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First at Four: Use native plants to attract birds, butterflies to your garden

Grow native plants to attract birds and butterflies to your garden. (Source: WECT) Grow native plants to attract birds and butterflies to your garden. (Source: WECT)

Getting the right plants to grow in your garden is a challenge.

Experts say planting native plants will help make it easier.

Jill Peleuses with Wild Bird and garden joined us on WECT News First at Four to talk about adding natives to your landscaping.

Below are descriptions from Peleuses on the native plants she discussed:

Cardinal Flower:
A perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to 4 ft tall and is found in wet places, streambanks, and swamps. The leaves are up to 8 in long and 2 in broad, lanceolate to oval, with a toothed margin. The flowers are usually vibrant red, deeply five-lobed, up to 4 cm across; they are produced in an erect raceme up to 28 in tall during the summer to fall. Forms with white and pink flowers are also known.

Beauty Berry: 
The temperate species are deciduous, the tropical species evergreen. The leaves are simple, opposite, and 5–25 cm long. The flowers are in clusters, white to pinkish. The fruit is a berry, 2–5 mm diameter and pink to red-purple with a highly distinctive metallic lustre, are very conspicuous in clusters on the bare branches after the leaves fall. The berries last well into the winter or dry season and are an important survival food for birds and other animals, though they will not eat them until other sources are depleted. The berries are highly astringent but are made into wine and jelly. 

Wild Indigo:
It is toxic. It is native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest, but it has also been introduced well beyond its natural range. Naturally it can be found growing wild at the borders of woods, along streams or in open meadows. It often has difficulty seeding itself in its native areas due to parasitic weevils that enter the seed pods, making the number of viable seeds very low.

Bradbury's Monarda:
It is endemic to North America.Common names include bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, and bergamot, the latter inspired by the fragrance of the leaves, which is reminiscent of bergamot orange. The genus was named for the Spanish botanist Nicolás Monardes, who wrote a book in 1574 describing plants of the New World.

Blue Mist Flower:
This is a North American species of herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the sunflower family. It was formerly classified in the genus Eupatorium, but phylogenetic analyses in the late 20th century research indicated that that genus should be split, and the species was reclassified in Conoclinium.
They are all natives to Southeastern North Carolina and grown by Slatestone Gardens, available at Wild Bird & Garden's native plant sales on Saturday, September 24 from 10:30-12:30. 

These plants are great additions to local yards and will help to attract birds, butterflies and pollinators. 

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