Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday

I am not sure how September got here so quickly, and is now almost over!  I am not ready for winter, but I am determined to enjoy fall.  For Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, I am going to feature the same plant I did in July, short toothed mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum because it is continuing to do so well and is attracting pollinators.  I also posted a photo of this awesome plant in my last post that I did because of the huge numbers of painted lady butterflies we had been seeing.  I mentioned that if you can only have one native plant, this is one that would be a contender.  There are not many plants that feed the pollinators for such a long time!  Another plus, is that rabbits and deer do not eat it.  I am thinking Gail has posted about it as well, and called it blunt mountain mint, as I read some do.  The plants contain pulegone, the same insecticide as pennyroyal, and I read that one can rub some leaves on the skin to repel mosquitoes.  That is weird to me, since it draws so many insects to the blooms.  This is one you do not want to make tea with like you can Virginia mountain mint.

Here are some photos I took today:

There were not as many painted ladies, but there were still a number of them.  I love the silver looking leaves.

I wonder if this is a great golden digger wasp.

The wasp on the left looks like the previous one, but it is quite a bit smaller. Then, there are a couple tiny ones, smaller than the honey bee in the photo.

I am not sure what this little insect is.  It may be a bee of some kind.  It's smaller than half an inch long.

I was excited to see yet another kind of wasp!  I need to learn what kinds these are!

I believe this wasp is yet another kind.  It doesn't look to have white on it like the other black ones.

I can't see the antennae on this well enough to be able to tell if it is a moth or a butterfly.  I know I've seen these here before, but not often.

I am always glad to see the bumblebees and carpenter bees.  They have been around all summer. 

If you have a spot to fill, this is one that looks great all season, and you get to see a variety of pollinators on it!  It does well in full sun to part shade.  It can handle moist or dry conditions.  It spreads by rhizomes, but not aggressively.  Here is a link to show more information, including the native range.  It is not actually native here in SE Nebraska, but the insects don't realize it, and they sure grow well here!


  1. Hi Sue, I love Mountain Mint. I just divided mine this year and now have 3 plants. It is a pollinator magnet but, I have no idea what kind mine is.....You have so many wonderful butterflies and other pollinators!

    1. Thank you, Sally! I realized yesterday morning that I was a week early for Wildflower Wednesday. I am pretty scatterbrained! I just clicked on your name to visit your blog, which I have before, but got a message saying your blog is not configured properly and is not secure, so Firefox would not take me there. Have you had any problems with it lately?

  2. Great photos, Sue! I'm glad to hear you were early with WW, because I was disappointed that I didn't have a post ready! Now I know I have a week to do it. ;-) You have such an amazing plant collection!

  3. I think that red-abdomened wasp is a great golden digger wasp, and the one with the long, long waist is one of the "thread-waisted wasps", probably in the genus Ammophila. This genus are parasitoids on caterpillars and sawflies, so more good natural pest control!

  4. I still feel "new" to mountain mints, having only planted a couple shortly before leaving Kansas and now only adding 2 to this garden earlier this year. I love what I'm learning about them, though.

    Your array of pollinators visiting these plants is impressive.

    I got curious and went to the USDA Plant Profile site - did you realize that we have 2 species of mountain mint that are native both to you in Nebraska and to me here in Florida? Those are Narrowleaf Mountain Mint (P. tenuifolium) and Whiteleaf Mountain Mint (P. albescens). A good example of the importance of getting locally sourced plants, where possible, though, as I can't imagine a Nebraska plant would like it here...or vice versa.

  5. Very pretty, and the insects sure do seem to love it!
    Happy Wildflower Wednesday!

  6. An impressive number of pollinators! Some of them look familiar to me and it makes me realize I should learn their names.
    Thanks for sharing on Wildflower Wednesday,
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  7. Sue that is one impressive mint and especially when you see so many pollinators and butterflies enjoying it!


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