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
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)
BetterFinds Outside Sales Dates’
Midland Area Farmers
Market: June 12th;
Ingham Farmers Market (Williamston): June 13th
Saginaw Art &
Garden Festival — June 23rd
at the Capital (Lansing): September 30th – Thursday
Beneficial Insects with Native Flowering Plants, MSU Extension Bulletin
Walnut Toxicity to Plants, Humans and Horses, OSU Extension Fact Sheet
Native Bees on Farmland, MSU s Extension Bulletin E-2985
For Homeowners, MSU Extension Bulletin E-3042
Wildflower Habitat to Support Pollinators of Michigan Fruit Crops, MSU
Extension Bulletin E-3360
Supportive Trees, a part of MSU’s
Michigan Pollinator Initiative
Four Silphiums, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Minneapolis, MN
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 Garden — picture 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.
Doll’s Eye - Actaea
pachypoda 18” – +2’
Baneberry - Actaea
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.
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.
Giant Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum
thalictroides gigantium 18” –
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.
Canadian Ginger – Asarum
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
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
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
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 &
Dragon – Arisaema dracontium ‘’Chicken Bones’ 12” –
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.
Sharplobe – Hepatica nobilis var. acuta 6” –
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.
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
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!
grandiflorum – Great White Trillium 12”
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.
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.
Cinnamon Fern – Osmunda
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
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.
Posted by TimB
@ 11:30 PM EDT