants that we purchase at nurseries do not attract native insects. Sometimes, they don’t attract any insects at all and they’re genetically engineered that way. Beautiful flowers with no visitors. That’s not how a healthy ecosystem was designed.
Here are the photos. On the left: Golden Alexander (3 of them), on the right: Prairie Alumroot. These spring-time blooming natives are a joy to watch grow.
UPDATE: To see what insects are visiting the Golden Alexander and what caterpillar is eating its leaves click here.
All insect facts on the sketches were taken from the site: Illinois Wildflowers