Growing native plants for wildlife.

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Year 2 of growing natives from seed. Everone is welcome to join in, everone. We need to try to do what we can to prevent the next man made extinction that's already happening.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



Asclepias purpurascens at the woods. I forgot bug spray and the deer flies were horrible. I left before they ate me alive.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Does anyone know what kind of cat this is?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Some sort of underwing moth. I think. You could probably narrow it down by the plant.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's the problem. I don't know what kind of plant it is. I thought the cat might help. It looks like a sphinx cat with no tail. 1 stem broke off of my Culver's root today. I have some supplement with silicone that helps strengthen the stems, supposedly. The Monarchs should be here soon. They will probably try to eat all my seedlings first. I can't afford to let that happen.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I am trying to think of a grass or something to plant behind the Culvers root to help support it, maybe a goldenrod or aster with a strong stem behind it would be a good choice since they blooms later. I have some New England Aster, NY aster, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Anaphalis margaritacea, and Solidago odora seedlings growing. Some Circium discolor or altissimum would have been a bold choice but they didnt germinate surprisingly.


You have the Phlox subulata ground cover, lance leaf coreopsis and purple poppy mallow just starting up, Baptisia australis with Penstemon digitalis behind it, Tradescantia ohiensis next to that with Viburnum nudum and astragalus canadensis behind that, and at the very end mostly out of the shot Pycnanthemum incanum. Theres some Lespedeza violacea amongst the phlox at the end too but its a dainty little plant and it blends in.

Theres an Ilex glabra on the left and 3 young Ceanothus americanus in the middle, those are going to fill in a lot more in the coming years. Something ate the Penstemon digitalis, its brown, but behind it theres a really big healthy Desmodium canadense. There are a whole bunch of purple and orange cone flowers with a 2nd year Hypericum Prolificum at the corner of the porch, which will take over the spot eventually. There are some tiny little lead plants still persisting in the planting too. Maybe in a drought year they will really shine while the other stuff is shutting down.

This side is underperforming compared to the other, the NJ teas are much smaller and the inkberry is looking beat up, but this side also has to compete with the 165 year old sycamore. The rhododendrons are doing really poorly, too much sun and wind and root competition I think, it might be time to move them.


Man I should rip all this out to incease my curb appeal. Oh yeah, I heard you can't make the landscape design too complicated everything looks better mass planted.

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BlueberryBundtcake - 6a/MA(6a/MA)

I think it's a humped green fruitworm, or copper underwing moth caterpillar, so I think Iris pegged it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thank you Blueberry and Iris!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think about 2 Cirsium altissimum germinated for me. I thought maybe I had found a plant last year, but it turned out to be non native. I have about 4 mature Cirsium discolor.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Reesevill plants arrived. Cladrastis, Zanthoxylum americanum, and Castanea dentata. I ordered the chinkapin Castanea pumila, but they sent dentata. I suppose I'll keep it. I have no idea where to put it, but it probably won't get huge in my lifetime.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, your yard is looking lovely! Bet you stick out in the neighborhood. More plants, Jay? Still have room left? My blanket flowers are already starting to doing weird things again.

This is a prairie clover of some sort, right? Pretty sure I planted one there a few years ago. I completely forgot and this area is filled with the purple tops and Mexican hats. So I didn’t notice until today.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think I have more plants than I have room for, but I'll try to cramps in as many species as I can, but I'm starting to like doing plants in waves too so we'll see lol. No more small 72 cell trays. It's not easy unraveling a 2 foot Silphium root out of one of those cells. Had good germination on the Scrophularia for once. Potted up 12 plants. Looks like all the carex species germinated. I don't know why none of my Aletris and Chamaelirium didn't germinate? Iris did that blanket come from regular native blanketflower? It has those tubular petals some cultivars have.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

This is on a plant with otherwise normal looking blooms. Glad everything is germinating well for you. Nothing in my Ipomoea pots, that’s it. Not going to try again. Finally seeing some fireflies. Everything is really so late!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I was hoping my pandurata seeds would germinate so I could share plants. Maybe I'll find another about to mowed. There is germination with all the Monardas.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I got some lobelia germination, cardinalis and syphilitica. Both are still tiny hoping I can raise them up to planting size. I sheared my rudbeckia laciniata and maximilian sunflower down to about 3ft yesterday, hopefully that is enough to reduce flopping later in the year.

Iris, looks like purple prairie clover. I direct sowed seeds and started some in pots a couple years ago but they all died off, I haven't been able to grow them here.

