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

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Tuesday - October 16, 2007

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildlife benefit of western coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A neighbor and I are planting a nearby waste area. I'd like to plant things that will help any wildlife that's managed to survive, probably birds. I may be able to get Western Coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis) seeds. But I can't find any information on wildlife benefits. Does anything eat the seed?

ANSWER:

Yes, Rudbeckia occidentalis (western coneflower) blossoms are a nectar source for butterflies and bees and its seeds are food for birds. Rainy Side Gardeners report that butterflies and bees visit it when it is in bloom and birds eat the resulting seeds. Alchemy Works says that bees, butterflies and goldfinches love it. Rudbeckia spp. (Black-eyed Susans) are on Audubon International's Wildlife Garden Plant List for butterflies and songbirds and on Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's Plants to Attract Birds.

 


Rudbeckia occidentalis

 

 

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