Native Plant Hunters

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

All serious native plant people are welcome. Don't be scared.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, I'm just looking through the big flora book, and it's just mind boggling how many new species I'm discovering. Also many new locations to visit. It's also sad to see how rare some plants have become, and the reasons why it happened. I can't wait to visit some of these places for the first time, this spring.


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javiwa

Found the thread!


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javiwa

Can't think of a better way to kick this off than celebrating the 2-month birthday of mystery milkweed A. Iris (left). I think it's a perfect match to the A. speciosa I've got going, so I think the mystery is solved!


Bonus shots of broccoli (larger pots), zinnia and Las Vegas gomphrena seedlings for my pollinator garden.



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Found it, too! Javi, these are all looking great! The bats have certainly woken up. Wonder how many are currently in that house. Washing off the space under it, I was thinking I should probably sweep that up and dump somewhere as fertilizer :)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Bat guano is a rich fertilizer. Lucky you!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Just ripped out some more japanese honeysuckle, and then direct sowed the Helianthus seeds you sent, Jay, into the bare disturbed soil. They've been in my fridge, hopefully the remaining cold nights and rains are enough to germinate them.

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javiwa

Skip: What is meant by disturbed soil? (i.e., what are the qualities of disturbed soil?) I've seen this term in sowing instructions for seeds like cowpen daisies.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The woodland sunflowers need C30. They should be ok. I want to grow bastard toadflax. It's parasitic. Prairie Moon only has 5 seeds per packet. The germination is K? They reall have no clue how to germinate it, just that you need to plant it by or sow it with a native grass, and it's a difficult seed to germinate. Finding a plant would be easier. Comandra umbellata, it just came back to me, duh! I posted a pic on the wrong thread too lol. There's a weather window so I'm getting the 5 ginseng and 5 snakeroots now. Might have to stick them somewhere temporarily.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Happy first day of Spring! Sure feels like it. 77 degrees. The birds are singing and the bees are buzzing. Very distracting from the work I should be doing :)

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javiwa

Feeling like first day of summer over here: 85, feeling like close to 90. Next week, we're supposed to hit 88. It's March, for pete's sake!

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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

Jay --I commented on the other thread a few weeks ago and you very graciously welcomed me. But then I got busy and never came back. So I thought I would chime in on this new thread. What "big flora book" are you looking at?

I live in Augusta, GA, zone 8A. Not too far from Iris I believe. I have always gardened for hummingbirds, added butterflies a few years ago, and recently started "pollinators". I have enjoyed adding native shrubs such as Itea virginica , Clethra and Oakleaf hydrangea to my traditional southern yard planted with Camellias and azaleas. I've let all the azaleas die over the years, lol.

The UGA extension service last year conducted the first statewide "pollinator census". They were very pleased with the response and plan to do it again this year in August. The FB page is Georgia Pollinator Census. The facilitator is Becky Griffin. The Georgia Botanical Garden in Athens has a native plant sale every fall. Today I was excited to see the the emergence of the Elephantopus carolinianus I bought last year. Mountain Mint is another favorite that does well in my garden. The Georgia Native Plant Society has a FB page where every day they post a picture of a native plant with discussion of where it lives, etc.

I look forward to following y'alls discussions.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's gloomy and raining again today, but I smelled spring , for the first time today.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Hi junco. My flora is called Plants of the Chicago Region. It's written by Floyd Swink and Gerald Wilhelm. It was written in the 90s. Since that time Floyd Swink has passed, and Gerald Wilhelm has written a new updated book with another botanist Reicha. For your area, the flora of the southeast by Allan Weakley would be the best book. Our Illinois Native Plant Society is having their native plant sale in may. I had a few Elephantopus plants for the first time last year. They bloomed in their very first year, but the plants were still little. Georgia is nice.

http://herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Javi, disturbed soil is any soil that has been dug, cultivated, hoed, or had the plants pulled out of it. Its that simple. Any time you disturb the soil crust it stimulates dormant seed germination. A lot of authors prefer burning, solarizing, smothering with tarps, spraying herbicide, and cutting, instead of tilling, pulling, or digging out weeds. Every time you disturb the soil more unseen weed seeds are brought near the surface where they germinate.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, you are always coming up with the most unusual plants to look up.

Juno, I think you are a bit more than two hours away from my Simpsonville. If you ever need any plants from my yard, should be a quick trip by mail. What kind of mountain mints are you growing? I have several, but the broadleaf one is still my favorite. It does a bit too well in my yard. Hopefully Javi is still going to talk to me in a few years if it does that well in Texas :) Found the first sign of life on one of my swamp milkweeds today. Monarchs can’t be that far off. A poor little orange sulphur was laying eggs of dead stalks of sickle pots. No sign of any of the sennas yet. Wish the picture would show the color as bright as it is. The lawn has really big patches of purple and white. Pretty.

Blueberry bees have finally arrived.

Not as pretty as Skip’s willow, but my black one is doing really well.

Saw the cutest beetles today, and they are not even bad news.

Sorry for so many pictures, but it was just such a beautiful day! Finally.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Iris: "Happy first day of Spring! Sure feels like it. 77 degrees. The birds are singing and the bees are buzzing. Very distracting from the work I should be doing :)"

Javi: "Feeling like first day of summer over here: 85, feeling like close to 90. Next week, we're supposed to hit 88."

Myself: ~30 degrees and snow. I'm under a Blizzard warning until 6 am tomorrow. Although I can currently see the neighbors house (just barely), almost half a mile down the road so it's not too bad . Tonight it's supposed to be down to about 15. Then again, it wouldn't be March on the High Plains and Rockies without a couple good storms. As a kid, our "spring" breaks were always more wintry than winter break. We'll be out of "snow season" by around Memorial Day.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Zach, can’t say I envy you. I am a lot more productive and less creaky (old sports injuries, car accident as a teen) when it’s above 70 degrees. Unless I get distracted by bugs. But thankfully there are people suited for every climate and all the landscapes are beautiful in their own way. I am always enjoying your pictures.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

To be perfectly honest, Iris, I wouldn't envy me either. I hate snow. I especially hate snow outside of winter. Once we hit Mother's day and it's still snowing, that's when I get really cranky. But were not even a full 24 hours into spring, so this isn't so bad haha. I did prefer living in Phoenix though. Tank-tops and flip flops virtually year round is way more my style.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm not seeing any naked lizard people? Wow, they just cancelled our big plant sale that was supposed to be on May 9. That's a shame. They could have waited another month. Iris, have you ever heard of Mountain Rest SC.?

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Maybe not full on naked but shorts, tank tops and flip flops is about the most bundled up I ever enjoy being. Having to wear 5 layers of bulky winter clothing is just too restrictive.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have watched a lot of sci-fi so I was actually thinking lizard humanoids with scales.

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javiwa

Thanks, Skip -- I wanted to start some cowpen daisy indoors a couple of months ago and was trying to figure out how to translate disturbed soil to a potted medium setting. I decided to just scatter the seeds on top of the mix and press down ever so slightly to ensure seed-to-soil contact. Plants have been sown and are doing fine!



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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice Javi, good luck, have heard those spread.

Just checked the weather, current temperature 46F, with a high of ........ 78!? What is going on with this world? Tomorrow and rest of week back to highs in the 50s.

