Feeling Free in Nature

Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

So nice to see all the insects, birds and animals using the plants I put in the ground. We all agree with the things Doug Tallamy talks about in his books. Anyone is welcome to join in. Lurkers are especially welcome.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Just a few new things. that I'm growing or have ordered for spring 2021.

Viola pedatifida

Matelea obliqua. O thought I'd have to drive far and go through a lot of hardship to collect seeds for this in the wild, but a nursery was offering it.

Clematis viorna. It's actually the Viorna complex, and it's getting split up into about 9 new species.

Viola striata

Clematis occidentalis. I winter sowed about 30 seeds last year and none germinated. I think I saved the container, in case they needed double dormancy. I ordered a plant, just to be sure that I have it.

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javiwa

Following along! :)

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mxk3(Zone 5b SE MI)

I just ordered Asclepias exaltata (poke milkweed) and Delphinium exaltatum, they've been on my list. Considering Stylophorum diphyllum (celandine poppy), but I should be able to source that locally. Would like to get Asclepias purpurascens (purple milkweed) but Prairie Moon is OOS on the seeds - I got on the waitlist.

Darn oval-leaf milkweed gave me fits but it decided to make an appearance sometime in the middle of last summer after I thought it was a goner, hope the small planting gets a strong footing and returns. Who knows. I have a feeling it's just going to do what it wants to do...

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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

I am looking forward to seeing my Mountain Mints return. I think I have 3 or 4 different species.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Checking in to the new thread. This spring I'll be anxiously waiting to see if any american ginseng, maple leaf viburnum, arrowwood viburnum, winterberry holly, Asclepias purpurascens, A. variegata, Comptonia peregrina, Caulophyllum thalictroides, and Chimaphila maculata seeds germinate after going through their second winter outdoors.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I've grown the Stylophorum for several years and I like them a lot. They can handle dry soil for awhile during dry spells, and they are easy to keep under control. They will self sow, easily. I'm going to start some asclepias purpurascens under lights. I think there may be a shortage of purpurascens seeds this year. They seem harder to find, compared to last year.😁


Viola pubescens var. eriocarpa.

I'm trying this to grow this viola from seed too.

Asclepias purpurascens in the wild. I can't wait until my purple milkweed starts blooming.

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mxk3(Zone 5b SE MI)

"I am looking forward to seeing my Mountain Mints return."

I bought some mountain mint last summer (Pycnanthemum muticum), another new-to-me plant. They're in a semi-shady location, probably not optimal but they should do at least okay.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have the Common Mountain Mint P. virginica and I planted seedlings for P. incnum last year, I think or it was muticum, they both sound similar and I get them mixed up. I grew 7 or 8 purple milkweeds under lights, and they were looking good, but just like the ovalifolia and exaltata plants, my purple milkweed plants disappeared also. I planted them in very good soil, so I'm hoping they also return.

These are milkweeds that were started under lights, in the basement spring 2020.

The 3 milkweeds in front are purpurascens, the taller milkweed behind them is speciosa.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Pycnanthemum muticum has the big frosty bracts while the actual flowers are a subtle green. P. incanum has more typical flowers, but also frosty leaves near the flowers. I grow the P. incanum, and added Pycnanthemum tenuifolium as seedlings last year. Im starting Pycnanthemum flexuosum and virginianum this year. I'm going to collect some P. muticum seeds next year for a shadier area. I got the P. incanum initially because it was supposed to have good drought tolerance.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Checking in also. Nice to hear from folks I haven't met before. I live in north central Minnesota on 1 &2/3 acres of pine woods. I estimate I have 120+ species of native plants/shrubs growing. It was never seeded or plowed before my time here. Since not a farming community, a lot of natives grow everywhere here, including orchids in the ditches.

I have my Prairie Moon packets waiting in the fridge and some will be started under snow starting next week(1st week of Jan every year). There's a good 6 inches or so on the ground and more coming so I should be good right into March for snow cover.

My new list for this season:

Dwarf blue indigo

Downy wood mint

Strawberry blite

Rattlebox

Honewart

Foxglove mullein

Amethyst shooting star

Rattlesnake master

White goldenrod

Wild sweet william

Meadow beauty

Yellow pimpernel

Missouri ironweed

Birdsfoot violet

Prairie violet

Partridge pea, 1 big ounce packet, because they don't survive winter here.

I did manage to collect seed from Milkweeds-Poke, Orange, and Whorled this past fall so they will get started in March.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, the Partridge Peas are annuals. Mine reseed all over and they have to be thinned out. Don't you get any volunteers? There is 1 perennial Partridge Pea in the south. Good luck with the Rhexia. It's not native in Minnesota and there aren't any observations for it on I nat. Illinois has observations for R. virginica, and R. mariana. I think the virginica is the more cold hardy of the 2. I've always wanted to try growing the Chenopodium strawberry blight out of curiosity, and to see if the wildlife will use it. I've seen a a yellow false foxglove around here that has tiny flowers. I don't think it's the same as yours. Do you have any native Pedicularis up there? I'm tempted to order more seeds from PM lol. Do you have any invasive species that have made their way into your untouched landscape, like garlic mustard, ect? We seem to be losing rare species in all our Illinois preserves, while the exotic invasives move in and replace. I hope things start changing for the better, with this new, more environmentally conscious administration.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)






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javiwa

Happy Almost-New Year to everyone and best wishes for successful, rewarding planting in 2021!


Iris was kind enough to send rooted P. tenuifolia and P. albescens rooted starts last year. They both started off well, but the latter turned ugly (best way I can describe it) within a couple of months -- leaves never looked a healthy color, and then black aphids took over. The tops of the plant eventually withered, but I just kept mulching and watering. Appear to be sprouts coming up as of a few weeks ago, so I still hold out hope! The narrow leaf tenuifolia is growing flat and outward instead of upward...not sure what's up with that. :/ But, let's see what springtime holds!


I've got several bee balm varieties going (M. citriodora, Jacob Cline and Peter's Purple) -- I believe I gave each plenty of room to spread (if there is such a thing!). If they crowd out their neighbors, well, the better man won! :)


An exciting find for me a few months ago: Brazos penstemon (P. tenuia)! Seeds sprouted over a month ago...tons of them. I planted them in-ground a couple of weeks ago (and crossed fingers we don't get a freak freeze; but it appears we're experiencing yet another unseasonably warm winter), and cannot wait for them to take off this year.


We'll see what my purple milkweed do this year. I got great germination rates last January, and had close to 20 seedlings before the heat and rust and leafhoppers destroyed them. I think I was just in way over my head: I now have a lot of empty cups, but hold out hope nevertheless. (Though, my NY resolution is to focus on true natives and not spend too much energy climbing uphill battles...famous last words!)



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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Nice list Dandy, lucky conditions you have. Here in NJ I live in an area known for farming since colonial times (live in one farmer's son's 1860s farm house that was part of an even older farm), that used to be Lenape territory, and has basically been a human landscape for a very long time. There is just forever increasing population pressure and exploitation by property developers like Jared Kushner taking advantage of misguided affordable housing mandates.

On the other hand, I might have mentioned this before, I learned recently the county parks are working with other counties, the state agricultural council, forest service, fish and wildlife, highway division, and individual towns to control the deer population. They're doing deer exclosure studies in the area parks to observe what regrows when the deer aren't able to eat everything in sight. They have a condition where hunters are required to take an antlerless deer before they can harvest a buck. Basic rationale being that replanting natives is futile if the deer are just going to eat them all. It seems like things are getting worse all the time when you look around, but sometimes progress just takes some time and projects are still in early stages. It's nice to know the government and other groups are working to protect and manage the land.

Somebody in my town facebook group wanted to know how to solve standing water issues in their yard, so of course like 6 landscape companies jump on it saying to install drains and pipes and drywells and all this BS to get the water to the street. Then I posted links to the Rutgers cooperative extension, the county planning board, and the soil conservation district about rain gardens, and a lot more regular people liked that suggestion and commented. Some segment of the public wants to get on board with green infrastructure.

I did some more sowing today, looking around the yard I keep remembering I need more of X plant or Y plant. I threw all the Sisyrinchium seed I had collected in a milk jug of soil. I did some lupine in small pots yesterday. My backordered trays are back in stock and shipping today, then I'll be ready to grow 500 more plants.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Nice comments. Jay, I had Pedicularis lanceolata growing on my shore land when I first moved here, but it disappeared after a few years and it hasn't come back. I so want to be able to replace t at some time. It had an interesting irregular 'crooked' shape that appealed to me.

Ok Skip on your millennial farmland home. Before I moved here I lived in farming country and it was brutal. Even the ditches were destroyed. I would drive around and if I saw one native plant it was a miracle. Except for next to the RR track, everything had been erased. So when I discovered the difference here it was very stark to me seeing the difference. I would like to get some orchids established too.

Way to go about posting the water garden plans to your community. I didn't know you had an SWCD too. Ours here in Mn does massive plant purchasing every spring for residents where you can buy bulk quantities of shrubs/trees/ and wildflowers. Does yours do that too? I've planted more than 600 or so shrubs/trees in the past 20 years through it. Cost is very minimal, about $1.25 per plant. But bare root so it takes a while for them to get established

Javi-I planted Monarda bradburyana from seed a few years ago and I really like it. I have loads of the fistlosum(?) too but the bradburyana has a very intense mint aroma and is much more refined. It doesn't spread like the other though.

My plant of the year recommendation is: Actaea racemosa. Giant white plumes in shade.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I like Actaea racemosa a lot. It looks really good when there are a lot of them over sort of a wide area. I have one but yeah it would look a lot better if I had like 14 more.

My soil conservation district doesn't do any plant sales or giveaways, but you can buy bareroot trees and shrubs from the state forest nursery for peanuts, no perennials or grasses though.

I have some Monarda fistulosa growing already but Javi just reminded me I have seed for Monarda didyma and Monarda punctata I need to attend to.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I need to check and see if my city, county, or state is offering any plants, or incentives for growing natives, and I should see about how my future front yard prairie will be perceived. I've grown Monarda didyma for a few years now, and it hasn't grown much or had any volunteers. I thought for sure the clump would spread, with it being a beebalm. It isn't actually native to my area. Any didyma plants here must have escaped from cultivation. I have fistulosa, punctata, bradburiana, and citriodora. The only other Monarda that's native here is M. clinopodia. I want to get it too. There is Monarda x media, or just Monarda media, that's a hybrid of fistulosa and clinopodia. They also call it purple beebalm. I don't understand how it's flowers can be a deeper color than the parents? Then there is Monarda x medioides which is a hybrid of fistulosa and media. Now they sell seeds for M media on the internet, but since it's a hybrid, I'm wondering if the seeds will grow true to the parent. I'm asking more knowledgeable people about it now. Pretty much everything native has been destroyed around here too. It's very depressing and, human pigs are littering everywhere like there's no tomorrow. I wish I lived in a more secluded area, surrounded by nature. It could be do much better if everyone woke up and started helping, instead of hurting.

Carex pedunculata, native to all our areas except Texas. If I only grew Carex species and nothing else, I'd run out of room, and that's only the native ones.

Are there any Carex species that do well in drier soils?

Carex pedunculata, I'm tempted, but it looks like seeds and plants for this are hard to find.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I heard Benjamin Vogt in an interview saying Carex albicans can take dry soils.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

These are some pictures from Chris Benda, a great botanist in Illinois.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157738374560267&id=530780266

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)







A little more info about Monarda media.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/4032322?seq=1

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

A very happy, healthy 2021 to all of you! Reading along, but there isn’t much going on in my yard to report. Stumbling across some plants in my reading that look really interesting but probably not easy to find. Like Macbridea caroliniana. Then again, I really should concentrate on cleaning up and dividing what I have.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah, I planted some more seeds in pots today. Probably stuff I shouldn't plant because it will spread, but eh why not. Did Packera aurea and Lonicera sempervirens seeds from my plants, and Crocanthemum, Baccharis halimifolia, and Apocynum cannabinum for new seeds. I think I will just stick the groundsel tree and hemp dogbane in the neighbors weed hedge.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That Macbridea is nice

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Anyone grow Medeola virginiana?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'd like to grow it. It's in my area, but very rare. The only place I saw seeds for sale was from Botanically Inclined in Canada, and they don't ship here. Someone is selling the bulbs on ebay, but they might be wild collected I suspect.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Mountain Gardens has seeds, or they have it on their seed list, doesn't necessarily mean it's in stock. This is a plant that will take 2 years to germinate and 5 years to flower so I don't know if seed is the best route, but definitely don't want anything wild collected. Edit: they have roots too

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)




Mountain Gardens sells Medeola virginiana plants too.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That red area by the berries is striking. What animal is supposed to notice that and take the berries to disperse? Really want to try it but $25 for shipping is a little rich. Maybe seeds it is.

