Archive for the ‘Horticulture’ category

Video: Learn About the North American Orchid Conservation Center

December 10, 2012

The video is four minutes long.  Great things on the horizon to protect our native orchids.

 

Long Island Native Plant Initiative Plant Sale Coming Up In June

May 10, 2012

The LINPI plant sale will happen June 1-2 and 8-9 at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead.  For a species list and announcement CLICK HERE.

Below are photos of Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, in flower and fruit and available at the sale.

Photo Kim Smith

Photo Steve Young

Long Island Native Plant Initiative Plant Sale

April 30, 2012

There are 35 species of grasses, flowering plants, and shrubs native to Long Island up for sale.

 Dates: Fri. June 1st and Sat. June 2nd &

Fri. June 8th and Sat. June 9th

9am – 1pm or by appointment

Location: Suffolk County Community College, Eastern Campus Greenhouse

121 Speonk-Riverhead Road

Riverhead, NY 11901

For more information or to reserve plant material, contact Polly.Weigand@suffolkcountyny.gov / 631-727-2315 ext. 3

‘Like’ LINPI on facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Long-Island-Native-Plant-Initiative-LINPI/112770918750630

 

Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank Taps New Collection Coordinator

April 23, 2012

Ed Toth, Director of NYC Parks Dept. Native Plant Center on Staten Island, recently announced the hiring of a new seed collection coordinator:

I am very excited to introduce Jeannine Strenk, our first employee, who joined us this past week as Seed Collection Coordinator for the Mid Atlantic Regional Seed Bank.  Jeannine joins us from the Chicago Botanic Garden/CLM internship program, where she assisted in coordinating and supervising the Seeds of Success program for the State of Wyoming.  Jeannine will be responsible for overseeing all collection activities as well as working with us to develop the MARS-B program, particulary with collection training workshops, outreach, website development, etc.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Greenbelt Native Plant Center.

 

Learn New York’s Trees, Shrubs, and Vines at Landis Arboretum’s New Native Plant Collection

March 23, 2012

Landis Arboretum, high on a hilltop above the Village of Esperance in Schoharie County, is the best place to see New York’s native trees, shrubs, and vines thanks to the hard work of Ed Miller, volunteer curator of the native plant collection.  At last count, Ed had planted well over 200 species, omitting noxious, alpine, and rare and endangered plants as well as many from the coastal plain that wouldn’t grow well there. Even so, there are species like tupelo, red bud, cucumber magnolia, and persimmon that seem to be doing well and the warming climate doesn’t hurt either. Some northern species like bog birch and balsam popular are doing well too.  Not all species thrive the first time and some have had to be replanted like the sweet birches and witch hobble.

The garden's Willow Pond Trail leads to Ed's Native Plant Collection. This visit took place in early December 2011.

Following a lead from Kew Gardens in England, they planted each species with its family members.  This makes it possible for serious students to easily compare the details of closely related plants. For instance, all 12 species of native oaks are in one area, all six species of maple in another, and all five birches in still another. Other families are similarly grouped.

This area is where all the members of the sumac family can be found.

Since not all plants of the same family like the same conditions, there are areas that feature plants that like the same habitat, like sun, shade and wetlands. Many of the planting areas have mailboxes that contain a laminated map showing where each species is planted.  The other side of the map tells something about the family or the local habitat.

Ed pulls a map from one of the discovery mailboxes in the open sunny habitat.

One of the most popular sites along the the native plant trail is the Bog Garden. It provides a home for trees and shrubs of northern acid bogs and its log structure can be seen from the Landis barn as you approach from the main entrance.  Its a great chance to see these plants up close from a habitat that is often difficult to access.

From the barn, head east to the wooden bog garden. You may find Ed there to greet you!

Now is a great time to visit the garden to see the early flowers of many of the woodies, especially the overlooked wind-pollinated trees. The native plant trail is an excellent teaching tool and an invaluable resource for learning the woody plants of New York. Come visit soon!

In this area you will find the native dogwoods grouped together.

Another good time to visit will be the spring book and plant sale on May 19th, 10am to 4pm.  See their website calendar for details.

DEC’s Saratoga Tree Nursery Kicks Off Annual Tree And Shrub Seedling Sale And Giveaway

February 14, 2012

From the DEC Press Release:

Landowners Can Take Advantage of Low-Cost Native Plants, Schools Can Get Them Free.

More than 50 species of trees and shrubs are now available to schools and public and private landowners at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery, DEC announced today. The Saratoga Tree Nursery provides trees for erosion control, wildlife habitat, reforestation and other uses.  For further information CLICK HERE.

