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Old 02-21-2009, 01:46 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by lonediver View Post
Oh , the ANSWER is going to be VERY hard .


Now how many here have contacted their local native plant/butterfly/master gardener or whatever associations ?

Don't raise your hands all at once now .


Hmmmm , 230 some members as of this morning and I will bet that less than 10% have done so .

I challenge you all to become part of the answer .

raises hand I accept that challenge, thank you for the wake-up call.

LoneDiver, when I moved next to a wildlife refuge, I contacted my county extension, master gardener program for advice on MN natives for my property. I think more than 10% here, probably have, from the short time I have been reading the forums before I joined, I get the impression people are here to learn and share imformation. For us, enjoying gardening and wildlife is a passion.
Unfortunately, for others, "landscaping" just improves property value. That's who we need to reach.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:04 AM   #42
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I But how do we reach the "garden-variety" gardener, the family that just wants a nice-looking property and doesn't have unlimited time or money to invest in same?
At the risk of getting boo-ed here, some of us ARE the "garden-variety" gardener.

I have tried for years to go more organic, but that usually doesn't mean anything other than NOT using poisons, but losing the whole crop. I intend to be pro-active this year. But I'm not ruling out nuclear methods for stinkbugs and fire ants if the other methods fail.

I won't go out and buy a lot of plants at once. I'll pick up a plant here, 2 seed packs there. I want to get a few butterfly and hummingbird plants in. No, I want a lot of those plants, just a few at a time. Would also like to get plants in that attract and/or support wildlife. A lot that make berries, maybe a few shrubs around the pond for shelter.

A brush pile is out. I see squirrels and birds using it, hubby sees rats and snakes.

I've never searched out native plants before, although I have purchased some and like the idea. A sticking point there is hubby - if the yard looks nice, he'll never say a thing. So I'll have to stick to plants that don't look too wild or weedy.

I'll be taking the master gardener class this year - have looked into it for about 4 years now, and now's the time.

I found 2 references for nurseries that offer native plants within an hour's drive. Will be checking them out when I'm ready to put in several plants at a time.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:17 AM   #43
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I'll be taking the master gardener class this year - have looked into it for about 4 years now, and now's the time.
You go gurl! And while your at it, YOU can help educate some of those MGs about native plants. Many are just now beginning to "get" it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #44
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I'm sure that the annual fall plant sale put on by the local MG's are heavy on the native plants. Not exclusively - they also have a large selection of gingers, but many natives.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:50 PM   #45
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At the risk of getting boo-ed here, some of us ARE the "garden-variety" gardener.

I won't go out and buy a lot of plants at once. I'll pick up a plant here, 2 seed packs there. I want to get a few butterfly and hummingbird plants in. No, I want a lot of those plants, just a few at a time. Would also like to get plants in that attract and/or support wildlife. A lot that make berries, maybe a few shrubs around the pond for shelter.


I'll be taking the master gardener class this year - have looked into it for about 4 years now, and now's the time.
You are starting to collect natives, and taking the Master Gardener's program ? You are already making a difference, BiigBlueEyes !
I'd love to hear more about your class, after you start, I have been interested in the program here for awhile, and just never took the time.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:58 AM   #46
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I've looked at this post just about everyday since it was started hoping to find an answer to my "I feel really stupid" question.

So I'm just going to come right out with it and ask. Which seeds on the list of ingredients in this Wildflower Seed Pack are bad/invasive? You all seem to know the answer to this question, but it isn't obvious to me.

I tried my best to read each seed type listed from the photograph on the back of the package, and made of list of what's in this particular brand of Wildflower Mix.

Nasturtium
Calendula
Forget Me Not
Perennial Lupin
Common Sunflower
Cornflower
Cosmos
Lance Leaved Coreopsis
Purple Coneflower
Rocket Larkspur
Rose Mallow
Zinnia
Plains Coreopsis
Shirley Poppy
Yellow Prairie Coneflower
Annual Phlox
Scarlet Sage
Spurred Snapdragon
White Yarrow
Butterfly Milkwee
Godetia Mix
Maltese Cross
Mountain Garland

Now can someone please tell me (without making me feel like a moron), which seeds are "bad seeds?"

