Pollinator's Perspective

Category Archives: Pollinators Perspective

Missouri Department of Conservation: Powder Valley Honeysuckle control

Bush honeysuckles will invade a wide variety of natural communities with or without previous disturbances. Affected natural communities can include: lake and stream banks, marsh, fens, sedge meadow, wet and dry prairies, savannas, floodplain and upland forests and woodlands.  It is becoming a major problem in the State of Missouri and is spreading rapidly.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is serious about getting honeysuckle under control.

Bush honeysuckle leaves appear early in the spring and remain late into fall, giving them a competitive advantage over native plants. They form a thick understory that limits sunlight to native plants inhibiting seedling establishment and forest regeneration. They also compete for soil moisture, nutrients, and may produce a chemical that inhibits native plant growth. All species of honeysuckle also spread from the roots, resulting in the ability to further dominate an area. Bush honeysuckles compete with native plants for pollinators, resulting in fewer seeds set on native species. Unlike native shrubs, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles are carbohydrate rich and do not provide migrating birds with the high-fat content needed for long flights

Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. has been providing non-native invasive plant control to MDC for quite a few years now.  We have sprayed 100 acres at MDC’s beautiful Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center with excellent results.  We will be at it again soon to control new growth, spraying approximately 75 acres.  As the large swaths of honeysuckle are controlled, it allows more light and moisture for the native plants.  We are doing our part to help native plants thrive.

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Beautiful 2 Year Old Wildflower Prairie At Eberwein Park

 

Eberwein Park opened in the City of Chesterfield on September 1, 2011.  There is a dog park  within the 18-acre Eberwein Park, at Old Baxter Road and Highcroft Drive, and it has proven to be very popular with residents.  Chesterfield is committed to sustainability and being friendly to the environment and decided that installing native plantings to the park would be a good ecological choice.   Almost two years ago, Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. was hired to clean up a one acre site and to seed a native wildflower prairie.  Establishing a prairie requires special knowledge, equipment and skilled employees – all trademarks of Native Landscape Solutions, Inc.  We have posted a picture of the prairie that was taken recently and it is easy to see how beautiful it is already.  It takes new prairies three or four years to really get going and we are proud of the rapid development of this project.  We are maintaining the prairie with a custom stewardship program that allows the good plants to thrive while minimizing problems with weedy, invasive plants.  Next time you are in the area, stop by and enjoy beautiful Eberwein Park.IMG_0873

Queen Anne’s Lace

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Her Reign.

Every summer in our state, the prairie fields, pastures and road sides are highlighted with brilliant white of her lace.  In fact, you can find her calling card in my front perennial walk planting.  The collective effort which makes up her compound umbel inflorescence is an engineering marvel to behold.  The inverted umbrella like structure supports dozens of small showy white petals packed tightly next to several of these structures.  The end result, a near perfect white laced topped inflorescence suitable for nobility.

Thus Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota ssp. carota  is recognized early on in one’s botanical journey as a flower illustrative of grace and engineering.  Sure the plant is also known as the “Wild Carrot”, such a pedestrian name for a flower so grand.  Today the limited variations of this flower are lumped into one big taxonomic slug.  But if you pay attention, close attention, you will see what my long since passed old friend knew, that every once in a while, the color spills!  So stop for a moment and look at the first picture- the one just of the flower, do you notice the dark black spot in the middle?  Look again, it is not a spot or a native pollinator, nope – it is a flower- in fact it is so intensely red it appears black to all of us mortals.  But my old friend, the late Dr Julian Steyermark, believed that every so often this red pigment was shared throughout the entire inflorescence- the result- a rare pink blushed lace doily- truly fit for a queen.  He believed this was such a spectacular event that he elevated the variation to its own taxon.

What got me thinking of all of this was just last week I was on a site managed by the City of Springfield, while sharing the story of my favorite flower and the cute little red flower in the very center of the inflorescence, I was stunned not to find the flower in the middle.  Upon closer review, the flower was off white – or yes- a very very light pink.  Just to be sure, I layed the flower over to discover pink petioles supporting the umbellate inflorescence.  Needless to say, it was the very variation I was hoping to point out!  That’s joy of nature for you.

 

“When the world wearies, and Society ceases to satisfy,

There is always the Garden!”

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Stormwater Basins at US Grant National Historic Site

Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. has been working at the U S Parks Service, US Grant National Historic Site on a number of ecological projects, including non-native invasive plant control and stormwater basin remediation.  We were selected as the contractor for this work due in part to our plans, designs, and methodology.

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We wanted to share some pictures of the stormwater project, as it has been converted from a plain collection area to an amended soil native plant basin.  Over 1,000 new native plants have been installed which will root deeply to assist in rain water uptake.  They also will add much beauty to the site with seasonal flowers and various textures and heights.  The plants installed at the lower parts of the basin will tolerate higher water levels experienced during a storm, and the plants installed along the upper slopes will tolerate drier conditions.  Many of these plants will bloom this year, but the real show will start in years 2 and 3.  Native plants are very durable and will give the US Grant NHS many years of low maintenance enjoyment.  These plants that were installed are native plants that would have been present in Missouri at the time Grant lived here.  Native Landscape Solutions also added stone work at the water inlets and overflow areas to improve the overall appearance of the basin and to reduce erosion.  We think it looks great.

If you have not visited this great site, please mark a date in your calendar to do so.  It is a very significant historical site and you will enjoy your visit very much

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Installing Stormwater Basins

Installing stormwater basins PROPERLY takes good planning, experienced crews, excellent logistics, and knowledgeable supervision. Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. takes great pride in its track record of installing successful BMPs. We have posted some pictures here as we complete another stormwater basin for McBride and Sons Homes, the largest homebuilder in the metropolitan area. McBride and Sons does a great job as Saint Louis’ premier homebuilder and they place a lot of emphasis on doing everything the right way. This includes their handling of stormwater. We work very closely with them to ensure that each stormwater basin meets MSD’s exacting specifications. We really like working with McBride and Sons and look forward to our next project together.

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