Live Oak Trees: Appreciation and Care Workshop, Saturday, Covington

Live Oak Care

The non-profit group Keep Covington Beautiful will host an informative workshop this Saturday on the subject of the Live Oak tree. The KCB group has been working on care of the City’s Live Oaks and wants to promote care and appreciation for these majestic trees, in our fair City and beyond! Ya’ll come! Jimmy Culpepper will share his culture tips for these fine plants. Jim is pretty knowledgeable guy on the subject of tree growth and care.   


LSU Biology’s Conservation Biology/ Entomology 4017 to study Chappapeela Park’s prairie garden 

Dr. William J. Platt will once again use the restored prairie gardens at Chappapeela Park for his students’ field work and experimentation. Each year for four years now, the students have used data from previous classes to design and implement experiments based on the prairie vegetation in 30 one-meter-square permanently designated study plots. Dr. Platt happens to be a famously prolific scientist who has been studying prairie and Pine herbaceous vegetation for 50 years. He is one of the leading experts on the subject, and a really good guy. 🙂  Dr. Platt is the slide-guitarin’ Duane Allman of prairies. He is the person who coined the complementary term for my seed restoration work. He said, “Its totally artificial but perfectly natural.”


Louisiana Department of Transportation’s I-20 Rest Area half-mile prairie garden


Looking west at the Tremont, Louisiana Rest Area prairie garden


Bluestem grass dominant prairie – six months from seed


bluestem as thick as the har’ on a dog’s back!


above, Tens of thousands of tiny tufts of transfixing native turf in the worst dirt tilth ever!  Impressed, huh?


poor soil? we got that!!!! Rusty-red colored, cold-frosted Bluestem grass (center strip in photo above), far as the eye can see…. ..looking east……we got that, too!



driving there and back from Nort’ Loosiana, I saw miles and miles of cool natural prairie on I-55 in Mississippi – some especially killer stands of prairie grass around Wesson, in Copiah but also Lincoln and Pike County, all wearing its winter plumage. Real Nice highway decorations.

After working for many years with the Mississippi Highway folks to protect this land, they’ve come around and have installed signs designating sensitive biological areas, to keep the mower crews from making minced meat of it. Whoop-whoop!!!


Pine Savanna Restoration gardens grant work at Covington’s Nature Trail rolling along!

Lots of exciting things happening at Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail, but mostly we are just assisting good prairie vegetation to come out of dormancy by reinvigorating this fire-suppressed plant community via drip torch. Everything you’d want is there, it just needed some coaxing to flourish again. Landscape Architect and Director of Keep Covington Beautiful, Priscilla Floca and her crew of craftsmen and craftswomen have been diligently working on the details for interpretive and other types of signage, to help visitors to the Park better understand this dynamic vegetation. BSC is a model for ecological park design right in the heart of the City of Covington.



Non-native tree of the century


Fringe tree in Covington, above

Chinese Fringe Tree is one of the best small to medium trees available for us in the central Gulf coast. A squat deciduous tree that is very showy and highly fragrant in flower and always clean green leaves that turn bright yellow in fall, with awesome winter structural form. One I planted at my old place in Mississippi in 1994-5 (not above) is amazing to see. You can’t deny a good plant, ya’ll. Git you one.


Charles Allen says this is Cranefly Orchid – Tipularia discolor

the greening up of the natural landscape here in South Louisiana starts now. Orchid leaves in Woodward, Louisiana, last weekend. Three amazing presentations at the Louisiana Native Plant Society’s annual conference. Charles Allen of Native Ventures and Jeff McMillian of Almost Eden Nursery, teamed up and spoke on butterflies species and their host plants. Quite extraordinary it was. Landscape Architect Dana Brown did a really interesting and super informative talk on the latest principals and techniques for dealing with and purifying storm water runoff. I was blown away by this presentation. She is one of the leading experts in that field of science in this part of the world. Great stuff. And finally, Latimore Smith, ecological Kung Fu artist, did his fourth degree black belt Bruce Lee-like martial arts form-of-a-rendition of the “ecology of the rare natural areas of Louisiana” and other scientific topics having to do with restoring Pine woodland herb cover. Dudes. All you could here was the wind whipping for an hour and fifteen minutes, while he was doing his form. It was awesome stuff. His talk was a condensed version of Dr. Platt Conservation Biology/ Entomology lectures which are – to die for. We live on an amazing planet, with some really smart people doing good stuff on it.



