The Pollinator Garden

After meeting with Leslie, our garden designer, I began to make a list of flowers and plants that are native to New Mexico and would appeal to the pollinators. Native plants require less or no fertilizers, pesticides, water (compared to invasive species), they are less invasive in habitats, the provide habitats for the wildlife, and they promote local native biological diversity (page 107 of Attracting Native Pollinators).

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(A Blanket Flower) 
 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/BlanketFlowerGaillardiapulchellaTexas.jpg


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(A California Poppy)  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/California_poppy.jpg

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(A Mexican Hat)  http://www.wildflower.org/image_archive/320×240/JAM6151/6151_IMG02017.JPG

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(Common Sunflower) http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3288/2957830627_6fa1a176ac_o.jpg

 

To appeal to the bees and wasps, I chose flowers that were easy access for them so they could get the nectar and pollen. Some flower types that are good for bees are flowers that are tubular so they can burrow into them and collect nectar and pollen, which would be spread to the next plants they flew to.

To appeal to flies, I wanted to find shallow or flat flowers so they can gather nectar and pollen with their short, sucking mouth parts.

To appeal to butterflies, I wanted to choose deep flowers because they have long, tongue-like mouth parts.  Butterflies are also attracted to red flowers.

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(A Firecracker Penstemon)  http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8073/8335916794_c2e3848206_h.jpg

 

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(Blue Morning Glories) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/MorningGlories-Tonsofem.jpg/1024px-MorningGlories-Tonsofem.jpg

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(Hairy Vetch) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/34/Hairy_Vetch.jpg/1024px-Hairy_Vetch.jpg

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(Rocky Mountain Beeplant) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Cleome_serrulata1.jpg

For the moths, I wanted to find some form of yucca because yuccas are defendant of them.  Although adults moths do not functional moths or digestive tracts, they still spread pollen on their bodies and the young moths feed on pollen and nectar.  They are also attracted to red flowers.

For the beetles, I wanted to choose bowl-shaped flowers with stamens and pistils.  They feed on nectar and pollen, but sometimes also eat the flower petals.

Lastly, for hummingbirds, I wanted to choose deep flowers for their long beaks and they also are attracted to the color red.  Other birds are attracted to flowers and fruit that have seeds.

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(Rocky Mountain Clover) http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6139/5929468193_9863be5c8d_o.jpg

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(Datura)  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Datura_candida_(flower)_01.jpg

 

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(Desert Marigold) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Baileya_multiradiata_flower_1.jpg

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(Trumpet Vine) http://pixabay.com/p-173678/?no_redirect

The flower that appealed to all of the pollinators was the Firecracker Penstemon.  The flowers that appealed to…

Bees: Russian Sage, Blanket Flowers, Common Sunflowers, Mexican Hats, Rocky Mountain Beeplants, Rocky Mountain Clover, California Poppies, Trumpet Vine, Vetch, Pincushion Cactus, Vitex, Blue Morning Glory, and Desert Marigolds

Flies: Blanket Flowers, Common Sunflowers, Trumpet Vine, Pincushion Cactus, and Blue Morning Glory

Butterflies: Blanket Flowers, Common Sunflowers, Vetch, Vitex, Blue Morning Glories, and Desert Marigolds

Moths: Mexican Evening Primrose, Blanket Flowers, Common Sunflowers, Vitex, Blue Morning Glories, and Datura

Beetles: Blanket Flowers, Common Sunflowers, Mexican Hats, Trumpet Vine, Blue Morning Glories, and Desert Marigolds

Hummingbirds: Trumpet Vine, Vitex, and Desert Marigolds

Other small birds: Common Sunflowers

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(Mexican Evening Primrose) http://www.wildflower.org/image_archive/640×480/PCD3441/PCD3441_IMG0016.JPG

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(Pincushion Cactus) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Montréal_jardin_botanique_mammillaire_cactus.jpg

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(Russian Sage) http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1247/1130733234_1592c3ed31_o.jpg

 

 

 

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(Vitex) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Vitex-agnus-castus-foliage.JPG

 

 

Sources:

Attracting Native Pollinators (The Xerces Society Guide) by: Eric Muder

www.pollinator.org/guides.htm

www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/AttractingPollinatorsEasternUS_V1.pdf

www.wildflower.org/collections/

www.luontoportti.com/Suomi/en

www.plants.usda.gov

Ediblewildfood.com

www.wuc.ose.state.nm.os/plants/search.jsp

Wikipedia.org

www.gardeningknowhow.com

Ucanr.edu/blogs

www.gatewaytosedona.com

www.missouribotanicalgarden.org

 

-Meygan 🙂

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5 thoughts on “The Pollinator Garden

  1. This is really interesting, I think you have a good lay out for a post about a complex topic. The one penstemon appealed to every pollinator? I found this a bit confusing, because you talked about how different pollinators need different things such as depth of flower, so I think you could go into *how* the penstemon appeals to all pollinators by means of color and such. Also I wonder if one flower can attract all the pollinators you want to attract, why is having a variety of flowers instead of just a field of that single penstemon important? It was also unclear what you meant by ” Although adults moths do not functional moths or digestive tracts.” Great topic, very informative, I love the easy to read categorized list format, but it makes me have many more questions (which may as well be a good thing).

  2. I really love the visual aspect of this post; there are a ton of photographs integrated into the text. The post was very informative, as you described the needs and desires of each type of pollinator. In the first paragraph, you say: “Native plants require less or no fertilizers, pesticides, water..” Do you mean to say that native plants require pesticides or do not require pesticides? In addition, another question I have is: why are many of the pollinators attracted to the color red? Other than those two concerns, the post was highly successful.

    • When I said “Native plants require less or no fertilizers, pesticides…”, I meant to say that they do not require pesticides. I’m glad you caught that mistake. Thanks! And butterflies and Hummingbirds see red more vividly than any of the other colors. 🙂

  3. This is a great post. It is very informative of all the different flowers that pollinators enjoy. To be more descriptive in the first paragraph, I would add some examples of invasive species and the critters that are provided with homes from the flowers. I love all the images. It really makes this post very colorful and beautiful. I enjoyed learning about the butterflies, moths, bees, etc. I think just to make this post a little more successful is to add the different types of insects we could possibly see coming to the garden. Describe the different species of butterflies and moths. You stated, …”To appeal to butterflies, I wanted to choose deep flowers because they have long, tongue-like mouth parts. Butterflies are also attracted to red flowers.” My question is, why are so many insects attracted to the red flowers? Do these red flowers contain a different type of nectar? Other than a few small errors, this was a very successful post.

    Great job.

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