Everyone Wants Aloe

            If there is a plant that most everyone, whether you have a green thumb or not, is familiar with, it is aloe. Derivatives of the plant, especially the species Aloe vera, are used as moisturizers in facial tissues, skin lotions and cosmetics, as ointments for minor burns and sunburn, and as relief for constipation. …

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Ironweed Stands Tall in the Fall Prairie

             The common plant name ‘Ironweed’ can have different connotations. Some may picture toughness, as ‘iron’ suggests. Others may visualize something undesirable, as ‘weed’ insinuates. Fortunately, most plants known as ironweed in Midwest gardens carry the trait of toughness, but not invasiveness.             Ironweed is the common name for plants of the genus Vernonia, a …

Caps off to Epimedium

            I am often asked what my favorite tree is, or which hosta I prefer. I usually sidestep the question, for my answer may depend on the season of the year or which was my most recent purchase. Rarely am I asked which is my most favored ground cover, but if I were to be …