Two choices for e-mail reminders

May 2014 meeting

Wild Ones touring a yard – photo by Dave Tylka

Some people are not aware that we have two different e-mail lists:

  • Blog e-mails – get a notice whenever there’s a new blog post
  • Monthly reminders – get an email about the upcoming meeting and other news

Sign up or update your preferences

Note: Anyone can receive the emails – you don’t have to be a member. And members are not automatically signed up.

Reminder: The first St. Louis Wild Ones gathering of the year is Wednesday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m.  Kim Reiss will present “Landscaping ideas for the intrepid homeowner.” Our meetings are open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us! More information and a map

5th annual Partners for Native Landscaping workshop – March 26

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, St. Louis Wild Ones

Partners-Native-Landscaping-Workshop-Flier 2016Keynote presenter: Dave Tylka

This program is an exciting opportunity for all of you who are in the early stages of learning about the why’s and how-to’s of landscaping with native plants.

A little history: Since 2011, St. Louis Wild Ones has worked to provide this annual workshop in partnership with Metro St. Louis Sewer DistrictMissouri Department of Conservation, Shaw Nature Reserve, Bring Conservation Home, and Grow Native! For the first three years, beginners were the target audience. Then in 2014, the partners produced the workshop as a gala held at the Missouri Botanical Garden, with Doug Tallamy as the keynote speaker. Last year the workshop was developed as an event for intermediate native plant gardeners, with breakout sessions offering more advanced content.

Continue reading

Native landscaping classes with Dave Tylka

Dave Tylka photographing wildflowersLong-time Wild Ones member and author, Dave Tylka is teaching a series of classes on nature and landscaping with native plants in three ways. The first method is through the Missouri Botanical Garden:

  • Tues. Mar. 15, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Grow a Woodland Native Wildflower Garden in the City
  • Tues. April 19, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Monarchs and Milkweed

Cost per class is $28 for members, $34 for non-members.
Registration is open now.

Continue reading

Native Plant School newsletter – January 2016

Native Plant School logoThe January edition of the Native Plant School newsletter contains topics on:

  • Invasive Species: Plumegrass
  • Seeding the West Savanna
  • Come for a Visit this Month, “…seed heads are still worthy of the gardener’s attention and admiration.” – with photography by Darla Preiss.
  • Wonderful Wasps in the Wildflower Garden
  • Answer to Guess The Plant
  • Organization Highlight, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
  • Why Birds Need Native Trees
  • Native By Design: Landscapes Beyond Beauty, February 26
  • Upcoming Class
    • Converting Lawn to Seeded Prairie or Savanna, February 11

Download the PDF.

To sign up for the newsletter, e-mail Besa Schweitzer (

Follow Bill Hoss into his backyard wildlife refuge

By Peggy Whetzel

As he likes to call it, "Bill's Little Prairie"

As he likes to call it, “Bill’s Little Prairie”

To go birding or to photograph wildlife, two of his favorite activities, Bill Hoss has only to step outside his white frame house on North Forest Avenue in Webster Groves.

From the street, just about the only hint that there’s something unusual about the 43 by 315-foot lot is the hairy-looking buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) and other low-growing natives replacing fescue just beyond the sidewalk.

But a short walk past the house and down the gravel driveway – and flanked by the neatly-mowed lawns of his neighbors – sits a back yard filled side-to-side and front-to-back with an estimated more than 100 species of native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. And just a big toe or two off the driveway, a small stream bubbles through it.

Continue reading

Upcoming events on native plants

Flier-Mingle-Grow-NativeMingle with native plant professionals
When: Wednesday, January 27, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., presentations at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Schlafly Bottleworks
Cost: Suggested $10 donation
Registration: No
About: St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home program and Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! are providing an opportunity to connect with local landscape designers, landscape architects, land care service providers, retailers, and other professionals with a passion for native plants.

St. Louis Wild Ones logoLandscaping ideas for the intrepid homeowner
St. Louis Wild Ones February meeting and speaker
You do not need to be a member to attend.
When: Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Heights Community Center in Richmond Heights
Cost: Free
Registration: No – For more information including directions
About: Kim Reiss, a manager at Sugar Creek Gardens, will present: Are you interested in adding native plants to your yard, but don’t want to end up with a hot mess? We’ll take a look at some landscaping basics and cover plant ideas for a small yard, privacy, dry areas, and wet spots. Get inspired to create a new garden, spruce up a tired yard, or just get ideas. Even lazy gardeners can successfully grow a beautiful native garden!

Continue reading

Cup plant’s overwintering residents

By Cori Westcott
for Bring Conservation Home

Bring Conservation Home logoSomeone told me
It’s all happening at the zoo
I do believe it
I do believe it’s true – from Paul Simon’s At the Zoo, 1968


Cup plant sweat bee

Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) and sweat bee

When I think of the potential for a bustling natural winter community that may be happening in stems of my cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) during the winter, Simon’s song cycles through my mind.

Wisconsin entomologist Andrew H. Williams collected (1996) and identified (1997) more than twenty species of insects and spiders overwintering in Silphium perfoliatum stems. In February, Mr. Williams sent a copy of his table on discovered insect and spider collections from cup plant stems in Grant County, Wisconsin to me upon request. He graciously has given me permission to share his findings with you.

Mr. Williams’ findings are listed by taxon. I’ve done a little research to further identify the insects and glean any special behavior to pass along. I’m about to share some intriguing behavior of the cup plant’s winter residents in a rapid-fire style Mr. Simon used in describing the zoo’s citizen’s. Cue Simon’s song…

Continue reading

The joys of a native plant yard in winter

By Fran Glass

Room with a view - prairie dropseed

Room with a view – prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) in the left foreground and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

My winter garden is a delight to me. Outside my front window little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) sway in the breezes. I especially appreciate these grasses when rain keeps me indoors. The amber grass movement is fascinating.

When sunshine arrives, rain drops hanging along the stems glisten. The sun’s low angle casts intriguing elongated shadows of forbs, grasses, shrubs, and trees. The structure of the dormant forbs adds to the composition with an interesting variety of heights, colors, textures, and hues.

Continue reading