Habitat Vision test strip
Examples of plants used: Acorus calamus, Iris virginica var. shrevei, Sparganium eurycarpum, Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Nymphaea odorata, Nuphar variegata, Persicaria amphibia
Plant needs: Many of these plants need mucky soils. This will be interesting to see how they react in our modules. Many need clear calm water. This may mean we can’t have the modules to low so they get enough light. The channel seems pretty calm so I think we will not need any protection.
Plant interactions: The lilies do have a tendency to spread.
Faunal importance: Fish coverage/amphibian coverage, food for waterfowl and muskrats.
Restraints: Can we do an area not protected by our regular modules as Galen recommends. Kayakers should not be going in areas that are open so this could be a challenge. The plants won’t have a chance to establish themselves.
Design Needs: I was thinking we could have multiple lagoons with these modules testing different depths. Also, having a large open area of lilies and other species under some type of bridge. I figure we can also have an area mixed with rushes which could get to heights of 8’ if happy. That could be kind of cool in the middle of a low to medium height prairie.
Plant needs: Planted up to 8’ in water but can be as little as 1’. Needs muck soils. Clear calm water. Needs sun.
Plant Interactions: Can spread but no real limitations here
Faunal relationships: Insects, muskrats, turtles.
Restraints: Need a submerged area at least a foot deep, may need soil. Should probably test a small section first. According to Galen these modules should not be located on the edge.
Design Needs: Ultimately I see a large area of submerged modules just with this lily under a bridge connecting the modules. Also, this could be done in small “pools”. We can also do areas of varying depths of submerged modules to test out as many species as possible and their tolerances. Thinking of something like monet.
Plant needs: Planted up to 7’ deep. Muck soils, clear calm water. Leaves sit on water as the yellow flower extends normally 6”-1’ above the water. Needs part sun to full sun.
Plant Interactions: Can spread
Faunal relationships: Fish habitat. Not much info available
restraints: Need a submerged area at least a foot deep, may need soil.
Design Needs: I see this being another mass like the lilies. Not sure how the lily and this species will look mixed together, it could look messy.
Plant needs: Grows to about 1’-3’ tall and can sometimes rest on the water surface. Can be put in water up to 6’. Needs muck Full to part sun.
Plant Interactions: Can create colonies but should balance out with lilies
Faunal relationships: waterfowl, turtles, muskrats
Restraints: Submerged modules can really be planted at any depth above 6’.
Design Needs: This species could look cool scattered in with the lilies.
Possible Plants: Carex frankii, Carex comosa, Carex stipata, liatris spicata, Asclepias incarnata, bromus kalmii, lobelia siphilitica, juncus effusus and other juncus species, Iris virginica var shrevei, Pycnanthemum virginianum, Pedicularis lanceolata, Lythrum alatum, Caltha palustris, Lobelia cardinalis,
Plant needs: Our regular modules should work fine for these species. Most of the sedges are clump forming. This will be similar to the short prairie section we put in the 2017 install.
Plant interaction: Figure this will be a mixed prairie and most of the species should interact well with each other.
Faunal relationship: This will be a section great for pollinators and insect/bird habitat.
Restraints: Regular buoyant modules should be used, but extra buoyant modules might work if we don’t have to water?
Design Needs: Again this section will be similar to the short prairie section we have installed.
Plant needs: Height 2-3.5’ however, never seen it get to 3’. Full sun to light shade. Mucky wet soils, can tolerate up to 6” of water but also fine in our regular modules.
Plant interaction: Minimal issues with other plants. Clump forming sedge and should compete with weeds once mature and cover gaps between modules if planted densely.
Faunal relationship: Many birds rely on the seeds for food and the foliage for nest building. Also many insects rely on comosa for food and cover.
Design Needs: Can be planted in a shallow submerged module or our regular modules. Like the 2017 install I envision there to be a solid base of sedge species like comosa in our prairie/pollinator sections to help protect the forbs and to out compete weeds.
Plant needs: 2-5’ tall. Needs sun, moist conditions.
Plant interaction: Normally a single shoot, so doesn’t take much space and can poke above short sedges.
Faunal relationship: Source of pollen for butterflies like the monarch, bees and skippers.
Restraints: It is a bulb, so it should not be planted near edges of modules where it can be washed away from people walking along the edges or boat traffic.
