December 24, 2021
We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! The following post was originally published on October 9, 2020.
There are more than 400 species of Lobelia worldwide, but downy Lobelia (Lobelia puberula) is the one you're most likely to encounter in southwest Virginia. It's the most common Lobelia in the Southeast, and it's usually in bloom from July through October.
Downy Lobelia tends to grow in damp areas with sun or partial shade, such as riverbanks, boggy areas, and even roadside ditches. I found this one at the edge of a hayfield about three feet from a creek. While it isn't quite as dramatic as its relative, the great blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), it's a great native plant to have in your garden. It draws butterflies and hummingbirds; it's tolerant of a variety of soils; and it's even deer resistant!
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!