Jay, where you going to plant the trees you got from reeseville? 2 or 3 of my Dircas and one dwarf chinkapin oaks lost all their leaves, hopefully they're not totally dead. The Dircas are in shade with good leaf mulch dont know why they kicked it so fast.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Aww, thanks for thinking of me, Jay. I guess I am just not supposed to grow it. Weird how hard it is at times to grow something called weedy. Skip, a few of my little trees I planted last Fall turned completely brown. They looked just fine last week. No idea what happened. Certainly not a lack of water. With the weather acting like this, it might be an “off” year for all kinds of things. The bigger ones of the butterflies are already off. Not sure if they will catch up. It was 68 degrees here today. 20 below normal. Tomorrow should be even colder. On the bright side, my skippers need several leaves now to make their pockets.

Also saw this on a pecan. Impressive how it looks like an old leaf.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I put in 100+ L. ligulystylis seedlings today. Never had such god luck like this before. Almost everything did well this year, except for.... Dalea purpurea! The D vilosa in the same pot gave off many plants. The purpurea just doesn't like me. Sun drops are just starting to bloom now. They are that blindingly yellow kind. A mass of them lights up the entire space.

Skip-your place is really becoming a show place for natives. Maybe some people are going to start recognizing it.

Iris-how can you know those bugs so well, and to just look at a leaf and nail it. I'm dazzled.

I've only seen a few Monarcs so far and not one cat. Looks to me like another bad year up here.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, can’t wait for some pictures! My high today was just 60. Broke a record. Some sluggish bumble bees around. Some little wasps just hanging on the mints not moving. Kind of sad.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm busy trying to save a lot of plants from my 72 cell trays, and them they all have to be planted. The weather here is to be hot and dry until Saturday. I hear these friends discuss these endangered species.

https://therevelator.org/extinction-hotspot-appalachia/

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice. Got my first syriaca blooms after 2 years.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Wow! Skip, they are beautiful. Very nice patch.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

92 degrees here, and 60 in SC,? Wha?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just got the water pressure fixed today. Have been watering mon stop all day. I got to a few plants just in the nick of time.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Both of your milkweeds are looking great! Any Monarchs around? Dandy, 92? Well, my roller coaster forecast says I am going to get there again by Sunday. Getting some color around here, but it’s really a lot later this year.

Not sure anymore exactly which Liatris this is, but looking really sturdy this year.

Tiny, but really tasty.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

No monarch cats yet, but I found a red admiral cat on the wood nettle.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jealous! My false nettles are looking great, but nothing yet.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)







Something is chewing up one of my Dogwoods. What is it?

I had a bad case of Sawflies last summer but don't think that's what this is.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just read that if your plants aren't getting eaten then they aren't part of the ecosystem. On the other hand, it could be a non native invasive pest? The sawfly larva are kind of large, aren't they? Are they native or introduced? Is it just 1 species of dogwood being eaten? Can't do much outside in these searing temperatures.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

There's that little thing sucking away on the leaf. What is that? a thrip?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I guess I could say we are having a hot dry spell. No rain until Saturday.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, I have no idea what that is on your leaf. I can’t make out any legs (might be my eyesight) and seems an odd position to hang on like that. I thought at first it could be a cocoon of something. I had some tiny wasp cocoons on my oak last year that looked like caterpillar poop. The Insect forum might know. They figured mine out.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its been in the low 70s for a while here and started showers today which will continue daily for the next week. I didnt go outside all day until I realized that fact and took a look around before I left for work. The Achillea is really shining and the NJ tea is starting to flower. Echinaceas are well on their way building flower buds.

I sprayed a big area of japanese stilt grass with an organic burndown herbicide on monday and I'm going to plant mistflower over there tomorrow or over the weekend if I get a break in the rain.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You had mistflower germinate. I don't think I sowed any. I tried to water everything deep because the heat really dries up the ground.

ginseng

Virginia snakeroot

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Since Dandy was talking sawflies, these sure look like it on my hop tree.

there is still an almost daily Monarch visit.

And I am the daycare for the deer. Most of the fawns are looking bigger. This one was still tiny.

Skip, what is an organic burn down herbicide?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, you have Virginia snakeroot? I just planted some a few weeks ago. What conditions are yours in? I was unsure where to put them.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice foliage on those plants Jay. Yes I got a milkjug of seeds to germinate, the ones in the tray didnt germinate.

