dogs away, pollinators enjoy!

There's a large "weed" growing in my garden, and I couldn't be happier about it. When the plant first popped up a couple of years ago, I didn't know exactly what it was, but its thick rubbery stems looked like a type of milkweed, so I left it to see what happened.

What happened was it turned into a 6' (1.8m) tall and wide mass of tiny white flowers that blooms pretty much all summer long!


This plant was finally identified as "dogbane" Apocynum cannabinum due to helpful commentors when I first posted about this (thanks John!), and its common name comes from the fact that it's toxic to dogs and many other mammals too.

It gets quite woody stems -- needed to support the masses of blooms I guess -- and apparently you can make some decent cord/rope out of its fibers.

I haven't tried this. Although sometimes I'm back here looking for something to use to tie a plant up to a stake, somehow I think walking up to the house to get some twine would be easier than crafting my own.

I also have several seedlings popping up in the area, so I guess I should remove the bean-like seed pods when I see them:

Anybody want to bet that I don't do this again this year?

This large plant is probably not in the best location in the garden, right next to my small veggie garden's fence and gate. You can't see the gate and almost can't see the veggie garden at all because of this wall of dogbane:

Although, maybe this is the best location for it, because it attracts pollinators like nothing else in my garden.

Flies, bees, wasps, moths -- if it has six legs it's probably on this plant. Here's a look at what I saw one morning earlier this week.

The first couple of shots are of predators, not pollinators, but they're welcome too!

The ambush bugs are always an exciting find for me!

There are so many crab spiders hidden among the blooms, I couldn't possibly count them all:

Even this little unidentified nymph (immature bug) is sharing a bloom cluster with a crab spider and probably doesn't even know it:

See the spider's legs?

Okay, bring on the pollinators! Let's start with bees:

Now flies:


I only saw one type of moth, but it's a beauty:

I expect there will be more if I visit this plant in the evening instead of morning.

Let's just group the remaining into the "other" category:

Whew! That's a lot of different pollinators (and other insects) on a single plant! I just wish there were some blooms in my veggie garden that they could visit too.

Dogbane: a weed that I'm glad I have in my garden!

I'm actually thinking about planting another of these on the other side of my yard, near my neighbor's veggie garden. Let's see how many pollinators I can get into my yard at once!

Like this wasp, I'm out of here! (Until tomorrow)


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Alan  – (August 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM)  

I forgot to mention: these flowers are somewhat fragrant. Not overpowering, but when you're next to the plant you can smell it. Very nice!

If you're interested in some seeds or a seedling, please email me!

Renee  – (August 4, 2012 at 12:32 AM)  

Your pictures are gorgeous! I love all the colors on all your visitors...

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