Our first wildflowers, Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) are blooming now at the Fowler meadow. These bright yellow flowers offer pollen and nectar to early season pollinators such as azure butterflies, mining and other short-tongued bees, flower flies and soldier beetles. Golden Alexander also serves as a larval host plant for Black Swallowtail butterflies.
The Fowler meadow, planted by volunteers last fall, features 22 species of native perennials and grasses. The majority of the plants were chosen to bloom successively from late June through September, the time when the most pollinators are active.
The vast majority of the plants seem to have survived the winter, and are looking healthy this spring! We are very pleased with this low mortality rate.
Blooming next, in May, will be nodding onion, followed in late June/early July by: bee balm, butterfly weed, Culver’s root, Pennsylvania sedge, slender mountain mint, white beardtongue and wild quinine.
The summer/fall line up includes: Black-eyed Susan, blazing star, gray goldenrod, ironweed, little bluestem, mistflower, New York aster, prairie drop seed, purple and great coneflowers, rattlesnake master, summer phlox, and woodland sunflower.