Jackson Butterfly Count July 15, 2023

Posted & filed under Member Messages.

Hi Folks,
This coming Saturday is the Jackson count. We will meet at the West TN Agricultural Research and Education Center parking lot at 9:30 AM. Please be sure to bring your $3.00 NABA fee for the count. The forecast is calling for hot and very humid conditions, so be sure to bring lots of water to stay hydrated. We will try to go somewhere for lunch, but not sure exactly where right now.

Last year we had an amazing 1113 Variegated Fritillaries, an all-time NABA Count Program record. I seriously doubt we will see that many this year, but this count is usually pretty good for them and sometimes Gulf Fritillaries, too.

Please let me know if you plan to come and join us.

See you then,

Ecology Based Landscape Practice: An Intensive 6-Part Course

Posted & filed under Member Messages, Online Event, Speakers and Lectures.


My name is Jenny Turner, Promotions Assistant of New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL.org), an educational series dedicated to the art, culture, and science of ecology-based landscape design founded in 1990 by Landscape Designer Larry Weaner. I am reaching out with registration information regarding our exciting live, virtual program this summerEcology-based Landscape: An Intensive 6-Part Course, with Larry Weaner and native plant expert Ian Caton

Larry’s sessions will cover open and canopied landscapes, from meadows to shrublands to woodlands. Then he will share ideas on how to apply an artistic overlay to these native plant compositions. Ian will follow up with a discussion on specific characteristics of plants applicable to ecology-based design, which are rarely considered in traditional horticulture. Register for the Full Bundle or individual sessions.

One past Intensive Course attendee expressed: “Your knowledge is invaluable! This session, and the entire course has been a gem.” 

We hope that you can join us!

CEUS will be offered (18 LA CES, APLD, & NOFA), as well as a 100+ page course manual. Join live and/or watch the recordings at your leisure up to 3 months after each session date. This series is cosponsored by Wild Ones – Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.

We are grateful for your engagement and we look forward to seeing you there! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. More information can be found by clicking here.

All my best,

Jenny Turner

New Directions in the American Landscape

Ecology Based Landscape Practice: An Intensive 6-Part Course

Where Science Meets Practice

Session 1 of 6: Larry Weaner, Foundations of Ecology Based Design (July 11, 2023)

Session 2 of 6: Larry Weaner, The Open Landscape: Meadows, Old Fields, Shrublands (July 18, 2023)

Session 3 of 6: Larry Weaner, The Canopied Landscape: Woodlands, Edges, and Hedgerows (July 25, 2023)

Session 4 of 6: Larry Weaner, The Artistic Overlay: Making “Wild” Legible (August 8, 2023)

Session 5 of 6: Ian Caton, Plants of the Open Landscape: Meadows, Old Fields, and Shrublands (August 15, 2023)

Session 6 of 6: Ian Caton, Plants of the Canopied Landscape: Woodlands Edges and Hedgerows (August 29, 2023)

Schedule of Butterfly Counts with Bart Jones

Posted & filed under Member Messages.

It sure is starting to look like spring in the Mid-South!!! Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s butterfly counts with Bart Jones. Vagaries with weather, etc. may affect dates, but Bart plans to keep us posted by email before the counts. The butterflies are already flying, so the spring counts may miss some species that emerge the earliest. This is an extremely educational event that all ages will enjoy. Learn more about the North American Butterfly Association: naba.org

  • Clifton Bend spring – April 15
  • Meeman-Shelby Forest spring – April 22
  • Decatur County – June 10
  • Reelfoot Lake – June 17
  • Meeman-Shelby Forest – June 24
  • Jackson – July 15
  • Lower Hatchie – July 29
  • Clifton Bend fall – August 26
  • Meeman-Shelby Forest fall – September 9

Please remember that these events are tentative and may change or be rescheduled. We hope to see you there!

You might enjoy reading this article by Bart Jones, published in The Tennessee Conservationist, Counting Butterflies in Tennessee.

Reading Recommendation: September 2022

Posted & filed under Member Messages, Reading Recommendation.

This month, consider reading with us! We’re reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, written by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Published by Milkweed Editions in 2013:

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Also available here.

What should we read next month?

10 Percent off your purchase from Overhill Gardens

Posted & filed under Member Messages.

