Bird plants in the southern plains

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As William Cullina mentioned in his article on avian plants, the sad reality is that songbirds are disappearing: “Since 1970, habitat loss, pesticides, and subsequent The decline in insect populations in North America has resulted in a 25% to 30% reduction in North American songbirds.”

But gardeners can help, and only need to buy new plants! By growing more plants that help support local bird populations, you can do your part. Look for bird plants in the southern plains below, and find more bird plants in William’s article, Native plants of birds.


1. Turkish hat

Turkey hat
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

name: Mallow Where. Demondi

area: 7b–11

size: 2 to 4 feet high and wide

situation: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Southeastern United States

The Turk’s hat calmly dealt with the hot temperatures in Texas, showing gorgeous red flowers for several months, blooming most in the hot summer and early fall. Turkish cap flowers are unique and eye-catching. Flowers will never fully open, but they are the favorite source of nectar for red-throated hummingbirds and many butterflies, moths and insects.Large palm-shaped leaves provide dense coverage Used for birds and small mammals. The Spanish name of this plant, Massanila (“Little Apple”), describes its 1-inch-long red fruit, which is edible and provides a food source for birds.

2. Agarita

Agarita
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

Name: Ten Great Contributions Clover

area: 7–9

size: 3 to 6 feet high and wide

situation: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained loam, clay, lime soil or limestone soil

Native range: Southwestern United States

Agarita’s unique holly-like evergreen leaves add interesting texture to the garden throughout the year. The gray-green leaves exude life in the winter brown. The thick thorny leaves complement the fragrant yellow buttercup flowers. Spring blooms in our area.This is followed by this early flush Bright red berries are a favorite of songbirds
And can be made into delicious jelly or wine. The sharp leaves have an additional benefit, that is, as a natural barbed wire fence, it provides an effective and safe shelter for birds, especially quails, and small mammals. This is an interesting, underutilized evergreen tree.

3. Golden Eye Plateau

Golden Eye Plateau
Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Brundage/Mrs. Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

name: Toothed Virgila

area: 8–11

size: 3 to 6 feet high and wide

situation: Full sun to partial shade; a wide range of well-drained soil types

Native range: Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, Cuba

This member of the sunflower family brings a pleasant golden autumn color to any perennial border. Many miniature sunflowers shine on the long stems as they extend upward above the large number of leaves below. This mottled and dense foliage provides an excellent cover for birds. In full sunlight, it will mature to 3 feet tall, but in the shade it will grow to 6 feet. When allowed to stand in winter, the flowers provide abundant seeds for many grain-eating birds, including smaller goldfinches. Plateau rudbeckia is also the host plant for the larvae of two butterfly species.

4. Small blue stems

Small blue stem
Photo: Michelle Gervais

name: Fission yeast Stone room

area: 3–9

size: 2 to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide

situation: Full sun to partial shade; a wide range of well-drained soil types

Native range: Alberta to Quebec, all the lower 48 states except Oregon and Nevada

This native grass is a beneficial garden plant and has countless benefits to wild animals. The name “little blue stem” means blue-green leaves in summer, but winter brings different Art display. The blue leaves merge into a deep copper color, complemented by silver seed puffs that sparkle in the soft winter light. Seeds attract grain-eating birds, and birds and native bees use leaves as nesting materials. Its clumping habits make it a refuge for birds seeking cover and rest. The small blue stem is the host plant for the larvae of six butterfly species. Their caterpillars are the main and essential source of protein for growing young birds.


Amy Galloway is a gardener at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.





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