Moth and Butterfly Food Plants: Insects will generally not eat non-native plants, they will however use a few for nectar sources.
Little Blue Stem
- Brush piles are a very important habitat element for many different kinds of wildlife. They provide cover from predators and places for nests, escape routes, and dens. Many insects are attracted to this pile of decomposing wood, which provides a bounty of food for birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.And the best part is, brush piles are very easy to build, and they keep a lot of yard waste out of landfills:
- Start with the largest branches and logs and loosely stack them log cabin style.
- Do not use pressure treated lumber, creosoted railroad ties, tires, or lead-painted lumber as these materials contain toxic chemicals which leech into the soil and pollute our waterways.
- Rocks and stones can also be used in this base section to provide additional hiding spaces for wildlife.
- Cover the top of this base with smaller branches until you have a tall pile that resembles an igloo.
- The pile will shrink every year as the wood decomposes and you can just keep adding new materials to the top.
- Plant native vines such as Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), or American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) around the base to provide more shelter and to hide the pile. Do NOT plant Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) because it is extremely invasive and difficult to eradicate.
- Border the pile with locally native wildflowers, which provide nectar for native pollinators.
- Or screen the pile with fruiting native shrubs which provide much needed food for wildlife, especially migrating birds. www.ecosystemgardening.com