Design Needs: This should look cool scattered in an area with dense planting of sedges and may look nice with smattering of yellow/orange flowering plants.
Plant needs: Height 2-3’. Like comosa Iris can handle water up to 6” above the crown and can be above the natural waterline by 6”. Needs full sun to bloom. Organic soils.
Plant Interaction: Does create small colonies but overall it’s well behaved.
Faunal Relationship: Bees, butterflies and skippers use the pollen from Iris.
Restraints: Will not bloom if in a shaded area.
Design Needs: Blooms for only a week or so, but if planted as a mass it can look very striking but also looks good in small clumps scattered throughout. The leaves can add a different texture. Erect growing, so not a species to use in areas we need to cover up the modules.
Possible Plants: Echinacea purpurea, Asclepias incarnata, filipendula rubra, carex lacustris, Eutrochium maculatum and perfoliatum, Lobelia cardinalis, Eryngium yuccifolium
Plant needs: Regular modules
Plant interactions: Most coexist nicely with each other however many sedge species that will work with this height can aggressively spread by rhizome.
Faunal relationships: Great for pollinators and the sedges will create great nesting habitat for birds and overall cover for animals.
Restraints: Regular buoyant modules, but could try extra buoyant if that allows us to try drier species.
Design Needs: We’ll probably have a large sedge section with forb species that can compete with the height of the sedges and poke above them. We can also do low sedge and grass species mixed with taller forbs. We can play around with the sedges and forb designs quite a bit in this section.
Plant Needs: 3-6’ tall. Full to part sun. Tolerates wet to moist conditions in highly organic soils.
Plant Interaction: Conservative species but still is amazingly able to poke above dense colonies of sedges.
Faunal relationships: Little is known, but bees and beetles do use the pollen.
Restraints: Does get powdery mildew so might be best to not plant where airflow will be limited by other tall species. This species should be planted in the regular modules.
Design Needs: One of the showiest native midwest wildflowers. The foliage does fall off in the fall making it gangly looking and will not cover up anything very well at that point, so I figure it might be best in the mid height areas. However, it can be used in a taller species section.
Plant Needs: 2-5’ moist to slightly dry in full sun. Can’t handle standing water but can be used in most soils.
Plant Interaction: Once happy it can spread by seed. It is able to compete with dense sedge colonies as it can grow above the sedges.
Faunal Relationships: Long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, skippers, moths, beetles, and plant bugs use the nectar.
Restraints: Can’t be planted in submerged modules. Does not like standing water.
Design Needs: Again planted scattered in an area with mostly sedges. Should be able to grow through dense monoculture of sedges like Carex lacustris.
Plant Needs: 2.5-4’ tall, sun to part sun and in muddy wet soils.
Plant Interaction: Will take over smaller more conservative species that can’t grow above it’s height. Spreads by rhizomes.
Faunal Relationships: Many insects use this plant for food and coverage. Birds, snakes, and other wildlife us this plant as coverage because of the large colonies it can create.
Restraints: We should not plant this near conservative species as it will likely take over. I am unsure of how it will move from module to module if it does at all, so we should test this out in areas without conservative species. Can handle standing water up to 3” or be used in the regular modules.
Design Needs: This could look very cool as a large section. It will be a workhorse plant for habitat creation.
Possible Plants: Hibiscus, Vernonia, Iliamna remota, Panicum virgatum, Rudbeckia subtomentosa, Schoenoplectus acutus, Boltonia asteroides
Plant Needs: Regular modules
Plant Interaction: Depends on the species, some are aggressive while others aren’t. We can split up species accordingly.
Faunal Relationships: Another good pollinator sections, good source of food for birds
Restraints: Regular modules, but some of the Rush species like Schoenoplectus acutus can grow to 8’ and could grow in submerged or regular modules.
Design Needs: We’ll probably end up using these species along the wall if we want to hide the seawall. Could work closer to “woody thicket” section so there isn’t a large jump in height from the herbaceous sections to the woodies.
Plant Needs: 3-6’ tall. Full to part sun, fertile soil, wet conditions (just above natural waterline)
Plant Interaction: If planted as a dense colony I do not believe plants below will survive because of the lack of sun. Otherwise well behaved tall forb.
Faunal Relationships: Bees tend to use this flower for nectar and pollen.