Staff working at the Saratoga Tree Nursery (DEC photo)

Virtual Guide to Native Ferns at the Mt. Cuba Center

January 28, 2012

This is one of a series of videos and information about the native plants at the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware.  Of course many of the plants are native to New York as well. Watch out or you may be spending a lot of time delving into all of this great information!

http://www.youtube.com/user/MtCubaCenter#p/u/9/2LxXJMjLpdc

Report: Researchers Say Children Need Green Plant Interventions

April 11, 2011

This is an article from the Green Local 175 in Rome/Utica:

Helsinki, Finland (SPX) Apr 5, 2011

Could “interventions” bring children closer to nature? Researchers in Finland think so. A new study published in HortTechnology compares urban and rural children’s relationships with plants and recommends horticultural interventions, especially for urban children. In Finland, a country famous for its forests and wilderness, researchers Taina Laaksoharju from the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Helsinki and Erja Rappe of The Martha Association teamed up to investigate the role of vegetation in the lives of urban and rural children. “We were interested in finding out if it is true that children are not interested in plants or playing outdoors”, they noted. The study examined the relationships of 9- and 10-year-old Finnish school children to the environment and plants. Using a questionnaire of structured and open-ended questions, the researchers focused on two comparisons: children’s relationships with nature in rural and urban neighborhoods, and preferences for plants among boys and girls. 76 children-42 in the Helsinki suburb area and 34 in a rural area-participated in the study.

Results suggested that children living in rural surroundings had closer contact with nature than their urban counterparts. For example, more rural children considered people to be “part of nature” than did urban children. The researchers noted that, like children in other Western countries, Finnish children may be in danger of losing direct contact with the natural environment. “This suggests that further research is essential to understand children’s experiences if we are to enhance the crucial role of the environment in their lives”, they wrote. The children’s answers indicated that natural areas are important arenas for children’s free play and socializing. “In the suburbs, closer connections to nature are rare; interventions in schools, especially outdoor horticultural ones, can help children to build their relationship to vegetation.” The research also showed significant differences in the ways boys and girl experience green plants. Girls were more interested in plants in general, and were more eager to learn about plants than were the boys. Boys saw themselves as more independent of nature; more than 30% of the boys said that they could live without vegetation. Boys wrote that plants are meaningful mainly for nutrition and general living conditions, whereas girls appreciated the beauty of flowers and plants.

Laaksoharju and Rappe included recommendations for delivery of horticultural lessons based on remarks from the 9- and 10-year-old boys, who said that they did not like lectures, but enjoyed working with plants. “Learning by doing in an informal learning environment suits the kinesthetic boys better than sitting at a desk listening to a teacher”, they said. “Horticultural interventions can be effective starting points to add to children’s knowledge, affection, and interest toward greenery, but it is highly recommended that they take place outdoors rather than indoors.” The complete study and abstract are available at : http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/4/689

The New York Flora Association supports any program that will get kids out into nature to learn plants. Let us know if you are aware of any in New York and we will post them.

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Recommended Plants for New York

February 18, 2011

Visit THEIR WEBSITE to see a list of New York commercially available native plants suitable for planned landscapes.  We have not gone through the list to see how good it is but maybe some of our readers can comment. They have a lot of nice photos however.

Report: Only 39 percent of North American endangered plant species are protected in collections.

February 7, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Only 39 percent of the nearly 10,000 North American plant species threatened with extinction are protected by being maintained in collections, according to the first comprehensive listing of the threatened plant species in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Seed banks or living collections maintained by public gardens and conservation organizations across North America provide an insurance policy against extinction for many threatened species.

The North American Collections Assessment – conducted collaboratively by Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S., the U.S. Botanic Garden, and Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum – found that 3,681 of 9,494 of North America’s most threatened plant species are maintained in 230 collections. Much more collaborative work is needed to conserve North America’s botanical wealth and to provide true protection against extinction, says the report, Conserving North America’s Threatened Plants, released this week

Andrea Kramer, Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S. executive director, said, “These assessment results are hopeful, but also a call to action. For many public gardens, this report marks the first time their potential to assist in the conservation effort has been recognized. We hope this is a watershed moment.”

“As the U.S. Botanic Garden, we felt a critical need for a common baseline of understanding among the entire conservation community,” said Ray Mims, one of the authors. “To move forward together to protect North America’s native plants, we have to understand where we are today. Now that we know both what is threatened and what needs to be protected, there is a solid foundation on which to build future conservation work.”

“One of the lessons we learned from this assessment is how important it is to curate for conservation,” said Michael Dosmann, curator of living collections at the Arnold Arboretum. “Curators and horticulturists have not always considered conservation value as they go about their routines. Yet by participating in this assessment, many for the very first time saw the direct value of their plants in bolstering efforts to conserve our threatened flora. We hope this becomes a new paradigm in collections management.”

Assessment results indicate that North America did not reach the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation’s (GSPC) Target 8 goal set in 2002 of protecting 60 percent of threatened plant species in collections by 2010. While botanical organizations across Canada, Mexico and the United States are making progress to achieve these targets, the report found that 3,500 or more additional threatened plant species will need to be added to current collections to meet the new GSPC goal of conserving 75 percent of known threatened species in North America by 2020. This will require nearly doubling the current capacity.

The assessment calls for the strengthening of conservation networks and collaboration in conservation planning and data sharing. Institutions are urged to contribute plant lists to BGCI’s PlantSearch database and update them regularly. It is crucial to increase cooperation and coordination among a broad and diverse network of gardens and conservation organizations with different expertise and resources. To win this race against extinction, conservation organizations will need to prioritize the development of genetically diverse and secure collections to ensure meaningful protection of threatened plants.

Additional information and the full report can be found at www.bgci.org/usa/MakeYourCollectionsCount


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