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javiwa

I've read they're prolific re-seeders, which will be fine if they serve their purpose as a nectar source for all our flying critters. Bonus points if I can attract some Bordered Patch butterflies, even though we're a bit east of their general range in TX.

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javiwa

Mountain mint gifted by Iris -- away we go! :)



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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Glad you're getting that snow Zach instead of me, but new snow just to the north of me yesterday. Temp is 10(above zero!) and high in the 20's today but going to be in the 40's next week. At least the cold hardens the snow cover enough so I can walk down to the river on the crust without breaking through. The river has opened up in the past week so the swans congregate here waiting for the lakes to unfreeze. I throw cracked corn out for them and every spring they always come back for it. A slow warm-up is forecast for the rest of the month. Thinking of willows budding and new flowers popping up one can only dream about but it always occurs.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The forecast l for today is 59 with light rain. Dandy, do you grow any prairie willow, Salix humilis? I'm considering them because they like dry soil, and the wildlife value. I saw some pictures of the leaves of young, Japanese honeysuckles, and the leaves were strangely lobed. They didn't look like typical honeysuckle leaves. Have you ever seen that Skip or Iris? It seems like all nature activities with groups is out for the foreseeable future, but I can still visit all these new places I'm discovering. I want to hunt the species and do observations on the targets. Lots of pictures coming. Everyone stay well, and stay well away from other people. Going to McDonalds (horrible name now) is like playing Russion roulette.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I did see the leaves on the honeysuckle here. Maybe they want to confuse me into not ripping them out.

Javi, your mint is looking great!

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

We still have a ways to go before anything starts budding here, too, Dandy. Migratory birds are starting to show up though. Saw a Say’s phoebe the other day, plenty of mountain bluebirds and early shorebirds like killdeer and yellowlegs our on the shallow water. Spring IS here, despite the fact it’s often the snowiest time of year for us.

“seems like all nature activities with groups is out for the foreseeable future, but I can still visit all these new places I'm discovering.”

Aldo Leopold once write that “Solitude is so far recognized as valuable only by ornithologists and cranes.” In modern life, solitude is a rare commodity. I am enjoying this aspect of our current situation. Too bad it comes at such a grizzly cost...

Currently 19 degrees with a steady “breeze.”

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The japanese honeysuckle looks like this in my yard right now, this pic from 5min ago

Ive never seen lobes on it

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I just went out


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow, that no good IJH (invasive Japanese honeysuckle is trying to fool you Iris! That's what I was talking about, yep. I'm enjoying more solitude also, and the world isn't being ripped apart so much at the moment, but I still hear the mechanized wheels of industry still rolling in the distance.

I'm still adding to the tray on the right. I'm seeing green in each quadrifolia cell. I'm trying covering a few with chicken grit.

Asclepias arenaria has wide leaves like latifolia, at maturity, but they look completely different as seedlings.

The oenotheroides with first true leaves. Speciosa, cordifolia, ovalifolia, humistrata.

HELP THE MONARCHS ( grow milkweeds and lots of pollinator plants, for their journeys.) 🙏

The waterleafs are greening up and looking frisky. Being so warm those honeysuckles should pull out easy? I may start periodically assassinating weed trees in nearby thicket. Mountain Rest must be in the mountains. I want to move there lol. I've wanted to live in the Smoky Mountains forever. 4 acres like Mountain Gardens would be nice, with many different little ecological niches?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, there is lot sprouting! It’s looking great. And like you would need 4 acres.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, they are easier to pull out now, although some of them root down 10+" deep and are harder to pull sometimes. Some have a thick nobby wooden crown from being mowed and need to be dug out. Those are my favorites to remove. If everything gets locked down, Im hearing rumors of a "shelter in place" order, I might have time to pull every last weed out of the yard.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They are my favorites to remove too, because they are usually ones that have been irking me for awhile, and they are such a relief. Then you never have to cut them back again. I'm thinking more about becoming vegetarian, but I need more than beans to keep it interesting. If it just comes down to survival than that's fine. I'm thinking of going to see if the skunk cabbages are blooming yet. They are the earliest things to pop up. Skip, what are your plans for the mile a minute vine?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Shelter in place for everyone would mean they all live like me everyday! It's seldom that I even speak to anyone during the week. It's winter yet. Why go out.

Here's a tip for staying virus free(I just thought of this).

Do not touch money.

I bought Nitrile gloves on Amazon and wore them to buy groceries yesterday. I noticed two clerks at checkout taking money in bare hands. I mentioned they needed the gloves too but they rejected the idea. I think they are doomed.

From now on I will only use plastic and will not accept change of any kind.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I went to buy groceries, and had to wait in line, to be let into the store.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I hope they at least had everything you wanted! A lot of the shelves at our Publix were empty. Wonder where people even store all that stuff, like meat. Buy an extra freezer? Look at this, maybe I will eventually get some paw paw

Found the sand phlox is still alive. Thought I lost it last summer.


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javiwa

I hope you were able to find what you needed at the store, Jay.


Dandy: Advice is to take it one step further than using physical cc's, and instead use I-forget-what-they're-called where you just flash your smartphone and the payment is registered.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay hope you kept distance in that line. The mile a minute vine is clingy with the prickles, so I just grab it with leather gloves on and start pulling it and rolling it up into a ball as I go, and it sticks to itself in a ball. I did that once a week or so last year and I dont think any of it went to seed. You cant let it grow for more than a couple weeks or it will start covering shrubs and other plants, and get tangled and harder to remove.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I was keeping a distance away from other people. Somebody a ways behind me coughed, so next time I will be wearing a mask and gloves. I found everything I needed. There were only a few dozen eggs left. The deli was closed, but they had items already bagged. Some society members want to have a plant swap in the fall. I hope it happens. I noticed some non native alliums that I planted years ago are popping up. I want to dig them out now.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Glad you got everything you need. Of course this time of year, at least around here, lots of people are coughing and sneezing. The pollen count for trees was high today, pine actually off the chart.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Some of my Heliopsis helianthoides and Chrysopsis mariana seedlings are popping up in the milk jugs already :) first things so far

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The only thing popping up in the trays outside is cilantro/coriander.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I just looked again, some fun stuff is coming up, I see some Dodecatheon amethystinum, tons of Doellingeria umbellata, Solidago juncea, and some of the spring ephemerals are coming up out of the ground.

My oldest Packera aurea plant is getting ready to flower


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow cool, it's to know those germinated. Especially the Dodecatheon. No sign of any packeras around here yet.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

I’ve got Agastache foeniculum sprouting in the trays. How they managed to survive our temps in the mid teens the past couple nights I don’t know but It’s better than the flixweed and cheatgrass that’s is popping up everywhere. I sprinkled snow on them and the rest of the trays to give them a drink. Nothing else has done anything yet, all the cells are frozen solid.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Went out to Pilcher Park to see if the skunk cabbage were blooming.

Symplocarpus foetidus. Pilcher Park

Symplocarpus foetidus.


Cornus sericea.

Allium tricoccus?

A treated invasive.

Invasive bush honeysuckles?


Allium tricoccum.

