Friday, May 30, 2014
Wildflower Wednesday - a few days late...
I just discovered the Wildflower Wednesday meme by Clay and Limestone. Actually I just found her blog and I'm already interested - anyone who's a friend pollinators is a friend of mine! Come, join me on my anti-pesticide soap box!
Currently there aren't a lot of natives blooming in my garden. What I do have is Aquiligia canadensis.
Gorgeous, early blooming flowers, pretty foliage, gently self-seeding in the garden (I always have a few volunteers but not large numbers of them like I do with some other plants).
I time putting out my hummingbird feeder by the blooms of these native wildflowers. The first hummingbird of the year usually shows up the same week as the first bloom of the Aquiligia. I've heard that hummers (specifically the Ruby-throated hummingbirds on the East Coast) follow these wildlflowers north in the spring - as the bloom season progresses the hummers move with it.
Not much else seems to pay attention to these plants except for Leaf Miners.
Every year I have a few leaf miners on my Aquiligia. They aren't supposed to like the native variety as much as cultivated versions but they'll eat both in my garden. Fortunately the leaf miners do limited damage and my Aquiligia always bounce back. If I wanted to do pest management I could always pick the infected leaves and toss them. Since they don't bother the plant I save my time and energy for other things.
I wasn't able to find much information about leaf miners - they are a fly that lays eggs inside the leaves of host plants but what else they do in the wild I don't know. Are they a good pollinator as adults? Are they food for something important? I'm afraid my Google-foo failed me on this topic.
Aqueligia canadensis my May Wildflower of the Month.