Restraints: Do not plant in submerged modules or in a wooded thicket. May not do as well if planted on edges of modules if we consistently have people walking on the install.
Design Needs: Can grow to be very tall and can create a good visual barrier if densely planted, also can look cool scattered in amongst sedges and grasses.
Plant Needs: 3-6’, Full sun moist fertile soils.
Plant Interactions: Pretty well behaved forb but does spread by seed.
Faunal relationship: Many insects use the nectar including Monarchs. Some bees use the pollen
Restraints: Do not plant in submerged modules
Design Needs: Can be used to hide a seawall once mature. May look cool poking out of grass and sedge areas.
Plant Needs: 5-8’ tall in water up to 12” and in moist soil conditions. Full sun
Plant interaction: Spread by rhizome but spaced out enough that other species can grow mixed in.
Faunal Relationship: Muskrats, bird nesting, overall habitat coverage, fish protection
Restraints: Waterfowl and mammals love to eat the young leaves so we’ll need to protect the plant as it establishes.
Design Needs: Can be planted as a “tall” submerged module to cover up a seawall.
Possible Plants: Iris virginica var shrevei, acorus calamus, Sparganium eurycarpum, Schoenoplectus acutus, Juncus effusus, Decodon verticillatus, Rumex verticillatus, Pontederia cordata, Peltandra virginica, Justicia americana, Saururus cernuus
Plant Needs: Could do a mix of submerged and regular modules. Submerged modules should be between 3”-12” below crown of plant.
Plant Interactions: Justicia americana and Saururus cernuus will hopefully grow out into the water and create a mat of vegetation in the water.
Faunal Relationships: Important fish and invertebrate cover, waterfowl food, bird nesting habitat, muskrats
Restraints: Bird fencing around submerged modules along edge. Some species can create colonies but other plant species should be able to compete.
Design Needs: These species are of varying heights and can be placed in sections with different heights, so we could do these randomly in a short prairie section to give a different texture.
Plant: Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)
Plant Needs: 1-3.5’ tall, sun to part sun wet to moist muck soils. Can tolerate inundation up to 12” of water.
Plant interactions: Interacts well with other species.
Faunal Relationship: Not much info but waterfowl eat the foliage and muskrats eat the roots.
Restraints: We need to properly protect this species with bird fencing up to 2’ tall. In an afternoon a group of ducks or muskrats could eat an entire section.
Design Needs: Might work best in submerged modules surrounded by regular modules for protection, we can also plant this species on regular modules.
Plant Needs: 1-3’ tall sun to part sun in mucky soil. Can be submerged up to 0-2’.
Plant Interactions: Doesn’t take over areas but does spread somewhat.
Faunal Relationship: Waterfowl eat the seeds. Dense vegetation can create good fish habitat. Bees and butterflies are attracted to this species. Blooms throughout the summer
Restraints: May need to be in submerged modules. We have a group planted in regular modules but it may not be the correct habitat.
Design Needs: Could look good with tall rushes as a contrast in leaf texture.
Plant Needs: 1-2’ tall, sun to part sun in mucky soil but can sometime just float around on the surface. Can be planted in 0-3’ deep of water.
Plant interactions: Is able to coexist with other species and has the ability to break off and start growing in another location if able to establish.
Faunal Relationship: Many bees use the pollen and some small butterflies use the nectar.
Restraints: Probably best to plant these on submerged modules. I’m unsure if this plant will creep out into the water if planted in a regular module.
Design Needs: Could look cool out along edges or in “lagoons/pools” if it does take off and create a mat.
Possible Plants: Panicum virgatum, Spartina pectinata, Carex lacustris, Carex emoryi, Carex stricta, Calamagrostis canadensis, Glyceria striata
Plant Needs: Regular modules, sun
Plant Interactions: Many of these are rhizomatous species and will not be placed near conservative species because they can take over. Could be planted near woody thicket
Faunal Relationships: Great bird and faunal cover, nesting habitat for birds and good food source for birds. This will be our engine to create good bird habitat along the river.
Restraints: The aggressive nature of these species. Should be planted in regular modules.
Design Needs: Large area possibly separate from other section to prevent a takeover. Could look cool right against a walking path so people feel immersed in the grasslands. Kids will not be able to see over the grass during peak growing season. Maybe have an offshoot from the path with a bench in this section. This section will also look cool during the winter as many of these species will hold their form and add some color and texture during the winter.
