Sunday, June 13, 2021

Native Plants Almost Gone Wild

Cardinal flower has held our attention for many years.  Starting with a single purchased plant from Sandy Mush Herb Nursery, we learned by both experience and books the habits and needs of this native plant.  Much of what is written does not agree with what we have  seen but little credence is given to the observations of two former math teachers.  Our plan is to find a location where this native will grow without human assistance.  This is a moisture loving plant and the rough road to the gravel bank created a basin, with no outlet, that holds water after rainfall.  This should be enough liquid to both keep the plant alive and encourage its seeds to sprout.  Both the Cardinal flower and the roughly chopped leaves were placed here.  Unfortunately, Garlic mustard seeds were hiding in the leaves.  Some were removed but more need to go.  That will happen soon.

 Directly adjacent to the roadway, sword like leaves grew but no flowers were seen.  Blue flag is another native plant that we have purchased but we were unsure about their actual identity.  They closely resemble Siberian iris so our question was valid.  Since a nearby bog is loaded with Blue flag growing in shallow standing water, there is a chance that these plants grew from their seed.  These flowers are the first to appear here and with any luck we will have a total of six blossoms.  It is solidly possible that these native plants grow in close proximity to each other in a natural setting.  The fern also meets the conditions to escape a jerk from the weeder.  The gravel bank hill delays the arrival of direct sunlight so these plants are slow to begin their year's growth escaping some of the harsh temperature swings of early Spring.  If we can eliminate the Garlic mustard, there is an excellent chance that these plants will survive on their own.  Brilliantly colored red flowers should fill this area later in the year.  More photos can be expected. 

1 comment:

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Oh, great plants! One of my favorite hiking spots includes loads of blue flag irises in season, along the waterway. Red cardinal is an amazing plant, too. I think I want to try some here. There are several red cardinal plants growing naturally at the UW-Madison Arboretum. I love how the hummingbirds hover around it. :)