Restless about natives.

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm growing a bunch of native plants to help the wildlife, and restore nature. If that sounds like you, and you enjoy talking about it, please join in if you want!

SaveComment2KLike2
Comments (2K)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very interesting Jay. Do you currently have any snow? It was nice today, lots of honeybees came out. These are the times I am happy my lawn is mostly weeds.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Good article Jay. Is that the same Floyd from the native plant society?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, the snow hasn't melted. I wish I had been asked to go spread seeds around one of my favorite places. Definitely aren't any bugs around here. One night, a huge armored stink bug landed on my bed from who knows where haha. Good thing I saw it hehe. There's another one on the screen in the kitchen. Nothings blooming up here either, that's for sure. You don't really have a winter. It's possible the creeping Charlie's are still growing. Maybe I should hit them when they are sitting ducks.😃


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, yes that's the Floyd that I know.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They are doing some work at the nearby preserve and there will probably be a lot of bare ground afterwards.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm going to direct seed into the snow. I was waiting for the snow to melt before I direct sowed any more seeds, duh!🙄. Wow, Floyd knows a lot! This is awesome, even more st all the preserves natives next year. And prairie bluff needed a lot more diversity. I can't participate, because I have to be employee I think, but it would be a blast. Braidwood dunes is already rich in species. I'd love to know what all those 350 species they sowed were. The Tephrosia seeds only need 10 days of cold. I have 60 seeds. I'm going to winter sow 30 in a sandy mix, and in the spring chill the other 30 for 10 days, and then I'll soak them in warm water for 24 hours and then sow them. Soaking in warm water aids germination. I'm doing the same thing with the Lupinus perennis seeds.

https://www.jjc.edu/jjc-co-hosts-community-habitat-symposium

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


With all the leaves gone, you can sort of see the snow covered deer path behind the thicket in the background.

This road is closed off and the preserve is down there.

The milkweeds.




I snow seeded a bunch of Agalinis seeds around the native grasses. Buckeye host plants.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

You did get a lot done, Jay! It also looks awfully cold. Finally having a chance to look through my Prairie nursery catalog. Dangerous, so many pretty pictures. My butterfly weeds never did well. In the catalog they have the one for clay. Is there really a difference? Think I should try this variety?


Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, I forgot that I 'needed' more Dicentra exemia. They should have more back in stock?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Of course you need more plants :)

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Wow, you all have been busy!

School started last week (apparently I need a degree to say I'm qualified to do a job I've been doing for five years, go figure...) combine that with maintaining the full time job that I'm apparently not qualified for, plus a family and managing the property we live on it's safe to say that seed starting has been moved not just to the back burner but has been put back in the fridge. I'm really hoping I find the time to do the rest of my seeds, but it's not looking good. At this rate I won't even be growing tomatoes this year.

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Zach, I have the same problem. Not nearly enough time to get anything done, and it being winter doesn't help lol. I hope you're learning more than just legal stuff.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Our winter has been easy going for the most part. But the other shoe will drop come spring. Not legal stuff, but the federal government typically has “education requirements” for certain positions, and in order for me to continue working in this field, I need a degree. Merit and work experience will only get me so far.

So at least the program is something I’m interested in and it’s valuable information. It’s just the amount of time required to do it that sucks.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, Zach, you are having a full plate. It’s great you are interested in what you have to study, I am sure it would be worse otherwise. Hope you find some time to plant your seeds. Are you the only one working on the yard? Otherwise maybe you could delegate someone to plant at least the tomatoes. My husband is doing the mowing and whatever involves a chainsaw. Otherwise it’s all mine.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Zach I am finding myself in a similar situation in my field, and life. I am not back in school at the moment though and still take a couple hours before bed a few nights a week to play with seeds and potting soil. What degree are you pursuing?

ETA: just sowed backups of all the milkweeds, plus bunch-flower, in jugs. If my trays dont work out for whatever reason, I'll hopefully still have these.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This is one of the nearby prairies as warm from the air.



https://www.facebook.com/153298834727486/posts/2804901659567177/

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)




Asarum rosei. Discovered by and named after Mark Rose in 2017.

Smilax lasioneuron

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great pictures, Jay. It snowed earlier! Didn’t stick, now back to really cold 34 degree rain. It’s supposed to be 62 on Sunday. I really hope this weird weather is not messing up my seeds.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Iris, yeah, and I'm definitely feeling the effects of 4 hours of sleep a night... I'm pretty much alone on the gardening front. My wife will help out here and there when it comes time to do stuff like till and weed whack because she enjoys the exercise but her actual interest in plants extends no further than a few cactus she keeps on the windowsill. Even I think planting 72-cell trays with winter sown seeds and vegetables gets a little tedious after a while, she would lose interest after about cell number 2 I think haha.

I might try to get some planted this weekend if I get my homework done, but I've also got a lot of work to do around the property now that hunting season is over. Fences need fixed, cattails need cut so I can spray them this summer, impoundment structures need tending to, and well meters need calibrated. The list goes on and on and on...

Skip, I'm getting a B.S. in Rangeland and Forest Management. Course, I'll finish at right around the same time I'm old enough to retire (about when I'm 100 years old, give or take). It kind of sucks that a degree is worth more than actual experience. People fresh out of college who have virtually no field experience seem to take precedence over anyone else. I have seasonals on my team who HAVE degrees and have been working with us for several seasons. However, last fall we were told that ALL "entry level" full-time positions would be filled by recent grads (through a program called the Directorate Resource Assistants Fellowship Program, or DFP) rather than filling them from within our agency. Seems pretty backwards, but the folks at the top don't solicit my input. I feel compelled to say that overall I DO like my agency. I think our mission is worthwhile and I think the people who've got boots on the ground getting work done do a lot of tremendous and important things. I just don't think we are especially well managed.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Hope you get some seeds done. Your degree probably has some similar classes to my daughter’s wildlife and fisheries biology. Some fun ones, but the collections for dendrology, field botany and such were very time consuming.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Originally I was going to do range & forest for my concentration, but looking at the forestry classes I just really have a hard time getting excited about things like dendrology and timber stand evaluation so I’m going to do a purely range concentration. Wildlife biology is a pretty popular major at Colorado State, lots of folks in that program. I think I am one of very, very few at this school who prefers grass to animals haha. But I commend those who are successful in the program, it is VERY involved and a ton of work. Learning animal biology and things like anatomy and physiology is vastly more difficult than plants, at least for me (and every time I get involved doing necropsies at work I’m intimately reminded of why I prefer plants while I’m elbows deep in organs in a tyveck suit covered in blood and other bodily substances).

I collect herbarium specimens as a hobby and as part of my “unofficial” duties for our herbarium at work (basically I get to justify playing with plants as part of my job). I also read plant dichotomous keys for fun. Once I finally get into those classes I should be fine (but the 10,000 prerequisite classes I have to take are a real bummer). Like I said, it’s something I really enjoy doing and learning about, I just wish that the years I have spent learning it on the job rather than in a classroom counted for something. When I told my advisor I was interested in rangeland, she cautioned me that it involved a lot of grass I.D. “Which is a lot harder than flowers or trees” she said. I was a little offended considering I train people in grass I.D. and manage all the vegetation surveys for 3 different refuges (not to say I’m an expert, I believe there is ALWYS room to learn, but I feel I have at least a pretty solid grasp of the subject).


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Zach-what do you use to spray cat tails, and why do you need to? Up here it seems like cat tails are a wet lands indicator and causes a hands off dictate if they are present. But, it's also become known that they have hybridized to the point they no one knows what they are anymore in a lot of cases. We have huge amounts of wasted wet lands that have filled in with them and it seems they are too dense to support ducks.

I put on snow shoes today so that I could walk around some of my property and check for deer predation. So far so good. It's too deep for them to want to go very far. Last year I discovered in spring that they had taken a liking to most of my young cedar trees.

Time for me to go shovel some new snow. I'm off to Florida next week for a little while.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Dandy, I use glyphosate labeled for aquatic use on cattails here at the house because it’s relatively inexpensive. At work we have used Habitat (imazapyr) with really good success but it’s more spendy.

Thats interesting that you can’t do any vegetation management in wetlands at all. Cattails, specifically the hybrid (and in some places listed as invasive) Typha x glauca do exactly like you describe and choke out the wetlands because they are so aggressive. They out-compete most species and the diversity of wetland plants is severely reduced and in some cases eliminated alltogether. In the areas I have cut and sprayed cattails we get several species of sedges and rushes, swamp milkweed, blue vervain, bidens and a host of other species filling in. In places where the cattails have been left alone, I get a few of these species on the periphery, but otherwise it’s a solid monoculture of cattails. To me, cattails filling in a wetland, closing off the open water and reducing species diversity is far more damaging to the wetlands than any control strategy would be. That being said, the less aggressive and broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia) is a native, normal component of wetlands. But I don’t think it typically cause the problems that hybrid cattail does.

I have a photo showing the difference in the inflorescence and leaf blade width of the three cattail species found in the northern states. I think there is a fourth species but it's restricted to the south east I believe.



Comparison between T. latifolia (L), T. angustifolia (M) and what is probably T. x glauca [Typha latifolia x angustifolia] (R). It bears noting that there is some debate around whether narrowleaf cattail (T. angustifolia) is native to northern/northeastern North America or whether it is purely a European introduction. Whether it is native to that part of the continent or not, I'm pretty sure it is fairly agreed upon that it is not native to the Western U.S. and the speed at which it has spread to and throughout this part of the country, combined with the hybridization with our native cattail (which has resulted in an even worse invader), is pretty concerning.

I also wrote a cattail management plan for the property we live on (well, it's a work in progress). But here's the introduction to give a better idea of why cattails can be so problematic:

"Cattails (Typha spp.) are a rhizomatous, emergent wetland species found in shallow water throughout North America. New colonies are established by the windblown seeds and individual plants spread through underground rhizomes (DiTomaso, Kyser et al, 2013). The presence native cattails such as the broadleaf cattail (T. latifolia) can provide important ecological functions in wetlands such as providing a buffer against erosion, cover and nesting sites for wildlife and birds, as well as sequestering excess nutrients and pollution from waterways (Ochterski, 2015). However, the agressive reproduction and spread of cattails, especially invasive hybrid cattail (T. x glauca), through their underground rhizomes often results in thick, impenetrable stands which impede on open water, clog control structures, and reduce the habitat value of marsh and wetland ecosystems (DiTomaso, Kyser et al, 2013). The aggressive nature of hybrid cattails allows them to outcompete most native plant species. This decline of plant communities leaves the ecosystem less resilient to disturbance and prone to further, more severe degradation.

