Plant of the Month

Have you seen any of these plants on the Greenway? Please let us know where.


March 2024


Red Maple

Acer rubrum

Native deciduous tree

Prefers most soils, but will tolerate a wide range

Sun to part shade

One of the first trees to flower in the spring, important for pollinators

Excellent fall color

Widest N to S distribution of any Eastern tree species

 



January 2024

Possumhaw Holly

Ilex decidua

Native perennial understory tree

Handles a variety of soil conditions

Sun to part shade

Bird and mammal attractor

Reliable green foliage and gorgeous red berries in winter

For best berry production you must plant a male and female tree



December 2023


Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Native perennial understory tree; sometimes written as Witch Hazel

Forgiving of poor soil conditions but doesn’t like extremely dry soil

Part shade to shade

Bird attractor

Beautiful fall foliage and thread-like winter blooms make this a tree worth having!

The unusual blossoms appear in late fall and continue into winter



November 2023

Beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Native deciduous shrub

Prefers partial shade but will grow in full sun

Important source of food for birds and mammals

Gorgeous purple berries in fall. Berries are edible!

Leaves can be used as a natural insect repellent



October 2023


Autumn Clematis, Virgin’s Bower

Clematis virginiana

Native perennial vine

Beautiful on fences and hedgerows in late fall!

Will grow in sun or partial shade and in all types of soils

Important source of food for pollinators and hummingbirds

Toxic to humans



September 2023


Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Native perennial wildflower

Will grow in sun or partial shade and in all types of soils

Very drought tolerant

Important source of food for pollinators



August 2023


Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Native perennial, 12-48" in height

Showy red blooms July thru September. Especially noticeable along the Greenway this year!

Usually pollinated by hummingbirds as their long beaks can penetrate the flower tubes down to the nectar.

Prefers moist soil in sun, shade or part-shade.

Along the Greenway, look for Cardinal flower in the wooded or natural growth just beyond the mowed trail border.



July 2023

Bee Balm, Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Native perennial wildflower

Will grow in sun or partial shade and in all types of soils

Important source of food for pollinators

Deer resistant and tolerant of black walnut

Edible and medicinal! 



June 2023

Buttertop

Packera glabella

Native annual wildflower

Will grow in sun or shade so long as soil is moist!

Important source of food for pollinators in the spring

Excellent form of natural groundcover

Pairs well with native red columbine that blooms at the same time and provides gorgeous color combination!



May 2023


Tulip magnolia

Liriodendron tulipifera

Native deciduous tree

Prefers full sun and grows in mixed forests

Important source of food for pollinators in the spring

Larval host for Eastern Swallowtail and Tuliptree Silk moth

Beautiful golden foliage in the fall

Also called tulip tree and several other names

Excellent shade tree, can grow up to 150’!



April 2023

Mouse Ear Chickweed

Cerastium fontanum

Native herbaceous perennial

Will grow in sun or shade in prostrate mats

Bird and pollinator attractor

Edible and medicinal!

Blooming early spring through early summer



March 2023


Common Speedwell

Veronica americana

Native creeping perennial

Hardy and forgiving of foot traffic

Full sun to part shade

Host plant for Common Buckeye butterfly

Blooms first thing in the spring with lovely little bluish purple flowers, making it an important early food source for pollinators!



February 2023


Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana

Native evergreen tree

Prefers dry soils, but at least needs good drainage

Sunny to part shade

Bird attractor, cedar wax wings love this one!

Lovely blue berries are edible to humans as well

Height and shape greatly affected by pruning choices



January 2023

Possumhaw Holly

Ilex decidua

Native perennial understory tree

Handles a variety of soil conditions

Sun to part shade

Bird and mammal attractor

Reliable green foliage and gorgeous red berries in winter

For best berry production you must plant a male and female tree



December 2022

Red Chokeberry

Aronia arbutifolia

Native perennial shrub

Can handle damp or dry soils as long as they are well drained

Full sun to part shade

Deer resistant

Bird and pollinator attractor

Particularly good for winter interest and as a food source for migrating birds!

Fruits appear in late summer and can persist through winter



November 2022


Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

Native understory tree

Can handle damp or dry soils as long as they are well drained 

Full sun to part shade

Roots can be used to make root beer!

Attracts swallowtail butterflies

Particularly good for fall leaf color



October 2022

Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium fistulosum

Native perennial (not a weed)

Prefers moist rich soils and full sun

Can get several feet tall!

Bird and pollinator attractor

Blooming through late summer and early fall



September 2022


Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Native perennial, 12-48" in height

Showy red blooms July thru September

Usually pollinated by hummingbirds as their long beaks can penetrate the flower tubes down to the nectar.

Prefers moist soil in sun, shade or part-shade.

Along the Greenway, look for Cardinal flower in the wooded or natural growth just beyond the mowed trail border.

 

 

 



August 2022

Ironweed

Vernonia noveboracensis

Native perennial

Prefers moist rich soils and full sun

Deer resistant

Bird and pollinator attractor

Specialist pollinator:

The long-horned bee (Melissodes denticulatus)



July 2022

Pickerel Weed

Pontederia cordata

Native aquatic plant

Full sun

Fresh water up to 12” deep

Pollinator attractor

Blooms late summer all the way through early fall



June 2022


Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Native perennial shrub

Forgiving of soil conditions but prefers moist areas

Full sun to part shade

Amazing bird, insect, and wildlife attractor

White flowers in early summer with purple berries in late summer

Excellent for erosion control



April 2022


Spice Bush

Lindera benzoin

Native perennial understory shrub

Dioecious: need a male and female for good fruit set

Full sun all the way to full shade

Beautiful yellow flowers are a first sign of spring and an early butterfly nectar source!

Aromatic foliage and berries that attract wildlife

 



February 2022


Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana

Native evergreen tree

Prefers dry soils, but at least needs good drainage

Sunny to part shade

Bird attractor, cedar wax wings love this one!

Lovely blue berries are edible to humans as well

Height and shape greatly affected by pruning choices



December 2021

Possumhaw Holly

Ilex decidua

Native perennial understory tree

Handles a variety of soil conditions

Sun to part shade

Bird and mammal attractor

Reliable green foliage and gorgeous red berries in winter

For best berry production you must plant a male and female tree



November 2021

Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Native perennial understory tree; sometimes written as Witch Hazel

Forgiving of poor soil conditions but doesn’t like extremely dry soil

Part shade to shade

Bird attractor

Beautiful fall foliage and thread-like winter blooms make this a tree worth having!

The unusual blossoms appear in late fall and continue into winter



October 2021

Red Chokeberry

Aronia arbutifolia

Native perennial shrub

Can handle damp or dry soils as long as they are well drained

Full sun to part shade

Deer resistant

Bird and pollinator attractor

Particularly good for winter interest and as a food source for migrating birds!

Fruits appear in late summer and can persist through winter



September 2021

Ironweed

Vernonia noveboracensis

Native perennial

Prefers moist rich soils, full sun

Deer resistant

Bird and pollinator attractor

Specialist pollinator: The long-horned bee (Melissodes denticulatus)

Blooms here August into Fall