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!
I was looking and South Carolina has 8 species of goatweed and Illinois has 6 species. Funny that I've never noticed any at all the places I went to.
Well, I wouldn’t have recognized them if I would have seen them. Plus they are not really showy to catch the eye.
It's a good thing all seeds don't come in sacks, otherwise I have major storage problems lol.
Happy winter solstice! I look forward to days getting longer.
Yeah, can't wait to be able to hike at night again.
Ha, the “plant of the week” in my inbox was Monarda russeliana. Pretty, and should grow for me, but once again it is Javi’s. I am living in the wrong state.
Come on over! :)
That is a really cool looking bee balm. Figures it only grows in texas. Why do they suggest plants that aren't native to your area?
Iris, the russeliana is about as far away at being native for me as it is for you. I still haven't grown all the Monardas native here. There is still clinopodia, media, and punctata. Texas has like 300 species lol.
It’s the weekly pine ridge email. Guess it’s native in Arkansas. My rain forecast until tomorrow went from 2 inches to up to 5. Just finished decorating the Christmas tree. Hopefully it’s cat proof, my daughter brought hers.
I watched a video featuring Doug Tallamy yesterday https://youtu.be/BETK1RCOj0Y ~5:15 he says "Some people think, well if its from north america it is native, and theyll gather plants from all over north america and put them in their garden. But what they've really done is create a north american plant zoo." Got a chuckle out of that line. He goes on to say a native plant, by his definition, "is one that has evolved within the context of the local foodweb."
Still not deterred from expanding the plant zoo.
No rain in the forecast here. Stock up on your precipitation now, Iris. Time to get some of those 300 gallon totes to use as rain barrels
Someone sent me M. punctata seeds (monarda -- horsemint?) earlier this year, but I failed twice trying to germinate. Will be for more seeds and try again in spring. I could be remembering wrong, but it seemed years ago I could find bee balm at the local nurseries. None lately, that I can recall. We're visiting family in So Cal. -- rain started last night and will continue non-stop into the late evening. It's been at least 35-40 years since I experienced a rainy December out here: loving it. :)
Here's a pre-rain, backyard sunset from the weekend:
Nice to see everyone enjoying the rain. I'm glad not to have any for a change. They have monardas at the nurseries around here, but they are all sickly hybrids that only 1 season. I don't think I have a plant zoo, maybe a few plant side shows.
Nope, done enjoying it. Should be nice the next couple of days though.
It’s a Christmas baby! No idea how that worked. It was in its chrysalis since way before Thanksgiving. Survived several freezes (23 degrees). Hope it’s alright. Looks like a tiny crinkle in the wing.
Edited to say that it just flew off :)
They are beautiful. Wish they were up here.
It sure looks like they can stand some cold!
It was unseasonably warm around 60.
The woods looks bigger when everything loses it's leaves.
A seep. Will have to check out in spring.
Maybe mistletoe way up at the top?
This looks great! Like Fall. Merry Christmas everybody! I did get a pound of seeds, so if any of you want to, I can share equally between us. Does this on the label mean the germination is really just 3%?
Between the 2 of us, we can seed a whole state lol. I want a few .
Merry Christmas everyone!
Planted some seeds in pots today, including the rest of the ipomoea ones I still had left in the fridge. This is definitely my last attempt. The biggest pain were the figwort ones. So tiny. I hope the seeds don’t get confused by this weird weather. It was 66 today.
Good luck Iris. I got a bunch of seeds from toadshade yesterday as a christmas gift. All my seeds are here for the year. I got Aletris farinosa and Chamaelirium luteum from Strictly Medicinal seeds today. I dont plan to harvest or consume them, I just think they are cool looking plants. Time to start sowing them all.
Why were the figwort seeds so hard to sow? Because they're small? My family had Christmas today instead of yesterday. I have a hundred pandurata seeds.
Kleinsia, succulent, Asteraceae, pickle plant
Dorstenia, Moraceae, mulberry relative. 2nd largest genus after ficus.
highly manipulated cultivar of green flowered sweet william. This is the flower head. I don't get it.
Jay, yes, because the Figwort seeds are so small. I just stuck the bag in the fridge when I got them. Didn’t expect them to be this tiny. That’s supposed to be a sweet William? Weird. Kind of looks like the Marimo balls we have in the aquarium.
I've heard people talk about those moss balls, but never thought you would have one. I don't like that sweet William. You can mix small seeds with sand and then scatter.
Well, what can I say? In my defense, we had them before it became the craze to have moss balls as pets. You have been collecting all kinds of clematis, right? Do you have Clematis virginiana? New catalogs are in the mail every day, so I am browsing.
Clematis virginiana is the only species I have. I want all native bell like leatherflower clematis. There are a good number of them. Native American seed had seeds for C. pitcheri, but they were sold out when I went to buy them. I may have to buy plants. Probably from that nursery that charges outrageous for shipping, Plant Delights. Probably $19.95 + $48 for shipping. ☆
I guess the one I have is the viorna. Saw the virginiana in a catalogue and thought it would be nice. Is it?
Iris-up here the virginiana can be a hugely messy, with vines crawling all over the ground and smothering everything else. I think it must really like it here. I don't have any either but I know where to get it-live. I read where it can be trained to grow up strings suspended from trees and makes kind of a unique screen of a sort. I want to try that. I've been working on the Virginia creeper to do that but not much success yet.
A new big snow storm coming my way. Going to give me 8-12 inches new snow tomorrow. Yippee. Will have to get the skis out.
Will be starting my seeds next week. I always wait til after the new year. Seems to work best for me that way. A lot of them have been moist in the fridge already.
I have this weird sort of conundrum with the Penstemon grandiflora. If i try to keep it moist in the fridge at this time of year, it starts to germinate right away and there is no place for me to put it, not when it's 30 below zero out side.
So if I wait until April to put moist inn the fridge, it sulks and doesn't germinate. Happens every year.
Maybe the penstemon has sort of a dormant germination where the roots grow before the shoots. Can you sow them outside after the new year?
Izel had Clematis viorna in stock this past fall with no minimum order and a good price. Its still there but now the price is jacked way up and you have to order at least six. I am guessing the deal will come back around next year.
The virginiana is nice. I had a plant decades ago and lost or changed it for something stupid like the non native, invasive, 'sweet's autumn clematis ternifolia. I have 2 new small virginiana plants. I'm not expecting to collect all these clematis species at once. It will take longer. I would just sow some penstemon seeds in a pot and put it outside and leave it to nature. I think the clematis would be a better screen. I played around with trying to train Virginia creeper too and it doesn't climb unless the aerial roots have something to stick to. Did you sow any croton seeds Iris?
If I should get really bored, I can grow my own furniture? The ship's taking off. When your head rests on the branches you become one with plants everywhere!!! :D
Wisteria dining set
Last weekend I was looking out my window with the binoculars at a tree in the back of my lot that has a big hollow in it. Its the perfect size for a woodpecker or screech owl or something to live in, so thats what I was looking for. I couldn't help but see a bunch of multiflora rose hips dangling in front of it.
Today it was sunny and 52 degrees. I went outside to measure the side yard and pull some japanese honeysuckle from around a tree in the backyard. The side yard area I could potentially plant next year is 30ftx25ft by the way. I picked up some branches that were blocking my way and carried them to the brush pile behind the shed, and I was going get the wheel barrow to fill with Japanese honeysuckle from around the tree. Thats when those rose hips came back to my mind, and I figured I would go pull down the branches that were in my view. Well, that turned into 2 hours of pulling and digging and clearing. Some of the branches were like 20ft long. I have scratches on my face, but the most impenetrable area of my yard is now free of large multiflora rose!
I think I am going to try one of the clematis. Can’t be worse than the passion vine as far as world domination goes. It was 68 here today. Great weather for some yard work. Expecting 1 to 2 inches of rain tomorrow. I will take that over Dandy’s snow. Jay, cool chair. Looks like it requires a lot of patience. But no way I want to see another wisteria anywhere near me. Even the native one. I did plant some of the croton seeds in pots, will direct sow some after I clear some space. I can probably get to the post office by the end of next week to mail you half a pound :)
Skip, great job! Looks like it was an awful lot of work. Did you find out what is in that hollow along the way?
The climbing aster is still blooming. Definitely a keeper.
It was warm enough for some little bees to show up.
I didn't find what was in the hollow but I did stir up a nice little white moth, and discovered a large burrow in the ground under some tree roots with some big droppings outside it. Maybe a fox or something the fox wanted to eat.
Yeah nice work Skip. I feel lazy now. I don't think that rose was easy to dig out. Iris, I just can't believe you still have flowers. I think I have just the perfect spot for half a million crotons.
You should set up a camera! Interesting to see what is out at night. Dandy, I suppose your bear is hibernating with the weather you are having. I ordered some more of the climbing asters. And so it begins. Spent some time on Prairie Moon to see what to do with my 200 dollar gift certificate. Really not sure about that. They shipped the plants when it was already hot last year and even if you go with the mix and match tray, there will still be 6 of the same. Not sure I want to do that with new to me plants.
Violas are looking really interesting lately too.
Jay that is so cool!
That is cool!
That’s so funny! It’s not only seeds in my case. Have been looking to spend my Prairie moon certificate on a mix and match tray.
Whats the video, the link isnt working for me. I was looking around facebook groups a little bit, a lot of arguing and locked threads. Native plant people seem to be a prickly bunch.
The video is just 2 Liatris stalks that are completely covered with Monarch butterflies. I never see much arguing on facebook. Where were you at, and what was the argument about?
That Liatris ligulistylis is what I keep telling everyone up here it's what they need for the Monarch's during migration. For the Monarch's it's a case of "they have to have it and nothing else will do". If that video doesn't convince people, nothing will.
A gigantic wet snowstorm over the weekend. I attempted to clear the drive with my riding snowblower but got about 40' and shredded the drive belt. I should have known better. Next time I will. Jay-looks like you got a lot of rain out of that storm system. Right now it is still spinning like a top and spewing more snow over me from the back side.
