New Natives 2019

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This thread is about me and some others growing a bunch of new native plants. They are all seeds in bins cold stratifying at present. Everyone who is also growing native plants is welcome to join the conversation. There are still a lot of things that need to be done like looking closely at all the species to determine their placement and performance, prepping the areas to be planted which will include weed removal and tilling. It's a huge project, but we're ready for all the unforseen obsticals. Any of you lurkers are also welcome to join the conversation. I also am a butterfly gardener and a milkweed nerd both of which sometimes deal with non native species which are also acceptable to talk about here no rigid rules as far as topic goes.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


So this is the main story. A bunch of all star native plants waiting in the cold for the sunshine and warmth to bring them to life. There are enough species here to build whole native plant communities.

The winter sowing alone was a big project and it's just about finished. The best is still to come. TRADING WELCOME! We are always looking for new and interesting native plants. There is a list of plants now that can't be found at the moment in seed or plant form. That list icludes

Asclepias meadii

Asclepias lanuginosa

Asclepias amplexicaulis

Asclepias quadrifolia

Asclepias engelmammiana

Nuttallanthus canadensis

Agalinis purpurea

Conradinia verticillata

Hieracium venosum

Asclepias texana

Laportea canadensis

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



I hope everyone can see these pictures. I was saying that there's an awful lot of butterfly and moth species that use wild cherry, Prunus serotina as a host plant. Here's pictures.










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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

More wild cherry eating butterflies.










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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s looking so cold! Remind me again how many different species you are planting? I noticed earlier that my little black chokeberry has been chewed down to about knee height. I can’t get ahead.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, can you see them now?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I see the pictures! Plenty of wild black cherries in my yard. Thanks, birds!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


That's a relief! I don't have any black cherries, but I want to get plants from Dandy. I think the bark is pretty on them. I just don't want a plague of them lol. Did you watch any of that video about the stinging nettle. That herbalist cracks me up. I think I might become one and start making youtube videos, but I have to let my hair grow long lol! I'm going to sting my toes with nettles to get rid of my mild neuropothy lol! I can't relate to the small thread concept. I had a pretty big thread in the butterfly forum too so it's no big deal really. I kept Will's thread going for a long time in the milkweed forum too. There was a thread somewhere, it's several years old and is about getting rid of trumpet vines. I think it has thousands of comments. Zen can start a new one every time he reaches 100 which usually takes months, but I get more than 100 in less than a week so that's too often. Oh well, we'll just keep going until the photos overload again!

Oxystelma esculentum

Oxystelma esculentum

Orbea chrysostephana

Orbea chrysostephana

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Found you. Jay-thanks for the info and pics about all the moths feeding on the black cherry. Maybe that's where the giant moth came from about year two after moving here. It was as big as a bat. I posted it on Garden web back then(7 years ago) but I think all that history is lost now. I don't have the photo any longer either. So sad. I have only the one mature black cherry now but seeing plenty of new seedlings scattered around. Some are even blooming and producing their own fruit. Should be really exciting in a few more years.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There are a lot of plants in my garden that do have some herbal uses. Like the black chokeberry, yarrow and such. I never really looked into this, but it’s really interesting. There was one weed I had identified here last year. Forgot the name again, but have a picture labeled somewhere in my pictures. It had kind of sticky leaves. It was supposed to be really healthy. Chewed on a few leaves while pulling it out, but couldn’t really get over the hairy texture.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Some of the moths are bigger than bats. Some of the native bats are tiny. I watched some guy counting them in the pavillion at the park. It was getting dark and he was using a lazer to count them for keeping track of their numbers. Most of our native bats are suffering from a fungus that was brought here from cave explorers in Europe. The bats over there are immune to the fungus, but it's killing our native bats. It's around zero here and snowing again.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I had a nice big black cherry at the corner of my driveway when I moved in, but then giant branches started falling off and it turned out it was completely hollow for about 12ft. That one had to go. Another tree fell on a nice little black cherry and ruined it, leaving a busted up splinted snag about 10 feet high, but I figured why waste the root system, so i cut it down to the stump and let it resprout. That will become a multistumped specimen in time. I have a few more of them growing around the yard and a couple pin cherry or choke cherries, Im not completely sure what type of Prunus they are but they have lighter colored bark than the black cherries, but still produce good sized dark cherries.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am pretty sure my bats are the big brown bats. Counted 14 last Summer.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I grew an Opuntia prickly pear cactus twice here. It's hardy here. The thorns were tiny and hard to get out. I had to use tweezers and take my time so I could pull every thorn out or else they would continue to hurt. Now I miss it and want it again. I guess what you need is thick rubber gloves to weed around them, and a bunch of weeds always grow right in the center where most of the thorns are. The yellow flowers are so beautiful!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

not sure if this is the right one, but the thorns are really hard to get out.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have to read up on the different kinds of cherries Skip. I haven't been around any cherries for a long time. I just want to grow a couple multistemmed ones that I can keep at a managable size. And I hope I get tons of caterpillars on them. I'm doing the same thing with a couple hackberries.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I see little bats flying around my yard at dusk but i dont know what type. We put up a bat house for them but I dont see a lot of signs of activity on it.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a bat house, too. I thought it was in a save enough place, but a snake got one two years ago. The rest of the bats flew out. The snake stayed in there for a while (to digest I suppose). Took the bats 3 weeks to return.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Never a dull moment at your place Iris. I gave my bat house to my niece, but I should get a couple more to hang high in the oak trees. Part of the top of one of the oaks is dead. There might be some bats already living in it. It's rare to see any snakes around. I like them and wish there were more. The rattlers don't scare me. I've handled them before.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thankfully no rattlesnakes here. We fixed this porch up over Thanksgiving break, so this snake will have a nicer background next time.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Do you know what kind of snake that is Iris? Skip, did you use the mycorrhizae yet? I need to drill holes in bins again.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Just the normal black rat snake.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They ain't normal around here but I've crossed paths with them before. This is Jim our native hebalist. I'm still waiting for that special plant video from him lol!

Dude, you might want to cut back on the Anemone tincture next time lol!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I guessed black rat snake. I saw one on a hike along the Appalachian trail one time in northern nj.

The mycorrhizae slipped my mind but I still have another couple months to apply it. I was thinking of putting it in the planting hole too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, I want to put the fungus in the planting holes too. I'd like to use it with all the plants. There are more water moccasins up here. I did see a big 3 foot long eastern diamondback a few years ago.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I put the last tray out in the hoop house last night, with the new seeds I got, and the Gillenia. I still have some others but they dont need to go out until April. I dont know what to do with the ginseng seeds. I have to get a little bin like you use and put them outside somewhere semi-permanently. Maybe one day I will look at it and there will be leaves haha. I'll put that container next to the Ilex opaca seeds i planted, those take forever to germinate too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, well I winter sowed the Michigan lilys without checking so they won't germinate in the spring, so I'll sow some ginseng seeds in a bin and put it out of the way someplace with the lily seeds. I might seriously order dwarf ginseng plants from Izel. I wanted to order a couple other plants from them, Asclepias quadrifolia and Clintonia umbellata. That way I can have ginseng blooming a lot earlier. I like the look of ginseng. I think Dandy might have the wild sasparilla.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Pin Cerry

Prunus pensylvanica

Prunus pensylvanica

Prunus pensylvanica, Rosaceae, Rosales, Pin cherry.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/plant_insects/plants/prunus_pensylvanica.html

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Chokecherry

Prunus virginica

Prunus virginica

Prunus virginica

Prunus virginica, Rosaceae, Rosales, Chokecherry.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/chokecherry.html

I put my list of plants I'm still searching for near the top. If anyone has any plants they want to add to it, let me know. These cherries seem to host most of the same butterflies and moths as the Prunus serotina. I wonder if all the native plums also host a lot of lep species?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

There are a lot of spring ephemerals I'd like to order because the seeds are unavailable or the only way to propagate them is by division. I should work on an area for those in the fall.

