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(Zone 5a)

I somehow lost a whole post that I thought I submitted.

I guess I will just type up the question I had since I need to get off the computer soon. I'll give an intro tomorrow. :)

I have some Turk's Cap Lily seeds that I need to keep at about 80 degrees for more than 60 days before putting in the fridge for another 60+ days. Because I am very much a winter person, the house is kept cool- around 75. I think the warmest place in our house might be the laundry room. It has south and west facing windows. We shower in there as well as do laundry. Would setting the prepared seeds on the dryer be too warm? We do have an attic, but I think it gets really hot up there in the summer.

Thank you for your help and I look forward to participating on this forum.

(Zone 5a)

Hello again.

Our family lives out in the boonies, surrounded by industrial crops. We live in 9 acres, most of which is just left alone, except for weed trees. We have two visible neighbours without binoculars. We have a great interest in birds, and it carried over into other wildlife. This is how we became interested in native plants.

I've tried a handful of cultivars, but I notice they are not always coming back after the winter. Because of that, I am going to stick with pure natives when possible.

Some of the things we have around the house are Cowslobber (It has a more commonly known name, I wonder if you can figure it out. We got a kick out of this name.), Black-eyed Susan, Columbine, newly planted Wild Ginger, Maximillian Sunflower, Prairie Onion, Prairie Pussytoes, Blazing Star, etc and so on. My husband started 1/10 acre of prairie seeds last fall. Not much is coming up yet there. It's hard telling what is supposed to be there and what is weed. I've got Rose Milkweed and another Sunflower type in the fridge that I will try to put out today. My gardening muscles are sore after yesterday's work.

We recently learned of a local source for native trees and shrubs, so will try to put some of that on our property as we can. We want to keep our open areas open for the grassland birds, so the trees will go either in the yard or along the tree line. All other trees beware! :)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hi Chillybean!

First- I think the dryer will be OK.

Second- sounds like lots to explore with your new wild plant project- enjoy!

try this for cowslobber

I have this in three color/cultivars. Too many runners for some people but with nine acres, it'll take a while to bother you...

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Welcome Chillybean. Glad to see you here! :) I look forward to seeing what you share. :)

(Zone 5a)

Thank you for the welcome. :)

I am hoping to get the Turk's Cap Lily out this fall, in hopes it will come up in the spring. I had no idea when I ordered the seed it would take so long for the germination process. Something about natives I am learning; have patience. :)

I was just watering all my little natives when I found one of the Blazing Stars that I thought was a goner! I am thrilled about that. The Cow Slobber has not yet spread outside of the area we set aside for it. This will be its third year, I believe.

Another batch of natives will be arriving soon, so I will dig up the last peony then. I already found someone who wants that, so it won't be thrown into the compost pile.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

That was one interesting article, Sally. That tarantism "illness" is weird stuff. It sounds as if people just needed to justify dancing!

Chillybean, welcome!

I'm wondering whether you'd be better off direct sowing your Turk's Cap Lily seeds sometime this summer and letting Mother Nature take on the task of keeping them warm and then cold. Also, if you germinate them the hard way (you have much more patience than I do!), they would be coming up in October at the earliest, possibly too late to survive the winter.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I would also recommend you read up a bit on exactly what species versus cultivar actually means.

You could select a seedling of a native species from your yard, call it 'Chillybean', and it would be a cultivar. Would you then reject it as useful for your and any other central Iowa landscape? Probably not!

Conversely, if you have tried planting "cultivars" of otherwise native species that originated from provenance of an entirely different climatic zone - then it is small wonder that those plants have had difficulty surviving. It wouldn't have mattered if they were "cultivars" or seed-grown.

Knowledge is power - build it, and prosper.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

How bad are invasives in your area? If I was gifted ten acres of wild land anywhere around here, the first thing I'd do is find out how to identify my most likely invasives, and check for and remove them, if possible.

Can you post pictures of some of your most obvious plants/trees in the wild area? We'd have fun ID ing them for you if needed.

Given a chance, the local natives will move in or return if they have the right conditions. If the invasives are too bad, even your chosen things have to fight to live.

(Zone 5a)

Thank your for your replies.

I've been thinking of that. I am so new to natives that I am not sure the best way to do various things. The package gave the germination instructions as I wrote above or it said to direct seed, but it would take a full year to germinate. I thought this method would allow for sprouting early next year.

When I started hearing people against cultivars, I looked up what it meant. Here is the blurb from "A cultivar (short for cultivated variety) is a variety that has been created by breeding or cloning. A hybrid is a cross between two species. Unfortunately, selective breeding for ornamental qualities often affects the qualities that made the plant beneficial to wildlife, and cloning can result in a loss of the genetic diversity that occurs naturally in the wild."