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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

Iris--I first tried Mountain Mint several years ago when the Botanical Garden fall sale had pots of "Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides which I planted in my sunniest bed. It was spectacular and was covered in small bees and wasps all summer. It faded out after a few years and I could only find the incanum species which is still in my garden but much smaller. Last fall I bought another of what they grow and hope it will be big and beautiful again. I am also watching the incanum more closely this year. The interesting thing is NO ONE else grows or talks about "Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides" so I don't really know what it is and the new leaves coming up look very much like the incanum. Do you know the species of the wide leaf one you sent out to Texas?

ETA: I just searched again and found the longer name on older lists for sales at the Birmingham Botannical garden and a newsletter from Indiana, so I guess it was being used at some point.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The leaves of pycnanthemoides look similar to muticum, but pycnanthemoides grows 6 feet tall. They are 2 different species..w W²²²2I don't see seeds or plants for sale. I can try to find out if Birmingham Gardens is still growing them. I've never heard this mountain mint mentioned before.

Pycnanthemum pynanthemoides was called Pynanthemum incanum var. pycnanthemoides. It is probably a subspecies of P. incanum that now is considered it's own species, just like Asclepias Nivea var. curassavica.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a lot to catch up on! The mountain mint in Javi’s picture was the Pycnanthemum muticum, she also has the narrow leaf one doing well, I think. Sickle pot is barely coming up now. Already occupied. Poor sulphurs are fluttering around looking for something to lay eggs on. Hope we don’t get another freeze.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Those are wild looking eggs Iris.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Last year, my sicklepods never had time to bloom, so no self sown seedlings for me. Good thing I planted so many seeds. Getting plants now is a hassle.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am probably going to have plenty of sicklepot seedlings. Let’s see how they can keep up with the sulphurs though. I hope my Christmas senna is going to come back. It didn’t get that cold this winter.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My popcorn and coffee sennas never had time to bloom either. The only dependable bloomer was the Senna hebbacarpa. I don't think the popcorn and coffee sennas are good hostplants because they both have symbiotic relationships with 🐜. I never noticed any ants on the sicklepods. I did have 1 that was being eaten, but that cat must have gotten eaten too. Do you grow any Onconee bells Iris? There aren't native here.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Do the caterpillars prefer sicklepod to Senna hebecarpa? They are in the same family as partridge pea and feed the same caterpillars. Sicklepod has the extrafloral nectaries which is what attracts the ants. I have a few Senna hebecarpas planted that will hopefully grow a lot bigger this year, and I collected some partridge pea seeds and wintersowed them. I should go direct sow the rest of my partride pea seeds now that I'm thinkng about it.

Jay, some of the Blephilia ciliata is germinating too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I don’t grow the onconee bells. I just have one of the wild senna. Haven’t seen it yet this year. I always have the most caterpillars on the sicklepot. Maybe because the leaves seem to be softer?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I've been growing the Senna hebbacarpa for many years now. I never saw cats on them until last year. I didn't actually see them, only their damage. 2 times in the past I have had Senna marilandica come up in pots of other plants from nurseries down south. I never saw cats on those either. The obtusifolia doesn't attract ants like some other sennas, but maybe it's not as tasty to the ants as popcorn and coffee, so maybe the ants would flock to it if it was the only senna?🤔 The Blephilia cilliata was way up at the top of my list. That's great news.

Ipomopsis rubra. Yes, you can overwinter in the northern midwest, if the condition are favorable. The third held out for a long time but just bit the dust. It was slightly smaller than the other 2.

Duchesnea indica. I spent a long time getting every minute piece of these removed last year, and lo and behold, here they are again, in full force hehe.🤣

Andropogon scoparius? I don't know why, but if you are in the native plant society it's cool to call these natives by their old, obsolete names.🙄

Cirsium altissimum I hope.🙏🙏🙏

The beautiful, reddish, new spring growth of Zizia aurea.

I'm going to try eating chickweed. It's taking over.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Asclepias cordifolia.

Asclepias oenothera.

Asclepias quadrifolia.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I haven't grown Senna obtusifolia long enough to tell which senna the butterflies prefer. Sulphurs are supposed to eat both kinds.

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javiwa

Narrow leaf mountain mint (P. tenuifolium) is doing great, too!



Jay: It seems your milkweeds always progress further in a shorter period of time than mine do! Already, second set of true leaves on the oenotheroides?! Impressive.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

And it's my 1st time growing oenotheroides. Which mountain mint is that? Your mulch is beautiful.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, Jay! You have a lot going on. Need to have a closer look at all the pictures later. There probably is going to be a lot of looking plants up involved with them.

Javi, this mountain mint is looking great! And once again not a weed in sight. No idea how you can keep up with all of that. New weeds are popping up daily around here.

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javiwa

Thanks, Jay -- all the months (over the past three winter/springs) of dragging in neighbors' lawn/leaf bags and shredding that which was simply raked is paying off. But every spring I think I've got a handle on how many bags I might need the next year, we go and carve out new beds out of the lawn! :D That's the narrow leaf mountain mint (P.tenuifolium) Iris sent me rooted cuttings of last year.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I had a few thousand seeds for the tenuifolium. The parks are locked up. It snowing heavy right now.

Ribes cynosbati.

Aronia melanocarpa.

Antennaria plantaginifolia.

Erigeron pulchellus.

Stylophorum diphyllum.

Hydrophyllum virginicum.

The spring plant sale at the Birmington Botanical Garden for April 17, 18, and 19 has been cancelled.

It's snowing, and 36 degrees.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This looks about right with the grocery shopping. Is this what a hickory seedling looks like? I don’t recall putting the nut this close to the edge of the pot though.


I missed this one blooming, but can anybody still guess what it might be?

Jay, the plant you put on Name that Plant for me is finally starting to grow. Of the guesses, I think Elderberry is the closest. Is there such a thing as a “bad” elderberry? If there is, how can you tell the difference?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't know what hickory seedlings look like. Not sure about the 2nd plant, maybe Nuttallanthus texenis? All elderberries are good( if they are native).


This might be hazelnut, Corylus americana?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I was trying to read up the differences between native and non native elderberries. Guess I will see eventually. I think I suggested maybe hazelnut with your picture last time, but I am no expert. Just reminded me of mine.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris that looks just like my volunteer elderberry. The European one Sambucus nigra is related to the american one. I've seen the American one called Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis.

Jay, nice collection you have going. That looks like hazelnut.

I had 5 deer in my backyard hanging around before, they've been coming every night. FIVE full grown does. I finally went outside and strung up the fishing line between the Tposts I set 2 years ago, to fence off some tree seedlings (chestnut oak, black gum, persimmon) and small clethra shrubs.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, yikes for the deer. I am in the same boat. Hope your fishing line works.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The Sambucus nigra complex. I imagine since they are both the same species it's not that big of a deal which variation it is because they are so similar. Insects may not notice a difference. That elderberry looks like my 3 native ones. I'm not sure if they are nigra or racemosa.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, do you have any wild gingers? Little brown jugs?😃

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

No wild ginger. Little brown jugs across the street in my brother in laws woods.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

There are 6 species of Hexastylis native to SC. Illinois doesn't have any. Are the cowpen daisies ok? Do you think the plant with the seedpods was Texas toadshade? I meant toadflax. Yep, it's Nuttallanthus texanus. I'd love some seeds for that.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The cowpen daisies are looking good, especially the ones I took to the garage whenever it froze. I tried the seek app on the plant, all it told me is onion family. Wish I would have caught it in bloom. Could not have been a showy one. It’s inside the dog fence, so while I am paying attention to other things cleaning up in there, it should have caught my eye otherwise.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It would have an onion smell if it's in the onion family.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I didn’t check on the smell. I suppose I could dig it up and see if it’s a bulb.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, it’s so quiet here! Everybody having great weather and working outside? It was pretty cold here and rained most of the day. I think I am seeing some jewel weed seedlings.

