Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade
Soil moisture: Medium
Flowering period: July to September
Host plant for 6 caterpillar species
In its understated way, Maryland figwort adds much to the personality and society of the pollinator garden. Possessing flowers of a compact, two-lipped form and burgundy internal coloration, it appears that the plant has many little mouths that are calling out for attention. And it seems they know how to get it! Throughout Maryland figwort’s summer blooming period, its flowers teem with pollinators. Producing a copious amount of nectar, the flowers attract a wide variety of flies, ants, bees, and wasps, as well as Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. In recognition of Maryland figwort’s value to pollinators, the Xerces Society has included it in its “Plants for Pollinators” series, which highlights some of the best pollinator plants throughout the US.
Although the plant is not showy, it is nevertheless a species of pleasing dimensions whose restrained branching, heart-shaped leaves, and loosely pyramidal flower clusters enhance the structural interest of the pollinator garden. Encountered in NE Ohio habitats including forest edges and open-canopy woodlands, Maryland figwort is adaptable to full sun but seems to prefer partial shade and soils of average moisture. The plant ranges in height from approximately 3-6’, and as a final bonus, is resistant to deer-browsing.
Photo by Ashley Keesling.