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Native Wildflowers Help Native Pollinators

Conrad M

Pollinators serve a role in every garden to the extent that some species of plants have evolved around one sole pollinator, reflecting the fragility of natural ecosystems.  As much as bees are what we all think about first when you hear about pollination, there are tens of thousands of other pollinators that rely on plants for food and the plants equally rely on the pollinators for propagation.  Other pollinators include hummingbirds, mason bees, ants, bats, flies, moths, wasps, birds and butterflies. 

 

By putting out food sources like bird seeds and hummingbird feeders, although with good intentions, we can create an artificial dependency on our direct human input.  By seed bombing with native wildflowers, entropy will create random natural food sources that do not require ongoing direct input to sustain that ecosystem.     

 

To encourage native pollinators to visit your garden, start with native plants and native wildflowers because they are already adapted to the local environment.  Ideally, a diverse mix of native species will encourage a balanced ecosystem to thrive.  Plant diversity is the key.  Monocultures   produce one type of plant that has one food source that is available for a limited amount of time during a narrow window of the year, forcing pollinators to venture further from home to feed.  By planting a regional blend of native wildflowers, you can attract native pollinators and help to propagate food sources within range that are available at throughout the year.

 

To find out more:

 “Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide to Conserving North American Bees and Butterflies and Their Habitat by the Xerces Society”.  


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