I seeded a couple more 50-cell trays today, one Silene stellata and one Scrophularia lanceolata. You see Bladder Campion all over the place, it'll be nice to see the native Starry Campion now. The Early Figwort is another hummingbird plant, should have plenty for them now between it, Columbine, coral honeysuckle, and cardinal flower.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have back luck with cardinal flowers. Maybe they need more moisture than I can give them. The last 3 plants I bought never bloomed. Maybe it's an ecotype issue? Who charges $25 for shipping? The red color on the top leaves is striking. I'd like to get the Medeola and a few other roots/bulbs from MG, but not now. I want to have nice places to them first, but you probably have room.

Iris, the Macbridea is nice. It's only native to Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. It looks like it's hard to find seeds or plants for it.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I did plant a bunch of cardinal flowers last year, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will grow back this year. Maybe I should sow some more seeds just in case. I did plant them next to the downspout, and put a small rotting log close by.

MG has on their site roots are shipped in a flat rate box, $25. Which probably isn't that bad all things considered (the years of growth in those roots). I might have the room but the soil is an open question. I can always build the soil over the next few years while the seeds are growing.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Seeds are a cheaper way to maybe get a nice number of plants, but 7 years is a long time to wait.

http://www.nomadseed.com/2017/08/cucumber-root-medeola-virginiana/


https://youtu.be/1Wl8nP_DkdQ

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I suggest sowing Cardinal flower every year. I can get maybe 2 years out of them then nothing. Last summers blooms were from seedlings that overwintered in their pots from 2019. I got them in the ground just in time to bloom.

I don't have grow lights so relying on nature. But I cannot get Cardinal flower to germinate until the outside temps are over 80 degrees. So that means they never mature fast enough to get into the ground in time for fall. Anybody else have info on germination temps?

Unseasonably mild this winter. Temps have been above freezing quite a bit the last month or so and the future looks the same. Normal high about 20 degrees. Have nice amount of snow cover so the new pots should be cozy under their white cover. I have a flock of about 50 turkeys roosting in my trees at night.

I've been saving up all my cool whip containers.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I just did a seed swap with a NPS member and got some Rhododendron periclymenoides seeds, Pinxter azalea. I'm pretty pumped! Local provenance too. This one is supposed to be tolerant of black walnuts. Just 10 years until it's a big plant....

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Maybe cardinal flowers are more like biennials up here in the north. They germinate late, and then finish up the following year? I found a wild colony growing in mainly sand. I want to monitor it and see if they are perennial or biennial. I don't have any low spots where I can have a sandy soil that stays moist. Probably a bog garden would be best. This was my first time seeing them in the wild.

I wanted to order Wild Basil seeds so while I was at Prairie Moon I ordered a few other seeds.

Blephilia ciliata. I may have some seedlings somewhere, but need more. Pagoda mint.

Satureja vulgaris, Wild Basil.

Allium cernuum, Nodding Onion.
They look better in groups, so it best to use seeds. They probably bloom the second year just like A. stellata.

Penstemon calycosus. I already have P. digitalis, P. hirsuta, and P. smallii. I may have P. grandiflora seedlings, seems that I sowed some last year, but some labels washed off.

Perideridia americana, Wild Dill. This doesn't need wet soil like Sium suave does, its recorded in my county. Another Black Swallowtail host plant.

They just recently named a new southern species of Ionactis. It was included in Ionactis linarifolia, but it's different enough to be it's own species. It also has rhyzomatous roots unlike regular I. linarifolia.

Ionactus repens, Guy Newsom 2020

Ionactis repens

Ionactis repens with rhyzomatous roots

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think Lobelia cardinalis is listed as a short lived perennial so 2 or 3 years. Its early successional, it needs open soil and less leaf litter covering it in the fall to keep coming back. That why it does well along streams where the duff is washed away.

Thats crazy how plants just decide: ya know this seed thing isn't working well enough, I'll just start growing rhizomes. Lots of plasticity in plants, thats why I just plant everything I can and see what survives, something might do surprisingly well with suboptimal light, moisture or soil. This is another advantage from growing seeds, you are not locked into one genotype and more chances of getting a survivor.

Just sowed 3 more trays with seeds. 50-cell tray with Lobelia spicata, 38-cell with Penstemon hirsutus and 38-cell with Dodecatheon media, which isn't even native here, but that's okay. Ive been really precise with all the soil and stuff this time, so if this stuff doesn't work I don't know I guess I'll start buying plug trays or get better at site prep for direct sowing.

I see now they sell these multi-head walk behind flame weeders, that would be a fun way to site prep. https://images.app.goo.gl/JY6nx65tGJzve3JP9

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Those are some nice pickups Jay, I never heard of wild dill, have to learn more about wild basil too. I'm pretty sure I have Blephilia ciliata seeds in my fridge, but none of them germinated. The soil looked more wet than the other milk jugs so maybe it got compacted or those seeds just like a little better drainage or something. 100% I planted 2-3 Penstemon calycosus last year, still have some of those seeds in my fridge too. I did end up ordering a couple packs of those Medeola virginiana seeds.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I should order Medeola seeds too. They colonize which is good. They are awesome with the coloring. Nice score with the Rhodie seeds. Look at this large Rhodie leaf, it's huge. Don't know the species yet.

The Wild Dill, Perideridia americana has a very limited range, and it's the most eastern species in the genus, and I'm right in the ideal area for it.

Perideridia americana

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Its sad the eastern subspecies was hunted to extinction, but I do like that they talk about reintroducing mountain lions in NY now, from the western populations. That makes wilderness hiking more of a high stakes activity haha. I heard something about deer, where they won't breed as much if they know there are predators around. Example, if humans harvest 10 deer, other females might compensate by having even more offspring. However, if the deer know there are wolves or coyotes constantly around, their stress levels get elevated and they will just have the normal amount of offspring, and the population will decline toward the desirable levels.


Got to go seed a few more trays now, I want to run out of room in here.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That's interesting about the deer having less offspring when predators are around. There used to be elk too. Whatever part they played in the ecosystem is gone now. Do you have enough seeds to fill the rest of that cold frame Skip? I need more soil and more larger white pots. We've been in a deep freeze for a while.

Vaccinium stamineum var. caesum. It's a butterfly host plant and animals and humans can eat the fruits. I think there are at least 7 varieties of this species, 5 varieties in North Carolina alone.

Vaccinium stamineum

Vaccinium stamineum

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes I do have enough seeds, since my site prep got messed up last fall and I can't direct sow stuff now, I decided to sow stuff from the seed mix into trays. I'll kill off the cover crop in the spring then direct sow stuff that doesn't need stratification like Rudbeckia hirta, purple coneflower, little bluestem, silky wild rye, bluestem goldenrod, mountain mint, plus the remainder of the seeds, and then I'll plant the plugs in the fall. Last night I made a tray of Chasmanthium laxum, a tray of Carex grisea, and a tray of Polemonium reptans. The temperature here has been fluctuating from low 40's and high 30's to mid 20's every day, good for stratification.

According to iNat that Vaccinium grows in the park 2 miles away. I'll have to go look for it in the spring.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I ordered some Medeola virginiana seeds from MG too. Might as well try to start them now , they will take a while. I think the Cucumber Root is rare around my area, maybe some of the INPS can direct me to some. I spaced and missed our last zoom meeting about using fire.



https://alabama.butterflyatlas.usf.edu/host-and-nectar-plants

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

https://wildplantculture.com/podcast/2019/9/7/episode-003-roger-latham-on-plants-and-geology this is a really interesting convo about ecology, geology, plant communities, and succession, and doesn't go where I thought it would based on the title. Even has some ideas about actions that can make a piece of land better for prairie, forest, invasives or whatever. Talks a little about plants' effect on the soil, gives me some hope I can pull off the type of mixed vegetation I want.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Buffalo Clovers.

Trifolium stoloniferum, Running Buffalo Clover

Trifolium reflexum, Buffalo Clover

I going to be getting some of these rare plants. I want grow a lot of them and use them for restoration.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Trifolium reflexum has a much wider range. I will share, once I get seeds.

https://nymf.bbg.org/species/3721

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

How butterflies and bees see flowers.










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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Wow can I spend a day with bee vision? It reminds me of the book Braiding Sweetgrass when she's talking about how the color contrast between New England aster and goldenrod makes each visually stand out more to bees and to us.

That seed collection chart is more specific to the south, it would be more compressed between May and November here.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Hey you or I could write the same book, but have it for our more northerly locations, and sell it for $24. Is the book Braiding Sweetgrass about actually braiding sweet grass, or about native plants. I visited an old plantation house down south once and they were selling braided sweetgrass baskets, ect. Didn't buy any, they were pricey understandably. I've considered learning how to do it for an extra income, but doubting that I have the patience. My spellchecker changed sweet grass to sweetheart. So much for AI.😂


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Braiding Sweetgrass is more about the relationship between land, animals, and the indigenous people of north america. Sweetgrass was one of the plants the native people tended, and it had to be harvested to thrive. It talks about the mindset the natives had; reciprocity and sustainability vs. commoditization and exploitation of natural resources, and transactional markets the europeans brought.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Sounds like a good read. I love learning about Native Americans and their respect for the Earth.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah it's a good read, it uses a lot of illustrative writing and also a lot of the authors experience and narrative. If you have Amazon prime, you can get a free trial of Audible and listen to the audiobook on there, read by the author.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a lot to catch up on. Great pictures, Jay. Skip, your seed starting looks so professional. Nothing like the pots of all sizes I usually have standing around on my walkway. Not going to start much from seed this year. Very excited that it looks like I am finally getting the Amorpha Nitens plants this year. Did get the email catalog from Reeseville and asked if I should place a new order or if the one from last year still stands. It does since his seeds didn’t work out last year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Hi Iris. I hope everything is well with you. That's great you're finally getting the Amorpha nitens. I'd love to get a plant, but I don't think I have room. Doing native plantings, I have to plant things of different heights and I need open space so shorter plants can get sunlight. Reeseville has a couple plants to still send me. I might order a couple more plants too, maybe Dirca palustris.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Lyside Sulphur Butterflie




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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, doing well except for some itchy poison Ivy bumps. It’s been cold and muddy, so cleanup progress is slow. Coming across a lot of Chinese mantis egg cases. Odd since I have seen so few of the adults last year. Also coming across a lot of blackberry. Definetly not fun to rip out.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, do you destroy the Chinese mantis egg cases? Did you have a deep freeze yet. I assume all the the caterpillars are finished? In those butterfly pictures I couldn't find which was male and which butterfly was female, but would the male be the more likely one to have the black spots? I always see more mantis egg cases than adults. Maybe they eat each other when they are young and thats why there are so few of them, just a theory lol.🤣 Maybe they are lizard food down there?😁

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, I am not destroying the egg cases. There are so few of them making it to adulthood, I don’t see a problem with them. Now Japanese beetles are a different story. The lowest temperature we had here was 15. That is pretty much as cold as it should get. I did see a caterpillar today. There are still two Gulf Fritilary in chrysalis that look alive. Odd. Don’t think they are supposed to overwinter here like that. I am not sure about the Lyside sulphur. I think the females are mostly unmarked. I don’t have them here, Javi probably knows. She had all these unusual sulphurs showing up. Caterpillar from today. Not sure what he was doing there.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris that's a cool caterpillar, I am amazed at how attuned you are to finding them. I keep my pots more organized than just about anything else, because I go long stretches without looking at them. I have to be able to meet the needs of each plant in short chunks of time.

