Plant Recommendations for Special Conditions
Birdscaping: Creating Your Landscape to Attract Birds
|Rosa 'Nearly Wild'|
(Nearly Wild Shrub Rose)
Enticing birds to visit you can be a very worthwhile and enjoyable project. There is much you can do to make your yard a more bird-friendly habitat. Agencies such as the Division of Wildlife of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources offer wonderful suggestions for creating such an environment. Topics such as—providing food, cover, and water; making an edge effect; creating bird feeding stations; and designing a more natural habitat—are very helpful for the birds.
The Ohio Landscape Association has created this list with a goal to recommend locally available plants (especially trees, shrubs and vines) that can provide a food source for birds, regardless of your available yard space or yard design.
Which plants can best attract birds to your yard? The answer is difficult, but there are some plants that certain types of birds use as favored food sources. For many of the following recommended plants, the number of attracted species is indicated.
Plants can also be categorized by the time of year they provide fruit, seed, or flower. The fruiting time of a plant could be divided into the following three time periods: 1) Late spring to mid summer; 2) Late summer into fall; 3) Winter into early spring. The list of plants is additionally marked to indicate the fruiting or flowering period.
Late spring to mid summer means nesting time, when birds need lots of food to rear their young. Some excellent choices that help supplement their diet at this time are: Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Birch (Betula), Blueberry (Vaccinium), Strawberry (Fragaria), Bee Balm (Monarda), and Honeysuckle (Lonicera).
The majority of plants produce fruit or seed in late summer to fall. It is good thing too, for this means migration time for some birds and winter preparation for others. Several worthy plant selections offering late summer to fall food are: Dogwood (Cornus), Crabapple (Malus); Elderberry (Sambucus), Viburnum (Viburnum), Aster (Aster), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Sunflower (Helianthus), and Bittersweet (Celastrus).
Plants with winter persistent fruit or seed are particularly essential when other food supplies are limited or exhausted. Permanently residing birds and early spring migrators can find such plants to be lifesavers. If your yardspace is limited, this could be the best category from which to choose. Examples of plants with persistent fruit would include: Chokeberry (Aronia), Crabapple (Malus), Hackberry (Celtis), Hawthorn (Crataegus), Holly (Ilex), Bayberry (Myrica), Firethorn (Pyracantha), Sumac (Rhus), and Shrub Rose (Rosa).
In birdscaping, the use of regionally native plants vs. non-natives warrants consideration, for birds do disseminate seed. Some non-native species are aggressively crowding out native flora in various parts of the country. Awareness of already troublesome species is important, for although they may offer good food for the birds, they could be endangering native plants. Some choices to avoid are: Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera Maakii), Russian Olive (Eleagnus angustifolia), Autumn Olive (Eleagnus umbellata), Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), and Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).
On the other hand, some non-natives have not been invasive and can provide birds a variety of food not found in their natural habitat. For example, a lone Firethorn (Pyracantha) can provide an attractive fruit that a bird could not find in the wild.
Our list of suggested birdscaping plants contains native and non-native species; and the nursery industry is continually offering new selections of each from which to choose.
Whether you wish to design your yard naturally (placing native plants in woods, thickets, and meadows) or more conventionally (perhaps adding one new shrub to your yard) choosing from some of the listed plants could benefit both you and the birds!
Recommended Trees , Shrubs, & Vines to Attract Birds:
Amelanchier canadensis (Serviceberry):
|Amelanchier canadensis (Serviceberry)|
Beautiful small ornamental tree (20 to 25 ft.) that has an airy appearance and firery fall color. Small white flowers in very early spring turn into small but tasty June fruit. Native. Fruits: Late Spring / Early Summer. Attractive to 26 species of birds.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ‘Massachusetts’ (Massachusetts Bearberry): Evergreen ground cover forming a flat thick mat 6 inches to 12 inches high. Small dark green leaves resistant to leaf spot and leaf gall. Abundant pinkish-white flowers bloom from April to May followed by bright red fruits. Foliage turns reddish-bronze in the winter. Effective as an unusual, fine textured ground cover. Will take full sun to partial shade and grows best in poor, sandy, infertile soil. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissa’ (Brilliant Red Chokeberry): Medium deciduous shrub ranging from 6 ft. to 8 ft. in height and spread. Prolific fragrant white flowers bloom in the spring with abundant bright red fruit appearing along the stems in September. The dark green foliage turns a very showy red in the fall. For good fall and winter display of attractive berries and foliage, use shrubs in mass plantings in borders or naturalized settings. Tolerates full sun to partial shade, but flowers and fruits best in full sun. Will adapt well to many soil types, but prefers soils with good drainage. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 12 species of birds.
Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry): Small deciduous shrub growing from 3 ft. to 6 ft. in height. Tends to sucker profusely thus forming large colonies. White flowers in the spring are followed by handsome purplish black fruits later in the year. Attractive glossy green foliage turns a good wine-red color in the fall. Best used in massed plantings to maximize effect of fruits and foliage. Effective in areas where poor dry or wet soils are a problem. Plants tolerate full sun to partial shade. Will adapt to many soil types, but prefer soils with good drainage. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 7 species of birds.
Azalea vaseyi (Pink Shell Azalea): See Rhododendron vaseyi
Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree): Thomas Jefferson favored this large shrub/small tree, which offers wonderfully lacy white flowers in June and good yellow fall color. The yellow leaves are further accentuated on female plants with hanging drupes of purple-blue fruit. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Cornus drummondii (Giant Gray Dogwood): Large deciduous shrub or small tree with erect form growing from 20 ft. to 30 ft high. Spreading branches display white flower clusters in late spring and an abundance of white fruit in the fall. Will develop less suckers than its cousin, Cornus racemosa (Gray Dogwood). Hardy native plant that works well in naturalized settings or in massed plantings for screens or borders. Prefers moist to wet soils with full sun to partial shade, but will adapt to dryer situations. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry): The early spring color of this small (to 20 ft.) tree’s flowers—light yellow with a hint of chartreuse—truly heralds in our Ohio spring. Later, the cherry-like fruits glisten in the late summer sun. Non-Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Cornus racemosa ‘Geazam’ (Geazum Gray Dogwood): Also known as the Geauga™ gray dogwood, this medium deciduous shrub will grow from 8 ft. to 10 ft. tall with a spread of only 4 ft. The foliage has a unique black-green coloration that effectively highlights the new growth of mahogany-red. Creamy white flowers in the spring are followed later in the season by white fruits. Originating from one of our native plants, this disease resistant shrub forms an easy to maintain dense and compact columnar hedge. Little pruning is necessary unless a more formal hedge is required. Suckers freely, therefore, it works well in mass plantings—a good choice for naturalizing. Will tolerate full sun or shade and can survive in poor soils that are wet or dry. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 15 species of birds.
Cornus racemosa ‘Mugzam’ (Muszam Gray Dogwood): Also known as the Muskingham™ gray dogwood, this low growing deciduous ground cover reaches a height of only 2 ft. with a spread of about 4 ft. As typical of the species, it displays creamy white flowers in the spring. The attractive gray-green foliage turns to a brick-red in the fall which showcases the clusters of white berries. Stoloniferous in habit, this shrub naturally forms dense colonies which makes it excellent for naturalizing on banks, slopes or areas with poor soil. Will tolerate full sun or shade and soils that are wet or dry. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 15 species of birds.
Cotoneaster apiculata (Cranberry Cotoneaster): The branches of this shrub are often spectacularly laden with red berries. Berries are preceded by small pink flowers. The leaves and berries often make a good show well into November. A grafted standard makes a fine specimen. Non-Native Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Lowfast’ (Lowfast Cotoneaster): Low prostrate-growing semi-evergreen shrub, it only reaches a height of 18 inches, but can spread out to about 6 ft. The glossy green fine-textured foliage is covered with white flowers in the spring and abundant red fruit in the fall. Its slender creeping stems root readily when they come in contact with the soil, therefore, the plant works well when used in massings on banks, gentle slopes, in shrub borders, over walls or where the effect of ground cover is desired. Will grow in full sun or partial shade. Adapts to many conditions, but prefers well-drained soils. Appears to be hardier than other cotoneasters. Non-Native Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn): Wonderful small trees (15 to 25 ft.) for many landscaping uses and for many birds. Picturesque in habit, foliage, flower, and berry. Furthermore, they are very hardy, and some cultivars have no thorns. Seen from a distance, groves of Hawthorn seem to carry a misty veil of scarlet in the winter landscape. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 19 species.
