Western Tiger Swallowtail

Can I be a Habitat Hero?

The other day I was browsing my favorite plant catalog, High Country Gardens and read they have collaborated with Audobon Rockies and Plant Select to participate in the Habitat Hero project aiming to restore bird habitat and promote wildscaping.

Birdwatcher Garden

Lauren Springer Ogden created a pre-planned garden that provides food for birds.  While this garden has 15 plants and covers 87 square feet.  The garden comes with 15 plants including: 1 each of Agastache rupestrisHelianthus maximiliana Dakota SunshineHesperaloe parvifloraLavandula angustifolia Munstead VioletNepeta faassenii Select BluePenstemon mexicali Red RocksPenstemon pinifolius CompactumSalvia Ultra VioletZauschneria garrettii Orange CarpetSchizachyrium scoparium Los Lunas Blues,Sporobolus wrightii WindbreakerChrysothamnus Yellow Twig(substitute for Prunus besseyi Pawnee Buttes) Ribes aureum, and 2 each of Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition. I am considering buying one of these gardens, but would also think it important to provide native species for species needing specific host plants.  So I began investigating what flowers support pollinators specifically in Colorado.

I am wondering if  local open space parks would welcome a bird or pollinator friendly garden in some section.  I have contacted Gabrielle with Foothills Parks and Rec district to determine how one would go about creating a garden in our open space parks.   But to take on such a project I will need to do some evaluation of my own.

To test creating a pollinator’s garden, I’m investigating the following the Native Colorado Seed Mix to see how they work in irrigated vs non-irrigated areas to determine the rate at which it propagates and what kind of  upkeep it will require.   If the goal is to add to green spaces for naturalizing, then none should require additional watering.  Another to consider is the Bird and Butterfly mix.  Some of the shorter plants may also go well in a knot garden I am starting to plan.

Learning about Pollinator and Bird Habitat Garden

There is an upcoming workshop to learn about wildscaping.

Denver, COMarch 29, 2014: 10 a.m. – noon, South High School Auditorium. Free registration; call Merry Weiss, 303-628-6023, for information. Sponsored by Denver Water.

Online Guides

To have a healthy population of bees, butterflies and moths you need plants that not only provide nectar but also food for the caterpillar stage.   Plants that provide this nutrition are called host plants.

A Painted Lady on Echinacea. Photo by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

Butterflies

If butterflies are what you want to attract, CSU has provided a general list of butterfly host plants for some of the more popular species in Colorado.  These include plants from the mustard family Brassicaceae like cruciferous plants (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard) as well as plants known for their flowers (Iberius, Lobularia, Erysimum), as well as vetch, hollyhocks, sunflowers, and violets.

To search for butterflies in your area and the host plants they feed on see:
Butterflies and Moths of North America

For pollinators in general you can also view http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm which will give you detailed species for pollinators including bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and moths.

There are also volunteer opportunities to determining Colorado’s butterfly population through the Butterfly Pavillion.  – http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp1609727.jsp

 

Creating a pollinator garden

My home is in a pollinator habitat called the 311 Rocky Mountain Steppe.

For my garden,  I have chosen to use seed to test the most plants in an economical manner.

 

Western Tiger Swallowtail

The seeds listed below are from two different seed mixtures at seedland.com.

Bird & Butterfly Mix

Native Colorado Mix

Since each of these mixes are sold only in 1 pound increments and above, I am looking at single varieties within the mixes to review.

 

