I am so excited that we will be offering a plant which has proven to be a wonderful source of food for migrating songbirds. Colubrina elliptica, soldierwood, is native to the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Venezuela. It is a shrub to small tree, from 10 feet up to 30 feet tall with an open branching habit. The trunks have flaking orange to brown bark which adds to its character. We are offering this plant because it has proven to be a bird magnet! During last fall expert birders surveyed Fairchild for migrating songbirds. Soldierwood in plot 164 attracted more species by far, than any other plant. Among the birds seen visiting soldierwood were: Tennessee Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-winged Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Orioles. Most of the birds were feeding on tiny insects that were attracted to the small flowers of soldierwood. We are delighted to offer this plant to FTBG members. Let's try to keep in mind providing food for wildlife when we plant our home landscapes. Bring nature to your own yard – plant a soldierwood and keep your binoculars handy! These plants will be available to members of Fairchild at the Members' Day Plant Sale on Saturday, October 2. The sale opens at 9:00. Come early for the best selection!
Photo by Roger Hammer