November 18, 2010

Wisconsin native plants

It’s dark when I wake up and dark when I get home from work now. So I can only imagine what the garden looks like. That’s probably better because it looks pretty bland about now. As much as I tire of snow by February (and into March and April, sometimes), I must admit some bright white snow would perk up the landscape a bit.

I’m planning to take a quick walk in the woods this weekend. Maybe I’ll find some surprises under the leaves. Even the woods, though, at this time of year show few signs of plant life.

The wooded section of our lot is the wildest section. A line of hostas marks the border between the more organized and maintained gardens and the wild part of the property. We don’t cultivate the wooded section. So, for the most part, the woods are home to native plants (except for some pesky invasive nonnatives that we have to pull out and destroy each year).

I’ve just begun to catalog the native plants in the woods. But two I know will grace the forest floor in spring are Wood Violets (Viola sororia), the Wisconsin state flower:  

and White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum):

Both are Wisconsin native plants.

The USDA considers the Violet a noxious weed. I guess I would consider Violets weeds if they took over my tended gardens. But in the woods in springtime, in their native habitat, they’re lovely.


  1. I have a lot of violets and they are the weeds in my garden. And I agree that in springtime, they are lovely. And that Trillium Grandiflorum is very nice!

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs. :)

  2. I grew up in Wisconsin and thought it would be great to have some wood violets in my Texas garden, so I dug some from my parents' place, and brought them home to Texas. Now they are everywhere!!! They are invading my lawn. If they would stay in my natural area, I would love them, but they have escaped. Would sure love to transplant some trilliums, too, but I know they would not like the heat of our summers.

  3. Thank you, Lily and Toni. Toni: I supposed the Texas climate is more encouraging to the violets' growth, so they become more invasive? Regarding Trillium: Here's some information about transplanting:

  4. Trillium are great plants for the shade. I especially like the Trillium grandiflorum for it's showy blooms amongst the trees. Mine were slow to get started when I first planted them.

  5. Trillium were growing wild here so I didn't have to plant them. Some years they'remore impressive than others.