Chestnut Slough is a large warm water slough system of the South Platte River on the high plains of eastern Colorado. It provides important habitat for wildlife such as deer, muskrats, coyotes, long-tailed weasels and an array of songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl. However, the monotypic encroachment of hybrid cattail into waterways and other hydric soil locations, poses multiple management, use, and ecological concerns. Large amounts of debris from previous years growth often catches inside water control structures preventing flow and dense thickets of cattails impede the access and use of the waterways. As in other locations that the species has taken hold, the most significant threat that the presence of hybrid cattails presents is the loss of native plant communities. Providing high quality habitat for migrating and overwintering waterfowl is of particular interest to managing the site. Pure stands of hybrid cattails have diminished, and in some cases even eliminated, the native species which provide valuable, high nutrient forage that waterfowl depend on during their migration and while overwintering (Nelms, Ballinger, & Boyles, 2007). In order to increase habitat value by restoring Chestnut Slough back to a native prairie wetland, significant reduction of cattail stands is required."


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's so interesting about the cattails. I'll have to check and see if we have hybrid cattails here. It's hard to eradicate species that grow in water. Here we have a lot of Phragmites taking over areas and pushing out all the native plants. Phragmites is a native. It just takes over disturbed areas, not sure why. It's hard to get rid of. I'll probably run out of bx promix today.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, needing snow shoes just to take a walk AND having to shovel snow? A trip to Florida sounds like a really good plan :)

2 Likes Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, I can submit your plant, and see what they say.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Do you think I should take more pictures?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes. It might help. The leaves seem bunched up and crinkled in this picture.

Medeola virginiana, Indian cucumber root. Lilaceae.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


owl butterfly! aposematism to the nth degree. I guess it really exists. Hard to believe. Amazing!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How pretty! I will see what it looks like now.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s still curled up, probably the cold.


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

So, I can use them at name that plant, and if they don't guess it then I know another place. It looks so familiar?

Zach, I just checked, and the 3 species of type in Illinois are latifolia, angustifolia, and glaucoma. The later 2 are invasive here. I haven't looked into cattails much, but now I'm starting to get interested. There are lots of cattails in the canal that's close by.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

You can if you want, or I can do it tonight. It does look familiar. I just can’t remember where I have seen it.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just did. I need to start sowing again. I'm hoping to finish all winter sowing this weekend.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay! Do you have a lot more seeds to go?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, I'm going to try to sow at least 72 species in the cell trays today, do a little snow seeding, and there are lots of milk jugs I can use too. I starting now.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Thank you Zach. What an invaluable posting showing the different leaf widths. I can retain that for future identification to determine whether I'm seeing native or not.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I was just looking at Name that plant. The hellebore suggestion and such remind me of a similar looking plant I had last year. I think maybe Dandy suggested it to be Aralia nudicaulis? That one had the “leaves of three” look though.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Great info last few posts. I'm running out of promix too, started mixing it with presoaked pinebark for the milk jugs.

Iris is that a different plant than the one with the serious roots you asked about before?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There is a wide variety of opinions, but nobody knows for sure. You don't think it's in the cabbage family do you? They always have a spicy smell, and rubbery leaves. I have enough cells ready for 90 species. I hope that's enough. I have back ups too. I'm taking my time to make sure I do everything correctly. I'm using sand and chicken grit too.

Dandy, what part of Florida are you visiting?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The leaves didn’t feel rubbery, but I can check on the smell tomorrow. Wonder if my plant from last year is all gone. I took most out, but the area was covered in bee balm the whole rest of the year, so I didn’t crawl behind the downspout. 90 species is a lot! I hope the wooly croton works. I read on a butterfly Facebook page that nobody there was able to grow them on purpose. Just random re seeding.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think that I have more than enough croton seeds to try sowing any way possible. When did you read that and in what group? There are about ten million butterfly/pollinator groups.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I posted it a second time and so far the guesses have been hellebore, Sambucus, grim, and New Guinea Impatiens.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well that’s a wide variety of what the plant might be. I do have hellebore, but they don’t look anything like it. I might just put a ribbon there to keep an eye on it. I did order the clay version of the butterfly weed. Should plant the two kinds side by side to see if it really makes a difference.

s

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We're having a huge conversation. Actually, I only had 36 species left to sow. I ran out of labels. I don't know what to do. What's the name of that butterfly group?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Jay, it's looking more and more that our notion of species being EITHER old world or new world may be incorrect. More and more we are finding that numerous species of plants in the northern hemisphere have native ranges across both the eastern and western half.

Phragmites australis is both native and non-native according to genetic research, with P. a. ssp. americanus being the native subspecies and P. a. ssp. australis being introduced from Europe. It seems that the latter is the one that causes problems. The same can be said of several other species that many people consider invasive. Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) is native throughout the northern hemisphere, but introduced haplotypes have given it a bad rap. For many, many years Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) has been treated throughout the northern great plains as a disastrous invader of native tall and mixed grass prairie. But recent studies have shown that what was once considered a separate species (Poa agassizensis) is more likely to be native subspecies of Poa pratensis. There has been no studies done to my knowledge, but I have worked with botanists who believe the same about Canada bluegrass (Poa compressa). It's believed to be entirely introduced but it's "behavior" (if we can ascribe that word to plants) in many cases is more in line with a species that has been a part of the ecosystem for a lot longer than the years since the Columbian Exchange. Also, am I the only one who thinks it's weird that both of these species, which are generally considered European, have names that are uniquely North American. Anyways, another interesting example is some recent genetic tests that have shown that western wheatgrass ( Pascopyrum smithii), long hailed as a flagship species of western grasslands, traces half it's linage to an east Asian species!

Dandy, if you are checking out cattails during flowering season, also notice the inflorescence. On latifolia, the pistillate and staminate flowers are touching while they are separated on angustifolia. Hybrid cattail can pose some problems, but I think in general, the flowers tend to either just barely touch or have just a tiny bit of space between them.

Incidentally, this picture shows a great time (maybe just a tad late, especially on the narrowleaf) for chemical control, when the flowers have just emerged and are still green.

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Jay: I believe Iris is referring to the FB Building a Butterfly Garden group.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Zach, thanks for showing how to ID the Typha. It's pretty easy, I thought it would be more difficult. That's scary that we've been introducing plants over here for so long that we don't even know what's really native or not. You talk like the president of our native plant society. Do you have one in Colorado? It's supposed to reach 52 today. I wonder if Ican ID the cattails here now? If they haven't dispersed their seeds yet. Do you do controlled burns at your job?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Hey no worries. It's just dumb luck I happened to take some comparison photos a couple years ago while out "botanizing" one day and I have them handy. You should be able to ID the cattails, the staminate flowers will have fallen away, but they stalk will have a rough, sand papery texture where they were during the growing season. Looking at the space between where this rough section is and where the undispersed seeds are should help with I.D.. The leaf width between narrow and broadleaf cattails will still be apparent as well, even dry. The one that will probably be the most challenging is the hybrid cattail since it is intermediate between the two and individual plants could favor one species over the other, especially with the limited characteristics that winter I.D. presents.

We do have a native plant society in Colorado, but like most things in this state, its mostly geared towards foothills/montane/alpine ecosystems. No one is very interested in whats going on out here on the "boring" prairie part of the state.

We do both spring and fall prescribed burning at work, and I would like to do them here at the house but I'm not entirely comfortable with orchestrating that on my own. We actually did a summer burn at work last year to try and consume cheatgrass seeds before they had fallen from the plant. We will see how it went this spring.

It was 74 degrees today when I went to town, but it's supposed to only be 15 by 11 PM with snow tomorrow and Tuesday.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Well, what a difference a week makes -- and not in a good way. My A. purpurascens was looking so healthy, and now it's losing color. Weather has been mild - sunny and warm during the day, and just enough rain to keep the ground moist. Folks have said this is a tough one to grow down here. I can understand if this plant was struggling during a typical TX summer, but I would've thought the weather recently was perfect.


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's weird. How long had it been growing? Did it ever have a dormancy? Btw, any luck with the pink tweedia seeds yet?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Jay: I started that purple last year from a few seeds you sent me. It and two others survived, and all three have gone through multiple cycles of dormancy in 2019. This will be the start of Year 2 for these milkweeds. I didn't expect it to go yellow already. :/ No luck with the pink tweedia at all. I'm going to scrap it until early March as I've got my plate full with other things over the next three weeks. I need to give the tweedia my absolute, undivided attention.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The snow melted, and my Ipomopsis rubra plants still look green and alive. I hope they flower. They sell a selected, or maybe hybridized variety of Ipomopsis seeds that they claim will behave like a regular annual. I've tried growing them and very few germinated, and the plants that did looked sickly and barely bloomed. I like the true, red flowered Texas native way more.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

http://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2020/2/2/ep-250-natures-best-hope-a-conversation-with-dr-doug-tallamy? Jay that interview you linked to via facebook before is really interesting.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What interview? I tried downloading your link here last night, but couldn't do it.

https://youtu.be/C7N7UNB6fO4

Codariocalyx motorius, or Desmodium gyrans. The dancing plant, the telegraph plant. It leaves move in response to sound, not touch.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I thought you pasted a link to a facebook post that linked to that in defense of plants interview with Doug Tallamy, which I have linked above. Which link couldn't you download last night?

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I got an email that my Doug Tallamy book has shipped. Looking forward to it. It was 75 degrees here today. About 4 inches of rain predicted for Wednesday/ Thursday. Really don’t need it, some puddles have been here long enough to grow some nasty looking algae. Critters came out today

waystation sign has finally been mounted by the mailbox. It has been laying around the house since last Spring. Really just another explanation for the neighbors as to why my shrubs are not pruned in perfect balls or cubes. I highly doubt it will inspire any of them to plant some milkweed.


2 Likes Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I thought I posted that same interview, but because you posted it again, I thought that I must have never posted it, but I did post it. Mosquitos already Iris? Nobody can guess your plant. Maybe let it grow more. It looks perennial with the side shoots coming up. The ground is wet here.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I will let it grow. Hopefully somebody will know while I can still dig it out.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Show-and-tell time for the C. americana basketflower, courtesy of seeds Jay sent me last year. In early January, I tossed these seeds on top of moist vermiculite, topped with a thin layer of coarse sand, gently pressing the seeds to ensure soil contact. I covered the container with plastic wrap and misted the surface every couple of days. Had them sitting under two T8-6500k bulbs and over heat, and the first sprout popped in ~ a week. More have sprouted in the past couple of weeks, and I felt it was time to move the seedlings over to their own cups. It was difficult to keep the seeds moist and not get the seedling leaves wet. Plus, it seemed like the true leaves were coming in much more slowly than the cotyledons did.



As I gently teased the root beneath one of the plants, I could see the adjacent plant move. And as I further tried to tease both of them, #3 and #4 shifted. I poked around and saw a snarl of roots. Not wanting to damage any of these prized seedlings, I decided to dump everything into a larger container and fill with water so I could untangle the roots.