Gaultheria procumbens (Creeping Wintergreen): A small creeping ground cover that is evergreen and naturalizes nicely. Small bell-shaped white flowers are followed by scarlet fruit that are persistent. Crushing the leaves releases a wonderful wintergreen scent. Birds may browse on the berries. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’ (Shamrock Inkberry): Wonderful small broadleaf evergreen shrub (3 to 4 ft.) for many landscaping purposes. Excellent for hedges, massed and as an accent plant. Prefers moist acid soils, sun or shade. Shamrock is a female cultivar offering small black fruit which can last through the winter. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 9 species of birds.
Ilex pendunculosa (Longstalk Holly): Large broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree reaching a height of 15 ft. to 20 ft. Medium-textured foliage remains lustrous dark green in summer, but may develop a yellowish-green cast in exposed areas in the winter. Non-showy flowers in the spring followed by berry-like red fruits that hang from long stalks on the female plant through late fall. Can be used as a specimen or massed in large borders. Foliage and fruit provide great winter interest. Requires one male for every two to three females in order for berries to set. Prefers moist slightly acidic well-drained soils in partial shade. Best to protect from harsh winter sun and wind. Fruits are relished by the birds. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’ (Red Sprite Winterberry): The winterberries are hollies that loses their leaves in the fall, but on female plants the loss reveals a grand display of orange red berries that last through much of the winter. They jump out against a winter background of evergreens. This variety grows 2 to 4 ft. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 12 species of birds.
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ (Winter Red Winterberry): Deciduous shrub; abundant large bright red fruit persisting into winter; superior contrast against snow; glossy, dark green foliage on upright plant turns bronze in fall; excellent for mass effect, shrub borders and wet areas; will grow in sun or shade, grows in dry soil but produces more fruit if grown in rich organic soil, full of moisture; this female variety must be planted near a male plant. Grows 6 to 9 ft. high, hardy to Zone 4. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 12 species of birds.
Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Princess’ (Blue Princess Holly): Medium broadleaf evergreen shrub with a pyramidal, shrubby growth habit that can reach 15 ft. in height with a 10 ft. spread. Lustrous bluish-green foliage adorns this handsome plant throughout the year. Non-showy spring flowers are followed by a beautiful display of abundant dark red berries. Requires a male pollinator, such as, ‘Blue Prince’ or ‘Blue Stallion’ to set fruit. Can be used for mass plantings, hedges, screens or as a specimen. Fruits and contrasting foliage provide good winter interest. Will tolerate full sun to partial shade. Prefers moist, slightly acidic well-drained soils. Best to protect from harsh winter sun and windy. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii Columnaris’ (Green Columnar Juniper): Medium evergreen shrub with an upright pyramidal form reaching 15 ft. Awl-shaped foliage maintains a bright green color throughout the year. Tiny blue cones adorn the plant in the spring and ripen to a dark brown later in the season. Can be used effectively as a hedge, screen, specimen or massed in large border plantings. Full sun required for healthy foliage. Plants are pH adaptable, but they prefer moist, well-drained soils. A relatively trouble free plant. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Juniperus chinensis ‘Robusta Green’ (Robusta Juniper): Medium evergreen shrub with an upright pyramidal form reaching 15 ft. Female has a good fruit display—small bluish-white cone, which ripens to dark brown. Can be used effectively as a hedge, screen, specimen or massed in large border plantings. Full sun required for healthy foliage. Plants are pH adaptable, but they prefer moist, well-drained soils. A relatively trouble free plant. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’ (Grey Owl Juniper): Evergreen shrub grows to 3 ft. in height. Its soft silvery-grey foliage makes it a perfect specimen plant. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in partial shade or full sun. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter.
Kolkwitzia amabilis ‘Pink Cloud’ (Pink Cloud Beauty Bush): This deciduous shrub grows to a height of 6 to 9 ft. and makes a nice large specimen or is useful at the rear of a shrub border. It boasts upright, arching branches laden with pink flowers in mid-spring. Non-Native. Seeds: Fall / Winter.
