Blog

What’s the Purpose of Poison Ivy?

Toxicodendron radicans, also known as poison ivy, is a native plant. While I am not going to recommend anyone go out and find this plant to collect and put in their own landscape, I do want to point out some benefits of it so maybe we can all appreciate it from a distance. While many...
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Pearl Crescent & Aster

The aster has already been at the center of a previous post, but it seemed worthy of another since it has attracted so many pollinators. One new addition along with this year’s addition of the aster is the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) butterfly. Aster is a host plant for it’s larva and the adults seem...
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Lanceleaf Coreopsis & Fiery Skipper

New visitor to our yard as of late: the Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). Fiery Skipper caterpillars feed on different grasses. This adult skipper is nectaring on a native Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), a flower that spreads a bit, so it needs some room even though it is only about two feet tall. Goldfinches love seed...
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Video: Monarch Caterpillar & Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

This is footage of a Monarch caterpillar feeding on a Common Milkweed plant. Monarch caterpillars are specialists, meaning they can only feed on one type of plant. They are specialists on milkweed plants making milkweeds the only host plants for this caterpillar. Milkweed plants contain a substance that is toxic to typical predators of most...
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Smooth Aster & Woodland Skipper

Currently in bloom is the Smooth Aster (Aster laevis.) This is a lovely light purple flower in the daisy family that thrives in full sun to light shade and dry weather. It blooms from September through October, so this is an ideal perennial plant to add some color to your garden later into the fall....
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Special Edition (not St. Louis native): Giant Sequoia

Though it is not a native Missouri plant, this post is going to feature the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) native to parts of California. Since we are just getting back from visiting Sequoia National Park, it seems appropriate to feature these impressive trees in a post. These are not the same trees as the coastal...
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Video: Melissodes bimaculata on Sorghastrum nutans

This black, two-spotted abdomen bee (as the name “bimaculata” indicates) is a long-horned bee. The video includes a female gathering pollen from Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) on the scopa, or hair, of her hind legs.
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Prairie Dock & Agapostemon Sweat Bee

Meet our first featured herbaceous perennial: Silphium terebinthinaceum, or Prairie Dock. This plant loves full sun and can handle drought to somewhat moist soil conditions. Soil does not need to be amended as Prairie Dock does just fine in poor soil. The basal foliage gets to about three feet tall (sometimes the leaves themselves get...
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Plants, Bugs, Birds and Bats

Welcome to St. Louis Native Plants! Since I began using native plants back in 2010, not only have I barely watered and never fertilized, I have also noticed more bugs, birds, and bats in and around my yard. These are not things to be afraid of and I would like this site to be source...
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