Pretty shocked to see how long these roots developed underneath the vermiculite! Each easily measured 9-10", but I didn't want to stretch them out too far.



I was an absolute nervous wreck handling these, but it turns out they're rather sturdy.

Voila! (and phew!)



1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, did you soak the basket flower seeds at all? The roots are long and healthy.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Jay: I don't recall that I soaked them at all; but if I did, it wouldn't have been for more than 24 hours. After I fished out the above plants (and the one tub w/ a divider has seeds that already started to germinate), I put the remaining 20-25 seeds back into a new container. Would love to plant as many of these as will sprout! Really exciting.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, great job! And so much patience!

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, lots of patience and no choice lol.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, this looks like


your plant. Someone else wants to see what it is too.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

And what is that? Any idea? I spent a lot of time today removing thorny stuff from blackberry to Callery pear. I hate these pears, these spikes look like they could poke an eye out.

my plum tree has the first blooms

Reeseville nursery finally replied, so my Amorpha Nitens are ordered now. Looking at my forecast I should really go with aquatic plants. They now say 7 inches.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its 60 degrees here right now, hope my seeds get enough cms before April when they are supposed to start germinating. I finished wintersowing the rest of the seeds in jugs last night, well all except the double dormancy ones, but there are only a handful of them.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

All below freezing nighttime temps here for the next 2 weeks.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My book arrived in the mail today. Now let’s see what kind of ideas it puts in my head.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I downloaded it on the kindle app. Im on the beginning but it doesn't paint a pretty picture. Im hopeful for the part about how our yards can have a positive impact.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am just 20 pages in, but I have the feeling I am going to dig up my yard by the end of it. Which I guess is the purpose.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks like a nice book. It's cold and snowing.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Skip, if you really want to feel down, read Aldo Leopold.
"One of the penalties of an ecological education is one lives alone in a world of wounds... [an ecologist] must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” Or as I less eloquently put it, "working in conservation is like trying to fill a bucket full of holes" usually followed with "and that's why I keep the fridge stocked with beer at all times."

It was 74 on Sunday. It was -4 last night...

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw(5)

My husband and I have been watching the BBC series “Seven Worlds, One Planet.” It is both awe inspiring and tragic. Human exploitation of our environment has brought us to the brink of the unimaginable. I don’t know how to convince the general population that saving this planet is going to require effort and sacrifice from every individual from every walk of life. There need to be fines for every square yard of lawn, and any new development needs to provide compensatory plantings of native trees, shrubs, grasses, etc. I know, I am preaching to the choir.

Martha

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Here's another one to really "brighten" your day. I was reading through Leopold's A Sand County Almanac for some research for school (This is the book, and the author, I credit for igniting my passion for conservation). I found this. Only one book has ever made me cry, Where the Red Fern Grows, but this definitely cuts it close.

"Every July I watch eagerly a certain country graveyard that I pass in driving to and from my farm. It is time for a prairie birthday and in one corner of this graveyard lives a surviving celebrant of this once important event. It is an ordinary graveyard... It is extraordinary only in being triangular instead of square and harboring, within the sharp angle of it's fence, a pin-point remnant of the native prairie on which the graveyard was established... Heretofore unreachable by scythe or mower, this yard-square relic of original Wisconsin gives birth, each July, to a man-high stalk of compass plant or silphium, spangled with saucer sized yellow blooms resembling sunflowers. It is the sole remnant of this plant along this highway and perhaps the sole remnant in the western half of our county. What a thousand acres of silphium looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to be answered, and perhaps, not even asked.

"When I passed the graveyard again, the fence had been removed...and the silphium cut. It is easy now to predict the future; for a few years my silphium will try in vain to rise above the mowing machine, and then it will die. With it will die the prairie epoch."

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's so sad Zach. I got all teared up. I've got extra silphium seeds I can introduce somewhere.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw(5)

And that book was written before most of us were born. The danger was obvious to some, even then. Yet, so many continue to deny what is staring them in the face. It doesn’t take a scientist to recognize the problem.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

we just keep planting and try to do our best. Well, not today. The weather is pretty awful. This is what it looks like right now, still expecting a couple of inches more.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Did you do some more snow sowing? It’s still raining, but I think the threat for Tornados is over now.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No, I'm repackaging all my seeds. When I'm done, I'll decide if I want to snow seed some. I may have lost track of all the seeds I scattered.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw(5)

Jay,

I looked at Silphium’s range map on the Prairiemoon site. It’s apparently native but now rare in my county. I could easily add some to my spring planting plans. Do you truly have extra seeds, that you would share, or should I just purchase them from Prairiemoon? Actually, I should see if my sister has them growing, though I bet they resist transplanting. Let me know.


Martha

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Wow that’s a lot of water! We would call that a 50 year flood here!

Silphium was only represented by two species in Colorado. S. laciniatum and S. integrifolia. Being tallgrass species neither were ever common and only precious few populations were ever recorded here, all of which are presumed to be extinct.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Still raining here, but not too bad. Schools are on a two hour delay tomorrow. Thinking I will need a couple of loads of mulch if it ever dries up enough for a truck to back up into the grass. A lot of mine just floated off.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats a lot of rain Iris. You seem to have the most extreme polar weather, severe drought, now flooding rain. Maybe you can dig a pond or rain garden and create an ephemeral wetland on your property.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Jay, watching that video definitely makes me jealous. I could only DREAM that restoring native prairie here in Colorado just took removing some trees to allow in sunlight. Here we have plenty of sun, and we put hundreds of pounds of seed in the ground but without water, it's almost impossible to get them to grow. Last year was wet, but it was at the wrong time of year. Big snow storms and plenty of rain in early spring did benefit some species, like the cool season grasses (western wheat and needle and thread) but we were left, yet again, with well below average rainfall during the summer monsoon season and our warm season grasses, which are the nominate shortgrass species (buffalograss and blue grama) took a major hit. I have watched sites that just a few years ago were full of prairie sandreed, sand bluestem, sideoats grama, even some Indian and switchgrass turn into a monoculture of western wheat and weeds. For a while I was wondering what happened, but I'm now suspecting the fact the monsoons, which used to make summer our wettest season, have all but disappeared is a major factor.

This was one of my favorite spots on the refuge. I took this picture in the spring of 2016 or 2017 Now its just cheatgrass and western wheat...



Maybe Iris could send some of that rain our way this summer, say in July and August?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Zach, that’s a beautiful picture! By Summer I am likely complaining about having a drought again. But who knows, the weather is just weird lately. Today Winter came back. There might even be snow with the rain we will get tomorrow. I am always being impressed by moss being able to just grow on rocks. And this is actually in almost all day sun.

my little buckeye seedling is still growing.


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Moss is great, yesterday I was wondering if it would be possible to intentionally grow moss on a vinyl fence. Maybe some kind of covering or coating on the fence to make it a better growth substrate. Anyone know?

I finally finished wintersowing, I have 37 containers out there. Stay tuned for 2021 for some of them.

It was torrentially pouring and violently windy here earlier today. My neighbor had a tree come down, I'm going to try to get the wood chips if I am home when the tree service comes. The temp has dropped almost 30 degrees from this morning.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t know if the moss on vinyl fencing would work. Not sure the surface is rough enough. All that’s growing on my vinyl railing is algae, and it’s not pretty. Pretty much all you can find on google says how to remove it. Just how many different kinds of seeds are in your 37 containers? Very windy day here yesterday blew in the cold air. It’s kind of cool how the ice is coming out of the ground.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s snowing!



1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have 31 species in the jugs and about 95 overall. Split some of them over 2 jugs so they weren't too crowded.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, it finally looks like winter in your yard, until you see the palm. I'm going to finish sowing backups. I'm doing more backups because of last year.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, that’s an awesome number of different plants. Jay, I really hope everything is going to germinate well for you this time around. It really looked like Winter here. The snow switched to rain now. Hard to believe it was 75 degrees here last Monday.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I now have enough jugs and containers, but I ran out of promix. I'll have to try to get more tomorrow. Only 7 more species to sow.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Wow, you guys are doing some impressive work! I'll be sending good plant vibes your ways for a good season!

I got my showy milkweed seed sown today, I'm going to try and get the swamp milkweed sown later tonight along with some Joe Pye weed and purple coneflower. Apparently the coneflower doesn't need CMS, but I can't imagine it will hurt it. Of course that all depends on how much homework I get done this evening, and being on here isn't helping haha.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

We appear to be growing some of the same things, Zach! I was able to get only one of five speciosa MW to germinate using the water method. This is Day 16 post-root sprout, and it's really taking its time popping off the seed cap.




My Joe Pye is still CMSing in the fridge for another several weeks, and I've got coneflower seedlings in-ground from last November.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

These are all the grasses that I sowed seeds for.

Sporobolus heterolepis

Chasmanthium laxum

Chasmanthium latifolium

Beckmannia sizigachne

Panicum virgatum red

Panicum virgatum green

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua gracious

Carex sprengelii

Carex blanda

Carex rosea

Elymus histrix

Elymus villosa

Andropogon virginicus

Calamovilfa longifolia

Dichanthelium oligosanthes

Cinna arundinacea

Diarrhena americana

Eragrostis spectabilis

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Nasella tenuissima

Sorghastrum nutans

Tridens flavus.

I was trying to cut back on the grasses. Oh well. I still want Koeleria macrantha and Sporobolus cryptandrus. There is already big and little bluestem and purple love grass from last year. Quite a few of these were species that failed to germinate last year.


Gaultheria hispadula

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s a lot of grasses. I don’t really know anything about them, I like the snowberry. Looking at the map, it’s probably too warm for it here.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

The wonderful thing about grasses is grasses are wonderful things! Also, only very few of them require any sort of pre-treatment to germinate and they germinate pretty quickly. Instant gratification, unlike these wildflowers that take weeks and weeks of pre-chilling then several more weeks to germinate. Sedges on the other hand...

Jay, Sporobolus cryptandrus is plentiful here, but I'm pretty sure it's an annual. It's almost like a native version of cheatgrass (except it's warm season). Again if I remember it this year I'll try to get you some seed for it if you're interested. Like the woolly plantain though, it's hardly a plant worth writing home about. I associate it more with disturbed sites, almost like a roadside "weed" than anything most people would try to grow on purpose (not that you have to here, it pretty well shows up everywhere all on it's own).

Not a great picture, but this is about as good as it ever really looks.

Most of the time, the inflorescence doesn't even fully emerge from the sheath.




Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Just spent way too much time pulling and digging out japanese honeysuckle from around a tree. Seems like such a small area and yet there were so many individual plants, doing their best grass impression I guess. None of them wanted to come out easily, such an insidious vine. Didn't even finish. On the bright side I found an American holly seedling under it.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's too cold to do anything outside here. Skip, are there any Japanese honeysuckles near your house that the birds are eating? It snowed some more here. I ordered more bx mix. I can't believe I used up the other bag on just winter sowing containers.