Plant Needs: 2-5’ tall, full to part sun wet to moist soils but should not be submerged.
Plant Interactions: Is aggressive.
Faunal Relationship: Provides nesting habitat for many wetland birds and good cover for small mammals, snakes, birds, and other wildlife.
Restraints: Can spread aggressively by rhizome. Again not sure if it will be able to spread this way module to module but at least we should be hesitant using this species beyond isolated areas until we understand how it spreads.
Design Needs: The aggressive grass and sedge species would be interesting to try in an area that is 1000 square feet to really see how they interact with each other to create something similar to the picture above.
Plant Needs: 4-7’ tall, sun to part sun wet to mesic fertile loamy soils.
Plant Interactions: Like Calamagrostis Spartina can become aggressive.
Faunal Relationship: Seeds are sometimes eaten by waterfowl and the roots are eaten by muskrats.
Restraints: Can spread by rhizome and will out compete other conservative species. Can break the skin if a person runs their hands along the leaf.
Design Needs: Large grassland area.
Plant Needs: 3-6’ tall clump form. Sun to part sun in moist to mesic fertile soil.
Plant Interactions: Can spread by seed or rhizome and will out compete more conservative species.
Faunal Relationship: Many insects eat the foliage and use the foliage as protection. The seeds are also eaten by birds. Birds also use this plant for coverage.
Restraints: Do not plant in submerged modules and should be planted in higher areas of the regular modules.
Design Needs: Same as the above but the clump form is different from the other species.
Possible Plants: Cephalanthus occidentalis, Cornus sericea, Salix discolor, amorpha fruticosa, Salix candida
Plant Needs: Extra buoyant modules.
Plant Interactions: Could do some herbaceous species in here but they will need to be shade tolerant.
Faunal Relationships: Food and habitat for birds. Essential habitat for insects to over winter and reproduce. Mammalia coverage.
Restraints: Space to prune and ability to do so safely.
Design Needs: Could we have arches going over the walking path with woody vines or herbaceous vines like the clematis virginiana. Thinking two section could overlap and be offset of each other on either side of the walking path.
Plant Needs: 3-12’ tall in full to part sun. Needs wet to moist fertile soil.
Plant Interactions: Can create colonies but that only seems to happen in ephemeral wetlands.
Faunal Relationship: Bees, flies, butterflies use for nectar and pollen. Ruby Throated hummingbirds use the flower for nectar. Birds do eat the seeds.
Restraints: Most likely will need extra buoyant modules if left unpruned.
Design Needs: This could be used as a species in a thicket but also looks nice isolated in small groups.
Plant Needs: 6-20’ 20’ if left unpruned. Sun and wet to moist sandy and non-sandy soil.
Plant Interactions: Can grow tall so will have more of a tree feel than a shrub.
Faunal Relationship: Small bees and flies use the flowers for nectar and pollen. Many insects eat the leaves and bark. Birds will use this species for nesting. Turtles have been known to eat the fallen leaves.
Restraints: Will grow to be tall but we can aggressively prune and could us pruned “stakes” to plant more.
Design Needs: Might look cool scattered in thicket as it grows above the other shrubs
Plant Needs: 3-9’ tall. Full to part sun in moist soil.
Plant Interactions: Somewhat spreads by seed and rhizome but fairly behaved.
Faunal Relationship: Bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies use the nectar and pollen from the flowers. Many insects feed on this plant. Also, because of their higher than average fat content, the white drupes of Red-Osier Dogwood are an important food source of wood ducks, songbirds, and upland gamebirds.
Restraints: May need extra buoyant modules, but regular could work if pruned.
Design Needs: Thought this will be a species used in a thicket situation and will look great during winter but we need to prune this species to keep the red bark. Also, will look good randomly scattered in a short to medium height prairie.
Possible Plants: Cypripedium calceolus parviflorum, Cypripedium calceolus pubescens, Cypripedium reginae, Calopogon tuberosus, fern and carex species that work with the specific habitat needs of the orchids and sedges.
Plant Needs: So much, some species need acidic peaty soils but others should be fine without such soil amendments as long as the water can provide what they need. Regular modules should work. Some species will need shade and will be planted near a grouping of shrubs or the thicket.
