Attention, Beneficials!

| August 3, 2012 | 11 Replies

I took the advice of Lisa and Kathleen in Wild Farm – Episode 15 and brought some umbels into my garden. These are Achillea millefolium, or Yarrow, “Island Pink” and “Moonshine.”

Umbels are umbrella-shaped with a cluster of flowers, that are rather flat on top, and beneficial insects are especially drawn to them. This is Cinderella Butterfly Weed.

You want beneficial insects in your organic garden to eat pests, like aphids. You also want to attract bees and butterflies. This is Butterfly Bush, and has the most amazing cluster of little flowers, and I adore this intense color.

This is Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica, which is easy to find in nurseries in CA. Milkweed is the only plant a Monarch caterpillar will eat and the adult butterfly will lay eggs on, and is the subject of the next episode of Late Bloomer! I couldn’t resist picking up three plants with this intense color.

This is also Yarrow, with a little insect snooping around. It was the size of an ant. Do you see it? According to Wikipedia, “In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in staunching the flow of blood from wounds. Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal.” How imaginative we used to be!

We’ll see if my plan works. Yesterday, a Swallowtail Butterfly (it’s so rare to see them) swooped in and around my yard twice, but, didn’t stop to drink from the flowers. Thanks for checkin’ in! See ya next time! – Kaye

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Category: Flowers

Comments (11)

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  1. Hi Kaye – when can we expect the next video?

  2. MaryZ says:

    I love yarrow, but haven’t been successful growing it. Your plants are beautiful.

  3. oceannah says:

    Kaye I can attest to the styptic qualities of yarrow. While building the addition my husband had a fall and I slapped a plug of yarrow on his head til we got to the ER…You can imagine the surprise on the Dr.s face when he looked at the injury?!! It was no longer bleeding! But he put 3 stitches in it ‘to be on the safe side’ it was rather deep. Lovely Umbels.

  4. lucindalines says:

    I love your beautiful flower pictures. I also love your great ideas. We have been having trouble with grasshoppers and a few days ago the town was being circled by gulls. I wonder who invited them, but I am sure glad them came. I hope they decide to sleep in my garden. Ha!

  5. oceannah says:

    precisely Kaye the leafy fronds wadded up….very effective~! and also yarrow is diaphoretic…increases sweating so if you want to break a fever or induce sweating (think sauna/sweat lodge)… Oh yarrow, how good you are to us 🙂

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