Saturday, August 1, 2009
Dwarf Barbados Cherry (Malphigia glabra)
I'm always looking to bring more wildlife into our lives, birds, bees and butterflies.
One of my first plantings was Dwarf Barbados Cherry, with which we've ringed the front porch. It's evergreen here most years, is a skipper butterfly host plant, and has sweet flowers in spring and fall which attract hairstreak and blue butterflies.
The flowers develop into multiple crops of red berries each year, which the cardinals, mockingbirds, Bewick's wrens and Eastern Phoebes devour. Our strictly-indoor cats appreciate this last attribute since they monitor birdlife from the kitchen windows overlooking the porch and plantings.
Footnote July 2010: Our dwarf barbados cherries survived temperatures in the low teens last winter. The foliage dropped but I pruned them back a third in the spring after danger of frost was over. Added compost and the plants are flourishing.
Copyright Kathleen Scott 2009-2010. Prior written permission required for use of material.