Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Summer Snow June 12, 2008

Tiny white petals carried by the wind create an illusion of summer snow. While leading a Ohio Garden Club nature group at Camp Otyokwah last week, we were treated to a "blizzard. " It was a vision worthy of a poet's haiku- I'll spare you, and leave the honor open for Bill Thompson III.

The flowering tree is a Choke Cherry, Prunus virginiana, an Ohio native known to virtually every county. Not one you'll find in a box-store landscape department, but a favorite of many species of wildlife. The name refers to the small, astringent fruit. While it is not palatable to humans, birds really "flock" to it. :)

Cherry blossoms attract many insects during their bloom, which creates a magnetic effect for migrating warblers. Add the fact its fruit is irresistible to Cedar Waxwings and it is a host plant for several species of lepidoptera. Red-spotted Purple, Tiger Swallowtail, and IO moth all utilize this Prunus species. Plant a few in your yard and you have the perfect tool for enticing wildlife.

2008-06-12 11:03:58 GMT
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