I was looking in the Baker Creek catalog before, and it said there was a 97% decrease in Monarchs recorded, which I had read in another place too, so Im definitely excited and determined to get all the milkweeds started this year.


The middle picture shows where Im going to plant the 4 2gal Big Bluestem Red octobers (purple in illustration) I have in my shed. Ill stick the Pink Muhly grass between those (pink in pic). Im going to put the Asclepias verticillata right where the light green color is drawn in the middle. I want to extend that bed closer to the street as illustrated, and also all the way back to the fence. I already planted about 30 common milkweed plugs right along 16ft of the fence there. I want to plant the Swamp, Redring and Purple milkweed in there somewhere too, as well as on other parts of the property. I have to install a gutter on that one side of the roof, I was thinking of putting rain barrels in behind the fence and letting them seep slowly in part of that planting so I could keep a part of it consistently moist and grow stuff like Joe Pye weed. I really want to take out that skinny black locust tree in the middle but its pretty tall and maybe its doing more good than harm, the root suckers are just a nuisance and it will try to take over the planting.

That spot is going to look totally different thIs year when the Helianthus maximiliani, Rudbeckia laciniata, Senna hebecarpa, Veronicastrum virginicum, Eutrochium purpureum, and 7 Panicum virgatum 'heavy metal' I planted last year fills in. Somewhere in the middle behind them Im going to plant the Pasture thistle and Cup plant too. Big impact

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Iris, this is the cactus I grew twice. Opuntia humifusa. I found it at the side of the highway in Braidwood. The colony was getting killed off by a bunch of young trees, so I considered it a rescue. I gave pieces of it to others who also thought it was cool to grow cacti here. I wonder if any cacti still survive out there in that spot? I should check before the next native plant sale.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

My parents used to grow Prickly Pear cactus in front of their house I used to help weed around it, not fun. It did ok but the soil drainage wasnt all that great there for it. It really thrives in Sandy Hook (Gateway National Recreation Area), I used to go there all the time as a kid on class trips and with the parents. There were some endangered birds, lots of horseshoe crabs, and rare habitat. My class collected the fruits from the cactus on one of the trips.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Those are awesome plans Skip. I haven't gotten that far yet, just a lot of ideas in my head. I think the west coast Monarch population was the group with the worst numbers. It's because all the milkweeds are infected with the pathogen O.E. The milkweeds out west stay perennial all year and they don't die back to the ground, so the pathogen keeps accumulating on the plants infecting all new eggs and caterpillars. The milkweeds here in the east die back to the ground every winter and then grow back fresh clean foliage in the spring. The eastern Monarchs that get infected never make it back to Mexico, which is a good thing because that way they can't infect the wintering population. They haven't developed any sprays or disinfectants to treat the contaminated milkweeds. It seems like all the milkweeds have evolved to grow in prairies and they don't mind being a little crowded as long as their foliage gets plenty of light. If you think you are being called you probably are, I know the feeling, hard to put into words! That video with the huge colony of purple milkweeds comes to mind, how happy they looked growing in a prairie situation.

Horseshoe crabs are awesome!

The closest thing to a trilobite we'll ever see. I believe they are having some human caused problems of their own.....like being used for lobster bait!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



Skip, I can send you some ephemeral bulbs when it's safe to. I have to read up on when to move them. The Trilliums, Jack in the Pulpits, Bloodflowers and Dutchmans Breeches and Solomon's seals. That way you can have some flowering plants while the others are still maturing. Right now I wouldn't know exactly where to dig for them.









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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Pseudolithos cubiformis, a milkweed, a cowpie. A milkweed disguised as a cowpie. Caterpillars disguised as bird droppings. Milkweeds disguised as cow droppings! Dregeas, Dischidias and Hoyas oh my!

Pseudolithos migiurtinus, a milkweed.

Whitesloanea crassa, a milkweed.









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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, does your milkweed vine ever make seeds?


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I am looking forward to seeing pictures once you have this planted. Great pictures, Jay! I only have American elderberry. So far I didn’t have any seeds on the milkweed vine.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think your funastrum vine is pollinated by moths and butterflies. Do the flowers have a fragrance? I think the Dregea plant I got the seeds from only had one seedpod. The flowers look similar to your Funastrum.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They do have a slight fragrance. But not like walking by my patch of the common milkweed.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I wanted to know if it was fragrant because I was wondering if the fragrance is what attracts the pollinators. Milkweeds are hard to pollinate if the insects that pollinate them aren't around.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's zero outside right now. It's going to get even colder around Wed.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, It did have some small bees and flies on it. It didn’t have too many flowers. The last Winter was rough, so this one (and my passion vines) did have a late start. Stay warm!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks Iris. I put all the pictures on because it's a new thread and I just felt like showing a bunch of pictures.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

What is this plant in your picture?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's Geum triflorum, prairie smoke. It's in the rose family. The seedheads look like smoke. I've grown it a couple times but I lost them from them getting crowded out by bigger plants. I'd like to try it again but just do it right this time.


I was going to paste a link about it but it won't paste. That's never happened before.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow. That’s a nice looking plant! I am going to have to look that up.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Illinois wildflowers has the link I was going to paste. It's pollinated by bumblebees and it's not a host plant for any butterflies but it's very pretty.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I love bumble bees. Still looking for the rusty patched bumble bee. Probably not going to happen, but it would be really cool.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The bumblebees made a nest in my outside dryer vent and I didn't use the dryer all season because I couldn't harm the bumblebees. Then I found out they never have a nest in the same place again so I was glad for that. When I was a kid I saw 2 brothers get stung by a bumblebee hive that was in a busted old willow. They kept holding onto the tree and screaming and crying and the rest of us were yelling jump off but they wouldn't. I think their dad went back with a can of black flag and sprayed them, all because they wouldn't jump off the tree and run away from the bees, go figure!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I really have to get better at identifying all the bees. Saw blueberry bees for the first time last year. Hard to believe how specialized some of them are. I took plenty of pictures of all kinds of bees, just have to figure them all out. I have books just on bees. Except I would have to dig in the boxes to find them.

Not a bee, but looking through my pictures, I am still amazed by the color.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow, that's a crysalis? I couldn't figure out what it was and then I remembered. That is so amazing!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Hope you will have a bunch of them this Summer!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I just looked up the prairie smoke. Seems it’s a bit north of my Zone. I have pushed the zones a bit the other way around (planted some Zone 8 stuff). Think I should try? Or will it just wither away in hot, humid Summers?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I can't say offhand. I don't know of anyone who grows it that far south. Is that an orange banded sulphur crysalis? I think Rhonda had a lot of those. They look like a piece of art.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

If you have any hills or slopes with gardens on your property Iris, you can probably push lower zones like that by growing on an east or north slope. Its crazy how much of a difference that makes.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s a cloudless sulphur.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you Skip. It said on the Prairie Moon website that seeds are hard to germinate. They didn’t offer any plants, so I wrote it down to do a search at whatever place I think about ordering from. If I come across one, I will try.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I can't find any mention of people growing it that far south. I did read that its leaves can look bad up here from the summer heat, so I think the only way you can grow it there, is if you have it in dappled shade, otherwise I think the heat and sun down there will be more than it can take. Maybe that slope method Skip was talking about provides some shade.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, they say prairie smoke can grow to zone 8. This link has a woman growing it in zone 7b. It's ok to grow it there. It might do better with some afternoon shade. Up here the foliage stays kind of green through the winter. Down there it would be evergreen all winter.

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/340/

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/prairie_smoke.html

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay! I’ve put it on my list.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Just read about Bear swamp in south jersey, where 500 year old Nyssa sylvatica trees in an old growth forest still reside. Im defintely going to visit that place this summer. Maybe twice, first to ID plants in flower, second to collect seeds :)

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris-i dont know what American Elderberry is. Up here we have Sambucus canadensis and racemosa. Are your berries red or black? Flowers in racemes or umbels?