Native Plants of the Northeast, there are 3 different posts with "An admin has turned off commenting for this post." I did a search of the group for black locust, the perspective is that it was native to the northeast during the last interglacial period and supports more caterpillar species than other native trees like sycamore and sassafras, so not all bad. It does changes the soil where it grows, and the previous species that were adapted to poor soil are not adapted and may not be able to compete with species that are adapted to the higher nitrogen soil.
Is that where you got the impression the native people were bristly? I didn't think Facebook had any native groups. I meet native people from all the groups I'm in. I'm going to check it out. I wonder how many species are feeding on black locust?
I looked at it. It looks pretty cool. I wanted to comment and the commenting was turned off, but it didn't say it was turned off. Is that what you meant about being closed off? It's kind of a new group with just 6k members. Did you see the 2 trees that are connected? That's a good group to post things in , the right audience. People trading on there too, interesting. This Mike guy that started it is a botanist and he's also offering seeds for Clematis occidentalis. Bet he has some nice plants. Actually, that group isn't for Illinois people. There's another group called native gardens of the upper midwest. Looks like a lot of cool pictures of the pineland and adirondacks.
My Liatris ligulistylis seeds are going into their 5th week of fridge CMS as we speak! :)
Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year with great germination rates :)
Javi-I'm wondering if that is not the correct species for your area. That video was taken about 100 miles south of me. The Mn Wildflowers site doesn't show it as existing in your area. It might be interesting to do a field walk during migration and see which one they prefer just before they enter Mexico.
Happy New Year, and new decade everybody!☆☆☆
Ligilostylis goes into New Mexico which is also hot and dry? It should be ok in Texas, or at least worth giving a try. I have seeds for aspera and pycnostachya if anyone wants some. Anybody know anything about rattlebox? Has anybody grown Christmas cacia?
Thanks for comments regarding the liatris, dandy and Jay. Seeds were sent by one of the mods on a FB Butterfly Garden group: I just checked, and she lives in far W. North Texas. That could put her close enough to the LL's native range (I'm noting New Mexcio northward) for them to work for her. It's worth a shot.
ETA: I should have led with this: Happy 2020, everyone!
Hamell woods, Black Rd. access.
All the plants are asleep .
A new path? Don't remember it being here before.
Luna moths make their cocoons in leaves that are laying on the ground.They are endangered. White birch, persimmon, walnuts, hickories, sumacs, sweetgum.
Beautiful pictures, Jay! Looks like you had great weather even though it looks cold. I don’t see too many Luna moths. Had a beautiful one in a spider web in Spring :( They also use cherry and willow.
Looks like a good walk. I did the 2.5 mile trail again earlier today in the swamp park nearby.
This sod of smilax stems was picture worthy, well maybe more impressive in person.
Theres a newer section of the park without trails that is open now for deer hunters. It is so overgrown I didnt see the entrance to the lot during the growing season. I stopped in there and it is an invasive nightmare. Japanese knotweed, english ivy, JHS, multiflora and whatever this vine is... I'm guessing wisteria or bittersweet
Looks nice Skip. I'd never be able to guess they were a bunch of smilax. I wanted to walk longer today, but couldn't. Iris, have you decided what to order from Prairie Moon yet? That vine is nuts.
Jay, it took me so long to decide with items added to my shopping cart, they actually sent me a 5 dollar off coupon to hurry me along. I did place an order by now though. Seems I will be getting everything from Late Figwort to false Aster to bunchflower.
Bunchflower???!!!! I'm so jealous! I hear they take a long time from seed to bloom. Can never have too many lilies.
This order and the one for more climbing asters and a couple of others from mail order natives are going to put me at 50+ plants. Add to that my trying to grow a bunch of stuff from seeds, and I might be in trouble finding the space. Unless I start yet another flower bed. Oh well, here we go. New year, new flower beds.
Maybe someone will write a story about you someday Iris. "Local woman turns 5 acres into 100% flower beds".
Not sure they would put it so politely. I don’t usually start ordering plants until at least the beginning of March and said for the past two years that I should really concentrate on dividing the plants I already have. Oh well, there is still room.
I'll have to install some new beds asap in early spring or not have enough room. What seeds could possibly entice me now? :D you'd be surprised!
Iris, are you ordering all the plants for spring delivery?
swallowtail plant, Fabaceae
What a pretty plant! Yes, I am ordering for Spring delivery. Hopefully the Prairie Moon ones are not arriving as late as last year. It was already hot by then. It’s been raining since yesterday. My yard is a huge puddle and roads nearby are closed because of flooding. Planning to look through the Toadshade catalog later. Like I need more plants....
No rain today, but a lot of wind. 7 out of the next ten days call for more rain. It might be a while until I can work in some areas. As long as I don’t spend all this inside time finding more plants I really need :)
Oh, no, Iris -- is that from today? Seems like a flashback to last spring. :/
The new Prairie Moon catalog came today. I wonder if they added any cool new plants. Funny how we always get rain when we don't need it. Wow your feet are under water! :o Did you order any aquatics?
Javi, yes it’s from today. And it looks the same, except the chicken boots are not as bright red anymore :)
I didn’t get a new Prairie Moon catalog yet. Already placed my order, so I probably shouldn’t even open it when it gets here. I did order a few plants from Toadshade, too. Including Aaron’s rod. Didn’t have any luck with anything looking remotely like Lupine before, so we will see. No aquatics. Seems tempting. But come Summer I will be out with the water hose for hours again.
Here's another cool aster with narrow leaves, Ionactis linariifolia. It used to be an aster. There are 5 species, but only this one is native to the east.
Ionactis linariifolia 'Little Stiffy'
Just looking, not getting. Maybe some day?
Famous last words :)
Your next big project? How is the winter sowing going?
I'm trying to decide what proportions to wintersow stuff, how many plants of each to aim for. I put out 50 cell trays of carex blanda and carex rosea, and a mixed 38plug tray of carex vulpinoidea, anemone cylindrica and anemone canadensis. Does anyone grow Anemone virginiana, will it blend in with a mixed groundcover or does it need space?
Skip, I still don't know how many species I'm going to sow, but after last years low numbers and failure to germinate, I'm going to sow more seeds of each plant. Quite a few of the milkweed seeds are only 10 so I need to be careful sowing those. I only have Anemone canadensis. I don't know much about virginiana. I'm sure there's info online about it. I forgot to ask you if any of the Quercus phellos seeds were good? Did they float or sink? I bought those Clematis occidentalis seeds from that guy. These seeds are very special. That's why I had to get them. (?) haha
Some botanist guy is going to teach us how to tell all the aster plants apart tonight. Seems like a lot to know. They split all the North American asters into 10 new genera. It's all a conspiracy made up by seed companies so people like me buy more seeds lol.
My biofungicide finally came in. It was from Thailand. No wonder it took so long. I can't believe I didn't catch that.
A field of wooly crotons.
Iris, thank you!♡
You are welcome, Jay! Glad your order from Thailand made it. Happened to me a couple of times with stuff I ordered on Amazon coming from China without me noticing before I placed the order. Thinking about if I want to grow some vegetables this year. Honestly, the “bird planted” tomatoes did a lot better than the ones I had on purpose. Carrots did really well.
Do the deer like any vegetables?
Seems the deer eat all kinds of fruit and vegetables. What they don’t eat, the rabbits and birds do. For some reason the cardinals went crazy with the muscadine grapes last year. What kinds of goldenrods did you decide on? I did order some seeds for the slender golden top (is that even a goldenrod?) and plants for silver rod.
Goldenrods I'm sowing are, Solidago caesia, odora, flexicaulis, rigida, bicolor, Oligoneuron album, Euthamia caroliniana. The presentation was very interesting. I'm going to be surveying endangered plants.
Iris, you shouldn't have ordered Euthamia caroliniana seeds. Me and Skip probably have a million seeds combined. It's considered one of the grass leaved goldenrods.
So what are you doing with the surveying the endangered plants? Good to know there is a back up plan if I fail with the seeds I have ordered :)
I don't know much about it yet. I know the name of the group, just need to look it up. Do you grow Doellingeria umbellata?
Harris checkerspot feeds on Doellingeria umbellata exclusively.
I will be working with them.
I don’t have this plant, but I don’t think this checkerspot is coming so far south.
Did the ground dry out Iris?
Nope. Had a bit of rain this morning. More coming Friday all the way through next week. We are 2 inch above normal for January already, so finally out of the drought. Wish I could do a bit more out there, but it’s just so muddy.
Is this weather normal or are things changing there because of climate change.
Jay, it’s always wet in Winter, just not as wet. The September/ October droughts have been for the past few years. I don’t know why. The weeds are loving this weather.
As my weatherman says, at least it’s a warm rain.
It's been cold and in the 20s here today. It's like you almost don't have a winter there. Your spring flowers are already blooming, how weird? A lot of people have been reporting that the spring bulbs and wildflowers are coming up now.
I hope this warmer than usual temperature is not messing up my winter sowing. The citriodora is still alive and green looking. Weird for an annual. Just the flower stalks froze off.
The henbit and creeping Charley is green and thriving in these frigid temps. I need to weed them out before spring.
Iris! Great news. Reeseville Ridge has Amorpha nitens now! They sent me their new list.
Oh boy! Need to google them!
There are 19 plants on their list that I want. Very nice selection. I have to look up some of them.
I edited the list to 11 or 12. These are nice sized seedlings, bigger than what you would pay for regular plants at most places.
I was wondering about the size since the pots seem so small.
They will need at least a gallon pot.
I am still going to have to spend a lot of time looking through the lists there. I am not like you, just reading the scientific names and knowing what they are. Got to make sure I am not missing something I might need in my garden :)
Hope all the winter sowing, or preparing to, is going well. Fingers crossed Javi is not getting any severe weather tonight. It seems everything I am trying to rip out lately has enormous roots. Looks like a loosing battle with the Canada goldenrod, wisteria, honeysuckle and sumacs like this. Any advice is welcome.
So far, just very blustery and cloudy all day -- warm and muggy, so I was able to at least make the rounds outside today. All hatches battened down! Forecast in our city is calling for large hail, but I think the brunt of the weather will hit north of us -- Houston and northward.
