Bee balm, Wild bergamot—butterflies and bees love Monarda fistulosa by any name. The featured photo shows a male Eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, nectaring on its tiny flowers, flourishing now in the roadside savannah near the Visitor Center. (A female Tiger would have a row of blue and orange spots along the tail end of her wings. Dimorphic, a female Tiger may also be black with a wash of blue at the tail, mimicking for protection the distasteful Pipevine swallowtail.)

These butterflies have a lifespan of just two weeks. They produce two to three broods each summer, each requiring six to eight weeks. At the Quarry Gardens, they enjoy many species of host trees and shrubs.

Blooming now and being visited by legions of butterflies, bees, flies, and hummingbirds are: Mistflower, Pickerel weed, Butterfly weed, Partridge pea, Boneset, Rose pink, Mountain mints, Upland ironweed, Milkweeds, Turtlehead, Flowering spurge, White waterlily, Passionflower, Quill fameflower, Fall phlox, Coneflowers, Cranefly orchid, many species of native grasses—and the start of the annual parade of Goldenrods (they won’t make you sneeze).

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