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Setting up a wildlife garden

Plants for butterflies

Plants for bees

Plants for hummingbirds

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Scrophularia marilandica (Late Figwort/Carpenter's Square)
Scrophularia flower

Zone: 4 to 8

Soil: Sand to loam

Light: Part sun to light shade

Bloom colour: Green on the outside

Bloom period: 8 weeks from mid-summer

Height: Up to 72 inches

Moisture: medium

Attracts: Bees, wasps and possibly hummingbirds

Notes: Late Figwort is native to Mannitoba, Ontario, Quebec as well as the Eastern half of the United States. It is found in dry woods and thickets. In terms of its looks, it is rather uninteresting and you probably would not plant it in a prominent part of your garden. The leaves are coarse and the flowers are green on the outside while being reddish on the inside.

If you can find room for this plant, it has its place in a shady wildlife garden because there are not too many plants that offer the same nectar rewards over such a large part of the growing season whilst tolerating a fair amount of shade and dryness. Putting mulch over the top of this plant while it is overwintering will probably kill it.

Its attractiveness to insects has been somewhat exaggerated on the internet as plants in the shade cannot compete for pollinators with plants in sunshine. On the other hand, it is one of the better plants available for attracting pollinators in the shade.

This plant is nearly impossible to find in a regular plant nursery. You will have to contact a local native plant nursery to see if they have it.

Scrophularia marilandica - Carpenter's square
Carpenter's square
Scrophularia marilandica - Carpenter's square