Archive for May 2010

New 100% NY Native Plant Nursery Opens.

May 26, 2010

Fiddlehead Creek Farm and Native Plant Nursery.

7381 St. Rt 40, Hartford, NY (Washington County NE of Hudson Falls)

We are very excited to be having our grand opening this upcoming weekend.  We will be open Sat, Sun, and Monday from 10-5 on May 29-31 (Memorial Day weekend). We hope you will be able to join us!

We are proud to be the first nursery in New York that carries 100% native plants for New York State.  Most of our plants are also native to the Adirondack Park.  It isn’t always easy to find out what plants are native at many local garden centers – so we have taking the guesswork out of adding native plants to your landscape for you.

We carry herbaceous perennials, grasses and sedges, groundcovers, ferns, wetland and aquatic plants, and a large selection of shrubs.   Most of our plants work well for shoreline buffers along streams or lakes and also for rain gardens.   Everything we carry is hardy to zone 4 or colder, so you don’t have to worry about buying a plant that won’t come back next year if we have a cold winter.
The full list of plants we have available can be viewed here.

In addition to a great selection of plants native to New York State, we will have hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill and a raffle to win some free plants to get your own native plant garden started.  You will want to be sure to check out the shop as well – where we still have some of our NY maple syrup from this winter that we collect from our maple trees the old fashioned way with buckets – and birdboxes for a variety of different birds – from chickadees to wood ducks.  Emily’s original nature photography – which can be found in local stores such as Trees in Bolton and Kismet in Glens Falls, will also be avialable for sale in the shop – from framed and matted prints, to coasters, notecards, and tile trivets.

Please help spread the word and be sure to come on by to help us celebrate!  We will be open the rest of the summer from 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday through Columbus Day Weekend and at other times by appointment – so if you can’t make it this weekend – come on by another time.

For directions, more information, or to contact us visit our website at

To find out the latest happenings on the farm and in the nursery – check out our blog at


Have You Seen Giant Hogweed? Call the Giant Hogweed Hotline!

May 26, 2010
If you have seen giant hogweed in New York call the NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Hotline (845)256-3111. The hotline is a place for people to report new sites, ask questions about the plant and how to control it, and connect with our statewide control project.

Giant hogweed is giant!

Another giant hogweed resource is our NYSDEC giant hogweed web page which provides information about the plant, how to identify it, how to control it, a map of NY state sites, and more.
Read the attached document for more information about our hotline, statewide control project, what to tell the public when they call and how you can help.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Naja Kraus
DEC Forest Health & Protection Program Botanist
Giant Hogweed Program Coordinator

Plants of St. Lawrence County Book Now Available!

May 24, 2010

Local botanists Nancy Eldblom & Anne Johnson have just published the Plants of St. Lawence County, New York.

Contains write-ups of over 1,300 plants growing wild in St. Lawrence County–

  • Learn if a plant has been found in the county
  • where in the county it grows
  • how common it is
  • when it blooms
  • if it’s rare or an invasive alien

Documents flora of rarely-botanized area, based on 27 years of field work.

With its concise and detailed yet plainly worded entries, this book will help us all to better appreciate the plants in our woods and meadows and also those right outside our doors.  I truly wish it had been available years ago at the start of my plant observing” —Martha Grow, Certified Naturalist.

263 page paperback available for $22.95 at local bookstores, and from the publisher, Bloated Toe Publishing, PO Box 324, Peru NY 12972 (

For inquiries call (315) 322-4058.

Web Sources for Old Aerial Photographs

May 22, 2010

Wouldn’t it be nice to see what your area looked like from the air as far back as 1938? Vegetation changes are readily apparent when you compare them to aerial photographs of today. For New York I have found two sources that have old aerial photographs available for viewing on the web. The first is from Cornell University and includes counties from central New York. The second is from a website called which provides old aerial photographs in the Lower Hudson area and Long Island.

The 6 counties of Central New York are available at:

And Long Island aerials are available at:

Have fun!

