Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Native Plant Tour - Spring Haven

The Cumberland Woodland Owners Association (CWOA) is sponsoring a Native Plant Tour at Spring Haven Nursery in Newburg at 6:30 PM on Thursday, April 8th and invites all Master Gardeners.  Spring Haven Nurseries specializes in native woodland plants and shade perennials grown either in propagation beds or in the gardens located there. Nursery owners, Dave and Dianne Cornman, will lead the tour and explain how to protect native plant communities and how to practice responsible landscaping. The tour is open to the public. You do not have to be a member and there is no cost to attend.

If you recall, we visited there a few years ago.  It's where I purchased one of my favorite Spring Ephemerals, Twin Leaf, or Jeffersonia diphylla.  I saved some seed from last year's bloom (check out the strange seed pod below) and I'm using Karen's Winter Sown technique that I learned in January as a way to try and propagate it.  We'll see how successful I am in a few weeks.  The plant is featured in the Native Plant Garden at Rutgers Gardens.  It is increasingly rare.
Twinleaf is protected by state laws as a threatened or endangered plant in New York, and New Jersey. Named by John Bartram for his friend, Thomas Jefferson, this plant has beautiful and unusual foliage, with two oval leaves arranged opposite each other on a stem. Attractive white flowers appear in April. Woodland soils and shade.
Interesting thing I just learned:

Native Americans used the root as a tea for cramps, spasms, nervous excitability, diarrhea, a diuretic for kidney stones and urinary infections, and as a gargle for sore throats. Externally it was used as a wash for rheumatism, sores, ulcers, inflammation, and cancerous sores. The plant is probably toxic, so caution should be used if preparing it for modern day use!

More here.

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