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Streambank Restoration & Planting

Native Plants used in the Paradises Streambank Planting Project

Acer rubrum & Acer pensylvanicum - "Red Maple" & "Striped Maple Or Moosewood"

From the distinctive whirlygig seedpods in spring, to welcome shade in summer, to brilliant foliage in fall and to sweet syrup production in winter, the maples are a familiar and well loved standard in North American landscapes. Using maple syrup as a tasty base for many dishes, Native Americans quickly discovered the usefulness of this hardy tree. Well adapted to diverse growing conditions, the maples branches are often a nesting refuge for a variety of bird life.

Amelanchier Canadensis - "Shadblow" "Serviceberry" or "Juneberry"

This tree which reaches a standard height of 20 to 30 feet, blooms in mid spring with a delicate white flower just as the leaves are opening. A reddish purple berry that provides nourishment for returning migrant birds and other wildlife follows the blooms. The name shadblow is derived from the fact that it often grows near streams and shades them early in the spring when the shad are running.

Clethra Alnifolia - "Sweet Pepperbush" or "Summer Sweet"

This shrub remains low, under five feet in height. In mid summer it produces fragrant white flowers, which attract bees and other beneficial insects. The foliage in autumn turns to shades of orange and yellow.

Cornus Sibirica, Cornus Alternifolia, Cornus Sanguinea - "Yellow Twig Dogwood," "Pagoda Dogwood," "Red Twig Dogwood.

Ranging in size from shrub to tree, the dogwood is an appealing native. The pink or white fragrant blossoms are a common springtime addition to the landscape. Many species also bear fruits that attract birds. Smaller shrub varieties are noted for bright yellow or red twigs that last through winter providing color to an often otherwise bleak season.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum Aboneset Eupatorium Purpureum - "Joe Pye Weed"

Native specifically to Eastern North America, these perennials have a long and glowing history in Native American culture. The name Joe Pye Weed commemorates a Native American medicine man who is said to have used it to sure typhus among early settlers. Perfoliatum was believe to relieve rheumatism, arthritis and "bone break fever" hence its common name of Boneset. European settlers adopted the purported benefits, and it developed a reputation as a virtual cure all. Modern medicine and many herbalists have found the claims to be unfounded and it is considered by most to be a handsome plant, but a weed nonetheless.

Hamamelis Virginiana "Witch Hazel"

Commonly found throughout North America, this attractive shrub was useful in many ways to Native Americans and the English alike. A tea, brewed from the leaves and bark, was drunk as a general tonic and used as a rinse for mouth and throat irritations. Tribal shamans used it in steam baths to ease fevers and coughing and in compresses for headaches, eye & skin inflammations, bites, burns and infections. Still found in many medicine cabinets today, witch hazel is used as a soothing skin lotion or a facial or body freshener. The word "witch" in its common name comes from an Old English word for pliant as the branches were fashioned into archery bows.

Lobelia Cardinalis - "Cardinal Flower"

Hungry ruby throated hummingbirds frequently seek out the dense two foot spikes of one and half inch flaming red flowers of this perennial. That makes it an excellent and attractive addition to a wildlife garden. Native Americans believed Lobelia to be a powerful but dangerous remedy for many conditions including worms and venereal disease. It was also used as an antispasmodic and as a "puke weed" to induce vomiting. For that reason it is also considered poisonous and is not recommended for the home herbalist.

Rhododendron Maximum - "Rhododendron"

A common plant that enjoys the slightly acidic soil of the Poconos, Rhododendron comes from the Greek words "rhodo" meaning rose and "dendron" meaning tree. Rhododendrons occur in the wild all over the world. They may be deciduous or evergreen and can range from dwarf shrubs of several inches to 40 foot trees. The blooms vary widely in both color and shape. Although most gardeners prefer to discuss azaleas and rhododendrons separately, their culture is the same, and they share the genus name Rhododendron.

Salix Integra - "Variegated Willow"

The willow family is famed as the original source of salicylic acid, the forerunner of aspirin. In herbal medicine it has been used to reduce pain, fever and swelling. The species here is a low growing showy shrub, but many Salix species are also grown as trees. In Britain the wood from the willow plant is the preferred source of professional cricket bats.

Vaccinium Corymbosum - "Highbush Blueberry"

Native wild blueberries are a treat for all the Pocono residents, human and otherwise. The profusion of bluishblack fruits appear in early to midsummer following pink or white blossoms. The berries are staples in the diets of much of the Pocono's wildlife, including our burgeoning population of black bear, as they once were for the Lenape tribes which originally occupied the Delaware Valley. The branches add a striking shade of scarlet to the autumn landscape.

Viburnum Dentatum & Viburnum Prunifolium & "Black Haw"

Native Viburnum species are numerous and, other than the two planted here, have a variety of common names including "NANNYBERRY," "CRAMPBARK" and "HOBBLEBUSH." Almost all are valuable to wildlife in a native landscape providing both shelter and edible berries. Native traditions valued Viburnum as an astringent and as treatment for colic and cramping, hence the origin of one of its common names Crampbark.

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P.O. Box 339 Henryville, PA 18332 - Phone: (570) 839-1120