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Old 05-27-2011, 08:25 PM   #21
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The top hummingbird-attracting native in my garden has been lonicera sempervirens. Also good are clethra and liatris. The surprise was seeing a hummer feeding on tithonia (only a semi-native, I realize).

In terms of a hummingbird garden, not necessarily of natives, the old-fashioned red canna attracts more hummers than almost anything. I also see them on salvia "Coral Nymph," most lantana, and some gladioli.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:33 PM   #22
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Great list, MrILoveTheAnts.

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I've found Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, to be the best plant at getting hummingbirds. The flower shape and color are ideal. Really any honeysuckle will work provided the flowers are not split half way open. It blooms early with a tremendous pop of flowers all over the plant, and continues sporadically over the summer and autumn.


I've been wanting to grow this for years, but never got around to it. Now that we have the land for it, I'll have to add it.


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Japanese Honeysuckle starts blooming about a month later and is an awful choice for hummingbirds. Does great at attracting large carpenter bees which also love drilling into wooden decks and fences! The problem is the flowers split open half way down the tube, allowing more bees to have access to the nectar.


Another good reason to avoid Japanese honeysuckle: it is extremely invasive and shades out native wildflowers and germinating trees and shrubs--as well as being allopathic.

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Touch Me Not, aka Jewel Weed, is a great summer source of nectar. Impatiens capensis. I don't know where the genus name comes from for this plant as it's certainly anything but impatient. It's a prolific annual, who's seeds take two years to germinate. So you will need to plant this in the same place for 3 years in order to get a consistent patch of them growing. I've seen this growing sporadically along wide stretches of road sides near streams and it's very eye catching.

Touch-me-not is one of my favorites. I think the seedpods that explode at the lightest touch when ripe could be where the name "Impatiens" comes from.

I had no idea that the seeds take two years to germinate! I've never noticed that...as far as I know mine have come up from seed year after year since the beginning. (Originally I grew threw their seed in pots containing my wildflowers...as far as I remember they've come up every year since.)


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I introduced the Impatiens capensis, Jewel Weed to a spot close by within site last summer by digging a couple of plants from way up in a wild section of my land. This year I can't believe how many seedlings are coming up in the new location. They've not flowered yet this year, but I have heard they are hummingbird candy. I'm looking forward to the action they will bring.


They do seem to be quite prolific. If they grow in a spot you don't want them, they are very easy to pull up...as a matter of fact, I remember reading that they were all the rage in England (or elsewhere in Europe...it's been a while since I read that)...their only complaint was that they could not be transplanted easily at all.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:31 PM   #23
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With plants that take two or more winters to germinate, that's the minimum required. They don't all germinate that year but most of them do. Others will germinate the next year but probably not as many as the previous year. So you can get a continuous bloom even from one planting, but they may vary depending on how much of a seed bank is built up. For example, Black Eye'd Susan is a biannual I have, and for my garden they bloom much better on odd numbered years and less on even. The overall patch is expanding slowly though so it's becoming less noticeable.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:24 AM   #24
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Supposidly Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, are pollinated by hummingbirds but honestly I've never seen anything work this plant ever. With plants like this I get the idea that you need a lot of them, and it needs to be the right day to see anything working them. Most Lilies are the same way I find. The only time I've ever seen a butterfly pollinating a lily was when they were mass planted and used as the boarder to every garden around.

Fire Pink, Silene virginica, looks promising. I'm told it's semi-carnivorous though as insects become stuck to part of the stem, I think around the flowers. Silene regia, Royal Catchfly grows much taller.

Buckeye, Aesculus pavia, and other Aesculus species, all look very acceptable too.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:08 AM   #25
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So far I have only seen humming birds visiting Lonicera sempervirens with any regularity in my garden.
I was surprised to see my lone hummer also repeatedly visit a bowman's root ( Porteranthus stipulatus) that was blooming near one of the native honeysuckles. It has a profusion of small white flowers and delicate feathery cut leaves. Those leaves blaze red in the fall. It is a lax plant that I usually end up staking.
It is not blooming yet and I can't find an older photo of it in bloom but I have a photo of the leaves now.
It is the taller feathery plant on the top right.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #26
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I mentioned recently that I've seen the hummingbirds go to Penstemon digitalis...
I've seen them at the Penstemon digitalis as well. Although red attracts them, I'd hardly say that they ignore other colors--I remember a conversation I had with some stranger where I stated that hummers visit colors other than red...I don't think they believed me.

I'm not trusting my memory, but I *believe* I saw them visit--or at least investigate sundrops--which are yellow. Any time I see them at a flower that is not trumpet shaped, I go to investigate to see if there might be a place for nectar to pool.

The wild geranium is not trumpet shaped at all, and I couldn't figure out where the nectar collected. Ya know, I'm going to try to set up a camcorder to see if I can catch them visiting the wild geranium before it is completely finished blooming. I want proof!
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:10 AM   #27
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Quote:
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...I was surprised to see my lone hummer also repeatedly visit a bowman's root ( Porteranthus stipulatus)...

It is not blooming yet and I can't find an older photo of it in bloom but I have a photo of the leaves now...

We are starting to get a good list...keep 'em coming!

will-o,

I enjoyed picking out the other natives in your photo. Your Phlox divericata (spelling?) looks great--I'm guessing the hummers would visit it too...along with your columbine. Nice to see the sedum in bloom....mine is too. I almost mistook your bloodroot for wild ginger...until I saw the seed pod. ...and I'm guessing that is Iris christata in the foreground. Great collection.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
I've seen them at the Penstemon digitalis as well. Although red attracts them, I'd hardly say that they ignore other colors--I remember a conversation I had with some stranger where I stated that hummers visit colors other than red...I don't think they believed me.

I'm not trusting my memory, but I *believe* I saw them visit--or at least investigate sundrops--which are yellow. Any time I see them at a flower that is not trumpet shaped, I go to investigate to see if there might be a place for nectar to pool.

The wild geranium is not trumpet shaped at all, and I couldn't figure out where the nectar collected. Ya know, I'm going to try to set up a camcorder to see if I can catch them visiting the wild geranium before it is completely finished blooming. I want proof!
Well, the fact that they visit blueberry flowers proves your point!!!
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:43 AM   #29
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Quote:
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Well, the fact that they visit blueberry flowers proves your point!!!
~smile~

I hadn't thought about the blueberries being attractive to the hummers, but with the bell shaped flower, it doesn't quite surprise me.

Now, I'm hoping someone will say they've seen them at the wild geraniums...It has been over six years since I've witnessed that, so now I'm second guessing myself.

I did set up the camcorder for a bit, but there is a huge pink Rhododendron nearby, so I doubt the geraniums could compete with that.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #30
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If I see any near the geraniums I'll be sure to let you know...
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attract, attraction, birds, flame acanthus, flowers, hummers, humming, hummingbird, monarda, monarda didyma, plants, rose pavonia, skeleton plant, turk's cap, wildflowers

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