Fall has arrived here in Kentucky and I am enjoying the last flowers of the season before they’re gone. Asters are some of my favorites since they attract so many pollinators. They are also the host plant for the hungry caterpillars of Pearl Crescent butterflies.
I still have some Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies zipping around my yard, and they visit every bloom in the garden.
The “wild” areas of my yard have dozens of the white asters that pop up in large numbers in disturbed places. It’s been weeks since I’ve seen many honey bees in the yard, but now they are all over the white asters.
My fall flower garden would not be complete without bunches of goldenrod. It attracts insects that I do not see on any other plant.
Eastern Carpenter Bees are also attracted to goldenrod flowers. These bees (with bare rear ends) are often mistaken for bumble bees (that are fuzzy all over). The males may buzz around you and act tough, but they don’t have stingers, so they are harmless.
My coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is still going strong and feeding plenty of swallowtail butterflies and hummingbirds. In the spring it is the host plant for the adorable caterpillars of clearwing moths.
Although it is not blooming, I have to mention my pokeweed plants since they are covered with such beautiful berries . . . poisonous to people, but delicious to birds. They are also a host plant for the Giant Leopard Moth. Certain compounds found in pokeweed plants are being studied as a possible cure for some cancers and as a treatment for HIV.
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