Category Archives: Monarch Caterpillars

Earthyman’s video of Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis) at Ion Exchange, Inc., in Northeast Iowa

Earthyman views the best butterfly plant at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa. Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis) will attract butterflies to your prairie perennial garden. Blazingstar is a perennial prairie wildflower

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Please Visit Out Website at http://ionxchange.com/products/LIATRIS-LIGULISTYLIS-%7C-Meadow-Blazingstar.html

Earthyman’s Youtube Video of Wild Goldenglow (Rudbeckia lanciniata) at Ion Exchange, Inc.

Earthyman views Wild Goldenglow (Rudbeckia lanciniata) also known as Greenheaded Coneflower at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa. Wild Goldenglow is a great pollinator along your woodland edge.

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Visit Our Website at http://ionxchange.com/products/RUDBECKIA-LACINIATA-%7C-Wild-Golden-Glow.html

The Prairie Ecologist Sunflower Article

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants from Ion Exchange, Inc. Click On Our Link Below

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This is a Great Article from The Prairie Ecologist on Sunflowers Click Link Below

Prairie Ecologist Sunflower Party Time Article

 

Call Us at 1-800-291-2143 For any Questions You May Have Regarding Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants http://ionxchange.com/

 

 

[IOWA-NATIVE-PLANTS] Butterfly forecast 2012 Article

Click on Link Below For The Poweshiek Skipper Project Butterfly Forecast For Central Iowa August 16-19, 2012

The Poweshiek Skipper Project

Article Taken From The Roused Bear Blog To Visit Blog Click on Link Below

http://therousedbear.wordpress.com/

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants from Ion Exchange, Inc. Click On Our Link Below

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ECHINACEA PURPUREA | Purple Coneflower

ECHINACEA PURPUREA | Purple Coneflower

Product Description
“Purple Coneflower, Black Samson, Red Sunflower”

Echinacea from the Greek word for “sea urchin” or “hedgehog” referring to the spiny chaff at the center of these flowers. Purpurea also from the Greek for the word meaning “purple”.

Favors open prairies and dry open woods of the Tallgrass region and blooms from May to October. Grows to two to three feet in height with pale purple to purple flowers.
Sun Exposure: Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture: Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic
Bloom Time: Summer, Fall (July, August, September)
Bloom Color: Purple
Max Height: 4 feet
Wetland Code: UPL
Germ Code: A
Seeds Per Packet: 300
Seeds Per Ounce: 6,600

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Echinacea is considered to be the most effective detoxicant in Western herbal medicine for the circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory system. Its use has also been adopted by Ayurvedic medicine. Plants in this genus were probably the most frequently used of N. American Indian herbal remedies. They had a very wide range of applications and many of these uses have been confirmed by modern science. This species is the most easily cultivated of the genus and so has been more generally adopted for its medicinal uses. The plant has a general stimulatory effect on the immune system and is widely used in modern herbal treatments. In Germany over 200 pharmaceutical preparations are made from Echinacea. There has been some doubt over the ability of the body to absorb the medicinally active ingredients orally (intravenous injections being considered the only effective way to administer the plant), but recent research has demonstrated significant absorption from orally administered applications. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity. The plant was used by N. American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects. An infusion of the plant was also used to treat snakebite. The root is adaptogen, alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, sialagogue. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Click on Ion Exchange, Inc., Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/ECHINACEA-PURPUREA-%7C-Purple-Coneflower.html

 

Liatris: Blazing Star of Prairie and Garden

Liatris is a tough and undemanding prairie plant, tolerant of poor soil and less-than-ideal moisture situations. It’s also a perennial border standout and florist’s staple. The long-lasting blooms of this summer- and fall-blooming American native attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. This is one wildflower that stands out wherever it’s planted, be it roadside, naturalized area or formal garden.

Identification
Some 30 species of liatris are native to nearly every state east of the Rocky Mountains as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. A number of the species and several cultivars are considered worthy of the ornamental garden. Early American settlers called this member of the Aster family “blazing star” or “gayfeather” because of its bright bottle brush-like flowers. Another pioneer name, “colic root,” referred to its medicinal use as an intestinal antispasmodic. Some types of liatris were known as “devil’s bite” or “button snakeroot” because of their reputation as a remedy for snakebite, particularly from rattlesnakes.

