The heat of the late June sun floods the ground and wakes the Summer blooms. They rise from the sides of the roads and creek banks hillsides. Subtlety at first. They’re almost unnoticed except for the vigilant eyes of the wanderer who craves the interesting things. Then in a concert of brilliant color the flowers reveal themselves to all who pass by.
While beautiful to look at and useful in controlling erosion the Orange Lily is considered to be an invasive species by some. Like many of the invasivespecies it comes from Asia. While most of the time I try to look on the bright side of non native species the Orange Lily has little to offer wildlife. The flowers are dry and produce no nectar or pollen for bees and butterflies. The deer don’t eat the vegetation. Humans can consume the flowers and tubers in small quantities but there’s a danger to your pets. If your pets eat this plant it’s recommend to give the activated charcoal immediately and call a vet.
But the desire for that mid summer color still remains. So here’s an idea.
Plant yellow coneflower instead. Orange trumpet vine is a beautiful native species (in the eastern U.S.) that attracts and feeds hummingbirds and butterflies. Scarlet Beebalm is a native reletive of mint that not only feeds bees, butterflies and hummingbirds but also gives you a tea that’s very much like a fine Earl Grey and will fill your landscape with that same aroma.
I do enjoy the visual of the Orange Lily when I see them but having learned that they don’t have as much to offer as the natives I think I’ll look for the other options.
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