Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

The Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial of the Year 2017 is butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa.  This native milkweed offers brilliant orange flowers attractive to a wide range of butterflies and other insects and is a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Learn more about this tough, long-lived herbaceous perennial that makes a great addition to many types of gardens in this article…

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Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittatus

Those pesky black and red bugs all over the place! Boxelder bugs are very noticeable in the fall when they congregate before overwintering in buildings. As long as they remain cold, they are inactive, but when warmed a furnace or sunshine, they become active and may crawl into the rooms. To learn more about this nuisance pest, read this article…

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Cutleaf Toothwort, Cardamine concatenata

Cutleaf toothwort is one several woodland plants that are harbingers of spring with their early flowers. Although small, this charming spring ephemeral is eye-catching with its distinctive leaves and soft white flowers. Easy to grow, it’s a great addition to any woodland garden, or to just appreciate the colonies that fill many natural areas. Learn more about this native species by reading this article…

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Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus

Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring, with odd flowers like something from a science-fiction movie. The plant can bloom when there is still snow on the ground. The bizarre flowers are followed by huge rosettes of broad leaves that disappear by summer. Read this article to learn more about this interesting native plant…

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Goldenrod Gall Fly, Eurosta solidagnis

You’ve probably seen spherical swellings on goldenrod stems at one time or another, but do you know what caused those? A type of small fly with patterned wings is responsible for the most common gall on goldenrods. To learn more about the goldenrod gall fly and how it creates those golf ball-sized growths, read this article…

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Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum

Ornamental grasses are a great addition to the landscape. Switchgrass is a North American prairie native that adapts readily to the garden, especially several cultivars that have been selected for their attractive shape or color. Learn about this low-maintenance, warm season grass with airy, pink-tinged flower spikes in this article…

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Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia

This time of year the leaves of Virginia creeper turn from an average green to a brilliant crimson red, painting tree trunks and the ground on woodland edges with bright color once temperatures cool. Learn more about this vigorous native vine that adapts to many different conditions and soils in this article…

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Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum

Anise hyssop is a great plant for attracting bees, butterflies and beetles. Easy to grow and often blooming from seed the first year, this short-lived perennial offers purple-blue flowers and fragrant foliage for ornamental or herb gardens, but is also at home in prairies and meadows. Learn more about this native species in this article…

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Silver spotted skipper, Epargyreus clarus

Skippers are a group of small butterflies with quick, darting flights. The silver spotted skipper is one of the largest skippers. This chocolate-colored butterfly is easily identified by the conspicuous white or silver spot on the underside of its hind wing that gives it the common name. Read about this common, but often overlooked butterfly, in this article…

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Black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes

If you’ve seen a large, mostly black butterfly lately, chances are it was a black swallowtail, a very common butterfly of eastern North America.  The colorful caterpillars feed on many herb garden plants while the adults nectar at a variety of flowers. To learn more about this species and how to encourage it in your garden, read this article…

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