Native Plant of the Week: Culver's Root ~ Veronicastrum virginicum

Culver's Root ~ Veronicastrum virginicum

If you're looking for a tall native perennial that attracts a large diversity of insects (and pollinators) then Culver's Root might be a good option.

Reaching heights of 6' feet where there's adequate moisture, the white spikes of flowers open in late June to early July.

Each individual 4 parted white flower is tubular in shape and are tightly arranged around the spire-like spikes.

Culver's Root is native to sunny to partially shaded locations, often found just upland of moist wetlands. It prefers sandy to loamy soils. If you plant it in humus-rich soils it will spread quickly forming a large cluster.

Another great reason to plant Culver's Root is because of the interesting whorled leaf arrangement. One of few native perennials that have whorled leaves, the 3 to 6 leaves come together at the stem forming tiers or layers.

Although the flowers have no scent, they attract many types of insects who seek out the nectar and pollen. A mid-season favorite of the Great Black Wasp.

Also several butterfly species including the Red Admiral like to nectar on Culver's Root.

Look for Bumble Bees and the beautiful Splendid Metallic Green Bee.
Even small carpenter bees will seek out nectar.

Culver's Root is native to eastern North America. See map below for range.
Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.