Did you know some plants don’t offer nectar? Did you know some plants don’t readily give up their pollen? Well, I was surprised to learn this. These plants depend upon buzz pollination to complete their reproduction. [Read more…]
Just a reminder!
If you live in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, next Saturday May 19th is the day to pick up your order from the Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter’s Spring Native Plant Sale. All the pre-orders will have been sorted, and will be ready for pick-up. But there will be plenty of additional native prairie and shade plants available for you to add to your order or to just simply pick out. This plant sale is a good opportunity to purchase native plants at a lucrative price to add to your landscape, while at the same time “talking to the choir” about native plants, pollinators and the environment in general.
Plants featured are high quality nursery-propagated native forbs, grasses, ferns and vines in 4-inch pots, 1- to 2-year growth. Wild Ones continues in its efforts to save America’s favorite butterfly, along with other pollinators, through the Wild for Monarchs campaign. Through our spring native plant sale, we encourage everyone to buy and plant more milkweed (host plant for monarchs) and more nectar plants (food sources for pollinators). WOFVA volunteers will be on-site to help you plan butterfly and pollinator gardens with native plants, or to integrate these plants into your existing gardens.
The week prior to the plant sale pick-up date, volunteers get together at the WILD Center to stage the pick-up area, unload the truck and sort plants. If this is something with which you’d like to help, contact Donna VanBuecken, Plant Sale Coordinator to volunteer your time.
Another sign of spring has shown itself in my little woodland. It is the plant known as Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and is native throughout the temperate regions of the United States east of the Mississippi. It was first found in Canada, hence it’s Latin species name.
The genus name Sanguinaria, comes from the Latin sanguis meaning ‘
The species is hermaphrodite which means it has both male and female reproductive organs. It grows in rich, light sandy and medium loam well-drained soil.
When the Bloodroot emerges in early spring, “the stem, leaf, and bud all come up together. The bud is protected by the leaf, which is carefully wrapped around what will become the delicate flower.
The blossoms have no nectar, but the large petals and brightly colored centers attract insect pollinators. Bloodroot is typically pollinated by bees, which transfer its pollen to other flowers. Ants then disperse the mature seeds. A large distribution of Bloodroot within a localized area is indicative of the work of one ant colony, which has been gathering and storing seeds for many years.
If the plant blossoms too early in spring when it is still cold, bees will not be available to assist in pollination. Instead, Bloodroot will eject pollen from its sacs in an effort to hit the stigma of another plant. Like many ephemerals, Bloodroot is able to produce seed independent of insect assistance.” (St Olaf College)
According to an April 27, 2018 article in Buglife, the partial ban on using neonictinoids (neonics) on flowering crops which was endorsed by the European Union (EU) in 2013 has now been expanded to ban all outdoor uses.
According to a December report in 2017, Buglife indicated that half of the rivers and lakes monitored in England as chronically polluted with neonics primarily caused by agricultural and residential use, followed by pet protection treatments against fleas and pesticide use in greenhouses. Both pet treatment and greenhouse use of neonics are being allowed for now.
The hope is that EU Member States will adopt a new pesticide approval process in order to control the introduction of new insecticides suspected of harming bees and other pollinators. However, not all EU Member States voted in favor of the ban, so it’s likely the struggle will go on. And especially so since the USA and other countries appear to be slow in reviewing their pesticide regulation processes.
But there is hope the rest of the world will strive to achieve the EU’s levels of concern for the environment and for our pollinators, and consequently, about one-third of our food source. Let’s hope we’re reaching a turning point.
Thanks to Brendan Carton for making me aware of this happening in the EU through the Pollinators and Native Plants Discussion Group.