Stachytarpheta mutabilis: Attracting hummingbirds

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Stachytarpheta mutabilis

By Marilyn
November 5, 2014

Stachytarpheta mutabilis is a hummingbird magnet!

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Nov 5, 2014 7:44 AM CST
What a lovely plant. I'm always glad to learn about another plant to consider growing for the hummingbirds!
This is a winner! Thumbs up

Thank you, Marilyn.

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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rattlebox
Nov 5, 2014 9:16 AM CST
I used to only have the Blue Porterweed Stachytarpheta urticifolia, which I really liked. This one grows into a 3-4' shrub, and has blueish-purple flowers. I would have a hummingbird come around and work these shrubs like crazy. It also attracted a lot of butterflies.

Now I have all five of the "commonly" available types:
Stachytarpheta urticifolia - Blue Porterweed [3-4' shrub]
Stachytarpheta jamaicensis - Sky Blue Porterweed [10-12" sprawling groundcover]
Stachytarpheta mutabilis - Coral Porterweed - [large 6-8' shrub]
Stachytarpheta frantzii - Purple Porterweed - [large 6-8' shrub]
and
Stachytarpheta microphylla - Red Porterweed [small 12-18" shrub]

All are great for butterflies, but my resident hummingbird now ignores the Blue in favor of the Coral and the Purple.

Seed are easy to collect. If you have a short season, let the first few flower stems turn brown on the plant. If you wait longer, the seed are easier to harvest, but watch, if you wait too long, you will lose most of the seed.

Once picked, allow to continue to dry for a few days, then twist the stem back and forth over a container. The thistle-like seed are easy to see, especially with the Coral and the Purple, as they are larger. The seed actually come in pairs. If the seed is black, but flat and white on one side, it is a single seed. If it is black all around, roll it between your fingers and it will split into the two separate seed.

I love how drought-tolerant and carefree these shrubs are. That, plus their draw for hummers and butterflies, have earned them a permanent place in my landscape.
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - Nov 5, 2014 10:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
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Marilyn
Nov 5, 2014 9:20 AM CST
It is in my mind too. Thumbs up

I planted 2 plants this year in different locations. I added the tall (double) stacking tomato cage one year and the hummers loved to sit and rest a lot and leave it up. The third tomato cage I used on the patio with the other coral porterweed and they've used it also, even if it is shorter. But they really loved the taller (double) stacking cage to look around and spy on other hummers. The taller cage I've on the end of our side entry driveway with a lot of containers.
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Nov 5, 2014 9:23 AM CST
Thanks for the info Ron! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kidfishing
Nov 5, 2014 2:06 PM CST
Great pictures of the hummingbirds!
They are hard to get a picture of.
Kidfishing
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Nov 5, 2014 10:40 PM CST
Thanks Ashton and Terry! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

I agree they are! I was surprised those two pics came out, as good as they did! Smiling
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


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