Dermatophyllum secundiflorum, Texas Mountain Laurel.

Isoetes echinospora. Looks like grass, but produces spores.

Argemone mexicana.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great job, Skip! Is there a sure way to tell it is American holly popping up? I have seen several small ones, but am not sure they are of the native kind.

Jay, it was too cold and wet for me to do much outside, too. I think this was the first time I ever had a frozen fog advisory. I am so far behind with the yard work. More rain Monday afternoon until Thursday. Looks like another 4 inches coming up.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Jay: Our neighbors -- four iterations back -- planted a TX Mountain Laurel ~ 25 years ago. In all that time, I don't remember a single year wear that thing bloomed, and I wondered what all the fuss was. Last year, though, the blossoms were glorious -- I just couldn't help but notice them as that area of their yard was always just shady and shrubby. I just noticed this morning the shrub is blooming yet again! Beautiful...

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay there is honeysuckle coming in from my neighbors yards all over the place. You started a lot of grasses, got a mini prairie in mind?

Iris, as far as I can tell, the only similar species are Ilex aquifolium and hybrids, which dont seem to seed around too much in the east (prefers cool summer climate). The only difference I can find is the aquifolium leaves are darker and glossier, and the mature aquifolium trees are a little smaller.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thanks, Skip. I am going to take a closer look. If they are native, I might transplant some of them. They can’t really stay at my mailbox.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

All of my buckthorns and invasive bush honeysuckles came from my neighbors yards. I want to do a few prairie plantings and all the grasses will come in handy. I winter sowed some Ilex verticillata seeds. They take 2 years. My ginseng seeds should be ready to germinate this year.

Uresiphita reversalis. Hostplant Dermatophyllum secundiflorum.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I registered for the Plants of Concern workshop. It will be on March 14th at Midewin Tallgrass Prairie.😀🌱

Asclepias meadii 🙏

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't recall sharing this particular link before, but it's more about restoring savannas in the sandy areas south of me. I always wondered why that area was so sandy and yet close by, when I have deep, black, prairie soil around here, tho degraded, I'm sure. Pictures taken walking on path shown.

https://www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/big-features/saving-the-sand-savanna








Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This symposium is in 2 weeks. It sounds pretty good. Just a block away.....

https://www.jjc.edu/jjc-co-hosts-community-habitat-symposium

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great looking pictures, Jay! The symposium sounds really good if you have the time.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have the time. I think I'll attend the talks about restoring native ecosystems. The invasives are really taking over. Besides the non native buckthorns, honeysuckles, and burning bushes there are still more that spread even faster.

Phragmites australis. This is what it looks like down in the 'valley' here.

Crownvetch., Securigera varia.

Conium maculatum. I see this a lot around here. Poison hemlock.

Teasle. Dipsacus fullonum, laciniatum.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Well I'm back from Florida. Short trip. Too cold for me(not!). Took a tour of Leu gardens in Orlando. Lots of non-native tropicals. Did see some southern type Dogwood(sp ?) but was not impressed. I like mine up here better.

I have pics form my trip along the Oregon Trail from September and I'm hoping maybe Zach can id them for me. Hope I don't overdo the pics and bore everyone.

  1. a Sage?

  1. looks like a Liatris to me. On top of Scotts Bluff

  1. A sunflower. Maybe from birdseed. A cactus on the left? - Ash Hollow

  1. All grasses look alike to me! - Ash Hollow

  1. more of

  1. grass - Ash Hollow

  1. more of

  1. ? - Ash Hollow

  1. ?

  1. ? All over road sides in Wyoming. Near Muddy Gap.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I see Argemone and Euthamia? Is that you you in the picture Dandy? I have some native plant friends in Florida that could have given you a great tour. Maybe next time. Iris, did the puddles dry up yet?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris-your little Buckeye looks great. I found a volunteer like that in my yard and transplanted nearer to the hose and it's ten feet tall after four years. I expect blooms soon.

Jay-my Ilex verticillata's germinated about 80% in only one or two years time, outside, so be prepared

Zach-it's been getting wetter here in Minnesota overtime. A study of the data shows over previous five 50 year segments, the Minneapolis area's yearly rainfall increased from 25"/yr to now 30"/yr. Farmers do extremely well here.

I used to have this moss(?) growing on a rock but maybe it was a grass. It disappeared somehow and I can't get it back.

Mossy grass?

A few more pics from the Oregon trail.

Scott's Bluff overlooking the trail

wagon ruts 5' deep at Guernsey Wy. The North Platte was 100' away from here at the time, but now a mile away due to damming the river.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, it already started raining again. Looks like it is not going to stop until Thursday. Already have a flash flood watch again. The drainage pond on the property behind me is full. Picture from Saturday when it was at least snow for a change.

Dandy, these are really great pictures! My buckeye that I took the seeds from is not even 5 feet tall. I have this kind of mossy grass around. Would like to know what it is.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Florida wildflowers that are blooming now.





They are about 2 months ahead.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very pretty! Reading through some Facebook comments, the weather people are the only ones exited/ enthusiastic. But it explains my constant mud.

They now say 3 to 6 inches possible overnight. Yesterday they said up to 4 inches spread over the four days. I have really had it. There are probably all kinds of roots rotting.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Dandy, I'd be happy to helo with the ones I can!

1. You are right! It's a sage! "Louisiana sage" Artemesia ludoviciana. A lot of species, both plant and animal, bear the name "Louisiana" not because they come from the deep south, but because they were named when American's like Lewis and Clark were exploring the Louisiana Territory.

2. Right again! This one is Liatris punctata, dotted blazing star.

3. Three for three! I am going to have to go with Helianthus petiolaris, prairie sunflower. Not likely from any commercial birdseed, but the birds do love to munch on them! The "cactus" is actually a yucca, Yucca gluaca.

4. Your first grass looks like Indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans which would be reaching the western extent of it's "common" range in western Nebraska. It's one of, if not my top all time favorite grasses.

5. I'm having trouble making this one out, if I had to throw out a guess I'd say big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) because it's pretty common around I-80 through Nebraska and again, would be reaching the western extent of it's common range, I far from confident in that I.D. though.

6. This one is an evening primrose (Oenothera sp.) but I can't figure out which one.

7. Glycerrhiza lepidota, American wild licorice

8. Rabbitbrush one of our best shrubs! I love these guys! They bloom late (August/September) and are usually COVERED in butterflies.

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, Zach, that was quick!

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Yes-thanks Zach. That Rabbitbrush was everywhere in bloom. I wish I had collected some seeds from some of the plants we saw.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)


I became somewhat fascinated with the Oregon Trail after reading about how Robert Stuart found the South Pass over the Rocky Mtns in 1812. Of course the Arapaho, and others knew about the pass all along. The book, "

Across the Great Divide: Robert Stuart and the Discovery of the Oregon Trail


Zach, I think you would find it to be really interesting as you

live right there in that same area. Something about the Oto tribe near the end of the book left me laughing.

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I like it so much here it is again.

that's like about 99.7 percent of the yards in my town. So sick! 😥

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Sad, isn’t it? Looks like I have a little break in the rain. Going to grab my pruners and snip some rogue branches on my tiny trees. It warmed up to 66 degrees and the upland chorus frogs are calling. Too nice to stay inside. Need my rain boots though.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have to cross this bridge every time that I come to it. It's at the nearby McKinley woods, or is it forest? The path on the far side of the bridge is the path with the canal on one side and the river on the other.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158598049890628&id=172652635627


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

South Pass is the reason why Denver didn’t have a railroad until more than 10 years after it was founded in 1859. Most people at the time assumed that Cheyenne, WY was the “city of the future” and Denver’s relative inaccessibility and lack of any easy travel further west would see the town dry up in short order. The citizens and town founders like William Palmer had to privately fund a small spur that brought the railroad south from Cheyenne to Denver because the rail road companies refused.

My how times have changed. Sometimes I wish they had been right and Denver had remained a small “hole in the wall” instead we are consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. (with a cost of living to match) while until very recently, Cheyenne has remained relatively undiscovered.

Dandy if you want rabbitbrush seeds I can send you some. I’ve currently got a paper grocery store bag about half full I gathered up a few weeks ago.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Sure-we can do a trade. I have some xeric type species I can send back. Send a PM to me.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It went up to 74 degrees today. Really windy, but it was great to be able to be outside. So what is this with the narrow leaves? First I thought maybe it’s German knotweed seedlings. Never seen it as seedlings, but had the mature one identified last year. Maybe they would be Prostrate knotweed seedlings? Something completely different?

Had some pollinators on my plum tree.

hazelnuts are working it.


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, never mind. I found a different patch that has some bigger plants mixed in. I think they are all just German knotweed again. Still looks a bit different from when I asked on name that Plant last year, but that was a month later. There are already some blooms and they look the same to me.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Reading the Tallamy book, the part about ecosystem function "there may be no upper limit to the parts that run ecosystems; everytime a new species joins the ecosystem, it runs better than it did before." (Doesn't count if its an introduced plant that reduces the number of interacting species) Sounds like a great reason to get more species of plants, right?

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Such an enabler, Skip!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Saw this on the healthy yards fb group

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha ha, I am going to save this!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Hilarious! For me, not so deep down... ;)


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

This has truly been a groundbreaking (ha!) year for me as I become accustomed to how perennials behave. When I purchased two Georgia asters late last fall, I didn't realize they were getting towards the end of their blooming season -- the plants DID look a bit scraggly. After a quick (final?) flush of blooms, the stems started to brown. I knew I should panic, but I was concerned. Fast forward to now: putting out a lot of new growth: phew and yay!



I've been nipping back the brown branches, and am still finding green here and there; so, I'll leave these alone. Really excited about these!

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We got a lot of snow, and it's only 18 degrees now. All the containers outside have a nice snow cover. I've never seen German knotweed up here.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My bx mix is in. I'm going to finish the last of the winter sowing. About 13 more species.

Clematis freemontii. Prairie Moon has bare roots. There are at least 5 native plant sales coming up in April and May. I'd really like to attend the INPS sale. It's a chance to meet some friends from Missouri and southern Illinois.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, your asters are looking great! With all the dozens of seedlings you have, your desire to buy plants is still not way down? :)

Jay, that’s a really pretty clematis. Just how much snow is a lot? 2 inches would be plenty for me. By now you are probably done with your sowing.

This roller coaster weather is really confusing everything. There are sprouts coming up in some of my winter sowing pots. They are: Jay’s cowpen daisy and clover, tick trefoil, slender golden top, fig wort and wooly croton. What do I do now? Do I have to take them inside every time it freezes? That would be a long two months, but I really want to keep them alive. I was surprised to even see something in the wooly croton pot, since the folks on the butterfly Facebook page have such a hard time to get them to germinate. Of course there is a possibility they are weeds.