Iris beautiful flower and monarch. I've had 3 baby deer in my yard too. An organic burndown herbicide is one that uses a biodegradable chemical that destroys the above ground plant tissue, unlike a systemic herbicide that interrupts plant growth via hormone mimicking chemicals or substances that disrupt some part of the plant's metabolism. Horticultural vinegar is an example of one. I used one thats a type of fatty acid soap, actually I think Ortho is selling the same fatty acid soap under the name Ground Clear OMRI. The advantage over weed wacking, pulling or hoeing is that you dont disturb the soil and give weed seeds fluffy loose soil to germinate on.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)


Iris-i don't know if yours are Sawflies as mine were like woolly worms nut brown and tan(and ugly!), about 1 inch long. This thing on my Dogwood has legs sticking up in the air and small, about 2 mm long. It's stuck to the leaf like a tick does.









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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Thanks, Skip!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Dandy I dont know what that thing is sorry.

Alright, my mistflower jug came out into 5 clumps that I planted in the side yard under the pin oaks. I planted them far apart but hopefully in a year or two it'll form a solid cover. I planted 2 swamp milkweeds from a jug and 3 poke milkweeds from another jug. I have a bunch of Collinsonia that needs to go out next. My 2 redring milkweeds look healthy but I think they could benefit from more time in the container.

Everything is growing really large with all the rain, the Joe pye, the giant Agastache, the milkweed


she is cute but not the best garden helper. She jump into the planting hole, picked the clump of plants up and threw it on the ground, and dumped out my whole watering can while I was trying to plant the mistflower. Not to mention running off toward the road everytime I tried to show her something.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't have room for any mistflower. I have more than enough plants now. Too time consuming, life's too short. I need to spend a couple years focusing on arranging them in a beautiful and logical way.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, looks like your little garden helper is keeping you on your toes. Surprised you are still getting so much done. Everything looks great!

Jay, how is your weather? Still hot and dry? You sound like you had to drag the hose around again.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Skip, what a little doll for a helper. Notice that she really likes being with Daddy. Always a good sign.

My temps cooled down from the 90's to the 70's. One inch of rain this week so I stopped watering for a while. Baptesias' are starting to bloom. I have a couple Alba that are almost 4' tall, and they do well in dry soil too. It takes years for them to reach maturity tho, but worth the wait. My blue australis disappeared on me. It was really large size last year too. Unless it is biding its time as I've found the Baptesias do that.

Had a nice surprise today when I looked thru some of last years pots that I put aside under a bush a month ago because they all looked devoid of anything growing.

Caulophylum thalictroides, coming up in the moss. I have a special place reserved for this guy.




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It got near 100 today. Very hot. All I could do is water as much as possible. Seems like everything's growing faster this year. The Heliopsis is already blooming.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, that must have been a nice surprise having the cohosh popping up unexpectedly! I am very surprised my Baptisias have not been eaten down to sticks by the broom moth caterpillars yet. It’s mint time here now. I am getting very distracted just watching what is going on there when I should be pulling weeds. Had a cicada killer on the narrow leaf one yesterday. Now that’s an impressive critter.

Jay, back to 90 here, too. As in back to normal :) Is your Ipomoea coming back yet? Reason for my asking. Remember I was so happy last Spring when something sprouted and I planted it in the ground? Only to turn out to be a Four o’ clock? There is something coming up right next to it now. Looks like a vine, but not like the morning glories popping up everywhere. Guess it would be too much of a miracle and coincidence for a “right” seed to have been with the wrong ones I received. And it germinating after a year. Thought if yours is coming back, you could show me a picture to compare. This is what is coming up here.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks just like my pandurata. I'm pretty sure it's pandurata. The red coloring. Hurray! It hasn't rained yet and it's still very hot.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh my Gosh! Wouldn’t that be something?! I need to go water it. Since Four o’ clocks are growing here like weeds, I kind of neglected it.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Dandy good stuff, how long were the Caulophylum seeds in there? Mine didn't germinate, and I read they lose viability quickly.

Jay of course we cant and shouldn't grow every plant. I have been wanting the mistflower for a while because I read it spreads and I thought it would make a good competitor near the neighbors invasive weeds. My focus now is going to be on growing and spreading plants I already have. I actually hit the timing right this year and collected all the wild geranium seeds off the plants today. The "want" list is getting smaller, Im pumped about the species I have now. Actually Im having a bit of an "uh oh" feeling as I have a lot of very strong spreaders and they are starting to do their thing, still have plenty of space for them at the moment.


Congrats on the Pandurata Iris. Does it usually need a lot of water?


