Pop Quiz: can you identify this flower?

Have we mentioned our love of native plants at Fall Creek Gardens?

Choosing plants that have evolved here in our region is beneficial for both our garden and for our local ecosystem.  Not only do they attract beneficial insects and pollinators to our garden crops, but they also require far less care and maintenance, and provide food and shelter for other wildlife who have very little habitat left in cities like ours.

 

pawpawcollage

With this in mind, we chose several different native fruit and nut trees for our orchard at Fall Creek Gardens, and one of our natives is blooming for the first time this spring.  Who knows what native fruit tree produces this beautiful little flower?

Here are some hints and fun facts:

  • George Washington ate this fruit, chilled, as a favorite dessert

 

  • The caterpillar of the zebra swallowtail butterfly (Protographium marcellus), uses this species exclusively for food.  The leaves, twigs, and bark contain a chemical that may make the bodies of the caterpillar poisonous to would-be predators.

 

  • This fruit has lots of nicknames, including the Indiana banana and the poor man’s banana

 

So!  Who wants to guess?  Anyone??