What's A'buzz

sbrummel2's photo

First day of autumn is in a month, but the flowers are far from being finished! The bees will be getting another fall flow here soon as well, especially if you are near bodies of water or goldenrod patches. 

Plants blooming right now (Mid-August):

  • Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum): Called compass plant for its leaves that point generally North and South, some specimens are believed to live up to 100 years! 

  • Meadow blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya): Tall spikes of purple blooms are monarch magnets as well as attractive to birds later on in the year for its profuse seed count.

  • Annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus): Classic plant, tall and many flowered, bees can collect both pollen and nectar from it. 
  • Snow on the mountain (Euphorbia marginata): A native, wild poinsettia, the beautiful white "flowers" are acutally leaf bracts that are surrounding the tiny flowers in the center of the cluster. 

  • Showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense): Airy small flowers are situated at the tops of may arching stems, its pink pea-like flowers are loved by bees. 

  • Ironweed (Vernonia spp): Dark purple flowers and very stiff tall stems, this genus of plants provides both color and structure to the garden or prairie. 

  • Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum): Very tall plant, has cups formed at the base of its leaves and square stem, the cups hold water that even birds can take a bath in. Bees love the long bloom time and copious amounts of pollen from this flower. 

  • Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum): Minty black licorice smell and white-ish undersides to the leaves, its easy to mix up with Korean Mint (Agastache rugosa) so check before planting! 

  • Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum): A classic garden plant, tall and stately, it provides tons of nectar to bees as well as a home for them when its hollow stems are used for solitary bee nests. 

  • Rocky Mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata): Tall annual that attracts tons of butterflies and bees! Look for bees collecting the green pollen from its multiple flowers. 

  • Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella): Vivid reds surrounding yellows give this beautiful flower its other common name "firewheel", another easy to start from seed native perrenial that is also drought tolerant. 

  • Lance leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata): Airy foliage is topped with bright yellow flowers that attract tons of pollinators, very easy to grow from seed. 

  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp): The Nebraska state flower there are 13 species in the state that bloom from mid summer to frost. 

  • Cutleaf Coneflower/Wild Golden Glow (Rudbeckia laciniata): Very tall, bright and cheery flowers that bloom later in the year to give bees those last bits of food. 

  • Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata): Annual nitrogen fixing legume, has showy yellow flowers on short stalks. 

  • Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis) Sometimes called baby rattle, because the seeds rattle inside of an interesting-looking seed pod. 

  • Chickory*: The blue flower you see along roadsides, the root makes a great coffee substitute. 

*non-native species

Entomology News at Nebraska

Breaking Entomological News...

  • Dr. Susan WellerDr. Susan Weller, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor of Entomology, has been elected a fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The society noted Weller’s internationally-known research on arctiine moths and other Noctuoidea, and her administrative leadership in promoting entomology and science education. See the article at UNL News for more about Weller's recognition. Congratulations Susan!
  • Marilyn Weidner & GracieWe are pleased to announce that Marilyn Weidner has been named winner of the IANR Exemplary Service Award! Weidner has roles in administrative support, personnel management, data documentation and archiving, review preparation, promotion and evaluation tracking, payroll for 15 departments, and much more. Well deserved Marilyn!
  • Rogan Tokach winning scholarshipCongratulations to Rogan Tokach (Master's student co-mentored by Dr. Autumn Smart and Dr. Judy Wu-Smart) on being awarded a $10,000 national Christi Heintz Memorial Scholarship by Project Apis m!
    Well done, Rogan!
  • Steve Spomer with Beetle CollectionsSpomer nets 40-year Butterfly & Beetle Legacy. Best wishes to Steve Spomer who is retiring this December after 40 years in the Entomology Department. Spomer has identified nearly 700 insect species, including the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, and taught countless University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. 
  • Bridget Gross with Bees.Bridget Gross, master's student in Entomology, mentored by Dr. Judy Wu-Smart and Dr. Doug Golick, was featured in the Nov. 11th IANR Student Spotlight. Bridget presented her master's degree seminar last month and graduates in December.

  • Check out the Emerald Ash Borer Resource Center, and our Emerald Ash Borer Look-Alike Insects Sheet - Be Sure Before You Treat!