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california native plants are poppies for wildflowers and native plant ecosystem

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Wildflower...and plant resource center

The number of plants that grow in the wild areas of your own neck of the woods is astounding. Learning about them can seem like an endless task. But there are tricks to the conservation and habitat trade! One trick is to know who to ask. What to ask. And when to ask. The online databases of native plants makes this complex situation into an adventure...a lifelong learning adventure.

A new "Native Plant Guide" is now live online at:

The extensive "Native Gardening and Invasive Plants Guide is a searchable native plant database has been provided by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas.

You can now generate lists of native plants, including photos and detailed descriptions, for regions throughout the country.

Included in the extensive directory are wildflowers, trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, cacti, and grass-like plants.

And what are grass-like plants? Sedge and Cat-tails...what else?

. . . both moisture loving plants found in wetlands. The most widely spread of these plants is the cat-tail....and here is a brief description from this helpful database sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.

Broad-leaf cat-tail
Typha latifolia

Description: A stout-stemmed perennial, 4-8 ft. tall, often in found dense clumps. Broad linear leaf blades. The dense, brown, cylindrical flowering spike persist through autumn before becoming a downy mass of white.

Flower: May - June

Site Preference Marshes; pond and lake margins

Native Distribution: Nearly cosmopolitan throughout N. America, especially inland

Exposure Preference: Sun.

Soil Preference: Rich, wet soils.

Wildlife Value: Provides important food and cover for songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds & large & small mammals.

Comments: Spreads extensively by rhizomes so an acre of cattails may consist of only a few plants.

Learning about specific plants in your backyard, your garden or your neighborhood is a fascinating, never-ending adventure. The wealth of information online these days makes each and every nature walk a course in natural science, as well as beauty, and community, and wonder. Enjjoy the great outdoors found right at your fingertips!

For more articles about CONSERVATION & GARDENING

When is a plant a weed?
Saving Topsoil
Controlling Slugs and Snails
California Heritage Gardens
Walk Gently with the Earth
Weather and Temperature are Linked to Landscaping