Last night I sowed seeds in 1L, 2L, 1/2gal and 1gal bottles: amethyst shooting star Dodecatheon amethystinum, decurrant false aster Boltonia decurrens, Robin's plantain Erigeron pulchellus, Stoneroot Collinsonia canadensis, Tall flat topped white aster Doellingeria umbellata, and Goatsbeard Aruncus dioicus.
Today I put Elderberry Sambucus canadensis in a 2L bottle, and sowed a 38-cell tray with American dittany Cunilla origanioides, Rabbit tobacco Gnaphalium obtusifolium, Shrubby St. Johns wort Hypericum prolificum, Round-headed bush clover Lespedeza capitata, slender wood oats Chasmanthium laxum, purple giant hyssop Agastache scrophulariifolia (purple), wild sarsaparilla Aralia nudicaulis, thistles Circium discolor and Circium altissimum, and grass leaved goldenrods Euthamia caroliniana and Euthamia graminifolia.
I am going to have to take like a week off work to plant all this stuff.
I filled the tray with promix bx and used "coarse sand" from a sand and gravel supply yard for the seed mulch. I used turface on some of the stuff I sowed earlier, I'm betting both will work.
Skip, you got a lot done. Looks good. That's a lot of seeds, wow. If I had a corn field I could direct sow everything. I need to look for sand.
Javi, I hope you are ok. Sounds like you just had rough weather.
All doing fine here, Jay - thanks for checking in. We had a fairly strong line of storms come through around midnight, but I slept right through it! (DH confirms it was a big 'un, though.) Lots of downed trees in the area, though, about 45 minutes north.
I recently rigged up my version of heating mats: Christmas lights over which sit baking racks and seeds in moist vermiculite (some of which have CMSed in the fridge since November). I've promised Iris I won't burn the house down. :)
One A. viridiflora (edited 1/12) seed geriminated after 5 days; and at 6 days old, it's standing 3" tall already:
Here we go again! :) This time around, I have a fan gently blowing over the trays so the main stems will be more strong than last year's batch.
That's a good idea with the fan. I think that I also ran mine to prevent mold. Did you just sow them in the mix, or did you germinate them in water first. I was think of trying to start everything using the water method. Well, everything that will fit under lights. Whatever won't I'll have to winte sow. Have you started any pink tweedias yet? I'm getting a few Gomphocarpus cancellatus seeds. They have soft leaves too. I heard from a couple people that they are slow growing. Do your hb milkweeds do ok in the wind. The cancellatus is really pretty. The water method, I can't remember, are you supposed to place the water on a heat mat or not?
Good luck Javi, nice setup!
New simple rule for my yard: no giant invasive shrubs and vines allowed. I spent like an hour and a half pulling out japanese honeyscuckle sod from around the silver maple. It was deeper rooted than a lot of the other honeysuckle I've pulled, and the sprouts are spaced closer together, probably because I mowed it a few time. Note to self and others, do not mow JHS. I didnt even finish pulling it from around the tree, I had to take a break to let my back straighten out.
Then I moved over to the weed hedge by the street, ripped out some 2" thick JHS vines and then killed this multiflora rose that was climbing 20ft into the tree. The mother plant of the whole yard I'll bet. Look at this root toward the bottom of the pic:
Some of it broke off in the soil and the stump split down the center too so it was actually 2x wider than shown.
Decided I'm going to ask the neighbor if I can brush hog the area this summer. I'll go buy a bunch of shrubs to replace that mess if I have to.
Yup, running the fan to keep the mold/fungus spores away from my seedlings, too. For the variegata, I CMSed in moist vermiculite (zip baggie) for a month in the fridge. Just pulled the baggie out, puffed a bit of air into the baggie and set it over the lights. I checked the internal baggie temps every hour the first day, so I wouldn't cook the seeds -- never got above 76, so I thought that was fine. I think someone on the MW page does also place the cups onto a heat mat (or just outdoors if it's warm enough).
I DID start the pink tweedias just yesterday! Per WC (on the FB Grow Milkweed page) for blue tweedia (which worked for me last year), I went ahead and used the clip-and-water-germination method for the pinks. These seeds seemed a bit smaller and more frail than the blue, so I went ahead and just carefully planted them into moist vermiculite -- also at room temp above lights. I've just gotten into the habit lately of germinating seeds in the vermiculite before carefully transferring over to potting media. Seems to work, and I'm wasting less potting mix.
Depending on the weather over the next couple of weeks, I may need to look into lights. I checked every work and shop light DH has in the garage, and none of them are bright enough (per the reading, anyway).
I actually took out several of the largest HB trees: the trunks were huge! I have three smaller ones, but they're staked and are OK. I was going to simply start fresh with seeds this year, but decided to transplant one of the younger ones into a different bed: so far, so good, after ~ 5 days. I'm sure the cooler weather helps. Sure is faster than waiting for seeds to germinate!
Invasive vines....uh-oh: too late. :/ But the butterflies will love me.
Let me rephrase, no giant invasive vines that I didn't plant. Yes too late, I'm sure I'll never be rid of the japanese honeysuckle, but I dont want any big mature specimens around. I did plant over a dozen pipevines which can be vigorous spreaders and the native honeysuckle is growing rapidly. Which one do you have that is out of control, passion flower?
Skip: Nothing I have is out of control yet, but I'm told it's just a matter of time with the passion vine incarnata (that crept over from the neighbor) and the caerulea and foetida I planted. What type(s) of pipevine did you plant? I started fimbriata and tomentosa this year, and it's Year 2 for the elegans (which is finally growing lush, relatively speaking).
I started the Aristolochia macrophylla from seed and most had about 4 leaves by the time they went in the ground, then just kind of idled while the weather turned cold and dark. I am excited for a year of actual growth next year. I'll have to string up some wires or string on my fence for them to climb up.
3 more trays done, a dozen species
So, no worries about A. macrophylla sending out a huge network of root sprouts? Someone locally sent me some seeds, but I'd been holding off: the giant leaves are making me hesitate. I might start/grow in a pot and see if any pipevine swallowtails actually show up this year.
I edited my earlier post as I'd mislabelled the seedling: it's A. viridiflora and not A. variegata.
However, one of the A. variegata did sprout yesterday:
Wow variegata. I was just thinking how not too long ago a lot of people were desperate to find it. And Jeff changed everything. I'm not sure if the A. macrophylla is more behaved or not. I think macrophylla might like better conditions than tomentosa, but again I'm not sure. I asked an older couple from the society if they winter sowing anything and they said they always wait for snow cover before they go it. They didn't seem too concerned. As long as I get everything sowed by Feb. 1st I should be ok. Javi, what's the mix with the variegata?
Nice! Whats type of grit are you using on there?
I didn't really think about root sprouts showing up all over the place. But since I already have root sprouts from other plants coming up everywhere, I am already handling that type of maintenance. I clip the sprouts off at the ground currently.
one house is full
Jay & Skip: That's a pretty zoomed in shot of the variegata (for scale, it's 1" tall right now). It's growing in Vigoro vermiculite (I've found brands matter as there varying degrees of coarseness), and I'll transfer to ProMix BX in the next day or so.
Here's a comparison of the Vigoro (left) vs a brand I bought off Amazon:
The off-brand had much finer, dusty particles (coarse:fine ration ~ 4:1), so I've just been sieving it and using the more coarse bits.
Jay: I'm still hopeful the variegata seedlings from last year (Jeff's rhizomes + seeds) will reappear this spring. But I had some seeds left and didn't want to waste them...not sure what the shelf life is for variegata seeds.
I sure hope the tubers he sent me bloom this year.
I'm hoping to get seeds for the original Asclepias nivea. It's the same species as curassavica but it has green and white flowers.
Asclepias nivea, Caribbean milkweed
Skip, I saw this article about sowing Aletris. Seems like nobody has a clue. Did you sow yours in sand or promix?
How did you sow the Chamaelirium luteum seeds? I saw people putting out trays with no covers. Oh well. I have to do this. There are so many awesome seeds it's mind blowing. Still more coming.
For the Aletris I mixed 10 parts promix bx and 1 part perlite. I screened the perlite over a 1/8" screen first to remove the fines and used the coarse part in the mix. I used turface for grit on that one.
Do you think it would be ok to sow the Aletris seeds in sand that is topping pro mix? I have to order more mycorrhizae asap. I'm reading up on every species before I sow it.
Yeah sand topped promix would probably work nicely, I was thinking about trying that with my extra seeds.
Thats a private group, cant see its posts
Skip, great job working on your invasives. My mind is willing, the back at times not so much. Wow, that’s a lot of seeds you planted. And it looks very professional and organized. Hope they will germinate as well for you as Javi’s do for her. Seems there is not a single kind of seed that would dare to not sprout for her :)
The weather continues to be weird here. Had a strong line of thunderstorms last night, today it was sunny and 71. It looks like the cow pen daisy seeds I planted outside in pots are already sprouting. That can’t be good! The citriodora still looks like a perennial to me. Guess I will see.
The plants are not the only thing confused by this weather. Critters are also coming out.
Going to have to look up the various plants mentioned here. Nope, not tempted to order more :)
Hesperia dakocae. Used to fly in my area.https://youtu.be/bNEnUaXSmYk
What a cute little skipper. Hope you all are getting more done in your yards than I do. It has been raining for the past 2 days again. The weather man says we might be done with this by Thursday night. Having a lot of impressive mushrooms popping up.
Those look like Amanita muscaria. I'm almost positive they are. Is there an oak tree near them?
No oak tree, but they are in a mulched flower bed. Not planning on eating any of the various mushrooms currently showing up. Critters seem to like the reddish ones growing under the pines.
Maybe they aren't amanitas? I don't know much about mushrooms. Another milkweed. I hope it will overwinter.
Asclepias erosa. The bugs like it.
Nice looking milkweed! Close enough for Javi to try :)
I think the mushrooms must be some big inky caps, they already dissolved in some nasty kind of black goo. Weather was nicer than expected, so I did get a bit done. First priority should be the walkway. It’s not even funny how many seedlings are coming up between the pavers. Even dozens of fennel seedlings.
I was surprised at how big the Croton seeds are. They would make good bird food.
I think I read somewhere that they are important dove and quail food. I started my slender golden top seeds. Now these are another really small kind. Winter is supposed to finally arrive next week, so I thought it’s a good time.
