Spring officially begins in March, and blooming shrubs and trees are a welcome sight!
As much as we love to see forsythia, blooming quince, and azaleas, it’s worth noting that none of them are native to Arkansas, and so will attract fewer pollinators and host few if at all caterpillars that our birds need to raise their young.
Native red buckeye, an understory tree, should bloom this month, marking the return of hummingbirds, who feed off its showy red flowers. Native Eastern redbud, another understory tree, is visited by many types of native bees who pollinate its purple flowers.
The brilliant yellow flowers of the native spice bush also attract native bees but more importantly, it’s the namesake of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, whose caterpillars eat the leaves of this shrub.