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javiwa

We'll quickly creep close to 90 for the rest of the week; but with the abundant rain we received over the weekend, things will dry out nicely. These high temps (whether sun or now) are too much for me to get any real gardening done, but I won't be staying indoors! Planted a small batch of cosmos (oranges and one Lemon Apricot that I'm very excited about -- both gifted by generous locals).


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Those are beautiful. Very Texas.


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javiwa

Mine, just now -- with two buds close behind. :)



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I love the color. I have to watch these milkweed seedlings vigilantly. those little cell can dry out very fast. I wonder how many leaves quadrifolia puts on in its 1st year? I'm guessing no more than 4? The humistrata take forever to form their 1st true leaves. They can send space probes beyond the solar system, but they can't design a spray bottle that doesn't break? Mine broke, and I panicked and thought they were all hoarded like other items, so people could spray down everything.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Did you find a new spray bottle? I made a quick stop at Lowe’s today to get the soil I might need in the upcoming weeks. They did adjust the store hours and have plenty of masking tape on the floor by the registers to help with social distancing. There was just one other person in the garden section. Didn’t venture into the main part.

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javiwa

Jay: spray bottles that don't last more than a year or two really annoy me. I will often repurpose spray bottles from window/glass cleaners, etc. (from back in the day when I used such items). What do you use the spray bottles for?


Iris: I love that Lowes is taking steps to 'remind' people with the taped floor -- it's such a novel thing we all need to to, it's easy for people to forget (I witnessed this during my grocery store runs: stay away from me already!). Cannot imagine how much time it took to grid out those lines with tape, but I applaud the effort.


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javiwa

My mistake: the cosmos was actually on the wane, not just opening. So, either it bloomed late yesterday afternoon when I didn't notice (don't think so) or it bloomed very early this morning. They don't last long, apparently, but there will be more to follow!


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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

Jay, thanks for the info on the pyncnanthemoides . My first one was at least 6' wide and tall.



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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I bought an HDX spray bottle to water seeds into my trays. It broke after about 5 trays. Then I bought the Zep one and it was much better but already seems to be losing power. Maybe next year I'll get one of those pump up pressurized ones that is like a mini tank sprayer. Its been cold and wet here, but it cleared up today so I went outside and stirrup-hoed out some weeds and grass, and scattered the partidge pea seeds and whatever seed heads were still hanging around the yard: some blue wood aster, NY ironweed, whatever the volunteer white aster is, and Agastache scrophulariifolia. Watching my daughter all day then working at night is driving me insane


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The ground is still very wet and muddy here. There's a service road in the other side of the train tracks here. I want to walk it, once it gets warmer. There's a new plant that I want to grow. Seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia. I may have seen those boxy seeds before. I'll winter sow seeds for it for next year. It grows in the dunes, south of here. I can't wait to see those places in the spring.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I am feeling for you. I bet there are a lot of parents by now ready to pull their hair out, just trying to get the kids schoolwork done.

Had an inch of rain yesterday. Now in round one of thunderstorms. Another one should be late tonight with rain in between. So talk about muddy. I am not getting anything done, and my first plant order has already shipped.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What plant be that Iris?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thankfully not a big order. 3 climbing asters, a black cohosh and a bird’s foot violet.

The cedar apple rust is loving all this rain.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That looks extraterrestrial. Don't touch it.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, browsing the Almost Eden catalog (dangerous!) I came across a plant named

Lycianthes rantonnetii 'Great Clorox Disaster', Solanum rantonnetii . Must be a new introduction. Of course it is temporary out of stock. Not that I am tempted to buy it, but it made me wonder who is coming up with these names.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe the leaves can be used as a hand sanitizer? I doesn't sound native.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I don’t think so. It’s also Zone 10/11. Still, a funky name. Wondering if I should try a Rocky Mountain Penstemon again. I really like the color. The one I tried before was tiny and arrived in bad shape (not from Almost Eden). It just kind of withered away.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That penstemon isn't even close to being native in South Carolina. I bet it grows well by Zach. What happened to the other one?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It was tiny and arrived in bad shape. The rabbits about finished it off and it never recovered. I know it’s not native in South Carolina, but I love the color and the Zone at least works. My smallii is coming up all over the place.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't know you had smallii. I have about 10 plants. This year they will bloom yay! I don't think it's native for me lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Picked one up at the native plant sale a few years ago. I don’t know what I am thinking, ordering more plants. Things seem to have multiplied nicely (found 6 little rattlesnake masters so far, and I am am not even halfway through cleaning up in that flower bed)

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The thistle I posted a picture of not long ago is already blooming. Seek says it’s prickly sowthistle.

The sickle pot seedlings get visitors as soon as they sprout


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Are there any legumes they like that will leaf out earlier? Sonchus asper?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

We had 3.5 inches of rain in the last two days, should have 84 (!) degrees by Friday. Hopefully this will speed some plants up.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Do you grow Senna hebbacarpa or Senna marilandica? They are both perennials. Maybe they would leaf out earlier. Unless you think the seedling will grow faster than the caterpillars can eat them.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have one of the hebecarpa. Should check if this is coming back yet. Also have a Christmas Senna. That might come back since it didn’t get too cold this winter. Hope the sicklepots grow well in the ten days or so they have until the eggs hatch.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I suppose your hebbacarpa goes dormant there in winter? You've never grown marilandica? I grew it twice by accident. Starlings spread so much because they are such dedicated parents. Where is the Blue Ridge in comparison to your land?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yes, it does go dormant. I have never grown the other one. Should I?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Well, if I lived down there I would grow it. They come back every year. Do you ever see it growing around there. I saw people golfing and playing soccer?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have never noticed it. Wish people would act more responsible. Just saw the first buckeye of the year!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I went to a new park today, lots of big fields that are kept in meadow, definitely have to come back again. All the young woody areas were almost 100% Elaeagnus and other invasives but under the older trees it wasnt too bad. Found a spice bush

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Looks like the indy 500. I don't know if my spicebush seedlings are big enough to bloom. I noticed more plants coming up. The rumex and an angelica, and dill. I trimmed old dead stems and cut back my lead plant pretty good. A lot of creeping Charley and chickweed, but it pulls out easy. Some animal is digging holes, either a cat or a squirrel,

Rumex altissimum, pale dock, awesome host plant.

I leave some creeping Charley for the early pollinators, but it's living on borrowed time.

These spiderworts spread if you don't deadhead, they are a pain to get out from between bricks🥺😢

A little white flowered brassica weed. I leave them for the bugs. They are growing on me.