I put all my seeds in alphabetical order. Now it will be a lot easier finding them lol. I still have 4 more kinds of seeds coming.
Those are cool mushrooms, Iris. Fungi are an underappreciated aspect of the landscape, there are so many and I know almost nothing about them. I've read about pouring boiling hot water on weeds in paver cracks like yours but I think I would burn myself in practice.
I accidentally deleted my list of seeds and which ones I sowed where, but I rechecked the trays and wrote it down again. I haven't even finished sowing all the varieties I have and I'm still thinking about ordering some more seeds I need to stop
Mushrooms are really interesting. We do have books, but I never really checked. It’s more of my daughter’s thing. She did some really cool prints with spores. Also fried up a lions mane. Just looking at it, I didn’t want any part of it:)
Glad you were able to get your seed list back on track. I think I am done ordering seeds. There might be some more plants, but I should probably wait and see of what comes back. The Prairie smoke I had almost given up on for example is alive.
I don't have prairie smoke any more. I want it and the other similar looking geum. What seeds are you tempted to get Skip? I need to order mycorrhizae and tree pots for the milkweeds with tap roots.
How long are you going to keep the milkweed in the pot? I grew syriaca from seed in 5" deep cells until late August and then planted them, and most transplanted fine and are surviving. Maybe tree pots would be necessary for trees overwintered in the pot or grown to larger size. I was thinking local seed order from Pinelands Nursery, Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland golden aster), Baptista tinctoria (Yellow wild indigo), Solidago juncea (early goldenrod), and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem).
Skip, you don't have any little bluestem plants or seeds for it? Didn't you see juncea out at a park somewhere? I just ordered a 2 lb. bag of mycorrhizae, and some 4" x 14" tree pots. The milkweeds with taproots grow their roots fast. The erosa are desert milkweeds and their roots systems grow long very early.
What brand of myco did you buy, Jay? Those roots are amazing!
I have a little bluestem cultivar, would like to get the local genetics too. Solidago at the park turned out to be odora not juncea. I more wanted the baptisia and goldenaster, but if Im going to order might as well get the others. Those are deep roots for a little plant
I ordered this brand. It has 7 species. I couldn't find the other kind that I used the last time. The milkweed with the long roots is A. subulata. It's a desert milkweed and grows deep roots. They just bulldozed the little woods by my house.
Jay, I hope you made sure your order is coming from within the US this time :)
Why did they bulldoze the woods? Planning on building? There are a lot of new subdivisions popping up around here. Seems there is no planning involved. Traffic in our little city is getting awful. Glad I am a bit outside.
They are probably building another warehouse or factory. Everything that I ordered is from the US.
This can’t already be a buckeye seedling, right? What do I do? The low on Monday is supposed to be 20. And it’s supposed to stay cold for a while.
Edited to say the pot has been outside since Fall, I pulled some known weeds from it.
I wouldn't worry about unless you desperately want another horse chestnut.
Put the buckeye against the north side of your house foundation. It will probably survive the freeze.
Thank you! I would love to keep it alive. These being the first ever seeds from my little tree. So it should be fine outside, maybe some mulch? Or would taking it inside the house work? Don’t want to confuse it by really warm temperatures.
It should be ok. It's probably better off outside.
Aztec dream herb, Calea ternifolia, Asteraceae.
Can be grown as an annual. Not to be confused with Silene undulata/capensis, the African dream root.
Silene undulata/capensis, African dream root. Both plants are supposed to cause vivid dreams and to enhance your dreams and help you understand and interpret your dreams.
Yeah I would leave it outside Iris. Heel the pot into the ground or a mulch pile if you're really worried about it. I probably wouldn't bother.
10 more species sowed into 2 trays. 7 more trays to go, fewer species on each tray for the rest. Have a few more gallon jugs to do too.
Are you growing those dream plants?
Me? I have seeds for the Silene. That's enough for now. The Calea looks like a good pollinator plant. I'll have to check and see if it's a host plant for anything. I'm more interested in the natives. I've started collecting milk jugs again. I bought a special drill bit for cutting plastic. I haven't actually winter sowed any seeds yet. I was hoping tomorrow. I was going to start today, but I found my mail box busted and had to go buy a new one. $60 for molded plastic? Some of these milkweed species have strange germination requirements. A lot will germinate in warm water, but some species have seeds that will swell up and explode if they are left in water. You've done a real good job Skip. You filled up 2 hoop houses with seeds...wow! A lot of beautiful species. The Eupatorium coelestinum threw me off until I realized it had to be the blue mistflower Conoclinium. right? What's that topping all the cells, sand, turface?
Yes the blue mist flower, the last of an old seed packet, from Prairiemoon "packaged for 2017". I guess they didnt update the name by then. Its my third try wintersowing them. Bonap has it listed "present, rare" only in cape may county and absent in the rest of the state, but there are sightings from all over the state on iNaturalist, including relatively nearby my house. Sand mulch on all of them. I placed the sand first and scattered the seeds on top for some of them like Lobelia.
I tried the technique of pouring some seeds in the palm of my left hand and picking them up with a pocketknife blade with my right hand, then placing them in the pots. It works pretty well, easy to control how many your putting in.
The blue mist flower doesn't do well here. It 's more like an annual for us but they germinate too slow and then get into the ground too late to bloom. So I've given up on them, finally.
Temps bottomed at -21 f this week and now 8"+ snow arriving today. Got my 90 day germinators in under snow two weeks ago so they are settled in for the long haul. Will start the 30 day ones in March.
Iris, that Buckeye(or is it Horse Chestnut) should do fine. They are extremely hardy here. I have some volunteers from next door neighbors tree that I transplanted to the side of main garden. Getting regular water has resulted in three feet new growth every year and is now over ten feet tall. Should start blooming pretty soon now.
I like the idea of that vermiculite so I ordered some from Amazon. Javi looks like she has a winning system there putting them in the baggy. I think the warm germinators would do best that way.
This time of year I get excited thinking about all the possibilities for the coming year. I have discovered I have quite a few small dogwoods that popped up all over now and am going to transplant them around. Lots of Pagodas but I don't have any blooming plants so don't know where they are coming from. And I collected seed in the fall from some nice red leafed Grey Dogwood I would like to get propagated. But, also have big infestations of Dogwood Saw Flies. Am not sure what to about eradicating them. Insecticides have serious negative effects on bees.
dandy: what brand did you order from Amazon? I had a negative experience -- item received was not as advertised and too fine. I'm having to sieve the vermiculite before use: PITA!
Offer stands: if you'll pay postage, I'm happy to send pieces off my mistflower to give you a jump on things.
Sawfly larvae are like number 1 in birdfood value along with caterpillars. Is tolerating them an option?
I was thinking about the birds for the sawfly larvae, too. I think the bluebirds raised their young on sawfly larvae from my hibiscus alone. I have a bluebird box on the side of the house and the hibiscus are close by. Easy picking for them. Stay warm! It’s currently 43 degrees here and I am complaining about being cold. I am going to move my little buckeye close to the house and hope for the best. Javi, what kind of mistflower do you have? Seems your having to sieve your growing medium is worth it with all the success you are having.
I don't think the birds here know what a sawfly is because the dogwoods were shredded, losing all their leaves. I think I might spray the bottom of each bush with Permethrin early in Spring. and then keep a close eye during summer.
My vermiculite was NK brand but don't know what size of fines it has. I'm pretty sure it will be the same as yours Javi. The small stuff should settle to the bottom.
edit: adding gif of Monarchs on Liatris. Oops, it doesn't work. Only get the pic but not the animation.
Yes, dandy, mine is the NK. I erred on the side of caution as the more fine bits (rather dusty/powdery) tended to hold more water, and I didn't want to risk my seeds rotting. After sieving, the ratio of coarse to fine = ~ 4:1.
I found the Vigoro brand purchased at HDepot was better suited to a CMS application -- and no sifting needed.
Iris: My mistflower is Conoclinium greggii.
Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do lol. Carry on.
What are using the vermiculite for? I was going to use damp sand for cms. Those heartleaf milkweeds have the most bizarre germination treatment.
Hm. I think I bought a heart leaf milkweed last Summer as “emergency milkweed”. It never grew back after being eaten. Maybe I will try it again. Not from seeds though, I don’t think I can handle bizarre germination treatments :)
Jay: Using vermiculite very much like you're using damp sand for CMS. I participated on a local milkweed 'grow out' project last summer, one of the benefits being the organizers sent out free native mw seeds for participants. One of the provisions of this mass experiment was to follow their protocols exactly, and that involved the use of horticultural grade vermiculite. A simple enough ask. :)
Asclepias cordifolia. They have large tubers. There's a good chance it will come back.
That cordifolia is gorgeous, Jay. Worth another try, if you ask me, Iris. ;)
Hm. Well. Ok. Since you twisted my finger, I am off to Joyfulbutterfly :)
I didn't know you could buy cordifolia plants. It's a backup in case I have problems.
I ordered. Did from this nursery for the first time last year. The plants looked great and since they are pretty close to me, I did often get them within 3 days of placing my order. Important if you think you are going to run out of food for the caterpillars and have no trustworthy nursery close by. I just hope I still remember what I ordered from where come April and shipping time. It’s starting to add up.
I'll see how it goes with the ten seeds. They are supposed to be slow growing, but also forming tubers at the same time. Too bad joyfulbutterfly doesn't sell amplexicaulis or quadrifolia. We are getting hit with a winter storm, and it's very cold.
my gif doesn't work either
Working through these trays
5 trays left, all ground cover plants. Its 21 degrees outside, I put out last nights trays in the cold frame.
My Eupatorium coelestinium from ten years ago, It seemed so easy to grow back then. In a slightly wettish environment.
Jay-i see you're getting hit with big sloppy sleet right now. Up here it's blizzard time. No travel for the next 12 hours.
Dandy, this looks like the mistflower I have and really like. There is also one that is a lighter blue. That one arrived as a hitchhiker in an Almost Eden pot 2 years ago. Seems to be an annual but is re seeding itself all over the place. Skip, trying to think just how much planting you will have to do in Spring. Wow.
Hope you are all doing fine with your Winter weather.