You can see the potentilla stretching out along the ground in this last one.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great pictures, Skip! What is the one in the second to last picture?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Lysimachia quadrifolia?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Thats Lysimachia quadrifolia, just got it this spring, and thats its first flower. I saw a whole bunch of them at the park this week, they are kind of dainty little plants with small flowers. I only noticed them after I stopped to look at something else, but they produce oils that support specialist bees.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I like it. Don't have any lysimachia yet. Nice flower?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Very pretty plant, Skip! Need to look it up. Another hot day. Some areas are getting wild.

Well, this was it for this old Monarch.

These are the hungry caterpillars on my milkweeds now.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I love your wild area Iris. Everything has blended together, and it looks very natural. What kind of caterpillars are those? Tussock moth cats?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

They are! Plenty of milkweed around. I still have a gift certificate to a nursery I have never heard of before. Native Wildflowers Nursery. Going to check this out, but ordering plants when it’s in the mid 90’s is probably not a good idea.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris I like your wild patch too! What are the white flowers? I was just thinking I might hold off on planting more stuff. Refilling the watering can and running it all over the yard is going to get old.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Fleabane of some sort. Not something I planted, but I like it. Do you have a kid size watering can? Running back and forth with that would wear your little helper out :)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's been raining on and off all day. I found 3 more purple milkweed plants at the park.

Ipomoea pundurata










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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Nice pictures! Well, you needed the rain, right?

Skip, you have been cutting back all kinds of plants to keep them more compact. Does that work with most of them if you do it early enough? The only royal catchfly that has not been eaten is awfully leggy. It’s also the only one with blooms though.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice pictures. Iris this is the first year I tried cutting back the rudbeckia laciniata, but Iast year I cut back the echinacea and the deer did it for me with the Helianthus. They both bloomed fine, although perhaps delayed. I think you do have to do it in advance but I cut other Echinaceas back later during bloom and they just sent up more blooms. Ive got a lot of panicled aster in my lawn and it will still flower at only a few inches tall after being mowed all year. I do think it probably depends on the species and growth season.

The Quercus prinoides that lost its leaves rises again

milkvetch starting up. Coneflowers any day now

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I will need to try cutting some stuff back next year. That milkvetch is looking great!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I figured out what the huge plant in my garden is. It's a cup plant, Silphium perfoliatum. I like how the rain water fills up the leaf cups. My New Jersey Tea and Bush's poppy mallow just started blooming. I threw some croton seeds on the ground and some are growing. I had a few Nasella tenuifolia germinate.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay do you know what that grass in your second to last picture is? How long have you had your NJ tea and poppy mallow? My NJ tea has been slow to establish, I think its on its third year now. Maybe next year or the year after it will be more dominant. I think some plants like this aren't used more often because they dont lend themselves well to horticulture and you don't get that instant landscape everyone wants when they renovate or install from scratch.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I've had the New Jersey Tea for maybe 6 or 7 years. The first 2 years there was hardly any above ground growth. Only in the last 2 years it's looked decent. I don't know what grass that was in the picture. This is the 2nd year for the Callirhoe bushii, and its 1st time blooming. I have about 6 plants. I definitely want a few more New Jersey Tea bushes.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


The bumblebees were in ecstasy on the NJT flowers.

Silphium perfoliatum. This is a massive plant. Beautiful!

Callirhoe bushii, I have just a few newly germinated, C. involucrata seedlings potted up.

Ruellia humilis. It seeds around and prefers growing in between rocks

Cynanchum laeve, honeyvine and Verbena hastata starting to bloom.

Rattlesnake master, purple prairie clover, wooly pipevine, black eyed Susan,(hirta)
pussytoes, and fame flower in front(low).

New Jersey Tea

False sunflower


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Beautiful pictures! Everything is looking so great.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Thanks Iris. It was hard getting the the flying fox and butterfly to sit still.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I bet it was! Should get beautiful sunsets here by the weekend with the Sahara dust coming in. Still trying to figure out the lack of the bigger butterflies here. Seems it’s not just in my yard, but with other people in SC/ NC, too. My little Tussock moth caterpillars seem to be picked off one by one

Just ventured out with a flashlight and got eaten alive by mosquitoes to take pictures of one of the ugliest caterpillars. My mother in law loves cannas, so she gave me some 20+ years ago. I am not a fan, but at least they get some use.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I planted the remaining milkweeds that were grown under lights. I thought both of my Asclepias latifolia plants died, but 1 of them popped up just now. Out of all my milkweeds, I think the stenophylla look the best, and wouldn't you know, they are the first milkweeds to get aphids. Something is eating my Oenothera fruticosa.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Something is eating my evening primroses. Mostly Japanese beetles, but there are also some leaf rolls. Guess it would require another checking after dark to see what comes out.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice pics all, Im glad I planted a bunch of Heliopsis helianthoides based on that pic. Something pulled the top leaves in and made a web kind of thing at the top of one of my Anaphalis margaritacea. There were a lot of little moths and butterflies in and around my patch of violets between the pussy willows. The Boltonia decurrens, Helenium autumnale, and Spiraea latifolia that I planted in there have grown since I planted them, but the Doellingeria umbellata is kind of limping along.

