Jolene in the mule
Twelve years ago my father put his farm Red Bud in a federal program to seed the acreage in native grasses. Though the program was ended in 2017, the farm has remained in native grasses. Only paths for the four-wheeled mule are cut on the land so that the family can enjoy the seasonal progression of flowers and the bees, butterflies, birds, dragonflies and deer that they attract. My role in the process is to document and research the flowers. These photos were taken on May 15, 2021
Brambles are defined as blackberries and other wild shrubs of the rose family. It looks like we’ll soon have lots of blackberries to pick from the side of the mule.
Fleabanes & Horseweeds, are usually treated as a weeds but are a pioneer species because it is often one of the first native plants to return to a disturbed or a restored site and can often out-compete non-native weed species.
Daisy Fleabane is the host plants for the Lynx Flower Moth and is pollinated by a variety of bees and flies. Wasps, small butterflies and other insects also nectar on these plants. Native Americans used a tea from the leaves to treat dysentery and a tea from the boiled root for menstrual issues. It’s a diuretic and can make you sweat. Horseweed has also been called Fleabane because the leaves put in pets’ beds help to get rid of fleas.
Lyreleaf Sage is great ground cover. This showy blue flower is one of the first wild flowers on Red Bud. The exposed lower lip provides an excellent landing platform for bees. When a bee lands, the two stamens are tipped, and the insect is doused with pollen.
Common Vetch, a legume This drought tolerant and resilient to changeable annual weather patterns plant will be in high demand as the climate changes. Legumes help enrich soil. This plant is an “orphan” legume because a toxin is present in the seeds making it dangerous to humans and animals. Technology may soon create a zero-toxin vetch to help meet global demands for protein sources. Global demand for protein is predicted to increase by 50% by 2050.