This is what I have so far. Add at least 20 more milkjugs. If I have germination problems, it's probably because of my own stupidity. I won't elaborate, it's too embarrassing lol.🥴

I'm going to take out all the non native sedum and plant with natives. I was ok with this setup for years but I can't do it anymore and still look Doug Tallamy in the eyes.😃 Maybe I'll keep 1 yucca if anything uses them. I hope the wooly crotons germinate.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I asked John from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens if they had any Pynanthemum pycnanthemoides. He's not sure because they grow so many species that he cant remember. Maybe I'll hear more.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I like Yuccas, there are one or two that are native pretty far north.

I shred all the giant sycamore leaves with the leaf vac that were over my ephemerals. Looky what I found coming back. The wood poppy, bleeding heart, shooting star, two-leaved toothwort and wild geraniums are pushing out foliage too.

Quite a lot of those Dodecatheon amethystinum germinated in the milkjug.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Sanguinaria, nice.They are the first to bloom.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, looks like a fun day out. And plenty of space to keep your distance from others. I should check if my shooting star is coming back.

Jay, thanks for the “tour” of your yard. Love seeing these kinds of pictures. Still am very curious of what you did with your seeds though.


My first plant order arrived today, just these few. But they are looking great and bigger than I expected.

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javiwa

Gotta love a vendor that exceeds expectations: great business model!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just forgot to punch drainage holes in some containers, and they were filled with water. The seeds are still in them, just drastically rearranged. The gutter was also blocked and a couple more containers got dumped on. I'm doing damage control. I think some anise hyssop also germinated.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

There is no need, in my opinion, to be a hard liner in our gardens. I have always grown non-natives. How dreary would my life be without crocus in the spring? Without them I would be waiting months for any sign of color in my garden. Not even all the “natives” I grow are necessarily “native” at my county or even state level. But I would be remiss if I were to remove the Agastache rupestris and Salvia pachyphylla that the hummingbirds go to war over every single year. The only plants that I do not welcome in my garden are those that I am concerned may escape and be problematic.

I would keep the yucca if you like it. I love yucca and agave. Unfortunately few are hardy in my zone and they are vanishingly hard to come by. Although I had a sotol in my yard in Phoenix that seemed to be in attack mode every time I went out there. I wasn’t crazy about that guy...

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Javi, yes. They will certainly go on my list of places to order again. Jay, hope your damage control works. With that many bins, you are excused to forget to drill some holes :) Zach, I am also not going to get rid of my Spring bulbs. Do you take your classes online now?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I guess I sounded extreme, but there are some non natives that I grow, that I have no plans of getting rid of, like about 10 species. I've grown the sedums for a long time and they don't have much wildlife value, and I'm sick of them, so I want to put a variety of natives where they are. In the past I liked y ares, daffodils, crocus, but I don't want any now. I can understand there aren't any spring wildflowers where you are in Colorado, but we have so many around here, that I've only learned a fraction of them. Some people get ridiculous with bulbs, like adding 500 or a thousand every year. Probably tulips that don't last. Crocus are dependable and they live long.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't think Senna marilandica was hardy up here, but I was wrong. Both times that I grew it they were in pots. They will come back if they are planted in the ground.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

S. marilandica grew for me up here, but I didn't like it. Too crude and coarse looking, and flowers sorta wimpy for the size of the plant. It got huge.

I don't have any spring bulbs-I think they would look out of place here. Besides, I have Hepatica that looks much nicer, to me anyway.

Jay-are you going to cover your pots? I think you will end up with lots of weed growth if you don't. You could just use white dish towels, or gauze. I bought a bunch of gauze on Amazon for my fruit bushes and it works good over the pots too. I start all my pots with dish towels cut up small to cover them. After the season warms up a bit I remove the cloth off them and line them up to cover with a long roll of gauze.

Nothings happening here yet, except a lot of snow melt going on. It looks like some 50's on the way for the next week. I should have bare ground after that, and maybe Hepatica a week later. All your nice spring bloom pics look nice but I have to turn my head away. Too envious to look at right now!

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

We do get “spring” wildflowers, it’s just that our spring is a lot later than other places haha.

I have to admit I have a soft spot for bulbs. I don’t need 1,000 daffodils or 500 tulips, but having some patches scattered through the garden is nice when little else is blooming. Bearded iris were among my grandmother’s favorite flowers and while they aren’t early bloomers (or bulbs) I always have some somewhere in my garden even though they bloom right in the middle of “hail season” and more years than not they get turned into confetti.

Iris, yup school is closed for the rest of the semester so they moved to online courses. I’m worried since trying to do school at home is something I struggle with. Too many distractions.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I had the majority of the containers covered, but the rain and snow wasn't seeping into them well enough, so I removed them a couple weeks ago. We'll see what happens. They are already germinating, not to worried about weed seeds. I have all these containers at the other place so no problem with all the cottonwood seeds and cotton. I had 2 S. marilandica plants come up in pots that were annual bought at a garden center. I was already growing hebbacarpa, so I liked the variation of the marilandica, but it was kind of flimsy and crude and the flowers were small like you said. I'm way excited about growing Baptisia tinctoria, and it probably feeds the same caterpillars. I still don't know if Senna obtusifolia will do well here and self sow itself every year like it does further south. I saw a beautiful picture of a hepatica a couple days ago and also thought it looked so much better than tulips. I have a bunch of Siberian squill that has been spreading for years, and also some tall, non native, purple flowered allium. Those I'd like to eradicate, just to make room. I thought I did a pretty good job digging out the mock strawberry, but it's all over the ground in some sections again. I weeded and finally cut all the old wood out of a native honeysuckle. I need to clone myself twenty times to meet the workload haha.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, that’s how I feel. I need some clones. Too bad my older daughter is stuck in her apartment in NewYork (Long Island). Since she has to work from home anyways, she would have loved to dig around in our yard. Sounds like you did quiet some stuff done though.

Zach, hang in there! I imagine in your field, there usually would be a lot of lab classes. This must be difficult. Then again, in your climate there probably aren’t any outdoor quizzes identifying plants this time of year.

Saw the first Tiger Swallowtail and snake today. Also first sign of the common milkweed coming up. Plus what seems hundreds of cypress vine seedlings. Now that battle starts up again. Wooly Pipevine is waking up and looking very wooly :)

Javi is having the squirrels digging up her little plants, toads are trying to boycott my seed starting efforts.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow, I wish I had so much wildlife around my yard Iris. I'm working on it. I trimmed my wooly pipevine back today along with the Lonicera sempervirens. I think there are a couple pipevine pups. I think I now have my cypress vines under control. There must be a lot of veronica, creeping Charley, and chickweed seeds in my soil bank. At least there aren't any invasive bush honeysuckles in that neighborhood, but the mulberries and Asian elms are especially bad.

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javiwa

^^^ That is a hilarious shot, Iris!!!!


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, like that's what I mean, toads never feel that comfortable in any of my pots. There was a toad that had climbed the compost pile so it could eat the flies on the kitchen scraps. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to cover them lol.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I still have not seen a creeping Charlie in person, I think. How weird is that since I seem to have every other weed known to man? Javi, the toad looked even funnier and very well camouflaged a bit earlier with a pile of dirt on top of it’s head. Waiting for the sun to go down so it leaves and I can hopefully fix it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

What seeds did you sow Iris? Did you ever get any pandurata to grow? I have to pot up some milkweeds.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The last of the seeds I had left are in my winter sowing pots. No sign of life in there yet. Certainly the last try if it doesn’t work.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Last year when we were tilling the garden beds, we were digging up toads like they were potatoes! The Woodhouses toads had dug into the sandy soil to hibernate and they kept popping up when we would turn the soil over. Then the dog started digging them out from around the foundation. I think one of the plagues of egypt was toads. We had probably as many, but I like them (and I'm glad I did all the tilling by hand rather than with a rototiller).