I put some greenhouse plastic over the plug trays to give them a little protection from the elements and prevent soil compaction. I will check them occasionally and hand water as needed until spring. I opened the lid on it today and a lot condensation dripped off the inside of the plastic, that's like a nice gentle watering system in itself.


I checked my other cold frame and am happy to see a lot of azure bluets growing in there.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Might not be a bad idea gor me to make a flat cold frame and cover it with plastic. Every place is sold out of Houstonia cerulean seeds except on Amazon where they $15 for 40 seeds. They are on my list for next year. I just realized the other 2 Gaillardia species that I started last year are both perennial, so there will be 3 perennial species, aristata, aestivalis, and suavis. When I sowed my seeds for outside, I put large coffee filters in the bottoms of the pots and then pushed down and compressed the soil on the bottoms, and kept shaking and settling the soil as I was putting it in. Hopefully the soil won't get to compressed from the elements after doing all that.

Gaillardia aestivalis

Gaillardia suavis

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Mature and juvenile Lepidodendron, and primordial plant associates. Lepidodendraceae, Carboniferous period.

Teratophyllum aculeatum, Dryopteridaceae, Asia

Massonia, Asparagaceae

Owl chicks, Strigiformes

Fireflies

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Lol. It already is an invasive species hot spot. Any land that has been cleared and then allowed to go fallow in the last 30 years is now covered in non-native invasive species.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)










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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Has anybody ever heard that liquid smoke will aid in germination of fire dependent species?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have never even heard of that. Need to google. Still catching up and getting distracted along the way. I knew squirrels would eat birds on occasion, but just saw a video of a deer eating one. Never would have thought of that. It’s a really rough world out there.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay I have heard of that for fire adapted species, sometimes you can find that info in propagation protocols online. I was going to try that with my sweet fern, blueberry, and spotted wintergreen seeds.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I wage war on chipmunks. Yes-those cute little furry mammals. They chew their way right into bird houses for the eggs or chicks. The former owners here used to feed them. It's taking forever to root them out.

Great looking frames Skip. I'll be curious to see your germination rates in next year. I just cover my pots with cut up dish towel. Then cover them all over with gauze in summer.

It snowed today, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. The main band stayed way south in Iowa, and heading right at Jay tonight. Got your shovel ready?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It snowed hard for a little while, but there wasn't much. Not even enough to shovel. I'm shocked, because I never imagined chipmunks eating baby birds and eggs , but it's true. Is the gauze to keep the pots cooler Dandy? I guess liquid smoke is real smoke, but I wonder what else is in it. I want to know the scientific reason why smoke would aid in germination. I always assumed it was the thermal heat from fire that helped fire dependent species germinate.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I cover my pots to keep weed seeds out.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Here's a little bit of a dated article and they say they don't know why or how smoke works, but have a few methods to use the smoke and smoke extract. https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/2003guidelines/group1/Smoke%20Infusion.htm 

Dandy one of these days I will listen to you and keep it simple. I have a feeling things will get moldy and covered in moss and algae here though.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I do get a problem with moss here too. Not sure what to do about it tho.

Someday I might invest in gro lights.

I got a not found with that link. Try this:

https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/2003guidelines/group1/Smoke%20Infusion.htm

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yooo look what I just found in my seed stash. Thought I was out of these. 5 seeds left.

I wonder if the deer will leave it alone since it has a resinous smell. The forest service says a single plant can have 100 flower heads on it.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You Lucky dog Skip.I'm opening my Prairie Moon seeds. I wonder what freebie seeds they sent. Something other than Monarda fistulosa, Heliopsis helianthoides, or Chamaecrista fasciculata, I hope.

The free seeds are Purple Prairie Clover. Another species that I already have an abundance of seeds for, but I think I'll sow 1 pot with these. I could use a few more of them.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I have so much trouble with Purple Prairie Clover. I know it should be easier than that. They want a very dry soil, but in order to grow seedlings they need water. A conundrum.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Maybe it would work best to sow it on the ground and frequently water the area until it germinates.

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junco East Georgia zone 8a(zone 8a)

I don't recall who posted the link to the article about Ancient Farms, but I just recently read it and found it fascinating. Thank you!

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Pachysandra procumbens, Allegheny Spurgeon. Native. I tried growing it a long time ago, but it didn't do do well. Technically not native to Illinois or New Jerse. I nat has no observations for Illinois, but there are some from New Jersey. A great native alternative to terminalis.


Pachysandra procumbens

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=51&taxon_id=50316

A new native Lobelia species Lobelia batsonii

Lobelia batsonii.
.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Nice, Jay! It’s great to see some colorful pictures. Can’t wait for Spring, but I am way behind with my cleanup. Need to eventually tackle my big flower bed in the back. The squirrels planted dozens of oaks in there.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Lilium canadense var. coccineum

Dancing trees, Indonesia

Streptopus lanceolata

Panus neostrigosus

Clintonia umbellata

Plantago cordata

Maianthemum canadense

Taxodium distichum

Prosartes maculata

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Might as well add insect declines to that:

Insect decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a thousand cuts

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2023989118 

Eight simple actions that individuals can take to save insects from global declines

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2002547117?cct=1971

Create insect-friendly habitats:

1. Convert lawns into diverse natural habitats.

2. Grow native plants.

3. Reduce pesticide and herbicide use.

4. Limit use of exterior lighting.

5. Lessen soap runoff from washing vehicles and building exteriors, and reduce use of driveway sealants and de-icing salts.

Increase awareness and appreciation of insects:

6. Counter negative perceptions of insects.

7. Become an educator, ambassador, and advocate for insect conservation.

8. Get involved in local politics, support science, and vote.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just found out that about 6 Oenothera species have been reclassified as Calylophus. They are still listed as Oenothera on bonap.

http://www.theplantlist.org/browse/A/Onagraceae/Calylophus/



My Mountain Garden seeds arrived. 🤸‍♂️🎈🎉

This is the right way to germinate Clematis. Wish I knew earlier.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


World's smallest bat.

In Tanzania

shrew

Dead man's fingers 😱


Unnamed newly discovered Sansevieria/Dracaena in Tanzania. Barry Yinger the world's foremost authority. He still uses Sansevieria. Grown as houseplants they rarely bloom.




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Valeriana pauciflora. I love this species, but it's not available anywhere in seed or plant. Has a limited range including my area.

Valeriana pauciflora

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hungry Hook farm has that Valeriana, I was looking at it yesterday when I was looking at something else. I'm going to order Scutellaria integrifolia and Cirsium pumilum from them in the spring.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I might hold off on orering it. I think I'm out of available space. That plant would look best like in a woodland clearing where it can kind of glow and give a peaceful feeling, and where it can stand out and not be crowded, well just my opinion anyhow.😂

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Hungry Hook is also growing Viola sagittata, although it's not listed on their inventory they have pics of seed on their Instagram.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

You are so far ahead with the seed starting and plant ordering. I don’t even really know what I need. Certainly some stuff that blooms either very early in Spring or very late in Fall. And something blooming just about now. Still cold, but dandelion and some of the dead nettles have blooms. There must be something I could intentionally plant that would have some blooms for warmer days when some critters come out. Found a patch of these under the flopped over, dead stalks of swamp sunflowers. Looks familiar, but I have no idea. Any of you know?

Another really odd thing I found today. Looks like a Tussock moth caterpillar that got plucked. Weird.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, is the V. sagittata seed available now? I couldn't see it, and I don't have Instagram. I guess it's too early to order the Valerian pauciflora, if I was going to order it. Iris, I think your mystery weed is Corn Salad, Valerianella locusta. It's edible, and has little, white flowers.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Jay, I don't think they are selling the seed. They posted that the violets are being used in a restoration but I'm hoping that species will be available when the inventory is updated in the spring. I emailed her about ordering some other plants but ordering won't be open until March.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just ordered 10 Viola sagittata seeds. Wish Valeriana pauciflora seeds were available.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Native viola of Illinois

Viola canadensis

Viola sagittata

Viola sororia

Viola pubescens var. eriocarpa

Viola striata

Viola macloskeyi var pallens

Viola affinis

Viola cucullata

Viola subsinuata

Viola septentrionalis

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

More Illinois viola

Viola bicolor

Viola x bernardii

pedatifida x sororia

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mxk3(Zone 5b SE MI)

I got my purple milkweed seed this week, going to pop them in the fridge to stratify. Looking forward to seeing the color of these, but Prairie Moon says they can be finicky so who knows if they'll do well for me.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Is it a little early yet to germ Milkweed? Prairie Moon sold out the purple real fast and I missed the window. But the site says that it is very finicky getting it to bloom, so good luck with that.

I did manage to get goodly amounts of seed this fall from A. tuberosa, exaltata. & ovalifolia. Strangely I've never found any speciosa.




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)
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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


I nat observations for Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa

0 observations of Purple Milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens in Minnesota.

I nat observations for Purple Milkweed, Asclepias purpurascens in Michigan.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I'm going to start stratifying the Asclepias quadrifolia, ovalifolia, and amplexicaulis soon. I'm guessing 2 months cold moist stratification in the fridge should be adequate. Then spend a month inside under lights getting a few leaves before moving outside to a hoop house, then into the ground in September.

I planted a purple milkweed straight from the nursery and it never looked happy last year. It was grown indoors by the nursery to 3 or 4 sets of leaves and I don't think it was hardened off. I put it in a sunny spot then ended up moving it to some shade. I still have a wintersow jug out there with purple milkweed seeds that didn't germinate, maybe they will sprout this spring.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My Purple Milkweed plants didn't do well after I put them outside either. Also my quadrifolia, ovalifolia, and exaltata plants went downhill after putting outside. I think most or all of them will return. When the Purple come back, I want to move them where they will get afternoon shade. They do spread by rhizomes once they get established.

Purple Milkweed

https://m.facebook.com/groups/growmilkweedplants/permalink/4039902772692983/

Apparently the Purple Milkweed will also do well with morning shade, and afternoon sun like these plants here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/growmilkweedplants/permalink/2797623520254254/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/growmilkweedplants/permalink/2815119031838036/

Germination, CMS. fungicide, Purple Milkweed, Pat Mahon, Pure Air Natives

https://m.facebook.com/groups/472212473530279/permalink/576136263137899/

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

my purple milkweed is planted over here in morning sun.

you can see it at the very bottom here. Hope thats enough sun for it.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It looks like a good spot. About how many hours of direct sun do they get. Is there a difference between partial sun and light shade? Aren't they both the same?🤔 All the other plants look great. The Clethra look healthy and the fistulosa and Joe Pye Weed. What are the big leaves on the left edge of the 2nd photo down?.

https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/pur_milkweed.htm

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mxk3(Zone 5b SE MI)

How did you guys get the darn ovalifolia to grow? I'm pretty impressed with that, frankly. Maybe mine will decide she wants to show up this year, who knows {{shrug}}.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That spot probably is only getting 4 hours of direct sun, max. There's a giant silver maple on the other side of the yard that just blocks out all the sunlight. It's kind of good because the shade helps keep things from drying out but then again, it also deprives plants of sunlight. The big leaves on the left are from the hollow stem joe pye.


I didn't get ovalifolia to grow yet, it's on my list of stuff to attempt this year. Seems to be a species of dry sandy places. These obscure milkweeds are a pain too because they don't seem to flower or put on much growth consistently every year unless they have ideal conditions.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I know it takes a few years for most of the native milkweeds to flower. I try to plant each species in a few different places to better the chances. Ovalifolia grows fast from seed. All my ovalifolia were put in last year. They grew well under lights. I had quite a few, so I'm not starting any more of them this year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I ordered this book. I've been wanting to get a book about Latin names for a long time.




