The Dirty Dozen vs the Birdy Dozen
As you work on your landscaping, please remember the Dirty Dozen, a list of twelve invasive plants frequently found at nurseries and landscape retailers that should be avoided. The Dirty Dozen
Better yet, considering adding some of the Birdy Dozen to your gardens to attract birds.
The Birdy Dozen
Check more information on Invasive Plants and recommendations for alternatives on our Plant Information and Landscaping page.
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.
White Wood Aster
Oodles of Asters -
There are many beautiful asters in PA, and October's spotlight is on white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata). In early summer, this plant makes its appearance with striking blackish stems and attractive foliage. Small white flowers with yellow centers cover the sprawling plants in late summer through fall. The masses of white flowers brighten shady woodland gardens like a botanical Milky Way.... each bloom a tiny ASTERoid. (Excuse the corny wordplay, I couldn't resist!)
White wood asters are versatile and adaptable. Although they grow well in moist soil and part sun, they thrive in dry shade. The plants readily naturalize by rhizomes and by seed to form dense colonies. Instead of attempting to train this aster to behave, plant it in difficult areas such as shady slopes and along the north facing sides of buildings. With its enthusiasm to spread, it can also grow as a living mulch under trees and tall shrubs.
White wood aster is a tough workhorse with high wildlife value. It's a larval food source for pearl crescent and silvery checkerspot butterflies and provides an important nectar source for pollinators after summer flowers are over. In addition, birds feed on the many seeds in fall and winter.
Although this humble aster may not have the showy attributes of a "thriller," it has what it takes to be a "filler." Why not give it a go in an area you're trying to fill? You might end up thrilled by the results!
Article and photo courtesy of Karen Smith
Upcoming Events - Mark your calendars
May 4, 2024 - Central Pa Native Plant Festival, Millbrook Marsh
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 email@example.com Our mailing address is P.O. Box 807, Boalsburg PA 16827
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There are always opportunities to help, regardless of your level of expertise. Click the button to see what volunteer opportunities area available.
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We are over 14,000 members strong and growing!