What’s blooming in Besa’s yard? Lizard’s tail

Blog and photos by Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)

Plant name:
Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)

This plant is found in rain gardens and ponds. Lizard’s tail colonizes wet soil. It gets it’s name from the white drooping flower stalk you can find June through September. It’s arrow-shaped leaves grow on stems that can grow to two feet tall. 

Why I chose this plant:
I like the way the plant smells. It has a licorice scent when you break a leaf or disturb the soil, which is a nice break from the anaerobic smells you usually get when messing around with pond plants.

Continue reading

2017 July monthly gathering highlights

People sitting in backyard

July’s Saturday Gathering at the home of Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti
Photo by Andy Guti

July 5 and 8, 2017
Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti hosted two July yard tour gatherings. Attendance was 22 members and five guests on Wednesday evening July 5, and 17 members and five guests on Saturday July 8. As a discussion format, Marsha Gebhardt interviewed Sherri.

Sherri and Andy became interested in native plant landscaping in 2003 while Sherri was working on a land development project within the city limits of Columbia, MO. She consulted with Steven Apfelbaum of Applied Ecological Services in Wisconsin who identified a portion of the property as being remnant prairie. A natural resource inventory of 100 native species was taken by Nels Holmberg. Additional prairie plants were added. Sherri and Andy joined Wild Ones as members of the Mid-Missouri Chapter. Years later they moved to St. Louis.

Continue reading

Weeding party at The College School LaBarque campus

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis) on Redwhiskers (Polanisia dodecandra)

Blog and Photos by Besa Schweitzer
Member and Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
Horticulturalist at The College School LaBarque campus

The College School LaBarque campus

I’m planning a weeding party at The College School LaBarque campus on Tuesday, July 18.

Please arrive between 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. for a few hours of weeding followed by a picnic lunch down by the creek.

The College School LaBarque campus recently added a living building for their students which is a sustainably-built classroom with solar panels, composting toilets, and native landscaping. Wild Ones donated money to help purchase plants for the pollinator garden which includes six rain gardens.

Continue reading

2017 Spring Wildflower Market Update

By Dawn Weber
Member-at-Large, Plant Sale Chairperson, and
Chairperson, Technology Committee, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter


During the Mother’s Day weekend, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter sold 2,110 Missouri native wildflowers and shrubs to Spring Wildflower Market shoppers that were eager to learn about and purchase native plants. Some folks came in with plant lists, others were looking for guidance about what to buy, and we helped them all.

Marypat Ehlmann with some beautiful lanceleaf coropsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Our plants looked GREAT this year. The lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) and beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) were in bloom and sold out quickly, as did other favorites like Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and the spring ephemerals like bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). We had a lot of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) to sell this year, although some species ran out earlier than others.

Continue reading

Wild Ones members get idyllic, ringside seats for the eclipse

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

As excitement builds around the total eclipse on August 21, people are making plans for where to view it with their family and friends. The lucky members of St. Louis Wild Ones and St. Louis Audubon are offered an outstanding viewing experience at the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR).

Reasons to choose this viewing site:

Location: SNR is located very close to the center of the viewing path, with almost the longest period of total eclipse.

Setting: The Whitmire Wildflower Garden setting is beautiful and full of the native plants that we are so interested in. Only cars with Wild Ones and/or Audubon members, displaying the printed flier, will be allowed to park in the Bascom House/Wildflower Garden parking area. All others will be directed to the “plant sale parking lot” near Robertsville Road. Dowload the flier – Eclipse Aug 21, 2017_flier to print it.

Continue reading

2017 June monthly gathering highlights

Man standing in front of a group of people

James Faupel leading the Wednesday night gathering

June 7 and 10, 2017
Besa Schweitzer and Chris Weiss hosted two June yard-tour gatherings. They welcomed 43 members and four guests on Wednesday evening June 7, and 14 members and two guests on Saturday June 10. Chapter announcements were made by James Faupel and Fran Glass respectively at the Wednesday and Saturday gatherings.

A woman and a man talking

Besa Schweitzer and Chris Weiss

Besa and Chris purchased their current home six years ago. During the first year, they rehabbed the house’s electricity, plumbing, and the walls after adding insulation of two-inch foam panels.

Stormwater management was a major factor in their backyard landscaping decisions. The street lacks storm sewers and curbs so when Besa and Chris moved in, water rushed down their long gravel hill from the street to the garage at the back of their property. They built a swale in the yard to slow rain water that runs in from the street and allows the water to infiltrate.

Continue reading

Registration open for 2017 St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on September 16

St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour sign and plants

Mark O’Bryan’s yard from the 2016 Tour

Once again, we are partnering with the St. Louis Audubon Society to present the third annual St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

This self-guided tour of residential gardens in St. Louis focuses on West county locations this year, highlighting fall blooming plants.
See examples of:
— Sun and shade gardening
— Wet sites and dry sites
— Bird and butterfly friendly gardens

We hope the Tour will inspire you with landscaping ideas on how to use native plants for improving your outdoor environment for the benefit of yourself, others, and the bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that will be attracted to your yard.

Continue reading

2017 May monthly gathering highlights

May 6, 2017
Wooded pathForty-one members attended our May yard-tour gathering hosted by Dale Dufer and Jean Ponzi. Marsha Gebhardt presided.

Dale and Jean moved into their home in 1994. At that time the yard was full of invasive trees including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), and storm damaged trees. Over the years they have removed the invasive species. However maintenance is ongoing because tree-of-heaven is a prolific seeder and seeds continue to germinate long after the tree is removed.

To create a sanctuary for nature, Dale and Jean replaced the invasive species with several species of native trees, shrubs, and forbs including:

  • Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Basswood (Tilia americana)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum sp)
  • Service berry (Amelanchier arborea)
  • Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Continue reading

What’s blooming in Penny’s yard? Canada anemone

Blog and Photos By Penny Holtzmann
Board Member and Treasurer, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

White flower

Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis) up close

Plant name:
Canada anemone (Anemone Canadensis)

This plant provides a nice ground cover up to 12-inches tall with interesting leaf shape and sweet little white flowers in May and June. Flowers are one to one-and-a-half inches across, with five white petal-like sepals and numerous yellow-tipped stamens. 

Why I chose this plant:
About 15 years ago my sister shared some of these plants with me and I have enjoyed them very much. It is related to Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), a taller plant with smaller off-white flowers which give way to a thimble-shaped seed head.

From an article on Houzz.com titled, Great Design Plant: Anemone Canadensis Adds Pizzazz to Water’s Edges by Heather Holm:

Continue reading

See Wild Ones in action on the June 11 Sustainable Backyard Tour

By Dawn Weber
Member-at-Large, Plant Sale Chairperson, and
Chairperson, Technology Committee, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

The 7th Annual Sustainable Backyard Tour is a grassroots, all-volunteer event showcasing yards and gardens throughout St. Louis that demonstrate features of sustainability and organic gardening. The tour will take place on June 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, rain or shine. 

More than 40 hosts will welcome tour-goers this year to see the many ways to live more sustainably in our own backyards.  

Included in those hosts are five Wild Ones members:

  • Scott George
  • Chandan Mahanta 
  • Kevin King 
  • Dawn Weber 
  • Besa Schweitzer 
  • Sue Leahy 

Note: If you are hosting and we’ve missed you on the list, please let us know, and we’ll add your name and location number. 

Continue reading