Hello Nature-led friends! Welcome to the beginning of June!
I recognize and appreciate that some of you struggled to find native plants in your area. I hope this endeavor was not too frustrating and that you came away with a new understanding and appreciation for the native plants in your area. I wanted to do this submission request because I feel like most people don’t give native plants much thought. I feel like the poor things are stuck in a 1990’s era high school romance-comedy where the smart nerdy friend is actually a hot babe once she takes off her glasses, gets plucked, and wears a dress. Me too Oxalis oregana, me too. Like any native plant, I’m only exotic when I’ve been shipped off elsewhere.
The other reason that I care about the native plants is that they’re part of a much larger ecosystem with specialist insects, other plants, and animals that depend on them. None of this mattered to the rich Colonialists who were determined to make English Gardens on every continent aside from Antarctica. Back when wealth was portrayed by the upkeep of exotic plants and large swaths of green lawns. We still live with that legacy today. It didn’t just disappear; a lot of behaviors carry on without thought because that’s the way things have been more or less for over 200 years now. The mailers I get from landscaping companies show perfectly coiffed bushes and low-cut strips of sod. They threaten to mow, prune, fertilize, and eradicate the unwanted for a fee. Driving into a neighborhood with a militant Homeowners Associations (HOA) with their cookie cutter houses and landscapes make me feel like I’m trapped in an adaption of The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin (with two movies by the same name.) I see the kids. I see how they hunger for the freedom at the edges of the play yard straining against the fence to reach into the wild spaces. Now it’s the native plants that have become exotic.
I had a wonderful History teacher in high school named Mr. Ayers. We would have a lot of funny banter between us. He showed me that history was not some boring dead thing, it lives all around us. One time before the start of class he asked with mock exasperation, “Why are you such a contrarian?” “I’m a woman.” I said. The whole class roared with laughter including Mr. Ayers. I didn’t set out to be rebel. I just am, by the nature of existing as a woman with strong opinions.
So, without further ado, let me share the wonderful collection of native plants across the world that many of us can appreciate thanks to our fellow community members who help this site grow! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
We’re starting with New Zealand, because I said so…
Europe – England
Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) By Ms Scarlet https://wonky-words.com/blog/
North America – USA
We’ll call this an honorable mention in the category of “Not native but plays well with others” I’m fairly confident this is a Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia Japonica). Milkweeds are herbaceous plants which means they have “non-woody stems” that largely die back in the winter. This plant has woody stems, flowers or berries on new grow and thick wide, non-serrated leaves. My first guess is always a rhododendron because there are so many varieties and it’s a common plant in North America especially where I live, but the growth habit of these flowers or berries leads me to my second guess, Japonica.
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) By Mistress Maddie http://mistressmaddie.blogspot.com/
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) By Mistress Maddie http://mistressmaddie.blogspot.com/
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) By Mistress Maddie http://mistressmaddie.blogspot.com/
Here’s an interesting article about Pond apple which is a good source of food and nesting habitat for birds. http://wildsouthflorida.com/pond.apple.html
Photographed while hiking in Penitente Canyon (Colorado) on May 24, 2023. When I went to identify it, I was dismayed to learn that while it is native to Colorado, this Woolly Locoweed is the most widespread poisonous plant in the western U.S. Because it’s native, locoweed is not covered by the Colorado Noxious Weed Act.
On the same hike, we came across this lovely native wildflower that’s a type of clematis. It’s known as “Sugarbowl.”
Thank you to everyone who contributed!
My apologies for the brevity of captions and any errors. I pulled a muscle in my shoulder and it really hurts. Several people sent multiple pictures, so I didn’t share them all, but I do make sure at least one picture from each person is posted.
June Submissions – Water
Show me your bodies – of water that is! Ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls, fountains being appreciated by wildlife, your favorite puddle or bog.
Due: June 30th
To be posted on July 1st.
The Fine Print: Photo Submissions Guidelines
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject line: Photo Submission for [month] (Multiple months of photos in one email is fine.) Image: Attached as a .JPEG or .PNG file preferred. Captions each picture: Subject in the photo (if known), State/Providence & Country, Date (optional). Your name as you want it to appear, Your blog link (if you have one.)
Feel free to add any interesting notes about a picture. I love interesting stories behind things! Let me know if it’s just for ‘my eyes only’ or if I can share any part of it with your photo. Pictures must be your own or you have permission from the Photographer to share it. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. This is a free, fun, community site about nature. Non-commercial and ad free.