Richard and George like hummingbirds. To him the word that best describes them is charismatic. Their heart beats something like 1,200 times a minute and their wings in some species beat 80 times per second. To attract
hummingbirds plant tubular flowers in the red, yellow or orange spectrum. Many of these plants have adapted or changed over the years so that hummingbirds are the only pollinators for them. Most have co-evolved together, the
flowers and the birds. George points out several plants ideal for Hummingbirds - Lobelia inflata Lobelias, Anisacanthus wrightii Hummingbird Bush, Justica candicans, Justicia californica Chuparosa, Aquilegia vulgaris Columbine.
In this space they also have Aloe barbadensis Aloe. It is an old world plant, pollinated by a Sunbird in the old world, but they have the same long, tubular flower, thus utilized by the hummingbird.
There is some controversy. Should one put a hummingbird feeder in your yard or not? George would go with as many flowers as possible but the fact is hummingbirds need up to a 1,000 flowers per day for their energy requirements.
If one wants supplemental feeding, it is something to look into. The recipe for sugar and water is a concern because if too much sugar it could dehydrate them. It must be the proper mix. For more information about
hummingbird food check out this link.
By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
Labor Day may represent summer’s unofficial close but now is a perfect opportunity to add late-summer perennials that will continue to beautify your landcare until fall arrives. click here for an article that identifies 9 perennials for late summer.
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