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Lamb's ear and catnip to feed your pollinators

May 8, 2015

 

 

lamb's ear stachys byzantina with flowers

 

Lamb's ear is a nonnative perennial, native to Iran, Turkey and Armenia.

It has thick, soft grayish green leaves with silvery hairs. As you will see in the photo below, the plant spreads creating a nice carpet-like effect, and is great for forming borders in your garden.

They love the sun and do well in dry conditions, although they do like a little watering. In the summer the plants shoot up stalks about 15 inches high that bear little pinkish purple flowers, as in the above photo. 

 

And the honey bees LOVE the nectar in these flowers.

 

The stalks dry up and get woody in the fall through winter, and that's when you should cut them down so that the plants stay healthy.

 

 

lamb's ear stachys byzantina , catnip nepeta cataria, borage leaf

 

Catnip is a nonnative perennial that originates from the Mediterranean region.

It is a low growing plant with grayish green leaves and can spread to about 20 inches wide. It has bluish lavender colored flowers and can attract a variety of bee species.

It likes full sun and although does fine in dry conditions, will noticeably grow fuller and thrive if it gets some occasional water.

 

I see mostly tiny native bees such as sweat bees attracted to the plant.

 

 

 

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