This is Desmodium canadense, at about 4 ft tall not flowering yet but doing real well this year.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Im at work but my wife sent me this picture, first monarch I've seen in my yard this year


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay, they made it up there! Hope they will be successful in your yard. My Tussock moth caterpillars turned fuzzy today

Figwort is blooming

The finches continue to pluck away on the purple top. Also love the seeds on the broccoli plants.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I didn't plant broccoli, but some birdseed mustards sprang up.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, it didn’t work out for actually getting broccoli to eat. Too warm, I guess. They just bolted. But the pollinators like the flowers and obviously the finches like the seeds. No cabbage white in sight to get some caterpillars to eat the leaves.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I'm getting some common Milkweed now but so far, no cats.


Iris, that wasp looks really mean and hungry.


My Poke Milkweed is still on the pots, about 2" tall but are now looking dead. I don't know what's wrong. Most of the MW haven't germinated and at this time of year already, it's going to be too late.

I can no longer post pictures on this web site. When I go to copy from my picture folder, it just spins and never opens the folder. Bummer. This might be the end for me here.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Dandy, don’t give up! The spinning around trying to add pictures took a while for me earlier, too. Sorry your milkweeds didn’t germinate yet. As late as everything is here in South Carolina, there might still be hope up there.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have some poke milkweed seedlings that all of a sudden turned yellow and brown. They were winter sowed. About 2 or 3 poke milkweeds from last year came back, but it doesn't look like they are going to bloom this year. It seems like exaltata, ovalifolia, and variegata are harder to get established. Sometimes I can't post pictures here, but it's always temporary.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The 3 poke milkweeds I planted out have been thrashed already. 2 lost all their leaves and the other one is laying on its side and the leaves have been mostly eaten off.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My 2 quadrifolia. The smaller plant lost all its leaves and the other plant has 3 leaves left. I'm not expecting to see flowers at this point, but I hope at least one of them will overwinter and bloom next year, or it's back to square 1.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Im glad I left the variegata in the pot now, its just sitting on the lower tier of a little garden shelf in filtered shade and looks healthy enough. I just keep it watered with rain water. I think maybe by the end of august the conditions will be better for planting.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My quadrifolia plants looked great when they were inside under lights. I have 5, possibly 6 variegata plants. All of them look still too small to bloom.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Im really starting to reconsider starting stuff in pots. Maybe spamming bulk seeds onto the ground will work better for some species where the seeds are plentiful. I have this little sunny low area adjacent to the pussy willows, violets, meadowsweet, boltonias, sneezeweed, etc that I mentioned before, I think Im going to start killing the lawn there now so its ready to broadcast seed in the fall. My lawn is absolutely atrocious and I was planning to overseed it, so I might as well just get seed for the areas where I dont want lawn and do it all at once. Im frozen with indecision though because on one hand I want the local ecotype seed from pinelands nursery, but on the other the mix has a lot of big bluestem which makes no sense to me for a partially shaded area in New Jersey where big bluestem isnt really common. Maybe I can modify that mix a bit. Actually my deertongue grass and fox sedge are in seed right now maybe I will harvest that. BUT I just planted a witch hazel in the middle of this area so i will need to move that. Sorry for this stream of thought haha. at least this provide some insight into my piecemeal planning approach.

Anectodatally, when i bought my swamp milkweed at the nursery the grower had all the ones from last year sitting out in pots and they were barely growing and just looked pretty beaten up, meanwhile the ones started indoors over the winter looked lush and perfect. My purple millweed was one of those indoor starts and right now its looking really bad, while the swamp milkweed that was sitting outside on her nursery table all last year and through the winter looks great. It looks like its definitely better to get things outside and acclimated for some time before leaving them to their own devices. Even the plants I have in that little cold frame tunnel have weak stems because theyre not getting hit with the sun, wind and rain all the time like the plants I have on my deck.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I love hearing all these thoughts about planning! Have been looking through pictures to delete some. Seeing the area of the flower bed in the back from 2017 to now is really amazing. Checking on that bed today, I startled a fawn. The deer really need to stop parking their kids in my flower beds. It ran off, trampling a bunch of plants. Stopped just a short distance away to make sure I am gone to go back and snooze on top of my Frostweeds or something. Checking the damage, I noticed this one. Looks like it’s going to have pink blooms. Not sure what kind that is.