Jay-are you the enjoying the nice snowfall we sent you last night? I had nice 6" dump of fluff, like goose down.

Temps going down to -35f Thursday morning and then up to +35f Saturday afternoon. A real weather roller coaster.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s the Sambucus canadensis. The berries are black. If the birds leave them alone that long. It was 54 degrees here today, so I got some weeds pulled. Rain coming tomorrow once again. After that it’s getting cold.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My car is stuck and I'm waiting for a tow. It's going to be 54 here Wednesday. 54 below zero! It feels like the arctic circle!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh no, Jay! I am sorry to hear this. Both the car and the weather.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

A neighbor came and pushed me out. Just in time before the tow guy got there. He was going to charge me $100.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Whoa glad you got out, were you stuck on the side of the road?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No, I'm an idiot. I went to my other place to check on the plants under lights and instead of parking on the street I tried pulling into the driveway. It hasn't been plowed and I've been getting away with doing, but not this time. And I had just brought the snow shovel from there to the new place. Oh well, I found out the new neighbors are nice people. It was crazy timing though. I was starving and it was so cold!!!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, please don’t check on them again tomorrow. Your weather forecast looks frightening.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Bear swamp

Bear swamp

Bear swamp

Bear swamp

Bear swamp

Bear Dance!!!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm not going back there for a few days, and when I do I'm parking on the street lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

You sure picked the right year for a giant winter sowing project.....

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Stratified, sanctified, dignified, villified, purified, MANIFIED@jay..

.....my new site for overboard seed collectors LOL!


https://youtu.be/kD3PKJzDlJU

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My trail camera works!

only other thing walking by was a possum.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's a really cool camera Iris!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am just glad I was able to figure out how it works. Would like to know what is running around in my yard. I hope you are staying warm!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, I'm staying inside tomorrow and Thursday. It's so cold now that it doesn't take much time outside to get frostbite! I know there will be a lot of deer on your videos lol.

https://youtu.be/9EoM7qn2Cyk

https://youtu.be/_f7g1MZOq6w

https://youtu.be/VI57QHL6ge0

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Do you think these extreme temperatures will impact the butterfly population? Especially the ones overwintering as chrysalis or caterpillar? I never really thought about it, but notice less ticks after a rough winter. And the Gulf Fritillary got a very late start last year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I hope not. I still have a black swallowtail crysalis in a cage in the shed. I'm hoping it emerges. This happened once before with a swallowtail cat. The less ticks, the better. Another reason I can't wait to get rid of the big, red barberry. They are tick hotels! I have this link about the bear swamp trees being threatened by rising seas. You probably already read it Skip lol.

http://www.philly.com/science/climate/a/climate-change-sea-level-rise-nj-natural-lands-glades-wildlife-refuge-sourgum-trees-20181211.html

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats the article I read where I heard about Bear swamp

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I fugured you had read it. I like black gum trees. Wish I had the space to grow them.







Nyssa sylvatica




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Aspidoglossum, Asclepiadoideae, Africa!








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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t have black gum, either. Should make a list of my trees, too. My neighbor was asking how my little sourwood is doing. I actually had to think where I even planted it (and I did check, it’s doing alright)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have a line of osage orange and black locust trees at the back of my lot Id love to replace with Black gum and American holly, and other generally better trees. That article or another one said there is also a grove of 200 year old American hollies nearby, but there are no trails in that area shown on the preserve trails map.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, those prairie smoke plants can get choked out real easy from other weedy plants because they grow their rosette of leaves close to the ground.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

If I can find it as a plant, I would still like to try.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks like black gum is hardy here, I just don't have any place to put it. That's an Azalea Sphinx Moth. Their cats also feed on black gum. I kind of like osage oranges because they remind me of being a kid. I think we used to throw them at each other, and make spears out of dried up giant ragweed stalks for 'weapons' too lol! I was throwing a bunch of osage oranges far from the mother tree hoping to give them a better chance. I don't know how much wildlife value they have but I know they're closely related to mulberries, but thankfully no where near as invasives. I don't see any holly trees around my area, just holly shrubs. When you drive down into southern Illinois the climate changes and you start seeing big,old holly trees and huge southern magnolia trees. Up here there are no southern magolias. I guess you can have all that southern charm Iris lol. The southern magnolias, the Spanish moss, and the sweet jasmine. And then there's your carnivorous plants and animals lol!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I actually have a red mulberry tree. Still small though. Not south enough to have Spanish moss. That’s really cool looking though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just realized that I can blow up everyone elses pictures on all the other forums. The only pics I can't expand are the ones I post here???

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, did you nick your Tephrosia seeds before you sowed them?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Id like to try a real red mulberry, I had 3 decent sized white mulberries, one fell over by itself, the other ones were growing around my power lines and I couldnt stand them.

There is at least one osage orange tree I would leave, the others Im not crazy about. The blue marks are all OO, theyre roughly in a line and there are at least 6 more to the left not pictured. The OO on the right end is a lot larger than the pictures do justice.

The tree in the background is truly massive (red arrow), I think its a maple:


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Osage oranges aren't very ornamental. I don't know much about red mulberries but I'm assuming they're native. I can blow up pictures again.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay I didnt nick any of the Tephrosia seeds before I sowed them, should I have?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It probably doesn't matter. They are really little. I haven't sown mine yet. Red mulberries have great tasting fruit, they say.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Right now it's -6.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Balmy, compared to -30 or whatever you had! Prairie moon says to scarify spring sown Tephrosia, but not to scarify if fall or winter sowing.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Tonight is going to be the coldest. Down to -50.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Not a temperature I would want to deal with. It’s 26 degrees right now and I was cold just going out to feed the birds.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I was just looking at plants I want to get. Izel is selling the Clintonia, bluebead lilies now, but I don't want them for a couple months yet. The ground is frozen. I wonder if they would hold them. I'm afraid if I tried to hold them over in the refrigerator before planting them I'd kill them.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Maybe they will just be bulbs because they're lilies. I could keep them in the garage in some potting mix until it's warm enough to plant them.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very pretty!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It is, but I think the deer will like them too. I heard somebody else saying the deer ate their jewelweed too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Seems they like everything. The ones on the pictures from my trail camera certainly look well fed...

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Penthorum sedoides, Penthoraceae, Saxifragales. ditch stonecrop.

Penthoum sedoides

Solidago flexicaulis, Astereae, Asteraceae, Asterales.

Hypericum prolificum, Hypericaceae, Malpighiales. shrubby St.John's Wort

Hypericum prolificum

Tephrosia virginiana, Papilionoideae, Fabaceae, Fabales. goats rue.

Tephrosia virginiana

Penstemon tubaeflorus, Plantaginaceae, Lamiales. white wand penstemon.

Penstemon tubaeflorus

Penstemon tubaeflorus

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My poor mountain mint is going all Frostweed on me. The Frostweed never had the cool look I have seen in pictures though.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Probably because it's not cold enough. They should look real frosty up here.

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Amy (NE Ohio)(6a)

Jay, from your list above...

Wood Thrush Natives has Hieracium venosum plants for sale: http://www.woodthrushnatives.com/am-online/hieracium-venosum-rattlesnakeweed

Linaria purpurea is from Europe and seeds can be bought from Chiltern's Seeds, Plant World Seeds, etc.

I've never heard of Gaillardia pulchra.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks Amy. I think I meant to write Linaria canadensis. The genus name has been changed from Linaria. Thanks again! I had never heard of Gaillardia pulchra until a few months ago. I like blanketflowers and would like to have all of them.

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texasranger2

You have mentioned Gaillardia 'pulchra' several times complaining you cannot find it. There is no such plant.

