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  • HDT Team

What's Your Favorite Plant?

Did you know how many plants are here on planet Earth? According to the Royal Botanical Gardens, there are over 390,000 species of vascular plants known to science. That's a lot of bloomin' flowers! With so many varieties to choose from, it must be darn near impossible to pick your favorite one, right? Well, we went to our staff and asked them what their favorite plant is and why they're drawn to it, what makes it special for them, and we got a wide spectrum.

Tammy B. - Manager of Administration

The Scabiosa plant (or Pincushion Flower) has beautiful blooms

My favorite would the scabiosa, or better known as the "Pincushion Flower." They are very early to come up and have beautiful foliage along with a beautiful flower in a variety of colors. Butterflies like them, too!

Chris G. - Food Utilization Specialist

AS you can see, the Tamarack tree actually turns colors.

For me, I chose the tamarack. It is one of our most unique trees. In the fall its needles turn brilliant fiery yellow and then fall off, making it one of the few conifer trees that are also deciduous! Mostly I love the spring smell as the new green needles bud out and the colorful little pine cones bloom. It is my favorite smell and a sign of springtime.

Jim C. - Conservation Technician

Hazelnuts bushes are slowly becoming the nut of choice to plant for Midwest producers.

I'm going to go with the hazelnut bush. It's extremely resilient, living for decades or even centuries. It is widely adapted and grows throughout the midwest and eastern US. Through over 100 years of breeding and research, we now have hazelnut genetics that produce marketable nuts, that are in short supply and fetch a good price. They have the potential to revolutionize agriculture and increase food sovereignty. Also, they are pretty in the fall.

Colin M. - Marketing Coordinator

Sunflowers don't actually follow the sun, but will face east to wait for sunrise as they get older.

I'm going to have to go with the common sunflower. I just love the looks of whether it's just a single tall stem towering over a garden or if I'm driving by a field of them, waiving in the breeze. They symbolize to me a sense of optimism, positivity, and some gosh darn swagger. They just look gorgeous. They also offer really good snacks in their seeds. Plus, it's a really great song.

Quinn S. - Executive Director

Nothing can beat the smell and look of a lilac bush in the springtime.

In the early summer/springtime, my favorite plant is the lilac! I love the colors (deep purple to brilliant whites), the fluffy blooms composed of hundreds of little flowers, their scent/fragrance, and the ephemeral nature of them.

Nora W. - Driftless Region Program Specialist

Dr. Seuss has nothing on these little guys.

I think my favorite plant is the round-leaved sundew. Minnesota has three types of carnivorous plants, and while pitcher plants are cool, round-leaved sundews are very small, making them harder to find, making it more exciting when you do! You have to get down and examine bogs closely to find these little "truffula-tree" looking plants. But, instead of being soft and fuzzy, they have sticky arms with glistening drops of mucus (which looks like dew, hence the name!) The mucus is filled with sugar, so it attracts insects. When they land, they get stuck. The arms fold up around the insect and the plant digests it! HOW COOL IS THAT?! Nature is so cool! That's why I love this plant.


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