We have some non-natives that sure are beautiful, but I have never seen anything interested in them for food, except the rabbits. The native cultivars I had purchased from nurseries came from who knows where, so you could be right that is why they didn't last.

I understand I have a lot to learn. But he that increaseth knowledge also increaseth sorrow. At times I really feel that. :)


What I am aware of in the pasture is a lot of brome grass, curly dock, clover, and some unknowns. Around the yard is a lot of dandelion, lamb's quarter, etc. Glad those are edible. :) We have mulberry trees along fence lines, but as time allows we will cut many of them down. And how can I forget that crab grass. !!! We try to avoid using chemicals, but we heard a man speak who has about 30 acres of restored prairie. He said if he had to do this over again, he would use the chemicals to more easily kill the invasives.

I'll post some photos as soon as I get them taken.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I have germinated Lilium seeds in the past. If you sow the Turk's Cap seeds in mid-summer they will go through their first phase of hypogeal germination (small bulbs), and then the cold of winter will initiate the emergence of a single leaf in the spring. They grow slowly, so don't expect blooms next year.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

It "increaseth my sorrow" to read more from the website linked to above...

Here is the direct link to the exact page that Chillybean quoted from above. It took me a bit to find it, but I'm nothing if I can't track down information - given a few clues

The quote/blurb provided on the Go Native website is actually from a book:

(An excerpt from "Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife" by David Mizejewski, Manager of the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program, National Wildlife Federation)

So now I have two organizations to blame for disseminating inaccurate information - in their effort to do good. That's the crying shame of all this.

I'm not trying to castigate Chillybean here, and I have no real argument with people who want to grow native plants of local origin. That is a good thing to do. I do that here, collecting seed as it is produced by local plants and scattering it around the Valley. I have so many more Eastern Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus) and Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) on the property for this precise reason.

What I take umbrage with is misinformation provided to those people who wish to grow plants that support their native flora and fauna - by attacking "ornamental" or "landscape" plants, or "cultivars" and "hybrids".

This person who wrote the text above (which I own a copy of) works for the National Wildlife Federation. He ought to be embarassed to have written such imprecise words which have been quoted here - and likely repeated around the world, as I have heard them quoted before by others, here at DG as well as in the real world.

While there are cultivars and hybrids of native plants that can have less value to local flora and fauna, it is not an exclusive situation - not by a long shot. A plant would have to have no leaves, flowers, fruit, or stems to be useless to those things that would extract some value from it.

Cultivars can be created from breeding, but they are quite often just selected seedlings from a mass planting - or striking individuals of wild occurrence. The best named Nyssa sylvatica I know - Red Rage™ - is a tree growing in Corydon, IN that a good friend happened across and recognized superior qualities of shiny dark green summer foliage and none of the typical foliar diseases on the leaves. Scionwood was collected, and plants subsequently produced were trialed and observed for consistency of these traits. That's where cloning comes in: making more of the exact same plant.

Planting Red Rage Blackgum in the Ohio River valley region will not reduce value to native insect, bird, or other animal populations more than planting a seedling Blackgum. Planting ONLY Red Rage - to the exclusion of all other genotypes/phenotypes of this species - would not be a good choice. Relatively speaking, though, even a clonally produced plant like Red Rage will produce seed (if it is not a male of a dioecious species) and provide genetic diversity to natural environments.

The key is to be growing plants produced from local native genetics, if your goal is nativity, preserving your local environment, and supporting your local flora/fauna. The Go Native website makes gestures in that direction, but violates its own principles by promoting mailorder businesses from places that are many states away from its Pennsylvania audience.

To use Iowa as an example: you are immediately self-limiting your landscape to what only would have grown in your locale. Not what can grow along the Mississippi River edge of the state, nor what is/was growing along the Missouri River edge of the state. Only what was growing in the middle, and relatively speaking - that is a small component of what CAN grow on your property, is native to your state/conditions, and can provide value to local flora/fauna.

And so it goes. Offense is not intended - accurate information provision is.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Chillybean, just out of curiosity, why are you planning to cut down some of your mulberry trees?

(Zone 5a)


I have no problems with mulberries, it's just trees in general, because we want to maintain a grassland-like habitat outside of the yard area. Oh, how I wish we could increase the size of our property, but I am consoled with the fact there is an "Important Bird Area" five miles from us and they've been able to buy up farm land and create habitat. Much of it is grassland, along with mudflats, etc.

We do need to try our hand at controlled burning next spring. We bought a book telling how to do it. It was so dry this year, we were afraid it would get out of control. There were some Red flag warnings. Something changed in the pasture, we usually have male Bobolinks staking out their territories by now. But yet the Dickcissels, Western Meadowlarks (last year it was the Easterns, but the Ws stayed the winter), Common Yellowthroats are out there. Life happened and the weed trees in the middle of the pasture did not get cut down this year. Maybe this was it, but I do not knwo


I appreciate the info you gave. And thanks for this:
Cultivars can be created from breeding, but they are quite often just selected seedlings from a mass planting - or striking individuals of wild occurrence.