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I haven't seen any toads around here. I can hear the peepers nearby though, hanging around the retention pond behind the neighbors house.

I went out to check on the trays yesterday. There was wild garlic foliage sprouting out of the ground, through the geotextile fabric, through the drain holes, and poking up out of the cells of a few of them. Unbelievable. I lifted the trays, the leaves slid out, and I picked them off at the ground. Might have to figure something out with plastic sheeting, dont know if the gravel and sand yard will be open. The trays were kind of dry so I top watered with the mist setting on the hose.

Got an email promotion from Izel, 18-count trays of grasses and sedges on sale for "only" 90 bucks. This is why I try to grow my own.

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javiwa

These little guys usually hide in the gap between house and concrete patio. I almost stepped on him last night when I dashed out to bring in some of my seed trays.




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Awwwww yeah, I see 3 tiny Aruncus dioicus cotyledons in a soda bottle. I thought I messed these up because I sowed them then covered with turface, then saw the directions said to surface sow. 3 Erigeron pulchellus sprouts too. Bluebells pushing up from the ground now.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Aww. These toad pictures are cute. I thought mine was pretty well behaved since he returned to the same pot. Moved over to the next one now though.

Yay, Skip for things sprouting. Are you still expecting it to freeze again? Do you cover them then? It was 85 here today, but there is a cold front next week. Says low of 40 for now. Had the first Monarch showing up today. It was too fast to tell the gender, but checking my still tiny milkweeds later, I guess it was a female :)

Also saw a Zebra Swallowtail. A rare treat, didn’t see any at all last year.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris, I don't bring them in. It hit 30 on monday night and the other seedlings that sprouted before that are still ok. I haven't seen butterflies here yet. You have any host plants for the zebra?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I planted 4 little paw paws a few years ago after seeing the first Zebra Swallowtail in my yard. They are still small, but big enough for some caterpillars (just starting to leaf out though) One of them even has some flower buds for the first time. Good to know the seedlings should be fine. So far they just say there is a chance for some frost in the mountains. Everything here has a light green layer of pollen. Oaks are just starting, but you can see the clouds coming off the pines with the slightest breeze.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I potted up more milkweeds, and winter sowed backups for Penstemon hirsutus, Polanisia dodecandra, and Liatris ligostylis. I have s small goatbeard plant, but don't know the sex. I winter sowed the few Aruncus seeds that I had left. I will never use 72 cell trays ever again. Now I know why people with nurseries don't do it that way.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Why wont you use the 72 cell trays, dried out too fast, or needing to pot up? Polanisia dodecandra, Cleomaceae family, cool plant seems to have a more western distribution.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


The cells dry out too fast, and the milkweed roots get stuck in them. I had to rip a couple cells apart so as not to tear any quadrifolia roots. I only have 2 plants. One looked limp after reporting. I've grown the tropical non native cleomes and also the rocky mountain bee plant. I just wanted to try something a little different from that family. I think it is more western like the Mirabilis nyctaginacea. I've just realized that my other old neighborhood wouldn't be so bad if everyone grew a lot more native plants in their yards. Milkweeds have extensive root systems, so I think from now on I'll be starting them in larger containers.

Does anyone grow black huckleberry, Gayluccacia baccata?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Your little seedlings are looking good! I planted huckleberry last Spring.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay I looked at your area on the geology app Rockd. You are sitting on top of Limestone and dolomite bedrock over there. You have trouble growing acid loving plants? I think black huckleberry is an acid lover it grows on granite exposures in NY and the dryish sandy soils down in the pine barrens, both strongly acidic.

I just ordered a screech owl house.

ETA: bonus Zizia aurea flowers... how are these so low to the ground and early? Maybe the weird temperature fluctuations


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, that is what I have been wondering a while back with mine, but they are normal looking now. An owl house sounds great. I don’t think my yard is woody enough for them to live here yet. They do come by here though. Had a great horned one sitting on top of my roof one night last year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Your plants are way ahead of mine Skip. The bloodflowers haven't even started poking up yet. I guess I'll hold off on huckleberry for now. Until I create an acidic bog yep. I hope everything that I planted last year really takes off.

https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/03/25/in-earths-largest-extinction-land-die-offs-began-long-before-ocean-turnover/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Monarch was back today, laying eggs on the tiniest milkweeds. Guess I don’t just have to worry about a shortage of senna.

There is an awful lot of this salvia around.

plus a raccoon in the middle of the day. Probably not a good thing.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Salvia lyrata is weedy. I'm trying to get rid of it. I saw this picture. I would like to add some owl houses to help keep the squirrels more under control.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Which milkweed is that sprouting, Iris? Hope the raccoon goes away.

I ordered some Oakleaf hydrangea seeds from Sheffields yesterday. Not a strict native but one of my favorite garden plants, and its a straight species. Its supposed to be a good nectar plant, dont know where I'll put it but thats half the fun.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s a whorled milkweed. Not much of caterpillar food in the first place. I have an oak leaf hydrangea. It’s been here for 5 years, but struggling. It’s under a maple, maybe that’s the problem. There seems to be an uptick in distemper, so maybe that’s what is wrong with the raccoon.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

All milkweeds from the cells are potted up.


Asclepias quadrifolia #1

Asclepias quadrifolia #2

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Good looking seedlings Jay. What was your system on the milkweeds? Time in cold, etc?

It's still a slow drip here. Saw my 1st moth at the outside light just now. Won't be long now.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

For some of the warmer climate species, I soaked the seeds in water without cold treatment. They are humistrata, asperula, arenaria, oenotheroides, subverticillata, fascicularis, erosa, speciosa, and cancellata. For the rest of the milkweeds I did C30. They are viridiflora, ovalifolia, variegata, incarnata var pulchra, purpurascens, quadrifolia, hirtella, pumila, stenophylla, and Matelea decipiens. I had no germination from pumila, incarnata var pulchra, stenophylla, hirtella, cordifolia, erosa, cancellata, and Matelea decipiens. There are other species winter sowed outside. They are exaltata, sullivantii, viridis, Gonolobus suberosus, tuberosa. I put the hirtella, stenophylla, and Matelea seeds outside. I need a better seed source for Matelea, stenophylla, hirtella, and pumila. Last year was rough for getting the milkweeds to grow. I wanted to give some species a head start.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

More plants are poking through.

I'm going to dig out the non native allium and plant ginseng and snakeroot on that area, once the ground dries.

Stylophorum diphylla.

Mertensia virginica and Trillium species?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s looking great! And so orderly! I am going to be back with pictures of my mess later. And March isn’t even over yet!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The sun was glaring when I took these pictures.

Virginia bluebells

Frost heaved wild geranium.

Noid alien allium.

Stinging nettle.

Elderberries.

Elderberry

Wild columbines and Virginia's bower vine

Golden Alexanders.

