Magazine Columns

Beautiful Blue Chicory

May 12, 2016 lawanda Magazine Columns

Over the years, plant breeders have spent tremendous amounts of time and money trying to produce flowers that bloom in beautiful blue, but haven’t had much success.   Mother Nature, however, easily hit a home run the first time at bat with chicory.  Its pure sky-blue blooms line the gravelly edges of Wisconsin roadsides, abandoned railroads, […]

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Invasive Water Hyacinth

March 7, 2016 lawanda Magazine Columns

Well, this one snuck up on us!  Invasive water hyacinth has been a huge problem in the lakes, rivers and streams of Africa, South America and the southeastern United States for many years.  We thought we were protected from it up here in Wisconsin above the 40th parallel, the supposed northernmost reach of the plant.  […]

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Highbush Cranberries

January 7, 2016 lawanda Magazine Columns

Just twenty counties in central and northern Wisconsin produce more than 60% of our country’s total cranberry harvest.  These cranberries grow on vines in bogs and peat marshes.  It’s impractical for the home grower to attempt to grow cranberries and foragers definitely shouldn’t poach from commercial cranberry bogs.  Fortunately, cranberry lovers can harvest from another […]

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Three Japanese Invaders

November 17, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

Our country’s earliest invasive plants originated mostly in Europe as our ancestors brought them from their homelands to grow in the new world.  Today invaders come from the world over as they are imported intentionally as nursery stock to decorate our landscapes or inadvertently in soil along with those landscape plants. Three of today’s worst […]

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Hazelnuts

September 4, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

        The combination of hazelnuts with chocolate is almost as popular as the chocolate/peanut butter combo.  Nutella, the chocolate/hazelnut spread, probably has as many fans as do peanut butter cups. You might be surprised to learn that hazelnuts grow throughout Wisconsin and are found along trails, roadsides, fence rows and woodland edges in dry or […]

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Ginseng

June 24, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

The root of the ginseng plant has been used around the world to cure a multitude of ills for hundreds of years.  If you believe everything you read, it cures almost any physical, emotional or spiritual ailment:  exhaustion, fatigue, infirmity, liver disease, stress, wasting from chronic disease, weakness, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, gastritis, high cholesterol, immune […]

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Lunch from the Lawn

June 18, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

Lunch from the Lawn By Lawanda Jungwirth No need to run to the grocery store when you need something for lunch. If you haven’t poisoned every weed in your lawn in an effort to make it look like your own personal putting green, there’s a good chance you can find lunch right outside your back […]

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Spotted Knapweed

March 9, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

If you’ve been aware of and familiar with invasive plants for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that the majority of invasive plants are very attractive, and that an inordinate number of them are purple. The same is true of this issue’s featured invasive, spotted knapweed. At first glance, knapweed looks remarkably like the bachelor’s button […]

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Edible Sumac

February 4, 2015 lawanda Magazine Columns

You’ve probably heard of poison sumac, but it’s not likely that you’ve seen it in Wisconsin.  It’s quite rare here.  No, the sumac that grows in Wisconsin is not poisonous; in fact the young spring shoots and the red berries that ripen in fall are edible.  And it’s from an entirely different plant family than […]

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Can Our Ash Trees Be Saved?

November 14, 2014 lawanda Magazine Columns

Last summer I spent an hour a week walking around in circles on baseball diamonds, staring at the ground.  People probably thought I was a crazy person.  What I was really doing was biosurveillance.  No, I wasn’t wearing a hazmat suit or carrying high-tech spy equipment.  I needed only my eyes and a pencil and […]

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