I really want to learn more about native plants. I've used the links provided in the posts above to print a list of invasive plants specifically for the county I live in. Seemed like a good place to start.

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:16 AM   #47
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Now can someone please tell me (without making me feel like a moron), which seeds are "bad seeds?"
Awww honey. Why didn't you ask earlier? I have had this thread on watch to make sure no one was left hanging if they didn't know. You poor thing. 30 years ago we were all limited to the resources we had to be able to determine which plants were or weren't appropriate. We had to hang out in libraries using microfiche and references that weighed more than the the IBM selectric typewriters we used. Herbarium specimens were a day trip and we'd coordinate them so we could all go at the same time. It doesn't have to be that way any more. There are so many tools and the internet is one of them. Don't get discouraged. You'll be up to speed in no time with a little hand holding and steering. Once you get the hang of it you can help others.

Here we go!
Ferry Morse Butterfly and Hummingbird Wildflower Mix
Contents:
Nasturtium/Tropaeolum Majus (AI)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TRMA7
Native to South America. The Andes to be specific so it is highly adaptable.

Calendula/Callendula Officinalis (AI)
Would have helped if they hadn’t tossed two L’s in the spelling so people could look it up if they wanted to. Actual spelling is Calendula officinalis.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAOF
Native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa

Forget Me Not/Cynogolssum Firmament (AI)
Would have helped if they had used the full name of the plant instead of the cultivar. This plant is Cynoglossum amabile 'Firmament' . It’s not a straight species they’re putting in that mix but a cultivar of C. amabile and C. officinale I believe.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CYOF
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CYAM3
The straight species are both native to Asia.

Perennial Lupine/Lupinus Perennis (PN)
This is Lupinus perennis
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LUPE3
It’s a plant that is native to North America. Only to east of the Rockies. On the west, it is an introduced species. Many refer to it as a weed out west.

Common Sunflower/Helianthus Annuus (AN)
This is Helianthus annuus
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HEAN3
This plant is a North American native plant however its original range is believed to have been west of the Rockies. It has now spread to all areas disturbed by humans.

Cornflower/Centaurea Cyanus (AI)
This would be Centaurea cyanus. We call it Bachelor’s Buttons.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CECY2
Native to Europe.

Cosmos/Cosmos Bipinnatus (AI)
This is Cosmos bipinnatus.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COBI2
Native to Mexico and Guatemala that I know of but highly adaptable.

Lance Leaved Coreopsis/Coreopsis Lanceolata (PN)
Coreopsis lanceolata
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COLA5
Native to both the western and the eastern US. Quite common and weedy in garden settings.

Purple Coneflower Echinacea Purpurea (PN)
Echinacea purpurea
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ECPU
Native to the Eastern US only.

Rocket Larkspur/Delphinium Ajacis (AI)
Taxonomists changed the name of this quite a while ago from Delphinium Ajacis to Consolida ajacis. You would have a hard time looking it up with the way they listed it on their bag.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COAJ
Native to Europe and Asia.

Rose Mallow/Lavatore Trimestris (AI)
Looks like this is spelled Lavatore Trimestris on the bag. It’s really Lavatera trimestris.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LATR3
Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa

Zinnia/Zinnia Elegans (AI)
Taxonomists long ago renamed this from Zinnia elegans to Zinnia violacea.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ZIVI2
Native to Mexico? Not sure on this but it’s not native to North America.

Plains Coreopsis/Coreopsis Tinctoria (AN)
There are three variations of this species. Which one they put in the mix is anyone’s guess.
http://www.plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COTI3&mapType=nativity&photoID=coti 3_002_avp.tif
Native range would depend on which one they have in the mix and they don’t provide us with enough information to figure it out.

Shirley Poppy/Papaver Rhosas (AI)
Looks like the bag states this is Papaver Rhosas. It’s actually Papaver rhoeas.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PARH2
Native to Europe and Asia.

