Bidens at Work

October 9, 2018

by Brian Brown

The Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is a planned landscape, full of habitat for wildlife, and densely planted with pollinator-friendly plants.

Sand wasp on Biden

Right now, we are in a late summer low for flower-visiting insects, with the usually productive Baccharis hedge being late in flowering this year. All of the action in the museum’s outdoor space is in the Edible Garden, where an unplanned addition is stealing the show.

Patch of Bidens

Nobody knows where the white-flowered Bidens came from (the gardeners swear that they didn’t plant it on purpose), but its flowers are providing lots of nectar and attracting a wide range of insects.

 Gray hairstreak butterfly on Bidens
Green fig beetle on Bidens
Cuckoo bee on Bidens
Bee fly on Bidens
Skipper on Bidens
Sweat bee on Bidens

If I was planting a new garden for attracting interesting insects, Bidens would definitely deserve a place beside the Baccharis, Eriogonum, mallows, and sunflowers that are the star performers throughout the year. Of note, if planting Bidens in your garden, care must be taken to contain them as they are aggressive in the garden.

All photos by Brian Brown

(Posted by: Brian Brown)


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