Common
Name
*TypeScientific
Name
ColorSeasonCO NativeMixPollinator
Blue
Columbine
PAquilegia
caerulea
Blue/WhiteL SprYNative Coloradohawkmoths hummingbirds
Milkweed,
Showy
PAsclepias
speciosa
PinkSumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly
China AsterACallistephus
chinensis
BlueL SumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly
Cornflower,
Dwarf
ACentaurea
cyanus
BlueSumBird
& Butterfly
bees
Wallflower,
Siberian
B/PCheiranthus
allionii
OrangeL
Spr
Bird
& Butterfly
butterfly
Godetia, DwarfAClarkia
amoena
PinkSumBird
& Butterfly
Coreopsis,
Lance-Leaved
PCoreopsis
lanceolata
YellowSumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly, birds
Plains
Coreopsis
ACoreopsis
tinctoria
Yellow-MaroonL
Sum
YNative Coloradobees
Coreopsis,
Dwarf Plains
ACoreopsis
tinctoria
Maroon-YellowL
Sum
YBird
& Butterfly
bees
Larkspur,
Rocket
ADelphinium
ajacis
Pink
/ Blue
SumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly
Purple
Coneflower  (narrow)
PEchinacea
augustifolia
VioletSumYNative Coloradobutterfly, birds
Coneflower,
Purple
PEchinacea
purpurea
VioletSumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly, birds
Fleabane DaisyPErigoran
speciosus
VioletSumYNative Coloradobees
Poppy,
California
TPEschscholzia
californica
Orange SumBird
& Butterfly
bees
Gaillardia,
Perennial
PGaillardia
aristata
Yellow-RedSumBird
& Butterfly
moths
Perennial
Gaillardia
PGaillardia
aristata
Yellow-RedSumYNative Coloradomoths
Annual
Gaillardia
AGaillardia
pulchella
Yellow-RedSumYNative Coloradomoths
Gaillardia,
Annual
AGaillardia
pulchella
Maroon-YellowSumYBird
& Butterfly
moths
Candytuft,
Annual
AIberis
umbellata
Pink
/ White
SumBird
& Butterfly
bees, butterfly
Wild Blue IrisPIris
missouriensis
PurpleSprYNative Coloradobees
Dotted
Gayfeather
PLiatris
punctata
PurpleL
Sum
YNative Coloradobees
GayfeatherPLiatris
spicata
PurpleL
Sum
Bird
& Butterfly
bees
Blue Flax
(Lewis)
PLinum
perenne lewisii
BlueL
Spr
YNative Coloradobees, butterfly
Alyssum,
Sweet
TPLobularia
maritima
WhiteE
Sum
Bird
& Butterfly
butterfly
Mountain
Lupine
PLupinus
alpestris
BlueSumYNative Coloradobutterfly
Lupine,
Perennial
PLupinus
perennis
BlueL
Spr
Bird
& Butterfly
butterfly. bees
Prairie AsterBMachaeranthera
tanacetifolia
VioletSumYNative Coloradobutterfly, bees
Mint, LemonAMonarda
citriodora
Lavender-PinkE
Sum
Bird
& Butterfly
hummingbirds
Narrow-leaved
Beardtongue
PPenstemon
angustifolius
Pink-VioletE
Sum
YNative Coloradobees
Rocky Mountain
Penstemon
PPenstemon
strictus
PurpleSumYNative Coloradohummingbirds, bees
Yellow
Coneflower
B/PRatibida
columnifera
YellowSumYNative Coloradobees
Coneflower,
Dwarf Red
B/PRatibida
columnifera
RedL
Sum
Bird
& Butterfly
bees
Black-Eyed
Susan
A/B/PRudbeckia
hirta
YellowSumYBird
& Butterfly
butterfly, bees
Black-Eyed
Susan
A/B/PRudbeckia
hirta
YellowSumYNative Coloradobutterfly, bees
Sage,ScarletA/PSalvia
coccinea
RedSumBird
& Butterfly
butterfly, humming
Greenthread AThelesperma
filifolium
YellowSumYNative Colorado
Showy
Goldeneye
PViguiera
multiflora
YellowSumYNative Colorado

Seeds Available for single plant types

Gaillardia

http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=08787&c=20&p=Arizona+Apricot+Gaillardia+Seed = moths

http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=08779&c=20&p=Arizona+Sun+Gaillardia+Seed

 

Botanical Common  Color Height Flower Season Sun Soil Visitation by PollinatorHost Plant

Gaillardia aristata common gaillardia yellow/orange 2’ spring full sun moist moths Yes

 

Penstemon Strictus

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/perennial-plants/penstemon/penstemon-strictus = bees hummingbirds late spring

http://parkseed.com/rocky-mountain-penstemon-flower-seeds/p/01716-PK-P1/

Penstemon strictusRocky Mountain penstemon blue 2’ late spring full sun moist bees, hummingbirds Yes

 

Orange Butterfly Plant

http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=08467&c=20&p=Orange+Butterfly+Plant+Seed =

 

Seeds Purchased

Park Seed

  1. 01716-PK-P1   Rocky Mountain Penstemon Seeds
  2. 51460-PK-P1 Bergamo Monarda Bee Balm Seeds
  3. 00772-PK-P1 Dill Seeds
  4. 01124-PK-P1 Sunrise Lupine Flower Seeds
  5. 01022-PK-P1 Peaches ‘n’ Dreams Hollyhock Seeds

 

To Purchase

Rudbeckia Herta

Linum lewisii

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *