2022 Photo Contest
Calling all photographers - Now through August 11, 2022
It is time once again for our annual photo contest. For details, check our Facebook Forum group page. We will announce the winner on August 26th. The winning photo will be featured on the back cover of the print newsletter PNPS Notes, this fall and all entries will be posted on our website on the Facebook Forum page.
The Dirty Dozen vs the Birdy Dozen
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.
Blazing star aka gayfeather (Liatris spicata) is a dramatic native plant that waves its gorgeous purple-flowering wands from July to fall. The plant reaches 4-6' tall with 1-2' long amethyst spikes covered with tiny blooms that open from the top of the spike down. Blazing star is a pollinator magnet that attracts hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other insects and is a host plant of Schinia gloriosa, the glorious flower moth. The seeds are a food source for goldfinches and migrating songbirds.
Blazing star performs best in full sun in average to moist, acidic soil. Good drainage is a must to avoid root rot. Other than that, it is very tolerant of a range of conditions including dry soil and some shade. If grown in soil that's too alkaline, the foliage may yellow due to chlorosis. Blazing star can be propagated by dividing the clumps in early spring. Plants can also be started from seed after cold, moist stratification.
Jennings Environmental Education Center in Butler county is the most famous location in PA to see these amethyst wands waving in the wild. Blazing star grows along the prairie trails with other native plants. During my first visit ever in late July, goldenrod's bright yellow blooms were complementing the purple spikes beautifully. Even though the blazing star wasn't at peak, it was an amazing sight. Peak bloom is usually late July to early August, so now I need to plan another visit... and soon!
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!
Membership dues online - please click the Become a Member button to pay through Paypal or with a credit card.
Volunteer - Your help is needed!
There are always opportunities to help, regardless of your level of expertise. Click the button to see what volunteer opportunities area available.
Join our Facebook forum to share photos, events and opportunities related to natives plants and our mission. Our group is closed and you must submit a request to join. We do this to help us keep out spam and maintain this group as a respectful forum for people interested in native plants. You must submit a request and answer 2 simple questions to join, even if you are added by a current member.
We are over 14,000 members strong and growing!
For general inquires, email us at email@example.com Our mailing address is P.O. Box 807, Boalsburg PA 16827