Native to Massachusetts:
Adlumia fungosa (Allegheny vine, biennial) I got a few more plants from seed I collected in 2009. Even better, I saw several plants coming up on their own from the previous season’s plants!
Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (Sweet everlasting, annual) These seeds germinate well, but the transplants do not mature well in the yard or in pots. Its native habitat is in depleted soils with little competition from other plants. However, I was surprised to find one out of the lawn, near the one successful plant from 2009. I’ll try these again with direct seeding in a prepared area.
Native to New England:
Monarda punctata (Spotted bee balm, biennial) germinated and transplanted well. It also bloomed quickly and was a big hit with the bees and some very interesting wasps in the garden. Since this Monarda prefers drier conditions, I have a roadside spot that would benefit from this plant that I would like to try it in this year.
Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan, biennial) failed to germinate for me. The germination conditions on the packet were fairly complex, especially when compared to relative Rubeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan) which germinates freely after a month of cold moist stratification. A small population of R. triloba is getting established at the Wildflower Meadow at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.
For plants Native to other parts of North America I found the following:
|Salvia, Spotted Beebalm, Agastache and Gallardia|
all mixed together in my South-facing bed.
Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, annual) again failed to sprout for me, either indoors or out. I can get the seeds to germinate, but not develop into seedlings. Again, there may be something wrong with my starter mix or the newly germinated seed may be too delicate to sow into the growing mix. In either case, I think I need to move on.
Eschscholzia californica (California poppy, annual/tender perennial) germinates well in the garden, but my site is a bit too cool to allow many of them to reach maturity. I usually get only a handful of blooms each year. This plant also shuts down when it gets too hot. While I loved this plant in my native California, I think it is time to move on from this one too.
Gallardia pulchella (Annual blanket flower, annual) These seeds came from the Wildflower Center in Austin, TX. These germinated and transplanted well after 30 days of cold stratification (may not have been necessary). This species has a laxer form than the commercial cultivars, but it bloomed well both in pots and in the garden where it intermingled with the Spotted Beebalm and the Agastache. This plant was very popular with the bees. I allowed the flowers to go to seed so we’ll see if they are still viable in the spring.
Phacelia tanacetifolia (Lacy phacelia, annual) germinated very well and grew well in potting soil, but did not take well to being transplanted. It has been recommended as a cover crop, with the warning not to let it go to seed in agricultural fields. I may try this again as a direct sow plant.
Phlox drummundii (Drummond phlox – straight species, annual) also came from the Wildflower Center. These seeds germinated and transplanted well. The flowers were true to the species scarlet red, but there was some variation in flower shape. While I am not too hopeful that about the seeds overwintering outside, I did get a second generation late in the summer. Relative to other flowers in my Massachusetts garden, these flowers were not very attractive to the pollinating insects.
|This petal shape, with the white edging,|
was unique from the other plants I had this year
If you have any advice for growing the plants I listed here, I love to hear it. What new native plants are you thinking about trying for next year?