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Plant Biodiversity in the Food Forest

 
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I want to use this thread to document all of the different types of native or wild plants that I find in my food forest!

The wild plant biodiversity has been amazing so far! It seems to be building extremely healthy soil and also seems to have attracted tons of beneficial insects, like dragonflies and solitary wasps, that patrol the food forest, helping to keep other insects in balance. It's so neat neat seeing what plants will pop up on their own and also what is planted by wildlife.

Having a large biodiversity of both animals and plants (see animal biodiversity thread ) seems like it has balanced out my small food forest ecosystem, and has created a healthier and more vibrant and alive area that can produce tons of amazingly healthy food with very little work!
 
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I have found that, as the soil and ecosystem improves in my food forest, I am attracting several new plants, some that I greatly desired.  For example, I knew I wanted feverfew, and it just showed up!  Same with salsify and self-heal/heal all.
John S
PDX OR
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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That's a neat observation John. I've noticed something similar in mine.

My food forest is still pretty young, but I've noticed that by having areas of different soil types, sun exposure, and moisture, it helps to attract a diverse group of plants that each have their own needs of where they can thrive.
 
Steve Thorn
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I love the flowers on this purple horsemint (Monarda citriodora, lemon beebalm). I hope it'll spread around!
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John Suavecito
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Monardas are beautiful.  SOme are useful as anti-viral medicines. Monarda Fistulosa is the main one I think.   The other one may be called Monarda didyma, or something like that.  

Yes, I love the different microclimates.  I have some plants on my driveway that just bake in the sun, and others that are downhill in a shady area that collects more water.  Kumquats in the sun, horsetail in the moist shade.  Some plants can only take the sunny side of the house under the partial shade of a tree.  Some can be on the moist, shady side, but then they need the open sun with no shade, like campanulas.

Excellent point.

John S
PDX OR
 
Steve Thorn
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I was really exited to find what I'm pretty sure is American ground nut (Apios americana).
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