Monthly Archives: May 2018


Idaho Botanical Garden is now a propagation member of Plant Select

New Plant Select Garden Featured at Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is now a propagation member of Plant Select, the country’s leading brand of plants designed to thrive in high plains and Intermountain regions. IBG will now be able to propagate these special plants for sale and for use throughout the garden. For the past several years IBG has showcased some of these plants in our Plant Select® demonstration garden, and we are excited to deepen our ties to this outstanding program.

Plant Select® is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens, and professional horticulturists. Its mission is to seek out and distribute the very best plants for landscapes and gardens from the intermountain region to the high plains and beyond.


Plants chosen for the program exhibit these eight attributes:

  • Flourish with less water
  • Thrive in a broad range of conditions
  • Habitat-friendly
  • Tough and resilient in challenging climates
  • One of a kind/unique
  • Resist disease & insects
  • Long-lasting beauty
  • Non-invasive


Learn more about Plant Select®:


Photo courtesy of American Nurseryman


Written by Nell Frazer Lindquist, Nursery & Greenhouse Coordinator


What’s Blooming May 2018

Meadow Rue – Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’


The genus Thalictrum may surprise you by just how showy and attractive it can be. Commonly known as the meadow rues, plants in this genus are found throughout the northern hemisphere and are generally adapted to cool, shady locations. While several species have miniscule, inconspicuous flowers and unremarkable foliage, others are quite the opposite. One inarguable example is a hybrid cultivar called ‘Black Stockings.’

‘Black Stockings’ describes the deep purple, nearly black stems that stand sturdy and tall above delicate, green foliage. Reaching up to four feet and beyond, the plant is topped with numerous clusters of lavender-magenta flowers that look like little fireworks. Butterflies and other pollinators can’t resist.

This a perfect addition to the back of a perennial bed or border. It is best suited to full sun or part shade and thrives in rich soil with regular water. Late spring to early summer is when you will find it in its prime. See it now, along with other late spring flowers, in the English Garden.

The nearly black stems of Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’


Written by IBG Collections Curator, Daniel Murphy


30,000 Honey Bees!

Please welcome our newest IBG staff members…30,000 honey bees!


Please welcome our newest IBG staff members…30,000 honey bees! The Garden is now keeping honey bees (Apis mellifera) to promote honey bee and pollinator awareness through hands-on education. Our bee hives are NOT open for visitors yet, so if you see hives in the Garden please respect the “restricted area” signage.

We’d also like to welcome our amazing Volunteer Beekeeper, Mark Nagel! Mark comes to us from the Treasure Valley Beekeeping Club and his own 720 Apiaries with many years of beekeeping experience. Thanks Mark!

The Buzz Around Town: This is a bumper year for bees! With an early winter warm spell, honey bees in the Treasure Valley have gotten a jump start. As the queen bee lays eggs and populates the hive, the hive gets crowded. This causes the hive to split into two populations, wherein one of them “swarms” and leaves the hive in search for a new home. If you see a honey bee swarm, do not “bee” alarmed! Contact a local beekeeper to remove the swarm at


Submitted By, Sierra Laverty, Assistant Horticulture Director


Bear Grass Bloom Watch!

It’s an exciting day in the Lewis and Clark Garden; we are on Bloom Watch for our Bear Grass!


What makes this bloom so exciting is that Xerophyllum tenax blooms in five to seven year cycles, and our cluster of bear grass was planted ten years ago and has yet to flower—until now. Yesterday I noticed that not one, but TWO, of them are getting ready to bloom! One of them is farther along than the other, so you should have plenty of time to catch one or both in action. You may be familiar with bear grass if you’ve ever hiked in an area that is recovering from wildfire; I first encountered them close to  McCall in the Pins and Needles area.


Submitted By, Anna Lindquist, Garden Lead