Below is a listing of the species of Gaillardia:




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The Lord is my protector. No evil ^ can harm me! Linaria canadensis is now Nuttallanthus canadensis.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, they did a new count of the Monarchs in Mexico today. The numbers look good.



http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/agrawal/author/anurag-agrawal/

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This morning I could blow up the pictures on this thread. Now I can't again but I can on all the other forums.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay for the Monarchs. Let’s hope the weather will be kind. Remember in 2016? That was heartbreaking.

https://texasbutterflyranch.com/2016/03/31/scientists-try-to-assess-monarch-butterfly-mortality-after-mexican-freeze/

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I was hoping that the ones I released would stop and rest at the tall grass prairie. I think they did.







https://youtu.be/RMGNlgyU3lk

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wasp picture on my bronze fennel from last Summer.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They like those carrot family flowers. I had one big kind of wasp that would dig in the sandy garden. It was something like a tarantula hawk. Then I had the mud building wasps by my front door. It's 15 below right now with a comfort level of 33 below.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There is one kind I have I took a picture of that must have been the inspiration for “Krampus”. You are probably not familiar with that, I wasn’t until I married an Austrian. Will see if I find the picture. About St. John’s worth. Is just the creeping one kind of invasive? I was given a kind of shrubby one 2 years ago, but it didn’t have a tag. It’s probably not the nice one you guys here would like to have or already do have. I think I have a picture of the flower. Would that help to tell? Are there “bad” shrubby ones?


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s the one.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't know much about St. Johns Worts Iris. I grew a plant about 20 years ago but I don't remember much about it or what kind it was. I'm growing it again for the first time in a long time, so I'll be able to start learning about the species. I'm not good at telling the different Hypericum species apart either because I haven't been growing them. If you have good pictures of that spindly plant you should post it on name that plant.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They all have very similar flowers. It would be difficult to ID it from that alone!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I figured. I will just wait until it gets leaves again and ask on name that plant then. Found a picture of the wasp!


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That wasp looks evil and dangerous. There are other shrubby St Johns Wort in the trade, my local nursery sells Hypericum calycinum and Hypericum patulum 'Hidcote'. I have seen someone else on gardenweb refer to other Hypericums as freely seeding.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

But would I want any of those? I guess we will see in Spring what I have. It is pretty though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow, Iris, I just looked at bonap and there are 54 native species of Hypericum. That's a lot to choose from.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I hope I have one of them though. As long as it is native.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There was a few species on there that weren't native. I don't know, maybe read about them and find out which ones are the best to grow. If that's a picture of your St. John's wort there might be enough leaves to try and get an ID.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


These are the Hypericum species that Prairie Moon Nursery carries.

Hypericum sphaerocarpum. Round Fruited St. John's Wort.

Hypericum pyramidatum. Great St. John's Wort.

Hypericum punctatum. Dotted St. John's Wort

Hyperocum prolificum. Shrubby St. John's Wort.

Hypericum majus. Great Canada St. John's Wort.

https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/shrubby-st-johns-wort

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The picture of the flower is mine. It can wait a couple of month to get it identified. Will be easier if I have close up pictures of the leaves.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

These are tropical plants distantly related to Hypericums.

Clusia

Clusia

Clusia

Clusia

Triadenum

Triadenum

Triadenum

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very nice! Speaking of tropical, it’s supposed to get to 63 degrees on Saturday. Yay!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We are having a heat wave too. It's supposed to hit 43 on Saturday. I drilled holes in the bins and now I'm finishing up the winter sowing. Now I just need to figure out which seeds I need to sow lol!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

You still have seeds left?!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I still have lots of seeds left. I only planted about 12 seeds for each kind of plant. I gave a lot of seeds away, but there are still a lot left. Some of them I'm planting more seeds for, like the goats rue. I like it a lot and it's a nitrogen fixer so I'm sowing a double batch of those.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Was it cold enough for you this morning Jay? I see it was 30 below zero just west of Chicago, not that far away from you. I hit a new low today, 42 below zero. Not even a record for this date but I doubt I will ever see that again. But too much snow cover to effect the invasive aliens.

My winter sown seeds should be ok as I have the snow piled on top of them. I personally never get more than about 67% germination rate, and maybe another 10% of the remainder the following year. Pots are supposed to be kept for four years so I've read.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow. That’s cold! I was thinking of trying to grow a comfrey again. Not native, but very high nectar content and as fertilizer. I tried one last year, but I killed it. Maybe because I didn’t plant it until mid June when it was already hot.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


My bins are covered with snow. It was minus 15. My soil mix in the garage froze. I have to thaw it out before I can sow any seeds.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Hamamelis virginiana, Hamamelidaceae, Saxifragales, Witch-Hazel

Witch-Hazel attracts many insects and is a host plant for 20 species of moths.

Hamamelis virginiana.

Lindera benzoin, Lauraceae, Laurales, Spicebush.

Several insects are attracted to Lindera benzoin and the caterpillars of 3 beautiful leps use spicebush as a host plant, the Spicebush Swallowtail, The Promethea Moth and the Tulip Tree Beauty.

Lindera benzoin.

Halesia carolina, Styracaceae, Ericales, Carolina Silverbell.

Carolina Silverbell attracts many kinds of bees and is a host plant for the moths the Promethea, the Alternate Woodling, the Canadian melanolophia, the Stinging Rose Moth.

Halesia carolina.

Staphylea trifolia, Staphyleaceae, Crossosomatales, American Bladdernut.

American Bladdernut attracts many kinds of insects including wasps and flies.

Staphylea trifolia.

Chionanthus virginicus, Oleaceae, Lamiales, American Fringe Tree.

An excellent tree for wildlife. It hosts several moth species including 3 Sphinx moths.

Chionanthus virginicus.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha ha. I have every single one of these!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, they say if you rub the bladdernut sap on your hands after touching poison ivy, you won't get it. If only I had some bladdernuts around lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I read the same thing about jewelweed. I have some jewelweed salve that worked well on the poison ivy rash I got last Summer.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I do have jewelweed. Have you ever seen one of these Stinging Rose Caterpillars? They are supposed to eat Silverbells. They kind of remind me of the saddlebacks. The moth is cute!



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have not. Very cool looking! Should check with the black light in Summer. Most of the slug caterpillars glow.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I just looked up the moth. Seems the caterpillars eat everything from oak to hickory. Shouldn’t be too hard to find. My daughter likes to go slugging when she is home, so I often tag along. Don’t want to do it alone, just got a neighborhood message earlier that we have a “large, active pack of coyotes” in the neighborhood.

edited to add that I ordered a shadblow serviceberry. Guess I am still not done buying plants.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Serviceberry grows down there? It's good for about 60 below zero up in Canada. BTW, did you know that most Canadians live south of me?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It said through the Carolinas, so I hope this will work. There is an area that is usually pretty wet. I honestly could not function this far north. 45 degrees is the lowest I can work in the garden. Under that I will get too creaky.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I am pretty jelous or your plant aquisitions Iris. I want to get a bunch of the shrubs Jay posted earlier too, the spice bush and witch hazel for sure. I planted a mass of Bladder nuts this past fall. Hope they survive, the area they are in is wet, flooded and frozen at the moment. In time I will get more...


Dandy Im guessing the majority of Canadians live in the eastern cities which are south of you?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm trying to decide what to order from Izel plants. These are the plants I'm thinking about.

Clintonia umbellata.

Adiantum pedatum.

Xanthorhiza simplicissima.

Chamaelirium luteum.

Chamaelirium luteum.

Panax trifolius.

Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus.

Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus.

Streptopus lanceolatus.

Streptopus lanceolatus.

Izel has bare root Packera aurea plants. I just looked around for seeds of them again but couldn't find any.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Thanks for posting this Jay. I've never heard of Streptopus before but maybe I have seen in before but thought it was Smilacina, or even maybe Uvularia. It may even be in my yard too. I'll have to look for it this coming year.

Thanks for looking for the Packera aureus seed for me. Or I may have to visit that ditch where I found them 10 years ago.

