Sunday, June 05, 2011

Native Seed Growers Seedling Pick-up Day

Volunteers are such friendly helpful people.
I was able to schedule an appointment for pickup and preorder the plants from the available list online. Then a helpful volunteer had the plants ready and waiting when we arrived.
Native Seed Growers


Set-up in the shade of trees were tables of trays full of seedlings looking for a home, just in case you had not pre-ordered or were able to take a few of the extras. Someone was there to help walk you through the plants and assist with removing plugs from the plant trays.




The above photo is of the four sunny prairie plants that I chose. We were encouraged to take at least three of each.

Set right to potting up to hold the seedlings for a bit while the planting area is finished.



Aster oblongifolius / Aromatic AsterLate blooming; one of the last asters to bloom. Once established this aster is drought tolerant. The flowerheads and crushed foliage are fragrant.

Compact form, with small stiff leaves. The entire plant is covered with flower heads when in bloom. Well suited for small spaces as the plant doesn't flop over when flowering.

Attracts:Butterflies

Harvest:

The seed matures during late October-November. When the seed head is tan and fluffy, the seeds can be carefully removed so as to not disturb adjacent mature seed heads which can easily lose its seed if it is slightly bumped.

Allow the seeds to air-dry completely to assure that all moisture in the seed is removed for storage.


Baptisia leucophaea / Cream False IndigoOne of the first plants to bloom in the prairie, the blooms are lush but brief. The cream-colored flower groups are borne laterally near the ground in the spring. This plant develops slowly and once established it should not be transplanted.
The foliage can be easily damaged in the wind therefore it needs support from companion plants, particularly little bluestem.

Suggested Companion Plants:
Little Bluestem, Rough Blazingstar, Spiderwort, Leadplant.

Protection:
Indigo is not normally bothered by mammalian herbivores because the foliage is poisonous. If livestock, such as horses, eat sufficient quantities of this plant, as well as other wild indigos, they can be seriously poisoned by it.


Attracts:
This plant is pollinated primarily by queen bumblebees.


How to collect the seeds:

Seed pods are elliptical, fuzzy and have a pointed beak


Psoralea tenuiflora / Scurfy PeaAn open, bushy plant with gray hairy stems. Very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted into their permanent locations.
The plant is a good soil stabilizer.

Suggested companion plants:
Downy Phlox, Little Bluestem Grass, Purple coneflower.

How to Collect the Seeds:
A one-seeded pods are 3/16” long and are covered with black spots.


wisconsin plants panic grass


Family Poaceae
Dichanthelium leibergii (Vasey) Freckmann
Leiberg's panic grass, prairie panic grass
Dichanthelium: Greek dich for "two" and anthelium for "flowering" - a fair translation is "twice-flowering"
leibergii: for John Bernhard Leiberg (1853-1913), its discoverer


Panicum leibergii / Leiberg’s Panic GrassA characteristic grass of dry prairies. Among the rosette grasses, Leiberg’s panicgrass is recognized by having leaf blades that are hairy on both surfaces.

Protection:
Foliage may be grazed by herbivores.

Suggested companion plants:
Prairie alumroot, Hoary Puccoon, Heath Aster, Wild Bergamot.

How to Collect the Seeds:
Leiberg’s panicgrass is characterized by two distinct blooming periods. The primary flowering heads are eventually held above the foliage and are produced from late May into early June. The secondary flowering heads are produced from the leaf axils from late June into September. The primary flowering heads usually have a lower seed set than the secondary ones, which have flowers that remain closed and are self-pollinated.

The small tan, round seeds are mature when they are easily pulled from the stem.

Allow the seeds to air-dry completely to assure that all moisture in the seed is removed for storage.

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