Image
Monarch on L. aspera

The foliage of liatris is spiky and grass-like, with leaves that are larger at the base of the plant and become smaller at the top.  In mid- to late summer, the stems produce many tiny, star-like florets. Unlike most other spike-flowered plants, liatris (with the exception of L. aspera) opens from the top of the spike downward, rather than from the bottom up. Depending on the variety, the spikes’ blossoms may be purple, pinkish-purple or white, and grow from 1 to 5 feet high. In the fall, liatris foliage turns an attractive shade of bronze, and the dried stalks serve as swaying perches for birds attracted to the seedheads.

Culture
Liatris plants prefer full sun but will accept some degree of shade. They are tolerant of a wide range of soils, but most require a well-drained situation. Plant in either early spring or in late summer or early autumn, spacing the plants about 1 foot apart. Watering regularly during its first year helps liatris become established, after which it becomes fairly drought-tolerant. Avoid overwatering, because it can cause plants to rot, and don’t overfertilize, because it can cause the flower stalks to flop. 

Depending on the species, liatris may emerge from a corm, rhizome or elongated root. Once liatris matures, you can propagate it by dividing large clumps in the spring, just as the leaves are emerging. Use a knife or sharp spade to separate the corms or roots.

Varieties
Many kinds of liatris are readily available from nurseries and garden centers. Even small plants often bloom the first year they are planted, and they become more impressive every year. Species liatris are also readily grown from seed. Some varieties to look for include:

Image L. scariosa (Eastern blazing star, New England blazing star, tall gayfeather) typically grows from 2 to 4 feet. If cultivated in a more fertile setting, it may require staking. The lavender, rose or white flowers resemble buttons, with individual flower heads growing from short stalks coming off the stem.
Image L. aspera (rough blazing star) features pink flowers on 1- to 3-foot spikes, blooming from August through October. Hardy to zone 4, this liatris prefers dry to moderately moist soil, and can be found growing in sandy fields and dunes.
Image L. pycnostachya (prairie blazing star, Kansas gayfeather, cattail gayfeather or button snakeroot) is hardy to zone 3 and prefers moist or even wet sites. The flowers may be purple, rose-purple or white, and appear on 2- to 5-foot spikes between July and September.
Image L. ligulistylis (meadow blazing star, round-headed blazing star, showy blazing star) prefers moderate moisture, and can be found growing in meadows, prairies and along the banks of streams. Pink to purple, 3- to 5-foot flower spikes appear in August and September. This liatris is particularly attractive to butterflies and is hardy to zone 4.
Image L. punctata (dotted blazing star or spotted gayfeather) is a drought-tolerant native of the Great Plains. Its long tap root makes it useful for xeriscaping. Pink flowers appear on 1- to 2-foot spikes in July through September. L. punctata is hardy in zones 4 through 8.
Image L. spicata (dense blazing star or spike gayfeather), hardy to zone 3, likes moisture and is found in marshes and meadows. Its rose-purple flower spikes reach 1 1/2 to 5 feet in August and September. Among the hybridized forms of L. spicata are ‘Alba’, with pure white flowers and ‘Floristan Violet’ with strong, bright violet stems. ‘Kobold’ is a small, compact plant, reaching only 18 to 24 inches high, with deep purple blooms.

Garden Uses
Liatris is an obvious choice for providing color to a naturalized planting, where it pairs well with prairie grasses, echinacea and coneflower. It’s also right at home in more formal settings, where the tall stalks provide punctuation and contrast to mound-shaped perennials. The warm rosy-purple blooms of liatris are a good foil for yellow flowers such as goldenrod, coreopsis and later-blooming golden daylilies, as well as silver-leaved plants like lamb’s ears and wormwood. Although the spikes look handsome planted in large groups or drifts, they also work well planted here and there as single accents. Shorter cultivars are best appreciated near the front of the border. Taller varieties needn’t be relegated to the rear of the garden — they make great “see-through” perennials, adding texture and variety to the border when you place them in front of shorter plants. 

