Jun 172013
 
Wildlife Plants:: Lavender

There are few other plants so closely associated with scent than Lavender. The purple flowers and gray/green foliage is unmistakable and found in gardens around the world. The various forms can grow from ground high up to waist high and it is used and appreciated by both humans and wildlife. Lavandula (more commonly known as Lavender) is in the mint family and the genus contains a complicated taxonomy with 39 species and countless cultivars. Lavendula angustifolia is the most widely cultivated species. It was  historically found in the Old World growing from India throughout the Mediterranean region of Africa and southern Europe. …continue reading

May 032013
 
Friday Film:: What Plants Talk About

Today’s Friday Film is ‘What Plants Talk About’, an episode of Nature from PBS. When we think about plants, we don’t often associate a term like “behavior” with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought! For more information about plant senses, read my review of What a Plant Knows on the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog.

Apr 112013
 
Wildlife Plant:: Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) may be considered a painful weed by most, but it is a complicated plant with many hidden virtues ranging from a valuable wildlife plant to making beer.  While most people are well aware of the evils of Stinging Nettle, not many are familiar with the good. The complexities of the Stinging Nettle startwith its history. It’s a native to North America, but it’s also a native to Europe as well as northern Africa and parts of Asia. There are currently five recognized subspecies of Urtica dioica. A perennial, this plant grows all spring and summer long. In most …continue reading

Mar 272013
 
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: How to Collect Native Plants

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. Finding native plants can be hard work. Here in Seattle, there are a handful of nurseries which carry a few odd native plants. There are native plant nurseries, but nearly all are by appointment or wholesale only. The awesome Washington Native Plant Society has plant sales, but they’re not very often. So if you’ve been studying plant lists and reading native plant books but can’t find many, if any of those plants what are you …continue reading

Mar 202013
 
Wildlife Plants:: Indian Plum

One of the first plants I placed in my new yard this past fall was the Indian Plum. The reason it received this honor was because it is the earliest plants to bloom in the spring. Walk through parks or natural areas in the Pacific Northwest as early as February and you’ll see white flowers hanging in chains from this shrub when most other plants still show no sign of awakening. Indian Plum has many common names so the botanic name, Oemleria cerasiformis, is important to learn . Other common names include Osoberry, Skunk Bush and Bird Cherry. To make it even more …continue reading