The name pink wood sorrel just sounds so woodsy and native. We can be forgiven for thinking it must be native to somewhere in the…Leave a Comment
Category: Attracts Butterflies
I was wandering around the Georgia Botanical Garden when I was first introduced to Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’. Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’ Jessamine is a tough and undemanding…Leave a Comment
Twilite Prairieblues false indigo (Baptisia x variicolor ‘Twilite’) is tough and robust in the mid-spring garden. The name is a mouthful (the spell checker is still…Leave a Comment
It’s April in Georgia, so upcoming garden musings may be a little azalea- and dogwood-centric. Without further ado, the subject at hand is the Korean…Leave a Comment
Monarch butterflies are dependent upon milkweed as their primary food source. As butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) has been systematically eradicated from the landscape through the use of Roundup and crops resistant to Roundup, monarch butterfly populations have decreased dramatically.
Reports from the World Wildlife Fund and numerous other research studies indicate that the monarch butterfly population is at its lowest point in more than 20 years. According to the studies the primary reason monarch butterflies are disappearing is the effects of Roundup and the use of Roundup resistant crops. In their winter habitat near Mexico City, monarch butterflies covered only 1.65 hectares in 2013, down from 44.5 hectares in 1996…a stunning collapse.
Monsanto & Roundup
Monsanto introduced Roundup in the 1970’s as a broad-spectrum herbicide (Monsanto also developed Agent Orange). In the mid-1990’s Monsanto brought so-called ‘Roundup Ready’ crops to American farmers. The one-two punch of Roundup and strains of plants resistant to Roundup proved an unbeatable combination for farmers desperate to increase yield. The problem is that it also changed the ecology of the landscape so drastically that the monarch butterfly population is in full retreat.
Farmers can plant crops that are not susceptible to the effects of Roundup, giving them the ability to spray comprehensively to kill anything not Roundup Ready. Corn, sorghum, canola, and soy are a few examples of Roundup Ready crops developed by Monsanto. Milkweed is not roundup ready.Leave a Comment
Native to the eastern U.S., Liatris spicata, common name ‘blazing star’, tends to be a short-lived perennial. In my experience, Liatris needs replanting every couple of years. Liatris provides wonderful structure, juxtaposing well with other shapes and forms in the landscape.
The purple flowers are just bright enough, neither heavy nor garish. Blazing star blooms in mid-summer, and the flowers are relatively long-lasting, developing over a period of 3-4 weeks.
Exposure is full sun. Many perennials in the south, Liatris included, can grow well with only a few hours of afternoon sun. Liatris is not choosy about soils, although consistently wet will cause the plant to rot. Wet soil and poor drainage in winter will not do when it comes to Liatris and many other perennials. Oakleaf hydrangea is also prone to winter die-off where soils are consistently wet.Leave a Comment
The fall color of smooth sumac blazes. Smooth sumac is a plant we rarely think about until the inevitable day in fall when we pass a…Leave a Comment
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (anise-scented sage) is a hummingbird magnet, hardy zones 8-10 and worth growing as an annual elsewhere. Both bees and butterflies…Leave a Comment