MaryAnn Fink

LIFE Exhibit/Curator

Pollinator Junction

Another featured plant collection in the annual areas at the National Museum of Transportation’s Pollinator Junction, is Salvia.

Annual salvias are some of the showiest, most deer resistant plants and are most importantly strongly favored by pollinators including hummingbirds, some butterflies and several busy bees!

Salvias have many Missouri native representatives. These other family members  are featured in other parts of the park but for the ever-blooming deer resistant annuals, I have choosen Blue Anise Sage, Salvia gauranitica Black and Blue, Mealycup Savia ‘Victoria’ which is a selection of our American native, Salvia farenacea and Scarlet Sage, Salvia coccinea.

These sages are so beautiful that if I had to choose only two plant families to “bee” the foundation for the Pollinator Junction LIFE Exhibit’s inventory-I think I would of course choose milkweed family (Asclepia) and salvia’s family, Lamiaceae!  Probably the prettiest, diverse in looks and needs of all plant families common in the cultivated space are the  MINTS-YES I said mints-that’s right-Lamiaceae is the Mint family!

“Bee”cause we’ve done such an amazing job of technical terminology in botany, the newbie gardener person may have no idea that Sage is a mint or the vast amounts of related plants that can easily “bee” a beautiful backbone in a pollinary pocket!

An easy way to jump past the initial “confusion naming” (you’ll need to revisit it at some point “bee”cause knowing helps growing-both the garden and you as a good land steward) is to check for the square stem!

Almost if not all members of the mint family share this one subtle trait-look for it and its easy just learn what that particular mint likes and how to manage it in a cultivated space-by coming and visiting the pollinary park!

“Bee” seeing you soon!

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