CAN’T WAIT TO GET THOSE SEEDS IN THE GROUND?
You can plant now! Milk jug greenhouses is the solution. Many Pa native plant seeds need cold stratification (seed dormancy is broken in order to promote germination). This can be accomplished by planting them in the fall or keeping them in the refrigerator for a couple months then planting them in the spring. Another way that has proven to be very successful is to plant them in winter using “milk jug greenhouses.” Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County created a flyer for step-by-step instructions: milkjug_greenhouse.pdf.
Landscape ideas requested!
We are planning on creating a webpage to help with native landscaping suggestions and ideas. We are looking for examples of your native landscape successes along with your tips and experiences. Please email information to email@example.com
Photo by Diane Albright of Betsy Whitman's house
Nonnative plants reduce population growth of an insectivorous bird
Desirée L. Narango, Douglas W. Tallamy, and Peter P. Marra
New research article confirms a direct correlation between the presence of native plants in the landscape and bird populations.
Click here to read an Abstract or to purchase the entire article
Photo by Ron Crandall
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, require less maintenance such as watering, and are less susceptible to challenging conditions than non-native plants. Many Non-native plants are also invasive, and threaten to crowd out our native plant species. Incorporating native plants in your home landscape will encourage birds, pollinators, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
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.
The wonders of winter in the woods - you notice many plants obscurred by the greenery of summer. Lycopodium obscurum, known as ground pine, tree clubmoss, or princess pine, is native to the Eastern United States and SE Canada where it can primarily be found in the understory of rich hardwood forests. Its nickname is derived from the idea that it looks like a miniature conifer tree, and its Latin name is derived from the leaves that were said to have looked like a wolf's foot (Lycos meaning wolf and podus meaning foot). It is a low growing species of the club mosses with horizontal underground stems and needlelike leaves reminiscent of cedar. The leaves are arranged on short stems and once per year the gametophyte stage (a strobilus) emerges from the tip of these shoots. It is closely grouped with other clubmosses, and more distantly to plants like the horsetails and ferns which all have the sporophyte stage as the dominant life cycle, whereas lower plants - the algae - have the dominant form in the gametophyte stage. The picture captured here shows the strobili (gametophyte) that are now dried up as it was taken in winter. For many decades, people have harvested the plant to decorate for winter holidays but now the Lycopodium has become vulnerable or rare in two states and is experiencing decline in several others. Interestingly, a variety of L. obscurum can be found in China, Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan. There are 18 other verified species in the genus.
If you have a favorite plant or photo, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a future publication.
Photo and article by Keppy Arnoldsen
March 16, 2018 - Citizen Science at the PAC Herbarium, 1-3 pm, 10 Whitmore Lab, Penn State University Park campus - Explore the history of botany at Penn State, become acquainted with the herbarium and its collections, learn about the services the PAC provides for Penn State and the larger community, and hear about current research projects. Refreshments will be provided. Event is free but registration is required: Click here to register
May 4, 2019 - Central Pa Native Plant Festival and Sale, 10am - 3pm, Boalsburg Mansion. Click here for details.
As Spring approaches, let us know of any Native Plant Sales in your area and we can add them to our Calendar - email email@example.com. Check out our listing of Native Plant Sales to find ones in your area.
Check our Complete Calendar for other upcoming events
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