April Moths and Mayapples

I visited Southwest Missouri last weekend for a buddy’s bachelor party and for Easter with family.  Since I don’t have a yard of my own, I’ve been helping Mom set up a native plant garden.  The garden has been moderately successful thanks to plugs and seeds found through Grow Native! and and transplantings from other areas on their property.  More on that later.  Anyway, we were transplanting Spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.) and Rose Verbena (Glandularia canadensis). I noticed several Hummingbird Moths pollinating the Rose Verbena (of course I didn’t have my camera at the time).  Luckily, I saw one pollinating some Henbit (a weed, like Dandelion, that is now a lost cause to fight) on a nature walk we took later that afternoon.

They look more like bumble bees than hummingbirds but these moths are active during the day and are effective pollinators for verbena, phlox, bee balm, etc.

Podophyllum peltatum

We also saw several Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) in bloom.  Almost every part of a Mayapple plant is poisonous and inedible except the fully-ripened fruit.   However, Mayapple can blanket a forest floor and add interesting texture to a shady native plant garden.  They can be propagated by seed or by rhizome division during dormancy (Fall).

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3 thoughts on “April Moths and Mayapples

  1. Pingback: Hovering with a Hummingbird Moth « stewardsofearth

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