Michigan Native Plants

  (SAGINAW, Michigan)
Michigan Native Plant Information

BetterFinds at Expo

Thank you for visiting BetterFinds booth at the Native Plant Expo & Marketplace. As promised, find hyperlinks below to my favorite informational handouts, and additional information on you purchases.

Though Staff is fully vaccinated, the Nursery remains closed to visitors. As in 2020, “Good Secretary” will continue to post images of available stock, and informational links on BetterFinds Facebook Page. I again offer free delivery in 2021 within our Lansing to Midland customer base for orders over $100. And Blogposts ‘2021 Michigan Native Plant Sales & Events’, and, ‘Michigan Native Plant Nurseries’ are updated weekly to aid the Michigan consumer.

Buy Locally — Plant Ethically

Your continued patronage of the Michigan Native Plant Industry, local sales and events — Conservation Districts, Wild Ones Chapters, and Organizations — is crucial to their survival in this new COVID reality.

Stay Safe – Stay Sane – Plant Natives,

(she - her – hers)
Owner, BetterFinds LLC

BetterFinds Outside Sales Dates’

Midland Area Farmers Market: June 12th; June 26th

Eastern Ingham Farmers Market (Williamston):  June 13th

Saginaw Art & Garden Festival — June 23rd – Wednesday

Farmers Market at the Capital (Lansing): September 30th – Thursday

Informational Hyperlinks

Attracting Beneficial Insects with Native Flowering Plants, MSU Extension Bulletin E-297

Black Walnut Toxicity to Plants, Humans and Horses, OSU Extension Fact Sheet #HYG-1148-93

Conserving Native Bees on Farmland, MSU s Extension Bulletin E-2985

Deer-Resistant Plants For Homeowners, MSU Extension Bulletin E-3042

Establishing Wildflower Habitat to Support Pollinators of Michigan Fruit Crops, MSU Extension Bulletin E-3360

Pollinator Supportive Trees, a part of MSU’s Michigan Pollinator Initiative

The Four Silphiums, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Minneapolis, MN

Wildtype’s Butterfly Plants – A list of both Larval Host & Nectaring Plants for Butterflies and Skippers. This list was reviewed and revised by Brenda Dziedzic (hope you visited her today), author of Learn about Butterflies in the Garden and Raising Butterflies in the Gardenpicture books for those 8 to 80.

NOTE: Many of your purchases are in Coir containers (coconut fibre). ‘Plant-the Pot’ — Woodland Wildflowers LOVE Coir since it both sheds and retains moisture, is a neutral pH, and is easily rooted-through once in the ground.

Baneberry; Doll’s Eye - Actaea pachypoda 18” – +2’
Red Baneberry - Actaea rubra
Short stalked fluffy white candle flowers wave over a shiny foliage of deeply toothed bright green leaves. In summer, inedible, poisonous white or red berries form on thick stalks.
Baneberry requires 70% to 100% shade & moist rich soil with a pH of 5.0 – 6.0. Mulch yearly & keep moist the first season. Once established, it seldom requires further care.
Large Flowering Bellwort Uvularia grandiflora 18” – 24”
This ‘Michigan Daffodil’ is a must for any woodland wildflower garden. Attractive bell shaped, 1” buttery yellow flowers bloom in early spring on a unique plant whose leaves appear to be pierced by the stem. Emerging with a wilted look, this handsome plant forms polite dinner plate-sized clumps that stay green all summer & turning a golden brown in fall. This polite habit & year round green footprint make it the perfect centerpiece & fern contrast
Bellwort will accept full morning sun & moderate to deep shade, but do best in the bright shade as under a tall canopy, planted in moist, loose, humus rich soil with a pH of 5.5 – 6.5.
Early / Giant Blue Cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides gigantium 18” – 24”
There is nothing GIGANTIC other than your appreciation for this species. The same smooth stems & leaves but emerge with a purplish or mauve hue, and lavender flowers that almost emerge in bloom - two weeks earlier. This species forms the same conspicuous bright blue berries -- seeds & poisonous -- in late summer.
Blue Cohosh is native to moist, rich woods where it finds ideal 80% shade locations, rich slightly acidic soil & the constant year round moisture essential for fruiting. Excellent in groups & planted among other woodland natives; mulch to retain moisture.
The plant can be an irritant to sensitive skin; the root an irritant to the mucus membrane.
Wild or Canadian GingerAsarum canadense 4” – 8”
Curious reddish brown, cup shaped flowers are concealed at ground level beneath lush mounds of heart shaped succulent leaves. Since Wild Ginger will grow through thick mulch, it is excellent carpeting for shade gardens, surviving drought or deluge.
Since spread is limited only by the richness & compactness of the soil, replace the top 2” of soil in the plants envisioned area with a potting mix to maximize spread & effect.

Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis 1’
A thick, yellow rootstock sends an erect hairy branching stem about 1 foot in height -- one branch bearing a large leaf, the other a smaller leaf & flower. The greenish-white bristly flower appearing in May is peculiar in form. But in autumn, the flower head turns into a large, crimson raspberry-like head.
Becoming somewhat rare in Michigan like Ginseng due to loss of habitat, poaching & use in herbal remedies, Goldenseal does best in 60% - 80% shade & planted in a rich, moist, loamy 5.5 to 6.0 pH soil with good air & water drainage.
Green Dragon – Arisaema dracontium’Chicken Bones’ 12” – 36”
This ‘Bragging Rights’ cousin to Jack-in-the-Pulpit also has a hooded bloom, green rather than purple striped, with a long protruding spadix & a single large, compound leaf divided into multi lance-shaped leaflets. Blooms dry to a cluster of bright red berries in late summer again like ‘Jacks’, also preferring evenly moist, rich deciduous woods with their eventual 70% to 100% shade following full canopy leafing.
Constant moisture & shade is necessary for the plant to grow to seed. Noonday sun or drought conditions will cause the plant to go dormant.
Hepatica, Sharplobe Hepatica nobilis var. acuta 6” – 9”
ABSOLUTELY one of our favorite flowers! Similar to above but forms larger clumps & prefers a neutral pH setting. This Leelanau County genus’ bloom is iridescent white to blush-blueish (rarely pinkish), more numerous & longer lasting with leaves longer & sharper pointed as found in var. obtusa.
Michigan's Crocus; a drop-dead gorgeous early spring plant! Plant where it will be seen or you may miss the bloom. In 2004, they appeared overnight on April 2nd, the new buds impervious to the dusting of snow!
Smooth / True Solomon’s Seal Polygonatum pubescens 20” to 30”
A fleshy rhizome sprouts up to 3’ angular stems with outward pointed leaves arranged alternately along the stem. In late May – June, whitish-green bell-like flowers hang in pairs from the underside of the leaf axis.
Native to both moist & dry woods in light sandy to heavy clay soils, given 60% to 80% shade & moisture this is one woodland native that will adapt to your conditions. Being so adaptable, it is rarely aggressive even if perfectly sited.
False Solomon's Seal - Maianthemum racemosum 12” – 16”
Small fluffy white flowers at the end of graceful arching leafed stems give way to red-striped berries. An excellent cover for that dark back corner with taller natives – Baneberry, Blue Cohosh, Jack in the Pulpit, Trillium -- providing a leaf & bloom contrast since it spreads rapidly via shallow underground roots.
This variety will thrive in a wide range of soil pH if the area is slightly moist, without any period of standing water & 40% - 70% shade. Being adaptable, may become aggressive ideally sited.
Starry False Solomon's Seal - Maianthemum stellatum 1’ to 2’
With attractive foliage, flowers & berries, this naturalization native is a three-season delight. Unbranched, slightly zigzagging smooth stems arch slightly as they hold alternating 6” leaves. In late May to June, each stem bears a small cluster of white, star-shaped flowers that bear greenish maroon-striped berries that ripen to deep red.
Starry False Solomon's Seal spreads by underground rhizomes, flourishing in the full range of soil types, moisture & lighting conditions this side of full sun. Insects & disease infestations are rare. A naturalization native & not for formal beds unless containment is considered, or utilized as a base layer!
Trillium grandiflorum – Great White Trillium 12” – 18”
Large, solitary, waxy-white flower, blushing pink with age, is borne on erect stalks above a whorl of three broad leaves. The spectacular 4” blossoms in early May give way to cream fruit — seeds that are harvested by ants for the oil covering.
T. grandiflorum, though very adaptable, produces the largest blooms when grown in a rich sandy loam with a pH of 6.0 – 7.0, 60% to 80% shade & topped with a 2” layer of leaf mulch, well seasoned manure, rotted wood or compost, or best, a wintered over combination.
As with all Trilliums, do not over water, fertilize or pick the stems. If the area is prepared & a leaf-mulch / compost layer is applied yearly, Trilliums will happily take care of themselves! The quintessential woodland wildflower; I personally miss every T. grandiflorum sold!
Cinnamon FernOsmunda cinnamomea 2’ – 5’
Stately, vase-like clump-forming Cinnamon Ferns have separate sterile & fertile fronds, the fertile fronds leaves so densely packed they resemble cinnamon clubs. These turn from green to brown, finally withering after they shed their spores in June. The sterile fronds remain green all summer until killed by frost.
As with all in the Osmunda family, height is dependent on available moisture.
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides ‘GLFouch’ 1’ to 2’
A robust fern with leathery, glossy, deep green evergreen fronds with holly-like leaflets. The tapered fronds grow in clusters with its fertile fronds slightly taller.
Plant in moist to slightly dry, cool, acidic humus-rich soils. Best in rocky or sandy soils that have good drainage since it will not tolerate heavy clay soils or standing water.
James Underwood Crockett’s suggestion — 1/3 sand, 1/3 peat or leaf mold, 1/3 existing soil — is a good fix for heavy soils but remember to elevate if drainage might be a problem. Though listed as growing in part sun we shy away from such settings & opt for ‘bright shade’ as under a tall canopy or north-facing. If you choose a part-sun location have no fear, the fern will let you know if it is getting too much sun by becoming pale & stunted.
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