The New Orleans Sculpture Garden expansion, City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

The design development stage has begun for the New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden expansion which will nearly double the size of the gardens. Pastorek Habitats Inc is fortunate to have been chosen to guide the design team of Reed Hilderbrand with horticulture and ecology consulting for this very special project.


congratulations to the Hammond Research Station LSU AgCenter on burns for their native grass research plots. Dr. Regina Bracy, Dr. Allen Owings, Dr. Yan Chen, and their staff did the first controlled burns on the native grass demonstration area at the Station last week.

img_0047 4 5 14 15

how cool is that?


By Dr. Charles Allen and Jeff McMillian
Data mostly from

Pawpaw (Asimina) = Zebra Swallowtail
Sassafras = Palamedes (Laurel), Spicebush, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Red Bay = (Persea borbonia-palustris) Palamedes (Laurel) and spicebush Swallowtail
White Bay (sweetbay) = Palamedes (Laurel), Black, Eastern Tiger, spicebush Swallowtail
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) = Spicebush, Palamedes (Laurel), Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Citrus, Hopwafer, Toothache Tree = Giant and polydamas Swallowtail (Gray Hairstreak, white peacock, Painted Lady)
Cyperaceae (Carex, Cyperus, Rhynhospora, Scirpus) Georgia Satyr, Dion Skipper, Dun Skipper,
Dukes’ Skipper, Broad-winged Skipper, Eufala Skipper, Palatka Skipper, Salt Marsh Skipper
Malvaceae (Hibiscus, turk’s cap, Sida etc.) = Common Checkered-Skipper, Tropical Checkered-Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, Common
Streaky-Skipper, Red-banded Hairstreak, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Painted Lady, American Lady, White Checkered-Skipper
Poaceae (bluestems, bent grass, crabgrass, etc.) Tawny-edged Skipper, Leonard’s Skipper, Clouded Skipper,
Aaron’s Skipper, Broad-winged Skipper, Northern Pearly Eye, Eufala Skipper, Zabulon Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Northern
Broken-Dash, Gemmed Satyr, Obscure Skipper, Sachem, Southern Skipperling, Whirlabout, Common Roadside-Skipper,
Delaware Skipper, Common Wood Nymph, Crossline Skipper, Dun Skipper, Little Glassywing, Arogos Skipper, Cobweb
Skipper, Dusted Skipper, Creole Pearly Eye, Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper, Southern Pearly Eye, Neamathla
Skipper, Swarthy Skipper, Pepper and Salt Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, Least Skipper, Georgia Satyr, Common Sootywing,
Ocola Skipper, Southern Broken-Dash, Little Wood Satyr, Carolina Satyr, Dotted Skipper, Meske’s Skipper, Celia’s
Roadside-Skipper, Tawny Emperor, Salt Marsh Skipper, Yehl Skipper, painted lady, Variegated Fritillary
Legume Family Fabaceae (Desmodium, Cassia, Senna, etc.) Barred Yellow, Cassius Blue, Ceraunus Blue,
Clouded Sulphur, Cloudless Sulphur, Confused Cloudywing, Dorantes Longtail, Eastern Tailed-Blue.
Frosted Elfin, Funereal Duskywing, Gray Hairstreak, Great Purple Hairstreak, Henry’s Elfin, Hoary
Edge, Horace’s Duskywing, Juvenal’s Duskywing, Large Orange Sulphur, Little Yellow, Long-tailed
Skipper, Marine Blue , Mexican Yellow, Mottled Duskywing, Northern Cloudywing, Orange
Sulphur, Orange-barred Sulphur, Persius Duskywing, Reakirt’s Blue, Sachem, Silver-spotted Skipper,
Southern Cloudywing, Southern Dogface, White Angled-Sulphur, White-striped Longtail, Wild