Senecio aureus

smilacina stellata-cats eyes

Smilax

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have the Smilacina and the Smilax. I have Packera glabella. I just found out about the Streptopus. I never heard of it before. I was thinking about growing death cammus but it's not native to my area. Only by you and further west. I thought maybe planting death cammus around with fly poison, Amianthium moscitoxicum, that it might keep the deer away from the edible lilies. The fly poison isn't native this far north. Dandy, do the deer bother your plants? You don't have any elk or moose up there, do you?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Spicebush Swallowtail.

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar.

Promethea Moth

Promethea Moth Caterpillar.

Tulip Tree Beauty Moth.

Tulip Tree Beauty Moth Caterpillar.

Paw Paw Sphinx Moth

Paw Paw Sphinx Moth Caterpillar.

Zebra Swallowtail.

Zebra Swallowtail Caterpillar.

https://youtu.be/SDp__bXw-S4

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The weather is warming. It's now 7. My potting soil froze. It was the Kellog, kind of wet.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

My kellog soil also froze solid before I could use it, and all my soil was frozen solid at purchase time last year, too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's been in the garage for a while. It's in a big plastic bin with no drainage. I would have thought it had air dried by now. I don't know why they sell it so wet. Even after I had it inside for 4 hours it was still rock hard. Oh well, what's one more day lol. This window is getting pretty narrow now. I better hurry up! I think I will get everything ready to put out. Even the seeds I was planning on putting out later. Get them all ready and put the seeds away in the frige till next year...... then order more seeds lol.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You have 30-60 days unless spring is actually a thing in your area. Here its freezing and snowing alternating with warmer and sunny march through april, then its summer.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



Yeah, as long as I get all the seeds outside that need 60 days in the next couple weeks I should be ok. It's pretty cold here most of March. We've had subzero weather and blizzards in March, even April.





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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Call me hopeless. I found plants for the prairie smoke. So I added a couple more things to that order....I don’t really think I need more milkweed, do I? Shooting star sounded nice.... well.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have to get a couple more milkweeds when it warms up a bit, Asclepias amplexicaulis and quadrifolia. For some reason Im collecting all the ones native to my state now? It blows my mind that I have all these seeds going, and I look at the nursery availability and there are still a ton more things i dont have. Like Packera aurea

I bought one last year and it fizzled out but it seems like something that would like the rest of my yard more than where I planted it. Chrysogonum virginianum would probably do better where I had the Packera.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I really have to stop googling all these plants you mention.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Toadshade nursery has Packera aurea seeds. I had some Packera glabella plants growing in a couple different places. They flowered and seeded, and then dissapeared after having seeds. Maybe Packeras just dissapear early? I wouldn't be surprised if a few vollunteers came up where you had the one plant growing. Izel has Chrysogonum bare root plants and I think they will have plugs of Asclepias quadrifolia in April. I have a couple nurseries written down that should have A. amplexicaulis in the spring. I wouldn't want to order any bare root plants now with it so cold, but I could just store the lily bulbs in potting soil and keep them in the garage until later. Is that a picture of your yard Skip?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, can’t you just order and choose your shipping date? That’s what I am doing. I rather order my stuff now before they are selling out.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'll look into it. That would make it easier. The fairy wand is native to my area. The Clintonia and Streptopus aren't native but real close so I'm going to try them anyway.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well. I also ordered a leadplant. That would go better with your area than mine. It’s also another rabbit/ deer magnet it seems. I am still having fun with the wildlife camera. There are parties going on at night!


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

No Jay Id love it if that was a picture of my yard! Thats a screenshot from the Kindle app of the Larry Weaner book. In that picture, all the yellow flowers are the Packera. I had mine in a wood-mulched bed between my rhododendrons. Im thinking the wood mulch prevented the stolons from rooting and the root competition from the rhododendrons and sycamore killed them.

Let me know when the Asclepias come into stock, or is there an email list?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Do you read all your books on kindle? I'm a picture hoarder. I thought that was a real pretty picture of your yard, but you did say 1 Packera plant haha. I scattered Packera seeds in my old garden but they never germinated. Then, a few showed up in another part of that garden, in the patio bricks actually. How did they get there? Maybe I spilled some seeds from the packet as I was going to scatter them? They were nice looking plants and they just showed up on their own.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It was warm enough here today to have some company doing yard work.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What is it? I can't blow up any pictures in this forum. If I blew it up I could probably tell. I can enlarge the pictures on all the other forums. Just not this one. It's 43 outside now. All the snow is melting fast. They are saying we will probably get ice jams on the rivers. I don't live close to any of them.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Just a cute little jumping spider. Blending in well. It’s supposed to be almost 70 on Tuesday. I am afraid everything is going to get growing just to freeze again. Happens way too often. Picture zoomed in a bit. Do you have a leadplant? Seems you have about everything.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have a couple books on kindle but I do most reading on paper. I could never blow up pictures on mobile either, I have to hold my finger on the picture and then tap "open in new tab" to zoom in.

Maybe your Packera seeds were transported by wind or water until they reached a crack to hold them in place? Seeds are transported on shoes and animal paws too.

Tomorrow its supposed to warm up into the 40s. I had 6 Cardinals at the bird feeder earlier and a red tail hawk sitting in a tree watching them until we went outside to leave and accidentally broke up the party

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-thanks for the info on the Packera seed. A little too rich for my taste tho. But if anyone does buy them, I can do a delicious trade for a few seeds! I do have a species of Packera growing in a gravelly area but it isn't too attractive looking. It prefers a very dry soil so the blooms are kinda spindly.

Iris, we have Leadplant growing all around here wild. I have successfully germinated it but it's a little tricky to mange in that the 1st few years growth is small, and by the 3rd year although small, the tap root is already about a foot long. They can have 15' long roots I guess. i also have some A. fruitcosa but it isn't very attractive, very sparse vegetation at the top. I have it in a dry area but it survives ok so far. I have seeds for these next summer if anyone wants them.

Pic of my old garden before moving in 2010. Tall coreopsis there.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You saved some cardinals. So, you have Doug Tallamy's books for real? I can see the little beady eyes on the spider now. They are cute. I like the ones with the glowing green eyes. I'm trying to warm up to crab spiders. I watched one kill a Painted Lady once. They bite and then attach a web to the butterfly, and then reel it in. Iris, do you have this Heliopsis 'Burning Hearts' cultivar? I have the straight yellow native, but I wouldn't mind having this one too. It attracts a lot of insects.

















http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/fs_sunflowerx.htm

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Amorpha fruticosa is one of those plants that is native to the state but is considered an invasive species in some sensitive areas. I was puzzled when i saw it listed by the invasive species monitoring groups. I guess you wouldnt want it where it could change the habitat where an endanged species lives.

Yeah I have both of the Tallamy books for real.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, your old garden was beautiful! It would break my heart if we would have to leave here. I am pretty sure everything would just be mowed over. Too much work for most.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There has been a lot of discussion on here about native plants being invasive. Some say that no native plant can be invasive, just weedy. I think if it acts invasively to the detriment of other local native species then it is invasive. I never heard that about the Amorpha, oh yes Iris I have 1 leadplant. I think I'll get 3 more at the native plant sale for my 'prairie'. The lilac Veronicastrum seeds came today.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That Amorpha spreads by rhizomes. It was on the NJ invasive species strike team list as an emerging threat (which they take action to remove), but they manage some sensitive areas it might be specific to those places. I have read the seeds are believed to be dispersed by water because it is being found along waterways. I want to grow it, I am pretty sure there is already some growing down the road from me in a farmers hedge between the road and part of the field. I wonder how much shade it could stand.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I wish I would never have picked up spiderwort at the Native Plant sale. I also ripped out two wheelbarrows worth of swamp sunflower roots today. Love that one, so if they make it on the brush pile, so be it. Not calling them invasive, just a pain in my behind.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Does the Amorpha need the same conditions as leadplant? I'm surprised the deer don't eat all your spiderworts. There's a spider theme going on!










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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I planted 6 Ohio spiderworts I hope that wasnt a mistake. They are pretty crowded hopefully that limits their spread.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Your spider collection accentuates natural selection gone wild!