Ligustrum obtusifolium regelianum (Regal Privet): Deciduous shrub grows to a height of 4 to 5 ft. with a spread of 3 to 4 ft. Good for mass plantings or as a specimen. Its low spreading, arching branches have white blooms in mid-June followed by blue-black berries. Prefers moist, but well-drained loam and sun to partial shade.. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall.
Lonicera x hekrottii (Goldflame Honeysuckle): Considered by some to be the loveliest of the climbing honeysuckles. Buds and flowers turn a variety of shades of carmine, yellow, and pink. Grows 10 to 20 ft. Hummingbirds love the flowers. Native. Flowers: Summer. Attractive to Hummingbirds.
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape Holly): This evergreen shrub prefers a protected area. It works well in mass plantings on banks or as a specimen. It grows to 3 to 5 ft. with equal spread. It has holly-shaped leaves and yellow flowers followed by blue berries. It prefers moist, well-drained loam and does well in sun or shade. Native. Fruits: Summer.
Malus (Flowering Crab): The wonderful variety of flowering crab trees provides many choices for landscaping and birdscaping. Each year brings forth new selections of flowering color, tree size, form, and fruit color. Some trees may lose all their fruit, possibly to a migrating flock of robins, others hang on to their fruit through the winter. Four excellent varieties are displayed in our garden. Many Natives. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 27 species of birds.
Malus ‘Donald Wyman’ (Donald Wyman Crab): A highly rated , disease-resistant crab. Upright in form when young, rounding with age. Its summer foliage is glossy, dark green. Its pink buds open to white flowers, followed by attractive, bright red (3/8”) fruit. Grows 20 ft in height with similar spread.
Malus ‘Hargozam’ (Harvest Gold® Crab): Vigorous grower with upright habit will reach a height of 20 ft. with a spread of 15 ft. Excellent street tree. In the spring, the tree is covered with single white blooms. Small fruit (3/8”) covers the tree in a veil of rich gold which can remain late into December and provides an excellent food source for the birds. Disease resistant.
Malus ‘Molazam’ (Molten Lava® Crab): A newer weeping crabapple with red buds opening into masses of white flowers in the spring. Cascades of brilliant red-orange fruit flow like lava from the pendulous branches throughout the fall season to December. An excellent tree to espalier. Grows 15 ft. in height and 12 to 15 ft. in width.
Malus sargentii (Sargent Crab): Dwarf spreading variety with white flowers, excellent dark green foliage, and small, bright scarlet-red fruit that persists into winter. Grows to 10 ft. in height with a spread of 10 to 15 ft. Disease resistant.
Myrica pensylvanica (Northern Bayberry):
|Myrica pensylvanica (Northern Bayberry)|
Bayberries may hold on to their fruit the longest, and can be a welcome sight for a hungry bird in late winter. This large shrub works well by the house or in a naturalized site. The females can produce branches covered with waxy gray berries. Grows 6 to 12 ft. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 25 species.
Picea glauca (White Spruce): This rather slow growing evergreen tree with grayish needles with reach 40 to 50 ft. Very adaptable and not as susceptible to disease as Colorado Spruce. Certain birds favor the seeds in the cones, and many birds appreciate the cover. Native. Seeds: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 21 species of birds.
Pinus strobus (Eastern White Pine): Fast growing evergreen tree with soft bluish-green needles. Give it room to grow for it can shade out other plants. Beneath its cover, as a mature specimen, it attains a picturesque stature—It will grow to 75 ft. Its large cones hold many seeds. Native. Seeds: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 51 species of birds.
Prunus virginiana ‘Schubert’ (Schubert Chokeberry): The tiny flowers of this small (18 to 25 ft.) cherry tree transform into an abundance of reddish-purple berries. Quite suitable for naturalized areas. Native. Fruits: Late Summer. Attractive to 43 species of birds.
Pyrancantha ‘Yukon Belle’ (Yukon Belle Firethorn): Often used as a hedge or espalier, this shrub responds well to pruning. The display of orange-red berries is its main drawing card. This cultivar is purported to be one of the hardiest of the orange-berries forms. Grows 8 to 10 ft. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 17 species of birds.
