ARTICLE: Are My Plant Seeds Native Enough?

Posted on  by ridgetownrick

There’s a lot of activity on the various native plant gardening Facebook groups these days about winter sowing.  I’ve never tried it, but it makes total sense to do what Mother Nature does – set your trays of soil with seeds outside and let the natural refrigeration of winter do the cold moist stratification for you. 

In my research for native plants sources, I have come across a handful of companies that specialize in native plant seeds. In fact, some ONLY sell seeds and not plants. 

Have you ever asked yourself where they get the seeds? Does it even matter? A milkweed is a milkweed, regardless of where it is growing, is it not? Well, that depends. 

Rare Native Plants 

In southwestern Ontario, where I live, we are in what is often referred to as the Carolinian Life Zone. Here our climate and soils are similar to places far south of us – as far as the Carolinas in the US. That means that many plants are native here that aren’t found naturally anywhere else in Canada.  It also means we’re at the northern limit for many of these plants, and occasionally the populations of these plants are found only in isolated pockets here and there.  

PLANT OF THE MONTH: Allium Cernuum

Posted on  by ridgetownrick

This month’s plant is a member of the Allium family noted for its beautiful clusters of pink flowers in early- to mid-summer that attracts pollinators from far and wide. As a member of the onion family, the tender young stems can be used where you would use chives and the bulbs can be used raw or cooked – though they have a very strong flavour.  The Plant Description and In the Garden sections, below, provided by Shaun Booth of In Our Nature

Common Name: Nodding Wild Onion 

Scientific Name: Allium cernuum 

Family: Liliaceae (lily family) 

Alternate Common Names: Lady’s Leek, Nodding Pink Onion 

Plant description: Nodding Onion features a tuft of basal leaves originating from a bulb. It’s arching, grass-like leaves reach up to 30cm long and 1cm wide. The leafless flower stalks rise slightly above the foliage and bend downwards at the top, producing a nodding umbel of flowers (hence the name “Nodding” Onion). All parts have a strong onion smell. 


A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

By Lorraine Johnson and Sheila Colla with illustrations by Ann Sanderson 

I am a long-time fan of Lorraine Johnson’s native plant gardening books. 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens, Grow Wild: Native-Plant Gardening in Canada and Northern United States, and The New Ontario Naturalized Garden are some of the first books I bought on the topic when I started down the path of growing native plants. All of those books were informative and helpful on my journey. However, A Garden for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee is a giant step up from those, in my opinion.  

Other Random Stuff

Native Plant Crossword Puzzle #2 

Here’s the next Native Plant Crossword puzzle.  Download the PDF file and print it out. As before, all the words are the genus names of the plants shown in the images.  

9 Down is done for you. Enjoy.