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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


The 25 largest generation of the Southeastern United States

The 25 largest plant families of the Southeastern United States

All the general of the Southeastern United States

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I got an ebook of botanical latin, but that's for another day haha.

I just recently rediscovered some seeds I grabbed off a plant in a park and stuffed in a tissue in my daughter's diaper bag. I think it was Leucothoe fontanesiana but am not really sure. I threw them in my little indoor propagation tray. I added some mycobloom to the tray too.

Edit: now I'm reading ericaceous plants have their own specific mycorrhizae species, and don't use nitrate fertilizer, preferring urea/ammonium. I now have 3 different ericaceous plants in the propagation tray, Pinxter azalea, a local Clethra, and the Leucothoe. I'll be looking to collect some of that Vaccinium stamineum this year too. I'm going to have to put the milkweeds in a different tray.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I like the Vaccinium stamineum a lot, but I think V. pallidum would grow better in my area. They need acidic soil I think. I'm thinking of just buying a label maker so I can keep track of everything. It's fun to ID the pots missing labels up to a point. Most of the plants still in pots from last year have lost their labels. Do they sell the micorrhizae that Ericaceae plants use?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah I found a couple of ericoid mycorrhizae products because blueberry growers and ornamental nurseries growing azaleas and stuff use them.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Mxk3-I got Oval Leaf Milkweed to germinate easily last year. Started them on March 14 and put under snow outside. They only require about 30 days cold. I logged that I put 20 seedlings into the ground in July. I collected a lot of wild seed this fall also.

I just had to make another Prairie Moon order! After a while it just make sense to keep trying to germinate some things, like Pasque flower, although I did manage two seedlings 15 years ago, but haven't been able to repeat since then.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)



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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I'm ready to try this stuff out. I think most of the prairie plants are fire adapted right?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

How do you incorporate it? Just soak the seeds in it? What about tiny seeds? A friend was soaking Cotinus obovatus seeds in acid to aid germination. Ever heard of that before?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You mix it 1 part liquid smoke with 9 parts water, and water the pots with it once.


I have heard of gibberillic acid treatment but don't know the whole theory behind it.


Man I should have looked up growing ericoids before I started the seeds. They need an ammonium or urea based fertilizer, and some sulfer and gypsum mixed into the soil. The fertilizer I've been using is nitrate based, now I am trying to figure out how to switch it up without being able to physically mix up the soil.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I guess I still do have time to add liquid smoke if I want. Gibberillic acid is a growth hormone used to make bigger flowers and fruits. I was looking to see if any resurrection type ferns grow near me. The closest ones, Polypodium virginianum are about 55 miles away at Starved Rock State Park. I wish I had a sandstone grotto with high humidity to grow them here. I definitely want to go looking for them in the spring.


Polypodium virginianum

Polypodium appalachianum








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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Potentilla and turtle


https://youtu.be/VyPKHLJHQtA

Warning, this video features Joey Santore and his colorful language. This is him at the dolomite prairie I visit often. He shows a few plants I haven't seen there yet like Spranthus. He saw the Lakeside Daisies after they bloomed. These are all pictures of the prairie he's at in the video. He obviously hates northern Illinois as much as I do, and just like me he has to escape into nature.


Cicuta bulbifera. Very poisonous like the closely related Water Hemlock, Cicuta maculata.

Cicuta bulbifera that's been nibbled.

Asclepias verticillata, Whorled Milkweed

I've never seen Spiranthes growing in the middle of this path.

Tetraneuris herbaceous, Lakeside Daisy. Almost went extinct. Still threatened. I suppose someone is assigned to monitor these daisies. I noticed that all the ripe seed heads were being harvested and not left to sit.

Sisyrinchium albidum

Lithospermum incision. This species is cleistogamous. developing a second set of seeds without pollination.

Tetraneuris herbacea

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)




New growth following a burn.

Looks like they killed the buckthorn by this bridge. Caltha palustris and Helianthus angustifolius bloom nearby a little later.

A road used to cut through this prairie. It was closed off, and this derelict bridge remains. The Desplains River runs below. I have disobeyed the warning signs and explored the bridge.

Symphyotrichum ericoides


A Goldenrod and New England Aster

One of two ponds that I'm aware of. The prairie spans a long ways to the north. There aren't any paths along that stretch, but a train track runs that way. I'd like to explore more of that area this year.


Allium stellatum

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


This prairie is also important for the survival of the endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly.




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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Great prairie pictures. The whorled milkweed is so crazy looking, love it



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great pictures, Jay! I am still trying to wrap my head around the barbecue sauce (liquid smoke), but am right behind you all with trying to save the insects. Dug up the 2 beauty berries that popped up in my flower beds and transplanted them to the lawn. Hope I did get enough of the roots.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's nice hearing from you Iris. I hope to create more habitat for insects and the rest of the food chain. I saw a few deer nibbling on something in the yard today. They were near my Aralia, which is still surrounded by chicken wire fence. I wonder if I'll ever be able to remove the fence? They really love the taste of the Aralia Spinoza. I haven't decided if I should try the liquid smoke. I remember it being expensive. I think I used it to make my own bar b que sauce once. I bought a label maker and it didn't work, so I took it back and got a refund. I think they are a scam because a new roll of tape costs as much as the label maker. I'll just probably write the plant names on tape with a pen, like I've been doing. It's still very cold and miserable here and I really miss going to the preserves.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The liquid smoke from the grocery store is less than $5. It's a lot more expensive online


Check out this interview with Dr. Gerould Wilhelm, Chicago area botanist, creator of the Floristic Quality Assessment, and author of Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis. https://wildplantculture.com/podcast/2020/6/23/episode-010-dr-gerould-wilhelm-botanist-and-steward

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Lonicera canadensis, native shrub

Lonicera dioica, native vine

Lonicera flava, native vine

Lonicera reticulata/prolifera, native vine.

Lonicera reticulata/prolifera, 'Kintzley's Ghost'

Lonicera sempervirens, native vine

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Bad invasive honeysuckle.

Lonicera x Bella, shrub, eastern Asia

L. morrow x L. tatarica

Lonicera japonica, vine, Eastern Asia

Lonicera maackii, shrub, Asia

Lonicera morrowii, shrub, eastern Asia

Lonicera ruprechtiana, shrub, Asia

Lonicera standishii, shrub, Asia.

Lonicera tatarica, shrub, eastern Asia.

Lonicera x xylosteoides, shrub. Europe.

Lonicera xylosteum, shrub, Europe, European Fly Honeysuckle

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Fighting a loosing battle against the Lonicera japonica here. Jay, not sure you will ever be able to remove the cages around deer favorites. They have been rubbing their antlers on a bunch of my little trees again. Why not use the more mature ones that can handle some bark damage? Speaking of antlers, saw a squirrel trying to drag away one of the ones my dogs have laying out there inside the fence. Looking for some calcium I guess.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Lonicera from my old garden 15 years ago,

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Do people hunt deer near your area Iris? Maybe there are too many to sustain? Wow, we humans have really messed things up with our bright ideas about using non native honeysuckle as landscape problem solvers. And it's all our native wildlife that pays the price. We need to clean the whole mess up. I just found out that chipmunks will eat baby birds and bird eggs. That's a shock. 6 native honeysuckle species to my area and 9 invasive species. Me being a native vine geek, and I'm just about out of space for anymore vines plus a few more vines ordered for spring delivery.🥺🤣

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

A few of my neighbors are hunters. Maybe that’s why the deer hang out in my yard :) It’s incredible how quickly some of these invasive vines are growing. Finally cut down the dead stalks of swamp and ashy sunflowers along the fence. So many new sprouts of wisteria hiding under there. And it’s been years since I started the fight against it in that area. What kind of new vines are you adding this year? There was clematis, right?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I ordered 1 Clematis occidentalis, 1 Clematis viorna, 1 Matelea obliqua, and I sowed seeds for Passiflora lutea. I'm going to rescue the Clematis pitcheri by the canal that is getting mowed to death and I might also get some Clematis pitcheri seeds. I'm very tempted to grow more native honeysuckle too. I like all of them. There is a native honeysuckle vine at the woods, but I haven't been able to ID it yet, because I never have seen it in bloom.



10:08 PM and it's 18 degrees.🥶

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Iris: Mn has a large hunting community and harvests up to 250,000 deer a year. But Sc has more deer per square mile. Who knew?

Per Google:

Mississippi tops the list at almost 40 deer per square mile, but Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan all show an average of more than 30 deer per square mile. Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky all have 23 or more deer per square mile.Oct 23, 2019

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

That Lonicera dioica is nice, on my radar now.


We have areas with over 100 deer per square mile in NJ. They eat most of the native plants. All the farmland, road verges, industrial parks, smaller town parks, and suburbs are off limits to hunters and the deer population grows unchecked. I consistently have groups of 3-5 deer walking around my yard and neighbor's.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The Lonicera dioica is very nice. Wonder why SC is left out in the USDA map.

I don’t know if hunting is legal in our neighborhood. Probably, since we are not in any city limits. The problem has been getting worse over the years. I guess it’s a combination of planting more tasty to them plants and all these subdivisions with tiny, fenced in yards popping up all around.

I still haven’t ordered much for this year. Jay, if your passion vine seeds don’t work out, I can send you some runners of mine. I really hope my Ipomoea is coming back this Spring. Didn’t do much last year. Maybe it was working on the roots. Cold here, at least I think so. It was 24 this morning. Moon was really pretty though.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Forgot one species. This is Lonicera x heckrotii, Goldflame. It is a hybrid of Lonicera x americana x Lonicera sempervirens. Lonicera x anericana is not native, but a cross between Lonicera caprifolium x Lonicera etrusca. Goldflame is not invasive. It's easily mistaken as a native but it isn't.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s pretty though. Hope the weather is not going to turn out too bad for any of you.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I think Jay is shoveling snow today. A lot of snow!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I'm in the 12-21" of snow zone, it's coming down already.

I got some sand to start stratifying seed in the fridge tonight. This is the 3rd technique I'll be using to start seed.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We have already gotten about of foot of snow that is wet and heavy. It's still snowing. The worst one we've had. I'm snowed in. Going to go shovel more now.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Both of you stay safe. Take some pictures, all I got was some really cold rain.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)





All my pots.

Elephantopus



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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It looks so cold! Might be a while until you find your pots again.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, did you bring any of your Lonicera dioica to your new place? It looked really nice. I think you would be ok to grow dioica Iris. I see people in SC growing it. My native nursery here carries it. I think Botanically Inclined sells seeds, but I don't know if they are still not shipping from their place in Canada to the states. I think I did grow the Goldflame long ago, thinking it was 100% native. The native bush, fly honeysuckle L. canadensis is hard to source. I wonder if it grows wild in Minnesota?

Lonicera canadensis,

Peter M. Dziuk

Iris, I sent some pandurata seeds to a friend and he soaked them in water overnight and they germinated under lights.



An Asian Caulophyllum robustum

Raymond Cranfill

Kingfisher

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Viola missouriensis, Adam Black



Viola missouriensis.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

https://sagmoraine.org/

The future is leading me more to northern Illinois.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

this is only the beginning of the snow.

The NPSNJ has a webinar coming up, the topic is challenging the conventional wisdom of forest cover, putting more focus on early succession type habitats. I think the prairie and grassland people are influencing thought throughout the country.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My INPS meeting tomorrow night is about an old land survey of my county from the 1800s, and what it means for today. Yeah the grassland and prairie people really have deep knowledge about a lot of things, like geology and soils, plant communities, succession, ect. I wonder how much snow you'll end up getting. I might shovel a bunch more snow on top of my pots. I still have a few more pots to sow.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

still snowing, should switch to a rain/snow mix in the afternoon

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Jay-i do have four different vining Lonicera on my property, but haven't positively id'd them. Probably dioca. The birds seem to get the seeds pretty fast so I haven't collected any so far. I have removed some non-native types occasionally. I hope they weren't actually natives!

Use that snow as a cover for your pots. It's a feature from nature!

