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Mason bees make spring extra special

Photos by Bruce MacGregor Article by Courtney Beckel It is almost spring! And one thing that really got me through last spring was…mason bees! Naturally, I wanted to share a bit about these bees with you. I’m no entomologist but I do know we have a huge variety of bees in Oregon — not just […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced Species: Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale), and some bonus species (So. Much. Yellow!) Description: Why take the time to write about dandelions? Everyone knows them, right? Well, no; in fact, dandelions are a hugely confusing topic in botany, and–hang onto your hat–there are actually *native* dandelions in the western US (such as T. officinale ssp. ceratophorum; […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species:  Lesser celandine (Ficara verna, formerly Ranunculus ficaria) Characteristics:  Lesser celandine, also known as fig buttercup, is an herbaceous, perennial plant, with a basal rosette of dark green, shiny, stalked leaves that are kidney- to heart-shaped; these are starting to appear now in the Portland area. The glossy, butter-yellow flowers open in March and […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species: Chickweed (Stellaria media) Description: Chickweed is a very common garden plant, behaving as either an annual or a perennial depending on the local climate; our mild winters mean that it often lasts from one year to the next. The plant is inconspicuous, with small, opposite, oval-shaped leaves on stalks that can reach up […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species: Dock (Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius) Characteristics: These two common dock species are perennial members of the buckwheat family. Curly dock (R. crispus) may grow up to 1 m (3ft), while bitter dock (R. obtusifolius) may reach 1.5 m (5 ft). Leaves of these plants are fairly large (up to 30 cm, or […]

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