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Culver's root

Veronicastrum virginicum

Veronicastrum virginicum

Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Size

Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Height: 4-7'

Spread: 2-4'

Flowering period: July

With their tall, tapering shape and soft white glow, the flower clusters of Culver’s root lend an air of enchantment to the garden, like the spires of a palace in some mystic realm. Close observation of the plant’s flowers indeed transports one to a different world – one whose inhabitants are visually striking and are engaged in dramatic and fascinating life histories. The Xerces society recommends Culver’s root for supporting a variety of pollinators, including that famous orange and black traveler, the monarch butterfly.

Due to the accessibility of the plant’s nectar, it attracts both long and short-tongued pollinators in great abundance, with bee visitors such as bumble bees, small sweat bees, metallic green sweat bees, and leafcutter bees. Named for their habit of harvesting pieces of plant leaves to construct nesting chambers, leafcutter bees often build their nests in pithy plant stems. In addition to growing Culver’s root, gardeners can support stem nesting bees like leafcutter bees by planting their favored nesting plants, including wild bergamot, grey headed coneflower, New England aster, cup plant, and species of Joe Pye weed. To aid in nest creation, prior year’s stems should be cut in March to approximately 18” tall.

With its outstanding wildlife value and captivating appearance, Culver’s root makes an excellent addition to the native plants garden. Adapted to soils with moisture ranging from moderately wet to moderately dry, Culver’s root grows best under full sunlight to partial shade. The plant attains a height of 3-6’ and flowers for approximately one month during the early to mid-summer period.

References: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

Photo © Aaron Carlson, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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