Something is eating all kinds of Pokeweed down to nothing. Probably a bunch of very well camouflaged loopers. Turning leaves over, I don’t see a thing.

my Tussock moth caterpillars are still very entertaining. They were having a bad hair day today.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I scattered a bunch of different seeds around the area by the oak in the back yard. It was a big bare spot, but now it's filled in. I try not to walk in there too much, so I don't trample any good plants. Once they get bigger, I'll need to go in there and thin them out. I did pull out about 6 of the Ageratinas. They seed like crazy all over. I did good germination with seeds that I planted in larger containers and milkjugs. There was some good germination in the 72 cell trays, but the squares are so small the roots have no space and if a few germinate in 1 cube, they need to be repotted quickly or they die. A couple things germinated and then just stayed tiny and stopped growing. The boehmeria cylindrica, false nettle did that, so I think that's a species that does better being direct sowed. My purple milkweeds looked great when they were inside under lights, but as soon as I planted them outside they turned yellow and look stressed. These native northern milkweeds can be hard to get going. The ovalifolia turned yellow too. The heat loving milkweeds like fascicularis and subverticillata perk up and look better when they get put in the ground. I'm going to have a lot of extra plants to give away. The cats really did a number on your pokeweed Iris. There's a big 5 footer pokeweed by my front door. I like it, so I left it. I don't mow as often as my neighbors, and I don't care what they think. Wait till I start planting. Every yard in my city looks like this.

My towns mindset. I saw a guy weed whacking the dirt. Yeah get every last blade. There's a lot of big business that wants to keep things this way. Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers. Where did all the insects go?

Amorpha canescens, lead plant

Schinia lucens, lead plant moth. Perfect camouflage

Schinia lucens

Schinia lucens

Schinia lucens

Schinia lucens


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

My Amorpha canescens is blooming, too. Looks a bit different though. It’s kind of leggy and growing sideways, flopping over.

If you are thinking about cats doing a number on my Pokeweed, I am glad the Tussock moth cats are really doing a number on the patch of milkweed they are on.

I almost walked head on into this guy. Really happy to see him.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Wow crazy caterpillar numbers Iris. All I have are japanese beetles destroying my plants, and wasps inspecting every leaf for things to eat. I walked around with a cup of soapy water today knocking the beetles into it. My Amorpha is still not happy about being here.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Oh, so you have the Japanese beetles, too! They are worse this year than the last couple of years. The big butterflies are still missing. Just one lonely Tiger Swallowtail today. Something is really off this year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I haven't seen many big butterflies either, and still no Monarchs. I got excited and thought some cats were eating my Desmodium, but it was Japanese beetles. I guess my plan now is to put all the seedlings into bigger pots and then wait until fall to plant them. I'm still planting things that I can get away with. If I have multiple plants I can plant one and if it doesn't make it then there are still backups. The forecast here for July is a real feel of 113. My Elephantopus bloomed its first year from seed and there are a bunch of little vollunteers, so that's a good filler plant. A lot of plants are growing crazy in this hot weather. I need to dig and move some ephemerals and other shade plants, because a new fence is going up. I think I'll just plant them in the front yard under the bald cypress. Much less work and moving, plus it's time to start removing lawn. I mowed today, but I left a patch of Illinois bundleflowers standing in the front lawn. Nothing on paper, I'll figure it out as I go. Maybe I get enough nerve to put Silphiums in front. What a shocker! Have you seen any crotons Iris? Only about 3 came up where I scattered several seeds. I'm working on the sand garden. In the front of the bed I planted several Helenium amarum and Acmispon americanum alongside 2 Opuntia humifusa and Talinum, fameflower. Behind those are Crotalaria saggitalis. I want to take the pussytoes out of there and replace with my 6 Tephrosia plants. I also want to add 3 Asclepias viridiflora, 1 humistrata, 1 Palafoxia, and some Monarda punctata. The plants already in that bed are rattlesnake master, lead plant, wooly pipevine, and purple prairie clover, and 3 Ipomopsis rubra that are almost 6 feet tall now. The hummingbirds will love those. There are wrens nesting. Maybe part of the reason for not so many bugs. Some plants have grown and are now too crowded. I need to move some plants around. The weeds are non stop and there are still morning glories and wild beans popping up everywhere. Some milkweeds that were planted in the ground turned yellow and died aboveground, but now new shoots are emerging. I hope the Monarchs get here soon. I was wondering if maybe the extreme heat is slowing them down. I planted the 2 Apios priceana in the ground.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy_line, how's it going? Are you still having picture problems?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You got any pics of all that Jay? All my elephantopus came back but theyre pretty small, the soil theyre in is quite bad, I need to find a good composting operation to buy some as mulch for a couple spots that have this plaster-like consistency.

