Tennessee lies in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and 7, two very temperate zones that are just right for the development of a wide variety of native flowers. The flowers and the fruits they produce attract wildlife and make good choices for hummingbird and butterfly gardens. Native flowers should be left where they are to grow naturally. Commercially grown varieties will survive better in a garden and removing plants from their natural environment upsets the ecological balance of nature.
American beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) is a perennial shrub member of the verbena family. The plant grows from 3 to 9 feet tall featuring green, oval leaves that grow up to 9 inches long and half as wide, and turn yellow-green in the fall. The small, pink flowers bloom in May, June and July in clusters at the base of the leaves. The flower clusters give way to iridescent-purple or white fruit in the fall and winter.
Plant American beautyberry in partial shade and a soil that is moist and well drained. Butterflies are attracted by the flowers, birds will make a meal out of the abundant berries and white-tailed deer will browse the leaves.
Sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis) is also known as wild lupine and is a member of the pea family. The plant develops leaves that are divided into leaflets like those of a palm tree and produces 1- to 2-foot tall flower stems with purple, blue, pink or white flowers growing in long clusters at the tips in May and June.
Plant sundial lupine in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is very well drained and allowed to go dry between waterings. Hummingbirds and butterflies will come for the nectar, birds and small animals for the seeds and deer for the leaves.
Purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is also known as purple passion vine, maypop and apricot vine, and is a member of the passion-flower family. The vine grows up to 25 feet long and can be draped over a trellis or fence or allowed to grow along the ground. The plant produces deciduous leaves that are dark green on the top and whitish below. The deep-lavender flowers grow up to 3 inches wide, bloom from April through September and give way to a large, edible orange-yellow fruit. Plant purple passionflower in full sun or partial shade and in a soil that is moist to dry. Butterflies come for the nectar and birds for the fruit.
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