Berry-licious June 18, 2007
More and more people are starting to incorporate native plants into their home landscaping. It is a great idea! Several organizations promote these efforts, one being the Native Plant Conference at Millersville University and of course, the Wild Ones right here in Ohio.
Native plants tend to be hardy, more pest and disease resistant and quite lovely. Simply replace some of those Azaleas or Pieris japonica with this well known native shrub. It provides beautiful flowers, fruit, and a bonus of gorgeous fall foliage.
Although this plant requires higher maintenance than most plants I recommend, the Highbush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum is worth the effort. A native of Ohio bogs, this plants loves the acid soil. Just like growing Azaleas, you will need to amend most soils with peat or pine needles or you will witness their slow and tragic death :( Once you hit on the magic formula, the Highbush blueberry will reward you in many ways.
The leaves tend to persist through the winter and spring brings on winsome flowers resembling clusters of white bells. Summer sunshine develops the porcelain green-turning-to-blue berries. And yes, they are tasty, if you can beat the birds to them! This is a plant that offers it all.
The highly unusual Pink-edged Sulphur butterfly is found in conjunction with this plant in Michigan and Wisconsin, however, there have been no reports of it in Ohio. I can always hope :) Either way, this is a plant I love to enjoy!