Valerian, one of my non natives.

Virginia waterleaf.

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javiwa

I thought we were doing Throwback Monday with Polaroids. ;)


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Are the viridis tubers really viridis?

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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

Yesterday I found 2 of my 3 A. Tuberosa sticking their noses up out of the dirt. One incarnata has leaves but it never bloomed last year so I don't have much hope.

Skip--why do you say the Oakleaf hydrangea isn't strictly a native? because of where you live? I have had one for almost 20 years, very happy for most of that time and suckered into a huge clump. Now the original plant is almost gone but a new main clump has established itself a few feet away.

I was working around the Mt mint incanum today and found the remains of the thin leafed one I thought was lost.

I have a Christmas Cassia which has come back for 20 years. I did a search the other day and found this site from Florida about two species.

Christmas Cassia Confusion

My plant has 4 pairs of leaflets so I guess it is the Senna pendula. Do you think it is less invasive up here since we have more freezing weather than in Florida?



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mindshift(8B)

@junco, Oakleaf hydrangea is native from the Florida panhandle and Georgia to Louisiana. They can also be found naturalized in the Carolinas and Tennessee. They prefer acid to slightly neutral soil, but will grow in more alkaline soil if it's well amended with compost. Though native to the southern states, they are hardy to zone 5.

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javiwa

Jay: If the question about viridis tubers was for me, are you asking about the Home Depot purchase? My largest plant ended up getting chewed to bits by snails/slugs, unfortunately. It was doing so well, so I covered it with one of my plastic bottles to protect it from roving Monarch cats. Very depressing. What leaves did form definitely were NOT viridis.



Several of my viridis started last year are coming back nicely, though.



As are my zizotes:



I noticed stippling and yellowing leaves, so I checked the undersides (so much can be discerned by merely flipping leaves over!): spider mites! Spent some time smooshing and rinsing, so all is better.


I received some prairie aster (Tahoka daisy - Aster tanacetifolia) seeds in trade, and put them through a 60-day CMS -- longest cold period to date for me. After five days out of the fridge, two sprouts appeared: one looks great (so tiny though!) and other still hasn't made up its mind if it likes me. :)




I'm also trying my hand with Smooth Blue (S. laeve) and White American (S. ericoides?), which came out of the fridge almost a week ago; no sign of life yet. New England Purple Dome (S. novae-angliae) will come out of the fridge next week.




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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Now from your orderly gardens to mine. On the bright side, there are not many real weeds in this area. On the downside, I am having a hard time finding plants I want to safe in this jungle.

Common milkweed is coming back, Monarch showed me


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

How does the Senna pendula spread to become invasive. I'm guessing by seeds. You can just deadhead them. My Senna hebbacarpa self seeds a lot.

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javiwa

Smooth Blue aster sprout this morning - Day 7 post-CMS! Teeny-tiny, but it doesn't take much to make me happy.



That brown spot on the cotyledon is a bit troublesome, but hope it leads to nothing.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, is your Amorpha Fruticosa already coming back? Mine are finally showing some sign of life.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

All these spring pictures and germination shots are uplifting, thanks for the updates! The first thing to germinate in any of my trays out in the hoop houses, is one Gillenia trifoliata. With some warmer sunnier weather on the way, hopefully many more will follow.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I still don't see signs of any Gillenia plants, but the Agrimonia strata, and Anemone canadensis are coming back. The Erigeron pulchellus is coming back and it seems to be spreading. It's not as fragile as I thought. An excellent choice for your front steps Skip. I have the T5 back up and running.


The middle plant is arenaria. I can't believe how narrow the leaves are. Quad leaves are beautiful.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't think the Amorpha is leading out yet. A deer came up to the patio to browse on something, probably my kidney vetches.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Cool day here today. Fingers crossed the forecast of 39 for tomorrow night is not going any lower. Wild cherries are blooming.

My mystery milkweed from last year is coming back. Maybe this year it will bloom so I can find out.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

Well my winter down seeds are so far preforming about the same as they always do. I had great germination on the A. foeniculum but now most have died. Winter sowing is not something I’m good at or ever have much success with. Things germinate then promptly die. Not sure why.

However my cottonwood and willow clones are doing awesome:




And the milkweeds I dug up are starting to send up shoots! Even the showy milkweed root chunks that I didn’t expect to do much are putting up little shoots.



All of these guys have been kept inside, nothing outside is even close to leafing out. We’ve got a solid two weeks or more before that starts to happen.

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javiwa

Wow...39 is so far in my rearview -- a little bit wishing for some of that again as we'll hover near 90 for a few days next week again. Honestly, these temps are showing up earlier and earlier each year. Someone in a FB group also posted about their wild cherry, and she said the fragrance is heavenly. I shall not be tempted! ;)

For now, I'm happy with my first Cowpen Daisy bloom ever. I realize CDs might be a bit pedestrian for this group, but I'm really excited to have these in my garden. I don't have many other yellow nectar sources this year.



OK, well, bolting fennel counts, I guess!



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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

What is a wild cherry? I don't think there is such a thing. Has to be a Prunus of some kind.

Temps a little on the 50's these days, but rain/snow coming tonight and tomorrow. My pots from 2018 are emerging from the snow, and looks like I have a lot of L. cardinalis to look forward to. I'm keeping this seasons 90/60/30 day germinators covered under what snow is left over. I still have large drifts by the driveway to draw on for a while longer yet.

Zach-I don't know what your problem is keeping the seedlings alive. I too have some troubles where it starts out like I'm going to have a good crop of something and then as time goes by, they kind of whither away. Virginia Bluebells are like that.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, are you saying your cardinalis seeds took 2 years to germinate?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, it’s Prunus serotina. Zach, yay for your milkweeds! I accidentally dug out a 6 inch piece of common milkweed root last week and stuck it in a pot. Looks like something is coming up, will see if this works. Your little trees are also looking great.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

We’re getting ready for 17 degrees and another round of snow. Only about 6-8 more weeks of winter weather. Even my 9 year old said today “I’m tired of it snowing.” I feel ya buddy.

Cowpen daisy isn’t “pedestrian” to me. I think they are great. I can’t believe they are blooming for you. Here they are a late summer flower, blooming in July and August.

I don’t know what my problem is either, Dandy. But it sure is frustrating.

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javiwa

Our winter was pretty much non-existent this year (sorry to rub it in!), and I started these seeds indoors in January with germination by mid-month. I got them into the ground a month later, and we've had extraordinarily warm/hot weather this past six weeks. I'm sure that helped accelerate everything, but it's possible these will poop out early. Maybe they'll reseed for me to get a second batch for the fall.

Here's my mini grove -- the tallest plant is approaching 3'.




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice Javi, I can see that filling up quickly.

I did a walk around yesterday, the deer trashed my fishing line fence. I went around and sprayed everything I planted years past with deer repellent. It looks like squirrels or something ate the tips off some tree seedlings I planted last year inside the fenced part of my yard. My ninebarks were bareroots when I planted them in 2016, tiny seedling size, comically small. Now they're all at least 5ft and the biggest one over 6ft. All my Viburnums, ninebarks, and bottlebrush buckeyes are leafing out, and the sweet birch and dogwoods are budding. Violets are flowering. Got a Mitella diphylla seed sprout and some mountain laurel and Baptisia tinctoria seedlings sprouting too.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

My cardinalis always lag until it gets really hot and only then do they put on enough growth to get into the ground before frost. Last year they never made out of the pot. Seedlings were in the millimeter size by year end so I just left them outside. It's amazing how the green growth never froze off.

