The Dirty Dozen vs the Birdy Dozen
2021 Photo Contest Winner
Congratulations to Larry G. Laird for his winning submission of American Cancer-root, Conopholis americana, taken on May 17, 2021 at Michaux Forest.
Click here to view all the entries - so many gorgeous photos!!
What is a Native?
A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention. We consider the flora present at the time Europeans arrived in North America as the species native to the eastern United States. Native plants include all kinds of plants from mosses and ferns to wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
Because native plants are adapted to the growing conditions where you live, they are often easier to grow, and less susceptible to challenging conditions than non-native plants. Many Non-native plants are also invasive, and threaten out our native plant species.
Fall's Flowering Finale:
Witchhazel - Hamamelis virginiana
The yellow blossoms of American witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) are the last flowers of the year in Pennsylvania. These cheerful flowers bloom from September to November and sometimes into December. Therefore witchhazel is an important food source for pollinators such as moths, bees, and gnats late in the season. The flower's four petals emerge like yellow party streamers as the leaves turn their autumn yellow, camouflaging their beauty. Once the leaves have fallen, the full spotlight is on the dainty unique flowers through fall and early winter. Smooth gray-brown bark, scalloped leaves, and fuzzy seed capsules add to the beauty of this native favorite. Although the flowers are pollinated in the fall, fertilization doesn't occur until the following spring. The fruits grow throughout summer, and come fall the mature capsules burst open - shooting the seeds as far as 20 feet, which explains why witchhazel often grows in large patches in the wild.
Witchazel grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree in clumps 15 - 20 feet wide and usually no more than 15 - 20 feet tall in PA. An understory tree in the wild, it prefers part shade and grows best in
slightly acidic soil that is rich and moist. Witch hazel is tolerant of salt, black walnut toxicity, and deer. Witchhazel can be grown from seed but is rather slow growing and can take over six years to flower.
Therefore container grown or balled and burlapped saplings are usually planted instead.
If you're saddened to see summer come to an end and believe that asters put on the final flowery show, think again! You can extend the color in your yard and garden just a bit longer. Plant a few witchhazel
trees and enjoy the golden glow even after the snow falls.
If you have a favorite plant or photo, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a future publication.
Article and photo courtesy of Karen Smith
Membership Dues and Donations
PNPS is committed to supporting programs and events advocating for the use of native plants. Money obtained from memberships and donations go to the following:
We accept donations and membership payments online and by check. Thank you for your support!
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For general inquires, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Our mailing address is P.O. Box 807, Boalsburg PA 16827