When it comes to Heliopsis, it seems there's no reason to do anything because eventually it will show up on its own.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't think the Ohio spiderwort spreads by rhizomes. They just form big clumps, but they will spread everywhere from seeds. The seedlings are hard to pull out. They are like chives. They bury themselves deeper in the ground. I grew another species of spiderwort that did spread agressively. It had purple flowers, not sure what species.There was a nice looking Heliopsis at the prairie down the street. I should have collected seeds while I could still recognize what it was. I usually cut back the spiderworts after they finish blooming because they start flopping over and looking ratty. That's when it's a bigger clump. The 2 clumps I have now are doing ok in part shade.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I keep a roll of tape in my car to attach onto a stem for seed collecting later on.

Store bought hardy Hibiscus "Lady Baltimore"

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Tape sounds good. I had either a Lord or Lady Baltimore for quite a few years. It always came up real late and it always flopped over from the weight of the flowers. Did you say you had Aralia nudicaulis too? I like the false indigo a lot but I don't think I could deal with it getting 20 feet tall!

https://youtu.be/U5l0fT8YcJY

https://youtu.be/LBsrPx-sWoU

https://youtu.be/G7FYR_PefLk

https://youtu.be/1u0dyrJ__e0

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I just found seeds that were on my search list for a long time. Agalinis purpurea. Prairie Moon was selling it, but it's been out of stock for 2 years and nobody else has had it, until now. It grows well in between prairie grasses, and its a host plant for Buckeye Butterflies.





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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Amorpha fruticosa. It needs more moisture than I can give it. I wonder if it's slow starting from seed like leadplant?









https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/false_indigo.htm

The critical thinking continues............



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Missing milkweeds. Seeds and plants are impossible to find at the moment. Hopefully this will change!

Asclepias meadii. Mead's milkweed. Native to and endangered in Illinois.

Asclepias lanuginosa. sidecluster milkweed. Native to Illinois, endangered.

Asclepias quadrifolia. 4 leaved milkweed.Native to Illinois, New Jersey, and South Carolina, very rare.

Asclepias quadrifolia.

Asclepias amplexicaulis. clasping milkweed. Native to Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina, very rare.

Asclepias amplexicaulis.

Asclepias rubra. red milkweed. Native to New Jersey and South Carolina, very rare.

Asclepias rubra

Asclepias lanceolata. few flowered milkweed. Native to South Carolina, Florida, and New Jersey, very rare.

Asclepias lanceolata.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Lilium superbum. You never here much about this native lily. Native to the east and central but not Minnesota


https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/turkcap_lily.htm

Hand pollinating milkweeds for better seed set.

https://youtu.be/h5zQo7wTSyM

https://youtu.be/BRe1J4rF0SA

https://youtu.be/lo5mvTfYSQY

https://youtu.be/nVECqjnJkNw

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Are these the milkweeds you are missing? I was kind of waiting for the names of them to magically appear. I think I know some of them.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, meadii, lanuginosa, quadrifolia, amplexicaulis, rubra, and lanceolata. Or as Will Kelly would say, mead's, sidecluster, 4 leaved, clasping, red and few flowered. They are all very rare. It shouldn't be like this! A lot of the native milkweeds all over the country are very rare.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

With the last order I placed, a Sullivant’s milkweed made it into my shopping cart. Yet another plant that is more suited for you. Well. If they are not happy here, I will just stick them in a box and send them to Chicago....

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Hopefully it will get here when I'm swamped with cats lol! Oh look, the names magically appeared!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well will you look at that! Thank you!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)






I can blow up pictures here again. Why, I don't know,???

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I had a moth similar to the one you posted on my garage wall. My books are still in boxes, so I will have to try to look it up at a later point.

my daughter had a springtail in one of her soil samples this morning. This was under the microscope. It’s not even a millimeter.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's a Black Spotted Prominent Moth. It uses Amorpha fruticosa, false indigo as a host plant. It's one of those moths people don't notice, but somehow important and needed in the web of Life!

Black Spotted Prominent Moth.

Black Spotted Prominent Moth Caterpillar.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The colors of insects like the ones Jay just posted inspired a whole bunch of research in metamaterials. They apparently have unique structures at the nanometer scale that controls light in unusual ways. Lots to learn from nature!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have time to discuss structures at nanometer levels lol. I know they make a red dye out of some bug, and then there's Spanish Fly? And to think I inspired all these scientists, wait, no it wasn't me lol! Iris, do you have the Heliopsis 'Burning Hearts'?


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t have this one.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am feeling kind of sorry for my daughter with so many different insects. Last semester! At least for now.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Well, that's a shock! I have the regular yellow one. I just read that red mullberries are more of a forest tree than the invasive white mulberries, and they can take more shade.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Took me a while to make sure I really am getting the right mulberry. Anybody know why I can’t keep sneezeweed alive for more than 2 years? I keep trying, but it is just not working. There is one of the little yellow ones by the curb that is surviving (of the popped up by itself kind), but no luck otherwise.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Most sneezeweeds like moist soil. I had one plant oh H. autumnale at the old garden. It was slowly withering away from lack of rain. I'm not sure it's still there. That one was a deep red colored cultivar from Select Seeds I think. I'm trying out a new Helenium species that likes dryer conditions. It's Helenium amarum.

Helenium autumnale.

Helenium amarum.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just learned of another milkweed species that's endangered in Illinois. This one is a vine, Matelea decipiens. It has nice flowers. Maybe next year lol!

Matelea decipiens. Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae, Gentianales.

Matelea decipiens.

https://ozarkedgewildflowers.com/climbing-milkweed-matelea-decipiens/

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)



Lead Plant & Porcupine Grass

Porcupine Grass- The floret base has a needle-like point and the stiff hairs on the surface cause it to attach to anything unlucky enough to pass by. The long awn twists in response to changes in moisture, coiling and uncoiling as it dries, usually bent once or twice above the spirally twisted base, and eventually drills it into the ground.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

When I google "Porcupine grass" Miscanthus sinensis comes up. Is that the grass pictured?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's more likely Hesperostipa spartea. A bunch of the rubber bands holding the bin covers snapped. Hard to find good rubber bands these days!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperostipa_spartea

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Doesn’t sound like anything you would want to have around when you have pets. Sorry about the rubber bands, Jay. Not surprising with your temperatures. Glad the bins are holding up. It was 68 degrees here today. Saw a butterfly! Think it was a Comma, but it didn’t stay for me to get a look.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I never heard of that grass before. You said you googled porcupine grass and that Eurasian grass came up. I googled native porcupine grass and the Hesperostipa came up. I don't know much about grasses. I'm growing more now than ever before and it's hard remembering all of those lol. I have some really cool native grasses winter sown. Once they get planted and grown I'll have a better idea about adding any more but my plant philosophy is the more the merrier lol!





taken from Iris's spy cam! What next???

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/grasses/plants/porcupine_grass.htm

https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/traumatic/can-grass-kill-your-dog

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah I didnt think he meant Miscanthus but didnt look too much further into it. Grasses are more problem solver plants... deer generally dont eat them and there are grasses for just about any condition.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s an awfully cute porcupine! I am often checking my dogs, especially the ears, after the walks. They love going in the unmoved property behind ours. That’s how a lot of the weeds probably end up in my yard. I moved my camera to the backyard close to the brush pile. Let’s see what kind of critters hang out there.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



It's a dog eat dog world out there!

Best to stay in the 'relative' safety of your own unique garden of Eden lol!

Hesperostipa comata.

Hesperostipa spartea. Not much variation, just needles and shards.

WOOKILAR ALLERT! A pedantic wookilar could pop in and cause mass hysteria at any moment! DON'T FREAK OUT!!!

https://youtu.be/Ofrqm6-LCqs

https://youtu.be/IqZE9WAYND0

https://youtu.be/Pib8eYDSFEI

https://youtu.be/DO1cW97Z3sU

https://youtu.be/cfOa1a8hYP8

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, thanks for the picture! Did you plant that porcupine grass, or was it already growing there?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)









Work while it is still day. The night comes when none can work. Store your treaure in heaven where it won't rot or rust.