My blueberries also started blooming. No blueberry bees in sight, no other kinds of bumble bees that would go after these flowers, either.

Big mistletoe on one of my cherry trees


Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Well, Iris, since I planted a bunch of seedlings in the yard yesterday and today, I'm not used to the empty space on my indoor grow light shelves. They do say Nature abhors a vacuum!

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's 4 degrees, with a comfort level of -8. I have 7 more species to sow. Cool pictures Iris. I'd love to have a mistletoe. What kind of bees pollinate the blueberries?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yikes, Jay! Your temperature don’t sound like fun at all. It’s supposed to be 27 tomorrow night, so I am worried about the little seedlings. It was in the upper 60’s with rain when I got up this morning. The main pollinator for the blueberries is the blueberry bee for me. Really cool one, they are only active for this short time of the year. But I think it’s too early for them to come out, especially with these temperature swings. Some other bumble bees visit them, too. But they are not out either. Honey bees were out today, but they were not interested. They were on Camilla, Lenten roses and quince. I know some hairstreak uses mistletoe as host plant on oaks. Wonder if there is a difference.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Dandy, I’m trying to send you a message but when I click your name it doesn’t give me that option.


That German knotweed looks a lot like a Salsola species, or Russian thistle, that is the famous western tumbleweed (what John Wayne didn’t tell you though I that it is an introduced weed).

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Right now the real feel is 10 below zero. It's cold when putting those trays out. Acalypha gets a bad reputation as a weed, but it is native. Some kind of tiny bug is always chewing holes in my 3 seeded mercury's, so, they are helping the food chain.




.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I sent you back a reply. I didn't see your first reply for some reason. I posted my email addr, that might be better to use.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

How's the weather up there Dandy? It's a balmy -4 here.

Swallowtail moth

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

What a cute moth! So, any advice what I should do to protect my seedlings? Do they need protection? It’s going to be 27 degrees tonight.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe put them in the garage? A lot of seedlings seem to handle cold, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I'll bet my creeping Charleys look fine with their flowerbeds right now.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thanks, Jay! I will bring in one pot each, so I have at least some in case they can’t handle it. Guess I should be thankful I don’t have as many different kinds as all of you. You are probably right about your creeping Charly. Bet there are all kinds of weeds plotting against you under the snow. Weeds in my yard are doing very well.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hey Jay you growing rattlebox, Crotolaria sagittalis? Host plant for the bella moth. Seems to be considered a noxious weed in the southeast, annual, not very showy, right up your ally lol.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm not worried about the weeds. I'm looking forward to treating them. If I could get every last morning glory out of my back yard, than these spring weeds should be nothing.


This is now a holding bed for spice bushes and running strawberry bushes and Apios tubers.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No, Skip I'm not growing rattlebox, yet. I'm going to order seeds and have another bed prepared.🤣 You know, I actually was seriously considering growing it, and then somehow it slipped my mind.🤔 I wish that I could trade for seeds. I have so many extras of some really nice stuff.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great pictures, Jay! I am going to have to look up the rattle box. If it is considered a noxious weed, it’s probably somewhere in my yard.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I did tell myself no more seeds from Prairie Moon no matter what? Is that the only hostplant for the bella moth?

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/rattlebox.htm

Bella moth

Wild Indigo Duskywing

Frosted Elfin, they make it into Wisconsin, who knows?

Crotalaria saggitalis, only reaches a foot high. Is probably dependent on fire to grow well and colonize. Likes dry soil. The leaves are hirsute, but you can't tell from the picture.

Acmispon americanum. My plants were tiny, and looked frail. I wonder how they do in other states. They seem to like the arid southwest. My plants would not have provided much food for caterpillars.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There are no observations of the bella moth in Illinois on I naturalist. I really like those little duskywings tho. Rattlebox has some toxins that are bad for mammals. The caterpillars are able to transmute the poison. According to the map, there should be lots of Crotalaria saggitalis here, but I think it can be snuffed out eventually by competing plants, and nothing gets burnt anymore.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Milkweeds



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I was just reading about Danthonia compressa, and Danthonia stricta. They are native grasses for shade, and they have alelopathogens to suppress and kill weeds. That sounds right up your alley.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-yes it was cold here. Twenty two below zero yesterday and today. But supposed to go to 40's (above!) next week. We'll see. Yesterday morning saw the strangest North America temperature map. There was over 90 degree temp difference between here and S Carolina. I was only able to imagine how Iris was basking in sun/heat there.

Got my last(!) order from Prairie Moon today from their $2 sale, only ten more pacs. Included was a free pac of Heliopsis which no one up here should ever pay money for because they will show up on their own anyway. And since I already have a free volunteer next to the driveway, no need to even plant these. But, now time for me to dig another hole in the snowbank for this next batch of 60 day germinators. The thirty day ones will go in 1st of March. Like all the rest of us on this forum, I have great expectations of at least 90% germination.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Huh. I've heard of the common name poverty oat grass but never looked into it. Thanks!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, you bet I am enjoying the warm days. Can’t say you could pay me enough to dig in a snow bank in minus 22 degrees. But it’s going to freeze here again tonight and a possibility of wintry mix next week. No wonder my seeds and plants are confused.

Here is to 90% germination rate all around. I think that sounds about right in Javi’s case already.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

On average, maybe 80%. :) But it's hit or miss: some plants are 95%, while others are 0.000001%. (That fraction = hope.)


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am sure it’s better than that! Visited the frogs at the drainage pond again today. Gosh, I would love to get this property. 12.8 acres, woods in the back with a little creek. The owner lives in a huge house across the street on a hill. I guess he keeps it for the view, so it’s ok. He doesn’t mind me checking on the wildlife and saving the occasional plant.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What's that 12.8 acres like Iris? Is it original, pristine land, or has it been disturbed in the past? Is that stream flooded at the moment? That land looks real nice. Does the stream dry up during bad droughts? Dandy, I have gotten a few heliopsis bonus seed packets from Prairie Moon, and I already have a couple plants. They finally stopped giving partridge peas. What's funny is that regular partridge pea seeds are plentiful, but the sensative partridge peas are hard to find seeds for, unless you want to buy a pound. Our weather here is supposed to fluctuate wildly too.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t think there is much original about anything in our subdivision. It was mostly cow pasture. For the past two years the neighbor has been mowing an awful lot, before he just mowed maybe 4 times a year, except for the HOA required 20 feet from the curb. The drainage pond did not have any water in it for 3 month last year. Older google earth image, but the most recent there is.

green is my house, the red is the one I would buy as soon as a sign comes up.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There are no buildings on the 12 acres? The one side looks forested, is it? I can't see any pond in your lot? Us that a sand path or something sandy, on the other side of the forest? Plenty of room to have different areas with different conditions. I think it would take a few years to fill all that property up with plants.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

No buildings on that property, as I said, I think the neighbor just likes is for his view. My fish ponds (just two of the preformed ones running into a bigger one with pond liner) are under the tree cover where the top of the red location bubble is.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The two shade tolerant Danthonia species native around here dont seem to be commercially availabe.

I got Heliopsis helianthoides prairiemoom freebies too, and I also bought a pack of the local ecotype. I should grow out both to see if there is any difference. I haven't seen the plant in the wild but there are still about a million acres of Pinelands I haven't explored.


Iris you have a lot to work with to get started. It would be fun to work with that much land, if you could keep the weeds in check.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

One can hope. I am not sure they would sell that property unless they would sell the one they live in. But If they do, my husband is on board with it. When we moved here, the property next to us was empty and for sale. Also about 5 acres, but there is a power pole there and as a corner property a lot of curb to clean up. Plus we were young with a toddler and a mortgage. Should have gone for it. It was 25000. Four years later it was 115000.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow! It's hard to see changes in elevation with these pictures. I'm looking at the prairie Moon catalog again.

Dandy, have you ever tried growing Castillega up there? I've always wanted to grow the scarlet paintbrush. I ordered a couple of those plants from PM decades ago and they never took, but I think I've learned a lot more about gardening since then.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I did manage to germinate the Castilleja coccinea , Indian Paintbrush about 12 years ago but then it disappeared. I guess I didn't know it was Annual/bi-ennial, I haven't been able to get any seedlings since, but I keep trying. They are supposed to be common around here so will have to keep my eyes out out for them.

The Downy Paintbrush, C. sessiliflora is perennial but exists in the Western part of the state here. It appears to be local to your area down there so you should be able to find it. Look near the rr tracks.

I did experience digging in native prairie one time near the tracks and found the soil to be a mass of tightly bound roots forming a peaty mix.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks Dandy. You must have nice train tracks, because I see nothing interesting growing around ours. No rare finds anyways. I could try growing the green paintbrush. I like the red one. Texas has MBA beautiful mix of wildflowers along the roads in springtime, and a red flowered paintbrush is one of the plants.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Update on Asclepias iris -- still will not let go of that seed husk, but no harm done, I suppose. Oddly, a number of my other MW seedlings are doing likewise.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What species, tuberosa? That happens to me. There's always one that won't let go of the seed husk.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

“Iris” is looking good, Javi! Any idea what it might be compared to your other seedlings?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

That's just it, Jay: I have no idea which MW this is. One of the MW seeds went rogue on me as I was sorting them at my desk. Iris encouraged me to go ahead and get it going, so that's why I've named it after her.


Iris: I'm not even going to try to compare. As it is, I have two sets of verticillata that look very different from each other, so I'm not going to venture a guess. Will just sit back and enjoy the ride. :)

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, was just wondering about the self watering product (don’t want to call it thing, but can’t think of the correct word) you built for your trays. Did you fine tune it to work perfectly?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris, the test one I made out of a plastic tote, I could not get it to work right. It needs a constant supply of water. I tried to use a 2L bottle as a reservoir and stuck it upside down in the sand, like the way a selfwatering dog bowl works. It would drain all the water out of the bottle, I did not spend enough time trying to get everything leveled perfectly and did not refill the bottle often enough. I am still considering doing a bottom watering set up for the coldframes using a plastic liner on the bottom, potentially a type of capillary sand bed. Its still pretty cold outside and I wouldn't do that until some time in April when they start needing to be watered.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thanks, Skip! No need watering my seeds here right now, but I would be interested in what you come up with since it seems I am getting talked into trying more plants from seeds.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I will use my 2-gal pump sprayer to water initially, so I can apply the starter fertilizer and biofungicide. To build a fully automated capillary sand bed will cost around $200.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Crotalaria saggitalis seeds are ordered.m

I also ordered junegrass, Koeleria macrantha seeds for the grasshoppers and leaf hoppers. You can use the seeds to make flour.

Comandra umbellata, bastard toadflax. I considered this plant that's in the sandalwood family. It's difficult to start from tho. Maybe just scatter some seeds and hope some seedlings will appear at some point. I don't think it's a host plant for anything.