Yellow Sage/Salvia Coccinea (AN)
Salvia coccinea
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SACO5
Native to the Southeastern US only

Spurred Snapdragon/ Linnaria Moroccans (AI)
Looks like the bag states this is Linnaria Moroccans. This is Linaria maroccana.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LIMA3
Native to Africa

White Yarrow/Achilles Millefolium (AI)
They are listing this as Achilles Millefolium. It’s actually Achillea millefolium var. milefolium. I’ve grown it out to see exactly what they were putting in the bag.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACMIM2
This one is native to Europe and Asia.

Butterfly Milkweed/Asclepias Tuberosa (PN)
Asclepias tuberosa
This is another one where there are three variations. Again, we don't know which one they put in the mix so it is anyone’s guess.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ASTU
Native range will depend on which one they have in the mix and they didn’t provide us with enough information to figure it out however this one is a North American native.

Gadstia Mix/Clarkia Amoena (AN)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLAMA
This one is a native to North America but only to California.

Maltese Cross/Lychnis Chalcedonica (PI)
Lychnis chalcedonica
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LYCH3
Native to Europe and Asia.

Mountain Garland/Clarkia Elegans (AN)
They have this listed as Clarkia Elegans. It’s actually Clarkia unguiculata. Clarkia elegans is an outdated synonym that hasn’t been in use for a while.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLUN
Native to North America but only to CA.

If I missed anything, let me know. It is late and I'm up because I don't feel too well.

Once we determine what the real name of the plant is (this can take a little bit of detective work at first but you will begin learning what clues to look for) we can input it at the USDA’s Plants Database site. Once it pulls up, we can look for an area that says native range. When we click on it, it will help us figure out where the plant occurs naturally.

If you want a quick way to determine if a plant is invasive or suspected to be invasive, type the real name of the plant into a search engine then type the word invasive. You’ll get more information than you could imagine if you have a problematic or potentially problematic plant on your hands.


Now that you can see the mix in easy read language, what really benefits butterflies and wildlife on North America in that mix? None of us are gardening in Asia, Africa, or Europe with the species of wildlife that are indigenous to those continents. I know the general area where you garden. Maybe you could try a nursery called Prairie Moon. Most everything they offer would be appropriate for the wildlife that are naturally occurring on your property. You won't end up with a headache shopping there and you won't have to worry if you're being duped or not. I'm not related to them at all. I buy from them alot. They're good people to deal with.

Added information on Butterfly Milkweed that I missed. Thanks loris.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #48
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Lorax,
Thanks for the thorough answer. I really appreciate it. So I finally get it now! I understand why those wildflower mixes are whacky!

An invasive species or non-native plant is really a whole lot more than just being a "badly behaved" plant!

I'm studying the list of invasives for my area, plus I saved a long list of the native plants that belong in my area. When the snow melts, I'll be armed and ready with the accurate information.

Can't thank you enough for the extra effort you put into answering my questions.

Little Grasshopper thanks you oh great Native Plant Master.

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Old 02-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #49
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Great info, theLorax. It's giving me a headache, though. For example I regularly use nasturtiums in my vegetable garden as a bug repellent, they look purty and they taste good. They are an annual here in VA. scratching head, this is getting more complicated by the minute, but I will persist!!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:18 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by BooBooBearBecky View Post
Lorax,
Thanks for the thorough answer. I really appreciate it. So I finally get it now! I understand why those wildflower mixes are whacky!

An invasive species or non-native plant is really a whole lot more than just being a "badly behaved" plant!

I'm studying the list of invasives for my area, plus I saved a long list of the native plants that belong in my area. When the snow melts, I'll be armed and ready with the accurate information.



BooBooBearBecky

You are definately on the right track, checking invasives in your specific area The DNR here has a helpful list, with pictures. WI DNR may too.
There are plants that are very invasive in warmer areas that can not get
out of bounds in the North due the sub zero cold. The seed companies mixes are whacked, because they sell a "one size fits all" mix throughout the US. not to mention the fact that many on the list, aren't native anywhere in the US.

Lorax, Thank you for sharing the research !
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