Spring is such a happy time. The fear of winter’s death grip fades away. Neighbors emerge from hibernation. The sun shines longer and stronger. Spring brings a clean slate, a “do over” for all the plans that didn’t get completed last year. Planting native ground covers might be on your list this year. If so, these native woodland ground covers should do well and require very little maintenance in a typical woodland area.
Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Lavender flowers in spring/summer
Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)
White flowers in spring/summer
Wild ginger (Asarum canadense)
Maroon flowers at the soil line in spring
Native violets (Viola canadensis, pubescens and sororia)
White, yellow and blue flowers in spring
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Beautiful maroon foliage in fall; berries for wildlife
When selecting native plants or seeds, it is important to choose those which are of local origin. Plants of local origin are specifically adapted to our local landscape, climate and especially wildlife needs. For example, if I purchase native plants that originated in Missouri versus Minnesota, flowering and fruiting may be out of synch with the timing necessary for the wildlife in my area. Should a monarch butterfly show up looking for milkweed that bloomed two weeks ago because it was not genetically made for my geographic region, the monarch missed out on the needed benefits of this plant. If you are going to go native, go local.
Native Plant Suppliers– The website at Grinnell College provides the names of reputable native plant suppliers in Minnesota. You may also find native plants suppliers on the MN DNR website though quantity and quality of native plant material varies among suppliers. Closer to home, at least closer to my home, is the City of Minnetonka’s annual Native Plant Market & Eco Fun Fest to be held on Thursday, June 7 at the Minnetonka Civic Center Campus, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN. This is a great place to pick up native plants of local origin directly from the supplier. Check the City of Minnetonka website for more details at eminntonka.com.
Thought for the day – the mighty oak was once a little nut that held its ground. Hold your ground with native, local origin plants!