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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - June 13, 2014

From: Vienna, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Wildlife Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks

ANSWER:

A good place to start is with our list of plants that attract Butterflies and Moths.  Not all the plants on the list grow in Virginia but you can perform the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choose Virginia from the Select State or Province slot and "Shrub" from the General Appearance slot.  This will give you 35 choices for Virginia. You can also make selections in other characteristics (e.g., Light requirements and Soil moisture) to further narrow the list.

Here are some suggestions from that list:

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush) likes moist soils near ponds and stream banks.

Castanea pumila (Chinkapin) provides fruits for birds and mammals and butterflies visit flowers.

Cornus alternifolia (Alternateleaf dogwood) attracts birds and butterflies.   There are other Cornus species that grow in Virginia as well that attract both birds and butterflies [e.g., Cornus racemosa (Gray dogwood) and Cornus sericea (Redosier dogwood)].

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is evergreen and flowers attract butterflies and birds eat the berries.

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) attracts both birds and butterflies.

Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry) is used by birds for food, cover and nesting.

There are many more for you to consider if you do the search outlined above.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

Allegheny chinquapin
Castanea pumila

Alternateleaf dogwood
Cornus alternifolia

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

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