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Old 04-25-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
 
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default The Biodiversity of a single native plant.

Keeping an eye(and a camera) on a thistle shows this wildlife gardener what an amazing number of creatures find a use for this single plant.

The Biodiversity of a Single Native Plant
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alexandria, VA
Default I had a similar experience

I have been really enjoying the two patches of Golden Ragwort I have blooming now in my backyard. On a single day a few weeks ago the power of native plants really hit me when I witnessed the following:

During the day white throated sparrows were scaling the flowers to pick off aphids and bending them down (a la Frost's Birches poem)

Several species of native, solitary bees and flower flies were nectaring.

At night I saw: tons of aphids being preyed upon by flower fly larvae, two ladybugs and a lacewing. I also found some kind of non-descript caterpillar munching on the foliage. Earwigs were also nectaring.

A quick scan of the chinese plants around yielded nothing living except for slugs.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Default

Nice observations helianthus. I'm waiting for the beneficials to come to my coral honeysuckle that is now being consumed by aphids. Sometimes I'll intervene and give them a good spray with the hose nozzle to wash some off. It was a new plant last year so I'm going to give it a fighting chance.

Interesting Gloria how that lone thistle attracted so many insects. I'm now following that blog.
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