There was an article in EntomologyToday recently about new data which shows Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) harbors the Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis) which carries Lyme Disease. I have a good friend who suffers from the ravages of Lyme Disease, and I’ve other friends who also have been affected by this horrible disease, so I thought this would be a good story to investigate. [Read more…]
In my earlier post about Gardening for Pollinators, I talked primarily about pollinators and flowering plants, also known as angiosperms. But there’s a whole other group of plants out there which require pollen as well — specifically grasses and trees. Grasses are angiosperms, however, trees are typically referred to as gymnosperms.The difference between these types of plants is that angiosperms have ovaries, while gymnosperms do not. [Read more…]
How to tell Native Plants from Non-Natives
As you wander from one plant location to another, you may wonder which plants are native and which are not native and how to tell which is which. The simplest way is by comparing the plant stakes labels which contain the botanical name and habitat conditions for each plant. [Read more…]
I love spring when the branches of the Red Twig Dogwood begin to again glow red. What an awesome sight.
Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea) is a great native plant to have in your landscape. From their white blossoms in the spring and deep green foliage in summer, to their rich red stems in the fall and winter, these plants provide color in the landscape.
Also called Redosier Dogwood, this shrub likes moist sole and thrives in our clay soils here in Central Wisconsin. It’s a good plant for holding the soil on the upper banks of streams and rivers or along ditches and wetlands. Once established, it’s stolons will spread to form a thicket and it’s branches will dip and root out where they touch the ground.
Where does the red come from?
The red color of the stems is caused by anthocyanins which vary from season to season depending upon the amount of sunlight. Consequently, in the spring, as the sun shines longer during the day the stems get redder.
The lovely white to cream-colored flowers are ornate flat clusters that often blossom two or three times a year. They’re also an excellent nectar plant so bees are always buzzing around them, along with a variety of other insects and butterflies.
Because their fruits are low in sugar, the berries don’t rot. But that means they’re available later in the year when other more desirable fruits have already been eaten.The seeds are eaten by many small mammals, and by many upland and song birds, their branches are eaten by the white-tailed deer and rabbits, and their thickets are used for nesting by the local goldfinches.
See also WDNR’s So, What Should I Plant?