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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Doug Tallamy lists 10 most valuable woody plants in supporting biodiversity

Posted by Kelly Allsup - Bugs

  1. Quercus–Oaks support an astounding 543 species of Lepidoptera, including Polyphemus and Imperial moths, Banded Hairstreak, Striped Hairstreak, White M Hairstreak, Juvenal's Duskywing, and Horace's Duskywing. There are about 60 native species of Oak in the United States, which are divided into two groups: the white oaks, and the red oaks.
  2. PrunusPrunus include: beach plum, cherry, chokecherry, peach, plum, sweet cherry, wild plum, and almond. These plants support 456 Lepidoptera species, including Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Coral Hairstreak, Striped Hairstreak, Red-spotted Purple, Cecropia moth, Promethea Moth, and Hummingbird Clearwing.
  3. Salix–455 butterfly and moth species use Willows. Including Mourning Cloak, Red-spotted Purple, and Viceroy.
  4. Betula–Birch are used by 411 species, including Luna Moth, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cecropia Moth, and Polyphemus Moth.
  5. Populus–367 species use aspen, cottonwood, and poplar. These include Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak, and Twinspot Sphinx Moth,
  6. Malus–crabapple and apple are used by 308 species, inclucing Io Moth, and Cecropia Moth.
  7. Acer–Maple and boxelder are used by 297 species, including Io Moth, Saddled Prominent, Luna Moth, and Imperial Moth. Please do not plant Norway Maples. They are highly invasive.
  8. Vaccinium–cranberry and blueberry are used by 294 species, including Brown Elfin, Spring Azure, and Striped Hairstreak
  9. Alnus–Alder is used by 255 species including Orange Sulphur, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and Giant Swallowtail.
  10. Carya–Hickory, pecan, pignut, and bitternut are used by 235 Lepidoptera species, including Io Moth, Polyphemus Moth, Luna Moth, Pale Tussock Moth, and American Dagger Moth.


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