Marsh Madness 2022!
Welcome to year two of Marsh Madness! Which beautiful and beneficial native plant will come out on top this year? These plants provide amazing pollinator habitat, soil stabilization, buffer excess nutrients before entering our wetlands, carbon sequestration, and so much more! Click below to visit our Facebook page to vote! If you correctly choose the winner you will be entered into a pool to win NST t-shirts and pint glasses!

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.
(Viola spp.)
# of Larval species- 30
Violets are a host plant for 30 species of larval insects, including several species of fritillary butterfly. These butterflies are specialists whose larva will only feed on violets. The adults are orange with black and white markings, and the caterpillars are black and orange with spikes. Violets grow in variety of habitats and are commonly found in lawns. They are often the first plants to bloom in the spring, making them important for early emerging pollinators. There is also a species of solitary mining bee (Andrena violae) that is a Violet specialist, meaning it exclusively uses violets for its pollen resources.
A Great Spangled Fritillary
(Speyeria cybele)

Common Blue Violet
(Viola sororia)
Canada White Violet
(Viola canadensis)
Downy Yellow Violet
(Viola pubescens)
Spring is coming!

Time to start planning! Which native plants will you add to your restoration this year? Visit our website for 2022 sale dates and plant species information! Online ordering starts May 1st so get your lists together now!

For more information visit:
Non-native Species of the Month
Siberian Squill
(Scilla siberica)

Siberian Squill is an ephemeral ornamental that has escaped gardens and is infesting open woods, roadsides and disturbed areas. It is identified by its 6-petalled blue flowers, grass-like leaves and short stature of 3-6 inches. Siberian Squill forms large colonies from both bulb offsets and re-seeding, and broken roots after removal can resprout in the soil. Well adapted to our Minnesota’s climatic conditions and ignored by native herbivores, Siberian Squill has advantages over our native spring ephemerals and has the potential to push them out. Control methods include digging up plants and all rootstock and removing flowerheads before they produce seed. 

Native Plant of the Month-
White Prairie Clover
(Dalea candida)

White Prairie Clover produces a long taproot and has the capability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil with the help of beneficial bacteria. It has a clump-forming habit and grows up to 3 feet tall. The leaves are pinnately compound and hairless, along with the slender stems. Crisp white flowers on dense spikes appear early to mid-summer. White Prairie Clover is drought tolerant and grows well in full sun on mesic to dry soil conditions. When not in flower, it can be distinguished from Purple Prairie Clover by its wider leaflets. The flowers are visited by small butterflies and bees. White Prairie Clover is a favorite of herbivores due to its high protein content, and young plants should be protected to prevent damage. 

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 and YouTube Channel.
Here are the next three!
Watch our February Book Review featuring a colorful and educational book, Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman
Forager Fix
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a widespread non-native biennial from Asia that has invaded edges of our woods and areas of disturbed soil. We may feel bitter towards this plant, but it has its own bitterness in the form of edible leaves and flowers that have been used medicinally for centuries. The plant's species name, cardiaca, means "heart"; this plant is acknowledged to have properties that benefit the human heart. Fresh or dried flowers can be used as flavoring in soups, and leaves can be a good addition to relaxant teas with other aromatic herbs. Motherwort is also noted for balancing female hormones and regulating menstrual cycles, leading to it's common name 'Motherwort'. A few more benefits to note include anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties. Disclaimer: We suggest consulting a doctor before using any foraged plants medicinally.
Just waiting for spring!
Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. |