Audubon® Wild Quinine
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Pollinator powerhouse! Overlooked and undervalued, Wild Quinine is a humble American wildflower that gets little attention, but does important work. For two months, beginning in late spring, its woolly white flowers service all sorts of pollinators. It doesn’t feed only the showy butterflies, but all of the unsung heroes of the pollinator world—sweat bees, mining bees, and carpenter bees, soldier flies, syrphid flies, and tachinid flies, beneficial wasps, moths, and beetles. These little creatures contribute enormously to the health of our ecosystem, and we should help them flourish! Planting Wild Quinine is a terrific way to do that.
May Benefit & Attract: sparrows, finches, wood warblers, wrens, thrushes, vireos
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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We don’t hear much about malaria in the United States anymore, but this deadly disease was once a major killer of Americans. It wasn’t until 1951 that the mosquito-borne parasite was eradicated in the U.S. Before quinine was first synthesized by scientists in the 1940s, the most effective cure was the bark of a South American tree called the Cinchona. When Cinchona supplies ran low during World War I, Americans turned to the Wild Quinine plant, which was believed to have healing powers as well. Today, Wild Quinine is valuable primarily as a healer of the land, supplying nectar and pollen to our hardworking pollinators.
Grow some extra Wild Quinine to use as cut flowers for the house! The pretty, pearly white blooms make for a nice filler. Use it like Baby’s Breath to round out a bouquet.
How to Grow
Wild Quinine likes all-day sun and loamy, fertile soil best, though it is a pretty easygoing and adaptable plant. Native from Minnesota to Louisiana and east to the East Coast, it tolerates extremes of heat and cold and thrives in a variety of situations. It is moderately drought tolerant. Wild Quinine develops a taproot, which makes it difficult to move once it’s established. Choose its position carefully. You can plant Wild Quinine in a pollinator-pleasing drift, or scatter it throughout a meadow planting like it grows in the wild.
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