Back to Bustin' Buckthorn
Seeing too much green this fall? Buckthorn!
Fall is an amazing and quite beautiful time in Minnesota. The air is crisp and clean. Trees and shrubs are putting on their best display of colors as they pull every last bit of nutrients out of their leaves before they drop. From the golden yellows of birch and poplar to the red-orange of sugar maples and sumac, there is an incredibly wide range of hues to admire.  

As you casually observe the changing landscape, you start to notice the green leaves that are still present on a particular shrub in your neighborhood. Why aren’t these leaves changing color? That’s because it’s the non-native, invasive buckthorn, which has a unique phenology that works to extend its growing season. Once you get the search image down, you quickly realize how prevalent buckthorn really is in certain areas of the metro area.

Pollinator/Insect of the Month
Eastern Tailed-Blue
( Cupido comyntas )

This is a very small butterfly that is light blue with dark margins on the upper side of their wings and lighter silver on the underside. Females are a darker blue/slate grey on the upper side. They have a small "tail" on their hind wings. The underside of the hind wings also have orange dots. They can't fly very far and have short proboscis (tongues) so they usually visit flowers lower to the ground, like strawberries, asters, cinquefoils, and others. Their caterpillar host plants are in the pea family, including native vetches, clovers, and wild pea, among others. You can usually find these small butterflies in open fields and meadows. You can also find the males congregating after a rain at puddles, called "puddle parties".
Retail Nursery News

Our Retail Nursery is closed for the season, thank you to everyone who visited our retail nursery this year!

Call or email our Greenhouse Manager Jill to place orders for next year.

For more information:
Non-native Species of the Month- Winged Burning-bush ( Euonymus alatus)

This is an invasive perennial woody from Asia that escaped the ornamental trade. It prefers full to partial shade and can adapt to many different soil types. This shrub forms dense understories of saplings from seeds that spread by birds, pushing out native plants. Flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and have four petals. The flowers bloom from May-June and then turn into red fruit. The stems have "wings", which make it easier to identify. It is very popular because of it's bright red fall leaves. Winged Burning-bush is still sold in Minnesota as an ornamental, even as it escapes and invades our woodlands. If found, it's best to pull out small saplings, or cut and treat the stump with herbicide.

Native Plant of the Month-
High Bush Cranberry
( Viburnum trilobum Syn. Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

This is a perennial woody that prefers moist soils, full sun or partial shade, and can grow 8-15 feet. It is common in moist woodlands or along shorelines, helping to stabilize soils. It blooms from May to June with clusters of white 5-petaled flowers that are large around the circumference of the cluster, and very small in the center. Leaves have three lobes and small teeth. They are dark green in the summer but turn brilliant shades of red in the fall. Their red berries are very popular with birds and other animals, including humans that make jam!

Five Plants For...After a Buckthorn Removal
Want to replant an area after your have removed a nasty stand of buckthorn? Plant these hardy natives that can germinate quickly and help shade out any buckthorn saplings.
Mystery Plant of the Month
This month's Mystery Plant was one of our last hold outs this season, blooming into late October despite the cold. Need another clue? Hundreds of these little blueish purple flowers can be found on just one plant!
Do you have a guess?

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