Why Are Native Plants Essential in Autumn?

| General

written by Becki Wells

Native plants are essential for all seasons, but especially in the Autumn. As the bright blooms of Summer begin to fade and the Fall plant colors come alive, there is a noticeable difference in the activity of the native wildlife. The cicadas begin to fade their night call; the fireflies flicker is absent, and the Summer birds begin to quiet their early morning chatter. Autumn is beginning. 

Native plants in the garden begin to change too. The bright colors of the Cone flowers, Wild Bergamot, Foxglove, Golden Alexander, Common Milkweed, Early Sunflowers, Prairie Coreopsis, and many other  species, begin to set their seeds and prepare to take on the Midwest Prairie winter.  

Fall Native plants waited throughout the summer and grew and provided beautiful greens to our gardens, but now it’s their turn to add the color to the palate of the season. Hues of gold, yellow, red, brown, blue, and purple now come alive to provide nourishment to pollinators. Bees and butterflies, that do not migrate, spend the winter in the Midwest, nestled in the fallen leaves of trees and the stems from flowers and weeds. Somehow it feels like a calming of the soul to see the beautiful colors of Fall, it’s like a beautiful sunset, colors mix into a landscape of beauty. Our gardens are still alive with beauty, just beauty of different colors. 

Native plants add the color and the nourishment to the migrators and non-migrators alike to further  their journey or to settle in for a long winter’s nap. Some of the Native plants that add the color and  nourishment to our gardens and pollinators include, New England Aster, Goldenrod, Perennial Sunflower, Turtlehead, Anise Hyssop, Witch Hazel, Black-eyed Susan, Obedient Plant, Rudbeckia, Tickseed, and  several more.  

Native plants can be counted on to “bring it”, to brighten up Fall and continue to provide beauty for our eyes to behold and to furnish nourishment to our native wildlife. So put down your Summer drink of choice and pick up that Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy the scenery!

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: anise hyssop, black eyed susan, goldenrod, white snakeroot, obedient plant, new england aster