Nutmeg wrote all about composite flowers yesterday, but Ol’ Wally is here to tell you bees also like tubular flowers. Why? They have more nectar collecting down at the bottom of that tube. So it can be just as efficient to visit one good tube flower–like a Pink Turtlehead!
Now, that’s the only way to see a bee disappear. And please note, Ol’ Wally is showing you humans a tubular flower that is also a water-loving plant. Pink Turtlehead is a wonderful wildflower if you’ve got a bit of a damp area around your property.
This little planted area between the pond and rain garden is looking good. I had Miz Flora identify the plants. “More Cardinal Flower?” I asked her.
“Close. It’s a lobelia, but notice they didn’t plant this one directly in the raingarden. Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, can handle a dryer soil than the red species. Mixed in with it are Pink Turtleheads, Chelone lyoni.”
“This species has escaped from cultivation – the native, C. glabra is white.” She shrugged. “Well that’s what you get. It grows wild here and does look pretty. These will bloom in late in the summer. In the back, a little beaten by the rain, is a Blue Flag Iris, Iris versicolor.”
“They did the right thing keeping it in the shady portion of the bed. It’s from farther north and can’t tolerate the heat of our afternoon sun.”
“What’s this short one around the rock?”
She sniffed. “Sweet Woodruff, Galium odoratum. It’s not native.”
“But it’s everywhere.”
“I know. I can’t figure it out. Don’t they know any better?”
“It’s spreading, too.”
“Yes, but at least it’s confined by the borders in this spot. We’ll see what the gardeners do over the summer.”