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes, I flipped open my cold frames and covered all the trays with snow, then I played with my kids, when they were done I started shoveling. Then the snow/rain/sleet mix came and everything got a lot heavier and harder. I did half the driveway and the cars, that's enough. I'll call someone tomorrow morning to snow blow the rest.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)












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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The photographs of indigenous Americans were all taken by Edward Curtis.

Edward Curtis 1868-1952

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_S._Curtis

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, did you get more snow? Last night's zoom meeting was very interesting. We mostly discussed a 200 yo land survey for Will County, that was done before everything was sliced up and ruined. I also was recommended a few books. Anthony the botany student recommended Cronquist The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants, Mike recommended A Congenial Fellowship. It's a record of correspondence between botanists Floyd Swink and Charles Clemon Deam. Floyd Catchpole recommended a book by a guy named Herman Silas Pepoon, who explored Northern Illinois flora around 1900. I ordered the first two books, but the book about H.S. Pepoon is not available. While I was browsing I noticed the book Braiding Sweetgrass again, and I ordered that one too lol. Books and native plants are my only weakness. I think my Viola sagittata seeds arrived. There are only so I can't mess these up. How is the weather in South Carolina and Minnesota?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes it's been snowing and mixing all day. There hasn't been a lot more accumulation, maybe another 2" last night's but everything got wetter and denser. I ended up shoveling out the rest of the driveway and sidewalk. It was hard




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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Great job, Skip! That does look like a lot of work. My daughter got about 18 inches of snow (Long Island). Existing for a South Carolina girl. Here it’s just cold and really windy. Would be a great time to browse some plant catalogs and order some for Spring, but I still don’t even know what I should be looking for. I did a search for the Lonicera dioica, but no results.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yes it's a good time to order, I made a list of things to get in the spring when the nurseries start accepting orders again. I almost ordered some more seeds from toadshade but held back, I think I have enough in the works. Maybe try some grasses and sedges?

Jay, books and plants, there could be worse things to splurge on. After The Tangled Tree by Quammen I don't think I can handle any more info on plant evolution and classification for a while. You got Viola sagittata? I thought you ordered some different species

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Oh wow. I must have lost all my senses the night that I ordered the 10 Viola sagittata seeds. I just checked and they are coming from Ukraine and it looks like they haven't even been shipped yet.😞😰😂

I need a back up plan .

Maybe I should cancel.🤔🤣

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Now why would they come all the way from the Ukraine? It’s ridiculous how hard to find some plants are. I did get a new book for Christmas, but it’s an easy one :) I do have a lot of the plants in there, others I don’t have the right places yet (like things that would grow in the woods)


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I am tempted to order 1 more packet of seeds. I really like our Illinois native, the highly endangered Lakeside Daisy, Tetraneuris herbacea. I was thinking it was the sole member of that genus, but when I looked up Tetraneuris on bonap there are about 9 species. I think there are a couple other Tetraneuris species that I could grow here. They sell seeds for another species Tetraneuris acaulis, and it looks almost identical to the herbacea. I wouldn't mind growing them. They would need a spot where they get a lot of sun exposure, planted next to similar natives of same height. Anyway, I can practice growing the Tetraneuris acaulis so I'm better prepared to grow the Tetraneuris herbacea at some point. I still want to try to work with Plants of Concern, to go out and monitor endangered plant populations in the state.

Tetraneuris acaulis


https://www.treehugger.com/these-special-bees-craft-nests-flower-petals-4854056


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That looks like a nice book Iris. I'd buy it, but I can't justify it since I don't live in the Southeast lol, although I should lol. I think I'll cancel that seed order. I know where thousands of them grow, and I'm sure I'll find a few that need to be rescued from the plow. Who knows when I would finally get the seeds from Ukraine. It could be a year. I need to be more careful. I'll go back and collect sagittata seeds for you too Skip.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

What kind of conditions does the Tetraneuris need? It looks pretty barren in that picture. I still want to do the monarch and bee monitoring.

Well, I ordered from Toadshade. Really wanted Carex squarrosa, also got Carex intumescens and Pilea pumila. I have 10 50-cell trays I'm commiting to planting deer resistant stuff around the outside-the-fence area that's full of invasives between my house and the neighbors. He has Lamium galiobdolon on his side and it also fills up with garlic mustard, japanese honeysuckle, cleavers, and japanese stiltgrass. I think I will plant Elymus villosus, Carex intumescens, Pilea pumila, Scrophularia marilandica, Agastache nepetoides, as well as the spice bush I'm already growing, and Cornus ammomum and Cryptotaenia canadensis I already sowed. There is some Cinna arundinacea and Ageratina altissima growing in there already too which isn't bad.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha well. I was looking at the striped maple for example, but I don’t really have a rich woodland. Would be a nice looking tree though. Florida hobble bush sounds like something I would like to plant for privacy, but it would not have part shade and moist where I would need it. Nice to at least see some new to me plants in a book. Saw in the news that all of the US states are going to see freezing temperatures. Can’t say I am happy with the groundhog predicting six more weeks of winter.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

https://plantcaretoday.com/tetraneuris-acaulis.html

Possibility Place Nursery has Lonicera dioica, and they ship.

https://www.possibilityplace.com/our-plants/lonicera-dioica

I like those 2 Carex species. They look cool. I glad you found Pilea seeds.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Butterfly eggs on a raspberry plant.


Hehe, LOL. I am one sick puppy🤣

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Heh. Hey Jay, how did you start your Pilea pumila? Did you seed the ground or plant a live plant?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I think I started out by collecting a few plants in 2019 and from those few plants I got enough seeds to scatter in a couple places, and then last year there were hundreds of them carpeting the areas where I scattered them. They aren't endangered, and I collected the plants from paths where they would have gotten trampled. I had tried scattering seeds from Prairie Moon a couple times in 2017 and 2018, but nothing germinated. I think the spots where I sowed those seeds had too much other competition. They should germinate easy if you so them on bare ground, but you can grow a few in pots, just in case, as a backup.

Pilea insolens, Asia

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Iris, do you grow anything in the Ericaceae family ie. blueberry, huckleberry, mountain laurel, rhododendron, bearberry, etc? I was looking up black huckleberry and came across an unusual suggestion to pair with it on the Mt Cuba website: Galax urceolata. Have you ever seen this one?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I remember people up here growing Pieris japonica, and I thought for a long time that all Pieris were non native shrubs from Asia, but there are a couple NATIVE Pieris species in the deep south. Ericaceae they are.

Pieris phyllyreifolia

Pieris phyllyreifolia

Range of Pieris pyllyreifolia

Pieris floribunda. looks very floriferous

Pieris floribunda. It doesn't like South Carolina for some reason, but really, it should grow there no problem right?😬

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I love the Galax, but it's not native here, but it is in Kentucky.😏 The Gaylusscia baccata grows in my county, but it's rare. I naturalist changed the maps, and it's hard to get a clear idea of where these plants were observed. They list the GPS coordinates and they have directions so even though I'm not sure where the plant was observed, I can just hop in the car and follow the directions to it. I like this. I just found out about a new Smilax species called Smilax illinoensis. I'm not familiar with it, but I want to grow it.

Smilax illinoensis Peter M. Dziuk

Smilax illinoensis Katy Chayka

Smilax illinoensis

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Deliberately growing Clear Leaf? When it just shows up all on its own? Why, why, why?

Jay, etal, I can collect seed from L dioica this year if you will be patient. I will need to coer the seed heads after blossom in order to preserve them. Otherwise birds(I think it's grouse) grab them. I can't seem to get many of the other berries either. But I'm not complaining as the birds are worth it. I even shoot stray cats!

Iris-you can grow Florida Dogwood in your zone. I always wanted one when I lived in Seattle area. And palms and Rhodies too.

Jay-if I've seen one Smilax I've seen them all!

Taken last year growing on Dogwood. Is it also L dioica?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip doesn't have any clearweed growing nearby. He has to bring it in. Not so bad an idea considering the invasive stilt grass and other thugs he's trying to get rid of.. The clearweed can prevent non native weeds from starting. It forms a nice impenetrable carpet. I think it's quite beautiful myself and a Red Admiral host plant. A really good native honeysuckle for birds is Lonicera reticulata/prolifera. It gets loaded with fruits that don't taste bad either. I've scattered tons of it's seeds around, but no signs of seedlings anywhere. I could try rooting cuttings in spring. When and how long did you live in Seattle Dandy? I took a vacation there in the 90's. What were you growing out there?

Lonicera reticulata/prolifera

Peter M. Dziuk

also called Grape Honeysuckle

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I don't understand why it's so hard for people to embrace native plants. Just the fact that everyone should be growing them because of all the degradation caused by non natives and non native invasives, should be more than enough reason. Yet people here on this sight can only grow a few natives, maybe to ease their conscience, but they have to keep on buying and growing exotic species like they are trying to impress others and they are addicted or something. There are all these non native invasive taking away what our wildlife needs to live on, but add to that all the non native plants that aren't necessarily invasive, but that just take up so much space that could have endemic natives growing there instead. I'm so sick of these gw people trying to justify their new non natives by assuring everyone they aren't invasive. Thoughts?😆

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

We are getting hit with another huge snow storm. It's a triple whammy.😵🤣

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Skip, I am growing all kinds of blueberries. My eliottii are finally taking off. I also have Farkleberry. I guess this is called huckleberry by some. Almost Eden calls the eliottii a huckleberry. Confusing. I have not seen the Galax urceolata, so I looked it up. Very pretty. It said delicate groundcover, browsed by deer. No wonder I have not seen it :)

Jay, the Pieris floribunda also looks very nice. Quick shopping search just shows me some seeds and Japonica. Need to look further.

Dandy, I did have a dogwood a long time ago, but it didn’t last long. I was going to replace it at that time, but I think reading about the fungal and mildew issues scared me off. Should look again what this was about, I do have some more suitable spots with afternoon shade by now.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Jay, sorry about your weather. Looks like a lot of the US is in for some more cold coming up.

Ok, here are my thoughts. Apologies in advance for the grammar, commas and so on. German/ English get jumbled when I am trying to write while I am thinking.

The permanent things (trees and shrubs) I have planted in the past ten years or so are native. But unless it’s invasive stuff, I am not going to take down the ones that were there before. Like the Azaleas and Camilla in front of the house. I did kill all this boxwoods, but I really didn’t like them. And what’s up with having them right at the foundation growing huge even with constant pruning?

Perennials. My mother in law loves roses and cannas. So years ago, that’s what she gave me as presents. I killed most of the roses (not on purpose). And was going to get rid of the cannas, but left some since the canna leafrollers discovered them. Otherwise they would be gone, just a Japanese Beetle magnet. She did give up and just gets a bouquet now :) I do love my Iris and daffodils. Not going to get rid of them. I am also not loosing any sleep at night if I am buying a cultivar like the Monarda Claire Grace. My “native” is also wider in the boundaries as all of yours I guess. I have Texas plants. As for annuals, I am not planning on stopping to plant some Zinnias unless I find something native that works as well in blooming time and attracting the pollinators.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think tradition is a huge part of non-native plant sales. Not only picking the plants your parents and grandparents grew but also valuing the same things in plants that they did. Using plants as decorations and expecting them to remains static like statues, and judging their characteristics as objects instead of as the living organisms they are and the relationships they have with the rest of the world. Valuing our own sentimentality, aesthetic tastes, and/or need for convenience over other considerations.

The horticulture and landscape industries have to make money to continue existing, and they need to produce profitable products that are easy for non-gardeners to grow, and are easy and quick to produce, install and manage. Why would a greenhouse commit 7 years to growing trilliums from seed when they could produce perhaps 49 to 100+ crops of some other species in the same time? Why would a landscape company invest time and resources into training their staff to garden and design when they could make more money running lawn mowers, applying petrochemicals, mulching, and installing hardscapes? They need to feed into expectations that consumers hold about what they will use their space for and how it should be, ie. Low maintenance, bug free, clean, organized, predictable, and superficially pleasing to look at. An idyllic place to throw a party and play ball. Thats not what the outdoors is or has ever been though, so you have a mismatch in expectations there. You have to wonder where these expectation come from, is it the disconnect from habitats and wildlife that we face in urban and suburban environments? Is it not seeing first hand how people used to live and interact with the land? Is it the product of advertising and media? Is it just that the American lawn and landscape has been the unthinking experience of many generations of people at this point and too many people are invested in the status quo for any rapid changes to happen? Maybe on the timeline of another decade or two natives and the ecosystem services they provide will start to come to the forefront of landscape design considerations.

