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Plant Profile: Osmorhiza claytonii-Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely is a unique addition to a moist shady woodland garden. Reaching a height of 1-3 feet it has lovely flat clusters of white flowers from May-June, a time when the spring flowers are finishing and the summer flowers have not yet begun their show. This uncommon plant will provide plenty of conversation starters. While Sweet Cicely attracts beneficial insects that will become food for small mammals and birds, it also provides value to humans. Native Americans once used the roots of this plant by chewing or gargling as a treatment for sore throats. They would also fashion a poultice of the roots and applied to boils, cuts & sores. They even made a tea from the roots to bath sore eye

Plant Profile: Astilbe biternata-American Astilbe

Though it comes as a surprise to most gardeners, even native plant enthusiasts, there is an Astilbe species native to Eastern United States, Astilbe biternata. Horticultural guru Alan Armitage considers it “one of the most underutilized plants, native or not, in American gardening…”. It is a strikingly bold, coarse-textured, 3-6’ tall plant. Hundreds of small, creamy-white flowers are borne in feathery pyramidal panicles late spring into early summer. At home in reasonably moist woodland soil, this plant rewards with attention getting color in the woodland/shade garden well after the riot of spring ephemerals has passed. The reason this outstanding plant is so unfamiliar is that it rarely a

Plant Profile: Silene spp.-Wild Pinks/Catchfly

Silene is a great addition to your plantings, especially if you are trying to have a tidy managed look. They generally stay in their clump and politely spread. The life expectancy of the Silene family is usually only a few of years, but it will set seeds to keep your garden blooming for years to come. Silenes can be a bit like goldilocks in that they like perfect conditions average moisture, not too wet, not to dry. They like average light, not too sunny and not too shady. The catchflys are of endless entertainment value, they attract hummingbirds as well as insects. The name catchfly comes from the fact that insects are often stuck all over the stems. Sticky glands cover the plant and smal

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