I know I posted pics of this plant already but I cant get enough

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I can take pictures tomorrow Skip. My Elephantopus are in good soil and the seedlings grew through the mulch. I'm not sure if my milkvetch will bloom or not. I have more seedlings of them to pot up tomorrow. Your Astragalus looks great.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Reminder to go collect your seeds!

Just got these off a couple fox sedge plants in my yard. There were around 10 species of insects and arachnids in there with them haha.

I haven't gone into the back of my lot in a while, theres a ton of enchanters nightshade.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Pictures from tonight.

Baby self sown Elephantopus

Babies and parents

Amsonia illustris, ect. How'd the red clover get in there?

All these plants are going to be moved. There are ephemerals and other spring flowers in there. I had the redbud to shade them, but the redbud got too big and was shading too much of my small garden/back yard. The ephemerals have done well in full sun since, but I want to put them back in part shade.

Three6 foot tall Cirsium discolor

Joe Pye weed. Last year it hot a fungus or something and turned brown. This year it's shorter in height going into bloom, but no diseases so far.


The front of the sandy bed. There are Helenium amarum and Acmispon lining the front, but they are still little and they don't show up well. I did this 3 terraced thing with railroad ties 30 years ago and now I'd prefer it all at ground level, but it will be a lot of shoveling.

Eryngium yuccifolium, Dalea purpurea, Talinum, Aristolochia tomentosa

Plants in trays sitting on the wood are going in the sand garden. Senna obtusifolia with leaves closed, Palafoxia callosa, and Tephrosia virginica.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


6 Tephrosia virginica. Success finally!

Ipomopsis rubra, standing cypress

2 Opuntia humifusa

Amorpha canescens, lead plant

Asclepias stenophylla. I wasn't sure I even had this species, because labels got lost last year, and there were a few different narrow leaves milkweeds that I was growing. I was delighted to discover that I actually did have it because I purchased about 20 stenophylla seeds and winter sowed plus tried indoors and no germination at all.

Asclepias texana, Texas milkweed. The leaves are very soft.

Pycnanthemum incanum yes!

Aristolochia tomentosa

The 2 Gillenia trifoliata that I was going to give Skip before covid happened. They're blooming.

Crotalaria saggitalis. One bloomed today, but the bloom closed near dark.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Verbena hastata is over 6 feet tall. Cynanchum laeve.

Lonicera sempervirens

Verbena stricta, ect. There is variation amongst my Gaillardia aristata. Sorry for not deadheading them, but there's so many.

An ironwood having a growth spike

Monarda didyma. I wondering if this would be happier in part sun instead of full sun? It just stays this small size, and I'd love to see it in drifts.

Some milkweeds like this arenaria send up new shoots when the original stem dies. Milkweeds can hibernate, so it's best to leave the area they grow in alone if they fizzle because there's a good chance that their roots/tubers are still alive.

2 Amorpha fruticosa that might bloom.

Ipomoea pandurata in the middle. Behind it are weed morning glories.

Croton capitatus

Collinsonia canadensis and Silene stellata. I don't see how I could have overseen the huge cannonball Collinsonia seeds, yet somehow I did lol.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I enjoyed the pictures thanks. Is that cup plant behind the Verbena stricta?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Is this color typical for common milkweed in your area, everyone? A landscape designer posted that the central NJ ecotype of common milkweed has a darker color. The ones I grow arent the local ecotype and are more whiteish pink, but they seem to bloom darker then lighten as they age.

I love these woodland stonecrop. I have to do a better job weeding around them and spreading them.

elephant foot, also in need of weed control. I noticed one of the hickory nuts I direct sowed in the ground has sprouted. I have a dozen spicebush seedlings up now from 2 different locales, and some Clethra seeds sprouted from the nearby woods, YES. 1 Polemonium reptans finally germinated. A couple more thermopsis germinated. Things are going good.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



These are my syriacas. The flower color isn't great on this species, but the fragrance makes up for it. I saw a Monarch on them a little while ago. Hopefully she laid eggs. The weeds are bad, even in the weeded beds. The forecast says no rain until next Thursday with 90s every day.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I have no idea where my milkweed originated from. It was a mail order plant, so probably not from around here. The color varies slightly between the patches I now have, but mostly it looks like this.

the random blooms that pop up now and then are paler and not the full ball looking ones

they fade to this color while the others just turned brown.