Indigo Duskywing, Zarucco Duskywing, Sleepy Orange
Maypops (Passiflora)  = Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, zebra longwing, Julia Heliconian
Pipevine (Dutchman’s pipe) (Aristolochia) = Pipevine Swallowtail
Carrot Family (Apiaceae) Parsley, Dill, Fennel, & Queen Anne’s Lace plus many native species = Eastern
Black Swallowtail
Thistle (Cirsium Carduus) = American Painted Lady, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Little Metalmark, Pearl Crescent
Hackberry American Snout, Hackberry Emperor, Mourning Cloak, Question Mark, Tawny Emperor,
Eastern Comma
Oak (Quercus) = Banded Hairstreak, Juvenal’s Duskywing, White M Hairstreak, Horace’s Duskywing,
Red-banded Hairstreak, Sleepy Duskywing, Striped Hairstreak, Red-spotted Purple,
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,  Gray Hairstreak
Willow (Salix)  = Mourning Cloak, Red-spotted Purple, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Viceroy,  Persius Duskywing
Red Admiral, Strecker’s Giant-Skipper, striped Hairstreak
Prunus (Cherry, peach etc.) = Viceroy, Red Spotted Purple, Banded Hairstreak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,
Painted Lady, Spicebush Swallowtail, Spring Azure, Striped Hairstreak
Elm = Question Mark, Eastern Comma, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak,  Painted Lady
Plantain (Plantago) = Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent
Purple False Foxglove (Agalinis) = Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, Pearl Crescent
Aster (Symphyotrichum) = pearl crescent, American Lady, Texan Crescent
Frogfruit (Fogfruit) (Phyla, Lipia) Phaon Crescent, Common Buckeye, white peacock
Brassicaceae (Mustard family) (cabbage, broccoli, collards, peppergrass, sea rockets) = checkered white,
great southern white, cabbage white
Asclepiadiaceae (Milkweeds*) Asclepias, Calotropis, Cynanchum, Gomphocarpus, Gonolobus,
Matelea = Monarch & Queen
Urticaceae (Boehmeria, Urtica, Laportea) American Lady, Eastern Comma, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady,
Question Mark, Red Admiral
Humulus (Hops) Question Mark, Eastern Comma, Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak, Red Admiral,
Giant swallowtail
Cottonwood (Populus) Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak, Persius Duskywing, Question Mark,
Red-spotted Purple, Striped Hairstreak, Viceroy
Ragweeds (Ambrosia) Bordered Patch, Gorgone Checkerspot, Common Sootywing

(NECTAR/NON-SPECIFIC)  Charles Allen, Jeff McMillian

Achillea millefolium = Yarrow
Agalinis (Purple False Foxglove)*
Asclepias curassavica = Mexican Milkweeds*
Asclepis tuberosa = Butterfly Weed*
Aster (Symphyotrichum) (Aster)*
Bidens (Tickseed)
Cirsium spp. = Thistle*
Coreopsis spp. = Tickseed
Cosmos spp. = Cosmos
Durantia repens = golden dewdrop
Echinacea purpurea = Purple Coneflower
Eupatorium fistulosum, purpureum = Joe Pye Weed
Gaillardia spp. = Indian Blanket
Gomphrena globosa = Globe Amaranth
Ipomoea quamoclit = Cypress Vine
Liatris spp. = Blazing Stars
Monarda spp. = Bee Balm*
Pentas lanceolata = Penta
Phlox spp. = Phlox
Phyla, Lipia (Frogfruit)*
Pycnanthemum spp. = Mountain Mint*
Solidago spp. = Goldenrod
Stachytarpheta urticifolia = Porter Weed
Thunbergia alata = Climbing Black eyed Susan
Tithonia diversifolia  Mexican Sunflower
Verbena = Verbena/Vervain
Verbena canadensis (Homestead Purple)
Verbena rigida (Slender Vervain)
Verbena brasiliensis (Brazilian Vervain)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia spp. = Zinnia