Plant Interactions: Should be on their own modules without the stress of competition.
Faunal Relationships: Beauty and pollination
Restraints: Again should be off on their own to reduce competition. Soil amendments might be difficult to contain unless these are placed in pots.
Design Needs: One module in a protected area from waves and possible ice. We only order 8 plants 2 of each species because the probability of these species establishing is low. Sedges and ferns will be planted with these species. We could also scatter them because these species have different preferences so it might be difficult to have each one on a module. We will need to know exact location of them if we place them randomly on the install.
Plant Needs: 1-2’ tall, sun to part shade wet to moist soil containing sand or peat.
Plant interactions: Well behaved.
Faunal Relationship: Bees, flies, butterflies, skippers and beetles may try to use the pollen.
Restraints: It is a corm so should be placed in a protected area away from module edges and garden edges. Will need to put fencing around these plant to protect them from herbivory.
Design Needs: Regular module placed in a highly protected area. Probably should not place near aggressive plants.
Plant Needs: 1-2’ tall. Needs Sun to shade. You would need to plant C. reginae in an artificial mix such as perlite or pumice.
Plant interactions: Well behaved and who wouldn’t want more orchids spreading.
Faunal Relationship: Bees, Flies and skippers try to pollinate while bees and flies seem to be the only successful insects.
Restraints: The crown of the plant will need to be planted 8” above the waterline. We may want to try one in a pot with the correct mix and have it somehow wick water up?
Design Needs: Keep this module protected from being submerged.
Plant Needs: 2.5-4’ tall in full sun. Needs wet to moist sandy or mucky soils.
Plant Interactions: Clump forming sedge so doesn’t spread too much, but will out compete weeds.
Faunal Relationship: Many insects feed on this species and call stricta home. Both birds and turtles feed on the seeds. Birds will make nests in them as well. Ants make the hummock.
Restraints: Can handle regular and submerged modules up to about 6” of water. Just needs ample sunlight.
Design Needs: Could possibly worked scattered in with the orchids to provide protection.
Turtle section: Have modules loaded with different size gravel for nesting and large flat rocks for basking.
Prairie Sections: We can tailor these area with plant species to attract specific insects, birds, mammals, etc.
Normally the weeds you’ll be pull throughout the gardens are located along the waters edge of the module and more often than not, broadleaf species. So if you’re not certain if it’s a weed, check the edge of the modules. However, be careful not to pull the Justicia americana (very small right now) or the Saururus cernuus. These can easily be confused with weeds. Here’s my number, you can send pics if you’re unsure of a plant (847) 309-9840.
Thanks for your help!
Description- This adventive plant is a summer annual about 2-6' tall. It is unbranched, or branches occasionally. The root system consists of a taproot that is short and stout; it is often tinted red. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.
Leaf- The alternate leaves are up to 5½" long and 3" across (excluding the petioles), becoming slightly smaller as they ascend the central stem. They are ovate or elliptic-ovate, smooth or slightly undulate along the margins, and pubescent or hairless. The lower side of each leaf has elevated pinnate veins. The uppermost leaves are smaller, lanceolate, and pubescent. This form of Slender Pigweed has predominately green foliage, although their may be red tints along the margins of the leaves and elsewhere.
Stem- The central stem is light green or tan-green, round in circumference, ribbed, and usually hairy; sometimes the lower portion of this stem is hairless.
Flower- The upper stem terminates in an elongated panicle of spikes with small green flowers. Each type of flower has 5 cream sepals and no petals. Each staminate flower (male) has 5 stamens, while each pistillate flower (female) has an ovary with 3 styles. Each type of flower is surrounded by several green bracts that are about 3-4 mm. long and linear with long pointed tips. The blooming period occurs during late summer to early fall and lasts about 1-2 months.
Habitat- This plant typically occurs in full sun, mesic conditions, and a loamy soil with high nitrogen
Description- a herbaceous perennial flowering plant. 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow, as are the roots. It has stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT (serotonin), moroidin, leukotrienes, and possibly formic acid. This mixture of chemical compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia. The sting feels very much like a bee sting and can last for hours or days.
Actually native. Use your judgement and weed out if you think it’s shading out our good plants. If you feel uncomfortable making that call, just weed it out.
Evening Primrose next to an unwanted tree