May 2016 events for Wild Ones – Tupelo Chapter

By Ruth Kelley
Acting President, Wild Ones – Tupelo Chapter

Carbondale, Illinois and surrounding area map

Carbondale, Illinois and map of surrounding area – Map Data ©2016 Google

Upcoming events for native plant enthusiasts:

Seventy species of native wildflowers featured on greenhouse tour
Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Greenhouse Tour and Seedling ID
Southernwood Gardens (on Facebook)
4650 Rhine Road (map)
Alto Pass, IL 62905
(618) 833-2769

The Tupelo Chapter of Wild Ones Native Landscapers will sponsor a greenhouse and prairie tour on Sunday, May 1 at Southernwood Gardens near Alto Pass. Phone Ruth Kelley at (618) 684-2196 for more information.

Free program for gardeners and homeowners
Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Native Landscaping for Pollinators
Presenter: Dave Tylka
Carbondale Civic Center
200 South Illinois Ave. (map)
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Continue reading

Forest Park needs volunteers to plant natives – April 30

Forest Park Forever ecologist, Peter VanLinn III, speaking to Wild Ones

Forest Park Forever ecologist, Peter VanLinn III, speaking to Wild Ones – St. Louis chapter

The Kennedy Woods Advisory Group and Forest Park Forever will be installing native plants in the savanna by the “poke and plop” method.  Volunteers are needed to plant the 1500 plugs and will have guidance from six crew leaders. This event is an opportunity to increase biodiversity and savanna health in Forest Park.

Read the Forest Park Savanna Restoration pdf for more information and a map.

Continue reading

2016 Landscape Challenge Launch: Application process open


2015 Landscape Challenge planting day

For the eleventh year in a row, Grow Native!, Shaw Nature Reserve, and St. Louis Wild Ones are looking for a front yard that will showcase landscaping with native plants.

In addition, our main Landscape Challenge page has been updated to show a history of the event with a new slideshow. If you haven’t seen it recently, take an inspiring look back at what we’ve accomplished.

To be eligible for the native landscape makeover in 2016, participants must:

  • Live in ZIP code 63119, 63126, or 63123
  • Have had a Bring Conservation Home evaluation of your property
  • Agree to maintain planted area, keeping it free of weeds
  • Use only native plants in the project area
  • Allow visits by project partners
  • Have a makeover area that is at least 12 feet by 12 feet
  • Prepare the site for planting prior to September 24, 2016
  • Be willing to be interviewed on camera
  • Grant permission for the sponsors to use images of the project in educational efforts

Continue reading

Southwest Illinois chapter meetings now on our calendar

WO_calendar_Illinois_SWIL_reverse2We added the Southwest Illinois (SWIL) chapter’s monthly meetings to our calendar. Note that some of the meetings are actually in Missouri. Because of the relatively-close distance, you may be able to attend both sets of meetings. Or, if you are unable to make one of our monthly meetings, you may be able to attend one of their meetings and vice versa.

The first meeting listed is this Wednesday, April 20 at the Lewis & Clark Community College. Scott Moss will talk about the college’s projects.  Afterward, a tour is planned. Please refer to the calendar for more information and directions.

Meeting list:

Reminder: Sat. morning with Wild Ones at Sugar Creek Gardens

Abby Elliott, the owner of Sugar Creek Gardens

Abby Elliott, the owner of Sugar Creek Gardens

Topic: A Morning with Missouri Native Plant Experts

Note: Wild Ones members receive 10% off. Betty Struckhoff will have the name badges at the event.

Volunteers: St. Louis Wild Ones members will be on hand to answer questions.

When: Saturday, April 16, 9:00 a.m. – noon

Where: Sugar Creek Gardens

Cost: Talking with members is free and open to the public.

Registration: None

Original blog post (Events are listed at the bottom.)

What’s blooming in my yard? Time for sassafras

By Kathee Morgeson

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Time for sassafras trees to bloom, just after the serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) start to fade.  If you see one, you probably see many since they grow in wonderful thickets.  Mine are being given the challenge of breezy days and threats of another night of frost. But, they have proven to stay closed just long enough to give that burst of sunshiny yellow to welcome spring in mid-April.

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) can grow to 45-feet tall in dry, moist conditions.  Squirrels and birds eat the fruit. The leaves are very interesting. They can be unlobed, mitten-shaped, or trilobed. Very cool!

Insects pollinate male and female flowers from separate trees.  Sassafras is a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly and the promethea, IO, and imperial moths.  I know I will be watching out for them this summer.

Continue reading

Pollinator Palette follow-up

By Marypat Ehlmann
Fran Glass, Board Secretary
Dawn Weber, Board Member-at-Large


Fran Glass and Marypat Ehlmann at Greenscape

The Pollinator Palette program was created by Greenscape Gardens to increase awareness and engagement in our communities for pollinator issues and the value of native plants. Each month a different native plant that serves as a nectar source or host plant will be featured as a gift with purchase at Greenscape.

In 2016, like-minded community partners are being featured alongside each month’s plant to help raise awareness of that organization’s mission. Wild Ones was chosen to be the featured organization in March.

Continue reading

April 2016 monthly gathering highlights

April 6, 2016
President Marsha Gebhardt welcomed all and invited guests to introduce themselves.


Josh Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, discussing Deer Lake Savanna before the tour

Josh Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, discussing Forest Park and Deer Lake Savanna before the tour

Joshua Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, led 32 Wild Ones members and 18 guests on a tour of Deer Lake Savanna. He is a member of the Forest Park Forever land management staff of 20 people who care for 170 acres of natural areas in the park.

In 1986, Forest Park Forever was created as a private, nonprofit organization to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain, and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks.

During the tour, Josh discussed restoration and management of Deer Lake Savanna, history of the area, and wildflower/tree identification. Historically, the site was located in River des Peres bottomland.

Continue reading

What’s blooming in my yard today?

By Kathy Bildner

Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Bluebells up close (Mertensia virginica)

What’s blooming in my yard today? Bluebells! (Mertensia virginica)

Bluebells are a sure sign it is spring. In the wilds of Missouri, they grow in large patches in low rich woodlands. In our yards they do well underneath trees in the leaf litter. They come up, bloom, and are gone early in the spring before most of our prairie plants have started.

The flowers are pale blue, one-inch long, and bell or trumpet shaped. They hang down in loose clusters from the top of the plant. There are more leaves than flowers, leaves being a beautiful smooth gray-green color, oval shaped with rounded tips. The plant can grow up to two feet tall.

Continue reading

Native Plant School Newsletter – April 2016

Native Plant School logoThe April edition of The News from Native Plant School contains topics on:

    • Shaw Wildflower Market, Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Member pre-sale, Friday, May 6, 4-7:30 p.m.
    • Spotlight on willows
    • SNR plants have added value
    • A garden for zebras and tigers
    • Mycorrhizal fungi
    • Monarch garden resources
    • Working trees
    • The dirt on soil
    • Gardening Tips
    • Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
    • Wild Ones Gathering, April 6, 6 p.m.
    • Grow Native! workshop, “Living Landscapes: Native Plants Get Us Back to Our Roots”, May 14
    • Upcoming Classes:
      • Spring Flowering Perennials and Grasses, May 12
      • Flower Arranging with Native Plants, June 9
    • Garden Tours:
      • The Sustainable Backyard Garden Tour, Sunday, June 12
      • The St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour, Saturday, June 18

Download the PDF.

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