Overhill Gardens, located in Vonore, TN, is offering a special discount for Wild Ones Mid-South members! In honor of our One Year Celebration, get 10% off your purchase at Overhill Gardens.

Check out Overhill Gardens current plant list on their website. This native plant nursery has some of the most beautiful and unusual natives grown in Tennessee.

Overhill Gardens is located in east Tennessee, but this special offer includes free shipping when our truck is full. Please make sure to tell Avi and his team at Overhill Gardens that your order is for Wild Ones Mid-South’s One Year Celebration. You must be a current Wild Ones member to receive this discount, only offered to our organization.

I hope you enjoy looking through their list of available native plants as much as I did!

Candidates for 2022-2023

Posted & filed under Member Messages.

Proud to announce the Slate of Officers for Wild Ones Mid-South 2022-23:

President: Jill Maybry, current Curator of the Pollinator and Delta Gardens at Memphis Botanic Garden, formerly worked for 10 years as Lead Horticulturist at the Memphis Zoo, after 2 years as the zoo’s Greenhouse Manager and Plant Sale Manager.

Vice President: Anne Ballentine, President of Memphis Horticulture Society, formally with Lichterman Nature Center for 7 years in the Native Plant Propagation Center.

Recording Secretary: Steve Sheer, retired from IRS, Former President of Memphis Horticulture Society, Master Gardener, Chairman of MG Youth Camp, volunteers at Chucalissa, MBG, Strawberry Plains and MOSH.

Corresponding Secretary: Susan Mekeel, taught for 14 years in the Shelby County school system and is now a stay at home mom to Mary Margaret. She is an active member and volunteer of Wild Ones Midsouth.

Treasurer: Madison May Carmack, Founder of our chapter last year and served as President. Master Gardener, certified Naturalist, Retired from FEDEX and retail sales.

Website: Haley Kirksey Graham, Digital Designer, Master Gardener.

Advisor: Suzy Askew, charter member of Wild Ones Midsouth. Retired garden designer, author of Native Plants of Tennessee: A Book of List. Board Member of TN Native Plant Society, Vice President of TN Federation of Garden Clubs, Chairman of 67th Conservation Camp Oct. 2022.

We thank those who have served on our initial board this first year: Dana Sanders, Christine Conley, and Marcelle Saunders. With Covid it was a bumpy year but we can only look forward to this one! We need predictable, simple, diverse activities that partner with other organizations to promote native plants.

View upcoming events.

Schisandra glabra by Julia Horne

Posted & filed under Native to MidSouth, publications.

View or download the PDF by clicking here.

Written by Julia Horne:

Schisandra (shiz’-an-dra) glabra is a deciduous woody vine. There are about 25 species of Schisandra in East Asia, but S. glabra is the only species found in America. It is considered native to the southeastern United States (Louisiana, east Arkansas, southwest Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, northwest Florida, Georgia, and parts of Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina) and northern Mexico (Hidalgo).

Common names include bay starvine (FL, GA, KY), magnolia vine (NC), red starvine (TN) or scarlet woodbine. For many years Schisandras were included in the Magnolia family, but they were eventually moved to their own family, Schisandraceae, which is related to the Illiciaceae (star anise) family.

S. glabra grows in undisturbed moist areas such as mesic wooded bluffs, ravines and stream banks, usually at elevations under 1650 feet. It grows best in shade or partial shade. It is an understory plant which produces roots at internodes and sends up aerial shoots that become climbing vines that either wrap around tree trunks or spread along the ground, reaching lengths of 15-60 feet. New growth is soft and green, which hardens to a reddish-brown bark on stems up to 0.5” diameter. Leaves are simple, ovate-elliptical, about 3-4.5” long and 1.5-2.5” wide with a 1-2” petiole, arranged in a spiral pattern. The vine is monoecious, i.e., both male and female flowers occur as single flowers either at the base of shoots or in the axils of leaves. The flowers have greenish-white sepals and pink to rose-red petals, and appear in May-June. At a glance the flowers look similar to small magnolia blooms. Red berries about 0.375” long appear in late July- August. The plant can be propagated from cuttings, and possibly from seed.

Berries of Schisandra species are used in herbal Chinese medicine, although most commercially available products come from S. chinesis or S. sphenathera. In China they are known as “wu-wei-zi” which means “five-flavor fruits” as they contain sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent flavors.

