Native plants of North America
Native plants are those that evolved naturally in their specific region, adapted to local climate and soils, and often require less maintenance.
Exotic species are often introduced for ornamental and/or commercial purposes, displacing native species, altering the structure of ecosystems and changing moisture regimens and nutrient cycles.
A member of the Cactus family, bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) grows in a variety of habitats. It can grow in rocky soil, grasslands, and forest environments. Its fleshy taproot is used for both medicinal and nutritional purposes.
The root is a good source of potassium and iron, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It also helps regulate blood sugar and relieves digestive issues. It can be taken as a tea, diluted with water or milk, or as a supplement.
This herb has been a traditional medicine in many Native American tribes for centuries. It has been used to treat pain, respiratory irritation, nervous system problems, and skin conditions. It is also known to aid in digestion, detoxify the body, and enhance peristalsis. It is a popular ingredient in tinctures and drinks.
Bitterroot is a very strong herb, so it should be consumed in small doses. It should not be ingested by infants or individuals who have kidney problems, unless recommended by a health practitioner.
The plant is a climber, and it thrives in areas that are subjected to drought or flooding. It can be found in wetlands, understory of forests, and along streams.
It has tiny white flowers that have cross-shaped petals and green leaves on the stems. The fruits are an ovoid red berry that is soft and juicy, and is edible for birds. Birds that feed on the plant may disperse its seeds.
Although the plant is poisonous to humans and livestock, it is a common food source for many birds, especially European thrushes. It also serves as a shelter for birds, insects and other animals in wetland and riparian areas.
During the spring, tiny clusters of tiny white flowers appear. The fruit is a siliqua that is a long rod with upright seed pods around it.
Bitterroot has been a traditional herb in the West for centuries, and it is still commonly used. The root is a good source of potassium, iron, and vitamins B, C, and K. It is also rich in calcium and magnesium. It can be eaten raw or cooked. It is a great addition to salads, soups, and stews. It is often included in bannock cakes, which are made from the dried roots.
Camas is a perennial lily that naturally grows in moist meadows and grasslands across western Canada and the United States. It also occurs in forests and on rocky outcrops. It is a native species that can be cultivated as an ornamental flowering plant or used in a pond or water garden.
Historically Camas was a staple food of many western coast native people. The bulbs were eaten raw or cooked as a starch source in sustainable ways. It was also a food source for the Lewis and Clark expedition who first encountered this plant in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.
It is a favorite food of birds and butterflies. It grows well in part shade and is not susceptible to frost damage.
As a native plant, it does not require fertilization but a diluted balanced fertilizer may be added if desired. It likes to grow in a variety of soil types, but will thrive in well-drained humus rich soil. It is not difficult to grow and can be propagated by seed or bulb.
This flowering herb is a common pollinator favorite for many insects including European honeybees, mason bees and hummingbirds. The flowers bloom in late spring and early summer. They attract hummingbirds and bees and can be cut for bouquets.
They are often planted in large drifts and naturalize easily in areas where the ground is damp. Bulbs and plants are readily available from reputable nurseries.
Camas is a cultural keystone species in Canada and is found at high elevations, on rocky outcrops and along rivers. It is also an important pollinator for other flowers and shrubs.
Throughout human history, plants have served as our primary food, clothing, medicine and shelter. They have also helped us maintain a healthy balance between nature and society.
The Kootenay Camas Project is dedicated to the conservation and study of this rare native plant in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. The project engages citizens to identify and monitor the health of camas populations in the region, and promotes awareness of this important natural and heritage resource.
Nettles & Thistles
Nettles and thistles are a group of plants that are native to North America. They are used as a medicinal herb and a food source. They are also known for their stinging properties and their ability to kill insects.
Wood nettle, stinging nettle, nipplewort, oxalis, and prickly ash are all common names for this plant. It grows in open grassy or meadow areas, often on dry or disturbed soil. It can grow to about a foot tall and is armed with stinging hairs.
This plant is considered a noxious weed in many states and is most often found in cultivated fields, pastures, disturbed areas, riparian areas, or near human habitation. It can cause severe crop damage and crowd out natural plants.
Spraying: Herbicides can be applied to Canada thistle plants to control them. A variety of chemicals are available, including glyphosate (Roundup) and 2,4-D. Herbicides should be applied during the growing season and a nitrogen fertilizer may be added to stimulate better translocation of the herbicide through the plant’s roots.
Chemicals can be expensive and may not have good effects if there is little moisture in the soil. Biological controls, which include fungi and beneficial insects that feed on the plant, are less costly but slow to become established.
Grazing: Livestock such as sheep and goats will eat the young thistle leaves in the spring. Later, they will eat the flowers and seeds that form inside the plant. This helps reduce energy reserves in the plant’s roots and prevents seed production.
Vinegar: A 5% solution of vinegar has been shown to kill Canada thistle plants, but they will reseed the area. The acid in the vinegar dissolves the plant’s cell membrane and can burn the top growth of the plant.
Herbicides: The most effective herbicide for Canada thistle is 2,4-D. Various other herbicides can also be used to control the plant, but these are more expensive and do not always work well in wet areas.
Other methods for controlling thistle include mowing and grazing. Cows and sheep will eat the young thistle leaves if they are not cut first, and horses will eat the flowers and seeds.
Wildflowers are a wonderful addition to your garden as they are hardy, self-reproducing plants that require little care and maintenance. In addition, they provide a great habitat for insects and other animals.
These plants also help to promote an ecological balance by providing a range of nutrients for the soil and water. They also have many medicinal properties. Some of these plants contain compounds that have been shown to help with conditions such as self-healing and heart disease.
They are also a beautiful addition to your garden and can add a calming atmosphere to your surroundings. The colors and shapes of these plants are stunning and they attract a variety of backyard visitors.
When planting a wildflower area, it is important to avoid collecting seeds directly from the wild. This will reduce the natural seed bank of your area and could be detrimental to the growth of wildflowers. Instead, use a product such as MeadowMat to set up a wildflower meadow in your garden.
You will want to consider the size of your area as well as how dense you would like the flowers to grow. This will help you determine the amount of seed to use.
If you are creating a meadow, it is best to plant a mix of perennial and annual flowers. This will ensure that your garden looks natural and is easy to maintain.
Another benefit of wildflowers is that they are a great pollinator for fruit and vegetables. Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and cherries need insect pollination to produce good crops. Without this process, these fruits and vegetables may not survive.
Wildflowers also aid in the development of fruit and vegetables as they produce a nutrient-rich soil. This helps to improve the health of your soil and prevents weeds from growing.
As with any type of gardening, weeding is essential but you should only need to do this during dry spells. During the spring and summer, it is vital to make sure that you are watering your flower beds in order to keep them healthy and to prevent damage to the plants.
Native plants are those that evolved naturally in their specific region, adapted to local climate and soils, and often require less maintenance. Exotic species are often introduced for ornamental and/or commercial purposes, displacing native species, altering the structure of ecosystems and changing moisture regimens and nutrient cycles. Bitterroot A member of the Cactus family, bitterroot…