First Hints of Spring – Willow Trees in Flower

First Hints of Spring – Willow Trees in Flower

Flowers on willow trees are usually dioecious, or with female flowers on one tree and male flowers on others. The male flowers as pictured here can be quite colorful. In our snowy and variable spring this year the bright yellow and orange colors of willow twigs  were...
A Unique Native Shrub for Shade: Creeping Barberry

A Unique Native Shrub for Shade: Creeping Barberry

When talking about native plants for landscaping or restoration we normally think of colorful flowers that can grow well out in the sun in dry landscapes. But ecologists learned long ago that diversity and ecological function in most places is tied to a diversity of...
Challenges of Being a Wildflower in Early Spring

Challenges of Being a Wildflower in Early Spring

By Paul Alaback, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, University of Montana How can early spring wildflowers produce seeds when it is so cold and pollinators are scarce? I have been following the parade of flowers that emerge each spring for many years. It is usually quite...
Great Galls!

Great Galls!

This time of year exploring around our grasslands and forests you can see many interesting things relating to native plants even before the official growing season starts. For example the other day I saw these galls on a bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) that are called...
Peatland Seeps in Northwest Colorado

Peatland Seeps in Northwest Colorado

This article is re-printed here from The Bog Blogger, with the kind permission of Grant McKown, author, and Sarah Dodgin, blog owner. Great photos all by Mr. Mckown.  My crew and I were expecting a nice graminoid meadow – one that had been flooded early on in the...
Yes, You Can Prairie Up!

Yes, You Can Prairie Up!

You’ve been yearning to design a garden, yard, or meadow space but can’t seem to get a grip on which plants to include or how to design the site. Or maybe you’re in the middle of planning one of those spaces but myriad choices have you frozen with indecision. Help has...
CoNPS Roundup: 2022

CoNPS Roundup: 2022

What a year! The pandemic was over! Or was it? We didn’t have to wear masks anymore! Or did we? Inflation was going to be transitory – until it wasn’t. But one thing remained constant in the midst of all that turmoil, members of the Colorado Native Plant Society...
Seasons of a Plant Lover

Seasons of a Plant Lover

Pasqueflowers, Pulsatilla nuttalliana, are among the first natives to bloom in spring, providing rest and food for the earliest native bees. More about early bloomers. Well! Here we are again! When the winds of spring came and blew the doors open, we were outside in a...
The First Annual Native Plant Summit

The First Annual Native Plant Summit

The first Annual Native Plant Summit, led by the Colorado Native Plant Society and the Colorado Springs Horticulture Department, took place in Colorado Springs on Saturday, August 20 at the the city’s Horticulture Headquarters. It was a both a sold-out event and a day...
Know Your Thistles!

Know Your Thistles!

Let’s touch on a prickly kind of subject. Know your thistles before you kill them! When I was a young kid, I clearly remember my beloved Welsh pony eating thistle heads while I was riding him. From my vantage point I could see his soft lips stretch away from his teeth...