The north end of Cayuga lake in 1938

Keep Your Eye out for Rare Bumblebees

May 20, 2010

Since we are out observing and photographing wildflowers all the time, our friends over on the zoology side of the Natural Heritage Program are asking us to keep our eyes out for a couple of bumblebees which might be in severe decline. On February 10, 2010, a broad coalition of scientists submitted a letter to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requesting that they create new regulations to protect wild bumble bees from threats posed by commercial bumble bees. The letter was signed by over 60 scientists with research on bumble bees and other bees. A recent status review by Dr. Robbin Thorp and The Xerces Society established that at least four species of formerly common North American bumble bees have experienced steep declines; two of those species teeter on the brink of extinction. A major threat to the survival of these wild bees is the spread of diseases from commercially produced bees that are transported throughout the country. The two in our area are the yellow banded bumble bee and the rusty patched bumble bee. Fact sheets about these bumblebees can be found at the following website:

Yellow Banded Bumble Bee

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Allegany State Park Field Trip a Success

May 20, 2010

We had nine enthusiastic plant people participate in two days of plant walks in Allegany State Park. On Saturday morning May 15 we traveled to the southern end of the park and hiked up the trail to Bear Cave Rocks and Mount Seneca. At Bear Cave Rocks we wanted to confirm an old record of Trichomanes intricatum, the Weft Fern, that only occurs as a gametophyte in the cracks of the big conglomerate boulders. After searching a while with flashlights we finally found a couple of patches of the fern to everyone’s delight. We were all now part of an exclusive group of  people that have ever seen this plant. After that excitement, Bear Cave Rocks lived up to its name as three bear cubs came down the trail toward us screaming for their mother. When they stopped and saw us we had a chance to photograph them before retreating back down the trail to let them leave. The east side of Mount Seneca was very rich and we saw many species of wildflowers, mosses, and ferns. Lichens were also identified by member Jim Battaglia. We all made it to the top of the mountain before descending to the bottom through a drier and less diverse forest.

Ready to start the trip! Jim Battaglia, Michael Siuta, Ed Fuchs, Mary Alice Tock, Steve Daniel and Kim Smith.

We saw a nice stand of Phlox divaricata.

Rosy twisted stalk was fairly common here.

Later that afternoon we drove to Thunder Rocks, another area of large conglomerate boulders where we wanted to look for Trichomanes again. These boulders were open to a lot more climbing by visitors and we had no luck finding the fern.

Looking for Trichomanes at Thunder Rocks.

The wetter spots were full of swamp violet, Viola cucullata, with its dark purple centers.

Clintonia borealis was very common and in full flower. We had hoped to see Clintonia umbellata but no luck.

On Sunday morning a group of six of us went back down to the southern end of the park and hiked the Blacksnake Mountain Trail. This was another rich area that had a large hillside with many calcareous springs emanating from it. The hillside was covered with many spring wildflowers that were very healthy and in full flower. We had never seen so many plants of yellow mandarin, Disporum lanuginosum, and never any so large! On the way out of the park a few of us stopped in an area where twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla, had been seen in the past but we didn’t find any plants.

Kim examines the wildflowers at the seepy hillside.

We saw all 3 common trilliums but white was the most common along this trail.

Golden ragwort was common along the roadsides and other wet areas.

Happy participants at the end of the trip. Kim Smith, Steve Daniel, Hermann Emmert, Joanne Schlegel, and Ed Fuchs.

All in all it was a great trip and everyone agreed that we should return again to explore other areas of the park. The list of plants will be published in our next newsletter as well as on the Google plant lists map that you can access in the sidebar of this blog. – Steve Young

“Wildflowers and other Invasive Species”: a nature walk in Otsego County

May 13, 2010

Butternut Valley Alliance

and the New York Flora Association


“Wildflowers and other Invasive Species”: a nature walk

Sunday, June 6 from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Along the Butternut Creek (Otsego County)

At “Elmwood”, 133 Peet Road, Morris, NY

(Turn off State Hwy 51 and proceed 0.8 miles)

An opportunity to learn about local wild flora, how to preserve and propagate it, and how to get rid of invasive species, which harm our environment, economy, and health. Members of the New York Flora Association will be present to facilitate a learning opportunity.

Participants are invited to bring a dish to pass and stay for a picnic on the grounds. Tents, tables, and chairs provided. Children welcome! Pre-registration required. Contact: 607-263-5411, or by email: jack.maier @

The Butternut Valley Alliance encourages the preservation and protection of the environmental qualities, farming and cultural heritage, economic viability, open space and village charms of the entire watershed.

The New York Flora Association, founded in 1990, is an organization dedicated to the promotion of field botany and greater understanding of the plants that grow in the wild in New York State.

Elmwood is a property listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places as the “Morris-Lull Farm”, with a Federal stone house dating from 1821.

View over Basswood Pond in the headwaters of the Butternut Creek, October 2009 (photo by Les Hasbargen).