Shade plants that are best for wildlife? Native prefered.....

flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)October 3, 2004

OK as far as my shade gardening goes..... I'm the one who was discouraged about it recently....

I'm feeling a little better but have ultimately decided that shade gardening is "for the birds"..... What I mean by that is that while I will try diligently to keep the part of the shade garden close to the house attractive..... I've decided to "sacirifce" the rest to wild life..... while this could be attractive.... they(birds, butterflies, squirrels etc.) are my main interest..... What are some of your top plants (particularly shrubs) to attract,feed and protect wildlife.... whether they're larval or nectar sources or berry and nuts sources..... what plants (shade plants of course) would you plant for wildlife....... natives and endangered natives a plus.... (native and endangered plants....) I.E. and for example I'm thinking of planting some spice bushes... they are a larval source for butterflies and I think (?) birds and other things..... (squireels etc.) eat the berries...... :)

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ahughes798(z5 IL)

Fothergilla Gardenii. Bottle brush shaped, honey scented blossoms in the spring. A bumblbee magnet!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 12:12AM
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A lot will depend on how much shade you have, but here are a few starters to consider:

Aronia arbutifolia and melanocarpa (chokecherries)
Clethra alnifolia (summersweet)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen, teaberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum, macrocarpon
shrub dogwoods
various viburnums
Mitchella reptans (partridgeberry)

Here is a link that might be useful: MidAtlantic Native Plants bibliography

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 10:15AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Hi Flowers,

Also, hollies are wonderful for attracting all sorts of birds. And they serve as a cover for wildlife. Serviceberry, (amelanchier spp) is another. Also known as downy shadblow or shadbush, these can be small trees or large shrubs and they attract a variety of wildlife. Other shrubs include buttonbush> cephalanthus occidentalis, blackhaw viburnum> viburnum prunifolium, mountain laurel> kalmia latifolia, rhododendron spp. and azalea.

I have virginia creeper growing into a large white pine that produces small grape-like berries in the fall and crimson foliage. It does tend to pop up around the yard from time to time but I haven't found it to be a major problem. The berries are loved by many birds.

There are many others but these are a few that will tolerate shade and all of these are native with the exception of (most) rhodies and azalea's.

Btw, spicebush attracts; great crested flycatcher, eastern kingbird, Swainson's thrust, hermit thrush, gray cheeked thrush, veery, red eyed vireo's, white eyed vireo and white throated sparrow. It's a larval source for spicebush swallowtail and tiger swallowtail. (that info was taken from "Gardening for the Birds" written by Thomas Barnes. A wonderful and informative book on attracting and feeding wildlife.)

Good luck~

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 10:04AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

I have wintergreen,gaultheria procumbens; winterberry,ilex verticillata; mountain holly,nemopanthus; high and low bush blueberries(south facing on the woods edge)
and the high bush cranberry,Viburnum opulus'compactum(semi-shade)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 6:41AM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

I have a highbush cranberry tree that is about 12' high. I dug it up from a few blocks away and dragged it back to my woodlot backyard and planted it last fall. Despite all the trauma it experienced it has done superbly and presented the birds with tons of bright red berrries that the birds will enjoy when the winter is here. We also have a mulberry, several serviceberry (great shrubs/trees... beautiful white blossoms, berries that start out red and turn bluish black as they mature and the birds go nuts for them) and the ground cover is mostly Blue Cohash which the birds go absolutely crazy for in the fall. We just moved here last fall and the woodlot had to be cleared of dense Garlic Mustard and Oriental Bittersweet which has taken us 2 seasons to do. We expect at least one more season of dense Garlic Mustard but in the mean time we have planted lots of native ferns, various coloured trilliums, jacks etc.. and I went on a berry hunt this fall and strew about loads of Blue Cohash seeds to help take over where the Garlic Mustard has been taken out. As for more species for the birds (our family are avid birders), you could try SweetGum (awesome trees with very strange seed pods), Tulip Trees (nectar), Dogwoods, SpiceBush (this is our next bush to go into the woods... they grow in large groups so we will plant a large stand of them next spring), any of the cherry species like "Pin Cherry" will attract birds and are at least native in my region (southern Ontario) and we have several 60' as well as tons of saplings. Sassafras are good for fruit as well.