The past 2 years the plugs haven't really gotten to planting size until summer. Hoping 2-3 days for site prep, 1 long day for planting. Should look like this on planting day, a little smaller though https://www.instagram.com/p/BWcsPdblOGZ/?igshid=zsdpxtbk2k8g
Eventually kind of like this
Can't wait to see the fruits of everyone's labors as the months progress!
That’s beautiful! Can’t wait for your pictures!
Skip, are you going to use a roto tiller or anything for the site prep? I like the look you're going for, sort of garden of eden, that's what I want too, with cool native vines rambling through parts of the paths. The tall boneset is so common here that I don't grow it. I've never seen the hyssupifolium around here, so I'm looking forward to growing it.
Dandy, first it rained ice, then it rained, then it snowed. Starting tomorrow it will be extremely cold for a few days. Hopefully I will get some blue mistflower seeds to germinate. If not, there's always the joyfulbutterfly. Maybe if you put a few wren houses near your dogwoods, the wrens will help control the safely larva. I put wren houses in my bald cypress trees, and they controlled the bagworms.
the hostas have been recycled
I'm probably not going to till. I think 1 or 2 applications of glyphosate, or maybe covering with sheets of black plastic will be my best bet. I'm going to ask my friend with the market garden if he has any extra plastic.
That's a great idea. All my turf is so thin, I can just dig it out easily.
Asclepias hirtella, aka Asclepias longifolia var. hirtella.
It's windy with a real feel of 27, nasty. :(
My turf is mostly perennial weeds. I think if I tilled it or dug off the top 2" it would all grow back.
I found these to use too.
It was around 37 degrees here with rain. Jay, looks like you are all set with the trays. Just need to fill them up.
Jay, have you ordered from Reeseville nursery before? How do you go about it? I found the order form, but there is no mention of what kind of payment they accept and such.
Working on the South Carolina one! Glad I did get the plants last year before Niche gardens went out of business.
Thanks for the link Iris. I paid Reeseville with paypal. I had to talk to the guy a few times.
Thank you, Jay! I sent them a message. Easy enough to pay with PayPal if I would know the shipping/ tax.
Give them a call Iris. I sent them an email then called after a couple weeks when they didn't respond.
A couple of weeks? This is something I would usually move on from. Except I would really like this plant. Guess I will give it a week and call.
What plant, the 'nitens'? I'll have to order 1 too. I think the owner is Todd? So, I have sowed Apios priceana, Actaea rubra, Cnidium monnieri, Houstonia caerulea, Polygala senega, Silphium integrifolium, Mentha arvensis, Oenothera pilosella, Sium sauve, Croton texenis, Croton capitatus, Taxodium distichum, Coreopsis palmata, Helianthus anuus, Anaphalis margaritacea, Parthenium integrifolium, Pycnanthemum virginicum, Salvia recognita, Silene capensis, Aletris farinosa, Chamaelirium luteum, Boehmeria cylindrica, Coreopsis tripteris, Ruellia humilis.
Yes, of course it’s about the Nitens. I hope it works out somehow. Recognize some of your plants. Need to look up others.
Off to a good start Jay, just like 100 more right?
Yeah, about a hundred more give or take 80? I'll probably run out of containers. All the high priority seeds first. Did you sow your Tephrosia seeds in sand? I really want those to germinate.
I mulched them with sand but didn't change the rest of the mix at all. I almost forgot to sow the Scrophularia and Helianthus divaricatus, thankfully I am not finished filling the trays yet. I found a couple stray milkweed seeds I must have dropped on the table while working. I did sow them in a mix thats about 70% sand, 20% turface, 10% promix bx. Lets see how that works.
LOL, Skip: after a few hours of finally sorting and cataloguing all my seeds, I also found a stray milkweed seed. Was paralyzed overnight, conflicted about what to do (what type? What if it needed CMS? What light requirements/if/when it sprouts?). Iris convinced me to pop it into some media and just see what happens. I'm naming this one A. iris :)
I am honored :)
So much pressure on this little mystery milkweed now!
I'm convinced that if the spot my house is sitting on is ever "reclaimed" by nature it will turn into a weird jungle of mismatched plants from all the seeds I've dropped over the years. Tomatoes, peppers, milkweed, various grasses....The only things I've sown into flats and stuck out in the barn so far are the ones that call for 60 days of CMS and those just got finished being sown last night. They will probably get more than 60 days but then again it's been around 50 degrees for the past month. Still well below freezing at night though. Viola soraria, Agastache foeniculum, Verbena stricta, Cirsium undulatum (I have not actually found any germination info for this guy, but the native Cirsium species that are available call for 60 days) and Vernonia baldwinii. The western ironweed is a neat one. We have one of only about three documented populations in the whole state at the place I work.Once I drum up the motivation the 30 day seeds will go in. That includes all milkweeds (except A. arenaria which is currently getting the "fridge treatment" since I've only got about 20 seeds and it was a "60 day" species). I cant actually remember what else there is to plant but there's a bunch.I have also been finding a lot of plants around the property that have seeds still attached. I got about 3 tablespoons of Oenothera villosa on Friday from the big one I had growing next to the propane tank last summer. I checked the Verbena hastata that pops up here and there around the ponds about a week ago and I thought all the seeds had dropped but I took another look today and found that most of them actually have a lot of seed left on them. I spread a bunch around some open areas around the edge of the pond and will probably go back for an "official" collection. There has been a surprising amount of showy milkweed pods that still have seeds that didn't get released and while the swamp milkweed has thinner pods that split a lot more fully so finding ones with "persistent" seeds is more rare, I did find one plant that had a lot of seed left over. I don't know if these seeds are viable, but hey, all they cost is a bit of work plucking fluff off of them. I have a muddy spot that is shockingly free of cattails that I will probably go plop these guys in along with more vervain either this evening or tomorrow.Jay, that A. pumila is a fun species. I have been looking for a source that sells the seed in bulk, but even finding packets of it is hard. It's one of the species that I find a lot of in prairie dog colonies since it's toxicity prevents it from being grazed. A. subverticiliata is another one that is quite at home in dog towns and another one that is almost impossible to find for sale. Lots of people sell A. verticiliata, but that one isn't native anywhere in the state.
Hello Zach, thanks for popping by. A story of mine. Once, driving along a country road I came upon a fenced in area, much too small for the large Buffalo inhabiting the area. It had munched all the vegetation down to only miilmeters in size, except for two plants standing there. One was a thistle, the other Milkweed.
I imagine if Buffalo found Milkweed to be edible, there would not be any Monarch butterflies.
Hi Zach, if my house was abandoned for decades it would end up being a mass of vines and partridge peas. I have just started winter sowing. The viola sororia is the most common violet around here. The Cirsium undulatum looks a lot like Cirsium flodmanii. The 2 most common species here are C. discolor, and C. altissimum. I did collect a lot of seeds up until a few weeks ago. I winter sowed some Asclepias arenaria seeds last year. I had sown twenty something species and the labels were mixed up. I thought that there were a few seedlings that looked to be arenaria, but after showing pictures a milkweed guy told me they weren't arenaria. If they aren't arenaria then I have no idea what they could be. I sowed 10 pumila seeds last year. It looked like I had 1 or 2 seedlings. I'm sowing 10 more seeds of them. Maybe I should get 10 more seeds. Pumila is a nice looking milkweed. I'm sowing 20 seeds of A. stenophylla, 10 more seeds of A. hirtella. You have some nice milkweeds in Colorado. Macrosperma, and englemanniana are nice. Do you ever come across any rare, endangered plants. They say sometimes milkweeds can be so toxic they will kill monarch cats. I've seen pictures of it on desert milkweeds. The first little caterpillar that hatched on the Calotropis procera died. Later on there was another cat feeding on it and it was ok.
Asclepias speciosa, Davis milkweed
white variant of Asclepias syriaca.
Apparently cows will eat milkweed once they have completely denuded a pasture, at least according to the NRCS. Buffalo however graze differently than cattle and prairie dogs even more so. A large amount of prairie dog "grazing" isn't actually for consumption, it's to reduce the canopy height so that they have visibility for predators. After several years most prairie dog colonies become forb dominated communities. Species that are low to the ground or are inedible do the best. Being only a few inches high and also toxic, A. pumila flourishes under these conditions. The dogs also remove a lot competitive species that would otherwise overshadow it. A. subverticilliata is one of the most toxic milkweeds. It's tall, but the dogs still avoid it likely for safety reasons.I don't think Viola soraria is native to Colorado, I mostly find the yellow colored V. nuttallii. But the soraria was handy-er. I'm mostly growing so it will hopefully be a host plant for the fritillaries. A lot of the native thistles are pretty similar. I have spent a lot more effort than a person probably should keying out C. undulatum vs. C. canescens. The first USUALLY has purple flowers and the second USUALLY white, but that's hardly a hard and fast rule.We are located right in the heart of Asclepias arenaria's rage, out on the sand prairie of NE Colorado/Western Nebraska. I have never actually found one growing in the wild, but maybe if these guys grow and thrive they will reseed out around the property.I have found some rare plants for the state, but hardly rare across the nation. One of the refuges in the complex I work at has what is called "xeric tallgrass prairie." While most of Colorado's eastern half is (or historically was) dry, sparse shortgrass dominated by blue grama and buffalograss (we are often described as "steppe" rather than true prairie). However, in a few spots on the far western edge of the plains (right before you hit the mountains) it switches. The prairie looks more it would in states like Iowa, or where you are, Illinois dominated by big bluestem and Indiangrass. There's a lot of technical details about soils and climate that make this sudden and drastic change possible, but I'll spare you the long version and just say it's found on some of the oldest undisturbed soil deposits in the world and is a relict of the last ice age. Big blue and Indiangrass aren't rare, they are found throughout eastern Colorado, mostly in riparian areas but to be found as dominate species is pretty rare. Prairie dropseed is pretty rare for the state, only being recorded in a few counties and again, it can be found in abundance in the XTP. The entire community is considered under threat. Unfettered human development along the Front Range is the biggest factor. Most of the xeric tallgrass has been turned into tract housing. The Vernonia baldwinii is considered a rare plant for the state. Our "official" botanist says there are three documented populations, but SEINet only shows two populations that it has been collected from.
