The Garden tries to conserve resources wherever we can.
We have increased our office recycling efforts, provide recycling bins throughout the Garden, and donate glass to Useful Glassworks. We are also working not only to control invasive plants on lands that buffer the Garden, but also to grow native species for restoration of these and other lands in southwest Idaho. The Garden will use these projects to help educate the public about Idaho’s natural resources.
Rare Idaho Plants at the IBG
Did you know that IBG has three globally rare species in our plant collection? Two of the plants came to us because their populations were going to be destroyed and the “rescued” bulbs and rhizomes needed a new home. Aase’s onion (Allium aaseae) bulbs were planted in 2006 after being salvaged from county lands slated for landfill expansion. The entire range of this species is in southwest Idaho, where it grows on deep sandy soils in about 4 counties. Flowering is in March and April. You can see it in the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden.
McFarlane’s four o’clock (Mirabilis macfarlanei) occurs in Hell’s Canyon and a few small populations along the Salmon River, but its entire global range is within 3 counties. This stunning beauty is extremely deep rooted and long-lived. Rhizomes were salvaged and planted at IBG on several different occasions over the last 20 years. McFarlane’s four o’clock flowers in the Western Waterwise Garden in May and June.
The third species, Sacajawea’s bitterroot (Lewisia sacajaweana), came to us through our participation in the Boise National Forest’s “Imperiled Plant Species Genetic Conservation” program. Small collections of Sacajawea’s bitterroot are being grown in trough-type containers to attempt to gather seed for long-term seed banking purposes. This species, which comes and goes quickly, is found on granitic soils at 6000-8000 feet elevation, and only in Idaho.
You can learn more about all three species at Idaho Fish and Game
BLM Native Seed Program
For several years, IBG collaborated with the Bureau of Land Management on its Native Plant Conservation Initiative Program on three separate projects in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon.
IBG collected native forb, grass, and shrub seed for the Idaho Bureau of Land Management Seeds of Success Program. Objectives were to collect seed from common, and several rare, species, either for long-term seed banking or for rangeland restoration. Selected species were grown at IBG for outplanting on public lands in need of restoration. Data such as GPS location, soils, site description, associated species, and population condition and assessment, were recorded at each site. A vouchered plant collection was taken, along with habitat, plant and seed photos. Since 2010, more than 80 seed collections have been made and thousands of plants have been grown. For more information on this national program, Click Here »
All IBG-grown seedlings were planted on public lands degraded by range fires, non-native plant invasion and livestock overgrazing. Propagation data records were kept and published when possible in the Native Plant Network’s propagation protocol database http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org/
One of the Garden’s missions is to work towards restoration of lands that lie outside our formalized gardens. Noxious weed control, seed collecting, native plantings in selected restoration areas, bitterbrush planting, all comprise this work. High school students, College of Western Idaho Horticulture Interns, Master Naturalists, and other IBG volunteers have assisted with these ongoing efforts.
On June 30, 2016, the Table Rock Fire burned to the Garden’s upper perimeter fence. We joined Boise City and other entities in fall restoration efforts by providing treatment recommendations (species, techniques, seed source information), out-planting 800 Garden-grown seedlings of six native species, and collecting and dispersing nearly 10 lbs of locally collected shrub seed. We also produced 750 native wildflower seedlings for the fall 2017 planting effort led by Boise City.