Archive for September 2016

Native Ground Cover Plants for Southern New York Region

Home gardeners and land stewards are interested in growing easy-care, ground cover plants to protect soil and to prevent areas from becoming infested by invasive weeds.  Native plants are the best choice for natural environments because they are adapted to local conditions and better support wildlife.  If native ground covers have grown beneath your radar, or if you need suggestions for filling in a tough spot, read on for my recommendations to add beauty and value to the landscape in southern New York.

Ground covers are low-growing plants that tend to spread by rhizomes (roots underground) or by stolons (roots sent out along the soil surface).  Many of these plants are aggressive spreaders that may eventually need control if given too much space.  Sun-loving species can be shaded out to stop their spread.  Mowing also works.  Shade-loving plants grow more slowly and can be maintained with occasional cutting or weeding.

Plants for Shade to Part Shade

canada-mayflower-by-stefan-bloodworth

Canada mayflower by Stefan Bloodworth

virginia-bluebells-by-r-w-smith

Va. bluebells by R.W.Smith

Anemone canadensis, Canada anemone
Antennaria neglecta, Pussytoes
Asarum canadensis, Wild ginger
Chrysogonum, Green and gold – Part shade
Jeffersonia diphylla, Twinleaf – Part shade
Maianthemum canadense, Canada mayflower
Mertensia virginica, Virginia bluebells
Mitchella repens, Partridge berry
Packera aurea, Golden groundsel
Packera obovata, Golden groundsel
Phlox divaricata, Forest phlox – Part shade
Phlox stolonifera, Creeping phlox – Shade
Podophyllum peltatum, Mayapple – Part shade
Stylophorum diphyllum, Celandine poppy
Symplocarpus foetides, Skunkcabbage

Groundsel by S. and A.Wasowski

Groundsel by S. and A.Wasowski

Tiarella cordifolia, Foamflower
Uvularia grandifolia, Merry bells
Viola canadense, Canada white violet
Viola pubescens, Downy yellow violet

Ferns for Shade to Part Shade

Phegopteris connectilis, Long beech fern
Theylpteris novaborenscis, New york fern

Grasses for Shade to Part Shade
Carex pennsylvanica, Pennsylvania sedge
Elymus virginica, Va. wild rye – Part shade

Plants for Part Sun to Full Sun

New York fern by by S. and A. Wasowski

New York fern by by S. and A. Wasowski

Antennaria neglecta, Pussytoes
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Bearberry
Chaemacrista fasciculata, Partridge pea
Fragaria virginiana, Virginia strawberry
Houstonia caerulea, Azure bluets
Packera aurea, Golden groundsel
Phlox subulata, Moss phlox
Rudbeckia hirta, Blackeyed susan
Sedum ternatum, Stonecrop
Viola sororia, Common blue violet
Waldsteinia fragaroides, Barren strawberry

Ferns for Part Sun to Full Sun

Dennstaedia punctilobula Hay scented fern

Moss phlox by New York  by S. and A. Wasowski

Moss phlox by New York by S. and A. Wasowski

Stonecrop by R.W.Smith

Partridge pea by Jack Bodger

Partridge pea by Jack Bodger

Our Work at Halle Continues

img_20160806_1105086292Volunteers continued to make trail improvements at Halle Ravine this summer and are about halfway done with the staircase project on the eastern side of the ravine. At our next work session on October 1, hands are needed to carry materials to/from the worksite, including plants that will be used to remediate the steep and easily eroded banks.  We have made great progress in the conservation of Halle’s ecosystem through control of invasive species, particularly Wineberry, Asiatic bittersweet vines, and Japanese barberry, and now we turn our attention once again to Burning bush, aka Winged euonymus.  These troublesome woody plants outcompete our native flora, taking up valuable space, light, and nutrients, but don’t provide the same level of ecosystem services as our native plants do.  Controlling invasive plants requires diligence and we are grateful to our volunteers for their assistance.  Please join one of our upcoming work sessions, October 1 and November 5, to learn more about what you can do on your own property, including what plants you can foster to support native biodiversity and protect water quality.