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Squash Vine Borer, Melittia cucurbitae

The nemesis of almost everyone who tries to grow squash in the Midwest, squash vine borer is a difficult problem to control. The larvae of this day-flying moth tunnel in the stems of zucchini, winter squash and pumpkin, causing the plants to wilt and frequently die. To learn more about this native insect pest, read this article…

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Gaura, Gaura lindheimeri

If you’re looking for an airy flowering plant with a long bloom period, gaura is a great choice as it starts flowering on long, wispy spikes in early summer and continues through a hard frost – making it useful as an annual where not hardy. There are also many compact cultivars. Learn more about this native North American perennial in this article…

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Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Geranium maculatum is a pretty flowering plant native to eastern North America. In addition to filling natural woodland openings, this herbaceous perennial works well in informal gardens as well, offering loose clusters of pink flowers in late spring to early summer. Learn more about wild geranium in this article…

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Hepatica

Spring is heralded in Wisconsin woodlands by a number of wildflowers. One of the earliest of these is Hepatica, with delicate, starry flowers in a range of colors from white to purple. Learn more about these native plants in the buttercup family, whose tri-lobed leaves were once thought to have medicinal properties, by reading this article…

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River Birch, Betula nigra

Betula nigra is a tall native tree that makes a great ornamental for large spaces because of its graceful form and attractive bark. It is one of the most culturally adaptable and heat tolerant of the birches, thriving in moist soil, but is somewhat drought tolerant once established. To learn more about river birch, read this article…

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Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Looking for a native plant with winter interest? Rattlesnake master is an herbaceous perennial from the prairies whose unusual golf ball-like flowers heads are rather sculptural. Although at home in native gardens, it also works well as an accent in the perennial border. To learn more about this plant, read this article…

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Northern Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum

With finely cut foliage, northern maidenhair fern is an attractive addition to shade gardens with rich moist soil. Adiantum pedatum is just one of many maidenhair ferns, although the only one hardy in our area. It has distinctive, fine-textured fronds on dark-colored stems up to 2 feet tall. Learn more about this native species in this article…

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Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis

Early spring bloomers are much appreciated after a long, cold winter. Bloodroot is one of the first wildflowers to open its bright white flowers in Midwestern woodlands. This native plant is at home in deciduous forests and in gardens where appropriate conditions can be provided. To learn more about this spring wildflower, read this article…

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Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum spp.

Solomon’s seals are woodland plants with arching stems. There are a number of both native and exotic species and cultivars that are used primarily as foliage plants in ornamental shade gardens (as their small hanging flowers are attractive, but relatively inconspicuous). To learn more about the genus Polygonatum read this article…

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Turtlehead, Chelone spp.

Looking for a fall-bloomer other than mums or asters? The genus Chelone is a native perennial with the common name of turtlehead from the resemblance of the flowers to the shape of a turtle’s head with its mouth partly open. The various species all bloom in late summer to fall, for a spark of pink, red or white flowers on dark green plants. You can learn more about this genus in this article…

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