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Tuesday - February 05, 2008

From: Hinton, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Native plants for wildlife habitat in West Virginia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the southern region of Summers County in West Virginia. Our yard has a lot of shell and small rocks in it; it is in direct sun light. I would love to have a welcoming hummingbird, butterfly and winter bird watching habitat using the native plants that can live in the shelly dirt and constant sunlight. Also, we need some shade trees or shrubs that can live in this dry area. We live on top of a hill and it gets windy in the wintertime. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

ANSWER:

We found way more suggestions than we have room for; but we will tell you how to find the information and make your own decisions. For starters, go to our "How To Articles". There are several you will probably be interested in reading, but we would particularly direct your attention to the one on "Wildlife Gardening." To study the possibilities of more plants and trees than we have suggested, go to our Native Plant Database, and use the "Combination Search." For the list we prepared for you, we used the state of West Virginia (of course), "herb" in type of plant (and later "tree" in a separate search), "perennial" for duration, 6 hours or more of sun, and dry soil. This will give you a long list of possibilities; you can go to each Latin name, click on it, and it will take you to a webpage with descriptions and pictures of that particular plant. For the ones we chose, including the trees, we tried to find those that provided shelter and food for birds, nectar for bees and butterflies and were attractive. There is some overlap in all the categories: you could choose "sub-shrub" and get some of the same flowers, often shrubs and trees overlap because of their sizes. This gives you the latitude to choose the heights, density and colors you are interested in. Near the bottom of each of these webpages will be a note on "Wildlife", which will tell you what, if any, of the flying creatures you are hoping to attract will be interested in that plant. And, depending on how long you intend to remain on your property and enjoy your garden, you may want to check speed of growth-you'd probably have to wait a long time for a tree to reach 90', but maybe that's not important to you. Good luck with a very commendable project.

Flowers ("herbs" on Search)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Antennaria neglecta (field pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

TREES

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

 

 

 

 

 

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