I don't know much about prairie plant communities and different soil structures and stuff, but I'm trying to learn more about it. I look at what's growing in the prairies, savannas, and woodlands around here and then try to copy it, on a slightly smaller scale. The main grasses around here are big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, prairie dropseed, and grama grass. I looked at the Colorado milkweeds, and there are more nice species like uncialis, cryptoceras, macrotis, latifolia, rusbyi. I have a couple latifolia seedlings outside. Hopefully they will survive the winter here. It's really cold outside.
Asclepias cryptoceras, white repels and purple hoods.
Asclepias uncialis, purple repels, white hoods.
I work in rangeland management mostly focusing on prairie restoration & conservation. I spend a lot of time with grass (yes I know I live in Colorado, but not that kind of grass). Have you ever been out to Midewin? It's just outside Chicago. If I ever make it out that way I'd love to visit that place and see what true tallgrass is like. I went to Neil Smith NWR in Des Moines a couple years ago to drop off some buffalo from our refuge but it was about 11:00pm when we got there and it was hard to see in the dark haha.Most of those milkweeds are found more in Southern Colorado. SE Colorado is a really cool semi-desert grassland where we get a convergence of shortgrass prairie, Southern Rocky Mountain foothills and Chihuahuan Desert ecozones. Lots of cholla down there. SW Colorado is also more desert-y than up where I am. Think Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, the canyon country of Utah, and Monument Valley in Arizona. It's all on the "Colorado Plateau" and there's a lot of really unique species out in that part of the state. Both places are generally warmer than up north where I'm at (I'm only about an hour from Cheyenne, Wy), but they still get plenty cold down there so your seedlings should be okay.
I went and got some perlite, another spray bottle, another 72 cell seed starting tray. If you are sowing mass quantities....
They had seeds for 59 cents so I got a fresh packet of dill seeds, and a packet of Oenothera macrocarpa seeds. I don't know where to put them. Maybe a crack in the driveway or something. Somehow last year I had no dill plants. I like the taste of dill a lot too just like the swallowtail cats.
About putting holes in plastic containers: I use a long drywall screw heated over gas burner and just plunge it through multiple containers stacked together. Fast and efficient. Four holes around the edges.
I did a bunch of hole using a Phillips screwdriver in the stove burner. I'm wondering if I should put holes in the clear dome covers. I might as well or else the seedlings could cook. I have some gallon jugs that are either opaque, or have large impossible to remove stickers. Those jugs I'll cut the tops off, and use them uncovered.
Thanks for sharing Zach, I always like to read about other ecosystems. I still like my woods with its humidity, shade, and all the strange stuff growing in there. When there are clearings in the woods here that are due to disturbance, early successional communities, its usually lots of goldenrod, boneset, switchgrass, sedges, tridens flavus, andropogon virginicus, and wild rye.
I use an awl to punch holes in the milkjugs and soda bottle, no need to heat it up.
And it takes a German having to google what an awl is :)
I started using the 72 cell starter trays last year for tomatoes. I used the 36 cell trays but I like the smaller size for starting seeds much better. It makes it easier to handle the "babies." I think my wife would have something to to say about me heating up hardware on the stove burner and melting plastic in the kitchen. Instead I have to go outside and heat up my tools with a lighter. If we had neighbors I'd probably have the cops called on me...Jay, sometimes you can find flat domes with vents in them. I have always had a lot of trouble with winter sowing (which is why I am cold stratifying seeds in the fridge as well) but this year I am setting the flats in the barn. Hopefully it will help "regulate" things with them being out of sun exposure and will help ensure the flats don't get sent rumble-tumble across the prairie by our relentless winds (I lost two entire flats of seeds last spring that had just started to sprout).
I can't handle humidity Skip. Well, that's putting it mildly. I loathe humidity. Anything above 10% and I feel like I'm swimming. I'm an "arid west" boy through-and-through. I think I've gone on about my feelings surrounding too many trees on this forum more than enough. I'm fascinated with other ecosystems though, I love to visit and learn about them, just as long as I don;t have to stay forever ;).
When I use a wide-tip soldering iron to melt holes into my various jugs, hubby banishes me to the backyard. :)
It does go fast if the poker is hot. 2 screwdrivers makes it even faster.
Zach, Midewin is only about 20 miles south of me. I go there a lot. There are also some dunes and savanna out that way. They have a lot of land and most of it hasn't been restored yet.
I've been out all the way to the west coast a few times, and I love the dry air. It seems like I smell with my nose better in crisper air. I love the humidity in Colarado and Montana. I'm used to the humidity here, but it can get very saturated and uncomfortable sometimes. I had a neighbor once who was from Iowa, and he hated our humidity even tho he was only 1 state away. When I drove to the east coast for the first time I could not believe how humid it was especially when I reached New York. I worry that the domes might fly off, and like you said possibly the whole tray lol. I had everything held down with rocks last winter, but still had to run around the neighborhood looking for bin tops. An awl will work. Have yo get one. I don't think an awl would have worked on the bins. They would have cracked I think. I haven't worked with Midewin yet. I'm in the prairie Chapter of the native plant society that covers that area. I want to work with plants of concern. A group connected with the Chicago botanical garden. They need rare plant monitors to go and record rare, threatened species. They have a workshop at the end of February.
Great pictures, Jay! How is your weather? It’s just 37 degrees and windy here. Ventured to the mailbox. The Plant Delights Spring Sale catalog arrived. Got the say, I always love the covers on their catalogs. Too funny.
Hey Iris, it's 28 and sunny. I'm going to see if they will send me a catalog. They'll probably charge me ten bucks for 1 with $20 shipping. I guess you can do that when you sell rare plants that aren't available anywhere else. Reminds me, they are the only place with Aristolochia serpentaria var. hastata. I wonder if they are like Izel plants, who get a lot of their plants from other independent native nurseries?
I am not sure why I still get the catalog. The catalog cover is actually their profile picture on Facebook.
You have to pay $7 for a catalog, but you get a $7 credit towards any purchases. I guess that weeds out the riff raff. The only other I know that charges for catalogs is Forest Farm in Oregon. I'll just have to see what they have online. Other than the Virginia snake root. there's nothing more that I need to order.
I browsed through the catalog. It seems the prices are getting worse every year. They don’t with the other nurseries I am ordering from, so I don’t really understand.
the moment you finally get it
That’s great! In reality I might get this in somewhere between freezing my toes off and the fire ants. But I know what you mean.
Did you plant any of your milkweed seeds yet? Just found an older package of panicled tick trefoil seeds. Doesn’t hurt to try if they still work. I would not mind having a few more.
The perfect seed starting container: Cool Whip. About 6" diameter and 2 1/2" deep. Can germinate a few dozen seeds easily.
There's some cool whip in the refrigerator. I have not planted any milkweed seeds, but most only need 30 days cms.
Western Monarch population drastically low. (From AP-shortened).
From 4.5 million to 29 thousand! Total neglect on our country's part.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The western monarch butterfly population wintering
along California’s coast remains critically low for the second year in a row,
a count by an environmental group released Thursday showed.
The count of the orange-and-black insects by the Xerces Society, a nonprofit
environmental organization that focuses on the conservation of invertebrates,
recorded about 29,000 butterflies in its annual survey. That’s not much different
than last year’s tally, when an all-time low 27,000 monarchs were counted.
“We had hoped that the western monarch population would have rebounded at least
modestly, but unfortunately it has not,” said Emma Pelton, a monarch conservation
expert with the Xerces Society.
By comparison, about 4.5 million monarch butterflies wintered in forested groves
along the California coast in the 1980s. Scientists say the butterflies are at
critically low levels in the Western United States due to the destruction of their
milkweed habitat along their migratory route as housing expands into their territory
and use of pesticides and herbicides increases.
Sad to see a report like this again. Speaking of endangered. Did someone here mention a very interesting looking Baptisia lately? I thought so, but could not find it. So I looked at Baptisia on the Plant Delights website. Came across Baptisia arachnifera. Very intriguing, but they can’t ship that outside NC
Why can't they ship them out of state? They aren't even native there.
I think even though they grew theirs from seeds, it’s against the law for the plants to cross state lines?
I mentioned Baptisia tinctoria a while ago, and ordered seeds from Pinelands nursery. It is avaible in seed and plugs from Prairiemoon and others.
Iris, Baptisia perfoliata is native to South Carolina. Ebay and Jellito sell seeds, and Woodthrush natives sells plants. I think it's stupid that Plant Delights won't even ship arachnphobia to Georgia, the only state where it's native. I don't see arachnids available anywhere else. Neither would do well up here for me. Maybe at some point I might add B. tinctoria.
Thank you! I do have a bunch of Baptisia, half of them are probably cultivars. My yellow one has a bit bigger leaves than yours. Will check to add that one. Not that the caterpillars seem to care. They ate all of them last year.
Jay, I am sure they would love to sell them if it would not be against the law. Plenty of other plants to find. Like the Silvery aster :)
Why is it against the law?
Jay, can’t tell you that. It just says due to misguided federal regulations when you click on the plant. I do understand some of them. Like I can’t order a live plant for the ipomoea because of the sweet potato weevil quarantine. Don’t want to spread bugs or diseases around.
Jay, those photos Midewin are gorgeous. It's so lush. A far cry from our dry, dusty prairie out here (although I still think it's beautiful). Even in Spring and early summer it's never that green haha, and by August it looks pretty much the same as it does in January, lots of different shades of "brown."This was taken at work, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, in early June:
And another photo I took out in eastern Colorado somewhere around the same time:
A not so great photo (took it with a phone) from work in early September just to give you a feel for the "color" palette we've got haha:
There a couple of green plants, but you can see it's basically the same as what we've got going on in the middle of winter (Rocky Mountain Arsenal in January, actually it's ALMOST in the exact same spot as the above photo):
The Xeric Tallgrass is a little better for colors, but it receives a little bit more rainfall in a typical year. I think it averages about 17" of precipitation a year since it's right at the base of mountains as opposed to the other refuge which is about 20 miles further east.Xeric Tallgrass Prairie at Rocky Flats NWR in late September. This was a really nice stand of prairie dropseed and little bluestem I found during vegetation monitoring out there last year:
I don't think the federal regulations are misguided at all. It's an endangered species and by regulating it, it makes it possible to prosecute illicit trade under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that administers the ESA, really has no way to tell if a plant being sold was propagated from wild collected specimens (whether that be seed, cuttings, or entire plants) and thus the blanket regulation. Protecting these species in their native habitat (and thereby the habitat as a whole) is, and should be a top priority not only for federal agencies, but even enthusiasts like ourselves. Promoting the collection and trade of endangered species puts them at further risk which runs against why many of us are interested in promoting native plants and landscapes in the first place.
