Mysteries Explored

Intricate system of connections

A series of mysteries relating to natural landscaping and the ways we are part of this delicate system of connections — explored by former Wild Ones Journal Editor, Maryann Whitman.

A Mystery Explored by Maryann Whitman. Have you ever wondered why we can say that native plants do not need to be fertilized, or have any chemicals thrown at them?

Further Mysteries Explored by Maryann Whitman. Every bit of soil among our native plants and their roots is potentially teeming with activity.

A Mystery Explored (It’s All One Piece) by Maryann Whitman. We continue to explore man’s traditional treatment of the soil, the results of this treatment, and the benefits that accrue through the planting and tending of natural landscapes, using native plants.

Mysteries Explored Part 4: Thinking About Mycorrhizae by Maryann Whitman. And roots, and fungi, and hyphae, and how plants really get their nutrients.

Mysteries Explored Part 5: Mycorrhizae and Plants by Maryann Whitman. It is this relationship that lets our established native plants flourish without being watered or artificially fertilized.

Mysteries Explored Part 6: Glomalin: Hiding Place for a Third of the World’s Stored Soil Carbon by Maryann Whitman. Glomalin is causing a complete reexamination of what makes up soil organic matter.

Mysteries Explored Part 7: Buckthorn, Birds & Diarrhea by Maryann Whitman. Along with its other sins, does buckthorn cause diarrhea in foraging birds?

Mysteries Explored Part 8: The Sex Life of Jack-in-the-Pulpit  by Maryann Whitman.  It’s often said that the Jack-in-the pulpit changes its sex as it ages. Is that really true?

Mysteries Explored Part 9: Working toward understanding Native Plants: Secondary Metabilites by Maryann Whitman. Have you ever wondered why monarch butterflies need milkweed to reproduce? Or why there actually are plants deer dislike? Or why northeastern squirrels prefer white oak accords to those of red oaks? Or why field guides of plants, insects and butterflies use the term ‘host plant’? Or what the connection between the evolutionary kingdoms is?

Mysteries Explores Part 10: Working toward understanding the Nature of Native Plants by Larry Nooden. Why is local genotype important in restoration efforts?

Mysteries Explored Part 11: Plants and Insects by Charley Eiseman. Gardeners have skirted around the edges of the connection, but have not quite considered the facts from this perspective. Horticulturists have touted introduced plants that are ‘pest free’ and ‘disease resistant’ without asking the necessary questions — why and what relevance  might these attributes have in the large scheme of things.

Mysteries Explored Part 12:  Maintaining Biodiversity:  Native Plants DO Provide Critical Ecosystem Services by Maryann Whitman. One of the most critical roles plants play in nature is supporting food webs — that is, all of the animal life as it exists and interacts in our ecosystems. Based on recent research by Dr. Doug Tallamy, it is in performing this essential ecosystem service that non-native plants do not measure up to our native species in serving local ecosystems because their “evolutionary history happened elsewhere.”