What’s blooming in Prem’s yard? Nannyberry

By Premsri Barton
Member and Program Committee Volunteer, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Large cluster flower

Nannyberry’s (Viburnum lentago) showy flower clusters

Plant name: Nannyberry, sheepberry, sweet viburnum (Viburnum lentago)

Description: This plant is a native large shrub or small tree in Northeastern and Midwestern states. It’s also found from southern Canada to Kentucky and Virginia. It has large clusters of small flowers, which are very showy.

Why I choose this plant: It’s a very tough small tree! It grows back after I cut the whole thing down to the ground and has very profuse blooms. The beautiful shining green leaves turn copper-orange color in the fall. It will bear fruit that many birds like. It’s edible too! This is the first year it bloomed for me, and I can’t wait to try the berries.

Continue reading

We need help raising abundance of early baby monarchs

Blog by Susan Burk
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

A woman and a man looking for eggs on plant

Susan and Fred Burk looking for monarch eggs
Photo by Marcia Myers

[Editor’s Note: At the end of the gathering on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Fred and Susan Burk were busy counting monarch eggs. They need our help as these early monarch eggs are now hungry caterpillars!]

It is unusual to have monarchs visit the St. Louis area in the spring. We normally see them as they are migrating south in late summer. This year, possibly because of storms in Texas and Oklahoma, they were “pushed” north and east. Problem with the early arrivals is that our milkweed has not started growing yet and there is not enough milkweed to feed the cat’s.

Female monarchs visited my yard on April 9, and because there were more than a hundred butterfly and marsh milkweed potted plants in my backyard, they had a great time laying eggs, which started hatching on April 16 and 17.

So far we have collected more than one hundred tiny caterpillars!

Continue reading

Meramec plant sale this Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28

By James Faupel
Vice-President, Wild Ones- St. Louis Chapter
Outreach and Speaker Coordinator

This week the Meramec Botanical Society at St. Louis Community College Meramec will be hosting their annual Horticulture Plant Sale on April 27 and 28. They will have around twenty different native perennials available for purchase, along with the other ornamental plants they have grown.

STLCC Meramec Horticulture has become a very good partner to the Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter:

  • Recently they hosted our collaborative Partners for Native Landscaping Workshop. It was a big success with more than 500 attending!
  • Also, some of the members of their Botanical Society have joined as members of our Chapter.
  • Their Society President, Robert May, joined our Landscape Challenge crew as the designer on this year’s project!

Please show your support and visit their sale if you are in need of plants.

Continue reading

Grow Native! offers a discount and more for our members

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Grow Native! logoIn the interest of promoting landscaping with native plants, our Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter has an increasing collaboration with the GrowNative! program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF).

Our Board of Directors voted late last year to become an Institutional Member of GrowNative! We paid $250 for the membership to support GrowNative! and for which we also receive several individual and organizational benefits.

  • Wild Ones members are eligible for a reduced fee for GrowNative! workshops. If you are a Wild Ones member, simply identify yourself as such when registering, and the discount will be applied. They will use the honor system so you don’t need to show proof. In addition, many of their events are free. Upcoming Grow Native! events list
  • The current GrowNative! Resource Guide lists the Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter under Institutional Supporters, along with all of the professional nursery/landscaper members.
  • Wild Ones is given tabling space at any GrowNative! event.

Continue reading

What’s blooming in my yard? Mexican plum

By Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Photos by Darla Preiss

White flower

Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)

My Mexican plum just started to bloom around March 1. The flowers continue…

Plant name: Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)

Description: Height: 15-20 feet, width: 10-15 feet
A small tree that refuses to grow straight and will form a colony from suckers if you let it. White fragrant flowers in early spring turn to a medium size plum in late summer. This tree has orange fall color with reddish grey peeling bark on the main trunk.

Why I chose this plant: This plant is edible, native, and beautiful! Plums make an excellent chutney if you can get them before the birds.

Continue reading

2017 backyard sustainability tour – May 1 deadline to be a tour host

By Sue Leahy
Member-at-Large, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

purple, red, and yellow wildflowers

Part of the Leahy’s native plant garden

The Leahy Wildlife Habitat will be participating in the St. Louis 7th Annual Sustainable Backyard Tour on Sunday, June 11.

We did this last year also and, despite the brutal heat that day, had 72 visitors to our yard. People are very interested in native plants! Because of this, I would encourage other Wild Ones members to participate in this tour as well. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to folks that may or may not have heard about Wild Ones.

I do have some suggestions if you want to participate. Signage is very important. I made an attempt to talk to everyone who came last year, but it was hard to have lengthy conversations. Visitors are not afraid to ask questions, though, so explanatory signage goes a long way:

  • We typed out a list of plants in a given garden bed with common and latin names, bloom time, and color. We laminated the list and stuck it on a stake in each garden.
  • For rain gardens, we added a sign explaining where the water came from that entailed the need for that garden.
  • I also had signs on my rain barrels indicating capacity, where we got them, and what we used the water for (because natives don’t need to be watered).

Continue reading

Spring 2017 native plant sales

Two people with plants at the Spring Wildflower Market

Spring Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve

While we hope you’ll come to the St. Louis Wild Ones booth at the Spring Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve on Friday, May 12 (Garden members only) or Saturday, May 13, here are some other options:

Missouri Wildflowers Nursery (MWN) at Kirkwood Farmers’ Market
When: April 8, 15, 22, 39, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Kirkwood Farmers’ Market, 150 East Argonne (Google Map)
MWN will have a collection of their wonderful Missouri natives.
Pre-Order by Wednesday from their catalog, and they will bring your order to the market on Friday for you to pick up, Apr 7, 14, 21, 28, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Continue reading

Mallard Lake partnership update and volunteer opportunities

Blog and photos by Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

How would you like to participate in an exciting native planting project at Creve Coeur Memorial Lake Park? Information about two opportunities are now on the Dig In! page of our website. A third opportunity is in the planning stage.

Group of people planting

Installing the north garden

April 8, 2017:
Installing the Shoreline Planting along the edge of Mallard Lake, both north and south of the Lakehouse and contiguous to the prairie planting

April 11 or 12 in the afternoon TBA:
Spring Cleaning (of the two gardens installed last fall)
The north garden was designed by our own Jeanne Cablish. The south garden was designed by Karen Westman Spreitler. Both landscape designers donated their design services. This opportunity will serve as a “stewardship training” for those interested in making a regular commitment to the upkeep of those gardens. Stay tuned for a specific date.

Continue reading