February 22, 2002
An excellent way to attract butterflies to your garden is to plant annuals and perennials that are good nectar sources. Another irresistible attraction for butterflies is the butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).
An exciting find at this time of year is the "crimson cup" fungus, Sarcoscypha coccinea. The common name describes the brilliant crimson or orange-red color of the interior of the cup. The color is especially dramatic when the cup fungus is surrounded by snow.
The diameter of the cup usually ranges from 1-2 inches. The exterior of the fungus is white, as well as the slightly inturned upper edge of the cup.
Each year many horticultural organizations select a plant of the year. These plants are typically noted for their excellent performance and durability in the landscape. 2002 has brought us some outstanding performers for Iowa gardens.