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European Larch, Larix decidua

Not all conifers are evergreen, and larch is one example of a conifer that loses its needles every year. The European larch is a large, deciduous tree hardy to zone 2 that is often grown as an ornamental (the North American species, including are rarely offered in the horticulture trade). Learn more about Larix decidua in this article

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Lily Imposters

Many common name for plants refer to some other plant that it supposedly resembles, but actually has no botanical relationship with. For example, creeping zinnia isn’t a zinnia and flowering maple isn’t a maple. Read about some plants that include the word “lily” in their common name, but really aren’t lilies (part of the genus Lilium or the Liliaceae family) and one REAL lily in these archived articles…

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Plants Plus: Apples

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get two hours of continuing education credit for watching the two video presentations, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on growing apples.

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Dark and Spooky Stuff

In keeping with the Halloween spirit — when the cultural spotlight tends to be on dark, spooky, and creepy things — review some creatures that are often depicted as creepy or spooky (but actually are beneficial to gardeners), an innocuous houseplant with a creepy creature’s name, and other topics related to the somber color of the season in these archived articles…

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Bat-faced cuphea, Cuphea llavea

At this time of year Halloween-themes dominate, with pumpkins, ghosts and bats abounding, so in that spirit here’s a Halloween-themed flower: bat-faced cuphea. The name comes from the resemblance of the unique flowers to a little bat face when viewed from the right angle. Learn more about this Mexican native which is often offered as an annual in cool climates…

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Baneberry, Actaea spp.

With finely cut foliage that remains attractive through the growing season and conspicuous fruit which provide ornamental interest into the fall, red baneberry and white baneberry are two similar woodland plants that can be great additions to shady gardens. These species do have poisonous fruit, so need to be used with caution. Learn more about these native perennials …

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The Colors of Fall

The colors of yellow, gold, orange and red abound this time of year. But leaves on trees aren’t the only plants that provide fall color. Some herbaceous perennials have good fall color, too. And Indian corn is a fall favorite for its variety of interesting colors. Learn more about these plants in these archived articles:

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Plants Plus: Worms

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get two hours of continuing education credit for watching and reading this package of information, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on worms found in Wisconsin.

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Unusual Edibles

Broccoli, tomatoes and carrots are some of the most commonly consumed vegetables. If you want to eat or grow something a bit out of the ordinary, check out some of these “different” edible plants in these archived articles:

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Katydids

Katydids are one of the many creatures buzzing, trilling and chirping away in the summer night insect chorus. These cricket and grasshopper relatives are fairly large insects, but often overlooked because they come in colors and shapes that blend in with their environment to prevent predation. Learn about the main groups of katydids and some interesting facts about these plant-eating insects…

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