These are great pictures, Zach. As I mentioned the “misguided regulations” came up with the plant description. Not sure why they can sell it within North Carolina. I ordered my Schweinitzii sunflowers from Niche last Spring. I think they were also in North Carolina. No problem at all, and I don’t think it’s because the belong in South Carolina. Didn’t see any restrictions. If this is a federal law, it’s not like Georgia says “their” plants can’t be shipped over state borders while South Carolina is ok with it, right? It’s a bit confusing.
Thanks Iris. It might not be everyone's "cup of tea" but this sparse, thirsty, windswept land is my home and unless I get the opportunity to move back to the desert, it will stay that way. Someone once said, and it's been attributed to many different people, "Anyone can love the mountains. It takes a soul to love the prairie."The reason they can sell it in the state I THINK is because the federal government does not have the authority to regulate commerce within a state, but only between states. It would be up to the state of N.C. to regulate it inside its borders. Since this plant isn't native to N.C., they don't list is as an at risk species at the state level and therefore don't regulate it's sale.It's sort of like how migratory birds such as waterfowl (which are regulated by the USFWS under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) cannot be transported across state lines without identifiable features (i.e. an attached head or wing). However, one could technically fully clean the animal and transport a cooler of just breast meat if you are hunting in your home state.But that isn't the whole story.It is not illegal to sell endangered plants across states lines, it is only regulated. In order to sell Baptisia arachnifera, Helianthus schweinitzii, or any other endangered plant across state lines, you have to apply for and purchase a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.So, Plant Delights is either ignorant of this fact or simply too cheap to get the 100$ permit. But, if they did they could ship their hairy indigo plants to Alaska and Florida and to Maine and Arizona and every state in between. I am going to assume that Niche has done their homework and obtained a permit and this why you were able to purchase your sunflowers from them.But again, that isn't the whole story! And this goes back to what I said earlier about protecting species in their native habitat. By creating a market for endangered species, we open the door to less than scrupulous sellers who do not follow the regulations and who are not propagating these species ethically. The unfortunate reality is that investigations have shown that the majority of people selling endangered plants are doing so illicitly. It is critically important that consumers be aware of this and purchase only from reputable suppliers. I would caution anyone against buying endangered plants or seeds on sites like ebay because we do not want to encourage "black market" sellers who can, and do, cause very real harm to sensitive species.
This is all very interesting. And a lot for nurseries to keep up with. If you think that they also can’t ship certain plants to certain states because of bugs, diseases and such.
Good points Zach. I've come across some unscrupulous sellers on etsy. Not endangered but I asked one seller if her spotted wintergreen and other plants were nursery propagated and she told me she digs them from her mountain. I didn't buy them, thats not really helping the mountain which is much more of a habitat than my backyard.
Do you think it would be a benefit if the nurseries obtained, propagated, and sold the endangered plant material (with permits) to satiate that market? Well I guess you dont want to encourage a black market to expand. Its not an easy calculation to make.
Yeah, Iris, try bringing any plant or animal products to Hawaii. You have to fill out a “declaration” before you disembark the airplane and even your pets have to spend time in quarantine to ensure you’re not introducing unwanted pests and diseases. From what I remember when I lived there you were expressly prohibited from bringing any fruit into the state. Some retailers cannot ship potatoes to Colorado, or many other states where it is a “cash crop” because they don’t have necessary certifications and the state is concerned about introducing pests and diseases.
That’s great Skip. That is the kind of due diligence that we should all have. Even if the plant isn’t a T&E species, it is important that we ensure the ethical propagation of them. The passenger pigeon was at one time the most numerous bird species on the continent. Then they went extinct. It is often the commonest species that go unnoticed until it is too late.
I don’t think that permitted propagation would satiate the market. My state tried that with marijuana. There is still a thriving street market for the drug despite it’s legal accessibility here. Same with liquor. There are still “bootleggers” despite the fact prohibition ended nearly a century ago. Rocky Mountain Arsenal houses the Fish and Wildlife Office of Law Enforcement’s national wildlife and eagle repository. In their warehouse there are hundreds, if not thousands of illegally trafficked wildlife items. Everything from contractor bags full of dried seahorses to mounted tigers. What they will tell you is that much of what they have isn’t illegal to sell or possess, but so many people shirk the system and won’t get the proper permits or follow the regulations. So that is why these things are confiscated and the people prosecuted. I imagine if there was a similar facility to house illegal plant materials, the story would be the same.
But that doesn’t mean that ethical plant sellers and growers don’t play a part. By growing at risk species from credible suppliers, we can both help put a dent in the illegal sellers and help sensitive species. I know Jay has a goal of being able to restore some rare milkweed species into their native range from his homegrown stock and that is exactly the kind of thing that the regulated sale of endangered plant species is designed to promote. We just need to be sure that our original sources are not causing further damage in the first place.
DD lives in San Francisco, and she and I (Houston, TX) are both growing potted Moro Blood orange trees. We wanted to compare notes on our harvest over the holidays (read: who grows the yummier orange!), and planned on meeting in L.A. Something in my head told me to Google CA regulations about bringing fruit into the state: expressly (and understandably) prohibited. Glad I checked, as it would've been sad to have to ditch our oranges at the airport. So, family just had to go on my word that mine is the yummier fruit. :)
Have been busy winter sowing. I like the 72 cell trays. They make it easier when sowing lots of species.
That sounds like fun, Jay! Found this plant by my brush pile with all kinds of invasive things. The seek app says leather leaf mahonia. It looks about right, don’t you all think? Just what I need. It will be gone tomorrow, but where there is one....Always new things showing up, so few are good ones to have.
Hello to this group! I am a middle-aged, highly educated, previously suburban, native/pollinator gardener, not in league with most of you. But, I just moved (this month) to a 2+ acre property in Benton Harbor, MI and plan to transform what is mostly lawn into a more valuable wildlife habitat. There is a separate thread titled “I’m buying a House!”that provides more detail. I am hoping you can provide some guidance re methods and best species to include. My property lies within a heavily farmed area, though there are also many of acres nearby that have apparently been allowed to go wild for many years. My current plan is to establish hedgerows of native fruit-bearing trees and shrubs along the property lines. These would function as early spring nectar sources for pollinators and food sources for birds and small mammals. There are large shade trees centrally, close to the house, but then most of the rest of the land consists of larger sections of open lawn. We are on a corner, and have some low ditches on two sides.
My plan for this first growing season is to establish a few garden beds using winter sown seedlings, and to have a vegetable garden (which I have wanted all my life). My long term focus will be perennial natives, but I also recognize the value of non-native annuals as a temporary source of pollen and nectar while natives get established. As an avid seed collector, I have accumulated quite a supply of zinnias, cosmos, allysum, and tithonia. None of these are invasive in my zone, so I feel comfortable using up my seed to enjoy some colorful blooms this summer.
I have piles of cardboard boxes left from the move, and will use them to smother parts of the lawn. But, there is Creeping Charlie scattered through large parts of the lawn that I think will require glyphosate to eradicate. I am open to opinions re this plan. My daughter is studying environmental law, and might disown me if I purchase even a small container of glyphosate. But, she’s not doing the weeding, is she? I am personally torn.
Anyway, that’s enough to introduce myself. Best of luck to all as your projects progress.
I just Googled your mahonia, Iris -- my condolences. :/
Hello and welcome, Martha. Just wanted to pop in and say I recognized your username from spending a good part of the past two years reading through old Gardenweb posts (esp in the Butterfly Garden forum), and your generous offer of seeds to one and all put a smile on my face. Best of luck with your new home! I likely won't be of any use to you from here in the Houston area. But all the other experts will assuredly provide plenty of helpful advice.
Asclepias "Iris" is progressing nicely!
Hello Martha. Just a quick comment. You have ambitious plans, and it should be fun. You will learn as you go along just the rest of us have.
If you have an unlimited budget then start with rooted shrubs on the property lines. My favorite are Elderberries, but also Chokeberry and there are many Viburnums to choose from as well as any of the Dogwoods. However, for a "controlled" native landscape stay away from things like Wild Plum, Chokecherry, Bittersweet, etc. Your neighbors will thank you.
Your ditches look like idea places for water gardens. The most beautiful blooms exist in the swamps.
Go to the Prairie Moon website and start ordering seeds now so they can be cold stratified for this year.
Martha, really can’t wait to see your progress. Javi, very curious what “Iris” is going to turn into. Thing is, I think I saw this mahonia, or something very similar, at Lowe’s last summer. I knew it looked familiar, but just came to my my where I have seen it.
Good stuff Javi.
Martha, welcome! I am a tinkerer at best, but I will share whatever I have learned. As for creeping charlie, I purchased a small container of triclopyr for it. The best time to apply is in the fall or spring while its flowering, although spring is going to be worse for pollinators since they'll be visiting the flowers https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/ground-ivy-control-for-home-lawns The smallest container of triclopyr I could find came as ortho poison ivy killer 8% concentrate. Dilute as per label and always read directions and use PPE. It is a little easier to manually pull in the early spring when its small and weak. I've read about using a manual thatch rake https://duckduckgo.com/?q=thatch+rake&t=h_&ia=images&iax=images in early spring but haven't tried it myself.
Hedges are good but don't get fixated on perfectly spaced plants and planting them in straight lines, have some fun with the design side of it. Claudia West writes about keeping the bed shapes very structured and then filling in with wildness.
