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 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.  

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Photographer: Makin, Julie

Inland sea oats

Photographer: Leander, Bruce

Common Name: Indian wood oats, River oats, Inland sea oats

Scientific Name: Chasmanthium latifolium

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-4 feet in height.  Grass blades are green and about 1 inch in width.  Seed heads form on decorative “drooping” stalks that turn from green to gold in late-summer/fall.

Habitat: Indian wood oats prefers moist soils and partial shade.  It is commonly found along stream and river edges where it is partially shaded by trees.  Indian wood oats can tolerate full shade but not full sun.

Additional information: Indian wood oats is a host plant for the caterpillars of several species of butterflies and the seeds are eaten by birds.  If you ever canoe/kayak on Virginia rivers in late summer or fall, look for this distinctive plant along the banks.  The plants in this garden were started from seeds collected along the Pamunkey River in September.  Indian wood oats is particularly easy to start from seed and is a great alternative to non-native invasive ground covers such as English ivy, monkey grass, and periwinkle.  In addition, the tough fibrous roots of Indian wood oats make it great for erosion control on banks.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

Common Name: Big Bluestem, Turkeyfoot

Scientific Name: Andropogon gerardii

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.  

 big bluestem plant of the week 2 big bluestem plant of the week

 

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 6-10 feet in height.  Grass blades have a bluish tint and seeds/flowers form on short “spikelets”.  There are often three spikelets at the tip of the stalk which resemble a turkey’s foot; a feature which earned big bluestem one of its other common names.

Habitat: Big bluestem is the dominant grass of the Midwestern tallgrass prairies and grows best in moist soil with full sun.  However, it ranges over much of the eastern U.S. and tolerates drought and partial shade quite well.  This makes big bluestem a flexible player in a native Virginia landscape.

Additional information: Big bluestem provides excellent cover for wildlife and the nutritious seeds are eaten by many birds.  It is also a larval host for several species of butterflies.  The foliage of big bluestem turns an attractive russet color in the Fall and the seed stalks are a great addition to flower arrangements.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

little bluestem planto of the week

little bluestem plant of the week 2

 You are welcome to visit the native plant of the week at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard and will be marked.  

Common Name: Little Bluestem, Povertygrass, Bunchgrass

Scientific Name: Schizachyrium scoparium

 

 

 

 

General Description: Clump-forming grass with dense growth of fine leaves at the base that reach about 2 feet in height.  Fluffy seed heads arise on longer stems and add interest and texture to native flower arrangements.  Summer foliage often has a bluish tint which turns a beautiful golden color in fall.

Habitat: Little bluestem grows best in full sun; but can adapt to partial shade and a variety of soils.  It is a deep-rooted grass that is drought resistant – perfect for that sunny, dry spot in the landscape.

Additional information: Little bluestem is an excellent wildlife plant that provides cover, nesting material, and nutritious seeds eaten by many birds and small animals in the winter.  It is also a host plant for several species of skippers (family of small butterflies).  Some skipper caterpillars over-winter in “tents” at the base of little bluestem clumps.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

bee balm 2 bee balm

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.  

 Common Name: Eastern Beebalm, Wild Bergamot, Horsemint

Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosa

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-3 feet in height.  Distinctive pink – purple flowers form at the top of square stems.  Green leaves often tinged with dark red or gray hues.

Habitat: Eastern beebalm grows best in full sun and well-drained, moist soils.  It is found naturally in meadows and thickets.

Additional information: Eastern beebalm is a member of the mint family and can spread quite aggressively by rhizomes (underground stems that spread laterally from which new shoots pop up).  For best results in Richmond with minimal maintenance, amend clay soils with organic matter for better drainage; add mulch to conserve water; and plant in an area with partial shade and room to grow.  Then sit back and enjoy the comings and goings of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.  This species of beebalm has a very wide geographic range that includes most of North America.  When purchasing seeds or plants, try to find a source that can confirm they were obtained from this vicinity so they will be adapted to the weather conditions of the Richmond area.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

swamp milkweed plant of the week

swamp milkweed plant of the week 2

You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.

 

Common Name: Swamp Milkweed
Scientific Name: Asclepias incarnata

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 4-5 feet in height. Long, narrow leaves are relatively sparse along the lower half of the stem. Multiple branches form near the top of the stem and produce large clusters of small pink flowers. Excellent in flower arrangements!
Habitat: Swamp milkweed grows best in full sun/part shade. It requires moist soil; but unlike many ornamental plants can tolerate clay soils. This makes swamp milkweed perfect for an area with poor drainage.

Swamp milkweed occurs naturally in wet meadows and along the edges of ponds and streams as pictured above.

Additional information: All native members of the milkweed family deliver exceptional wildlife value. In addition to attracting bees and butterflies, swamp milkweed flowers also attracts hummingbirds. The genus name, Asclepias, is derived from the Greek god of medicine due to the long history of treating health problems with members of the milkweed family.

Milkweed plants also have tough, fibrous stems that were used by Native Americans to make twine and rope.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

Photo credit: R.W.Smith http://www.wildflower.org/

Photo credit: R.W.Smith
http://www.wildflower.org/

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Photo Credit: Julie Makin   http://www.wildflower.org

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard and will be marked.  

 

Common Name: Butterfly Weed, Butterfly Milkweed, Pleurisy Root

Scientific Name: Asclepias tuberosa

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches about 2 feet in height.  Butterfly weed produces strikingly beautiful orange flower clusters across the top of the plant.

Habitat: Butterfly weed grows best in full sun and can withstand both dry and periodic wet conditions.  It thrives where many plants fail.

Additional information: All native members of the milkweed family provide outstanding wildlife value.  Butterfly weed flowers attract pollinators; the foliage is consumed by several kinds of caterpillars including monarchs; and seed pods can become covered by beautiful large milkweed bugs (black with orange markings) which liquefy the seeds and suck out the nutrients.  Each seed is attached to cottony fibers that allow for wind dispersal of the seeds much like dandelions.  Butterfly weed was used for many medicinal purposes by Native Americans as well as by European settlers.  The common name of “pleurisy root” refers to the use of butterfly weed to treat lung ailments.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

 

coreopsis - plant of the week

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.  

Common Name: Lanceleaf coreopsis, Lanceleaf tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches about 2 feet in height.  Lanceleaf coreopsis produces lots of bright yellow flowers arising on long stems.

Habitat: Lanceleaf tickseed occurs naturally in meadows and is ideally suited for dry areas that receive full sun.  The sunnier the location, the more flowers produced.  This plant grows well in infertile soils and does not need fertilizer.

Additional information: Lanceleaf coreopsis flowers attract many varieties of native butterflies and bees.  (Check out the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation for more information: http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/.)  In addition to forming clumps that can be divided to produce additional plants, lanceleaf coreopsis also spreads by seed.  The long-stemmed flowers are great for flower arrangements and blooming can be prolonged by “deadheading” the plants.

 

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

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