Rhododendron vaseyi (Pinkshell Azalea): Although hummingbirds may occasionally visit various azaleas or rhododendrons, this native has been mentioned a bit more often as a hummer attractor. Medium deciduous shrub reaching 5 ft. to 10 ft. in height with an irregular form. A spectacular show of clear rose, bell-shaped flowers appear early in the spring before the foliage. Medium green summer leaves turn from light to deep red in the fall. Hardy American variety good for shady, natural settings or mass plantings. Should be sited in a slightly shaded area protected from strong sun and winds. Plants require a good loamy soil with an average pH range from 4.5 to 6.5. Soil must have good drainage—Azaleas will not tolerate soggy soils. Native. Flowers: Spring. Somewhat attractive to Hummingbirds.
Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’ (Staghorn Sumac): Our native sumac tree makes a unique, almost tropical form in the landscape. The deeply divided leaflets of this variety create a delicate textured appearance. The dull red fruit drupes are held high in the air throughout the winter. As with other sumac, this variety wants to naturalize into a grove, so plan for siblings. Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 31 species.
Rosa (Shrub Rose) Not only do shrub roses offer wonderful flowers through the summer, many bear rose hips through the winter. The thin skinned, fleshy hips contain many small seeds. Following are three examples. Non-Native. Fruits: Fall / Winter. Rose Hips are attractive to 21 species.
Rosa ‘Nearly Wild” (Nearly Wild Shrub Rose): A bushy plant; covered with long stems of pointed buds and fragrant 3” single rose-pink flowers; grows 3 ft. high and 3 ft. wide; glossy green foliage; good plant for mass plantings.
Rosa ‘Red Rascle’ (Red Rascle Shrub Rose): This deciduous shrub grows 3 to 4 ft. and has adaptable long canes. It has recurring deep red blooms. Prefers moist, well-drained soil.
Rosa ‘Sea Foam’ (Sea Foam Shrub Rose): Adaptable long canned rose, according to placement and training. Clusters of medium-sized (2 to 3 in.) creamy white blooms may show a pink blush when opening. Some fragrance, much recurrence and hardiness. Grows to 2 or 3 ft. Can be used as ground cover. Prefers well-drained, moist loam.
Rubus odorata (Thimble Berry): The thimble berry is related to the more brambly red and black raspberries. These are great food for the birds, but suitable only for wild naturalized settings. The thimble berry could be best suited to the back of a border, growing 8 to 10 ft. This shade tolerant upright shrub shows pink flowers in summer followed by flattened red fruit. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Sambucus canadensis (Cutleaf American Elder): This deciduous shrub is useful in a partially shaded background or as a specimen. It produces white flowers in June and purple-black fruit in large clusters in late summer to fall. Its leaflets are deeply divided and are dark green. The mounded shrub grows 8 to 10 ft. with a spread of 4 to 5 ft. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall. Attractive to 47 species of birds.
Symphoricarpos x chenaultii ‘Hancock’ (Prostrate Chenault Coralberry): A low (2 ft.) spreading deciduous shrub that is excellent for a ground cover, bank retention, or a low shrub border. It has pink flowers and clusters of rose-pink berries in the fall. Prefers moist, well-drained loam and does well in sun or shade. Native. Blooms: Fall / Winter.
Tsuga canadensis (Canadian Hemlock): A versatile conifer with a graceful pyramidal habit will grow to 75 ft. or more, although it shears well and can be maintained as a hedge. Produces small 1/2 to 1 inch cones in the fall. Prefers well-drained loam. Will grow in the sun or shade, protected from drying winds. Native. Seeds: Fall / Winter. Attractive to 9 species.
Vaccinium angustifolium ‘Northcountry’ (Northcountry Blueberry): Small deciduous shrub reaching approximately 2 ft. in height. Dark green summer foliage changes to bright red in the fall. White urn-shaped flowers in spring are followed by rounded blue-black berries in July and August. The mounded growth habit blends well into the shrub border or naturalized mass plantings. The plants can provide ornamental beauty as well as edible fruit. Prefers acidic, well-drained soil and will tolerate sun or shade. Berries attract birds and woodland animals. Native. Fruits: Summer. Attractive to 37 species.
Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood Viburnum): In days long gone, the branches were used for arrows. Now this large shrub serves as a strong, adaptable plant for the back of the border. Grows 6 to 15 ft. in height. The birds favor its small dark fruits. Native. Fruits: Fall. Attractive to 10 species of birds.
Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry) This upright viburnum (15 to 20 ft.) is also best suited for the back of a border, although tree form specimens are becoming available. The fruits which evolve through an interesting color change from green to bluish black are good winter food for birds. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall Attractive to 11 species of birds.
Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw Viburnum): A deciduous shrub that grows 12 to 15 ft. in height, can be useful as a specimen, screen, or border plant. It has creamy white flowers, and edible rose-colored berries that ripen in September or October to bluish-black. The glossy foliage turns red in the fall. Prefers moist, well-drained loam. Native. Fruits: Late Summer / Fall.
Additional Recommended Trees , Shrubs, & Vines to Attract Birds:
Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye); Aralia spinosa (Devil’s Walkingstick); Betula nigra (River Birch); Buddleia (Butteryfly Bush); Campsis radicans (Trumpet Creeper); Celastrus scandens (Bittersweet); Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry); Cornus alternifolia (Pagoda Dogwood); Cornus amomum (Silky Dogwood); Cornus candensis (Bunchberry); Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood); Cornus sericea (Red Osier Dogwood); Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon); Fagus grandifolia (American Beech); Ilex opaca (American Holly); Lindera benzoin (Spicebush); Morus rubra (Red Mulberry); Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum); Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper); Prunus serotina (Black Cherry); Quercus (Oak); Sassafras albidum (Sassafras); Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberry Bush)
Recommended Perennials and Grasses to Attract Birds:
Ajuga reptans ‘Burgandy Glow’ (Burgandy Glow Bugleweed):
|Ajuga reptans ‘Burgandy Glow’ (Burgandy Glow Bugleweed)|
Very low, fast growing ground cover. The variety has attractive white, pink, rose and green varigated foliage that turns deep bronze in the fall. Its violet-blue flowers appear late spring to early summer.
Aguilegia x ‘Biedermeier’(Nosegay Columbine): Perennial with clump-like growing habit having both a height and spread of about 18 inches. Stiff, upright flower stalks stand above fern-textured gray-green foliage. Short-spurred flowers of creamy white, pink or purple bloom in late spring and early summer. Appropriate for use in the perennial border and in naturalized plantings. Good for cut flower arrangements. Will take full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soils. Blooms attract hummingbirds.
Digitalis x mertonensis (Strawberry Foxglove): Clump forming perennial with flower spikes rising 2 ft. to 3 ft. above the leaves. Large coppery-pink tubular flowers appear from late spring to early summer. The rich green basal foliage compliments the bell-shaped blooms. Ideal for accents in the woodland or naturalized garden. Likes fertile, well-drained soil in dapple shaded areas. Should be divided every two years after flowering to maintain as a perennial. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Heuchera sanguinea ‘Chatterbox’ (Chatterbox Coralbells): Clump forming perennial with mounds of heart-shaped foliage that remain evergreen throughout the winter. Clouds of delicate bell-shaped rose-pink flowers appear to float 12 inches to 24 inches above the basal foliage from May to September. Well-suited to the front of the perennial border or in naturalized gardens. Blooms make excellent cut flowers lasting for weeks. Will take sun to partial shade and prefers rich, well-drained soils. Attracts hummingbirds.
Additional Recommended Perennials and Grasses to Attract Birds:
Aster (Asters); Deschampsia (Tufted Hair Grass); Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart); Echinacea (Coneflower); Fragaria (Strawberry); Liatris (Gay Feather); Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower); Miscanthus sinensus (Maiden Grass); Monarda (Bee Balm); Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan); Sedum spectabile (Showy Stonecrop); Solidaygo (Goldenrod); Valeriana (Valerian).
Amaranthus; Cosmos; Helianthus (Sunflower); Ipo mea (Morning Glory); Nasturtium; Salvia; Snap Dragons; Zinna.
Article written by Bill Healy of William Healy Design, Akron, Ohio.
Photos by David Emmitt, Program Manager—Plant Science and Landscape Technology, Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus