What native plants are you growing this year?

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This is the continuation of my original thread about winter sowing a bunch, plethora, multitude of natives. Well everything didn't work out the way I had hoped they would. A lot of species never germinated for a variety of reasons that are being explored. Anyways it is what it is, and I have the plants I have. And there are still a lot of new species that I get to grow that are totally awesome, so if you are growing any natives feel free to join in!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, did you break down and get a new phone? Wondering why your pics are suddenly better. Nice pictures everybody. I spent the whole day watering and looking after the plants. I have to keep making the rounds with so many transplants, or else I can lose a plant really quick. Also a few plants weren't happy where they were, so I moved them. Javi, the picture of the frit is beautiful! I'm thinking that I had a couple Asclepias arenarias and I think there's only 1 now, but the milkweed seedlings are handling the transplant well. I just realised today that I don't really have any plants with blue flowers in the 2 annual beds. I sowed seeds for Salvia farinacea, Linum lewisii, and Tahokia daisies, but none of those seeds germinated for me. I have a couple Amsonia illustris seedlings. I was watching the digger wasp today. She was backing into a hole she dug, so I'm thinking she was laying an egg. I'm seeing more crickets lately. I don't know if the mulch is attracting them, but I like crickets a lot. There used to be a lot more grasshoppers around. I wish I had more.

Skip, I read that Desmodium canadense likes sandy soil. Do you grow your plants in regular soil? Your Apios is looking good. The Apios seedlings are growing a lot slower than the plants from tubers.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I didnt get a new phone just took a little more time and more pictures until one came out in focus.


the desmodium is in regular soil

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


That's awesome!

The oak shade garden. A vollenteer tall bellflower grew in this spot.

The Collinsonias have branched out, and are forming buds.

This is all that's left of my 3 Rudbeckia laciniatas. They are e everywhere at the park, and the deer don't touch those.

There is still a lot of space to fill in this garden. I need plants for deep shade. At some point I need to take a couple lower branches off the oak, which will let in a little more sun.

The weeds are out of control by the shed. I want to clear them all out and put more plants here. The grapevine is all eaten up. It might be a sphinx cat? I'll have to be careful.

The Aralia spinosa is putting on some fresh growth.

I found these 2 swamp milkweeds growing by the shed. They look happy there, so I've decided to make this spot one massive swamp milkweed clump and put all the incarnatas I have in 1 place. Unfortunately none of the white 'Ice Ballet' germinated.

I planted a few Cunila in the oak garden.

The east side of the house. Another slow moving project that a lot of time. A lot of space to fill here too.

I'm wondering if houzz changed something. Usually by now there would be trouble seeing pictures? I'm not complaining. O heard banana peels repel aphids. I'm going to try it. I need to make a dishsoap solution to spray on my milkweed seedlings.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip and Jay, everything is looking great! And so green! By now, even some day lilies look pretty much dead (didn’t water them though). Doesn’t look like there will be rain anytime soon. As for the house sitting, I don’t think she left enough “cat” food. Yay for still seeing pictures. Hope you didn’t jinx it again, Jay!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)






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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay your plants are looking good, nice growth. I was walking around the park again this afternoon. This time I gathered a lot more blueberries, something I think was Lyonia ligustrina (looked like a giant arching blueberry bush with dried berries on it), more dry Clethra flowers from last year, wild grape, and viburnum? I made a note of where some fruiting Sassafras is growing so I can go back and pick the berries when they ripen more, and saw a nice swamp white oak to go back to for acorns.

Is this Viburnum dentatum?

Ignore the smilax eating it.

My neck was hurting from looking up at the trees haha. Think I found some blackgums too.

What is this tree?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-I discovered my Viburnum is no longer named dentum. It's V. refinasquinum! Who asked for that? Not sure what yours is, those leaves are a lot larger than mine but do have serrated edges. Save those seeds.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, Betula populifolia? Yes that's dentatum or refinancifolia? I can't find any proof that the name was changed. Looks like your Viburnum got eaten up. Good job with the seed collecting! I like Smilax a lot. It's really cool!




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javiwa

O...M...G....pouring rain -- yippeee!!!!!!!!!



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Lucky you!

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javiwa

Never mind that I just ran all the sprinkler zones yesterday and soaked the beds about an hour ago, in anticipation of zero rain. Watch: now I'm gonna lose plants due to soggy roots! :P


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javiwa

Oopsy!


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, I will take some flopped over plants for some rain. It’s starting to look like Fall here.

Got a bunch of new Fritillary today!


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats a shame about those trees Iris, hope you get some rain soon. Otherwise you'll have to start growing cactus instead.

Nice butterflies, to add to the bug pics...

Great black wasp?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, beautiful frits! I don't get them up here. A female Monarch was laying eggs on all the milkweeds. Most of them already have cats. The digger wasp has gone crazy and dug several holes. I need to take a picture. It's very respectful and doesn't harm any of the little plants in the sand garden. I hope you get some rain. I don't think we are getting any more rain for another week. I got used to not having to water when there was all the rain.

Skip what kind of mountain mint is that? I like that species! I don't know if you have checked this out already, but there are a few different species of Viburnums, that have leaves like the shrub you found. It may not be dentatum, but some close species. The dentatum name was never changed. The species Dandy mentioned Viburnum refinesqueanum is a different species called downy arrowwood. Actually the true dentatum isn't native to Minnesota, but V. refinesqueanum is. Viburnum refinesqueanum only gets 6 feet. Viburnum dentatum can reach 15 feet. There are also 2 subspecies of V. dentatum, Viburnum dentatum var dentatum, and Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum. You will have to closely examin your shrub to figure out which species or subspecies. This link has some clues.

These are growing along the deer path.

This is a natural spring coming out of the side of the hill. It's not my property tho, but if it was, I'd plant some natives in there.


https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/south_arrow.html

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/raf_arrowwood.html

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

It's P. incanum, hoary mountain mint. I'll have to see if I can find that Viburnum again, I only noticed it by the blue berries sticking out of the Smilax. You literally couldn't see the rest of the shrub. Whats the plant with the flowers in your picture?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I like the wide, felty leaves of that miuntain mint. I'd love some seeds! The plant in the picture is Stachys tenuifolia I think. It's a native called hedge nettle. I'm pretty sure that's what it is, but I put it on name that plant to make sure. Some of my Solomon's seals have big berries if anyone wants some. They require double dormancy. I have the P. commutatum, the 4' subspecies of P. biflorum. I have 2 Nabalus plants getting ready to flower. One of them is almost 6 feet tall. It just rained real good and the temps are going to be lower for a few days, so it's a short window to plant more stuff. I'm making a list of all the plants I want to collect seeds from, and where to find them. I should try to keep records of the dates these seeds become ripe too. I just noticed my Agrimony isn't native here, but it is in Minnesota and Oklahoma so go figure?

https://www.google.com/search?q=james+woodworth+prairie&oq=james+woodw&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l2.6596j0j7&client=ms-android-verizon&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#trex=m_t:lcl_akp,rc_f:nav,rc_ludocids:6979785279514859736,rc_q:James%2520Woodworth%2520Prairie%2520Preserve,ru_q:James%2520Woodworth%2520Prairie%2520Preserve

If you look at the website, you can see their native species list. It's a good one.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Love you mint, Skip! Don’t think I have that one. Have to look it up. They are really attracting interesting critters.

Jay, you got more rain?! I am jealous. Sharing my misery. Ok, the Sumac has a pretty color. But nor for July.

No mowing....

the places I am watering the heck out of have some bright spots


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Wow its looking extra crispy there. Is the whole region experiencing a drought or are you in some kind of rain shadow?

Here's the same sumac species from my trip to the park the other day, for comparison.


In 2016 or 2017 it did not rain all summer and it was hot. 20 miles north was getting regular rain showers and thunderstorms, and further south in Maryland and Delaware, they were getting excess rain and flooding. I read something recently about dry summers being a regular, although unpredictable occurrence in the Pinelands here. Hope your weather doesnt turn into a trend.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It has gotten worse year by year it seems. The weatherman said last week that we are about 4 inches short for July. But he also said the areas that didn’t see the pop up thunderstorms are worse. I didn’t get any. Seems the mountains to the west of me make everything brake up. Sorry I am whining, but it is kind of depressing. Seems the wild black cherries are having the hardest time of all the big trees.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-what's the meaning for the specific epithet rafinesquianum? (mn wildflower spelling)

Got 1 and 1/4 inch rain yesterday. Sorry I can't share it with everyone. About 4 inches total for the month of July. Echinaceas are starting to bloom and the Button Bush is having buttons too. I was so worried that the tips all froze off in January.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, I don't know the exact meaning of that epithet, but it might mean downy, because that species is called downy arrowwood. That's probably the species growing around your place. I know lanuginosa means downy too. I don't know latin. I just google some names and get info. It rained here pretty good this morning. I saw a lot of the system heading your way. This was the first year that I ever had blooming vollunteer Echinaceas. Do you grow your buttonbush in regular soil or moist soil?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, I think the Viburnum species was just named after some guy named Rafinesque. That's why they call it Rafinesque's arrowwood. It just sounds like it should have a Latin meaning lol. I know nothing about that guy! Only that he was an eccentric genious and part time botanist.


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

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/raf_arrowwood.html

I hope you get rain Iris.

http://www.scdrought.com/current.html

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Whats going on? I found a new (to me) caterpillar. I think its a leopard moth caterpillar, on Vernonia noveboracensis

The iron weed is in normal mesic soil within the root range of a silver maple, in a little shade, which is probably why its so small.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have not seen this caterpillar before, so I don’t really know. But I can tell you what is going on. You are creating a great habitat for all these different kind of critters. So of course they show up. Congratulations! I had this one hanging out on my porch the whole day.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That is a cool one! What kind is it?

We were at the county fair the other day watching a pig racing show, but there was a conspicuously large butterfly or moth on the fence around the pig track. It was a solid cream/yellow color on the upper wings with more of a solid orange color on the lower wing, does that ring any bells as to what it might have been? Even my daughter and other people noticed it.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Mine is a white lined Sphinx. No idea about yours. Next rainy day, I am going to dig around in the boxes for my guide books. Obviously I thought renovations would be done by the time I need them. A pig race?! Weird observation house sitting. The ashy sunflowers across the street are already in full bloom. Mine are going to take at least another week. How come? I guess their yard is a bit more protected by having a wooden fence and more trees surrounding it. They came from my yard originally. Getting about the same amount of sun.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


When I created this sandy bed , I had no idea that I was making the perfect nesting ground for digger wasps.

There were 2 wasps today. I don't know if they were both females. They want me to keep my distance, and they won't let me water. I hope my 3 little Ipomopsis seedlings can put up with them. I like them. I've had mud wasps before too.

I have a new Opuntia pad. Just one pad. The trick is to wear thick rubber gloves when touching it. I just noticed a new sucker starting from the wooly pipevine. It's what I was hoping for, so maybe no reason to start cuttings yay!

These milkweed seedlings are in dappled shade. Here is where I have the perennis, variegata, exaltata, and ovalifolia.

This is the Manfreda hardy Agave blooming. Not very showy, but I have an Agave in Illinois, that's the point lol. I need a lot more Liatris of all species. A swallowtail was on these a couple days ago. The bed in the backround is where the other milkweed seedlings are. Tuberosa, arenaria, stenophylla, speciosa, viridis, latifolia, viridifolia, incarnata, ect, ect.

The 2 latifolia seedlings with some aphids.

Some kind of lily maybe?


I wonder what eats Smilax. You know they cut all the vegetation along the sides of the canal path and they completely wiped out the rare and beautiful Clematis viorna vines. I couldn't even find enough left to collect seeds. All I have is some cuttings I took, and they aren't a sure thing.

More unknown plants.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Woodland sunflowers blooming on the other side of the canal. I've only seen 1 Aralia racemosa, and 1 Aralia spinosa here so far. I busted diwn some invasive honeysuckles and other plants so they can get more light and hopefully bloom and make seeds. My Vernonia noveboracensis seeds didn't germinate, but I have 1 Vernonia lettermannii seedling. The bladderpod seeds still aren't ready. My Apios has a bunch of flower buds forming.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Woodland sunflowers blooming on the other side of the canal. I've only seen 1 Aralia racemosa, and 1 Aralia spinosa here so far. I busted diwn some invasive honeysuckles and other plants so they can get more light and hopefully bloom and make seeds. My Vernonia noveboracensis seeds didn't germinate, but I have 1 Vernonia lettermannii seedling. The bladderpod seeds still aren't ready. My Apios has a bunch of flower buds forming.

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javiwa

Dappled shade: for a while, anyway -- danged sun keeps moving on me, and then my stuff fries.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, that’s great you are having a bare patch of soil for the wasps. And probably the bees. I saw some tiny bees going into holes in dead stems from the wild bergamot and pokeweed. Something else to think about when cutting that stuff off. Going to look closer look at the other pictures later.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, all your milkweeds are looking great. I am still trying to find the cactus in your picture. What is the light green stuff in the water? Algae dying off? Just one of my iron weeds has not been eaten by the deer. It’s really tall, and also very droopy. At this point I really can’t keep up with watering everything. Survival of the fittest. Or follow Skip’s suggestion to just plant cacti.

about Liatris. I thought this was one. Or I thought I planted one there. Is it? Looks so different.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That doesn't look like any Liatris I've seen.

I think this is a native bee

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I think this is a fly. Bee mimic though.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Oh duhh, Syrphus fly maybe?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I would say Syrphidae, yep. I had this weird slug like thing identified on “Insects” not long ago as larvae of one of them. Found something similar today. Really useful since they do eat aphids.

as for my maybe not liatris, I hope I can still dig around for the tag tomorrow. I am sure it was from my Almost Eden “Summer Sale” liatris spree. Kind of Jay’s mission to ad different kinds. Doesn’t really look like a weed. Doesn’t match anything they have currently available either though.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I saw those larvae on my common milkweed! I like the thought of them eating aphids.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There you go!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well. The tag says Liatris aspera. Huh.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The flowers remind me of gnaphalium or cudweed. Doesnt look right compared to pics of Liatris aspera online. Ughh, now you have reminded me of Liatris, I might have to make a trip to the nursery for Liatris scariosa

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Guess I should take some more pictures for Name that plant. I don’t have scariosa, should look it up.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The leaves kind of look like Liatris, with their white middle leaf vein, but that species isn't supposed to branch, and yours has branches everywhere. If you take more pictures, I would water the plant first, so it looks natural and not wilted. The second plant I have no idea. I'm starting to find ladybug alligators. There are 12 species of Liatris native to Illinois. I'm getting all them, just not all at once lol.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I was going to ask if the deer ever ate those 'Liatris aspera' ? Maybe that could make them branch? It does have big leaves for a Liatris species.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I can’t say if the deer eat it. Since my plant is probably not aspera and I ordered just the one. They do eat the other ones though. I am still not seeing the orange aphids. Tons of other kinds on other plants though. Weird, the orange ones are usually the biggest pain.

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javiwa

If you guys have time to put eyes and minds on these pics, I'd appreciate it. Remember that issue I had with my Turk's Cap (started from cuttings, have been planted in the yard for months and have come along beautifully -- lush, large, normal leaves). Then just a couple of weeks ago, I noticed all the new growth was growing in very crinkled and weird. Didn't think to take a photo, and just pruned them back -- figured something nasty happened while I was away, and cutting back was a way to start fresh.


Well, the new growth is looking danged ugly once again -- doesn't appear anything is spreading to or affecting the original growth as those leaves are perfectly normal. Any ideas? TIA






Here's the underside of the leaves -- no discernible pests, scale, etc. Not the best pic, but I noticed up and down the stems what almost seems like something has abraded the surface, leaving it kind of scraped/rough and light colored. I've run my fingers along these areas, and nothing 'powders off' -- unless it's some sort of disease just barely beneath the stem surface tissue. It doesn't appear as bright white as in the pic, but the lightening is definitely noticeable.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I don't know what it could be, but all of my common milkweeds are doing the same thing.


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javiwa

Ugh, Jay. Sorry to see this. I don't know if you remember my post in early spring, regarding (cucumber) mosaic virus quite likely hit my passiflora incarnata Incense, but I've been holding my breath as I monitored for spread. I think indicative of CMV is that new growth is malformed/crinkly and yellow -- not sure that end-crinkling of mature leaves is due to CMV. Not sure.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, I have no idea. Going to try to do some googling later. As for Jay’s milkweed, I am also clueless. Milkweed yellows affects the whole plant and makes for weird flowers, right?

Just got a rain shower. A whopping 0.10 inches. Didn’t help anything really, but it settled some dust. Hoping for some more.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You can go to the Garden Clinic Forum. They might be able to give you more info.

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javiwa

I'll do that later...you guys are always so knowledgeable! :p I realize it's almost impossible to diagnose something like this on the internet. Even if it is CMV, would need to send samples out to the lab (or pay prohibitive $$$ for a lab test kit).

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha, I wish I had knowledge of these things. The radar shows all kinds of green dots, but they are going in the wrong direction. My trees and other plants look worse by the day.

Jay, how are the sicklepots? Javi, didn’t you have eggs on your popcorn cassia? Sicklepots are the busiest of the Sennas.

They are blending in so well! This one not so much.

Going to check if my pictures are useable for Name that Plant. There is swamp sunflower taking over in this corner, so it’s hard to move around.

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javiwa

Such coooool cats you're taunting me with, Iris. They are gorgeous and have obviously found some living green to feast on. I did have several tiny sulphur cats sequestered on a branch, protected by a tulle bag a while back. I'll periodically flip a leaf over to check, and found one last week. It's been so hot, I can't spend too much time looking...but the bags are still on there. Judging by the number of unmunched leaves still on the branch, I don't have high hopes at all. By now, the cats would be huge and I'd easily spot them.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well, that’s where I spend a lot of time with the water hose. There even is a patch of sicklepot all the way down by the brush pile I keep watered. Saw some tiny caterpillars on it. It would probably be easier to just move them. Yay, my plant turned out to be what it is supposed to be for once! Interesting. I looked at so many google images.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

So far the only problems with turk’s cap in Texas I am finding are powdery mildew and Mealybugs.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Doing a happy dance right now. Thunderstorm with rain!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)


I think this guy is toast, those are parasitic wasp eggs on it right?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I think they are actually already the cocoons. But yeah, he is a goner.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)







My sicklepots look good, but nothing has eaten them yet.

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javiwa

I've dealt with mealybugs on indoor orchids, so it's definitely not that. I just did a lot of reading about powdery milsew. I'm familiar with how this appears on rose and crape myrtle leaves (though, not up close), but I didn't notice signs of anything remotely powdery (one site said powdered sugar coating) except for those whitish areas along many of the stems. Nothing on the leaves. I'll have to snip some of the leaves and affected stem and bring them indoors. Thanks, Iris. No response on the Garden Clinic yet.

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javiwa

Woohoooo, Iris! Rain!!!!


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, great looking rattlesnake master! Now I see the cactus! Looks like you are running out of room in the flower bed by the walkway/ driveway.

Javi, I didn’t see anything powdery in your pictures. One search with crinkly leaves in new growth turned up a person from Texas asking the yard doctor. There were no pictures, but that was the answer.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I added your Liatris to my list of plants to look for. Good looking!

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javiwa

Sorry to drag this on, but I brought a few stems in. First, Wiki says: "Infected plants display white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and denser"


I'm just not seeing the white dots/spots on the leaves. Dumb question, but wouldn't I be able to see white PM spores if I rubbed the stems with my fingers?





Obviously the camera picks up more than my eyes do: I'm noticing white dots working their way up onto the leaves now.



I suppose that's what it is. This is a new one for me. Fits, though, as these four plants are in pretty much total shade. Could change as the sun travels more southerly as the year progresses. That's a lot of cutting back I'll need to do. Oh, well...they were free. :)


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Powdery mildew likes warm and humid. Didn’t I read somewhere that people are using milk to combat it in Phlox? Mine do get it sometimes, but I usually just cut stuff off. Not even sure it is powdery mildew. Might be worth looking into though.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, your gardens are looking good. Those little plants are going to fill it up quickly cant wait to see those pictures.


Iris, I noticed that Liatris a while ago as one that could tolerate drier soil, probably would do well for you.


My squash has powdery mildew, Im trying the 60/40 water/milk solution (some sites say 50/50) but it didnt kill it. Will keep spraying every 3-4 days.


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javiwa

Hmm...thanks for the picture, Skip. Very helpful. So, is the white stuff on the leaf surface the powdery mildew or the milk? :) None of my leaves looks like that, which is steering me away from it being PM again. Even the Wiki article shows a pic of PM, and there are white spots on top of the leaf:





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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Javi, that white stuff is the mildew not the milk. It does look like your plant has some fungal infection.

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javiwa

Thanks, Skip. I was just doing some reading on local extension and ag sites. It seems water and/or oil are key factors to PM eradication/control. The PM spores don't like water, and oil suffocates them. I saw a baking soda/water/veg oil/soap recipe online, but wonder if it isn't the water & oil that are doing the trick -- have you gone that route? I also read PM spores need new growth to feed on, which explains why the spores/discoloration seems to stop right at the mature leaves but continues right along the tender shoots.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I havent tried that mixture but the soap allows the water and oil to mix. The baking soda probably doesn't do anything.

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javiwa

People these days like to throw baking soda at everything. Either that, or they think potassium bicarb (which I found as a potential remedy on an ag site) is the same as sodium bicarb. :)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

So Javi, have you started experimenting yet? Would be interesting to see what works best.

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javiwa

No, not yet. Different from other fungi, PM doesn't like wet conditions. So, as a start, I hosed down each plant during my morning watering. I'm sure this disease took hold so easily because these plants are at the furthest end of the yard. I glance and see the leaves are doing fine (from a distance), and plans are growing. So, it didn't occur to me to take a closer look.


I've been busy with seedlings and transplants -- and making sure my new plumeria continues with its great start! :) Debating whether it's ready to be placed info filtered lighting.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I hope something works! The new growth on my Turks Caps is mostly eaten by the deer, so I probably will not run into this problem. It was nice not having to water after some good rain. The mosquitos were out in full force, the ants were really aggressive. Got about a dozen very itchy ant bites. Found some little milkweed seedlings in full shade under a maple. Not sure what kind.

Looked at one of my fennel’s in the back yard to check on the eggs, how did I miss these?

Also out in full force after the rain are the green June beetles. Yikes. I really don’t like them. Especially if you get one tangled in your hair.


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javiwa

I hope my swallowtail cats are hiding somewhere and will likewise surprise me in the coming weeks. Butterflies are starting to appear, so that's terrific. A couple of days ago, I watched a single Gulf frit have her way in the yard, nectaring on everything...and I mean everything: both passiflora, vitex, Las Vegas & Fireworks gomphrena, mistflower, pentas, duranta, tithonia. Felt quite fulfilled for a while there. We've lived here almost 28 years, and this is the first time I've seen a cicada...kinda hard to miss smack dab in the middle of the trellis.


Look at the forecast for next week...cannot even stand this.

My water and electric bills this summer are off the charts.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Hot and humid today. Actually turned on the ac. Am watering again and now we are entering the dry season, until the middle of September comes around.


Found something new in my main garden. Has leaves that encircle the stem and the leaf tips have a sharp needle like point. Yellow flower on top.


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javiwa

DD in SF has this tall shade shrub in her back yard -- stands about 7' tall and has fuzzy leaves. Any idea what this might be or what it may remind you of?




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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Is it supposed to be native?

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javiwa

dandy: This is a newly built home, but based on other plants we ID'ed in the yard, the builder/architect has stuck with native No Cal (even Bay area) plants. I'll venture a guess, yes, it's a native. Also appears it may not have been newly planted, so, came with the house.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, this looks like something I had for a few years. Are the flowers purple? Dang, I am bad with names. Something tibouchina?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have no idea what either plant is. I have even less of a clue with plants from horticulture and plants that aren't native or common to the eastern US.

Dandy do you know what your plant is or are you quizzing us?

Its been hot and humid here too, and somehow the soil is drying out and some plants are wilting. I sowed all the seeds I collected last week in 4" pots: clethra, blueberry, maleberry, viburnum, and beech; and I direct sowed the acorns and hickory nuts. I put short logs around the direct sowed seeds so I dont run them over with the mower, and they get that microclimate and fungi thing going on.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Shrimp plant on coral, picture not good. I can get the yellow in a few.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The yellow reminds me of safflower, birdseed???

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javiwa

I doubt those buds will turn into purple flowers, Iris. I'll see if I can get a shot when the flowers are in full bloom. Reminds me of white roses with pink edges.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Aphelandra for the srimp plant. The flower bracts get a lot bigger. I had a yellow one. The native water willow, Justicia is the most beautiful one of all.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

What’s the shrimp plant? Did I miss something? Javi, your flower buds are a bit lighter, but it does look similar.


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javiwa

Oh, that does look similar, Iris! I glanced at the purple flowers and didn't even look at the buds: crazy a purple flower can start of white and pink!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well, just think of my Liatris I took to Name that Plant because it doesn’t look anything like the pictures on google. It’s a rough world out there in my yard today.

I don’t think all these eggs on my Amorpha are good news.


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javiwa

Survival of the fittest, indeed!


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I did google Aphelandra. I just didn’t find a shrimp plant mentioned anywhere.

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javiwa

Um, yeah...Jay: why are we talking about shrimp plants? I'm interested. :) I have a red one and a yellow one -- very interesting looking (esp the yellow) but so far are attracting no pollinators at all. BTW, Iris: winner, winner! A couple of folks on Name that Plant agree DD's shrub is tibouchina. I sent DD the link, and she says the ID is spot on! You know more than you think, Iris -- pat on the back! :)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay! Doesn’t happen often that I know a plant!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That Tibouchina looked like a shrimp plant to me. I tried growing Tibouchina once a long time ago and didn't like it. I haven't given it much thought since. It probably does a lot better in Texas. Texas has a lot of really cool natives that only grow in that state. I found Boehmeria cylindrica, false nettle, and Impatiens pallida, pale jewelweed growing down the street. The nursery that supplies Izel with their Aralia racemosa plugs is 30 miles from my house. They probably have sarsaparilla too. I collected some hoptree seeds. My 2 Lonicer reticulata/flava cuttings have rooted and are in the ground. I'm putting in a shortgrass prairie now. I have buffalo grass, purple love grass, sideoats grama, Mexican hats, Gaillardia pulchella Gaillardia aestivalis, Gaillardia arsistata, Liatria ligulistylis, Vernonia lettermannii, milkvetch, A. tuberosa, Verbena stricta, Mexican hat, Allium stellata, Vernonia fascicularis, Amsonia illustris, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Desmanthus illinoiensis, probably a few others I forgot. I'm trying to pay attention to placement and lighting needs. In the future the prairie will take up most of the bed where the annuals are. They mowed both sides of the path by the canal. All the common milkweeds that were chopped are sending up new growth. Something is eating my Diervilla lonicera. It's another leaf pasting cat that I can't see. Those silver spotted skipper cats have a great survival strategy because they've eaten half my Apios vine, and I still haven't seen one. The Nabalus albus flower spike is almost 6 feet tall. There are about 3 suckers growing from the wooly pipevine. I don't have much to offer as hostplants to the painted ladies. My hostplants didn't germinate and the Antennarias are small. There have been a few coming around. I was wondering what this plant is. It looks like it could be some kind of cudweed?

Skip, if you have an Aralia racemosa seedling, I'd be interested in seeing a picture.

Dandy, I said safflower way before Carol and it's from birdseed. Ask me how I know?

The 3 Verbena hastata plants that germinated have flower buds and all 4 of my Asclepias perennis plants are going to bloom. I tied a couple Dregea stems to the trellis and right afterward they really took off with growth. I have to keep the aphids off daily, but it's looking hopeful for those fragrant, hoya-like flower umbrels. Truly, these Tweedias make a lot of seedpods. The people selling them are making a killing. I need to get some sassafras seeds too. Everything seems to be drying out faster around here too. The plants are getting bigger, with bigger root systems, that's part of it. Watching the bumblebees buzzing away on the partridge peas is a beautiful thing.

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javiwa

Thanks, Jay. I told DD she's in store for quite a surprise when those light-colored little buds turn into glorious purple flowers. Army worm larvae are back, nibbling my procera and fennel seedlings. :/


I woke up yesterday morning to find one of my new A. fascicularis seedling's leaves were gone; and 5 of 6 fennel had been topped.



Late yesterday afternoon, I noticed the true leaves and cotyledon of my procera were partially nibbled. Knowing these larvae don't stop until they've finished the job, I turned over one leaf and found it. Ugh.



I'd read these may feed in early evening, so I brought all my fennel and MW indoors and inspected each pot. I didn't find any more larvae. Does that mean they're still in the yard nearby?




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

How far can a worm really travel in a day? Im sure its still lurking out there somewhere.

Jay the Aralia seedlings are still tiny. Maybe I should repot them. I've tried two different fertilizers but they refuse to grow. Maybe my well water is too salty???

My wicking sand bed experiment wasn't working right this whole time, the water level was too low for some reason. This time I put an extra long overflow pipe in, filled the whole thing with water until the water was level with the top of the sand, then I let it sit overnight to settle any air bubbles. Then I trimmed the overflow pipe down to the water level, then cut off another inch. Now I am certain the water level is an inch below the top of the sand.


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javiwa

That's what I wondered, Skip, which is why I brought in all my 'important' seedlings and went through each container, scruffing up every surface with a toothpick. We don't have a kitchen table to eat at, as of this moment. :) Good thing DH is a sport about my adventures, but I'm sure there's a breaking point.

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javiwa

Some good (great!) news on that A. purpurascens that got nibbled to a stem earlier this spring/summer: it's come back beautifully. Still so odd, the coloring that so many of my MW leaves start off with. I may start regular waterings with weak fish emulsion solution...harmless enough a remedy.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, wow. That’s a lot of plants I need to look up. What color are the Hop tree seeds supposed to be when you collect them? Keeping an eye on mine, so Javi can have another seed starting adventure, but they are still the whitish/ greenish color. Skip, glad you were able to work the kinks out with your selfwatering planter. Javi, happy to hear the purple milkweed recovered. Here is hoping your fennels will do so quickly.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Are you talking about the mottling on the leaves. I see that on some of my seedlings too. Such a relief to know I'm not the only one freaking out about pests and diseases on my milkweed seedlings. That milkweed looks really nice now. I got a big gallon jug of concentrated glyphosate or whatever and I'm going to destroy the trumpet vine, morning glories :) and mulberries for good! I don't have bindweed, I never let it gain a foothold. Oh, you can add red clover to the list. It outcompetes the native partridge peas. The water level in my brain is an inch above the sand man! But then there's that bipass valve???

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



I think I've already lost about 6 hand trowels this year. Skip, how tiny are the Aralias and how many?

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javiwa

Procera up there, Jay? Gorgeous.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe I'll get seeds if the cats don't eat all the flowers. There are 3 flower clusters.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Good looking plant! At least for now. I lost 2 of my hand trowels. And a pruner. Maybe I will find them in Winter.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I hate Plants Delights. I can't even put an order in there. I bought bright yellow tape to wrap around my handtools so I can see them better lol. I need GPS on everything. It's too hot to do anything. I'm going to explore new parts at the woods. We might actually have clouds tomorrow. Something's nibbling my sennas now. I found an annual sunflower mixed in with the cowpen daisies and it looks like cats have been eating that too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

What is the problem with Plant Delights? I really liked them maybe 15 years ago, but the shipping has gotten ridiculous. Especially if you think they are in the next State over.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I was thinking about getting the Patrinia scabiosifolia from them and I thought maybe they might have dropped the prices on their shipping(yeah, right haha) . I couldn't even finish my order. They first asked for my zip code, but when I put it in, the screen gets blocked and I can't go through with the order. I have to go through the process to find out how much the shipping will be. They want $17 for the plant and last time they wanted to charge me $34 for shipping, that's twice the price of the plant! Ridiculous! The only other nursery that has the plant is Digging Dog and you have to put in $40 minimum order there. Actually 40 doesn't sound so bad now. I ordered seed and tried germinating them but no luck. It's another one of the few non native medicinal plants I want to grow. A funny thing, I still have that immortality vine, Gynostemma pentaphyllum, but it stopped growing like a vine and just stays in a little clump. I knocked it over once when it was in a pot and then I put it in a solo cup that I forgot to poke drainage holes in, so it went through some abuse from me and now it refuses to grow, and on the Mountain Gardens video about it, they just go on an on about how it grows and climbs and roots everywhere. Not my plant:( It's kind of late to be ordering anyway, unless they will be shipped in the fall. I already have something coming in the fall, but I forget what it is. Do you have anything coming in the fall Iris lol?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My immortality vines are not growing that much either this year. Weird, last year they were all over the place. I am still getting the order from wood thrush, since they said it was too hot to ship back in June. That would be Featherbells and a couple of others. I might have to refresh my memory what the others are. If I can find some plants from my wishlist, I might order. Otherwise I will wait for Spring.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Finally got the broken tree top unstuck. I tied a wrench to one end of the rope and threw it up into the tree until I got it looped around the right branch. This branch was stuck a lot higher up than pictured

The Aralia seedlings:


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, this sounds like something my husband would do even though I tell him not to. Always feel I need to stand there with a First Aid Kit. Looks scary. Your seedlings might be small, but they look healthy.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, did you have to run out of the way of the branch when it fell? That was pretty big. Iris, what color are black swallowtail eggs? One has been flying around near the rue and I looked at them and saw an orange egg. There's another leaf roller on one of my coffee sennas.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They are white. Maybe with a bit of a yellow tint. Do you have Giant Swallowtails up there? They look orange.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My zig zag goldenrod is already flowering! Notice the mosquito there just waiting for me to come closer?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It could have been a giant. It didn't look like a regular BS. The zig zag goldenrod was another germination fail. Is Niche Gardens still selling plants?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Niche Gardens is not doing the mail order anymore. They still do have the nursery open. I wish they would have said something a week before stopping the mail order. I would have gone on a shopping spree. There were plants I wanted to order next Spring, so I would have gotten them now.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I stood far away from the branch when pulling on it. The rope is 150ft long. Next bonehead move, I'll be climbing the tree with the chainsaw. I was up on the roof with the leaf blower yesterday cleaning out the gutters, that sucker is steep I was scared lol. Finally got those maple seedlings out of there though.


Im a little peeved about the zigzag goldrod failing to germinate too. I do have some of those seeds (and Penstemon tubaeflorus) left for round 2 this year. Maybe I'll do a backup milkjug. All this work building cold frames and I still cant top the old milk jug.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yikes about your dangerous adventures. Given my track record with seeds, I am glad I got the 3 pack of the goldenrod. Kept 2 and gave one away. If seeds didn’t work for either of you, there would be no way I would have some.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-I didn't really notice your comment about the flax, that's why I went to NTP.

I sent you and Skip Aralia seed didn't I? I think I mentioned somewhere along the way that I sowed mine outdoors in October in a small seed bed. I got about a jillion seedlings the next spring. Unfortunately the plants are all mature now and don't transplant well. They have long fleshy roots. But, I am mightily impressed with the Aralia. Coming out of the ground in April and two months later it's 6' tall, with blooms turning to berries for the wildlife. It actually makes for a good hedge too. Give those seedlings a little more time Skip. They are extremely durable so you shouldn't have to pamper them.

Skip, don't ever go up on that roof again with a tool. Very hazardous. One mistake and your life becomes totally different from that point on.

I've cleaned my gutters with garden hose snaking in from one end. It takes awhile but gets 100% of the junk out.

I bought a sign for my roadside garden so passerby's can see that my place is not a weed factory and is not supposed to look like the neighbor lady's golf-course-green lawn. There's supposed to be nine animals represented on the sign that I protect here! Net year I'm going to put in some Elderberry Adams/Johns, Black Cohosh, and Culvers Root here with their tall vertical spires/plumes that should be a dazzling sight.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great looking sign! What kind of aralia is this so I can look it up? There seem to be a lot.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have a couple prepared beds that I can sow Aralia seeds in. I want to sow nudicaulis and spinosa too and I should probably use fresh racemosa seed too. The species we were talking about is racemosa Iris.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2017/7/17/18369276/flowering-change-the-comeback-of-kankakee-mallow-on-langham-island

Prairie Moon sells seeds for the Kankakee mallow. Not far from where I live.

Dandy, the wildlife sign with your plants in the background is brautiful. Looks like Yellowstone lol.

So nobody wants to take a stab at what this is? It's probably something very common?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Is it Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum? The flower doesn't look quite right. I was looking at Hasteola suaveolens as a possibility but the leaves don't look right. The picture isn't too detailed.

Your link is behind a paywall, can't read it without subscribing to that newspaper.

I think I have a bunch more Aralia seeds I could sow next year. A few weeks ago I dumped my trays and soaked the soil overnight in clean water, then drained them. Last night I added dolomite lime and controlled release ferts that contain micronutrients. I'll let that set up for a couple weeks then try it out in a tray with some seeds I have sitting around that dont need cold stratification.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Why did you soak the soil? To flush it? What's the product that has the time released fertilizer with micronutrients? Boneset is Eupatirium perfoliatum. Perfoliatum means the leaves are being pierced by the stem and there are no petioles. This plant has leaves with short petioles. Amplexicaulis means clasping the stem, but not puncturiing it. Look at a Boneset leaf. Sorry about the link. It was about this mallow species, Lliamna remota, that only grows on one small island in the Kankakee river near me. It was almost wiped out by invasives, but a group of people got together to save the species and restore the island called Langham island. The group is The Friends of Langham Island. Prairie moon sells the seeds for this mallow. I tried direct sowing some once, but never saw any. The Great Kankakee Marsh which was the everglades of the north and raped and pillaged before being turned into farmland and which was vital for 25% of all native bird species. I'm going to visit the remnants that are now protected, once I get a few things done. I ordered my medicinal plants from Digging Dog, and to make up the minimum, I had to order a couple more things, so I got an Aruncus dioucus, and Amsonia hubrictii.

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

https://www.google.com/search?q=iliamna+remota&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=imnv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMipGpp-zjAhUBLs0KHWaVAJgQ_AUIFygB&biw=320&bih=530

I'm getting seeds, and I'm going to try growing again. Could be a local painted lady host plant.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I soaked the soil to flush it, yes. Al wrote about fresh Pine Bark building up some kind of harmful acids when its anaerobically composted (ie not turned while sitting). I didnt compost my pine bark at all before mixing it, and then it sat in the trays over the winter and got all compacted, so yeah I thought flushing it would be a good idea. The Dynamite brand CRF has micros in it. I built a new screen out of 1×4 and 1/2" hardware cloth, it should be easier to screen the pine bark now. Lighter weight and more pieces pass through than my old screen. I've had a couple bags of bark sitting outside since march so it should be good to use in a mix after I screen it and flush it.

It hard to see where the leaf connects to the stem in your picture.

Sounds like a nice field trip to take, to the wetland remnant. Bring some Off haha. Reminds me to set up a trip to Bear swamp before it sinks into the ocean and disappears. I guess your Amsomias didnt germinate either?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, ok, so you are soaking the bark, but you never really composted it right? Now, could you have been composting those 2 bags of pine bark since March? How do you plan on composting the wood chips, don't you need a nitrogen source? What's a CRF duhh ? I'll go back and take better pictures of that plant. I'm sure it's a prairie plant because I see it everywhere. I've been looking around for real boneset, but haven't seen any. Oh speaking of Aralias, if you look at them on bonap you see there is another native species of it that is only native to New Jersey. I winter sowed Amsonia illustris and hubrictii. I have 3 illustris plants that germinated, but no germination on the hubrictii, so I ordered one. Do you just use regular pine bark mulch?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Boy. Did you ever think how complicated it sounds here to get seeds started that are native and should grow by just throwing them on the ground? Happy to learn along, but it sounds like I will never be any good at the seed starting thing.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)





jay-looks like Cacallia to me. Not sure what species. I have one type that are totally invasive. Another that I think is atriplicifolia, that has the most dynamite aroma and is not invasive. I moved a plant up under my deck so it will perfume the area. It is just now starting to bloom.

Iris-the pic with the sign does not have any Aralia in it. Just some Rudbeckia, Diervilla, Viburnum, and Anaphalis. I'll post some pics in a few days as they are just stating to bloom.

Jay and Skip-I sent you both Amsonia hubrectii and fortunately yours didn't germinate. Why is that? Because I discovered that my hubrectii blooms got contaminated with illustrous and the stems are a cross of the two. I removed the offending illustrous before blooming this year so the seeds will be true. I will send you new seed this fall. So sorry about this. I learned a lesson.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay its regular pine bark mulch. If it sits in the bag a long time it starts to decompose anaerobically, then it needs to be flushed before its ready to screen and mix. If you get a bag and it looks very fresh, it needs to either age for several months, or you can speed up the process by composting aerobically with added nitrogen and regular stirring. You don't want to overdo it and end up with finished compost though. Then flush, screen, and mix. CRF = controlled release fertilizer.

I don't see an Aralia that's exclusive to NJ on BONAP but there is a boneset (Eupatorium subvenosum) which is uncommon. It grows in sandy areas that dont have too mucb competition from other plants.

Iris, it doesn't have to be this complicated, I'm talking about making my own potting mix and fixing/reusing the one I made last year. You can buy a bag of potting mix and be careful not to let it get compacted or overwatered, and get fine results too.


Dandy, no worries. I didn't know the 2 could cross like that. I wasnt really sure where to put an Amsonia plant, it was kind of whimsical seed starting.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I meant the Aralia hispida which is not exclusive to New Jersey, and is also native in Illinois and Minnesota, sorry my bad. It's hard to find seeds or plants for it. It's just a small plant like nudicaulis. They call it bristly sarsaparilla. Ok, so you are flushing the soil to get the bad acid out of the pine bark. Actually Amsonia hubrichrii isn't native to any of our states. Only A. illustris and A. tabernaemontana are. Maybe I should get a couple bags of pine bark and start composting them now, just in case?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah if you want to make 511 and go down that rabbit hole, might as well get it now. Look for pine bark mulch. Some of the Lowes around here carry pine bark mulch. The pine bark *nuggets* aren't really appropriate to use, they are compressed into big chunks. You might be able to find "soil conditioner" sold in bags, where the ingredients are pine bark. That should be ready to use without composting. You have to build or buy a screen for all this too. Once I use all this stuff up I will probably just buy bags of potting soil though. The bark mixes are better for long-term plantings, like the american holly cuttings Im trying to grow in pots for a few years.

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javiwa

I progressively go further and further down the 511 rabbit hole, but the sheer lack of product (pine bark mulch that isn't nuggets, soil conditioner containing pine bark fines, etc.) pulls me back out. I did cave last year for the sake of a Moro Blood orange tree I purchased (half off!) to host Giant swallowtails: hit a fairly good price for Reptibark at the local Petco/Petsmart. My potted orange currently has ~ 15 oranges dangling, and I raised/released 3-4 Giants last year. I still have half a bag of bark left, having used up some for my recently purchased key lime (also for the butterflies -- fruit for pies would be a bonus!).


Iris: Regarding natives, I actually had the conversation with a local nursery that specializes in carrying natives, and they don't have a particularly easy timer either. But don't give up! It's such a small investment in time, really. For me, it's economy: I just can't afford (or don't want to) pay that kind of $$ for live plants + shipping.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I thought you were making something like 511 for seed starting? I don't want to go through a bunch of work, but I don't like the bagged seed starting mixes that are mainly peat. There are so many variables and I still ain't sure why so many seeds didn't germinate or why they grew so slow? I'll winter sow, but I'll direct sow backups of everything, and hope for the best. Anything like Aralias or snakeroots, things I can't live without, I'll order those! I have most of the prairie plants in the ground. There are 3 grasses still to plant. Purple top, big and little bluestem and then I'll add some rosinweed and yellow coneflowers. Today I'm planting Penstemon smallii, Callirhoe bushii, Cunila oreganoides. That garden still needs a lot of weeding, tree lopping, tree girgling, cleanup and I need to kill that trumpet vine.

Javi, have you made a key lime pie from your limes yet? What about a magarita? lol

OMG! It is a giant swallowtail egg on my rue!!!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


A sicklepod and popcorn. The other popcorn just died. They were both planted in the same area, but one declined while the other thrived. No munching on the popcorn yet.

Coffee Senna occidentalis with a leaf pasting critter UMI unknown munching insect.

New growth on the Hypericum. I can't wait to see it covered in bumblebees!

I know we often turn our snobby garden noses up at it, but you have to admit it's one beautiful, important native.

The very tiny Acmispon americanum in front of some small sicklepods.

I wonder what minute bugs visit these flowers. They're supposed to be great host plants. You would need a lot of them or have to be a very small cat. Maybe this plant does grow bigger under the right conditions. The few I have that get full sun all day are starting to branch out.

Amorpha fruticosa. It would be nice if they bloomed.

The rue was deadheaded, and is starting to get lush new growth. I wanted to take a picture of the orange egg, but now I can't find it. Where are all the black swallowtails? They love thistles, but the 2 native thistle species that I winter sowed never germinated. Did anyone get thistles? Interesting isn't it? This thistle, lady, black swallowtail connection.

It will be like cathedral bells ringing when all these Apios flowerbuds start blooming. Bumblebees and hummingbirds for days on end. The Apios winding accross the moon trellis is supposed to simulate the forest canopy where the Dregua vine is native to. It stimulates the vine into climbing, which it is now doing big time. I hope it has time to flower so I can smell them wafting. BTW my common milkweed's flowers were very fragrant.

The Aralia spinosa is putting on growth, but it's still only about a foot high. I want this to thrive and sucker and I'm using it as a privacy fence. The neighbors are always running through my yard looking for their 4 pitbulls and they've already smashed and knocked over a couple of my bins with plants, but I never catch them in the act, well, I suppose the deer could smash bins too, they have been around 'browsing' again. I don't need a new browser lol!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Can someone tell me what happened to my swamp milkweed seedlings? They looked fine last night when I watered them???

This Angellica in the pot needs to go in the ground somewhere, but they are fussy about lighting. It has to be the right amount of dappled shade.

Battle scars, but still kickin.

The procera cutting.

Say hello to my little friend! There was a snake on the trail the other day. I'd like to see a lot more of those. It makes me feel alive, electrifying!

I rarely see Coleus self seed up here. A couple did come up in the spaces of the patio, so I left one with a cypress vine. It rained a little, but not enough to do anything. It's finally overcast, so I can plant. Iris, have you gotten any significant rain. It looked like you had some rain coming on the radar. Iris, how is your prairie smoke plant holding up. Your Apios is probably blooming already right?

Why do they ask me to rate and review seeds that I haven't grown yet? Maybe after this monumental fail, I should start keeping better notes in these seed sources. It's looking like in the future everything will have to be grown by seed?


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javiwa

Jay: My key lime tree is a new purchase, and the fruits are the size of peas; so, no pies or margaritas....yet! ;) Oh, no...your swampy: looks like my army worm found it's way north to you!

What a coincidence, A. incarnata. I tried rooting some cuttings (actually, stems that were headed for the garbage -- rust infestation -- but I stripped the infected leaves), and I've got roots! This was a failure last year, so this is a happy, surprising result! I'll have four swamp MWs transferred to cups/pots before day's end.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh! So much information AND a complete garden tour! Going to have to look/ read thoroughly after I come inside. The weeds are winning. One of the two Prairie Smoke is still hanging on, the other one is dead. It’s probably really too far South. My Apios did flower. Cute flowers, I thought they would be bigger. We had good rain Thursday night. There was a big blob on the radar Sunday morning, moving my way. It fizzled away to nothing shortly before it got here in what our weatherman called a bizarre way. He explained it away by our air being very stable. No rain in the forecast this week.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Before I forget to ask later. Does anybody grow Jerusalem Artichoke? I planted them last year in the middle of nowhere, since everybody said they would be taking over the world. They are really slow to get going for me. Partly because of the deer, but even the caged one. Is it one of these plants that leaps the third year?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, the cutting looks nice. My 3 large swamp milkweeds all look beat up. That's when the aphids really come in droves. Besides the Monarchs, I saw a bs, a red spotted purple, a tiger, and a skipper so far today.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, are you saying that Amsonia hubrichtii and illustris can't hybridise and a cross between them will yield sterile seed? Or are you saying the seeds were crosses and you don't like the offspring? You know, the offending illustrous lol.

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javiwa

When I was overwhelmed by aphids last year, Jay, it was far beyond me to run around the yard and get to 20+ tropical MW I'd planted. So, in September, I just let it all go. Starting this spring, just as the aphid population started up, I also noticed a lot of ladybugs in the yard. Mother Nature finally found her balance: ladybugs have stuck around all these months, laying eggs and creating another generation or two. The aphids have 100% been kept at bay.


On a very unhappy note, I spied one Monarch cat on the HB a few days ago, so I tightly tied a tulle bag around the branch: no one gets in, no one gets out. Every day, as I passed the branch, I could see the cart happily munching leaves and growing larger -- to the point where I could see him from a few feet away without inspecting every leaf. This morning, I couldn't find him upon quick glance -- all I saw was what appeared to be a wet (like body fluid) splotch on the side of the tulle bag. No holes torn, etc. Just a wet greenish/brown splotch. I couldn't see the cat, but it was too hot to examine the bag; I saw cat poops, so I thought all was good. More like I was in complete denial. Just now, I carefully untied the bag -- the cat's gone. Even if a lizard took a poke at the cat through the bag, I'd still find a dead or injured cat inside the bag. Nada. All I can guess is a wasp got a hold of it while it was lying on the netting (which is where I saw that cat last night), stunned/killed it, and proceeded to devour every bit of that cat. Does that sound about right? Could not be anything else. Ugh. My first Monarch cat of the entire season.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I've grown Jerusalem artichokes twice and they will leap the first year you plant them, and they will be growing in the neighbors yard by the third year. The second time I told myself I wouldn't let them get out of control again....WRONG! I grew it for the pollinators and the seeds for the birds. I wasn't interested in eating the tubers. If yours aren't growing then the deer must be browsing them a lot. You don't have them in a cage? I saw a black swallowtail on the Monarda citriodora. Maybe anything purple and spiky?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


the swallowtail came back.

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javiwa

Beautiful -- yay! Is that pinky-purply plant bee balm?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I have never noticed the Black Swallowtail preferring purple and spiky. As for the Jerusalem Artichoke, the one that is caged is about 2.5 feet tall with a bit of branching. The one that is not caged is maybe 4 inches and a single stem. Even though it has not been chewed on in at least a month. What am I doing wrong?

I totally forgot to mention that I used Javi’s water bowl on the porch method for 5 of the ipomoea seeds. Left them in there for a week, didn’t see anything happen. Put them in a pot with soil. Might this be one? (I know the one on the bottom is a weed) It’s really tiny, so I am unsure if this could turn into something called “Man of the Earth. The Four o’clock seed looked so much sturdier and more like it when it came up.

Also watched a bagworm crawl around today. Really weird. Yes, I am that easily entertained.

Scrolling up to catch up now.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, everything is looking great. Well, except for your little milkweed seedlings. No idea what happened to them, but Javi might be right. Is that cypress vine with your Senna there on purpose or are you heading down the same trail I am? Do you think the Fruticosa will still bloom this year? Mine are about the same size as yours, maybe a bit bushier. I would love to see some flowers.

Javi, so sorry about your Monarch cat! This caterpillar would be too big for this spider, right?


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, I made the 511 for seed starting last winter, we saw how that turned out. Maybe I can try it again. I was thinking about making a soil for a bottom watered set up but it would just be easier to use bagged soil for that.

Your plants are looking awesome, legumes for days haha.

Hope your seed is what you expect, Iris.

Sorry to hear about the caterpillar, Javi.

My Clethra is not doing great, its turning yellow and the bloom was reduced compared to when it was still in the pot last year. I think the silver maple nearby is not playing nice. Hopefully next year it will be settled in more.

Scouted a nearby park for interesting plants to look at but not much caught my eye, just some boneset.


Rudbeckia fulgida is blooming now and the little bluestem grass is filling in a little.


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javiwa

Looks like that spider is busy feasting on something else, Iris.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

But for how long? I checked the fennel in the back yard to see if it’s enough for the caterpillars on there. It probably is, but there are tiny ones on there, too. I can’t believe I am constantly missing them.

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javiwa

Your cat looks like it's about to spin its harness any minute. Sure is a pretty one. I'd flick that spider off, if you're very worried.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I threw a wasp into a spider nest and the spider ran away and hid.

I have no cats at all. I'm seeing Monarchs flitting around but it's already too late for mating I think. They will be migrating in another three weeks maybe.

Jay, that Diervilla looks good and healthy, and spreading too.

I started some Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' the past few years and they are just anemic looking plants at this age already. I think they tried to keep them small in size which means they have no growth hormones or something. i don't think the seed can be used for new plants as mine came out pink. I do have some nice burnt orange parents tho, but too small for my gardens.

Jay-I noticed this year that the offspring Amsonia hubrectii leaves are not delicate kind of filigree like the parents. I surmise that my A illustrous nearby must have crossed with them. I ripped it out this year so they wouldn't cross. I will throw out last years seed and collect fresh this fall and get new ones to you. Please empty out your old pots. Amazingly, the A hubrectii is perfectly hardy here in Z3. More so than some species that are supposed to be but aren't. I've had no trouble getting them to germinate either.

Iris-your Prairie Smoke may be going dormant. Mine appear to be ephemeral too. So maybe there's hope yet.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Skip, I think your boneset is the same plant I was asking about. It's not common boneset because the the leaves aren't joined together with the stem. It's hard to make out whether the leaves are opposite or alternate because there are so many leaves that they appear almost whorled. It could be another Eupatorium species, it's definately not any Arnoglossum species.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I keep forgetting my new plan which is to use good quality compost for winter sowing, so, I don't have to get all technical. 1 batch is ready now. Dandy, I can see why you would choose the hunrichtii over the illustris. I like the foliage a lot too. What's funny is that I wanted to grow Vernonia lettermannii.

It has wispy leaves like Amsonia hubrichtii and it's native only to Arkansas and Oklahoma, just like A. hubrichtii. I just planted 3 illustris seedlings and I have 1 hubrichtii plant ordered. I don't know how much more room I'll have for Amsonias. I have 3 dogbanes that I just planted too. The Diervilla are doing great. They are flowering again. The hummingbirds spend a lot of time in that area. I saw you talking about growing that Cheyenne Spirit, and was kind of scratching my head wondering why. Dandy, did you get any germination with the Gentiana puberlenta and Helianthus salicifolius?

Talinum, fameflower and rattlesnake masters.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay I'm pretty sure my plant is Eupatorium serotinum Late Boneset, here's a close up of the lower leaves. I see this plant in my yard sometimes.

there was some dogbane growing right next to it but I didnt see any flowers or seeds on it. This little park is a butterfly meadow somebody planted a few years ago. Its been invaded by Equisetum arvense and its mostly tall grass now.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Dandy, did you get any germination with the Gentiana puberlenta and Helianthus salicifolius?

Nope.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have seeds for Apocynum cannibinum. I think sibericum is growing a block away, I should check those for seeds. The gentian seeds were from Prairie Moon. I've never grown a gentian and I don't think I've ever seen one. Maybe they have tricky germination. I read that it's not good to start seeds in pure compost. I'm going to try using a mix of 1/3 sifted compost, 1/3 perlite or sand and 1/3 peat moss. I don't think the results could be as bad as this last time lol. I like that late boneset. I'll have to collect seeds. I really want some Arnoglossum too. The one prairie where the whorled milkweeds grow is mostly grass now. In the past I remember seeing Liatris blooming in the distance and now I don't see them anymore. I'd like to complain about it to whoever is in charge there. There are some flags around meaning they might be making changes. Them cutting down those Ribes colonies isn't a good sign tho. The tall grass prairie has a good diversity of species and the grasses aren't taking over out there.

I'm thinking both plants are Eupatorium serotinum but different ecotypes.

Iris, I looked, but couldn't find any pictures of newly germinated Ipomoea pandurata, but it looks like your seedling probably is that vine, even though the cotyledons don't look like those of a typical morning glory.


I rooted 2 cuttings of this native honeysuckle.

https://youtu.be/PLDq7ghHuDI

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The variation in advice on soil mixes is mind boggling. You have all the physical explanations here with 511 and gritty, and then you have go by feel in your video, and both of them work pretty well depending on how you grow. A little pot like he uses in the video will dry out faster which can be a good thing with a compost based mix like that. A bin full of compost might stay wet for too long.

I watched this video last week https://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_simard_how_trees_talk_to_each_other/transcript?language=en#t-14188 , this researcher did an experiment by planting spruce, birch and cedar in the same area of a forest, and finds the spruce and birch share nutrients underground, but not the cedar. She didnt expect the cedar to share, I wonder what other species are known not to share and what is going on there, but I haven't found anything. The transfer of nutrients between the trees was controlled by mycorrhizae. I'm wondering if I could use that information to plant the right things in my yard.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What's the benefit of the pine bark fines besides making the mix more porous? Couldn't I just use more perlite to get the same effect, or do the pine pieces hold nutrients? I remember Al saying recently that just using perlite was a big mistake? They're having a field trip on Saturday to a dolomite prairie on the floodplain of the Desplaines river. It's near me, and I've never heard of this place before. I think I'm going to use small pots for winter sowing this time anyway. The Monarchs are laying eggs on all the milkweed seedlings.

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javiwa

I could be way off base (i.e., I can't remember or point to where/why/how I might have come across this), but I believe the pine bark fines hold some moisture without being a soggy mess. It'll degrade into said soggy mess in subsequent years, which is why replenishing with new bark fines is recommended. I think.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Having a more uniform particle size throughout the mix is what makes the mix more porous, the spaces are between the particles. If you add perlite to compost, the perlite just takes up space and reduces the amount of water the mix can hold. For example if you have 50% perlite 50% compost, the compost will fill in all the space between the perlite which actually reduces the pore space in the mix. You would have more pore space with 100% compost because at least the water and air can penetrate between the compost particles, whereas a piece of perlite is a solid rock. When you get to a point where the mix is mostly perlite and the average particle size is larger, then you will finally increase pore space, but then with drastically different particle sizes, the fine textured peat or compost will just sink to the bottom in a perlite mix. Something like 3:1 perlite:coarse vermiculite, or perlite:turface is a better mix. Perlite also releases flouride which some plants are sensitive.

Pine bark is somewhat special because it doesn't break down as fast as wood chips, buffers the pH a little, its flat and I guess that helps with floating and sinking issues, and you can screen it into different particle sizes easily.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, you surely have enough milkweed this time around, right? Very interesting read about the seed starting mixes. Hopefully one of you finds the perfect mix, bags it and gets rich. Can any of you tell evening primroses apart? I have two different kinds, didn’t plant either of them. The one kind is really growing everywhere. It’s pretty, but at 5 feet tall, it would be good to know if it even kind of belongs to my area. If it does, I would transplant some to more suitable areas. Otherwise most will have to go. They are even winning against Zinnia. And that says something.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm good with Oenothera species. If I was to use pine bark fines in a seed starting mix with compost and perlite how much of each should I use? The Monarchs are avoiding the huge common milkweeds because they are covered in aphids but there are cats eating my variegata seedlings. I was just thinking that those aphids weren't too bad here last year. This year they are terrible. Maybe all the rain caused a population explosion. I planted Callirhoe bushii, Cunila oreganoides,Penstemon smallii, Calycanthus floridus, purple top grass, little bluestem, big bluestem.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Here we go:

still very few aphids on any of my milkweeds. The common ones I didn’t cut back look terrible though with all these rust spots. Moved more caterpillars from these nasty ones to fresh. Seems to make a big difference. The ones I moved just last weekend seem to be about 1.5 times bigger. No wonder. I would not want something like this.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

In my defense, when the primroses first started showing up a few years ago, I read that they are host plant for a really pretty moth. So I left them alone. The other one starts with a big rosette in a more blueish, grayish green. But that one is not taking over everywhere.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, obviously I can't speak with authority, but for a more traditional mix try 3:3:1 peat:compost:perlite. Dont forget micronutrients and dolomitic lime (~1tbsp/gal). I dont know about mixes with bark fines as a fraction, for a bark based mix it would be 5:1:1 to 31:1 bark fines:perlite:compost depending on how much water retention you want. I sowed my blueberries in a mix of 5:2 bark:turface with CRF and dolomitic lime, then I mulched over the seeds with granite grit, which I got a big bag at tractor supply for $5.

There are books on the subject of container media and a lot of variable, so theres really no simple answer. I downloaded a bunch of pdfs from the forest service on nursery production and then there are other links you can find online. I googled "Media and Mixes for Container-grown Plants" which is the name of a book, but a lot of other decent results came up too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I think the top pic is Oenothera biennis. I don't know what the other species is. You only have a pic of the flowering top for the 1st one. If that's the case then I can't compare what the plants both look like next to each other. I went through some, but not all the species listed on bonap, but couldn't find anything. I would try name that plant, there's a couple people over there who know more about the individual species. My compost already has composted wood in it from twigs and stuff so problem solved duh! I'm going to start throwing the biochar in the compost too. The field trip to the dolomite prairie is being conducted by the Illinois Native Plant Society with a knowledgable, informational guide lol. Maybe I should grow a bunch of milkweeds inside a mosquito net so they stay fresh and clean. Is anyone growing Penstemon hirsutus? I lost my plant and want to grow it again. Can turface be used just like perlite? Uh, I'll probably be in awkward positions with a paintbrush doing triage on my milkweed babies! Can't use soapy water or a hose because there's baby cats now. I have this Arnoglossum craze going on. I want to every species of it native to my area, there's only 3 I think. Some kind of cat is doing a number on my Senna hebacarpa, it's all chewed up lol. I'm trying to not get too emotionally involved with the cats, or I'll be a fricking basket case! and these Monarch cat's wandering off all the time, oh well, what can you do?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, the pictures are all of the same plant. The other one isn’t that aggressive. Biennis was what I thought it may be looking at lots of pictures. Thank you for checking!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I thought they all looked like biennis to me. I thought you were showing me 2 different species so I was confused. Now it makes sense.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There isn’t much to see with the other kind.

I don’t have the Penstemon hirsutus. Very pretty!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, Iris, that one looks familiar too. I'm pretty sure that I grew it once, maybe 20 years ago. I remember it having a bluish tint and a rosette that looked like that. I just remember that mine was spreading by the rhyzomes in a 360 degree circle, and I pannicked and dug it out. It was very pretty tho. Is that the one you said behaves for you? I know the O. biennis can be very weedy. I hear the gildfinches love the seeds. Don't you grow the Missouri primrose? It has huge flowers and it's very drought tolerant.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I think I had the Missouri one once a long time ago. The finches do love the seeds, but they are currently busy ripping the petals of the Zinnias.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Turface holds a lot more water than perlite they're not really interchangeable, but turface is similar in water retention to a 50:50 mix of peat:perlite. I guess my thinking at that moment was I could substitute turface instead of a peat and perlite mix.

I dont grow Penstemon hirsutus but I think Dandy does. I think I'm going to have to focus on growing part shade stuff for most of my yard. Running out of sunny spots.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

If you sustituted turface for peat and perlite than your 511 mix would just be turface and pine bark fines? Would that work? I'm doing compost, peat, and perlite in equal parts.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah theres a thread where Al says "Since the only reason to use peat in the 5:1:1 mix is to increase the
water retention of the bark/perlite, you might consider replacing
the peat fraction with unscreened Turface or Calcined DE. You could even replace the perlite with same."

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4172241/substitute-for-peat-moss-in-511-mix

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm just sticking to my simple formula. We can compare results. I found some buttonweed.

Ashy sunflowers. The leaves look soft, but they're rough.


☆Asclepias hirtella, tall green milkweed.

Asclepias hirtella. My first time seeing a mature plant in the wild, or anywhere.

A Lespedeza. Maybe violacea?

The real common boneset with perfoliated leaves


A cool moss and cool looking grass

Euphorbia corollata

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very nice pictures, Jay! How is your weather?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Very nice!

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-I grow bottle Gentian and will be able to collect a couple billion seeds this fall. It's pretty amazing how only Bumblebees can get into the flower.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



The weather is low 80s, dry, sunny. The ground is very dry. The Collinsonia canadensis is starting to bloom. The pictures are from Braidwood dunes and savanna.

Dandy, I would love some bottle gentian seeds!

I labeled earlier photos.

White prairie clover.

Prairie grass, grama grass I think at Midewin tallgrass prairie welcome center. There were some nice 4' Silene regias, but the sun was too bright for a picture. Buffalo pictures coming soon.

Tephrosia! I only found 2 seedpods in this group. They were green, I still have seeds.

Are these ashy sunflowers? They are beautiful! I'm going to get some.

Grass? Horsetail,

Vernonia!

Some sensative ferns, Onoclea, in full sun ?

I like this grass growing in front of the tree. Anybody know what species it is.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Ooh, I found some Agrimony.


A new cool looking legume.

Young sassafrasses. Those suckers come from deep roots.






I saw some beautiful butterflies out there. A buckeye, 2 viceroys mating, and all kinds of sulfurs and nymphs, a tiger. There were Apios growing there too.

I'm a lobotomised, Stepford, gardening clone. Just give me hostas, astilbes and daylilies and I'm a happy camper! OMG, what will I do when the daylily bloom is over?

For the winter sowing I'm using a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat, and 1/3 perlite mixed with dolomite lime and azomite. I'll use mostly 4" pots, some smaller and bigger pots too. I'm covering all the pots with towels. I'll use chicken grit when needed. I put what was left of the kellog mix into the compost bin.

I have an Agastache scrophularifolia plant that came up from old seeds. I thought there was another one coming up nearby, but it's not an Agastache, it's Verbena urticifolia. I wanted that plant and was going to try rooting cuttings of it, but now it just miraculously showed up, blooming in my garden.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The cool grass at Midewin is sideoats grama Bouteloua curtipendula, the one with the moss is Dichanthelium clandestinum Deertongue grass. I can't put my finger on the one by the tree. The agrimony looks cooler than I expected! Whats the one with white flowers in the last picture?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Eupatorium altissimum, tall boneset. There was a huge drift of that. Some of the trails weren't mowed. I haven't covered that whole place yet. At first I thought the deers tongue grass might be a spiderwort. The milkweed was an awesome surprise. I've been lopping some branches to bring in a little more sun. Skip, are your Lespedeza violaceas in full sun? The couple Lespedezas I saw yesterday were in part shade. Deer's tongue grass is a panic grass?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



It's kind of what I was shooting for.

The nectar was dripping.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This is really great looking! Already 89 degrees here.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice, my Lespedeza violaceas are in full sun but they are looking pretty sunburned this year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The 2 Lespedezas you sent me are in mostly full sun too and they look a little burnt and haven't hardly griqn at all. The L. capitatas nearby get more shade from the Viburnums and they are doing great. I think there's a skipper cat on those now too. I might move the 2 plants to more part shade. Maybe there's a happy medium for light, the ones I saw had nice green foliage, but the flower spikes could have been bigger. Iris, so you have to go out early before it gets too hot? It was really hot out there yesterday. There were lots of butterflies, but they were too fast. There were some type of Viburnums out there with blue berries that tasted bitter. This is where tomorrow's trip is.

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/INPC/Pages/Area3WillRomeovillePrairie.aspx

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Sounds like an interesting trip! I am still out most of the day. Just making sure to take the dogs on their walk before it’s too hot. And plenty of water breaks. No way I could get things done in the mornings. The frog fruit have tons of little bumble bees on them today. Also have 3 not so friendly geese in my front yard.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Your trip inspired me to look for more parks to explore. There is a 450 acre park not too far from me with an intact forest with spring ephemerals and spice bush and everything. I'll have to look around there when I get a chance.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Are you talking about the trip tomorrow, or yesterday's? I want to go on one today too, but I have to water the old garden first. I ordered 10 spicebush seedlings, they ship in November. I'm seeing lots more butterflies.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Both of them, I thought I should look to see if there's any old growth fragments closer to me. The bigger parks are over an hour drive but the 450acre one is only 11 miles away. I'd like to start a few spicebush seeds from a local plant, the seedlings are supposed to have a relatively fast growth rate.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I picked up a map of the trails at the tallgrass prairie. There's a lot more to see yet over there, like the buffalo. I don't think there are any spicebushes close by that I could get seeds from.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think yesterday was my first time seeing Helianthus mollis too. My area is the hotspot for it.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, have fun with your outing tomorrow! I expect pictures! The current temperature is still 96. Frog fruit is still busy. Surprised by all these bumblebees. Usually the tiny bees hang out there.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks like you are having a heat wave tomorrow Iris. A hummingbird, a hummingbird clearwing, and a tiger swallowtail were all buzzing around me when I was watering. A stink bug got to the Monarch cat on the big Calotropis. I haven't seen any stinkbugs tho.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My local weatherman said I might get a heat wave next week. Courtesy of Javi. Wouldn’t be so bad if there would be some rain. I cut the really nasty common milkweed back yesterday. The final count was 19 Monarch caterpillars and one Army worm to be moved to greener pastures. I take it you don’t have any of the rust problem with yours? How do you know it was a stink bug getting the cat? Wonder what happened to Skip’s chrysalis. Are you going to collect seeds from the Ashy sunflower or do you want me to dig some up when it is getting cooler? They are flowering here, too.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Last I checked the chysalis was empty. Is that a good thing, like the monarch butterfly emerged and flew away, or was that too soon?

What is this plant?


Seams to be a common weed in the meadow plantings around here.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I would say it’s a good thing. They don’t usually take more than 10 days. Having a hard time to see details of your plant. It’s probably not the one I asked about last year, right? Nah, Yours looks denser.https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5439034/tiny-leaves-tiny-flowers-big-painhttps://www.houzz.com/discussions/5439034/tiny-leaves-tiny-flowers-big-pain

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think it is the same plant. I took the pictures in a hurry my battery was at 3%. Not a good ID

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javiwa

You know what they say, Iris: sharing is caring! :)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well thank you, Javi! I will think fondly of you standing out there in 100 degrees watering :)

Skip, I sure hope it is not the same plant. Even little 3 inch tall ones are very hard to get out. The empty property behind mine is full of them, so I will never get rid of them.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Got to give a shoutout to the Jimsonweed. What a fun show right now. Minus the mosquito bites I got.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Blephilia hirsuta, hairy wood mint. I had 1 plant and lost it and now I found just 1 plant in the woods. I took a cutting.


Ipomoea pandurata was at the woods all this time and I just now noticed it. Don't have to worry about seeds now. I also took a purple milkweed seedpod.








Mary Littlerocker is alive and well!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

So what are the white flowers in pic 7?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wild quinine. I went to get wild 4 oclock seeds, but couldn't find the plants again. That's where the wild quinine is.

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javiwa

I will think fondly of you standing out there in 100 degrees watering ....fully realizing I'm right out there with you, Iris. :)

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Checked out the park nearby

^Trees must be spaced far apart!

^spicebush, no red berries yet. Did find some ripe sassafras berries.

^maple leaf viburnum

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very pretty! I especially like the area with the ferns.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I got to the trip site late and they had already left. It was around three other people, there were 2 cars and a forest preserve truck. There were several trails going from the parking lot, so I had no idea which one they were on. There were no nice looking native plants where I was, so they must be hidden out of the way. I'll have to get more info about that place. I went to the tallgrass prairie and found some new trails. The trail to where the buffalo were, was long and it was hot, so I didn't walk it.

Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Silphium integgrifolium

Coreopsis tripteris

Helianthus?





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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



turf is not natural

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, sorry you missed your original planned trip, but looks like you found a nice trail. Your Helianthus with the ? looks like my swamp sunflower.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think it was swamp sunflower. It was a huge clump. It's finally raining. No watering today.

Skip, what kind of ferns are those. Did you get the sassafrass berries from there lower branches? I collected some cup plant seeds.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

In the park brochure it says: "Many ferns such as grape, Christmas and

hay-scented line the trails under spicebush and

viburnums in the shrub layer." so I guess one those. Probably hayscrented since it was a colony. I got the berries off the lower branches but they were still overhead.

I tried to take a picture of the berries but of course it is out of focus, but they are ripening quickly so go out and forage this week.

top middle are ripe, to the top left unripe

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I forgot to look for berries the other day. I'd like to grow some native ferns, but I don't have any natural moist areas. I have to keep the ostrich ferns watered.

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javiwa

Well, with the heat and our long, drawn out summers, there is a bright spot: I tore out almost all my tithonia (appeared in mid-February, I think, so six months is about the life span of an annual?), and already new seedlings (from spent seed heads) are already well on their way. Looking forward to plenty more blooms into November, at least. Now I know what they mean when they refer to our two growing seasons.


These little guys are everywhere, even in this heat. The ones in the pic below are in a bed that receives unrelenting, full afternoon sunshine. And, yet, they wanna be here.




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its always nice when a plant that you actually want grows with such ease.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s great, Javi! Mine are just limping along. Maybe I should give them a break next year so the deer forget the taste? Any idea what this might be?

These flowers are actually tiny.

I was trying to google something with trefoil, Google has forsaken me for now. I constantly get a server error.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I've been looking at all the Lespedezas thinking maybe your plant is one of them. Lespedeza procumbrens looks kind of close. I'm wondering if the flowers change the way they look. Some flowers are more heart shaped and some have their bottom petals hanging down. I don't know if that's a way to tell them apart or if they all end up looking like that.

This Lespedeza capitata has a skipper cat on it I think. It's hiding under parts of leaves it chewed. It's very dark here, there must be a lot of clouds. There's more rain coming. I don't know why the lupin is yellow. Maybe too much water. I'm keeping an eye on them. I need to weed and mulch the bed I just planted. On the left is an Apios seedling and cypress vine. I have maybe about 10 cypress vines alltogether. I'll try to keep up on the deadheading. I hate the regular morning glories, but I don't mind the cypress vines.....to a point! The Tithonias are getting taller. Do oriental bittersweets have orange roots? Everything fries that gets planted in the 2 beds on the south side. I have to rethink it all and use natives that like heat and drought and part sun. It's 66 here.

.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay! I will leave it there and keep an eye on the flowers. It looks innocent enough. Especially considering the area it is in. Had a wisteria fighting day. It’s really a hopeless, frustrating battle. Cypress vine is really popular with the hummingbirds and sulphurs right now. Let me know what plants you come up with for heat and drought. I can probably use some of those.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The plants I use for handling drought will be the ones I have in the sandy gstdem now and I'll try to find some more species. The plants I can use from that garden are leadplant, Mimosa nuttallii, purple prairie clover, leafy prairie clover, rattlesnake master, fameflower, Opuntia. I have seeds for silky prairie clover too, but they didn't germinate. I have some leadplant seedlings and there's a perennial sensative plant seedling too. I have 4 Amorpha nanas in a bed. I can use those too. All the plants in those 2 beds wilt every day. This idea is easier anyway because theres no need to remove all the gravel now. I'll probably remove some of it. Is your wisteria the Asian species? I've never grown wisterias, so I don't know if the native species is hard to get rid of too. I need to use herbicide on the trumpet vine and get rid of it for good. My cypress vines are just getting buds now. I'm out of space and need to dig up more lawn.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The Wisteria is the Asian one. I cut, I rip. I even used roundup. Not something I usually do. It’s been years. Going to look up the plants I am not familiar with. Ha ha for running out of room. I know that feeling. Your place is coming together beautifully.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Well, I have 5 plants being delivered this week, so I need to dig some beds and cut some more branches to bring more sun in. There's going to be a lot to burn too. I've been fighting my trumpet vine for years too. I just ripped out the autumn joy sedum by the window well, because the trumpet vine is growing out of there too. I read Dandy's thread, and that gets me all worked up to kill weeds lol.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I was thinking the leaves on Iris' plant were similar to Lespedeza or Desmodium. The only thing that cast doubt on that for me, was that the descriptions of Lespedeza procumbens and Lespedeza repens say the flowes occur in inflourescences of multiple flowers, and Iris' appear singley. Keep an eye on it to see if it develops more flowers, held away from the stem. And save seed?

I think asian bittersweet does have orange roots. I want to mow down all the vines and japanese stilt grass but it is all intermingled with whatever naturally occuring natives and tree seedlings I do have, as well as a bunch of other weeds. I will be destroying a bunch of present habitat, so its kind of hard to decide. Maybe I will start pulling in sections. I pulled out a patch of mugwort today, that felt good. It was growing with poison ivy though so I had to work carefully.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, you have mugwort too? Wow! How's the mile a minute vine? A couple months ago I was ripping out invasive bush honeysuckles in the woods. I pulled out another vine that I thought was maybe a native climbing hydrangea (different genus name) so I took it home and planted it. Then I looked up oriental bittersweet and it looked just like my vine. I had 8 Chasmanthium latifoliums still potted, so I ripped out the bittersweet vine and planted the grass in that spot. The roots on the vine were orange. Maybe birds do spread them because I found just that 1 vine in the middle of the woods. When I checked Iris's plant I was going through all the Lespedeza species that occur in South Carolina and just looking at pictures. I didn't read about the couple species that looked close to hers. There were a few hybrid species listed also, that didn't have any recognisable photos to go by. I'll check out procumbrens again. If it's not a Lespedeza, then I have no idea what it could be. Pulling weeds in sections is pretty much what I do all the time. What kind of mugwort are you pulling out?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The mugwort is artemisia vulgaris. It was in a lot of shade so not as vigorous as it can be. Now that it is growing upward this time of year instead of spreading close to the ground, it was easier to pull. I've been pulling the mile-a-minute vine all year, so at least it isn't covering everything, but there is still a big vine by the street I have to get later. There are still little sprouts everywhere but I dont think they're big enough to go to seed.

