By Kathy Shollenberger. Photos by Kelly Lawhorn, Chesapeake Natives
There are many varieties of pussytoes; the one in the Food Forest is Parlin’s pussytoes. It’s in the Food Forest because it provides nectar for pollinators and serves as a host plant for the American Lady and Painted Lady butterflies. It shelters the butterfly’s eggs and feeds the larvae when they hatch. Pussytoes bloom in May and their flowers look a bit like, you guessed it, cat paws. They are an excellent native ground cover, spreading to form a mat that keeps out weeds. They stay green all year, survive without much water or attention, and prevent erosion. Come and visit them in the Food Forest and consider planting some in your own garden.