Pale Indian Plantain: A Wasp Favorite

Pale Indian Plantain ~ Arnoglossum atriplicifolium (Cacalia atriplicifolia)

Pale Indian Plantain is by far one of the tallest native perennials in our landscape. It can reach heights of close to 10 feet.

The small, white flowers make up several umbels in a wide branched flower head. The flowerhead is around 12" wide in many plants.  It's in full bloom right now and the majority of insect visitors are wasps.

Read an earlier post about, and see more photos of Pale Indian Plantain.
This long Thread-Waisted Wasp (Ammophila sp.) is a regular visitor. A predator of caterpillars, they sting their prey then drag it back to their nest in the ground to feed their developing larvae. (Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity)
This Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes sp.) also likes the Plantain flowers. I typically see this wasp on Common Boneset.

This Potter Wasp (Eumenes sp.) with its characteristic bulbous abdomen. Many in this Genus make mud pot-like nests above ground. They also provision their nests with paralyzed caterpillars where a single egg is laid. (Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity)
The fast moving and difficult to photograph Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) was visiting Plantain flowers this afternoon. This beautifully colored wasp can seem intimidating for its size and buzz, but are not aggressive around flowers. These wasps capture katydids and take them back to their nests in the ground.