Plant Profile: Anise Hyssop

This article by Beth Stetenfield first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. Anise hyssop is a tactile plant; soft to the touch when in full bloom and as it develops seeds. It also appeals to the other senses—the scent of the foliage is reminiscent of licorice and is used in teas, jams,…

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Plant Profile: Cardinal Flower

This article by Lynn Steiner first appeared September/October 2019 issue of Northern Gardner. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) gets its name from the brilliant red flowers that grow in an elongated cluster atop the stems, midsummer through early fall. The tubular flowers are two-lipped, with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than…

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Plant Profile: Monarda Punctata

This article by Beth Stetenfield first appeared in the May/June 2020 edition of the Northern Gardener. Spotted beebalm is a guaranteed pollinator magnet. Add it to your garden or property and you will see pollinators—butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds and others. While it’s a biennial or short-lived perennial, it readily self-seeds and naturalizes when…

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Plant Profile: Little Bluestem

Ornamental grasses of all kinds look at home in northern gardens. Their swaying seed heads in late summer remind us of the prairie past of much of Minnesota and the Dakotas. While I like many ornamental grasses, my latest favorite is little bluestem. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a native plant with a range that…

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June Blooms, 2018: What’s Blooming Now?

Despite our late start this spring, many ornamental plants seem to be on schedule and the show of June blooms (peonies, irises, etc.) was spectacular. What’s blooming now? I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning to see what was blooming in the middle of June. Here’s what I saw:     Tucked amid…

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Book Review: Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers

As spring creeps up on us, eager lovers of wildflowers will soon begin exploring Minnesota’s forests and natural areas looking for rue anemone, hepatica and Canada mayflower. They will be out again in summer to look for white prairie clover or horned bladderwort; and in fall, searching for signs of white rattlesnake root and heath…

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Review: New Bee Guide from Heather Holm

Minnesota author Heather Holm’s latest bee guide has the detail to satisfy even the most engaged citizen scientists and the scope to give beginning gardeners ideas for creating bee habitats. Bees: An Identification and Plant Forage Guide (Pollinator Press, 2017) is a follow up to Holm’s earlier book Pollinators of Native Plants (Pollinator Press, 2014)…

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Plant Profile: Showy Lady's Slipper

Every school child in Minnesota should be able to recognize the whimsical, shoe-like  look of the showy lady’s slipper (Cypripedium reginae), our state flower and a show-stopping orchid that is native to the bogs and wetlands of the state, particularly in the north. Supporters of MSHS were treated to an up-close look at the state…

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