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FutureStarrMay apple plant flower
A very simple way of thinking about the green world is to divide the vascular plants into two groups: woody and nonwoody (or herbaceous). But this is an artificial division; many plant families include some species that are woody and some that are not. The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! Think of all the ferns, grasses, sedges, lilies, peas, sunflowers, nightshades, milkweeds, mustards, mints, and mallows — weeds and wildflowers — and many more!
May apple or Podophyllum peltatum leaves pop out of the ground looking ever-so-much like folded parasols. As the soil warms and the plants grow, the green umbrellas open. Mostly they appear as single palmate leaves but occasionally, a pair of leaves emerge on the same plant. These are the bloomers. May apple is a large colonizer in Eastern woodlands and mostly spreads by underground rhizomes. It can reproduce from seed, especially where mammals, birds, and turtles live in the ecosystem to spread the seed. The fruit is ripe when it is soft to the touch. Seeds removed from the ripe pulp and sown in fall, have a good chance of germination in spring. It will take several years for the new plant to mature.
In a Denver, Colorado, front yard, a garden bed bordered by native drought-tolerant buffalograss takes the place of a traditional turf-grass lawn. Native substitutes for turf lawns include (below from top to bottom) sedges, mosses and bearberry. All three provide benefits to wildlife, ranging from caterpillars and spiders to salamanders, hummingbirds and other small pollinators. The key to success is to choose plants that are indigenous.Sedges. Hundreds of species of these native grasslike plants are found in North America. “Many sedges grow best in wet areas,” says Neil Diboll, president of Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin, “but there are others that thrive in well-drained or sandy soils or even clay.” One of the most popular varieties is Pennsylvania sedge. Native from New England and the Appalachian Mountains and foothills to most of the Midwest, it has a creeping habit and grows only 6 inches high, making it an ideal turf replacement. This variety also hosts several caterpillar species. (Source: www.nwf.org)