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The Kid Should See This

Brooklyn Seeds: Is that a weed or an amazing native plant?

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What are those hardy little plants growing in between the sidewalk cracks in Brooklyn? If you see them, take a closer look. They might be fleabane, common violets, or evening primrose, native plants that are essential for pollinators like native bees, butterflies, and moths.

In this series of short conservation videos, Eman of Brooklyn Seeds shares how North American mason bees—bees that can pollinate 100 times more apples than one honey bee—depend on the weedy-looking fleabane.

She also advocates for fritillary butterflies, vulnerable pollinators that depend on native common violets:

common violet

Evening Primrose often pops up in our lawns, garden beds, and tree beds, and you may be tempted to pull it out. Don’t! If you go online, many websites tell you it’s a weed. They’re wrong! Let this plant grow, and you’ll be helping America’s native birds and bats that help control our mosquito population.

“This plant is crucial for many of our night pollinators, like the beautiful American Primrose Moth and the spectacular Hummingbird Clearwing Moth.”

evening primrose

Brooklyn Seeds is a non-profit nature and gardening program that teaches kids about native plants, the animals that depend on them, how to grow food, and much more.

But what if you’re not in New York City? What plants are popping up in between the cracks of your sidewalks, near your vegetable garden, or at the edges of your local park? And what pollinators depend on these plants?

Watch these related videos next on TKSST:
• What is a weed? Rethinking these plants with David Attenborough
• Can wild native bees also pollinate our plants & crops?
• Why are wasps just as wonderful as bees?
What secrets will the extinct Xerces Blue butterfly reveal?
The Catasetum orchid’s unusual pollination trick
• Why do we need biodiversity?
A female blue orchard bee builds her ‘bee-jeweled’ nest
How do you find water bears (tardigrades) in the wild?

Thanks, Dan Saks.

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