In most of its United States locations S. glabra is a threatened species. Threats mainly come from loss of habitat due to development and forestry practices (including industrial pine plantations), and competition from invasive species such as Japanese honeysuckle. According to the Tennessee Natural Heritage Program Rare Plant List 2016, S. glabra’s TN State status is Threatened (T), its S rank is S2 (see definition below), and its G rank is G3 (see definition below). Tennessee location maps show
occurrences only in Lauderdale, Tipton, Shelby and Rhea counties.

A few populations exist near Memphis: in Meeman-Shelby State Park and Fort Pillow State Park in Tennessee, and in Village Creek State Park and Turkey Ridge Resource Natural Area in Arkansas.

S2: very rare and imperiled within the state, six to twenty occurrences and less than 3000 individuals, or few remaining individuals, or because of some factor(s) making it vulnerable to extirpation in Tennessee.

G3: very rare and local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range, or, because of other factors, vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. Generally between 21 and 100 occurrences and fewer than 10,000 individuals.

Cross, Jacqueline, “Schisandra: Bay Star Vine”, Dave’s Garden, 8/6/2012, www.davesgarden.com
(Accessed: 4/13/21)
Foster, Stephen, “Schisandra: A Rising Star”, Mother Earth Living, www.motherearthliving.com
(Accessed: 4/13/21)
“Schisandra glabra”, Tennessee-Kentucky Plant Atlas, Tennessee Native Plant Society, Kentucky Native
Plant Society & the Kentucky State Nature Preserve, www.tennessee-kentucky.plantatlas.usf.edu
(Accessed: 4/13/21)
“Schisandra glabra”, Vascular Plant Herbarium, UT Herbarium-TENN, www.herbarium.utk.edu
(Accessed: 4/12/21) – Photo Images of leaf and stem
“Schisandra glabra”, Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org (Accessed: 4/12/21)
“Schisandra glabra”, NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe, 2021, www.explorer.natureserve.org
(Accessed: 4/13/21)
“Schisandra glabra”, North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, NC State Extension,
www.plants.ces.ncsu.edu (Accessed: 4/12/21)
“Schisandra glabra”, Plant Database, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 9/25/2014,
www.wildflower.org (Accessed: 4/13/2021) – Photo Images of flowers and berries
Taylor, David, “Bay Starvine”, The Lady-Slipper, No. 20:3, Fall 2005, Kentucky Native Plant Society, pp. 4-
6, www.knps.org (Accessed: 4/13/21)
“Tennessee Natural Heritage Program Rare Plant List”, Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee Department
of Environment and Conservation
, 2016, pp. iii-iv, 32, www.tn.gov (Accessed: 4/13/21)

Hydrangea barbara, Climbing Hydrangea, by Caroline Snider

Posted & filed under Native to MidSouth, publications.

View or download this as PDF by clicking here.

Written by Caroline Snider:

Hydrangea barbara (BAR-bair-ah) formerly known as Decumaria barbara is a species plant in the hydrangea family.

Common names: Climbing Hydrangea and Woodvamp

Hydrangea barbara is a woody vine reaching 30 feet by attaching arial rootlets and has smooth, shiny, round to oval deciduous leaves and fragrant flowers. The individual flowers are small and pale white with numerous stamens held one to two feet from climbing surface. It will only bloom when climbing and then only on new wood. It is typically found growing in swamps, bottomlands and moist forests. It will cover buildings, trellises, walls, arbors or can be trained as an espalier.

Plant Hydrangea barbara in partial sun to partial shade in moist to wet fertile acidic soils. It does best in afternoon shade. The glossy green leaves cover the plant from top to bottom making it ideal to hide fences or buildings or use as a privacy or screening plant.

The flowers appear in May or June. Old vines sometimes bear showy, urn shaped fruit.

The leaves turn white to yellow in the fall. Propagate it from soft wood cuttings as it is quite difficult to grow from seed. The only complaint against it is also a feature- It is slow growing!

This native climbing hydrangea is a great vine for moist southeastern gardens. It is seen growing on walls and trellises. One very striking use of H. barbara is when it is planted on top of a retaining wall and then looped over the wall and caught up at times to form a scalloped edge- as seen at the National Arboretum outside Washington, D. C. It will attract butterflies and bees.