wildflower-wednesday

Red Elderberry: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, The Secret Garden

I've lived here over five years now, but just when I think I've seen all the plants that grow wild here, another one catches my attention and arouses my curiosity. Several people suggested it was baneberry, and baneberry does bloom around the same time, with a similarly shaped flower. Only one problem: Baneberry is herbaceous, and the flowers were blooming on a woody plant. Hmm, what could it be?

How To Spot An Alien

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Native plants, those that are naturally occurring in your garden's locale, are adapted to your climate. They won't leaf out while there's still a chance they'll be harmed by cold weather, and they drop their leaves when it's clear wintery cold is returning. Alien plants came from Somewhere Else--whether by your hand or uninvited--and don't [...]

Meadow Knapweed: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Do you remember when I waded through botanical terminology to identify my wild rose? Well, I've been at it again. Earlier this week, a pretty lilac-blue flower along the side of the road caught my eye, and I wanted to know what it was. It was pretty enough to be a garden plant, but I [...]

The Earliest Blooming Native Flower

– Posted in: Mud Season, Native/Invasive

The earliest blooming flower in my garden is a snowdrop, Galanthus 'S. Arnott'. The earliest blooming wild flower is coltsfoot. But the earliest blooming native flower? For that, you have to look up. Way up. Because the earliest blooming native flower belongs to the red maple, Acer rubrum. I am always looking down at the [...]

Hobblebush, A Native Shrub That’s Easy To Love: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Plant info

At first glance, I thought it was a hydrangea. But I don't know of any hydrangea that blooms with the trilliums. And the large, exquisitely puckered leaves were unlike any hydrangea leaf I'd ever seen. Turns out it was a viburnum--Viburnum lantanoides--to be precise. This native shrub likes it cool and moist--perfect for northern climates. [...]

Smoke On A Rope: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Driving down country roads on the way to town, I noticed what looked like brown fur in many of the shrubs along the road. I finally realized that the "fur" was actually the seedheads of Virgin's bower, Clematis virginiana, which Prairie Moon Nursery fittingly calls "prairie smoke on a rope." Virgin's bower is a native [...]