Jay, I am going to look at your pictures a lot closer. They are great! Non of the crotons in the pots germinated. Would need to pull weeds in the area I direct sowed. And hopefully not pull them. Frog fruit is taking over the lawn.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I hope Dandy has not left for good because of the picture issue. Looks like he is identifying the bees in his yard, right? I would be interested in the observations up there. After finding the Asian giant resin bee not long ago, I found a European wool carder bee today. Or so my App says and the images match. Are all these non native bees showing up for the first time just another sign of how weird everything in my yard is going this year? It’s a cute one though.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy says he's not able get into the native plants forum.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

☹️

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I went to the park today for a short walk. The enchanter's nightshade was blooming and their burs were sticking to me.

Coreopsis lanceolata, hybrid milkweed, Liatris spicata, Pelargonium, Nepeta cataria,(medicinal for cats),Cosmos

not my pelargonium👎

Prunella vulgaris


Butterfly flowers, Zinnia, Calendula, Gaillardia, Salvia hispanica, Grindelia. I think I'll add some native grass. A few Nasella feather grasses germinated ...shocker

Aralia spinosa within it's cage. I want to free it so bad. Thorns remind me that I can't remember where I planted the Zanthoxylum americanum.

This large bare spot is now colonized with plants. No more erosion, and all wild creatures love it. Collinsonia canadensis in front and the Elymus histrix is from seeds I scattered last fall.

Laportea canadensis, wood nettle.

Ribes americanum. My Ribes odoratum and R. cynosbati both bloomed, but neither bush has fruited. Maybe I need more plants
of each species?

Chelone obliqua. It seems to do ok in this very clay soil. My common mountain mint murdered my Chelone glabra and Asclepias incarnata. I thinned the mountain mint down to a sliver and it's already huge again. I put a Penstemon tubaeflorus in this bed too, but it's not liking the soil. I need to move it asap. I have a bunch more swamp milkweeds.

not my Gerbera👎

Lespedeza capitata, Erigeron pulchellus, Ilex verticillata, Diervilla lonicera. I haven't had the strength to excavate the remaining stella de orros yet. They are dug in real good and have been there for decades. I only got about 3 flowers from the Erigeron, tho it looked like they should have had a lot more. This area is too crowded and I'm going to spread the shrubs a lot further apart. Probably the reason why the E. pulchellus had few flowers, not enough full sun.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice variety. I brought my daughter to a new park, same type of soil and the same underlying clay formation as my property. It was loaded with invasives, so much wineberry, bittersweet, mugwort, and Eleagnus. There was some Aralia elata or spinosa too, I have to look up how to distinguish them. There were some natives hanging on though, lots of sassafras and spicebush



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think the leaves of Aralia elata are much more sharply toothed than those of spinosa. Is that a lady fern Skip? What is the flowering shrub in the last pic?

Aralia spinosa

Aralia elata. There's probably other ways to distinguish them too.

Nasella tenuissima

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

It was Aralia elata then, I have other pics showing the teeth.


The last picture is Apocynum cannabinum. I dont know what the fern is, but I took some pictures to try to key it out.


Other ferns in a different spot:


I visit these areas to try to see what kind of plant communites exist in my area, and I still dont have a good model. Some fields are dominated by grasses, but here you have ferns and shrubs. The common denominator is the only plants left are the ones the deer dont really like. The jewel weed was hidden in with stuff the deer dont like (japanese knotweed)

I did get some sand today to turn my coldframe into a wicking bed. I went to the landscale supply yard and said I wanted 50 gallons of coarse sand. The lady said "you have a bucket you're going to shovel it into yourself?" I said yes and she told me to leave $2 in there charity donation box. Awesome awesome

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

33 species

12 more

Helianthus angustifolius?

1 Like Save     Thanked by Jay 6a Chicago
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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks like swamp sunflower Skip. It will get even bigger than the laciniatum. Is it a new seedling? All your other plants look healthy. I'm currently locked out of my facebook account. I have another account under the Jay name. If I can't get back into my regular account, I might have to use the other, and try to get most of my friends back.

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/newly-discovered-wetland-flower-north-carolina-already-extinct-2020-06-25/

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes the sunflower was a NOID seedling volunteer in a pot with the swamp MW or Iris. I separated it out and planted it.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Wow, there is a lot going on and a lot of progress! One of my Amorphas has a problem on the older leaves. A fungus?


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