Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chrysobalanus icaco (COCO PLUM)

004cocoplumSHARON
Photo © Sharon Dolan http://www.maplestreetnatives.com

Coco Plum is a shrub that provides dense coverage. At a height of 10-30 ft works as a specimen, hedge or screening plant.  Sun to part sun.

Wildlife interaction: The showy flowers will bring in the pollinators and the fruits feed mammals (including humans…think JELLY!) and birds.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/chrysobalanus-icaco

Pinus palustris (LONGLEAF PINE)

GreenpineconeMay2013

These evergreen, hurricane resistant trees reach a massive height of up to 120 ft.

LongleafPineFullJan2013Wildlife interaction: 68 species of bird utilize this species and it provides habitat and food for mammals. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/pinpal/all.html

The enormous cones make great christmas decorations or the base for a natural bird feeder.  This tree goes through several years in a grass stage and then a few years in a “bottlebrush” stage.

Grass stage

Grass stage

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/pinus-palustris

bottlebrush stage

bottlebrush stage

Liatris spp. (BLAZING-STAR); GAYFEATHER

jennyliatrisPhoto © Jenny Welch

Pick a species based on moisture considerations. Beautiful wildflower garden backdrop.

Wildlife interaction: Flowers attract native bees and other pollinators. Seeds may be eaten by songbirds.

also known as GAYFEATHER.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/liatris-spp

Rivina humilis (ROUGEPLANT)

rougeSHARONPhoto © Sharon Dolan http://www.maplestreetnatives.com

Rouge plant grows 3-5 ft, tall so is a great choice for foundation plantings. Evergreen, flowers and fruits all year. Sun to shade.

Wildlife interaction: fruits feed birds but fruit/leaves are said to be toxic to humans.   Flowers attract bees and other pollinators.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/rivina-humilis

Myrica cerifera (SOUTHERN BAYBERRY; WAX MYRTLE)

waxmyrtle053010If you have room for only one shrub, make it Bayberry. A wildlife playground. Extremely versatile, evergreen, dioecious shrubs can be used as a specimen, screen, or trim as a hedge.

femalewaxmyrtle093010Wildlife interaction: berries feed numerous species including Bluebirds, warblers, bobwhites and wild turkey. It is a host plant for countless moth caterpillars which in turn provide food for native wasps and bees. Cover and nesting site for many species as well.

waxmyrtlebudforblogFlowers attract bees and other pollinators. added bonus? cull the wax from the berries to make candles!

Learn more:  http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/myrcer/all.html

Sambucus spp. (AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY)

elderberryMar2014Bright creamy flowers give way to small juicy fruits atop Elderberry shrubs which can be used as a specimen with a height of 10-15ft or trimmed as  shrub or to thicken as a screen.  Moist location.

Shown is Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis

Wildlife interaction: fruits feed more than 50 species of birds including robin, mockingbird, catbird, bobwhite, doves and wild turkey.

Flowers attract bees and other pollinators.

Learn more:  http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/sambucus-nigra-subsp-canadensis

Viburnum obovatum (WALTER’S VIBURNUM; SMALL-LEAF VIBURNUM)

jennyvirbirnumLate winter/Early spring blooms make this versatile shrub a winner. Use as a clipped hedge, tall screen or get creative and try shearing into a topiary, espalier or formal hedge.

Learn more: http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/treesandpowerlines/viburnum_obovatum.shtml

Attractive to pollinators and birds and other wildlife will consume the fruit. (source: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/viburnum-obovatum)

Photo © Jenny Welch