Abelia grandiflora Edward Goucher
Abelia chinensis = Chinese Abelia
Buddleia spp. (X davidii) Butterfly Bush
Ceanothus americana = New Jersey Tea
Cephalanthus occidentalis  = Button Bush
Lantana = Lantana
Malvaviscus arboreus = Turk’s Cap
Vitex agnus-castus = Chaste Tree

(* = also a larval host)
Be-There or Be-Square Go-Native Events List

Event Calendar Louisiana Nature
Feb 3-5  Louisiana Native Plant Society annual meeting
Feb 7 thru Feb 9, Naked and Scarred plant id class Allen Acres
Feb 10-11  Rose Workshop, Hammond
Feb 11-12 Naked and Scarred plant id class, Allen Acres
Feb 11 Permaculture: Ecological Design for Farms and Homes; Saturday, February 11, 9 am – 5 pm
Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 OC Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA.
Permaculture: Ecological Design for Farms and Homes
Feb 18  Sabine Parish Master Gardeners Down and Dirty Garden Seminar
Feb 19 Camellia Stroll Hammond
Feb 20  President’s Day
Feb 24-25  59th annual Caddo Conference, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches

Click to access CC2017a.pdf

Feb 25  Texas Native Plant Society Spring Symposium  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Feb 28  Mardi Gras

March 4, Madisonville Garden Show, Town Hall River Front, Madisonville

March 4 The North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners will hold their fifth annual seminar on Saturday, March 4 from 8 a.m. until noon at Lomax Hall of Louisiana Tech University, Ruston

Mar 11-12 edible plant class Allen Acres

March 11, Spring Garden Day, Hammond Research Station, Hammond

March 17-18, Northshore Garden and Plant Sale, St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds, Covington

Mar 18  Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at:

March 18-19, Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show, Parker Coliseum, LSU

Mar 17, 18, 19  Luna lookout and firefly flight.  Allen Acres.  Dark to early morning.

Mar 21-23  General plant id class Allen Acres

March 24-25  Southwest Louisiana Garden and Expo, Lake Charles

March 25-26  Edible plant class Allen Acres

Mar 30-Apr 1 national meeting of the Azalea Society of America in Hammond

April 1, Spring Plant Sale, Baton Rouge Botanic Garden, 7950 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge

April 1, Good Earth Market, 112 Library Drive, Houma

April 4-6  General plant id class Allen Acres
April 7-8 Northeast LA Master Gardener’s plant sale, West Monroe Farmers Market
April 8  Cajun Prairie Society Meeting

April 8-9, Spring Garden Show, City Park, New Orleans

April 14-15  BREC Bioblitz Baton Rouge
April 16  Easter
April 17-19  wetlands plant id class (Allen Acres)
Apr 21-23  Grand Isle Birding Festival
April 21 and 23  Plant id class Grand Isle
April 22 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at:

April 28-29  Plant id class, Belle Chasse,
April 30  ½ day edible workshop, Belle Chasse,
May 2-4  general plant id class (Allen Acres)
May 6-7 Edible plant class Allen Acres
May 11  Wildflowers/Louisiana using real plants at Lafayette Parish main Library  630 pm
May 13 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at:
May 19-21  Annual BBBB with Bioblitz, Allen Acres
May 23-25  Graminoid plant id class (Allen Acres)

May 27-28  General Plant id class, Nature Trail near Columbia
May 29  Memorial Day
June 6-8 General plant id class (Allen Acres)
June 10-11 Edible Plant Class Allen Acres
June 10 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at:
July 22-30  National Moth Week
Sept 23 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at:

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