The obscure exotic plant stuff, I don't know what that is about, maybe it ties into ego, status, or collector-ism. Some of which I can relate to, but I can channel bad tendencies into choices that benefit many other species as well. I think it is probably a small enough subset of people that the impact is quite low anyway.

There are likely countless other reasons individuals buy non-native plants and we shouldn't get all preachy about it and presume to know the whole story of what motivates each person. I would love to go around tearing people's barberry out and cutting down their Norway maples, but it's just not a realistic or productive way to approach the situation.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I wasn't signaling you out Iris. I had no idea you were growing so many non natives.😲😳🤣 At least you aren't on other forums convincing others to grow non natives and extolling their virtues lol. It's funny because when you wanted to find things that can bloom now, I kept thinking Camellias, but I know they aren't native. You have so much space filled with natives it makes up for the few plants that aren't. And you do care about the wildlife. Me, I grow about 6 non native species, and all but 1 are medicinal. Angelica keiskei, Codonopsis pilosula. Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Astragalus propitious, Artemisia princeps, and an ornamental Allium. I planted the Allium years ago, and they spread.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I haven’t even added any Iris or daffodil in years. The Camellias are also in terrible spots. The builder put them right at the foundation to the left and right of the porch. So by now we have them kind of pruned in a tree shape. Skip is on to something with the what we are used to. I grew up with marigolds planted in neat rows like soldiers. Didn’t know much about gardening when we came here. We didn’t have any nurseries close by. Even now it’s Lowe’s and Home Depot. One nursery half an hour away has about two shelves that are labeled native. So unless you are looking as a new homeowner, how are you supposed to know? With two little kids, I happily watered the Bradford Pears until I got into books for gardening for birds and pollinators. It’s not that the internet was up to it then. Or at times now in our area (even though they promise). So yes, I am trying. And I am trying to be patient trying to convince others. Even if I want to hit them over the head with a privet branch :)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah, back not too long ago, there wasn't a lot of information about the benefits of growing natives out there like there is now. An older lady, a retired school teacher taught me about some native wildflowers and ephemerals when I was 5 or 6. That's where my love for them started. I've grown a lot of non natives between then and now. They just don't appeal to me anymore, and I find them all unattractive, but I'm biased because they aren't native. In our yard when I was a kid we had a Chinese elm, dark red maple, a privet hedge, 2 lilacs, 1 mock orange, peonies, a yellow rose bush, Phlox paniculata, and then my few wildflowers, Jack in the pulpit, Trillium, Just those 2 species I think. I always wanted to have all the same native wildflowers as Mrs. Smith, and now I've went way, way past that goal. She had a couple beautiful gardens. When they moved the next owners planted lawn in those spaces, and it was sad to see. She also taught me how to raise caterpillars. I have a boxwood and 3 Japanese yews in my front yard. I need a solution for them. The yews are screening me from the neighbors. I so wish I'd planted native shrubs there instead. I need a screen there, otherwise my neighbors will be in my face.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

When we think of Lobelia usually cardinalis and siphilitica come to mind, but there are 47 species of native Lobelia. This one grows only in Florida.

Lobelia feayana

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)










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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'd love to volunteer for this work at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

https://www.facebook.com/1155270020/posts/10225093638385512/

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I just ordered 3 packets of seeds. Asclepias stenophylla, Tetraneuris acaulis, and Silene nivea. The Silene is becoming rare. On the bonap map it looks like my county has Silene nivea, but there are no I nat observations from my county. The only surrounding county with observations is Cook County the next county north of me. I think I'm done now. 😬

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

You can search for observations and plant collections here too: https://midwestherbaria.org/

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I added it to my home screen, thanks!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, Jay. Are you sure you are done? Seems you always find a plant or two more. How did your weather turn out?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's a balmy 16 degrees. It's really hard walking through the 3 ft drifting snow. We're supposed to get more snow tomorrow. Yes I'm finished ordering seeds, and I mean it this time.🤥🤣 I have friends that are doing restoration, so I can give them my leftover natives to use.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yikes. It was gloomy here, but warm enough to pull some weeds. I might get an inch of snow tomorrow night, but the weather people are changing their minds every couple of hours. Lots of birds in the trees.

mosses and weeds along the driveway.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That is a lot of birds. Your 'lawn' looks really natural with those mosses, I love it. It must be fun having new plants popping up all the time.👀👁😆

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s probably a good thing I don’t know what most of the things in my lawn are. I will need to scroll around this thread and the one before to write down what plants I wanted for this Spring. Didn’t find any Pieris floribunda plant for sale yet.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

White Campion native and introduced.

Silene stellata, Starry Campion, native

Silene stellata range

Silene nivea, Snowy Campion, native

Silene nivea range


Silene vulgaris, Bladder Campion, non native

Silene vulgaris range

Silene latifolia subsp. alba, White Campion, non native

Silene latifolia subsp alba, White Campion, non native

Silene latifolia, it can have pink flowers, but rarely.

Silene latifolia range.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Silene stenophylla, Narrow Leaved Campion. This Silene isn't native, and doesn't occur in NA. It's interesting because it was grown from frozen seeds that were 32,000 years old. This species still has been existing in the wild all this time, so it was never actually extinct.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/2/120221-oldest-seeds-regenerated-plants-science/


Silene caroliniana, Sticky Catchfly, Wild Pink, native

Silene caroliniana range. I started growing 1 plant last year even though it's not technically native here.😬

Silene virginica, Fire Pink, native

Silene virginica range

Silene regia, Royal Catchfly, native

Silene regia range

Silene antirrhina, Sleepy Catchfly, native. Silene antirrhina occurs in every state of NA, and into Canada. I love it's simplicity. Almost sedge-like.

Silene ovata, Fringed Campion, native.

Silene ovata range. Another Silene worth growing. 🤩

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


No rhinos were killed in Kenya in 2020. They are now going to give poachers the death penalty.

Woodcock, very rare sight these days.








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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Tetraneuris acaulis, Angelita Daisy, Stemless four-nerve daisy. Stemless? Looks like it has stems to me.

Tetraneuris herbacea, Lakeside Daisy for comparison

Asclepias stenophylla, slim-leaf, Narrow leaved milkweed.

Asclepias engelmannii, Engelmann's milkweed. Another similar narrow leaved milkweed for comparison. I'm trying to grow this species too, but I like the stenophylla better.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I do have a patch of the Silene stellata. They are a bit on the floppy side though. No exotic looking creatures in my yard. Just the usual suspects :)


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

They look so at home there in your little wildlife sanctuary. Sorry for so many photos, but I was bored and couldn't sleep lol. I few weeks ago, I saw a deer on my street. I'm wondering if they will be leaving the preserve for my street more often, once I have more natives growing in the front yard. My Silene stellata always flop too, and get a little ratty looking after they bloom. I moved them into more shade, and they also went into slight transplant shock I think. I want a couple nice clumps eventually.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


"I smell good food and females down yonder by Iris's place."

"Me too."

"Let's go check it out boys."🤣

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha, Jay! The males must be around since a lot of bark is stripped from my little trees. There are so many different kind of bees. I wish I would be better at telling them all apart. One of my favorites is the blueberry bee. Such little fuzz balls.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I can't tell the different between the mostly yellow bees at all. I'm going to have to dig into that topic next.

I sowed a 50-cell tray with Silene stellata, going to mix them in with grasses and other plants so they have something to support them. I started drawing my space on grid paper, 400 grass and sedge plugs with any luck.

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javiwa

Hellllp! ;) Hi, everyone. I won't disgust you with how mild our weather has been. Downside, of course, is all the plants are faked out and starting to bud out (blossoms and leaves). Naturally, we're due for some wicked sub-freezing towards the end of next week. Time to drag the blankets and sheets back out.


In the meantime, can anyone tell me what these might be? It's in an area of the yard where I haven't planted anything new: definitely not a shrimp plant or Turk's Cap, which are the closest.






Each stands ~ 4" tall, with the largest leaf measuring ~ 3". The Seek app on my phone was zero help: it came up with 'daisy'. I uploaded into Google Images, and it came up with: stem. :D

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Javi, someone said they are a Ruellia species. There are about 15 native to Texas. Did you plant Ruellia seeds?

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javiwa

Thanks, Jay! Ruellia (aka Mexican petunia) is quite common here, and my next door neighbor did indeed have two stands of Ruellia that stood over 6' tall (I could see the pretty flowers over the fence -- hummingbirds loved them -- but they're ~ 40' from where these sprouts are. Seeds must have blown over on one of our very windy days. Last year, said neighbor chopped them way back as they blocked the view out her windows. Ruellia is a very aggressive grower out here, so out they come! (I'll dig very deep.)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Maybe you can peek at the neighbors plants and compare. Too bad they aren't native Ruellia. Pete the identifier is pretty good, and is rarely wrong. My google lens app was giving me suggestions that I knew weren't correct. The seeds are tiny, and could fly in the wind. I'm thinking maybe Buckeyes use them for host plants. I think that Species is Ruellia simplex/mexicana?

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javiwa

Jay, Iris and I were having a side conversation, and she also mentioned Buckeyes host on ruellia. I had no idea! I think what I'll do is carefully dig, then pot them up and see where life leads me. We did experience an uptick in Buckeye sightings last year (3-4 as opposed to zero!). Given the ruellia stands next door were there for at least 10-12 years, I wonder that I didn't see more Buckeyes during that time. I really don't know what variety they have.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That sounds like a good idea javi. A lot of people in the south do grow the Mexican species. I let some Plantago major and lanceolata grow for the Buckeyes here, but haven't seen any around. I think they eat Verbena species too.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, I joined a group called Native Habitat Managers. They restore habitats and try to work with land owners who are hunters. They show the hunters how by planting natives it will help the environment and increase the numbers of game. And just other people doing restoration on the own land because it's the right thing to do. I don't like I have a whole lot to contribute though, because I don't have a nice big piece of land. I got this book for cheap, because it was used in classrooms, so now there are a lot of used ones in circulation. Recommended by Weakley.

I'm done with the books for now.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Can you identify plant anatomy now with that new book? I went through all the species for my new planting area to characterize the growth season, height, and type of roots. This is useful to make sure every "niche" is filled above and below ground, so you don't get a bunch of weeds getting into open spots. The only thing I couldn't find described in text was Chasmanthium laxum, so I was looking at herbaria pictures. It looks like it has short rhizomes with small fibrous roots. what do you think?

https://midatlanticherbaria.org/portal/collections/individual/index.php?occid=22806716&clid=0

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I checked, the Chasmanthium laxum is rhyzomatous and looks that way to me in the specimen. It will spread. It's not native in Illinois, so it's probably not mentioned in my flora. I just ordered Gray's manual last night, and yeah I think it should give instruction and show a lot about plant anatomy, which I need. The Cronquist book is more about classification and how plant families evolved. So, I'm still waiting for the book explaining Latin names and Gray's manual. I got a message that my Viola sagittata seeds were delivered, but they weren't. When I checked tracking it said they were tendered to an agent in New York yesterday, so some kind of error happened. The seller said to give it a week and see what happens. My phone said minus 6 when I woke up. I'm seriously thinking about buying snowshoes. It's too hard trying to hike without them because of this hard snow. A couple guys around here who do restoration use snow shoes.

3 books that came in.

