Perhaps it’s because the plant has bright, colorful flowers, when en masse, can look like a burning field, or simply because this plant commonly colonized areas which have been recently burned, the aptly named Fireweed is a beautiful plant with benefits for pollinators. Chamerion angustifolium is also known as Rosebay Willowherb and is a perennial growing and spreading from rhizome roots. It’s fairly common and blooms during the summer reaching heights of 2-5 feet. It prefers disturbed sites, especially recent burns, as well as meadows and forests. The lance-shaped leaves are up to 8″ in length and numerous on their climb …continue reading
The Virtuous Weed is a feature on The Metropolitan Field Guide inspired by The Weeds in My Street on the Cryptoforestry blog. The definition of weed is a highly complicated and controversial affair as Richard Mabey discusses in his fascinating book, Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants. Are they simply plants in the wrong place or defined as such for another reason; because they’re invasive, or toxic or disturbing agriculture, or because we disapprove of their behavior? Weeds often spark many debates on forums and blogs among various groups. What is behind all of this? I intend to get down to the basics of …continue reading
News Bees buzzing at city haven:: “A wildflower haven created earlier this year beside one of the city’s main roads is proving to be a blooming success for bees.” Richard Mabey: in defence of nature writing:: “Not since John Clare lambasted Keats for metropolitan sentimentality has there been such an unwarranted attack on the integrity of nature writers.” Urban Habitat Project at the Central Terminal:: “We can take urban spaces, make them beautiful, and at the same time help with stormwater runoff, protect pollinators and other valuable urban wildlife.” New Orleans already taking steps to use rainwater to help residents, the environment and …continue reading
If you visit London, you may just notice trails of flowers winding through the city humming with pollinators. River of Flowers is the brainchild of Kathryn Lwin and while started in London, it now winds through much of the U.K. and is currently expanding into Europe and North America. The idea is simple and starts with the desire to create a connecting pathway of flowering plants for pollinators. Then you find and map three wild spaces in the area and finally partner with the local community to plant the areas in between with flowering plants. In more detail however, they …continue reading
There are few other plants so closely associated with scent than Lavender. The purple flowers and gray/green foliage is unmistakable and found in gardens around the world. The various forms can grow from ground high up to waist high and it is used and appreciated by both humans and wildlife. Lavandula (more commonly known as Lavender) is in the mint family and the genus contains a complicated taxonomy with 39 species and countless cultivars. Lavendula angustifolia is the most widely cultivated species. It was historically found in the Old World growing from India throughout the Mediterranean region of Africa and southern Europe. …continue reading
This short video mixes photographs and short video clips which demonstrate the beauty of a suburban wildlife garden. It also offers a stark comparison to a house with the more commonly seen lawn front yard. This garden is certified at National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat and also includes a Pollinator Habitat sign from the Xerces Society. Among the variety of wildlife to be found in this garden are many species of butterflies, featured in each stage of their life, as well as moths, bees and other insects. Read more posts about backyard (or front yard) habitat.