Friday, April 22, 2011

Plant of the Week

Prickly pear
Opuntia compressa (Salisb.) Macbr.
scientific name, 2008
Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf.
other common names: Indian fig, eastern prickly pear
Opuntia: an old Latin name used by Pliny, probably derived from Opus, a town in ancient Greece
Compressa: from the flattened stem segments
Cactus family: Cactaceae

Photograph by Thomas Rosburg, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Gardening Tip

Divide most perennial flowers now. Many perennials should be divided every three or four years. Plants need to be divided when they start to have fewer blooms each year, develop a dead spot in the middle of the clump of stems, or otherwise seem crowded. To divide, dig up the entire plant. Break the roots into several clumps with your hands or a spading fork. Replant the clumps, leaving twelve to eighteen inches between them.

Veronica Lorson Fowler with the Federated Garden Clubs of Iowa, Gardening in Iowa and Surrounding Areas

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Week in Iowa Nature

Early woodland wildflowers - Dutchman's breeches, columbine, hepatica, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, spring beauty, and bluebells - await spring hikers.

The Iowa Nature Calendar, by Jean Prior and James Sandrock