Friday, June 22, 2012

Showy Native Plants

Two plants in our backyard are natives that are showy and good for landscaping.

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a vine with red flowers that are especially attractive to hummingbirds. It is difficult to imagine flowers better adapted to the long beaks and narrow tongues of nectar-seeking hummingbirds. New plants spring up frequently in other parts of the yard, and it seems likely that the hummers are responsible for dispersal of seeds.

Beautyberry (Calicarpa americana) also shows up frequently as a volunteer, as is the case of this one. The lavender flowers are small and relatively inconspicuous, but they are replaced later in the season by vivid purple-red berries. For this plant, it is probably berry-eating birds that are responsible for dispersal.

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