In a book by Larry Weaner, he writes how cultivars often have different growth habits. For example Ilex glabra, Ilex verticillata, Spirea latifolia, Clethra alnifolia, and others have much more suckering, colonizing habits when grown from seed vs vegetatively propagated cultivar plants. This colonizing can be good if you wany to replace a patch of lawn, it forms a competitive ground cover against weeds. Conversely less suckering and spreading can be good when you dont want it and thats when a cultivar could be a better choice.
Thank you, all, for your generous welcome.
I appreciate the input re Creeping Charlie and the hedgerows. Trust me, I am not at all invested in orderly, evenly-spaced plants. The more suckering the better. My primary purpose is to provide wildlife habitat. The little bit of reading I have done would suggest that my “rows” should be at least 40’ wide with varying heights and varieties of trees/shrubs. It will take some years to accomplish that, and I will have to be vigilant in my efforts to protect the young plants from deer and rabbit damage while they get established. Any brilliant suggestions? I plan to invest in temporary fencing, at least for the short term. Unfortunately, that will significantly eat into finances that could otherwise go toward plant purchases. But, it doesn’t make financial sense to buy plants just to feed them to the critters, does it?
Fencing: T-post and fishing line.
Its worth a try and if it doesn't work you can attach some other kind of fencing to the T-posts later. I set T posts at the corners of a ~50'x8' area where I planted oak seedlings, but never got around to stringing up the line. I used liquid fence deer repellent in the meantime since I was already using it on ninebarks that I couldn't fence in. The deer havent bothered the oak seedlings. Maybe this year I'll finally string up the fishing line since the oaks will hopefully grow a little more going on their third year in the ground. I haven't had to deal with rabbits, there are cats and fox around the neighborhood. I saw a rabbit for the first time last year but hopefully they dont get out of control.
I am nearly finished with my own wintersowing.
I have some odd milkjugs left, and one more 50-cell tray for purple love grass. Second phase of this is to pound rebar into the ground to hold up the wood framing, line the bottom of the beds with plastic, place fill/drain pipe, fill with coarse sand, then set up a reservoir and float valve so that there is a constant water table in the sand. The water should wick up from the sand into the trays/pots and keep them watered. If not maybe just plastic lining the bottom, some gravel, then manual bottom watering and draining as needed. I am really aiming for set-and-forget though.
Wow, Skip! That’s a lot of planting! Looking great!
The fish line fence is already on my to do list.
I have a lot of catching up to do. Welcome Martha and Zach and everyone. I just discovered this new butterfly. The giant yucca skipper. I could make a makeshift hoophouse with trellises and floating row cover. The containers will probably absorb bottom water as it trickles past them on the bricks. I sowed some grass seeds. Bouteloua curtipendula, Bouteloua gracious, Calamovilfa lonifolia, Chasmanthium latifolium, Chasmanthium laxum, Carex blanda, Carex rosea, Carex sprengelii, Andropogon virginicus. I'll sow all the Liatris seeds in bins or larger containers. 😃🌞🌧
Sorry to rub it in, if you're hating the cold. It felt like April around here today, esp with the Monarchs and Gulf frits dive bombing the yard all day.
Is it possible this is my A. purpurascens waking up already? This will be my first spring watching the milkweeds break out of their senescence.
And possibly A. variegata?
A. oenotheroides (zizotes) -- check out the buds forming at the bottom:
If we get a freeze, I'll cry. :/
Ok now I'm really excited to see your milkweeds, Javi. Im attempting to start those first two species myself.
It was about 50 degrees here today, windy. Felt like early spring. I noticed the leaves on the Cardamine diphylla were up.
That's so cool. Hopefully I'll be seeing the same thing in a few months. I can't believe you have flower buds forming already. Did you ever get any verticillata to survive? Do you of anywhere to get texana seeds? I thought texana liked moist soil, but I think it likes dry soil. The oenotheroides that I winter sowed last year never germinated. This time I'm germinating them in water.
Javi, your plants look wonderful! Fingers crossed nothing will freeze. My plum tree for example is way too far for January. Going to bloom too early, it will freeze and once again no plums for me.
Good luck, Skip! I think your part of the country is better suited to these two, but I'm taking extreme care to protect them from our TX sun (or, Death Star, as I saw someone refer to it!).
Jay: Haven't heard about a source for texana, but I'll be on the lookout for you. I may have a few leftover zizote seeds here, in case you're unsuccessful. And, fingers crossed, mine will produce seeds this year. (I actually have several plants in the same bed that I started from seed; but when a local nursery was carrying gorgeous, mature plants for $9.99, I couldn't resist.)
I started this latest batch of verticillata (clip & water germination) January 18, transferring four with decent roots to potting mix (using toothpicks to mark where I've planted) -- one's ready to greet the world:
I sowed a few more this morning, but there are a good number still sitting in water. I don't want to risk them rotting, so, am not sure if I shouldn't just sow them all in potting mix now:
Pretty incredible that your plants are budding out so soon, Iris, given you've had pretty cold weather already -- or was that only this past week? I'll keep fingers crossed here for you, too. I think you need it more than I do...cuz you NEED plums! :D
Skip: At last count, I've got 16 species of milkweed in my yard (including C. procera and blue tweedia). 18 if you count A. curassavica and tuberosa. I blame Jay: he's such an enabler! :p
Does anyone know what kind of cat this is? Javi, did you do cms with the verticillata seeds? Wasn't there a nursery down there that had texana plants at one time, or was it a native plant sale?
Texas milkweed, Asclepias texana
My memory could be failing me, Jay, but I can't recall anyone selling texana. I think that would have piqued my curiosity. If you come across any resources out here and it's not a crazy drive, I'll go grab one/some for you! (Those texana flowers resemble perennis -- the coloring, anyway.)
Zach, nice pictures, thanks. That land looks interesting to me. I've seen a lot of it during vacations out west. The couple times that I was in Colorado, it was mostly in the mountains. Fort Collins, Aspen, Estes Park, Keystone, Mesa Verde, Royal Gorge, Colorado Springs. You've lived in some real different places. I wouldn't mind living in the desert, or mountains. I'll try to get some better pictures of the tallgrass prairie this year, with the bison herd. I always check to make sure the plants that I buy are ethically sourced. There rare species that I want aren't available anywhere. There are a few woodland natives that I'm trying to grow that are becoming endangered because of collecting. Chamaelirium luteum, Aletris farinosa, Aristolochia serpentaria, ginseng. I does make me sick to see their roots being sold by the pound. This is a sand dune/ pine savanna in my area, that is rich with natives preferring that kind of area. There is some low land that stayed wet most of the year. The humidity was almost unbearable for me.
Braidwood Dunes and Savanna
Dichanthelium clandestinum, Polytrichum juniperinum
Hey Martha, I'm sorry for not getting back sooner. That's great that you want to turn your 2 acres into wildlife habitat. How close are you to the lake? I want to hopefully go see some protected parts of the Indiana dunes out that way. This will be fun helping you get started. I have a lot of leftover, collected native seeds, so if you need more plants let me know. And congrats on the new place.
My internal clock must be in sync with my winter sowing, because I've been craving 🥛 insatiably and the jugs just keep piling up. They might be flimsy, but at least they don't shatter like rock candy.
I was so glad that wildflower nursery wasn't having a big trillium sale. And then they did.
Trillium recurvatum, prairie trillium. I still need to collect 2 or 3 more species to have all the Illinois natives. I already have cuneatum, grandiflorum, nivale, and erecta. I think the best way to propagate trilliums is to let them seed themselves, but have maintained, open spots where the seeds can germinate. Not sure whether ants mess with trillium seeds or not?
Gonolobus suberosus seeds came in. The flowers smell like rotten bugs to lure flies for pollination.
Ha ha, Jay! Milk is good for you. Did you finish the Cool whip, too to get the container? I have tried Trillium once, didn’t work. Maybe I should try again. You are really growing the most interesting plants. How did you come across the Gonolobus suberosus? I saw this one today. Any idea what it is? Another one I think I have seen somewhere before. There are just so many, it’s hard to remember them all.
My Bradburiana is already showing new growth. Such a pretty color
Maybe you need a different trillium. Wow, the bradburiana looks nice. I hope my seeds for those germinate this time around. I was just researching every possible Monarch host plant was native to Illinois and the Gonolobus was on that list. Your mystery plant is either Rosacea or Ranunculaceae I think. I'll take a closer look later.
Iris, I don't know what your plant is. It looks very familiar, like I've seen it before?
That’s exactly what I thought. I just can’t remember where. I still didn’t get an answer from that nursery about the Amorpha nitens. Guess I do need to call.
Yes, the owner doesn't check his emails enough, but he always answers his phone. Real nice guy.
Thanks for the offer of plants. I think I better slow down and hope I can get what I have in the ground this year. I need to observe the property for a year to assess sunlight and drainage. Ideally, I would also smother any planned beds for the entire summer, though I won’t be able to wait that long to start planting.
We are several miles from the lake, out toward more farming territory. Given how fast the beaches are eroding, I’m glad we couldn’t afford beachfront property. Also, I am a now-gray redhead, so can’t tolerate much time with sun reflecting back at me from the sand and water. We will enjoy taking visitors to the local parks when they are with us.
Ok Martha, if you change your mind, let me know.
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.
Good article Jay. Is that the same Floyd from the native plant society?
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.😃
Skip, yes that's the Floyd that I know.
They are doing some work at the nearby preserve and there will probably be a lot of bare ground afterwards.
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.
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.
I snow seeded a bunch of Agalinis seeds around the native grasses. Buckeye host plants.
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?
Yeah, I forgot that I 'needed' more Dicentra exemia. They should have more back in stock?
Of course you need more plants :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is one of the nearby prairies as warm from the air.
Asarum rosei. Discovered by and named after Mark Rose in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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."
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.
Dandy, needing snow shoes just to take a walk AND having to shovel snow? A trip to Florida sounds like a really good plan :)
Iris, I can submit your plant, and see what they say.
Do you think I should take more pictures?
Yes. It might help. The leaves seem bunched up and crinkled in this picture.
Medeola virginiana, Indian cucumber root. Lilaceae.
owl butterfly! aposematism to the nth degree. I guess it really exists. Hard to believe. Amazing!
How pretty! I will see what it looks like now.
It’s still curled up, probably the cold.