Liatris and Critters
Image
In my research about liatris, I learned that this plant is beneficial to the diet of deer and antelope, and can be used as food for grazing livestock such as sheep. Although I have no livestock, my urban garden is home to herds of rabbits and chipmunks. Unfortunately, these critters do more than just nibble foliage — once they bite through a tall stalk, you can say goodbye to its flowers for the season. After bunnies decimated most of my magnificent 5-foot-tall white L. pycnostachya, I salvaged the remaining two stalks by wrapping them in plastic netting (the kind that oranges come in) up to about 12 inches — not pretty to look at, but preferable to gnawed stumps.

Cutting and Drying
Floral arrangers favor tall stems of liatris for adding a colorful vertical element to their designs. You can also use liatris in dried arrangements. Whether you’re harvesting the flowers for fresh or dried use, cut the stalks when the flowers are only one-half to two-thirds open. Liatris is easy to preserve by hanging the stalks upside down and allowing them to air dry for several weeks. Good air circulation is important as the flowers dry, otherwise they are apt to become moldy. Drying liatris in a dessicant such as sand or silica gel may help preserve more of the flower’s bright color.


Photo credits:
thumbnail by wallgrom
butterfly on L. aspera by mccormaka
L. spicata by Sentrawoods
DG Member photos:
L. scariosa by poppysue
L. aspera by sittingbones
L. pycnostachya by ADKSpirit
L. ligulistylis by Moby
L. punctata by Joy

L. spicata by Floridian

Article Taken from DavesGarden Website

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit http://ionxchange.com/search.php?search_query=liatris&x=0&y=0

 

 

 

The Great Sunflower Project Article On The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11, 2012

The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11!

Greetings citizen scientists! Our poll results are in, and, at last count, some 46% of you have sunflowers up and blooming. About one-third (34%) are still waiting for blooms (or encountered an gardening mishap), and another 21% didn’t plant sunflowers this year.

Those of you lucky enough to have sunflowers in bloom are diligently sending in your bee observations. Congratulations to all those who have already had the opportunity to observe, collect and report their data. Well done! Without your thoughtful observations, we would not have the wealth of information that we have to date.

To see results from the project using data reported up to 2012, have a look here: http://www.greatsunflower.org/results#map – you can zoom in on your area, see averages by type of garden and trends by year. Great stuff, and all because of your participation!

It’s important that you keep sending in data, so please join us and thousands of others across the country in The Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11th.

Even if you do not have blooms on your sunflowers by August 11th, you can still be enjoy, learn and be part of the project by observing bees on other plants that you may have in bloom. Cosmos, tickseed, bee balm and echinacea, are all on our list, so you can collect data on these if your sunflowers are not blooming yet. And, it’s okay if your sunflower hasn’t bloomed yet. They will in time so you can make your 15 minute observation when they do open up.

And, this year, in support of the Great Bee Count, YourGardenShow.com will present a special online live broadcast “Double Feature” on August 11th, from 10am – noon EST (7am to 9am PST). First hour: a special “Ask Ian” Q&A show about pollination and pollinators followed by an hour of moderated interviews with bee experts talking about our pollinator friends. Join us for this one day event!: http://www.yourgardenshow.com/ask-ian

As you can see from our map, bees are declining in certain areas, and there are some areas where we have no data. Could that be your garden? The more we know, the more action will be able to be taken to preserve and enhance pollinator habitat.

Join us on August 11th!

Freddy B

To Purchase Pollinator Seed Mix Click on Ion Exchange, Inc. Link Below

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Wild Geranium – Geranium maculatum Harvest at Ion Exchange, Inc.

Earthyman harvests Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) for Ion Exchange, native prairie seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa.

To Purchase Geranium Maculatum | Wild Geranium Visit Our Website Below

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Ion Exchange, Inc.

1878 Old Mission Dr.

Harpers Ferry, IA 52146-7533

Wild Petunia – Ruellia humilis Harvest at Ion Exchange, Inc.

Earthyman views Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) harvest at Ion Exchange native prairie seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa.

To purchase Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) Click on Our Link Below

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Earthyman Walks the Woodland Edge at Ion Exchange, Inc.

Earthyman walks the Woodland Edge at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa http://www.ionxchange.com What beautiful wildflowers can you add to your woodland edge?

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