Founded in 1964, our club has set out with these objectives in mind:
To promote interest in horticulture.
To increase knowledge of artistic use of plant material.
To further the conservation of natural resources.
To encourage and assist in civic projects.
2020 2021 Barbara McCann -Conservation Chair
Wild About Wild Flowers:
Information provided by Margareta Kotch
This past month of October you have probably seen NEW ENGLAND ASTERS growing in fields, meadows and along roadsides. The most common colors are pale blue, white and purple. They belong to the Asteraceae family and the GENUS is SYMPHOTRICUM. The Autobahn’s Bent in the River in Southbury, CT is a great place to find these beautiful wildflowers (and others as well) and that’s where I took the photos.
The Purple Aster is quite a showy plant because of its colorful ray florets, the disc florets are yellow, becoming brownish purple with age. They can grow as tall as 4-5 feet. The New England Aster has a long blooming season, starting in August and blooming until first frost.
The Aster plants are very popular for bees collecting nectar and Monarch butterflies are
attracted to the flower of this plant as it provides an important source of late season nectar.
Interestingly, the flower was used in a LOVE medicine by the IROQUOIS! Early Viagra ???
Also the root has been used for centuries in Chinese medicines.
sources; www.ediblewildfood.com and
Information provided by Margareta Kotch
The Truth about Goldenrod! Before you pooh-pooh golden rod as just a common roadside weed here are a few facts; first, it gets a bad rap as the cause of allergies in the fall. That’s an old wives’ tale! Goldenrod doesn’t cause allergies but Ragweed does. It’s a less conspicuous weed that blooms at the same time. The graceful yellow flower blooming now, starting in the middle of
August and through September is a Native perennial Wildflower.
It was once used medicinally and to make a wine by Native Americans and Europeans. The leaves were even used by colonists to make tea after they threw all the British tea overboard at the Boston Tea Party !
There are more than 100 species; SOLIODAGO is the scientific name for Goldenrod. It’s in the Aster family. They do spread vigorously, making them difficult to control in the garden but are wonderful wildflowers. Some species have been bred to be more uniform and less aggressive in a garden. Look for varieties such as Fireworks, Baby Sun and Goldkind in Garden Centers. It’s a
tough plant that grows in just about any soil. It provides the garden or wildflower meadow with fall color, food for bees and butterflies. You can create a lovely bouquet with goldenrod mixed with some Asters, Sedum and other fall
bloomers for your enjoyment and brighten up your home.
www.americanmeadows.com/blog and wnpr.org/post/connecticut-garden-journaltaming-
Sourced from The Smithsonian
In North America, we worry about invasive species from other continents. Are there North American species that have become invasive elsewhere?
Europeans and Asians dread the Colorado potato beetle. The interloper, commonly found in the Rocky Mountains, destroys eggplant, tomato and tobacco plants as well as potatoes.
The fall armyworm, native to eastern and central North America, spread a few years ago to Africa and then Asia, where it began eating lucrative cash crops like maize and sorghum.
And since the late 20th century, the Western corn rootworm, common in Iowa, has been attacking corn plants across Europe. Like the Colorado potato beetle, this pest also causes problems in the U.S., but it’s harder to control in Europe and Asia, where farmers use fewer pesticides.
Many other American plants and animals, from Virginia silkweed to Louisiana crawfish, are wreaking havoc abroad.
Other native North American species that outcompete native species across the globe for food and habitat and also can become pests include:
Red-eared Slider Turtles