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UW booklet highlights native plants

Apr 23, 2014 - From staff reports

Regionally native plants that mix attitude and altitude with beauty are showcased in a new publication from the University of Wyoming.

These plants will weather Wyoming's worst.

"Plants with Altitude: Regionally Native Plants for Wyoming Gardens," B-1255, provides physical descriptions and unique characteristics of more than 50 perennials in addition to water need, sun exposure, native ranges, plant family, and height and width.

When applicable, icons denote animal resistance and pollinator attraction.

"The plants were chosen by the authors," said writer Jennifer Thompson of University of Wyoming Extension. "They are regionally native plants that are attractive, relatively easy to get ahold of and that have performed well in our gardens, which are in challenging environments."

Thompson had bounced around the idea of a regionally native booklet for some time. She had grown regionally native plants -- especially those

that required few inputs, including water -- in her gardens and landscapes.

"Many Western native plants make super plants for gardens," Thompson said. "These plants are fun to grow and rather fascinating to watch."

They support a number of pollinators, and Thompson said she abandoned her hummingbird feeder after several years of growing many of the plants in the booklet.

"Hummingbirds ignored it and spent their time visiting and fighting over the penstemons and other flowers," she noted.

The UW Biodiversity Institute has created a booklet companion website at http://wyomingnative gardens.org.

Many of the plants are now in the horticultural trade and are at quality local and regional nurseries or online, Thompson said.

A limited supply of booklets are available across the state at local UW Extension, conservation district and weed and pest control district offices.

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