September 27, 2021

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Five native shrubs that enable establish a nutritious ecosystem for wildlife

4 min read

North Florida and South Georgia have a wealth of native shrubs. Lots of are quite prevalent and well known, these kinds of as American beautyberry. Some others manifest through our place but are somewhat unfamiliar in the gardening local community.

Of the indigenous shrubs that are readily available in the nursery trade, a couple are primarily intriguing and have earned use in our landscapes. Some have stunning blossoms, some supply nectar or pollen to indigenous pollinators, some have outstanding tumble coloration, and some offer berries for birds.

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Bumble bees, like this one, are regular visitors to wild hydrangea.

Wild hydrangea

(Hydrangea arborescens) is a lesser-acknowledged relative of oakleaf hydrangea. My six-foot tall, bushy plant has manufactured pretty much 60 white, flat flower clusters from 3 to six inches throughout in June. Bumblebees race all about the bouquets, back again and forth, presumably accumulating pollen on their legs.

The bouquets also draw in numerous scaled-down pollinators – bees and weevils (a form of beetle). Wild hydrangea is deciduous. Plant in light-weight shade in moist to normal, abundant soil.

Virginia sweetspire ‘Little Henry’ is quite showy in springtime and has good fall color.

Virginia sweetspire

(Itea virginica) is another 6-foot tall, deciduous shrub. In the nursery trade particular types are marketed that grow shorter and more compact than their wild cousins. ‘Henry’s Garnet’ grows to six toes and ‘Little Henry’ can reach four feet.

Each have a few-to-four-inch white flower spikes in spring. They are a bit aromatic and a favourite of many indigenous pollinators, like butterflies. Drop is the 2nd season of desire with gorgeous maroon leaf coloration. The branches have a sleek arching practice. Plant in light-weight shade in damp (rain gardens) to average loaded soil.

This southeastern blueberry bee is the primary pollinator of blueberry plants in our region.

Native blueberries

We are lucky to have 6 species of indigenous blueberries in our location. Two will need quite perfectly drained sandy soil, normally south of Tallahassee. 1 gets to be a 25-foot tree. For common soils, I love the shrub species known as highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum).

The plant just exterior our household business window is 6 toes tall but may perhaps improve to 8. In April, southeastern blueberry bees pollinate the compact white bouquets we can conveniently notice them from our window. The blueberries ripen in June, and we are pleased to share them with the cardinals.

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