*sigh* so many cool plants and so little money ;o)

Southern Ontario

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 7:17PM
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Bullnettle(z8b TX)

I don't know if wax myrtles are hardy in your area, but since I planted mine, yellow-rumped warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets have overwintered in my yard. You need both male and female plants for the berries to form.

The only time that summer tanagers come into my yard (except during spring migration) is when the American beautyberry has berries on it.

Rough-leafed dogwood brings in phoebes, mockingbirds, and bluebirds, and so do poke salet berries. Rough-leafed dogwood suckers prolifically, and poke salet reseeds prolifically. Both are in shade here in my Texas yard, and do well.

All fall migrating warblers are drawn to the hackberry berries. However, I would not recommend that someone plant the tree, since the birds reseed it everywhere.

Surprisingly, many spring migratory birds like the blooms (ugly long, stringy things) of the pecan trees. That's where I've spotted many orioles and warblers in the spring, before the pecans leaf out. Woodpeckers, crows, jays, and red-winged blackbirds love them in the fall.

Dewberries grow in dappled shade here, and are loved by many birds (and attract snakes as well).

    Bookmark   November 14, 2004 at 4:32PM
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lauramich(z5 So. Michigan)

Cardinal flower, lobelia cardinalis, is a native hummingbird magnet that likes wet shade. It is one of my favorite plants. I've read that deer will eat it, but mine has survived for a while without being munched.

Columbine is a great native plant for wildlife that likes shade.

The Matthaei Botanical Garden in Ann Arbor also recommends these for wildlife:
baneberries, actaea
false dragonhead, physostegia virgioviana
foamflower, tiarella cordifolia

Bleeding hearts supposedly attract hummingbirds per Bird Watcher's Digest, but I haven't seen that happen in my garden and haven't seen that remark elsewhere.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2005 at 12:53PM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

Basically, any native shade plant that you plant is going to be excellent for wildlife..after all, they evolved with the wildlife. And there are tons of them to choose from, so ENJOY! April

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 9:36PM
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Which makes better jam (etc.): chokecherry or pin cherry? And is it true that you shouldn't plant a chokecherry near a prunus avium (sweetcherry), as chokercherry (p. virginiana) is the main host for x-disease - that it will spread to the sweetcherry easily?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:35AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Njbiology, attaching your own post to someone else's post (especially one from 2004 and not even directly related to your question) is not a good idea. First, it's kind of rude to the original poster. They get the email about your question. Second, it's confusing to forum browsers. We have to reread through an old, somewhat unrelated post to get to your question. Next, it adds unrelated issues, that have to be filtered through, by people using the search function to find answers to their questions. And finally, it makes it harder for you to keep up with the answers because the responses are being mailed to the original poster and not you! If I was you, I'd start my own thread, with a proper title AND in the appropriate forum (probably the Fruit and Orchards Forum, but maybe one of the kitchen/harvest related forums). The Woodlands forum was not really designed to talk about jam.

Sorry about being so "preachy", but it's distracting and a little annoying to me to have this type of misplaced post. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to the OP when their inbox started getting flooded with responses.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Heres you a start for the shrub part

Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifoia)
Spicebush (Lindera bezoin)
Ninebark (Physocarp. opulifolius)
Piedmont Azalea (Rhododend. canescens)
Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhod. periclymenoides)
American Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)
Farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)
Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Heres a start for the flowers

White Baneberry (Actea pachypoda)
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Alumroot (Heuchera americana)
Crested Iris (Iris cristata)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Jacob's Ladder
Solomon's Seal (Smilacina racemosa)
Solomon's Plume (Smilacina racemosa)
Wreath Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia )

Many people have different likes and dislikes to one what might be pretty another ewwww lol. Try a search for native shade garden. I know I went to the usda site and did a search on plants just in my area it pulled up a database of 13,000 plants. Try even a search like tennessee native plant list of course use your state see what you get. Enjoy and happy gardening.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:31AM
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