Frasera caroliniensis, Gentianaceae. A bizarre native that grows as a rosette for ip to 15 years, and then it shoots up a stalk that blooms, and then the plant dies. Very cool. Almost like a century plant? I'll have snow seed some of these next year. The germination code is M. Sow the seeds in fall and hope a few show up at some point. You would have to maybe do a few showings to get plants of different ages. You don't want them all to bloom and die spontaneously.

Frasera caroliniensis flower stalk.

Frazera caroliniensis flowers.


https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/am_columbo.html

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I had a brochure from one of these lawn care companies in my mailbox again. Promising me a beautiful lawn and a mosquito free summer. 6 visits a year plus an extra 4 for mosquito spraying. A lot of seasonal fertilizer, pre and post emergent weed control and insect control. How this company has “Nature” in their name is beyond me. And it’s certainly not a lawn I would want any kids or pets to play on.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

I must admit before I knew better 28 years ago (or even 10 years ago!), we went through such DIY efforts to maintain our lawns. Now we know -- better late than never.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

And we all hope that our next door neighbors all see the light and start gardening like we all are. There is one neighbor who has had a lawn service for years. His grass has no weeds but it's a total, sterile dead zone, and it looks artificial and sickening to me. Turf, what a waste of space.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)







Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I just came across old pictures from when we moved here. Wow, it was so empty.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



Wow! All that land, like you won a lottery lol. What a challenge. You've done a great job restoring habitat for the wildlife Iris! I just read that the poverty oat grass is the host plant for a couple endangered skippers in Illinois, and it feeds some grasshoppers too. Leonard's skipper has totally dissapeared from our state. I had to order seeds. There are only 2 clovers native here and it's impossible to find seeds for either of them, but there are tons of non native clover seed out there. They are Trifolium stoloniferum, running buffalo clover, and Trifolium reflexum, buffalo clover. How's the weather Iris?

Danthonia spicata, poverty oat grass.



Danthonia compressa, slender oat grass. I can't find any seed sources for this one.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s 43 degrees here and some drizzle. I should pay closer attention to all the grasses growing here. Maybe there are a few nice ones.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Has the ground dried?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Up to 49 today and warm in the sun. Logged another hour pulling Japanese honeysuckle from one small area. Maybe another 2-3 hours until its clear.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, it has not dried out yet. Getting a little better after 3 dry days in a row, but there is more rain on the way. Some puddles have been there since before Christmas. My willow still looks happy enough. Already starting to leaf out on the top.


Skip, keep up the fight. Sounds like you are making great progress. Not sure what my plan is, especially inside the brush pile. Did cut some wisteria and honeysuckle down at ground level that were about to choke some trees, but that’s not going to help for long. After reading the butterfly forum, I am going to start some broccoli. Was planning to plant some vegetables, so why not also that one? Any of you having a vegetable bed planned?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No vegetables. I have greens. What butterflies does broccoli attract, besides cabbage whites?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Jay: If you head over to the Butterfly Gardens forum and open the thread about broccoli, the first video appears to show a swarm of pipevine swallowtails going nuts over broccoli flowers.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, no tomatoes for the hornworms? :)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I thought that was a video from the fall based on the seed heads on the grass, but then I read the comment. No flowers in February up here.

I am not planning any veggies this year, I put in blueberry, superbum lily, Packera obovata, Penstemon, and Liatris where I grew them last year instead

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Nothing either, Skip? I thought you were just going to start them earlier this year.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't know there was a video, but after seeing all those butterflies, I think I will try 2 plants and I tomato for me and the hornworms. Maybe broccoli doesn't work that way up here. AFAIK, nobody up here leaves them in the ground over winter. I'll have to see how it does, going through a winter. I saw pictures of a tropical cat eating a starfish plant. I didn't think they could.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I haven’t been serious about growing veggies in years. Just have the pretty much no maintenance fruit like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, grapes and blueberries. I did plant watermelon a few years back as payment for my husband for tilling the new flower beds. They worked too well. I think the whole neighborhood is still tired of them. The “bird planted” tomatoes always worked better than the ones planted on purpose. Sorry, don’t want to distract from the native plant here. Was just curious if you save a little space for your own food.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris, I like those no maintenance fruits you mentioned better. My wife didn't want anything to do with the vegetable garden either. Hoping to add elderberries, serviceberries and hickory this year, and I have a few persimmon, beach plum, and red mulberry seedlings growing in the ground already. I like edible wild plants, and a more hands off approach.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I do have the persimmon, mulberry and native plums. No fruits yet. Most of my other fruit trees don’t give me anything usable since I am not willing to spray the heck out of them. And is there even a chance with cedar apple rust? Pears work well, my father in law makes pounds of compote every year. Wildlife beats me to the pecans and hazelnuts.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

I really do enjoy growing vegetables. It's what got me into gardening way back when. But I think I may skip the veggies this year. I have to make all new beds so maybe I'll focus on doing that in preparation of for next year.

The grasses are definitely "blooming" around here in February.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)




Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis)



2 Likes Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw(5)

I continue to lurk here daily. I have wintersown a bunch of native perennial wildflowers, just ordered a bunch of native fruit-bearing shrubs, and plan to direct sow zinnias, tithonia, calendula, cosmos, sunflowers, and a few more annuals to support the pollinators while the perennials get established. I go back and forth re vegetables. I would love to grow them, but I am surrounded by farms that grow every food plant under the sun. So, maybe I should just frequent the local roadside produce stands and devote my energies toward maintaining the crucial pollinator habitat that will allow those farms to continue their robust production. It is fun to harvest your own produce. But, it can also tie you down to daily picking of beans, zucchini, peas, etc. Regardless, I am looking forward to playing in the dirt.

Martha

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

A new native for me, Lycopus americanum.



Hermit sphinx, Lintneria eremitus

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/am_bugleweed.htm

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Zach, these pictures are beautiful. Even though it looks really cold.

As wet as it has been, maybe bugleweed is not far behind to show up. Have never seen any. I could probably have this moth around. Have plenty of Monarda for it if it decides to come by.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, Zach those are nice grass pictures. The Canada wild rye I had was starting to take over. I lost a few other nice natives to it, so I took it all out, but I'm still growing Elymus histrix and Elymus villosa. The Panicum looks nice with snow on it.




Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We had to put down Rex this morning. He was a big part of my life for almost 12 and a half years.

Rex 10 /2007 - 2 /2020. ❤

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am so sorry for your loss. That’s rough.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

I didn't want to 'Like' your post, Jay. I'm so sorry.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Sorry for your loss, Jay.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Why would my golden Alexanders bloom now? And so close to the ground? I just planted them last Spring, so I am not sure this is normal.

Found two new to me plants today. I think the first one is common storksbill. Is that correct?

The other one is just about 2.5 inches tall. Any idea?


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I don;t think the first is a Zizia.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, I ordered the 3 pack of plants from Prairie moon last Spring. I would hope that would be trustworthy (as opposed to order from somebody on Etsy) How can I tell? The coloring doesn’t look as green as online images, but the leaf shape looks like it.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's a Zizia.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The second is Erodium cicutarium, and the third is maybe a Lepidium. Talk about invasive, the storksbills covers ALL of north America. I've never noticed it around here. There are several species of Lepidium in S.C. I can't see the leaves very so you can check for which species.

http://bonap.net/Napa/TaxonMaps/Genus/County/Lepidium

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay. I will look them up. There was not much in the way of leaves. Hope you are doing alright. Having been in your shoes several times, the house feels awfully empty for quiet a while. Have been thinking about you.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
docmom_gw(5)

What’s up with the forum list? I took my normal link to the garden forums, but came to a page entitled “Explore topics” that mostly listed Australian forums. I had to search this particular thread by title to get here.


Martha

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Did you access the forums through houzz.com or gardenweb.com? The houzz domain is always glitchy, I can't even type a comment via mobile through houzz without it erasing words or adding all kinds of crazy letters to everything I type. In any case, every time they do an update to the website the forum functionality seems to suffer until they notice there is a problem.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

The leaf doesn't look mine. You must be right. Sorry, I should know better than to do plant id's. they all look alike to me!

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

http://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2018/4/1/vlq4ik0l454pyw0zcemu5wfxawksr3 this podcast episode is mind blowing, going into floral scents, shapes, and colors, and even how they can evolve within the same species based on pest and pollinator inputs. There is really so much information in this one episode it is hard to take in, but it is well worth a listen, and it gives me some perspective on just how deep and expansive the body of research and interest in flowers and pollinators is right now. At the end, some of the stuff he says makes it sound like a lot of universities are on track to tackle the question of how to use native pollinators and flora for agriculltural purposes in the face of honeybee decline. Which is still self centered, but at least allows the possibility of forming mutualistic or symbiotic relationships between modern humans and nature, instead of the way we degrade and harvest nature currently.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, I am sure you know a lot more about plant ID than I do. A lot of my plants, especially evening primrose, are currently growing in odd ways with unusual colors. Probably this weird winter. And I guess there are all kinds of fungus involved by now.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Picture taken from Prairie Moon-Zizia aurea

Although Golden Alexanders are endemic to your state, the seed you used most likely came from Northern sources at Prairie Moon. Possibly, your seed isn't programmed for that climate. Sort of in the same way that I made a big mistake one time trying to raise Button Bush from Southern source.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Guess I will see what new growth in Spring looks like, but they were not this light green last Summer. So if mine would reseed themselves, would seedlings adapt after a few generations? Would be interesting to see what a plant from Joyful Butterfly would look like in my yard since they are from around here.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

documon--the same thing has happened to me, and I always go in through an old gardenweb link. I can only get to "My topics" and I also see the list of Australian links when I try to look at the garden forums. Will try to search for a forum by name.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Hi junco. Welcome! I had the list of gardenweb topics and now half of the page is blank. This happened the same time as the other problems. I can just google the name of a forum that I want, and my phone will take me to the gardenweb side. I still can't understand why there are 2 sides.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hey Iris do you have any pics of your Oenothera growing during the year? Have any other plants that flower at night or evening?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I should have pictures somewhere. The other ones I have at night are four o’ clock and Jimson weed. I probably posted lots of pictures of that one. The bees were waiting for it to open and the Sphinx moths were dive bombing into it after dark.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

That looks like Oenothera biennis, Iris? We have O. villosa here, I couldn't tell you what the difference is between the two. In fact the only way I distinguish them is that there only been a total of three biennis specimens collected from Colorado but there are piles of villosa collections from the state and so I call all of the ones I see villosa. I did however give up correcting people on iNaturalist. Most people it seems have the opposite approach to me and call them all biennis until proven otherwise. Oh well.

