Lawn Reseedings

| Native Plants

By Danny Barron.

Today I want to talk about how to obtain additional plants with very little effort. Plants have had millions of years of experience replicating themselves. You just need to let them do it, and you can enjoy the fruits of their labors as long as you don’t mow them to oblivion. When small, most native plants will transplant easily, so you can move them around if they spring up somewhere you don’t want them.

This morning I walked around and took photos of what I’ve discovered in the last couple of weeks. If I had gotten antsy and started mowing blindly, I would have never found them. Of course, we can give some credit to the rains that kept me from mowing the last two weeks as well.

Firstly, my Bidens aristosa (showy tickseed) leaned away from the house and thus sowed all its seed in the lawn verge . . . so the seedlings were only a minor surprise. Being an annual, it is going to reseed each year. It provides nectar in late summer to early fall and is eagerly sought after for fall finch food.

Secondly, after 3 years of no seedlings, my Zizia aurea (golden alexanders) decided it was time to have babies . . . and it also leaned toward the lawn. You can see Mom’s stalk on top, but right under it are seedlings from last year’s bloom. It is the host plant of both the black swallowtail and the Ozark swallowtail butterflies and an early pollinator feeder.

Thirdly, Pycnanthemum muticans (clustered mountain mint) has thrown its first detectable seedling in 3 years amidst the clover. This plant is a veritable small pollinator buffet!

Fourth, a Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster) popped up. This plant is also the first youngling observed after about 5 years. It’s pretty showy, and a fall feeding station.

Fifth, an Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) appeared under my sweet bay tree. It is definitely not the first offspring 🙂 Swamp milkweed is a pollinator attractant and host plant for the monarch butterfly.

And lastly, Coreopsis lanceolota (lanceleaf coreopsis) in its glory. I thought I totally lost these in the year before last during the drought, but some seedlings started germinating last summer and they’re coming up kinda everywhere (which had been my experience for the last 10 years). It’s accompanied by Blephilia ciliata (downy wood mint) in the photo (which I SURE hope self-sows this year). Both attract a good
number of pollinators and the coreopsis is very attractive to goldfinches as it seeds.