Zach-your snow is over here. Probably a bunch of sleet with maybe an inch of snow. Winter storm warning issued until tomorrow afternoon.

Ok on the Prunus serotina Iris. I have lots of that now, but there was only one small tree here when I moved in nine years ago. I will be treating it like its even more prolific cousin, P virginiana. Off with their heads!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, so your cardinalis plants never bloom until the second year? They never overwinter for me, or they make it to spring and then rot and wither. I don't have any spots that stay consistently moist. I started growing Silene regia because it has red, tubular flowers also, and it does better in dry ground, and I think all the rain last year killed them. My Silene stellata germinated. Still no regia and virginica.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I have 5 Silene virginica in the ground from last year that are still alive, waiting to see if they'll flower. High % germinated from seed, these ones were tough enough to survive the crappy nutrient and water deficient 511 soil in my trays last year, where almost everything else wouldn't grow.


Unrelated:



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, are the violets taking over your world, too? I was hoping to see my mystery milkweed bloom this year, but I guess it will be eaten first. It must be one spreading by runners though. I have little sprigs coming up all over the place.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I would be happy if the violets could take over and stop all the annual weeds.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Another sign its spring in the yard


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How pretty! Did you plant it? Probably not something that would just show up. At least not in my yard. My latifolia is coming back.

This little bee was just the cutest thing. Reason I leave some soil bare without covering with mulch.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Spring beauties come up in the lawns around here. I've moved some of them to the garden. I planted some roots and tubers, ginseng, serpentaria and trilliums. The blood roots and Dutch man's britches have flower buds.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The spring beauties are actually volunteers or remnants. I uncovered these ones last year while pulling multiflora rose and honeysuckle. They are edible and Im surprised the rodents dont dig them up. They are surrounded by garlic mustard, hopefully I'll get a chance to weed over there tomorrow. I do want to collect some seeds to propagate. Little plants like this are what makes me hesitate to spray or sheet mulch everything.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great find! My sister in law (they are living across the street) came down with her wheelbarrow and shovel yesterday. Dug up swamp sunflower, ashy sunflower, mountain mints, green headed coneflowers, Penstemon, Frostweed, wild bergamot, and mistflower. Also some volunteer Monarda punktata and purple top vervain. About 7 wheelbarrows full so far, and she will be back. I don’t even see that she put a dent in it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You should get more wildlife, and pollinators now with all the extra flowers. I dug out the non native alliums, and planted the roots in that same area. I wish I could grow hoary pucoon, but no seeds are plants are available. Seeds for hairy pucoon available. I can grow hairy, but not hoary. Not in much of a hurry to grow hairy, unless I can't source hoary. I really like Canada Mayflower too. Hydrophyllum canadense is nice too.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats awesome that you have so much to share and your sister in law is willing to plant them. Does she have areas of plants shes replacing, or is she making all new beds?

I got a whole bunch of supplies today to fix up the water management situation on one side of my house. I need to install a gutter on the roof, and a drain pipe for the sump pump. Currently the sump pump is draining out into a black pipe on the ground. I got solid 4" pipe which I'm going to bury and it will drain to daylight 30ft away. Im going to put in a little catch pan for my AC condensate drain line, and route that to the same sump pump drain, so there will be a constant trickle of water when the AC is running in the summer. I'm going to plant some rain garden type plants over at the end of the drain. If my seeds germinate that will be cardinal flower, mistflower, swamp milkweed, bunch flower, and sneezeweed. Maybe I can grow some blue vervain too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't have any mistflower seeds to sow. I read in the flora book that it was introduced to my area from further south. Hopefully the Elephantopus plants will fill out more. I have sump pump issues too, and gutter issues.🥺😦

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Please, please, please do not mention sump pumps! With my husband being around more than usual he has been digging in drainage pipes from the downpours (As in making trenches though my flower beds!) And he has been digging under the house for a sump pump. Making everything more complicated than it has to be I am sure.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)











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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Life is returning to the woods, nice. It was nice today, the dutchmans breeches, dicentra eximia, Aquilegia canadensis are back up. A geranium seedling that got eaten to down to the soil by something in september survived the winter and came back, the zigzag goldenrod, and roadside agrimony are growing back too. A bunch of superbum lillies are growing. One Campanulastrum americanum seed sprouted too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, are your parks still open to visit? My early meadow rue

More butterflies are showing up.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It sure would be nice if my meadow rue bloomed. The park that I visited today was open. There are still a lot of spring plants that haven't shown yet. I was able to pull a few bush honeysuckles out and I seriously messed up a couple bigger ones. The garlic mustard isn't up yet. The 2nd INPS meeting has been cancelled. Instead, we can watch a video that goes pretty deep into explaining how to grow native hemiparasitic plants like pedicilaris and castilleja. I need to find out if Illinois has any current efforts going on to reintroduce the buffalo clover, and running buffalo clover. I can get seeds, but only for use in that kind of situation.

Probably most people would overlook this as just another clover. People nearly completely stomped it out, along with the buffalo that it nourished. Maybe a new day is dawning on it, if there are enough people who care.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I wanted to go to Lockport prairie. They were doing a burn.

I didn't go down by the guys. Might have been someone I know.

From there to Messenger Woods where there are hundreds of thousands of Blue Eyed Mary's, Collinsia verna. And it was closed.

I guess I could take a short walk, not too far, in case they try to tow away my car lol.

There were native bees buzzing with excitement over these beautiful bloodroot flowers. So great to see!

Spring beauties and cut toothworts.

A very red log.


A microcosm on a log.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I pulled out all the garlic mustard I saw. It's growing with native toothwort a lot.

I don'th see blue anywhere. Maybe it's too early for them to bloom, or maybe they are growing in another area, out of my sight. I didn't recognize any plants with foliage like Collinsia.

These seedlings are coming up in the millions. Maybe they are blue eyed Marys?

A low spot in the woods.

More Sanguinaria canadensis.

The deer path.

I going to cut a path straight to the train tracks with my machetes. (and flying ninja stars)

A mysterious wildflower.

These bloodroots are just getting ready to bloom.

I top dressed where I planted ginseng and snakeroot. It will take a long time to get soil anywhere near natural woodland soil.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I always liked plantain leaf sedge, but its not really found around here. I took a walk in the park today too, the woods are in the same phase, lots of little green stuff but no flowers going off yet, except for one spice bush, and some showy red leaf buds on a shrub I couldnt ID.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thank you for the great tour, Jay! Is that sicklepot coming up with your mysterious wildflower? Saw the cutest little moth today. Seems host plant for it are grape and clematis. I have that :)


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's a cool moth! What's the name of it? There wouldn't be sicklepods outside. My plants never bloomed or set seed. It's hard to evaluate how it does here. The Blue Eyed Mary's are blooming in Ohio. They should be blooming here too then. Still a lot of wildflowers to show up.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh, ok. They look like my seedlings. The moth is a Mournful Thyris Moth. First time I have seen one in my yard.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That moth is found up here too.

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