Kevin Schoessow, Area Agricultural Development Agent with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, takes you through the Teaching & Display Garden at the Spooner Ag Research Station in July 2021.
This week I encountered two instances of name confusion. One was Goats beard and the other Loosestrife. I was reminded to pay attention to botanical names because common names can be misleading. That would be the case in both these instances. And the consequences of confusing an invasive for a native plant can be dramatic.
Goatsbeard - On the golf course this week near Hayward, Wisconsin I noticed a plant in the rough. I'm very familiar with what grows in the rough because I'm a frequent visitor. I took a few pictures and later researched the plant and identified it as Yellow goat's beard (Tragopogon dubius). This plant was introduced in the 1900's from Eurasia and likes disturbed ground but is not considered aggressive. And it looks nothing like our native Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) that is an attractive perennial plant suitable as a landscape plant.
For more on these two plants, go to the University of Wisconsin Horticulture website.
Yellow goat's beard (Tragopogon dubius)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
Left: Yellow goat's beard (photo Sue Reinardy), right: Goatsbeard (photo from UW Extension website)
Loosestrife - Whenever I read or hear Loosestrife I think "INVASIVE"! But learned differently when I came across a Facebook post with a picture of a plant that I have in my garden that I was having a hard time identifying. It was identified by reliable sources as Fringed Yellow Loosestrife (Lysmachia ciliata). The landscape plan that I inherited with the house identified this plant as 'Husker Red' which is a Penstemon - not at all the plant I was finding in the garden. There is a host of conflicting information in researching the Fringed Yellow Loosestrife. Some sources indicate that it is not related at all to the invasive Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). The botanical name confirms that. There is an aggressive Garden Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) that is restricted in Wisconsin according to the DNR invasive species website. No such limits on the Fringed Yellow Loosestrife which is a North America native. It is fairly aggressive in my garden but easy to control.
(For more information on these plants go to the websites below.
Fringed Yellow Loosestrife (Lysmachia ciliata) (wildflower.org)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) (UW Horticulture)
Garden Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) (DNR)
It took a bit of research to confirm the identification of these plants. As you can see they look different and the effect they can have on our landscape is important to understand to avoid invasive plants and support natives.
The annuals and vegetables are showing growth and the Monarch and Pollinator Sanctuary Garden (natives and perennials) is in full bloom. The gallery below shows what is in bloom as of July 1 and there were plenty of buds that will be blooming in the next few days. Please stop by when you are in the area for inspiration.
I’m usually frustrated when I find that something has eaten a plant in my garden. Not so this week when I discovered Parsleyworms on my parsley. Adults are known as Black Swallowtail, one of our larger butterflies.
According to Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies of North America, you can recognize a swallowtail when you see a large butterfly that is not orange and has a tail. His book goes on to say that most butterflies are small to medium-sized and most large non-swallowtails are orange-colored with no tails.
Back to the Parsleyworms. As you can see in the above photo, they are munching away on my parsley. They have pretty much eaten most of the curly-leafed variety leaving the flat-leafed Italian variety for a later snack. There are currently about five caterpillars on my one curly and one flat-leafed parsleys. Not much left for me, but they appear to be in the final stage of their development given the coloration so I may get some later. Next up they will crawl away to a support of a limb or post and pupate to later become a butterfly.
That’s when they will hopefully find plenty of nectar in my nearby garden from zinnias, lilies, calendula, bachelor buttons and other annuals. It might be that my parsley will have recovered enough for a second generation to be fed.
Check out this UW Extension Horticulture article on Black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes.
Author & Photo: Sue Reinardy, UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
If you like daisies, this variety of perennial Shasta Daisy will wow you. A 2021 All-American Selections winner, the Sweet Daisy Birdy with 5-inch blooms of feathery pure white petals and golden centers, blooms earlier that other varieties and is a pollinator favorite. Use this medium height (18-24 inches) plant in planter containers, or in the garden as tall background or a garden highlight. Sturdy stems and contrasting dark green foliage make for a great cut flower as well!
The Sweet Daisy Birdy is available only as plants as yet. It is low maintenance, zone 3 hearty and is cold and heat tolerant. Plant in full sun, in well drained soil. Water as needed.
Article by Pam Davies MGV
Photo Credit: All-America Selections
This year Monarda is one of the 2021 National Garden Bureau’s featured plants, and a great choice for your garden too!
A Native Species, Monarda has a long medicinal herbal history that Native tribes taught early settlers to utilize. Bee Balm, Monarda’s common name, I am certain came to be due to its ability soothe bee stings, other medicinal uses included treating chills and fever all information shared with early settlers from Native Americans.
The Ashland/Bayfield County Master Gardeners are hosting two virtual programs “Unsung Heroes of Nature” on February 11 from 6:30-8 pm and “How to Attract Pollinators to Your Home Gardens” on March 11 from 6:30-8 pm. You can find out more about each program and registration information by clicking on the links below. A program link and password will be provided the day before the program by Sarah DeGraff, UW-Extension Bayfield County.
I want to share a helpful book that a friend recently shared with me.
Raising Butterflies in the Garden ~ author Brenda Dziedzic
A little about Brenda Dziedzic. She is an award winning Master Gardener and an expert on the subject of raising butterfly and moth species. Her memberships include the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association, Monarch Watch and the North American Butterfly Association.
I appreciated all the tips she shares on how to attract butterflies to your backyard. And why it is important to plant both nectar and host plants.
She also shares how to create your own butterfly nursery.
Black Swallowtail have been visiting and living in our garden for the past two seasons.
I was so happy to learn from Brenda, how to help our Black Swallowtail survive and flourish during the seasons by planting host plants and nectar plants.
Brenda goes into detail with the following butterfly and moth families..
Whites and Sulphurs
As the winter months are fast approaching and we soon will be looking at seed catalogs. We can start to plan our gardens around attracting our favorite butterflies.
Some people may feel they need to have a large garden to attract butterfly. Hey, no worries, butterfly enjoy small gardens and container gardeners too.
If you are a container gardener, Brenda gives tips for the container gardener on attracting butterfly.
If you like butterflies, you will enjoy this book.
Carla TePaske ~ NCMGV
It's a new installment in our Kids in the Garden Series! Master Gardener Volunteer Linda Anderson teaches all about the life and life cycle of the magnificent Monarch butterfly.
Really, this isn't just for kids. From her seat in the beautiful Teaching & Display Garden, Linda explains everything we need to know about what Monarch butterflies do for us and how we can protect them.
Kevin Schoessow, University of Wisconsin Extension Area Agriculture Development Educator forBurnett, Sawyer and Washburn Counties spent well over an hour observing a Bombus (Bumble Bee) nest in the compost bin at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station. He used an upturned bucket to make for a nice observation seat in front of the nest entry. They pretty much ignored him as he sat there. Here are his observations:
"If I stand over the opening to the top of the bin and look down on the pile of grass and then tap the edge of the bin with my foot, the hive comes to life. The buzzing sound is almost deafening, and its amazing how bees almost magically appear from under the grass. It’s like they are sentinel laying in wait just beneath the surface. In a matter of seconds there are close to a dozen crawling and flying above the grass and I have been chased away on more than one occasion. Hopefully all this attention doesn’t interfere with their business. Based on what I am seeing/hearing we have a very healthy nest."
Now is the time to observe bumble bees at their busiest. There are a number of resources to learn more about these important pollinators.
The Spooner Agricultural Research Station Teaching and Display Gardens are open for self-guided tours during all daylight hours. Please follow the social distancing guidelines that are posted.
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|North Country MGV||
Diversity in the garden