Journal archives for June 2024

June 01, 2024

June Community Pollinator Walk Moved: Native Plant Rescue June 2, 2024

Hello Everyone!

The next community pollinator walk will be MOVED from June 2 to Sunday June 9, 2024, from 1:00pm to 2:30pm at Fish Creek Provincial Park ☀️ You can register for the walk here. We will gather at Votier's Flats (13511 Elbow Dr SW, Calgary). 🐝🪲🐞

There was a great turn out at the last native plant rescue! There will be another rescue tomorrow! Join the Alberta Native Plant Rescue group this Sunday, June 2, 2024, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Genesis Land Development Corp. has granted us permission to hold a Native Plant Rescue at their Logan Landing Development, immediately south of Seton in Calgary. We will be working two areas below the escarpment down (see map in the Rescue Announcement), visible from 212 Ave SE.

IMPORTANT: Read the Rescue Announcement June 2 for information about the event and the required materials. This is private property so all volunteers attending will need to register by email before the event.

To register for the Native Plant Rescue, please download and fill out the Native Plant Rescue Waiver June2 and send it to Blake McNeill (albertaplantrescue@gmail.com).

Reach out if you have any questions!

Warm regards,
Justine

Alberta Plant and Pollinator Hub
contact.appc.hub@gmail.com

Posted on June 01, 2024 09:06 PM by jdo77 jdo77 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 10, 2024

Plant of the Month: Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the aster family (Asteraceae). They have multiple white flowers growing from one or more stems that branch near the top, causing the flowers to form a flattened dome shaped cluster at the top of the stems. The leaves of the common yarrow have a feathery or lace-like appearance as they are pinnately lobed to form leaflets that are further divided into smaller leaflets. The leaves are alternate. The stems are hairy. Common yarrow grows to be 3 feet tall. They have a bitter taste and a distinctive smell.

Common yarrow has varieties that are native to North America, however there are also varieties of common yarrow that are introduced to North America and have the potential to become invasive. It is found in mildly disturbed soil throughout the Northern hemisphere.Yarrow is used by many for its medicinal properties. The Cree name for common yarrow translates to “head medicine” or “bone medicine”. All parts of the common yarrow can be used medicinally. It is used to reduce pain, clot blood and to prevent infections from occurring. It is also used to treat cuts, burns, stings, headaches, toothaches, stomach aches, inflammation, hemorrhoids, colds, flu, and many more ailments. It has also been used as a deodorant and smudges to repel mosquitoes.

Common yarrow is also an important ecological feature. It provides pollen and nectar to attract butterflies, wasps, flies and bees. Additionally, it can aid in biological control as it attracts predatory insects and parasitoids, including green lace wings, lady bugs, hoverflies, and tachinid flies. They act as a food source for various mammals. They are used for restoration and help with erosion control.

It is a perennial with drought tolerant properties and the ability to grow in cold, low nutrient soils, though it does prefer full sun and warm conditions. When common yarrow grows in more challenging conditions flowering can be delayed and seed production can be reduced.

Photo of flowers with white “petals” surrounding a center disk containing yellow-white florets. These flowers are common yarrow and are surrounded by a hand.

Posted on June 10, 2024 01:25 AM by kiarra13 kiarra13 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 23, 2024

Pollinator of the Month: Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

The painted lady (Vanessa cardui) is one of the most widespread of all butterflies, as it can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and Central America. It is native to Canada, where it usually arrives in June after migrating from warmer regions. It cannot survive colder climates, so it migrates again during the winter. They use the winds that occur at high altitudes to assist with their migration.

The painted lady has orange wings with black tips. The upper side of the forewings have a pattern of white spots and thick black lines. This is visually similar to the American lady, but it can be distinguished by the four eyespots instead of two on its hindwing. The underside of their wings consist of a pattern of black, brown, red-orange and gray colours. The four small eyespots are also visible from the underside, near the edges of their wings. Females are generally larger than males.

The painted lady butterfly feeds on nectar from many plants, including purple coneflower, thistles, red clover, asters, blazing star, cosmos, New England aster, Joe-pye weed, Mexican sunflower, zinnias, red clover and milkweed, though it typically prefers tall plants. The painted lady can also be called the thistle butterfly. Its scientific name (Vanessa cardui) means “butterfly of thistle”. This is because it is associated with thistle as the wide range of the weed likely also allowed the butterfly to spread widely throughout the world.

To reproduce, the territorial males wait for females to enter the territory, then mating commences. The males will also mate with multiple females. They reproduce when conditions are favorable, this includes year round mating in warmer climates. Mating results in small green eggs to be laid on the leaves of its host plants, which include thistle, mallows, hollyhock, legumes, and other plants from the Compositae, Boraginaceae, and Malvaceae families. Over 100 host plants of the painted lady have been recorded. The larvae emerge after 4 to 14 days as spiny, gray-brown to purple-black with yellow stripes caterpillars. They feed on the leaves of their host plants, which can have serious negative consequences to the plants if there are too many caterpillars on it.

a painted lady butterfly sitting on a purple flower with their wings closed

a painted lady butterfly with their wings open on a gravely road

larvae of the painted lady butterfly

Posted on June 23, 2024 08:14 PM by kiarra13 kiarra13 | 0 comments | Leave a comment