We want to plant what is known to do the best for my area. We are on the southern edge of what is called the Prairie Pothole, but most of the water was drained years and years ago, so I am not sure we could ever return to that habitat with all the field tile.

Last year, I looked at our first little patch and was just thrilled to see native pollinators on them and that encourages me to keep trying.

Thanks, for that advice. I'll wait until July here to put those seeds out then I do not have to worry about keeping them the correct temp indoors.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Chillybean, it's very interesting all you have in mind and great there is preservation nearby to help out. I'm sure we'll enjoy your updates.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Yes, we will.

(Zone 5a)

Thank you, sallyg and Cville_Gardener. :)

Hard working young men were preparing for their volunteer work with the county conservation later this month by cutting down some of those weed trees in our little "prairie". They found two with nests, so left them up. They did not know if they were in use this year or not.

I planted some Bee Balm, Virginia Bluebells, and Sweet Joe Pye around the house and yard. The peony and orange day lilies are dug up!

When I ordered the plugs for the Bluebells, I was told they are done for the season but will come back up next year. I took a picture of where I planted them, so I can remember where they're at, then covered them with grass mulch. Was that a good thing to do- the mulching?

(Zone 5a)

Turk's Cap Lily just made the news! :) I lived in Omaha most of my life, so still look at their online paper.

It seems deer like it. Mine will be planted right up to the house for the shade so I hope the deer will not find it. They have been seen foraging in the pasture recently.

My Maximilian sunflowers have taken off, as well as some of the other things that I cannot remember their names. Prairie onion did poorly, so won't try that again. The Rose Mallow actually looks good, after three summers I hope it actually blooms this year.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Nice story about the Turk's Cap Lily! Maybe the deer won't bother it if there's plenty of other things for them to eat, but you might want to plant some Bee Balm right next to it anyway. They avoid being close to strong smells because they want to be able to smell predators, so the Bee Balm might deter them.

They avoid plants growing near mint in the forest near my house. It doesn't work in my garden, though, because they know there are no predators in my yard.

I can't answer your question about the Virginia Bluebells. I have never been able to grow them, and finally I figured out at least part of the reason: rabbits eat them to the ground.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Just saw this post. Back to the original temperature question. Keep in mind that the temp near the floor or ceiling will be cooler or warmer than the room average. A shelf above an appliance will be even warmer - pick something that is on 24/7 like the refrigerator or water heater - I assume the vented dryer would cool off at night.
Years ago, My Mother finished the last week of incubation on some duck eggs by sitting them on a refrigerator in a bucket.

Also, don't put them where you never see them and forget about them. I have killed forgotten seedlings through neglect.

This message was edited Jul 11, 2014 2:37 PM

(Zone 5a)

Muddy1, thanks for the tip about the Bee Balm. The area will be really shady, so I may have to find something else that is strong smelling.

Rabbits... oh my! We've been seeing a monster of a rabbit on our property. He needs to become raptor food!

I am having quite a time remembering where I place all my plants, but the Turk's Cap Lily will be right in our "bird view", so I'll be in that area often. My problem is not recognizing the seeds when they sprout or plants re-emerge after the winter and I pull them out thinking they are weeds. I nearly did a Blazing Star in. I am trying to mulch around the plantings better, so I can remember... do not pull!

Well, I have a mess of prairie grasses and forbs to plant. When we went to drop off raptor food at the rehabber's place, we bought half a rack of various prairie natives. He rambled off all these names and I can remember a few, but not so much be able to place the name with a plant. I can pick out the Butterfly Weed and this is it. Two really like dry conditions, so I planted them in our driest spot, but another two he said to plant far apart because they get big. Oh my! Which two? LOL

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Wildflowers vs Weeds:
I get rid of one type of weed at a time. That helps keep me from pulling my wildflowers. I do the ones I recognize first - weed-block, hoe, pull, or mow. Others have to wait until they are a little older to ID - but if it is coming up in a lot of locations including the utility easement that I don't plant in, that is a bad sign. I make sure to ID them and get rid of them before they go to seed. If one wildflower is taking over, it gets mowed & bagged before it goes to seed also. I usually pull until I start falling behind, then selective mowing is my favorite prairie management tool. If I only have one/few of a plant, I usually clear a little zone around them for their protection- it doesn't matter if the other plants are flowers. I do the same thing for invasive perennial weeds that can spread from the roots - everything goes in that spot, good or bad - that is the only time I use an herbicide, but smothering works too.

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