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Wild Plants in the Orchard

Red Berried Elder in Flower at Walden Heights Nursery

More in the growing list of plants to keep in the landscape. Along with acting as nectaries for beneficial insects, native and other wild plants are crucial to the ecosystem due to their ability to accumulate and distribute a multitude of nutrients, improve soil structure, and distract pest species. They also add to the beauty of the surroundings, don’t they?

Baneberry flower at Walden Heights (actaea pachypoda, a. rubra)

Baneberry plants sport beautiful red or white berries later in the season which although toxic to humans, are enjoyed by many bird species.

Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum)

A native of the lily family, Trillium is also known as stinking  benjamin due to its faint carrion odor which attracts small flies (its pollinators). Seeds are enjoyed and dispersed by small mammals, ants, yellow jackets and others.  Plants need to reach an age of 15 years before they bloom. Plants can live for up to 30 years. They are indicators of rich moist soils.