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Tag Archives: plants

Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

The apple blossoms have emerged. Why is that important, you say? Well, it is a reliable indicator that tells me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. The wild asparagus harvest season almost always overlaps with the emergence of apple blossoms in my eastern Nebraska area. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in early May in eastern Nebraska. …

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Hedge Apples, Hedge Balls, Mock Oranges … What are they exactly and are they good for anything?

They have all sorts of names: Hedge Apples, Hedge Balls, Mock Oranges and others. You’ve probably seen them. But, what really are they? Spider/insect repellents? Hmmm … Dang, they are sure strange looking. What is this bright yellow to yellow-green, grapefruit-sized, brainy-looking fruit-like thing? Fruit? Well, this is actually fruit of the Osage orange tree, an inedible fruit to humans, I might add. Hedge apple, hedge ball or mock orange, in hand. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. …

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Nebraska’s Fascinating Ferns

Spore-producing ferns are ancient plants, first appearing in fossil records about 360 million years ago, a time when amphibians were venturing out of the oceans to become the first land vertebrates. For tens of millions of years thereafter, the climate was extremely hot and humid and ferns flourished in the Earth’s expansive swamps, some towering to tree height. Although the flowering and seed-producing angiosperms, such as deciduous trees, grasses and wildflowers, eventually came to dominate the Earth’s flora, ferns continued …

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Four plants for hummingbirds

In my recent post about attracting hummingbirds, I briefly mentioned how incorporating certain plants into your yard will help attract hummingbirds.  I stated it was perhaps the subject of another blog post, and so it is.  Below, I list four plants that hummingbirds seem to favor based on my experience.  Their hummingbird appeal is just one factor in my determination.  I also considered ease/difficulty of growing here in Nebraska and also just my own personal preference for the plants’ aesthetic appeal.  I only consider …

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