In any case, it reseeds everywhere around my house. I had a giant one growing next to the propane tank last summer and a bunch of rosettes along the drip-line around the house. The rosettes seem to be evergreen. At least they were green in January before they got covered with snow and now that it's starting to melt a bit, they are poking their little green faces up at me. It's a cool plant if I wake up early enough to "visit" it, and I collected seed from the big one this winter (not that I needed to, but I might want some "controlled" planting of it somewhere...)

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay ID’d this one as biennis I think. Or maybe Skip? I have two slightly different kinds. Both came up by themselves years ago, but I liked and kept them. Sadly the Japanese beetles also love them. They haven’t been too bad the last 3 years. Knock on wood. Weather is not favorable for yard work. Rain, sleet and snow yesterday. Planted some indoor seeds on Wednesday. One broccoli is already sprouting. Willow still doing well after standing in water for at least 10 weeks. I know they like it wet, but how wet is too wet?


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

1 year ago today.



Everthing was started a little to early, except for the Calotropis.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You starting anything indoors this year, Jay?

I went for a walk in the park near work the other day to get in a little exercise. Walked through the big field and into the woods. The first 150feet in everything is just a mess of invasive vines and shrubs. A little further in some matted down japanese stilt grass, then you hit the remaining little fragment that used to be an oak pine forest. Its still got the blueberry understory with smilax rotundifolia weaving its way through. I come up and over a small hill down to a little brook crossing and notice something still green. It is a pair of big old mountain laurels! Finally, I found a couple of low land specimens in the neighborhood. It was directly behind the invasive viburnum with the big red berries I posted a while back, must have been why I didn't notice it before. I went back today and shook one of the dried flowers over an envelope and left with a few seeds to work with. I don't know where I can plant these, but I'm excited to start them and find a place for them. They'll be spending a few years in a growbag and I'll have plenty of time to figure it out.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm trying to hang my light fixture in the basement. I need to get hooks. Then tonight I want to start soaking some milkweed seeds. I think this new airport is going to be built out towards the tallgrass prairie. They are ruining this area so bad with 'development' that I wish I could move. I'll keep the seedlings under fluorescent lights at first, and then the metal slide bulb.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-what invasive Viburnum were you referring to? And what are the lowland plants, Laurels?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Viburnum dilatatum. Yeah, I see tons of mountain laurel up in New York where the elevation is higher and the topography is much more mountainous and rocky, I was happy to find one down here near sea level.

I finally finished pulling out the honeysuckle from around the tree, another 2 hours. Cant wait to refill it woodland sunflower and others later this year.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

McKinley woods and bear island prairie. Everything is still dormant.










Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)






I collected some alnus seeds. They could plant prairies on top of warehouses.



They mowed the coralberries right here by the river. It boggles my mind why?


Panicum virgatum does look good in winter.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great job, Skip! Looking really empty. Plenty of space.

Jay, are you only starting milkweed inside? Did you take another field trip today? Looks like you are having nice weather.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-I remember what the before picture looked like with all the trashy JH and everything. Is that a Silver Maple?

Jay-nice to see you have Beaver down there. Up here they are the number 1 nuisance animal whose only crime is doing what they were engineered to do. Their mortality is caused almost entirely by humans. They dropped one of my good sized ash trees into the river this fall, but I cared not.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay looks like a good trip.

I was looking around the back of the lot before and got close enough to a big vine to take some pictures. Looks like its oriental bittersweet. Does cut stump application of glyphosate or triclopyr work when the plant is dormant?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm going to hack into some invasive trees and apply herbicide.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/623997204362467?view=permalink&id=2614232952005539

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It got up into the 50s today. The path by the canal was muddy, so I went to the prairie side.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip-a weak solution of either works just fine in winter..

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, do you mean that the herbicides are more effective in the winter? I'm thinking about treating some Phragmites in order to make a straight path to the train tracks. I hate having this huge monoculture of it right next to my yard. It's a dead zone. It could be beautiful if it had a variety of natives instead.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)





Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The weather was beautiful today and I went back at it pulling the honeysuckle that come under the fence from the other side. I cut that bittersweet vine and painted it with ortho poison ivy killer concentrate (8% triclopyr), and found another big vine that I was able to easily pull out of the ground. The brush piles of pulled invasives are growing!

This must be where all the bittersweet seedlings in my front flower bed were coming from.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I had to look up bittersweet. So are yours the oriental, thorns and all? I have never come across either one in my yard. It was a nice day here, too. Rain moving in tonight until Tuesday. Still just skirting around the edges pulling weeds. Wonder when I finally be able to work in the flower beds. I would really need to take out some of the swamp sunflowers. Maples are coming out.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's great that you're clearing out all that area. Good job Skip! It was like spring here today too, but the ground is so wet it's like quicksand. I was going to plant some trilliums, but I was afraid that I might dig up another plant in the process. I'm not sure where everything is. I have 13 invasive trees and 5 invasive shrubs I need to kill. I'm soaking milkweed seeds. Cordifolia, quadrifolia, pulchra, purpurescens, subverticillata, fascicularis, oenotheroides, erosa, and cancellatus. Nice picture Iris. It's supposed to rain here tomorrow too.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

That’s a lot of milkweed! Still kind of jealous of the quadrifolia. But I guess as long as I have enough for all the caterpillars, it doesn’t really matter what kind. Hope my latifolia is finally going to take off in it’s fourth year. Otherwise I might just have to dig it up and send it to Texas to be happy.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

:D

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I dont think there are thorns on Celastrus orbiculatus, although the only part I can see is a thick woody vine. The rest is up high in the trees.

eta: cant wait to see the milkweed show Jay, and good luck with the trees and shrubs.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have done a bit more reading. Good thing I have not seen them in my yard. Even with these detailed instructions, I would probably still end up here with dozens of pictures because I am unsure.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_017307.pdf

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't have any oriental bittersweet in my yard, but I've seen it growing along the canal. That's only a block away. Iris, where are you going to plant the broccoli?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

When doing a cut and paint with herbicide, winter time seems just as good as any other time.

I have a lot of Bittersweet coming up all over too. It appears to be the native kind by the fruits, but sometimes I'm not sure, which could mean cross breeding. I think I need to make a note to remove all small vines when I see them. They are a nuisance when there are too many of them.

Native Bittersweet vines on Sumac. Note that the berries are at the stem terminus.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

A new prairie to see. 30 miles away.

https://youtu.be/oz9I2YwmV8M

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I just copied that link to post here. You know that guy? All tatted up and crude speaking, my kind of field guide

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm glad you liked it. I was hesitant about posting. I don't know him, but he talks like he's from the area. It's by far the best video about Wolf Road prairie. That guy does other native plant videos. That prairie is north of me. My kind of guide too lol.





Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

That guy talks like every field tech I’ve ever met (including me haha).

all the photos and videos are definitely making me dream of spring. Unfortunately we still have 3 more months of winter, plus a cold drizzly hail-ridden June. July and August might be okay then back to snow. How anything manages to survive out here is beyond me. The guy mentions the arid climate out in “California” but the vanishingly short growing season of the intermountain region is another reason western grasslands will never be as verdant as the eastern prairies. It’s hard to grow more than a few inches when you’ve only got a month to do it in before you have to set and ripen seeds.

Dandy, did you get my message I sent on Friday?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Beautiful pictures, Jay! Did you get your milkweed seeds planted?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Zach, I really could not do these long winters. Counting down the weeks until Spring. The constant rain does not help to improve the mood. Need to have a talk with this groundhog. He was wrong again.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Yes Zach. I replied back on Friday. Should be in your in box. And yes-your climate is worse than mine, but five winters ago the snow was just as deep in late April as it was in December. Very unusual but then I voluntarily moved this far north nine years ago. My living problems are so minor compared to what a lot of other people have to put up with, And I have a large amount of land(1 & 3/4 acre) to play naturalist with.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Grr, it’s not showing up in my messages! I should have went the email route Dandy, but I was sitting in the car and already had your message pulled up on my phone so I was lazy and didn’t log into email. That will teach me but regardless I’m glad you got the message.

It doesn’t get as cold and morose here as it does in the Midwest. The sun is out most days and it doesn’t usually get much below zero but the length is what gets me. It can, and often does, snow at any point between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Denver’s latest snow was early June back in the 40’s and the lastest frost was nearly July back in like 2007. Snow in November doesn’t bother me much or December and January. But when we are still getting snow throughout April and May is when I really get exhausted by it. To be honest it isn’t like it’s freezing all of May, it will be 75-80 and then drop to 25 with 8” of snow and it’s on and off like that all “spring.” This February has been bad, nearly record setting snowfall but this year is different. Usually we just get a handful of medium-large storms this year we’ve just been getting a few inches several times a week the entire month. March typically out snowiest month so it’s likely we will just go from bad to worse.

I have tried to leave Colorado so many times I’ve lost count. But apparently this place is like a black a hole, I can’t seem to escape it. Oh how I long to live somewhere where they actually have a. “spring” and “fall” and summer lasts longer than the blink of an eye.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

We came here from northern Germany. Plenty of snow and cold winters. To be honest, I had no idea about what climate we would move into. “South” Carolina sounded nice though. Everything went by so quickly. We had a baby, a hundred year old house we were fixing up (and had to finish fast and sell), my husband flying over here for a few days looking at houses and us really buying it based on the pictures he took. Getting our stuff into a trailer to be shipped here by ship. Arriving with the baby, a dog and a rabbit and none of our furniture for a few more weeks. But I loved it still being green in November. It seems we have mostly lost our Springs recently. Goes from Winter straight to Summer. Late Summer droughts have also gone worse.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

So my wife thinks we need to visit Maine this year. I can't think of a more biologically uninteresting place...

My suggestion was a "North American Prairie Grand Prix" of sorts.

It would start here in Colorado at Pawnee National Grassland, go up to Crescent Lake NWR in the Nebraska Sandhills, then up to Buffalo Gap National Grassland/Badlands NP in South Dakota, back down to Nebraska to Valentine NWR, then a haul over to Des Moines to Neil Smith NWR, out to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois, then through Missouri and out to Kansas to hit up Flint Hills NWR, Tallgrass National Preserve and the Great Plains Nature Center then just back to Denver. For the super tour I would go from Wichita through southern Kansas/Colorado and the Cimarron and Comanche National Grassland then north to hit up some cool playa wetlands in SE Colorado then back to Denver, but I was trying to be realistic haha.

Needless to say, I was met with an emphatic no.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think my growing season is too short. I'd like to move as far south as North Carolina, Tennessee or Arkansas if I could. We are getting snow tomorrow. I'm soaking the milkweed seeds in warm water after 30 days cms. When roots start showing I'll plant them in a 72 cell tray. I have 9 species of seeds soaking, and there are still more species.


Spermacoce glabra, Smooth false buttonweed. Another species to hunt down.


Trifolium stolonifera, running buffalo clover. Somebody I know took this picture and has some growing nearby.

