Drought Resistant Natives
How Do They Survive The Heat?
This has been a hot, dry, essentially rainless June and much of Minnesota is really feeling the drought conditions. What will July and August bring? Hopefully we will receive some consistent rainfall, but what if this drought continues?

Host Plant Highlight
90% of plant-eating insects use native plants to grow and survive. Without their native host plants, many butterflies and other insects cannot survive. Birds and other wildlife use caterpillars and other insects to feed their young. Over the last few years, we have seen major declines in both insect and bird populations due to a variety of factors, especially habitat loss and fragmentation. Rebuilding habitat with native plants is crucial in providing food for caterpillars, which in turn provide food for baby birds; making native plants the foundation of our food webs.
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
# of Larval species- 13
Blue flag iris serves as host plants for 13 species of larval insects, including the Virginia Ctenucha Moth. The Virginia Ctenucha caterpillars can also feed on several grasses and sedges. Blue flag iris thrives in moist to wet conditions, which makes it a perfect addition to shorelines and rain gardens. The violet flowers attract hummingbirds as well as a variety of pollinators.
Adult Ctenucha Moth
Bumblebee taking a nap under a Blue Flag Iris flower
Caterpillar munching on Blue Flag Iris
Retail Nursery:
Plant for Pollinators!

It's National Pollinator Week! Celebrate by planting a diversity of native flowers for these incredible insects!

Please visit our retail nursery open on these dates:
June 25-26
July 16-17
Aug 13-14

For more information visit:
Non-native Species of the Month- Yellow Sweetclover
(Melilotus officinalis)

Yellow Sweetclover is a weed from Europe that has been found in all parts of Minnesota and is a biennial plant that can reach heights of 6 feet, toppling over native prairie species. Common habitats this plant invades include open, sunny areas such as roadsides and fields. It is nearly identical to White Sweet Clover with alternate leaves divided into three leaflets, but flowers blooming in June-September are a distinguishing feature as the latter has white-colored blooms. Reproduces by seed, with one plant able to produce over 100,000 seeds with a soil viability of 40 years. Control methods include hand pulling and removing flowers to prevent seed, as well as monitoring sites for germinating seedlings. 

Native Plant of the Month-
Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix)

Bottlebrush grass is a cool-season, tall, shade tolerant grass that forms small colonies by re-seeding. Easily recognizable by its unique spike arrangement that resembles a bottlebrush. Has a fibrous root system. Stems are erect, unbranched, and single or few from the base of the plant. Alternate leaves are evenly spaced along the stem and floppy. Spikes are single and loose at the top of the stem, turning tan when mature. Habitats include woodlands, riverbanks, and floodplains. A host plant for the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly caterpillar and other moth caterpillars. Deer prefer woodland forbs and usually leave this grass alone.

We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! On the last Wednesday of each month we will feature a book discussion and review on our Facebook Page.
Here are next three!
Forager Fix

When thinking of a "wildflower", the general public's thoughts may be directed towards the picture of a daisy flower with sparkling, clean white petals and a bright yellow disk. Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) perfectly fits this description, but this perennial plant was introduced from Europe in the 1800s as a landscaping plant and has escaped into our natural areas. As our pick this month for Forager Fix, it might surprise you that this plant is edible! This bright tasting flower and it's leaves are great in sandwiches, soups, salads, teas, and more!

Watch our May Book Discussion about Rachel Carson's groundbreaking Silent Spring
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