This entry was inspired by an article in the National Wildlife Federation magazine.
The Best Blossoms for Beneficial Insects
Studies suggest that native composites, wildflowers with daisy-shaped blooms, are champions at attracting beneficial insects. For North America, some of the most widely distributed include:
• Asters: Named after the Latin word for “star,” asters come in blues, purples and pinks, all with a yellow center.
• Goldenrods: Easily identified by their golden inflorescences with dense masses of tiny flowers, goldenrods are often difficult to tell apart and represent some of the most ubiquitous composites.
• Coneflowers: In colors from purple to gold, typically with brown to orange centers, coneflowers are found from coast to coast.
• Tickseeds: Also known as coreopsis, tickseeds are native to all but three states—Alaska, Nevada and Utah. They often are partly colored yellow and have petals with notched tips.
• Sunflowers: Wild relatives of cultivated sunflowers, which are known for their huge flowerheads, grow throughout the continental United States.
• Buckwheats and milkweeds: These plants also are magnets for good bugs. So are culinary herbs with distinctive flower clusters called umbels that resemble little upside-down umbrellas. Some umbelliferous herbs of varying heights include coriander, chervil, fennel, flat-leafed parsley, dill and lovage. [Milkweed is the one shown in the picture].
I think after reading this article that we are going to be more strategic in our garden planting :o)