Did you know? Before butterflies emerge from their cocoons and rely on nectar, caterpillars need host plants to provide food and cover. It’s a complex life cycle from egg to maturity, with different habitats needed for each stage of development. When one of the parts is missing, such as lack of host plants, butterflies suffer. In turn, we lose beneficial pollinators, and beautiful creatures.
During National Pollinator Week (June 15-21, 2015), more than 14 USDA agencies, federal departments, and partners hosted the 6th Annual Pollinator Festival in Washington, D.C. In other news, The National Pollinator Network organized the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators. And, the Xerces Society sponsors a Pollinator Conservation Resource Center to help folks with local information, fact sheets, insect identification and more.
We have found The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Douglas Tallamy, extremely useful in identifying grasses and sedges that play a role in the lifespan of pollinators. The authors include comprehensive listings for different areas of the U.S., and highlight some of our favorite native grasses and sedges:
Andropogon gerardii • Andropogon glomeratus • Andropogon ternarius • Andropogon virginicus • Bouteloua curtipendula • Bouteloua gracillis • Carex laxiculmis • Carex muskingumensis • Carex pensylvanica • Carex plantaginea • Carex stricta • Carex vulpinoidea • Chasmanthium latifolium • Deschampsia cespitosa • Eragrostis spectabilis • Juncus effusus • Muhlenbergia capillaris • Nassella tenuissima • Panium virgatum • Schizachyrium scoparium • Scirpus cyperinus • Sorghastrum nutans • Spartina pectinata • Sporobolus heterolepis • Sporobolus wrightii
We’re proud grasses and sedges play a role in hosting our beneficial insect friends.