Lilliopsida? Say what? 😆 I have so much respect for people who store all this knowledge in their heads.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/224100792703827/permalink/225193355927904/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha Jay, with this kind of temperature I wouldn’t need snowshoes since I wouldn’t take a step outside :) Snow missed me by about 20 miles last night. Just got some really cold rain. Guess Skip did get some more snow.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, it was 6 below zero when I woke up this morning, and it's now 3 above zero. We're supposed to get more snow within the next 36 hours. I think I'll start throwing a tarp over the bird seed so the snow doesn't keep burying it. I'm just seeing juncos and mourning doves, but they were eating a lot today.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am hardly seeing any Juncos at all this Winter. I guess they decided to stay at your place. Glad you are giving them some food. Must be rough for them to find any water that’s not frozen. Lots of cardinals around here. Guess it’s too cold to start being territorial yet.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I haven't seen any cardinals yet. Will the birds eat snow if there is no water?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)





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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I really don’t know. My goldfish ponds are three ponds connected, so there is running water that is not freezing. Seeing the birds and squirrels there on cold days. I don’t have any heated bird baths, so if they are still frozen by mid morning, I usually take out a bucket of warm water. Beats me why the birds would be splashing about in this weather. Makes me cold just to look at them.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

How is the weather up there, Jay? Looking at the news, it looks like your seeds are certainly getting enough cold stratification.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I swear I made this posting this morning, but then I'm noit a morning person so maybe not. Here it is again.

At 8 AM Monday. It's beginning to work its way south.

24 degrees below zero here today and lasting all week long.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yikes. I wouldn’t be able to function in this cold. Even to stick my nose out the door long enough to go to the mailbox. It’s amazing how things survive. Are there still some sort of berries left for the turkeys you had around?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

It's a little cold and a little snowy here, not like Minnisota or even Illinois.

More snow on the way later this week. I'm wondering if it'll be one of those years where snow drags on into April.

I started reading the book Sowing Beauty, looking for more info on growing from seed direct on the ground. The author works with some non-native stuff but hopefully I can get some useful info out of it.


Also, check this site out and the corresponding youtube channel https://www.gardenmasterclass.org/ I saw a landscape architect post this on Instagram, the masterclass today was about grasses vs. forbs in a designed meadow which led me to the guy's book. I didnt see the live masterclass though, think it will be posted later this week.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm not a morning person either. I just attended a zoom seminar about sedges. I should have mentioned it but I forgot. It was some woman from the wild ones. It snowed all day today, and it's very cold. It's kind of weird that the spring ephemerals are already blooming in Texas, Alabama, and Florida, when we are still a couple months behind up here.

Spring Beauties in Texas, the one flower has extra petals.

Trillium undulatum in Alabama

Trout Lily in Florida.

Does anybody see this by their feeders? In Wisconsin.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skip, is the garden master class about native plants? I didn't see anything about natives , but they mentioned victorian which makes me wonder. When I think of Victorian it means gardening with a lot of exotic species.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah, after I posted that link, I looked a little closer and realized it was british. The one guy talks about creating semi-stable plant communities and growing from seed mixes based on the characteristics of each plant, which can be applied to plants from any origin.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Hibscus, from my former garden farther south. I'm one zone too cold for them here.


A comment from Flo on NTP where she said Britain has only about 1600 native plant species. That really floored me. I have a bout 10% of that total in my yard.


The climate here in Mn can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Below about 0f, it's necessary to breath through the nose so that the air is warmed before getting to the lungs. Face masks and heavy wool gloves for protection. My finger tips all frost bit when I was a kid so they freeze rapidly on me. Blame it on a stupid paper route I had back then. Feet need to be insulated from ground. Running shoes are good for 30 below zero. A lot of people have to work outside in winter, so it isn't like you die out there.

But, there's plenty of good fishing through the ice and on some bigger lakes there are fairly large communities of ice houses set up for a few months every year. And snowmobiles are now traveling up and down my river.

Skip-I didn't know you could have snow into April. Keep those pots snow covered as long as possible as it helps maintain a constant temp.



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Dandy, I'll see if I still have Hibiscus laevis seeds I can send you. They are hardier than Hibiscus mosheutos. We have gotten blizzards in April here before.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

We don't have consistent snow cover ever, but do get late snow storms. We had a couple a few years ago in early April.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have hibiscus that’s looking like this. Maybe a bit paler pink. I also have one that came up by the brush pile that hopefully is the native swamp mallow.

It was really nice to be pulling weeds in 63 degrees today. The weather is not going to stay that way though, Friday will be back to a high of 44. Frogs were calling and honey bee looking at the weeds in the lawn.

Also, what did this? Squirrel wanting to be a beaver?


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Man, if I lived in the south I sure would be growing this

Coral bean, Erythrina herbacea

or this


Spurred butterfly pea, Centrosema virginianum

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

https://illinoisbotanizer.com/plants/clitoria-mariana/

You can grow the similar, but hardier, Clitoria mariana. The Erythrina has psychoactive seeds.


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I will need to look these up. They all look beautiful! Another day of nice weather to work outside. I know it’s not native, but my paper bush is starting to bloom. It should at least get some points for funkiness. It’s the shrub I had on name that plant about two years ago, since it was definetly not what I ordered. Took me a few years to actually ask. Didn’t grow much since then.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, to me that little Hibiscus looks like Veronica hederifolia. There's another plant mixed in there with larger leaves that could be a Hibiscus or Geranium. I think the little flowers are Veronica. I have to look up paper bush.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I would need something like the paper bush in native. The flower buds have been on there all Winter and didn’t even freeze/ fall off after 14 degrees. Is there such a thing? My books suggested willows, but they don’t do anything until March in my yard.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I read that Edgeworthia might need winter protection in zone 7, so it's ok in your zone 8.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It’s been fine for the past 9 years or so. Not of the invasive kind, so I left it alone after finding out what it is. And I do enjoy the fragrance. Weather looks pretty miserable for the next week or so. Time to look up and order some plants. More worried about Javi’s weather in Texas though.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's so cold here I can't even move. It's like Antarctica haha can you explain the picture with the hairy little lavender flowers?🤣

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

It was just about the bee making do with the weeds in the lawn. Since they are about all that is blooming out there. The reason for trying to find anything native I could plant for these warm days when the critters come out. Feeling sorry for them. Just how cold is it up there? Got this Arctic blast that is making its way down here?


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's 16 above here. Don't you have any native Hibiscus? I'm growing laevis. It would do well down there. They like to grow by the edges of ponds. Was that a honeybee?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I have a Texas Star. I have some that look very similar to Dandy’s picture. And I have the one that showed up by my brush pile by itself years ago. It’s a gangly 8 feet, but blooming even though it’s in total shade. Hoping it’s the native swamp one. Only picture of a bloom I found from last Summer in a hurry.

it’s deciduous, but it does grow the leaves back on the old stems. The one that looks like Dandy’s is growing back from the ground each year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Iris, are the leaves on that hibiscus tear shaped or dissected?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

On this white one? Dissected I would say. I did take a cutting and put it in more sun. The blooms and leaves look a bit different than the mother plant. But here is the little one.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Looks like Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon.

This is Swamp Mallow, Hibiscus moscheutos. See how the leaves are bigger, flatter, and more velvety. Syriacus flowers can be several different colors. It seems like when syriacus get old, they fall apart and die a slow death, and look ratty, and you will have seedlings everywhere. 😩😂

Hibiscus laevis, Halberd-leaved Rose Mallow. I have seeds if anyone wants some. Definitely my favorite. I think I grew the swamp Mallow once, several years ago.

Hibiscus aculeatus, Comfort Root, Pineland Hibiscus. This is also native to the south and South Carolina. This is native, but resembles Okra and Abelmoschus manihot with it's dissected leaves and pale yellow flowers

Hibiscus aculeatus, these are the dissected leaves of Hibiscus aculeatus. Hibiscus coccinea, Texas Star has palmately divided leaves.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Hibiscus coccineus, Texas star. Leaves are palmately divided.

Hibiscus laevis, Halberd Leaf Hibiscus. Leaves have 3 lobes .

Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon, from Syria. Leaves have 3 lobes.

Hibiscus aculeatus, Comfort Root, Pineland Hibiscus, Leaves are dissected. In Illinois and Minnesota we can only grow laevis and moscheutos. All 4 species here are native to South Carolina. Texas and Florida have more species only they can grow. Moscheutos is the only species native to New Jersey, according to bonap, but it might be possible to grow laevis there too.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Does the swamp mallow come in a bit of a pink tone? The leaves look like the one I have in front of the house. Or at least very similar. Need to wait until it comes back. This one always has a bad time with sawfly larvae. On the bright side, the bluebirds have a box right around the corner. Always looks like they are raising their young on mostly these critters.

Rainy here today with some thunder, so doing some indoor gardening. Cleaning up the houseplants a bit.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, the blooms can also be pink or red.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I know people who grow swamp rose mallow, but it always seemed like a pond edge or wetland edge plant to me. It might do alright once established and the roots get down deep, maybe in the future I'll look into it. I'm thinking again about how I am going to rearrange stuff I already planted, maybe moving the blueberries so I can more effectively use a full sun area.

I signed up for the county park trail maintenance training on the day before my birthday, and to garden a county park that has no infrastructure other than trails so that will be interesting. I can start brainwashing them into only planting natives and remove the invasives and non-natives.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

The park maintenance sounds fun Skip. They aren't people who are running it? I grew the swamp Hibiscus several years ago, but I somehow killed it after it bloomed 1 time. It was pretty. I also grew the non native Lord Baltimore dinner plate Hibiscus. I had that plant for a few years. It would always flop because the flowers were so heavy. It's roots were deep, and it was work digging it out. Now I'm growing the Hibiscus laevis and Iliamba remote, Kankakee Mallow. I'm finally getting around to sowing the milk jugs.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

The park maintenance does sound interesting. Ha, wish I had some of your energy. Seems you have so much going on in your yard. More than enough to wear me out just reading about it.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Yeah there are professional maintenance crews that do the landscape management around the buildings, fields, parking lots, and campgrounds, but there are actually quite a few parks in my county, more than they can handle especially trails and wilderness areas. There are a few NGOs that conserve land then pass it on to the state, county, or towns, and their strategy is to just buy up as much land as possible to conserve it and then worry about maintaining it later. I agree with that because once it's built and paved over you cant go back, but at least these preserved places can be cleaned up later. I'm also doing it so I can meet the people and learn more about what their goals are, if they are just going to let the invasives like Chinese bush clover run wild for "game" food plot type reasons or if they're into preserving native biodiversity.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Based loosely on the plants you have been posting about, I am starting to add to my carts. Jay, coral bean is ordered :) Chrysopsis graminifolia, too. This is the loosely based coming in from some of Jay’s cheery yellow blooming plants.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I'm sowing seeds of Chrysopsis villosa. I'm not sure I ever knew about graminifolia. They don't list that species on bonap. So it's my 1st time trying to grow Chrysopsis. I planted seedlings of Grindelia lanceolata. They never bloomed, but I thought they were annuals, but they are perennial, so I hope they come back and bloom. Do you think your pandurata plant will return?

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I guess the Chrysopsis graminifolia is more for my parts.

I really hope my pandurata is coming back. After all this trouble I went trough to get one single plant. Not sure though. It didn’t do much last year.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

So, the reason I don't see it on bonap is because they listed it as Pityopsis graminifolia. I think it was also called Heterotheca at one time, so, very confusing. I don't know the story behind the name changes.

The range is bigger on this bonap map. I think bonap gives a lot of species bigger ranges than the plants actually occur in.

I ordered seeds of Chrysopsis villosa, but on bonap it's listed under Heterotheca villosa.

Skip, that's great that you can help out with some restoration. You could convince people that it's in their best interest to plant lots of diverse natives. Wish I can find something like that.

