By

SusieVdR
There is much talk about getting more milkweed plants in our landscapes to support the monarch population. But milkweed supports and offers much to other pollinators as well. In this post, I am highlighting the Swamp or Marsh Milkweed plant (Asclepias incarnata). Don’t get me wrong. Adult monarchs are all about this plant and have...
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Wasps really have a putrid reputation, many unjustifiably so. This Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) is one that, no doubt, can appear frightening just in its size alone at a length of 1+ inches. But these are not like the Yellow Jackets that have sent many of us running with arms flailing. These wasps are...
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Currently in bloom: the Purple Beard Tongue and Prairie Beard Tongue, (Penstemon cobaea and Penstemon tubaeflorus.) These flowers have four fertile stamens and one sterile stamen. They are commonly referred to as “Beard Tongue” because of the one sterile stamen having a tuft of small hairs. These are clump-forming plants with spikes of flowers that...
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Yesterday at the Partners for Native Landscaping workshop, there was significant discussion about leaving last year’s growth & plant stalks with spent flower heads through the winter for multiple wildlife purposes. One reason is that bugs, including some of our best pollinators, use them for nesting/overwintering sites. One other, which I was tickled to see...
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One of my favorite larger native shrubs, Hamamelis vernalis, lets us know with its mid-late winter bloom that spring is not too far away! It has either golden yellow flowers with a red center or the flowers can be more of a fiery red orange. This 6-10′ tall shrub has a pleasantly sweet fragrance in...
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Since I have a post that badmouths the London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia), it seemed fitting to do a positive post about the native, and in my opinion better, relative. Meet the stately American Sycamore, (Platanus occidentalis.) One can’t help but notice this tree when the sky is bright blue and the trees are mostly...
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Frost Flower: it’s not actually a flower, but dainty ribbons of ice crystals that form on some MO native plants. It can usually be seen late fall-early winter. When the ground is still warm and a hard freeze occurs, the plants’ stems are ruptured. The roots are still sending up water and nutrients from the...
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You CAN have year-round interest in your yard. Try planting some Ilex verticillata, Winterberry Holly. This deciduous shrub gives you sprays of bright red into the winter when most other plants are not flowering and are dormant. Winterberry Holly stands out best when put alongside other plants that turn a golden color when dormant, such...
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I realize I am not the only one who is baffled by another large grouping of the exact same tree (monoculture) being used to replace the glorious ash trees on the St. Louis Arch Grounds. But after asking, “Why the same tree for 45% of the trees that cover the arch grounds?” the second question...
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Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) is the ideal plant for those looking for something with blooms throughout the majority of summer and into the fall. It thrives in drought and full sun and can be used in garden beds, cascading over walls, or even in planters. The magenta flowers are a favorite among many different...
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Indian Physic (Porteranthus stipulatus) – This compact, somewhat formal, plant gets to about 2-3 feet tall, and has white, star shaped flowers in early summer. Leaves are lighter green through summer and turn an attractive burnt red in the fall. Indian Physic will do well in a variety of conditions including dry or moist soils,...
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Featuring: the White Ash tree (Fraxinus americana). The showy mix of fall color in this ash tree has appeared! A delightful combination of purples, reds, oranges, and yellows. This tree has given us so many things from tool handles to fuel. It also was used medicinally by Native Americans. Wildlife benefits: songbirds, bobwhite, wild turkey,...
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