University of Maryland Extension

Part 1: Pre-Course Mock Shop Exercise

The following exercise will start you thinking about some of the questions that come up while you are shopping for native plant materials.  It will also help us evaluate the effectiveness of this course.  At the end of the class, we'll revisit this exercise and discuss the answers. 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pretend you are selecting plants for a demonstration garden at the Howard County MD Extension Office grounds. The purpose of the garden is to showcase native plants.  Light will range from full sun through full shade.  The site has a dry silt loam and a pH of 5.5. 
  2. Evaluate each product below on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being an absolutely lousy product that you would never consider putting in the native garden, and 10 being an ideal choice.
  3. Compose an email address it to Sara Tangren (stangren@umd.edu)
    1. write "NPE PRE-TEST" in the subject field
    2. in the body of the email, write your name and email address and whether you've taken this test before or not
    3. type a column of the letters A through L, then record your answer, on a scale of 1 to 10, next to each letter. 

MOCK SHOPING AREA:
A. A black-eyed Susan with this label on the pot:                                 

Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta ‘You Should See the Other Guy’ Blacker eyes than any other Black-eyed Susan on the market!

B. A black-eyed Susan with this label on the pot:

B. Black-eyed Susan  Rudbeckia hirta

C. Pussytoes with this label on the pot:

Plantain-leaf Pussytoes Antennaria plantaginifolia Grown from seed wild-collected throughout five parks in Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland.

D: Some moss with this label on the pot:
D.	Pussytoes  Antennaria plantaginifolia  Grown from seed wild-collected throughout five parks, Alexandria VA provenance

E. A bag of gray goldenrod seed with both a label and a yellow tag on it (please pretend the seal says Maryland rather than Iowa):

Gray Goldenrod Seed Solidago nemoralis 1.0 oz. 50% PLS product of Best Native Seed Company, MD packed for use in 2014

Image of a yellow tag that indicates the source-identified status, provenance and production area for the seed.

F. A small ball and burlap tree with this information on the tag:

G.	White Pine Pinus strobus Native Plant

G. A shrub with this label on the pot:

 Baltimore County Coastal Plain

H. A blue sedge in a pot.  In addition to potting soil, there is some natural soil around the roots. This is what the label on the pot says: 

Blue Sedge, Carex glaucodea

I. A wildflower seed packet.  Here is the advertising banner from the seed display, and below that are the front and back of the seed envelope:

Ideal for the native butterfly garden!

A photograph of the front of a retail seed packet.

A photograph of the back of a retail seed packet.

J. A purple coneflower seed packet. Here are the front and back of the envelope:
 

A photograph of the front of a purple coneflower seed packet.

A photograph of the back of a purple coneflower seed packet.

K. A pot of Allegheny spurge.  Here's the label:

Allegheny Spurge Pachysandra procumbens Coastal Natives Nursery, Easton MD

L. You were shopping online and found this advertisement:

screen shot of a web page advertising 'Huskers Red' for sale, in German

Part 2: Geologic Timeline, A Context for Native Plants

 

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