It was such a beautiful planet, bursting with life. Did they ever turn things around and make it all right again, or did they finally destroy themselves?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Photo taken by the rail road track near Litchfield Mn about ten years ago. In the middle of farm country, the RR track still has native prairie. Everywhere else is a black desert.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It was 76 degrees today! Way above normal. This up and down in the temperatures can’t be good for anything. Here are some pictures from today.

poor little insects. At least there are plenty of weeds in the lawn with flowers. Even though most are probably not native. Not much else flowering.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Two more. Just excited there actually was something to see out there.

Edited to say I just caught up with the news. We broke the record with the temperature set in 1899. It should have been 55 degrees this time of the year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy I'm not seeing any picture. It was warmer here today. I joined the Illinois Native Plant Society and the facebook milkweed group all in the hopes of obtaining rare plants. Wow, the helebores are blooming already!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha. I wish daughter would have taken some class with Patrick McMillan at Clemson. That might have been my source. Never fit in her schedule, so she just took some tours with him.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's going to rain here Wed. and Thur. And then we will get more snow.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We just had a thunderstorm. Very strange for February. It was raining cats and dogs.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think we had snow thunder last year in the spring. Strange times indeed.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


This plant stayed off my radar. It's a Swallowtail host plant. I think I might have grown it several years ago. They can get 7 feet tall. Maybe it was the height that was holding me back, but I'm growing the Heracleum and that gets 12 feet tall. I teally like the purple coloring. It's also ornamental when not in flower.

Native Angelica atropurpurea.

Syrphid Fly.

Andrenid Bee.

Angelica Aphids.

Umbellifer Stem Borer Moth.

Cow Parsnip Borer Moth.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

Beware of pedantic wookilars and wishy washy powder puffs!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This guy has a garden for a yard. I'd love to be able to live in a more wild area where I could do that. He has a lot of non native medicinal herbs but also a lot of natives. I'd like to see what he's growing in the back section that wasn't shown in the video lol!

https://youtu.be/7SDytSQnO4A

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Lol that guy and his garden. That Angelica looks nice but it says it prefers or requires alkaline soil. Maybe I'll resign myself to seeing it and enjoying it in the wild somewhere.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You mean the native one?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe if you put lime in the planting hole and gave it some additional once in a while. That's what I do with my other calcium loving plants. I did see another cool plant. Amorpha nana, fragrant false indigo. It only gets 2 feet tall and has fragrant flowers. It likes dry soil just like leadplant. There must be a cat in heat right outside. I can hear the males fighting. I hope they don't mess up my bins. I'm not getting any more seeds lol! Just getting ideas for next year. A lot of the plants won't bloom in their first year anyway, so if you add new plants each year you'll always have something to look forward to.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Did you already start with the seeds that don’t need cold stratification? I do have false indigo. No idea what kind though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No, I haven't sown any of those seeds yet. I think Prairie Moon has 2 kinds of false indigo. The Amorpha nana, fragrant false indigo gets 2 feet tall, has fragrant flowers and likes dry soil. The Amorpha fruticosa, false indigo gets 20 feet tall and likes moist soil.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I just looked at bonap and there are 8 more species of Amorpha native to South Carolina so yours could be onr of those 10 different kinds. And they are probably all very similar looking.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Heh you might want to winter sow them now, it says those native Angelica seeds need a double dormancy, or 2 or more years to germinate! 60-90 days cold, 60-90 days warm, and another 60-90 days cold. Seems like a candidate to purchase live plants

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Baptisia australis also goes by the name false indigo, which is likely what Iris has given that Baptisia is much more common in nurseries.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh well. I do have a bunch of Baptisia of all sorts. Wonder what year they are going to have. 2 years ago they all got chewed down to nothing by broom moth caterpillars twice. Not a single flower on any of them. Last year they were beautiful and not a single caterpillar.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I was thinking live plants before I even read that part lol. I'm not getting anymore seeds other than the ones on my impossible to find list, and I did just find one of them. With the Baptisias included that makes a lot of false indigos. I have never seen any caterpillars on my Baptisia, and I've been growing it for many years. The voles ate almost all the roots on it one winter, but it grew back. Then the roots from the empress tree were stragling it for a couple years, but it still survived. I tried growing the cream flowered Baptisia a couple years ago but it never grew.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Baptisia is crowded by a bunch of other plants. It might have had cats on it and I just didn't see them. I didn't know that any butterflies used it as a host plant. Turns out there's quite a few.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I escaped!. Am in Florida for the rest of the week. Visited Guana River state park yesterday, thought about Iris only a hundred miles to the North. Going from 42 below to 75 above is a nice trip

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I planted mine for the caterpillars. Didn’t really have the broom moth in mind though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, lucky you. Are you just staying in that area or are you traveling around the state?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Iris, you've had Broom Moth Caterpillars on your Baptisia? I've never heard of them before. At least you had something.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The butterflies have been boycotting my older garden for years now. I have a whole grove of common milkweeds over there that never saw cats. I haven't seen any Swallowtail cats in years over there too. That's why it's so amazing how many cats you get Iris. That's why I was in shock when I got swamped with Monarch cats last year. I wasn't expecting it. Hopefully I'll have enough milkweeds for them all this year.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I know the caterpillars are supposed to eat all my plants but Id be a little upset if they ate all my plants down to the ground. I think the birds and wasps will keep their numbers balanced.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Going to Orlando for Ham Radio show Fri/Sat then back home(I miss my stuff).

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, are you going to protect some of your new milkweed from the caterpillars? After all the trouble you have gone through to find the seeds?

dandy, hope you are going to have fun!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, If I find any cats on my rarer milkweeds I'll move them to the more common milkweeds. If they eat all of those, I'll figure something out. The syriacas are good at regenerating new foliage. Hopefully all the other species are the same. There are lots of predators out there to keep the population in check. That's why so many people are raising them in cages. Stinkbugs are also main predators of Monarch cats.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Really? I didn’t know that. I looked at my notes earlier. Last year, I saw the first Monarch eggs on March 30. That was way earlier than usual. My milkweed was just about an inch poking out of the ground. Just checked my camera. Ha ha, fluffy tail!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What animal is that? A fox? I can't enlarge the photos.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It is a red fox. Which of your hard to find seeds did you find? I forgot to ask earlier when you mentioned it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I found seeds for Agalinis purpurea, false foxglove. It's a host plant for Buckeye Butterflies. It grows with the prairie grasses.

Agalinis purpurea.

Cutter Bee.

Bumblebee.

Digger Bee.

Buckeye Butterfly.

Flea beetle.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/pf_foxglovex.htm

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay! Is there still any butterfly left you are not prepared for? Saw another big mistletoe on one of my oaks today. Hopefully some more purple hairstreaks in my future.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Their cats eat mistletoes? That's s new one for me. I think I have most of the butterflies covered.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They do. Just don’t expect me to climb up there to check.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I looked up the Purple Hairstreak and it said the caterpillars eat Oak leaves. Then checked to see if any cats ate mistletoe and it said that some cats might eat it because it grows close to their host plant. So I don't know.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

All the information I have ever found is the mistletoe. Here are two examples.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I did not know this but there are 2 butterflies. The Great Purple Hairstrek and the other is the Purple Hairstreak. The Great Purple Hairstreak cats feed on mistletoes and the Purple Hairstreak cats eat oak leaves. I don't think the Great Purple Hairstreak ever makes it this far up north. I've never seen one and I'm sure I'd remember if I did.

Great Purple Hairstreak, Atlides halesus.

Purple Hairstreak, Neozephyrus quercus.

