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Bearded Iris

Scientific Name: Iris x germanica

Family: Iridaceae

Height: 2-3 ft.

Spread: 1-2 ft

Bloom Time: June

Native Range: Probably southern Europe and Mediterranean, hybridized in gardens

Ecological Value: None

Human Value: Ornamental. All parts are poisonous.

Our irises were rescued from the house next door when it was being renovated. The entire yard was cleared to dirt, but I was allowed to dig up the plants that could be saved and move them to our lot.

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Autumn Sedum

Scientific Name: Hylotelephium ‘Autum Joy’

Family: Crassulaceae

Height: 1.5-2 ft.

Spread: 1.5-2 ft.

Bloom Time: September-October

Native Range: Hybird of plants from North America, Asia, and Europe

Ecological Value: Nectar source, particularly popular with bees and skippers

Human Value: Leaves are edible. New spring growth is best.

According to Wikipedia “Herbstfreude’ agm hybrid is also known in English as “Autumn Joy,” which is a literal translation from the German. It is a hybrid between Sedum telephium and H. spectabile. It is self-sterile, as it exhibits female flower parts only.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hylotelephium_hybrids)

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Hosta

Scientific Name: Hosta sp.

Family: Asparagaceae

Height: 1.5-3 ft

Spread: 2-3 ft.

Bloom Time: July

Native Range: China and Japan

Ecological Value: None

Human Value: Shoots, leaves and flowers are edible. Leaves are best when young although tough and bitter when older. They can be grown as cut and come again leaves. The stems can be used like asparagus.

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Strawberry, Virginia Wild

Scientific Name: Fragaria virginiana

Family: Rosaceae

Height: 0.25-0.75 ft

Spread: 1-2 ft.

Bloom Time: April- May; Fruit in June

Native Range: North America

Ecological Value: Nectar source for bees and butterflies. Berries eaten by birds and mammals.

Human Value: Strawberries are reported to be the sweetest available. Leaves and stems can be brewed as a tea.

Jacke in Edible Forest Gardens listed wild strawberry as a moderately successful ground cover, but I have found that it does not compete well with creeping Charlie. As of 2020 (4 years of growth), I have yet to harvest a single strawberry.

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Joe Pye Weed ‘Little Joe’

Scientific Name: Eutrochium dubium (formerly Eupatorium dubium)

Family: Asterales

Height: 3-4 ft.

Spread: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Time: July – September

Native Range: Eastern North America from Nova Scotia to Alabama, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Nectar plant.

Human Value: Edible and medicinal. (Geniusz, Plants...)

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Harebell

Scientific Name: Campanula rotundifolia

Family: Campanulacae

Height: 1-1.5 ft

Spread: 0.5-1 ft

Bloom Time: June- September

Native Range: North America except Southeast, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Attracts small bees, syrphid flies

Human Value: Leaves are edible raw or cooked. Flowers and roots of other Campanula sp. are also edible and may be edible here as well.

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Zinia

Scientific Name: Silphium perfoliatum

Family: Aster family (Asteraceae)

Spread: 2-4 ft.

Bloom Time: June-August

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Nectar source for long tongued bees, wasps, butterflies, and occasional hummingbirds. Goldfinches also visit these plants

Human Value:

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Cup Plant


Scientific Name: Silphium perfoliatum

Family: Aster family (Asteraceae)

Spread: 2-4 ft.

Bloom Time: June-August

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Nectar source for long tongued bees, wasps, butterflies, and occasional hummingbirds. Goldfinches also visit these plants

Human Value:

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Mint, Mountain

Scientific Name: Pycnanthemum muticum

Family:

Height: 1-3 ft.

Spread: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Time: July – September

Native Range: North America

Ecological Value: Nectar. One of the two most popular nectar plants in our garden from July through October.

Human Value: Herb.