ETA: I pulled that mile a minute by the street, it wasnt as bad as I thought. Kind of dumb that I am pulling it off japanese honeysuckle and multiflora, but at least Im cutting down on one of them. The whole weed patch is looking a little less daunting since I cut down the big multiflora bushes in the winter. Here is the mystery vine

you can see the grape in there top left too.

Something a little lighter:

Want some wild black cherries?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's great that you have most of the mile a minute vine ripped out. I just noriced a new weedy vine starting to show up more at both gardens. It's mock strawberry, Duchesnea indica. It roots where the vine touches the ground and I'm trying to kill it off now, before it really gets out of hand. It gets in the shade gardens and then I have to carefully untangle it from the other plants. Once it roots it's stuck to the ground real good. I brought a native pink bean to my old garden years ago and it's spread around good too, but not as much as those morning glories. As long as I'm going berserker on the trumpet vine with the herbicide I might as well bring over the mattock to relieve some anxiety lol!.

I think over the next week Prairie Moon will be showing new bareroot plants for spring, but you can order ahead, which I'll do so I can get on with my life lol. So many plants there I've sown, but never known. Round 2 is coming.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Good to know about Prairie Moon. I still have a generous gift certificate. But do I really need more plants?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

What kind of question is that? What are you going to do with the gift certificate if not buy more plants? Look at their drought tolerant selection?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There is that. I should really divide some of my stuff. I also still have a bunch of plants in pots to be planted this Fall. Including 5 post oaks. I really hope my Lespedeza from yesterday is not some crazy alien thing. I saw some huge patches of what seems to be the same thing (just dense because of the mowing I guess) at the back of our property. So there is probably a lot more around if I would look. A lot of the lawn are weeds of some sort, so I haven’t noticed.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, just put that plant on name that plant so we can all have closure haha. The humidity is really high today. I need more mulch. It's no secret what bareroots I want from Prairie Moon, keep it quiet until I order.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha! Afraid we will buy them all first?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Not you personally. Maybe other people eeks!] She said they have 169 in stock.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Good Luck! I honestly don’t even know what plants I want, except for the ones that seem impossible to find.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Does this Liatris look odd? Should be one plant (planted last Summer), but there is so much variation.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That does look like Liatris, Im surprised it hasnt flowered already

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

There are several that didn’t flower yet. The one I took to Name that plant still looks the same, too. I was just wondering if something is wrong since half the stems have the more silvery color. It’s a lot more obvious when you look at it.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, I get a lot of those impossible to find, seeds and plants. I my Liatris spicatta has multiple spikes too. What kind of Liatris is that? Skip, I don't see what your mystery vine is. All I see is cottonwood leaves. Is that Lespedeza violacea? What kind of Liatris is that Iris? It must be a very late blooming one.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Hm. Not sure anymore. Maybe the elegans? I was surprised you had a picture of swamp sunflower blooming. Mine are going to be a while. Good thing, they are great Fall nectar plants for me. Just checked my pictures. Middle of October last year. So yeah, it’s going to be a while.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



The new prairie bed. I finished mulching here and started mulching the milkweed seedlings.

This corner, Salvia lyrata, Elephantopus caroliniana, Rumex, Sisyrinchium, Thermopsis, Amsonia.

Polygonatum biflorum var commutatum. Seeds are almost ripe.

Nabalus album about to bloom at 6'. I remember back when it was called Prenanthus.

Asclepias perennis, They can bloom the first year from seed like this one.

Zinnia and Senna occidentalis. The Zinnia looks like a miniature Mexican sunflower.

Amorpha canescens seedling. There are a few.

Mimosa nuttallii and seedling. Perennial sensative plant.

Asclepias latifolia

Asclepias speciosa

Amorpha fruticosa, Desmodium canadense.

https://youtu.be/7P3KLBKwBok

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Looking good! And with all these plants you still need more? Looks like you have your hands full.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Prenanthus Sure gave me more google results than the new name. Yours seems to be really tall. Nice looking plant! Seem to stop in NC from the map I saw.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't need more plants, but I want more plants. They delivered my plants to the other house and didn't leave them because I had to sign for them. I know that's not the address I gave for shipping.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The Nabalus, Prenanthes, I collected that years ago. The plant has arrow shaped leaves and stays short until it bolts and starts to bloom. I thought it would be a good ground cover until it grew very tall. I'll have a lot of seeds if anybody wants some.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Looking good Jay. The flowers in my pic are Desmodium canadense. I cant tell what is what in my other picture, if the larger dark green leaves are from a tree or a vine.

My eye cant make sense of it, its like plant vomit

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javiwa

Jay: HB seeds!!!!



When I came home from vacation 5 weeks ago, I was thrilled to see three seedpods -- impossible to miss. I quickly threw bags around them, and only today did I see that two (towards the rear) had dried and burst. I've got one more that'll go any day.

Anyone need seeds? :)


ETA: Strike that, given today's conversations. Anybody WANT seeds? ;)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Duh, what's HB? They must be good whatever they are, I'll take some! Maybe the tree isn't a cottonwood? Skip, did you figure out which species of Viburnum you have. I thought lantana or lananioides could be possiblities. So you never got any more comments about the grass since you submitted more pictures. HB + milkweed. I'm getting nothing???

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Let me guess. Hairy Balls? Wild guess.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, it looks like there's a dried out testicle in there with the seeds. There are a lot of seed balloons on my plants. The Tweedias don't have any problem getting pollinated either. I'm still waiting for a Calotropis seedpod to happen. Maybe it takes a giant bee to pollinate those, or I might have to perform surgery myself.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, the trees I know for sure are some weedy suckering crab apple, black cherry, some kind of maple, white mulberry, and white pine. Cottonwoods are not that common around here. The Viburnum tree I put on name that plant? V. lanatana or V. lentago are possibilities. I dont think its lantanoides. By the way, you were right about that one tree with the catkins being gray birch, I went back and got another look at it and the bark and everything was right. I took seeds off it. Who knows what that grass is, its doing a good job covering the ground, and no one recognized it as a noxious weed, so I'll take it!

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javiwa

Ding-ding...winners! Yes, G. physocarpus -- from the seedlings you sent me, Jay!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, what's going on with your Calotropis and Tweedia plants? Iris, how's the pandurata vine looking?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

About that. Didn’t do much. Has one new leaf. Doesn’t look right though. I might as well hang this up.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think you can do it, but if not, I'll send you plants in the spring since I found a live plant. Anyone else want pandurata seeds let me know.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay! I appreciate it! Current heat index is 107. I started doing some mulching today, but running around with the wheelbarrow quickly lost it’s appeal in this weather, so I just pulled some weeds. The Fireweed I planted in Spring looks dead. So there might be some plants I need to order.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I set up a waterbath to try that warm water germination trick. The viburnum seeds I got have double dormancy (90 days hot, 90 days cold) I'm hoping 3 days at 85 in water will suffice for the 90 days warm, then I'll wintersow them for the cold.

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javiwa

Sorry I've been AWOL -- work is picking up (my swamped month). In no particular order...pics!


A couple of procera - cannot remember which almost died and was rescued, which are part of the new batch of seeds, etc. But they're doing well, I think: I'm trying to remember i their tops are small, their roots must amazing!



(Yup, they're still enjoying their socks!)


Here's part of my seedling collection -- even during all these days of 100 degree temps, they're doing so well. I give them full sun from 8-noon, then filtered shade for the rest of the day. They don't even flinch. Let's see: a bunch of A. fascicularis (I've got some seeds for you, Jay.), a few procera...oh! And the guy with the largest leaves is the A. purpurascens from the batch I got going in January. Remember I held one aside in case the in-ground ones pooped out? This one's rebounding a bit. I worked in some extra peat moss, and perhaps that greened up the top leaves.



I've been water germinating these tweedia seeds for almost a week: in full sunshine! (The fella who sent these to me said this technique worked great for him - they like the heat.)



To be continued.


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javiwa

Comcast has been in and out during the evenings, and I didn't want to risk having to redo my post.


My Compact Spicy Jatrophia is enjoying its new digs, right next to the blue porterweed:



I know the hummingbirds are out and about, so I need to keep an eye on this.


And, finally, I realized this morning I never share shots of the back of my center bed...voila!



Starting from left, HBall$, tithonia jr, swamp milkweed that I actually hacked to stems as the rust was just rampant, popcorn cassia, red porterweed, zinnias, another red porterweed at the corner.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What Viburnum seeds? I thought you found the tree you had on name that plant on your property? Iris were you refreshing your mulch, or are you digging more beds lol? I don't think fireweed likes a lot of humidity. I got bare roots of them from Prairie Moon once, and they wouldn't grow no matter what I did.

Verbena urticifolia with it's tiny, airy white flowers and nettle-like foliage.

It's great having Zinnias again.

Agastache. I'm not sure what species of Agastache this is.

I'm going to clean everything up in the back by the fence. I'm going to burn the old fence and branches and reduce the size of the compost mountain. I'm cutting some more overhanging branches. There's dappled shade back there now, but I want to bring in a bit more sun.

This is a second trumpet vine that I need to terminate. It's the Chinese species Campsis grandiflora with nice multiple colored flowers. I have this vine near it's last leg and I just hit it with herbicide. It's the vine that busted my fence post.

Asclepias arenaria I think?

One of my narrow leaved milkweeds. I'll have to wait until it gets bigger to ID. Oh yeah, I did the bad and lost the labels.

Prairie dropseed is flowering. The flowers have a fragrance. I like it, some don't.

Verbena hesitates might have a buckeye cat on them. To the right, by the trellis is Cynanchum leave, honeyvine, also in there Lobelia sifilitica, Senna Occidental, coffee senna,Veronicastrum, Blue Flag Iris( back in full sun where it should be), Agrimonia, Lonicera sempervirens, Heliopsis, Hieracium, Ruellia, Lespedeza capitata, Obediant plant

Sedum ternatum

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This is all looking great, Javi! Can’t believe there isn’t a single weed in sight! Are your tomatoes safe now?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, this is also looking great! I love Verbena of all kinds. So many visitors! I really would like for a Fireweed to grow. So you say with our hot, humid summers it’s probably a lost cause, too? Was just refreshing some mulch. As behind as I am with my existing flower beds, I don’t think I can do another one. They do expand without my asking though. Seedlings coming up at the edges? Remove the grass and voila, another foot wider. There are a lot of “cow killers” this year.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, what do you mean by cow killers and does it have something to do with that weird red and black thing? If I was you I'd forget about fireweed. Look for an Oenothera that looks like a Gaura (reclassified) that's native to your area. That's pretty close to fireweed. Fireweed is native to Illinois, but it didn't do well for me. It's native to North Carolina, but not South Carolina.

Javi, your yard looks beautiful. Now I want to grow porterweeds again. Is something supposed to be climbing those obelisks? How tall do you think your Gomphocarpus are? They look like shrubs.

Skip, I want to collect seeds from my New Jersey tea bush. Do you know if they are ready when they turn black?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yes, that’s the red and black one. They are called this because supposedly their sting hurts so much it could kill a cow. Didn’t find out myself yet. Thankfully. Maybe I am going to give the Fireweed one more try. Planting in Fall so it has some roots before the heat hits it.

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javiwa

Iris: I haven't had any tomatoes ripen lately, so hard to tell -- I'm sure the possums have learned their lesson by now.


Jay: Here's a pic of the HB slouching from the wind -- I'm guessing 7' tall, but very full because no Monarchs or Queen cats around. A Monarch passed through periodically last week, and I KNOW I saw eggs, but I think the wasps and assassins are feasting. I see little black piles of what I think might be newborn cat carcasses. :/ I did manage to rescue three the other day...couldn't help myself.



Vitex in the foreground decided to photo bomb. :)


The obelisk in the first pic is supposed to be covered by my Aristolochia elegans by now, but it's still very puny. I think I may over overwatered and/or it's not getting enough sun. The obelisk pictured above is currently occupied by one of my grape tomato plants -- flowering tops circled, so red fruit will be dangling soon. Unless possums can climb, I think those will be safe. ~O:> That's supposed to be a possum. :) A the base of that obelisk I've also got planted two Passiflora caerulea, which are picking up speed. Next year, I don't plan on putting tomatoes there (I did it this year because I didn't think the passion vine was doing much.), and I'll plant the HBs somewhere else. The center bed won't be so crowded; that said, nothing seems to mind the close quarters. But I have three months of growing season left.


I can take some p'weed cuttings for you, Jay (or anyone), if you'd like. The red one is a red porterweed. :) I don't have the blue porterweed's Latin name (my files are on my main computer, which is being repaired on my dining room table right now), but it's not supposed to be the invasive one, I don't think.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I hope the possums have learned their lesson, because they certainly can climb :)

Found a swamp milkweed today, only because it is flowering (yep, things are a jungle) That’s pretty late, isn’t it?

It is looking a lot better than the ones I am taking care of. No aphids, no rust. Go figure.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You have both made fantastic progress on your gardens! The milkweed seedlings look great Javi. Jay your yard is transforming, its looking awesome. Iris, I would back slowly away from that bug too.

