Adam’s Needle, or simply Yucca, is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with a unique form. It features yellowish-white flowers, which bloom in clusters on 3- to 6-foot panicles reaching above the foliage, May-July. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. The leaves are thick, fibrous blades, which extend both vertically and horizontally from the center of the basal stem, terminating in a sharp point — like a needle. Adam’s Needle is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Yucca Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae) and Cofaqui Giant-Skipper (Megathymus cofaqui). Yucca perfers dry, sandy soil and is drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for New Jersey yards. Plant Adam’s Needle in groups as accents, around foundations or borders, or as stand-alone specimens in your yard.
Japanese Tree Lilac is a small to medium, deciduous tree with large clusters of creamy-white, fragrant flowers. The flowers bloom in June, later than most other lilac shrubs. For best blooms, plant Japanese Tree Lilac in full sun. The flowers provide a rich nectar source for native bees and butterflies. Use Japanese Tree Lilac as an ornamental specimen tree in your yard, or a street tree in your neighborhood.
Scarlet Sage is a tender perennial, grown as an annual. Its showy, red flowers blooming June to frost provide a nectar source to a host of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Use it in mixed borders and containers, or plant it around your yard for a burst of summer-long color.
Salvia,or Sage, is a large genus offering many species in various sizes and colors. Sage is a wildlife-friendly plant, which is very attractive to hummingbirds, numerous native butterfly species, native bees, bumblebees, and honey bees. Sage is typically a low-maintenance plant tolerant of dry soil. It offers consistent summer blooming. Use it in mixed borders and butterfly gardens, or to provide colorful accents around your yard.
Black Oak is a medium-tall, deciduous tree of the red oak group. Its shiny dark green leaves have deeply cut lobes. The bark is almost black on mature trunks, giving it its common name. It prefers moist, organically-rich soil, but tolerates nutrient-poor, dry soil. Acorns provide food for birds and wildlife. Oaks are host to numerous beneficial insects, which in turn provide food for birds. Black Oak is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Edwards Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii). It provides nesting space, cover, and shelter for wildlife. Use Black Oak as a street tree, shade tree in large lawns or parks, or in natural areas around your yard.
Red Oak is a medium-sized, deciduous tree. It is monoecious; insignificant separate male and female catkins appear in spring. The acorns mature in early fall and provide food for birds and wildlife. Fall foliage is russet-red to bright-red, but occasionally yellow-brown. It prefers fertile, dry, sandy soil. Red Oak provides nesting space, cover, and shelter for wildlife. Oaks are host to numerous beneficial insects, which in turn provide food for birds. Red Oak is a host plant to butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus). Use it as a specimen in your yard, a street tree, or lawn tree.
Pin Oak is a medium-sized, deciduous tree of the red oak group. It is monoecious; greenish-yellow flowers bloom on separate male and female catkins in April. Its dark green leaves have five bristle-tipped lobes, and turn deep red in fall. It tolerates poorly-drained soils and some flooding. It may take 15-20 years until the tree matures to bear acorns, which provide food for birds and wildlife. Oaks are host to numerous beneficial insects, which in turn provide food for birds. Pin Oak is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus). It provides nesting space, cover, and shelter for wildlife. Use Pin Oak as a shade tree in the yard, park, or natural area, or as a street tree.
Petunia is a flowering plant grown as an annual in New Jersey. Its green, thick leaves are slightly sticky. Its large, fragrant, funnel-shaped or ruffled flowers come in a variety of sizes and colors. This plant flowers non-stop from spring to frost. Removing the spent flowers encourages more blooms. Petunias are adaptable to many different soil types and conditions. Use Petunias in cascading beds, containers, hanging baskets, and in annual or mixed borders around your yard for a burst of long-lasting color.
Foxglove Beardtongue is a wildlife-friendly native of New Jersey. Clusters of tubular, white flowers on long stalks bloom April-June. The flower nectar is a food source for butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
Zonal Geranium is grown as an annual in New Jersey. The distinctive foliage of this plant has a zone of darker green circling the leaf centers. Clusters of colorful flowers on long stalks bloom throughout the summer and early fall; varieties are available in shades of pink, red, purple, orange, and white. Deadhead the spent flowers to promote new blooms. This plant prefers well-drained soil and good air circulation. Use Zonal Geranium in hanging baskets, window boxes, and in borders around your yard.