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Here are some interesting spring blooming native flowers from the RainScapes program! Learn more about our program at http://www.rainscapes.org
These Three Native Spring Flowers are for the Flies and Beetles
Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus)
This large shrub (6-10 feet high and wide) with a suckering habit is highly adaptable to varying soil, water and light conditions.
It blooms in early spring before the leaves emerge. The fragrance of the showy flowers is described as strawberry, pineapple or banana-scented. Their sweet, fruity smell attracts beetles, the primary pollinators of this plant.
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
This plant, commonly found in floodplains and bottomlands, grows as a small, multi-stemmed understory tree, oftentimes in large, dense colonies. It is the northernmost New World representative of a plant family found mainly in the tropics.
The curious, bell-shaped flowers that dangle along the stems emerge ahead of the leaves and give off a slightly fetid scent, attractive to carrion flies, blow flies and other fly species that serve as pollinators.
Small mammals and humans, alike, enjoy the banana-like taste of the large, fragrant fruit that comes later in the summer.
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
Wild ginger is a low-growing perennial of rich, moist forests. It’s easy to miss the odd, bell-shaped flowers that appear in spring close to the ground amongst the leaf litter and beneath the heart-shaped leaves. The flowers, positioned next to the ground and with the color of decomposing flesh and the scent of decaying fruit, attract early emerging flies and beetles that unknowingly aid in pollination. Ants help to disperse the seeds from the seed capsules that follow flowering.
In the right conditions wild ginger will spread slowly into dense colonies, making it an excellent groundcover for shade gardens.