The Viburnum I put on NTP was from the park less than 2 miles away, where I also collected a few seeds off the arrowwood viburnum or whichever that one with the blue berries is. The double dormancy seeds are from the Viburnum acerifolium from a different park. Actually, I just found a study [Epicotyl Dormancy in Viburnum acerifolium (Caprifoliaceae) SITI N. HIDAYATI, JERRY M. BASKIN, CAROL C. BASKIN] that found only warm stratification is required, ~4 months at 25 celcius, but in nature 4+ months of warm temps will always be followed by fall and winter, thus the double dormancy. The radicles will emerge in the fall after warmth but wont grow much until spring. I only have a few seeds to try so maybe I'll skip that and warm stratify artificially over the winter.

For Ceanothus americanus seed collection this is what I found: "Collect seeds in late summer and early fall. Because dry capsules disperse their seed abruptly with a sudden ejection, it may be necessary to tie cloth bags around the clusters of capsules to catch the seeds." https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ceam

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javiwa

Thanks, Skip. For the amount of time I spend out there, coddling these seeds/seedlings, I don't deserve a garden if SOMETHING doesn't go right! :)


Here's a close-up of the tomato and P. caerulea duking it out for space on my obelisk -- Iris' bet is on the passion vine.



The tomato is definitely hogging the center and working its way out; meanwhile, the passion vine seems happy enough on the exterior -- coexistence is possible!


A shot of my A. elegans doing better these days. Remember this is zoomed in, so leaves aren't as huge as they appear. But it's a welcome sight, all the green and new growth finally.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Looking great, Javi!

Say, did they make the Native plant forum into just Plants? I was following the Native Plants, but suddenly could not find it on the sidebar of topics I am following.

Edited to say it’s back to normal!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No pipeline swallowtail yet javi? I finally got to spot the leaf paster. A little light green cat with a big dark head. This Sunday they are having a 2 hour milkweed walk at my favorite park where I saw the purple ones. Sounds like fun as long you have repellant. Was just going through my seeds. There's a large number of species I already have seeds for that I have to try a second time and there's a few new ones I can't live without.


https://www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/event-calendar/summer-2019/monarch-way-stations-mckinley-woods

http://forestpreservedistrictofwillcounty.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=34ed066df378efacc9b924ec161e7639.321&s=2c72d7c20dc01c02fee55ae3716095a8

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, this is an old version of the plant list before most of the Gaura species were reclassified as Oenothera. It gives you an idea of which Oenothera species have Gaura like flowers. There is one that I'm sure was changed called Gaura lindheimeri and it comes in a red flowering cultivar, 'Whiskers Deep Rose' that looks a lot like fireweed. I wanted the fireweed for the hummers, why do you want it? Is it a host plant for something? It rained a lot last night, and there's more coming. My native lonicera vine has new leaves growing, that's awesome.

http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Onagraceae/Gaura/

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javiwa

Jay: I'm not really good at bending over and turning over leaves in this heat, but I don't think any PVSWTs have been leaving eggs. I think early last month, I spied a butterfly on my tithonia, but any other time I think it's a PVSWT, it's actually an Eastern Black: that flash of blue fakes me out easily.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I will look at that list. I just wanted the Fireweed as nectar plant, but if it is related to the other evening primrose I have, it might be host for the white lined Sphinx? And that pretty pink one I forgot the name of at the moment.

Milkweed tour sounds like fun!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'll be shown all the milkweed hot spots out there. Maybe there are other rare species I don't know about?



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Your Apios is looking so good! Maybe they will point out quadrifolia or something on your tour. Didn’t you want that? Or did you find it? There were a few clouds earlier, but they disappeared. Back to Carolina blue sky.

I was just standing there, minding my own business frowning at not only cypress vines and morning glory, but also this creeping cucumber.

Really startled me. Was a big one, too. Doesn’t really look like it in the picture.

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javiwa

And speaking of cucumbers, Iris is 'cool as a ...' as she whips out her camera to snap a pic. :) Not too many snakes here, so I guarantee I wouldn't have that kind of composure!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have really gotten used to them. Seems they have gotten used to me, too. They usually go the other way. It’s not like it’s going to try to eat me. So Jay, is your Prairie Moon ordering already going on? I imagine you sitting in front of the computer, waiting to hit the “add to cart” button. Kind of like Walmart on Black Friday.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I would have been startled by that snake too. What is the tree with the caterpillars all over it?

The Apios looks nice, my Apios are too shaded and I never water them, and they are not flowering. I didn't get any email from prairiemoom about new bare root plants, Im wondering what you're ordering. I'm trying to collect seeds locally for sowing this winter. I drive by a patch of Solidago juncea on the side of the freeway every day and the flowers are starting to fade, and I'm thinking it would make me a crazy person if I pulled over and grabbed the seeds, but I am tempted. On the other hand I noticed tree of heaven, japanese knotweed, and other weeds dying, and Im wondering if the roadway maintenance people sprayed the goldenrod too and thats why the flowers are turning brown.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s my little Shumard Oak. I am really going to have to figure out all these goldenrods. There is one plant flowering now that looks sort of like goldenrod. Going to take a picture tomorrow. Somebody posted a picture that looked like it on the Native pollinator garden site on Facebook and didn’t get scolded, so maybe it’s native. Is it actually legal to pick seeds at parks? I am going seldom, but there is a sign to not take/ pick up anything. So I am even looking over my shoulder to pick up a coke can to put in the trash.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris-they changed the name of the link of the name that plant forum. I had the same problem a couple days ago and had to backtrack to figure out the link, then created a new bookmark, and deleted the old one.

Were gonna start calling you the snake woman pretty soon!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't get an email from Prairie Moon. I contacted them to find out when barefoot plants of Aralia racemosa would go back on sale. They answered back and said later this week. I checked today and not yet. The Solidago juncea is nice looking. There is only really Canada goldenrod around here and nothing else, unless you are at a preserve. They put a barricade up at the end of my street so I can't drive down there anymore. I'll have to ride my bike there. The milkweed seeds I'm still looking for are amplexicaulis, quadrifolia, lanuginosa, meadii, longifolia, engelmanniana, rubra, lanceolata, hallii, cordifolia, texenas, and oenotheroides, There are other rare species from all the states that I'd grow if I was lucky enough to get seeds for them.

Andropogon gerardii, big bluestem.

Train tracks. I could walk to the park by taking the deer path and then another path to the train tacks, and then to the park.

Cirsium discolor, pasture thistle.

Laportea canadensis, wood nettle. I thought I saw some false nettle, Boehmeria cylindrical, but it turned out to be wood nettle.


Menispermum canadense, moonseed vine.

Impatiens pallida, pale touch me not.

The water level in the canal has dropped a lot.

This was all Virginia creeper.

Verbena urticifolia.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

No picking seeds at the park is not legal, but there is always private property to explore, with permission from the owner. My uncle owns several acres of woodland nearby, and I have a friend with access to a 110 acre farm that is still 90 acres woodland. That farmer is planning to clear a lot of it to expand the farm.

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javiwa

Jay: I've got a few A. oenotheroides seeds for you, and I'm hoping my zizotes plant gets pollinated so I'll have more this fall. I've even stuck it right underneath the H. Balls where all the wasp and bee action seems to be right now. Maybe I need to set it on a stool to get it up higher.


Skip: There are quite a few enthusiasts on the local Monarch/MW forum who routinely note the freeway/highway-side locations of MWs bearing seed pods (so, quite a honed skill to be able to spot one while driving 75 mph!), then return to collect the seeds. You'd be in good company. going after those seeds.


Way off topic: anyone have experience with a paw paw tree? :) Always on the lookout for more butterfly hosts.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, I planted some very small ones 4 years ago. They are hanging on, but haven’t grown much. I think they get too much sun. Haven’t seen a Zebra Swallowtail the whole year.

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javiwa

Thanks, Iris. That's my 'risk' is planting/nurturing a small tree like this, and it attracts nothing -- which is why I'll start things in pots and not devote 'permanent' yard space to them.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, Which private property did you get the Viburnum and sassafras seeds from? I couldn't collect any seeds for the rare Clematis viorna or Ribes Americana because the park crews indiscriminately mowed them down to the ground. They just mowed the whole prairie area over here, because they are too lazy to do a controlled burn which is what all prairies need. A whole field of common milkweed they mow at peak Monarch time? And now that there is nothing in that field they could treat it for the crownvetch but they won't. I have to preserve some of these species in case the park people kill them all lol. They would have a lot of nerve harassing me for taking seeds when they let all the invasive bush honeysuckles in that park reach giant redwood size!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s a shame, isn’t it? Would be nice if they would put up a sign. Like, this area will be mowed in 2 weeks. Interested parties are welcome to collect seeds/ take cuttings before that.

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javiwa

Iris: I've been chatting with a local Monarch enthusiast, and she lives ~ 20 minutes away (so, close by). She says despite having her paw paw a number of years, she hasn't noticed any zebra SWTs around -- but says friends on the outskirts of town see them. I'd read the zebra sightings around here are rare. At least she's enjoying yummy fruit, apparently.


OK, my morning thus far. Gulf frits -- my first time. I have 5 in a small enclosure (a potted, small P. foetida, but I've jammed a bunch of P. incarnata stems in there), and this happened.




So pale. This was the other day when I first brought him in:



And his buddies:




Found these guys devouring my potted coccinea -- for one reason or another, I just can't seem to grow these. Not like these guys are helping matters!





^^^ This one measures 1-1/2" -- Velvet Army Worm moth larva.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I dont think taking a dozen seeds to propagate and plant nearby is unethical, but if everyone did it there would be fewer seeds to sustain the parks so I get it why the rules are what they are.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Those are cool cats javi. At first, I thought you meant velvet worm. Those things are creepy. I just found a little Monarch cat on the blue Tweedia. I moved it onto the curassavicas. I saw a little duskeywing hanging around the legumes. I hope it was laying eggs. I tried growing a paw paw from seed years ago. I might have even gotten the seed here, on the seed exchange. It was just taking forever to grow so, I got rid of it, but I regret it now, who knows? There used to be zebras in my neck of the woods. The Dregea vine is really taking off. I keep battling the aphids over that one. I hope it gets flowers, it's the closest I can get to growing Hoyas. The flowers are supposed to be very fragrant. The Oenothera fruticosas have new side plants coming up around them. That's great because they are beautiful evening primroses, and some cats ate them all down to sticks.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I usually see a few Zebra Swallowtails a year, so I was hoping to get some more planting the trees. They are awfully slow for me, but with 4 of them at about 4 feet tall, I could feed a couple.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I get you Skip! You're right, those rules are there to prevent everything from being harvested. Fortunately there are very few people like us who really want to grow these natives. I get very upset about people in the woods digging up every ginseng, snakeroot, or unicorn root plant they lay eyes on and then selling them by the pound. I try to grow as many species on the Illinois endangered list that I can, and I offer the seeds to everyone.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I found a decent park next to my place of work


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow, you hit the jackpot! Cacti, awesome! I know you love weeding those. If you ever do get any S. juncea seed..... All there is around here is S. canadensis.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Is this S. juncea in my 4th picture? It seems shorter/smaller than S. canadensis. Heres a pic of the stem



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, this looks like a beautiful place! The goldenrod must be buzzing.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The potted Texas Star finally has a flower! The one in the ground probably never will, unless the deer change their taste. Everything coming out of the cage is getting eaten.

Do you know what this is? Looks kind of goldenrody?

Sorry, it’s a scary corner it is in. Just starting to bloom.

On a side note, I am happily surprised I am still seeing pictures here.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Looks like a Solidago, maybe rugosa? You would need a close up of the leaves and habit and shape of the whole flowering top.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, what are the pink flowers in your picture? Looks like my panicled tick trefoil. In that case, you wouldn’t have trouble collecting seeds. Is there anything more sticky? Took me forever today to peel them from my clothes and out of my hair.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

It looks similar the pictures of Solidago rugosa to me. Have you ever had the 'fireworks' goldenrod cultivar? It's popular even in regular nurseries.

The pink flower is a desmodium, panicled tick trefoil looks right.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I didn’t have it on purpose, that’s for sure. With the what I believe to be Canada Goldenrod taking over everywhere and being huge, I am very wary of goldenrods. There are several different kinds in my yard. I may be all over Name that Plant once they start to flower. I can’t believe you and Jay are ahead of me with the flowering of a lot of plants. Is it because my first frost is later, so they know they have more time? When is yours usually? First week of November here.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Maybe if there were some early goldenrod it would be blooming now and easy to spot because none of the other species are blooming yet here, but they're getting close. I'd say from looking at the pictures of S. juncea online that your plant looks identical, but I couldn't be 100 percent, because there are so many goldenrod species and some have been assigned to new genera. Talking about burs, I got comepletely covered in Hackelia burs 3 times at the woods today. Some were impossible to get out of my socks . It itched so bad lol! I spotted a couple species that I didn't know were out there.

Ipomoea pandurata.

Ipomoea pandurata.

Actaea pachypoda, white baneberry, dolls eyes.

Noid, a polygon species?

Like I care that it's closed.

Some type of aster.

Rudbeckia, brown eyed susans.

I need a swallowtaSusan's. Could this be a pipevine or spicebush swallowtail?

A native lonicera.

Ipomoea pandurata.


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