Floyd Swink is a legendary botanist. I found an old video of him doing a prairie walk. What's interesting is he pronounces a lot of the Latin names the same way I do. I would love to meet Floyd's understudy back then, Geould Wilhelm who coauthored the new huge flora Plants of the Chicago Region with Laura Rericha.


https://youtu.be/Va9yFRfZHIM



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

With the seeds you just ordered, are these still for winter sowing or what you will start inside? It was cold and drizzly again today. Rain and cold in the forecast until next Friday. Wish it wouldn’t be too early to start some annuals inside. Guess by the beginning of March. Lots of Robins again today. Guess the rain brings up the worms.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yeah these late arriving seeds are mostly going in milk jugs, and then going outside. I already have too many species that I want to start inside. There is a decent amount of Tetraneuris acaulis seeds, so I think I'll winter sow some, and start some inside. I'm going to have to make tending all these plants my main priority in spring then I'd like to monitor endangered plants with Plants of Concern and if there is any spare time left maybe help manage restorations, but I'm restoring my yard 1st, and doubt I'll have much free time. Also lots of new places to explore.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

I think the post office lost my most recent seed order (for like 5th time). The mailman better have a nice native garden going by this point. I can track it but it says "alert awaiting delivery scan" for the last 2 days. Come on now

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Skop. what seeds were they? I got an email asking me to rate the Viola sagittata seeds, which I still haven't gotten. Do they think we can rate seeds before we even have a chance to see if they are viable? I don't have to winter sow the Tetraneuris acaulis. They don't need any treatment. Prairie Moon is giving freebies of Dalea purpurea now with about only ten seeds per packet. I winter sowed 2 freebee packets in 1 container. So Skip did you get the other seeds that the post office messed up, or are they the same seeds? They say, in order to sow the Comandra umbellata seeds, I should cut a slit in the stem of a host plant and insert the seeds. That's kind of difficult, because everything is covered in snow. I'm wondering if I can sow the seeds mixed in with a host grasses seeds and get the same result? The Comandra seedling roots would be close enough to the host grass roots to maybe attach? I wish I knew someone who has grown Comandra umbellata from seed.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

It was the Carex squarrosa, Carex intumescens, Agastache nepetoides, and Pilea pumila. I never get anything the post office fails to deliver on time, they dump it somewhere I presume.

Maybe you can artificially stratify the Comandra seeds then plant them on a grass when the snow melts and it warms up?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Did they say the seeds were delivered? If I don't get my sagittata seeds by Monday, I'll have to contact the seller again in Ukraine lol. Pretty sure they only sent 10 Comandra seeds so maybe I'll try doing them both ways. At least it's a perennial. It's been snowing and it's 5 degrees. There's a very knowledgeable botanist north of me in Villa Park who specializes in Carex, and has written a couple books on them. I ordered 1 book.


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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The tracking status has said "out for delivery" since Thursday morning. It arrived at the local post office on Wednesday. I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can go rip out some japanese honey suckle. It's currently doing freezing rain, the ground and everything else is covered in a solid layer of slippery ice.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's 1 degree and a wind chill of minus 35 tonight. I put 8 milk jugs outside, and buried them in snow. Could hardly breath it was so cold. I found out that palm sedge does well in dry soil. It can get out of hand in a garden, but might make a good lawn grass replacement. I might have eradicated all mine, but their might be a couple babies. It grows new plants where the seed heads touch the ground. I wonder how many other sedges do that?

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The real idiotic thing is I think Carex intumescens already grows in my yard, but I wanted to propagate more of it sooner. I think I have Carex grisea too (which I ordered months ago), but both are a little tricky to harvest seed off, and digging it up to divide is just an invitation for stilt grass invasion. The palm sedge you sent hasn't expanded much at all. It's not native here so maybe not as aggressive.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I thought the postal service caught up after the holiday rush. Took a package to Long Island 10 days (priority mail) 10 days before Christmas, but the 3 of them since January arrived in two. Even a day earlier than estimated. Waiting for one order of seeds that was mailed from Florida 8 days ago though. Jay, need to look up your plant with the weird seed starting requirement. How does that even work in nature? Guess it must work somehow with plants like mistletoe needing a host. Very interesting. Be careful out there in the cold. It got up to 37 degrees here today, but rainy. Much more to come.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Here's some info about Comandra. There's another hemiparasitic plant that's related to it and it grows further south in South Carolina, named Pyrularia pubera.

Comandra umbellata

Comandra umbellata

range of Comandra umbellata

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

Pyrularia pubera

Pyrularia pubera

range of Pyrularia pubera

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PYPU

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Really cool! My elevation would work (866 per Google), but I guess it doesn’t like clay. Always fascinated by these kinds of plants.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

My fb friend Steven Hill has a cottage in Mountain Rest SC., and the Buffalo Nut is growing on his property. He said it almost impossible to grow it in cultivation. I just does it's own thing in the wild.

https://www.indefenseofplants.com/blog/2016/6/14/buffalonut-a-parasitic-shrub-from-appalachia

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's -2 here. -12 by Dandy. More snow in the forecast. I signed up for the 1st weekend of the Wild Things conference here. I hope it's good. I'll get a better understanding of the people and activities in my area.

https://www.wildthingscommunity.org/

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Trichostema brachiatum, False Pennyroyal.

Hedeoma pulegoides, American Pennyroyal. I tried sowing this with no success.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Another snow storm, unbelievable!

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Just cold rain here the whole day. But just look west to Texas and Javi. That’s really crazy.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Yes, I noticed the weather in Texas and Louisiana.


This is about aquatic caterpillars. I didn't even know they existed.

https://entomologytoday.org/2021/02/12/the-lepidopteran-life-aquatic/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Really cool! Wow, a larval stage of 42 weeks with the one? That’s a really long time. Hope your weather isn’t too bad.

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javiwa

Yeah, pretty much the greater Houston area of gardeners has been freaking out for several days. We're doing what we can to pull in pots and containers, but there's really nothing to be done about in-ground plants when we're looking at lows in single digits and 36 hours of sub-freezing temps; and a second wave coming Wednesday/Thursday. I mulched as much as I could to maybe protect root zones, but I won't get my hopes up.


ETA: With the balmy weather we've had since November - but particularly in the past few weeks (mid-70s to almost 80), everything started to bud out. My entire back bed of milkweeds (fascicularis, oenotheroides and viridis) pushed out a bunch of new growth. And the procera, which hung in there through wintertime, had started pushing out new leaves. Doing a ton of finger crossing over here.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I can't speak for all those plants, but fascicularis is pretty tough. I know everybody in the south is freaking out, but it's just normal winter up here.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)


-30f here this morning. But that's why we don't have Kudzu. I'm still amazed at how some of these foreign invasives can still survive these winter temps.

Tomorrow afternoon we should see the first temps above zero f in the past ten days. Hurrah. And hopefully the forecast is showing above freezing next week.


Air temp map for Feb 15. Below zero all the way into Texas.



Koala cuteness down under.






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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Well, no worries for us, because we grow what's native to our areas, and we don't try to grow plants that require 2 or 3 zones warmer than us. 0 degrees and snowing AGAIN.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I worry about the native to my area plants if the temperature hits record lows that are way below what they are supposed to be. Currently I am worrying because a lot of my plants are standing in water. Raining most of the day again and had some thunderstorms tonight. Quick break with the rain tomorrow. Slipping and sliding in mud if I don’t sink in to my ankles. This can’t be good for the roots.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

We had a wild February a couple years ago, where it would generally be freezing with highs below 20 degrees, then one day would be 60 and dump like 2" of rain on the frozen ground, then it would go back to 15 again and the puddles on the grass and gardens would freeze solid, then it would happen again with the random warm days to thaw everything before the flood and freeze. I think that was 2019. It didn't end up killing anything although the Rhododendrons took a beating and lost some branches.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Glad to hear that. Didn’t rain today, heavy rain predicted for Thursday. Don’t think things will dry up by then. Daffodils are sticking out at least.

pill bugs are looking for higher ground.

this mistletoe has grown a lot. One thing to like this weather I suppose

Fingers crossed Javi is staying warm. Hope Texas is getting the power back quickly.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

It's interesting that pillbugs breath through gill like structures and need moisture, yet they will drown if they are submerged in water. It was twenty degrees today and it felt warm.

Well, I just registered for becoming a plant monitor with Plants of Concern. 2021

https://plantsofconcern.org/online-training-spring-2021

https://www.facebook.com/1956768/posts/10114282415421820/

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Ha ha. It was 43 here with wind and I was cold. I am such a wimp :)

Plant monitor sounds great. You already know so many of the rare plants, sounds like a good fit to do this.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I have a couple/few fb friends who are monitors too. Just found out about them in the year since I first applied, last year. They canceled the workshop last year because of covid. This year they are teaching the basics online. My Gray's manual came in the mail today.

I'm still looking for seeds for the sensitive partridge pea, Chamaecrista nictitans. All there is are a couple places selling it by the pound. I can't afford to buy a pound, when all I want to do is grow a few. It makes no sense that nobody sells packets of them.

Skip, have you gotten your seeds delivered yet?

https://www.globalforestwatch.org/subscribe/


https://friends-of-the-sands.com/



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)











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nekobus(6)

Jay, where did you order the Clematis occidentalis plant? I’ve been looking for a source without any luck.

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

The plants of concern project looks interesting. I can't attend the other webinars you invited me to on FB, one is while I'm working and one is full.

My seeds never came, I called the post office, they admit they received the package, never loaded it on the truck, but can't find it anywhere. Just incredible. Now I have to contact the seller to try to get replacements.


I saw a webinar on Monday, "Rethinking Forests". Basically, true old growth like giant sequoias, rainforest, etc - leave untouched. Land that was graded, tilled, or converted to AG or industrial sites in the 1890s need to be thinned to create more early successional habitat. Small clear cuts, shelterwood, and selective thinning seem to all have a similar effect of maximizing biodiversity. He had some graphs from studies that show habitat in the 10-20 year old range have the most biodiversity, not only for animals living in the habitat but for animals visiting the habitat from other habitats. That forest edge ecotone need to be much wider, instead of an abrupt mower line at the edge of the woods, which is really common around here, there should be a 20ft strip of taller grasses, forbes and shrubs (bigger strip is better). Also pointed out one minor point that vernal ponds should be shaded to reduce water temps.

That is exactly what I have been doing with my yard, so I am happy to see that my ideas align with research. I think I was just trying to figure out how I could plant the most plant specie, instead of following data driven suggestions.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Necobus, I ordered my Clematis occidentalis from Wood Thrush Natives. They still have them.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

That sucks about your seeds Skip. I just contacted a seller to let them know that I never got my Viola sagittata seeds. I didn't know that you had to pay for some of the webinars I sent you info for. There's a big, 2 weekend, Wild Things seminar coming up this weekend. It's going to be about all the conservation work going on im my part of the state. It cost $15 for each weekend. I only registered for this weekend's seminar, and after I see how this goes I may dish out another $15 for following weekend. Tomorrow night, the wild ones have a free webinar about winter sowing native plants. I stated that I was going to a couple facebook zoom webinars, but now they are telling me that they are filled to capacity. I need to register asap from now on if I'm seriously thinking of attending any. I quit the native habitat Kyle group. There's some guys who use animal traps and enjoy it, so I can't be around people like that. Some of them also get too much pleasure out of hunting. They talking about killing predators too. Ideally there should be predators to keep down the deer population. This Gray's manual is going to force me to seriously start learning botanical terms. A few of my facebook friends are already involved with Plants of Concern, so I'm getting positive support from them. Didn't this happen once before where a package came to your local post office, and then mysteriously disappeared lol. It wasn't funny at the time. The Plants of Concern is now going to start working in Southern Illinois and Chris Benda is a big part of the program statewide, so he's a friend too and a great botanist. Did the native Euonymus seeds that I sent you germinate and grow? I was wondering because I just saw a picture of a bunch of hearts a burst seedlings. So if the post office messed up and lost your seeds do you have any way to be reimbursed?

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)


Wow! 😁😆

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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Well hey, they actually delivered my seeds today! They were out of stock of Carex intumescens but the Carex squarrosa is the cool looking one anyway.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

Yay! Glad the post office found your seeds after all, Skip.

Jay, glad you are surrounding yourself with like minded people. Can’t change the views of others. I don’t have anything against responsible hunters that actually eat what they hunt, but don’t like the ones just going out for fun and trophies.

Yard was really crunchy this morning. Had this needle ice coming up all over the place. Pretty cool though.


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