I'll need a tree after I get rid of the invasive ones. I'm thinking paw paw.



native orchid

Piedmont prairie

Dirca palustris

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My paw paws are really slow growing. The smooth, false buttonweed looks very familiar for some reason. How did the hedge hog get in there? Always left eggs and other food out for them to fatten up in Fall when I grew up.

Zach, my daughter went to Camp on Hog Island in Maine. Don’t diss the puffins. But really bad on mosquitoes when she was there.

Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I drove through Maine once. Went to Acadia National Park. Went whale watching. Passed Steven King's house and saw him in his front yard. I would like to see the prairies in southern Minnesota. I'm thinking of going to St. Louis and then to Kansas to see the largest population of Mead's milkweed. I read that most of the prairies in Kansas where it grows they mow the plants, and so they never reproduce by seeds only rhizomes. Nice way to treat endangered plants. There is 1 or 2 prairies with Mead's that do get burnt. An ecotourism of Colorado would be cool too.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Maine is a nice state dont overlook it. Check out Cutler Coast, Baxter National Park, and the Moosehead Lake area. Actually I didn't pay attention to many plants when I went years ago but the scenery was nice. Some of the biggest and strangest mushrooms I have ever seen. The landscape can vary a lot. There are boring areas of tree farms, but the natural areas are really nice. The mosquitos and flies were out of control though in some areas.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Iris, puffins are my favorite animal on the planet! I would never dis them! Last year I got to see tufted puffins off the Oregon coast. The problem is you can never get a good look at them since they stay way out on islands while my lack of gills and fear of being more than ankle deep in the ocean keeps me stuck on the shore.

I spent an extremely brief period of time at the Bangor airport in Maine about 12 years ago. The only thing I remember about the state was pine trees and a lack of food options after a direct flight from Honolulu (maybe we stopped to fuel up in California, but weren't allowed off the plane... either way I was very hungry). But regardless the unending forests of pine trees seemed terribly boring.

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, Zach! My daughter’s camp was during the breeding season, so they did see them on land.

Did get an additional 1.25 inches of rain overnight. This is THE year for mosses and lichens. Some trees, especially one cherry growing slowly at a very rocky place in my yard, are completely covered. It’s kind of odd in a very fascinating way. Should learn a bit more about these things.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice pics

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What's the red thing in the bottom picture? That's a lot of mosses and lichens

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They are red shoots coming out of a moss. It’s never been so wet and squishy for so long, so I am seeing completely different things.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think the red moss is Ceratodon purpureus.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you, Jay! Very little native range on the USDA map, but on google it is all over the place. I think it’s kind of cool.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

So, Jay, did you plant your milkweed seeds? Seeds I planted inside a week ago are sprouting. Including Javi’s Zinnias. Hope they are not growing too quickly since it’s going to be a while until they can go outside.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I planted all the milkweed seeds with roots sprouting. I'm starting as bunch of species. Speciosa, oenotheroides, cancellata, fascicularis, stenophylla, hirtella, asperula, arenaria, variegata, viridiflora, erosa, ovalifolia, cordifolia, quadrifolia, viridis, Matelea decipiens, purpurascens, pulchra, humistrata, subverticillata
. And then I have all the other milkweeds that I winter sowed. Too many to mention lol.

Asclepias humistrata, Pat Mahon, Pure Air Natives.

Asclepias cordifolia, Pat Mahon

A baby Monarch cat on Asclepias californica.

Cute, tropical, non parasitic cowbirds.

Trifolium stolonifera, running buffalo clover. I want to bring it back. 🙏

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think there are aliens with superior intelligence out there. They just take one look at what we are doing to this planet, and they keep flying on .

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This year I'm going back to Braidwood with my boots on, and I want to explore every last inch.

https://youtu.be/CBF-L0DH4AM

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

https://youtu.be/piWZe4t0BR8

Mediocre pizza is being kind. There are no good pizza places anywhere in the area.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, Jay. The Monarchs and Tussock moths are going to be happy with you! So how are you going to bring the clover back? The Braidwood Dunes place looks really nice to explore. Don’t get lost!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

A friend, Daniel Boone, (his real name), can maybe send me seeds if I ask. He lives in Ohio where the last populations of Trifolium stolonifera still survive.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2020/02/24/70-90-percent-of-coral-reefs-will-disappear-over-the-next-20-years-scientists-say/

I don't have a propagation heating mat. Need to get one.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha, Javi’s method of Christmas lights as heating mat seems to work!

Jeez, looking at my mountain mint, I think it needs it’s own flower bed. Or maybe even it’s own Zip Code. Took the picture after I already started taking some out to free my Mexican hats and Turk’s cap.


Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Oh, boy, Iris -- I'm in for it now with that mountain mint! ;)


My DIY heat mat has been serving me quite well these past few months -- keeps everything right at 75-78 degrees.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I thinned out my mountain mint last year and removed too much. Only 1 flower.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, but you will be entertained for months. It’s really visited by an incredible diversity of critters. I wish descriptions would be a bit more accurate. This is from Almost Eden where I ordered mine from. Slowly spreading.

Jay, I can always send you some sprigs as soon as it is warm enough in your area.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris dont you till and mulch all your garden areas first? I wonder if that contributes to the prodigious growth.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, my husband tilled these two new flower beds in February 2017 (yikes, I thought it was the year before, but I just checked my videos of this huge thing taking off with him). We raked out everything. I dug in some compost. A bit of my own, but mostly mushroom compost from Lowe’s since there wasn’t nearly enough. Continued to pull weeds until planting time. I mulched whatever I planted. Didn’t want to put mulch on top first since I direct sowed some seeds. Not complaining that the plants are doing so well. Just need to find some neighbors and friends to take some of my hands. I really need more room for the new plants I have already ordered and am growing from seeds. Might be time to rent that tiller again. I am just really behind and thinking I will end up with dozens of pots standing around.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I winter sowed Pycnanthemum virginicum and muticum.










https://www.facebook.com/groups/306237756212420/permalink/1519215488247968/

All people who have unnatural relations with non native plants will burn in hell for eternity!😖😤😕😟😠😡☄

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

This is a new genus for me. Bartonia. I never saw them at Braidwood, but they are there. There were some other plants in the video that I never saw either.

Bartonia virginica. The flowers barely open, similar to bottle gentian.

Bartonia verna.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Going to have to look up Bartonia. The verna is really pretty. Apologize for not being native, but since Frizzle Sizzle was mentioned here before, mine is blooming :)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No need to apologize for loving all kinds of plants. I'd probably have one myself if I lived someplace warmer. I want to see the flowers.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Well, it’s a houseplant, so it’s not taking up any space outside for native ones. It’s supposed to smell nice, but my daughter thinks it smells like insect repellent. I think she is right. Might take some space for food though. Going to try to grow some ground apple. I think this would be good for my husband’s health. Plus some peas. Just enough for snacking while strolling around the yard looking at the butterflies.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The imortality vine is supposed to be good for health too.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Is ground apple Smallanthus sonchifolius? I should give Smallanthus uvedalius seeds another try, I have a seed packet from last year. Just read they need to be scarified. I wonder if this species grows tubers too.

I sowed my mountain laurel seeds in a jug and put them out this morning. I bottom watered the promix with a 1/4 strength nutrient solution to give it something to get started.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, my immortality plant is still alive. Didn’t make any tea though.

Skip, yes, that’s the ground apple. Googled your uvedalius. Looks like a plant worth another try.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Unless I grossly mislabelled this one last year, it appears my A. asperula has returned (seeds from Jay)! If mislabelled, at worst it'll be A. speciosa, which is fine!


This is Year 2, so I'm hoping for great things. I noticed a ravenous, 4th/5th instar Monarch cat nearby, finishing off a tropical MW, so I popped one of my plastic bottle cloches over the asperula. Need to give it a fighting chance, especially before the migration comes through.



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its nice to see signs of life. I got hairy bittercress flowering already and Allium vineale coming up everywhere. The willows are waking up too


Anyone recognize this plant?


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I'm not sure what your plant is. I thought maybe pussytoes but can't find a match. My smallanthus seeds didn't germinate last time. I think I'll find the pot scarcity the seeds now. I'd like to grow the Gynostemma again. There's no signs of spring here. We've been having frigid temperatures.











Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I wonder if they are pussytoes, they are growing about 6ft from my other ones, so its possible. The hairs are a lot longer and the leaves are a lot narrower than the other pussytoes though.

Look at this Packera aurea spreading


I planted it spring 2018, it died down to nothing by the end of the year, it came back as like 2 leaves last year, and now it seems like its getting established.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I winter sowed packera aurea seeds. Mutant pussytoes? It's getting intense with all these milkweed seeds.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, your milkweed is looking great! I keep on forgetting to ask how your little Hop tree seedlings are doing.

Skip, love your willow! I saw plants that are very similar to yours somewhere in my yard. That’s usually not a good sign, since 80% of what I find are weeds.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Iris: I planted two, and here's one:



Looks to be a happy camper! Question of the day: what on earth am I going to do with the 10 others still in cups?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, it’s so big already! It’s a good question what to do with the other ones. They are nice trees, hopefully they will find good homes.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javiwa

Because they are notorious for not doing well down here, I've been advised by folks from a local FB group to hang onto all of them, just in case. :)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, your plant might be a Cerastium, something like Cerastium arvense, not native. Or it could also be mouse ear chickweed, the native Cerastium vulgatum.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That looks like a match, Jay. The oregon state university website says the arvense has darker green, narrow leaves than the vulgatum, which looks right. Funny thing, I have tons of regular chickweed around too, Stellaria media.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I've grown the non native Cerastium tomentosum twice before. A native species would be nice.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Well, it's not seed starting, but we started prepping this cattail stand today. These are a mix of invasive narrowleaf and hybrid cattails which I would love to clear out of here.

I've never had such a hard time getting cattails to burn, but I think we cleaned up enough of the "junk" so that when they start to grow in the spring I will be able to spray them with an aquatic herbicide.

I'm hoping to clear this spot of all cattails this summer and in the fall seed a mix of native sedges, rushes, grasses (and if I win the lottery, wetland forbs like Verbena hastata and Asclepias incarnata). One acre down, only about 100 more to go!


1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

We have Verbena hastata and Asclepias incarnata in the wetland a couple miles down the road from me.

How do you deal with the seed bank and follow up maintenance, I assume some of the invasives will germinate alongside what you plant?

One last pic of this place to make you feel claustrophobic


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Nice pictures. Are those mullein growing behing the Verbena hastata? I'm still waiting for the Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra seeds to sprout. If they don't I'm going to order a plant. The last pic is nice. I would love to explore kn there, nice place.

Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah that mullein is everywhere sunny. There's a large amount of invasives by that Verbena.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I forgot to ask. Are those clethras in the pic with the swallowtail?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)