Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This beautiful, orange flower is the common, everyday, lowly Orange Cosmos. Nothing special about it except that it's beautiful, easy, care-free, attractive to butterflies, and re-seeds itself.
It blends well with zinnias and sunflowers in my west butterfly bed. All of these plants volunteer and come back on their own if you let them. Butterflies flock by the droves to this patch of flowers. I've seen swallowtails of all sorts, common buckeyes, sulphurs, monarchs, fritillaries, and many others stopping by for a drink.
The feathery, fern-like foliage is pleasant on the eyes. These plants can get pretty tall, so I like to shear them back before they bloom to make them more compact. None of the flowers in this bed need supplemental irrigation to thrive since all of them are quite happy in dry areas. I really encourage everyone to plant a bed like this to help attract butterflies and flower-loving people.