Purple hairstreak, Neozephyrus quercus.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well. I am prepared. A couple of years ago I was a bit overly enthusiastic. I was ordering plants and the pink turtle head came up as host plant for the Baltimore checkerspot. The plants are doing well, but the butterfly is still out of my range. Not by much :) Edited with a picture from my garden.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think there's enough oak around here for all the butterflies and moths and then some.lol

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hey, lets say I have a 50ft x 50ft area of lawn I want to turn into a meadow garden type thing, should I put paths in it to weed it, or hope that the plants and seed I put down repel weeds on their own?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe leave spots where you can step in a little ways to weed out the middle. Unless you prep the sight well enough so there won't hardly be any weeds???

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The booty!

Native Plant Seed Hunters

Delphinium exaltatum.

Cirsium discolor

Anaphalis margaritacea

Anemone cylindrica

Gentiana puberlenta

Heracleum maximum

Sium sauve

Helianthus salicifolius

Aralia racemosa

Amsonia illustris

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I left a path in my big new flower bed. Worked for the first year, but by the end of the second year it was nowhere to be found.

Love the pictures, Jay!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks Iris. I think I've used up all the online prairie pictures lol!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Does anybody have suggestions for very early flowering plants? Shrubs, perennials, anything? I planted Salix Discolor last year, but that’s still a little stick. Of course the insects shouldn’t be out in the beginning of February, but with the crazy weather they are. I am feeling sorry for them. Since this seems to happen every year lately, I would really need to plant something flowering just about now. Pictures from today.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Do you have any early blooming spring ephemerals?

https://aroundlakelure.com/spring-ephemerals/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t. I have looked at some of these plants before, but most say woodlands. So I figured planting them under a relatively big tree doesn’t qualify. Working on having my forest, but it will not look like one anytime soon.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The ephemerals all grow under trees big and small trees. They need the sunlight they get before the trees leaf out again. Most of them go dormant and dissapear in summer. They like shade during the hot summers and they get that shade once the trees are fully leafed out.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Maybe I should try some. I thought they might need the real kind of forest soil from years of fallen leaves and such. I tried Jakob’s ladder twice under my oak. That didn’t work.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You can just add compost to give the soil enough organic matter. We are having these terrible wind gusts and the power just went out. It' frigid cold outside, and with the wind. I'll have to find a candle. I hope none of my bin tops fly off. It's too cold to go out and check. Using a phone does have its advantages.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh no! Stay safe! The weather is really crazy. 77 again today. And the low was 62. It’s going to freeze again Saturday.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Bundle up Jay, hope its not like 20 below again.

Iris, do you have Claytonia and wild violets at your place? That, and invasives like hairy bitter cress, Lamium purpureum, and creeping charlie (Glechoma) are all i can think of that flower really early here. Nothing is normally flowering in February here though, more cold is guaranteed to come.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

No Claytonia. I do have wild violets and leave them for the variegated Fritillary, but they are not flowering yet. I have bitter cress (recently identified on name that plant) and creeping Charlie. Not really working for the big bees and something I would like to get rid of. I do have witch hazel not looking like it is going to flower soon. My plum tree would like to, but is probably going to freeze as soon as it does. Still got to look up Lamium.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Looks like I might have this. I also have this one.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Try Claytonia, it flowers before the first mowing is needed and still comes back the next year. Your bladdernut should be among the first to fower too. When is your average last frost free day?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

April 15. Walked by the bladdernuts today. They don’t look like anything is going to happen soon. But they also look chewed on.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I saw that plant in one of your pictures a couple days ago Iris. The common name is henbit. It's a Lamium species.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, all 15 of these Trilliums are native to South Carolina.

Trillium vaseyi.

Trillium undulatum.

Trillium sulcatum.

Trillium rugelli.

Trillium persistens.

Trillium luteum.

Trillium maculatum.


Trillium lancifolium.

Trillium grandiflorum.

Trillium flexipes.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

More Trilliums

Trillium erectum.

Trillium discolor.

Trillium cuneatum.

Trillium catesbaei.






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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What I usually do is look at a list of all the native wildflowers and see which ones bloom the earliest. I think pasqueflowers bloom early. There are probably some early blooming spring anemones on this list too.


https://uswildflowers.com/wfquery.php?State=SC

Izel plants was selling some bare root Trilliums last time I looked. It's 9 degrees with a comfort level of minus 1. At least the wind died down lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They are all very pretty! Years ago I tried planting some Trillium. They were dormant and never came up. So I am not sure if it was my fault or if they were dead to begin with.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

There is a wholesale Nursery in Virginia, Mid Atlantic Native Plant Farm, that sells trilliums and other interesting plants bare root and some potted or in trays. Minimum order is $100... maybe next winter I'll place an order

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I will look it up. One of my plum trees went into overdrive and is flowering. I didn’t see a single open flower yesterday. Of course now it is too cold for the bees to fly.

hazelnuts are doing their thing.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Is that hazelnut Corylus americana?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yes, it is. Last year I spent a whole day crawling around in this thicket trying to get the honeysuckle out of it. Noticed today I did not win the war. Not too bad, but I will have to get in there.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I assume you are talking about Japanese honeysuckle you being in South Carolina. I bought a plant once and grew it for a while and then dug it up before it got invasive. I don't think they are invasive up here but noone up here grows them either. Our big problem is the invasive bush honeysuckles. They're all over the place. I hate them almost as much as white mulberries, and that's pretty bad! lol I could swear that Prairie Moon was selling seeds of Corylus americana, but I just looked and they don't have it anymore. I can't grow it anyway, too big.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yes, that’s the honeysuckle. Like the wisteria, it is not giving up.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I am going to war with some japanese honeysuckle later this spring. I will resort to herbicides on the cut vines if I have to. Cutting, raking, digging, pulling, and finally poisoning the regrowth.

I have a big bush honeysuckle in my sights too, but its right on the property line with my neighbor, and its in the shade along a deer corridor. It will be hard to find something that can replace it. Maybe I can find a 3-5gal spice bush and fence it in for a few years.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Do you already have Spicebush in your yard? Was it very slow to start growing? I planted my first one 4 years ago and it still doesn’t grow much. Mine were just tiny little things in 1 gallon pots though.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

No I dont have any in my yard yet. I've read on here they can be fussy to grow, but the area where I want to put them is next to a brush pile and has decades of leaves and organic material, I hope it will grow quickly in those conditions.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I had a spicebush for a few years and it never grew much either so I dug it out. I should have kept it.

I saw a big Itea virginica, sweetspire down south and it was loaded with insects. I tried growing the Itea, but it never grew big like I wanted.

I tried growing Clethras a couple times, but I think the soil was too dry. I wanted them for the fragrance and they are pretty.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)











Asclepiadoideae!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

More New Plants

Pilea pumila.

Beckamannia syzigachne.

Campanula americana

Callrhoe bushii.

Dalea villisa.

Asclepias hirtella.

Eurybia divaricata.

Cryptotaenia canadensis.

Asclepias stenophylla.

Cirsium altissimum.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's 18 outside. After tomorrow night the temps. will stay in the 20s or higher.


Mountain Gardens Plant Sale! He's got some really nice ones lol!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I read that spicebush likes part shade and moist soil. They sell plants at a nearby nursery should I decide I want it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)









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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I planted the spice Bush for the swallowtails, but so far they just use Sassafras. I have had the pink sweetshrub for the past 20 years. It’s doing very well. Picture from last Summer

i have since added a few white ones. Last Fall I could not resist buying the cultivater “Einstein”. Guess I will see how that one does. I really have an odd assortment of plants. Can’t accuse me of monoculture. My buckeye surprised me last year by flowering even though it is still tiny.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's a nice big Clethra. I can't believe buckeyes flower so young. That's another tree I've always wanted to grow. I have to buy a few more bins, get all the stuff for the potting mix and check on the Calotropis. Do you have a sweetspire bush Iris? They attract tons of pollinators.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a small one. Not sure if it will come back, it was struggling since early Fall.

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