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Wayne L. Schrader, Karen L. Robb, and Valerie J. Mellano

The viability of urban interface agriculture (located near housing tracts, shopping centers, roadways, schools, and parks) depends on the ability of growers to allow their neighbors to enjoy the full benefits of their property. Growers must eliminate or minimize the noise, dust, flies, spray drift, odors, and field worker improprieties that can be associated with agricultural enterprises. An excellent way to minimize “ag/urban interface” problems is to grow a protective border planting between housing and agricultural production fields. Border plantings increase the aesthetic value of agricultural open spaces and screen out unwanted agricultural activities for those living adjacent to production areas. An ideal protective barrier planting consists of plants that 1) grow quickly and are easy to maintain; 2) provide a good physical barrier to dust, spray, and noise; 3) are inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing; 4) do not harbor insect pests that would damage crops or surrounding landscape plantings; and 5) support beneficial insects that prey on crop insect pests. Border planting sites were developed to identify plants that are adapted to border planting use and to gather information on insect populations that are supported by those plantings. Early results indicate that native plants including coyote bush, wild lilac, buckwheat, coffeeberry, yarrow, deer grass, and purple-needle grass can provide the desired physical barrier and beneficial insect support. Bio-diversity is the key to increasing populations of beneficial insects and several different native plant species have, therefore, been incorporated into the border plantings. Beneficial insect populations have been increased with appropriate border plantings.

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Sandra A. Balch, Cynthia B. McKenney, and Dick L. Auld

Geographically referenced information is an important aspect in the collection of wild plant species. It provides detailed information about the collection site as well as a method of relocating plant populations. In one project, native plants were collected and analyzed for the presence of gamma-linolenic acid, a valuable fatty acid used in medicinal products. In a second project, native wild-flowers were collected and evaluated for potential use as drought-tolerant ornamental landscape plants. All native plants were initially tagged in the spring while in bloom. Each collection site was revisited later for seed collection. Due to a lack of landmarks in the collection area, a GeoExplorer Global Positioning System (GPS) unit was used to capture coordinate data of latitude, longitude, and altitude. This was added to the passport file of each collection site. Differential correction was used to increase accuracy of GPS data to within a range of 10 m. ARC/INFO software was used to assemble, store, and display collection data in map form. This method has been used to document over 300 accessions and identify areas with a high frequency of plants possessing desired characteristics.

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D.T. Lindgren

There has been a large increase in the use of native herbaceous prairie plants for ornamental purposes. They are also being used for cut flowers, medicinal purposes, and in restoration projects. To discuss the subject of breeding and selecting herbaceous plants for landscaping, it is convenient to divide the topic into three areas of interest: 1) selecting native ecotypes for use on specific sites; 2) selecting and breeding for nonnative/native plants for wildflower mixes; and 3) selecting, breeding and developing specific individual plants for ornamental/garden use. Native plant traits that are being evaluated at the Univ. of Nebraska West Central Center include competitiveness, pest tolerance, regional adaptation, flowering characteristics, foliage characteristics, proportionality of plants, ease of propagation, ease of establishment, and moisture requirements. In addition, research is being conducted at the West Central Center regarding genetic variation. For example, Dalea purpureum varies in height, foliage color, stems per plant, stem lodging, and time of flowering. Similar variation has been documented in Lithospermum, Calylophus, Penstemon, Liatris, and Echinacea, to name a few. Botanically, genetic variation has been documented within many native herbaceous species. However, plant breeders have done very little with these variations in genotypes, thus allowing considerable opportunity for breeding research with native herbaceous plants.

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Terry L. Finnerty, Jayne M. Zajicek, and Mark A. Hussey

approval or recommendation of the product to the exclusion of others that may also be suitable. We gratefully thank Native Plants, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Containerized Plants, Independence, Texas, for donation of seeds. The cost of publishing this paper

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Peter R. Hicklenton and Kenneth G. Cairns

McLeod, formerly of Memorial Univ. Oxon Pond Botanical Garden, and Henry Kock, Univ. of Guelph Arboretum. R. J. Hilton, who initiated the eastern amelanchier selection project and inspired us with his knowledge and dedication to developing native plant

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James Nienhuis, Mary K. Slocum, Dawn A. DeVos, and Roger Muren

conducted at Native Plants Inc, 417 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84102. Use of trade names does not imply endorsement of the products named nor criticism of similar ones not named. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of

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Aino-Maija Evers, Leena Lindén, and Erja Rappe

Approaches using human issues in horticulture (HIH) offer new possibilities to develop nearby nature in cities, especially during a period of rapid urbanization in Finland. New initiatives have been developed in school gardening, environmental education, gardening in training programs for disabled people, therapeutic environments in hospitals and institutions, and in the University of Helsinki horticultural education and research programs. At the University of Helsinki, two contact teaching courses and national seminars were organized in 1996 and 1998. Initial studies in the HIH approach have three main themes: 1) gardening as a tool for better quality of life in homes for the elderly, 2) ecology, native plants and extensive maintenance in parks, and 3) the use of horticulture in environment and science education at the lower level of the comprehensive school.

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Andrew L. Thomas and Denny Schrock

Hundreds of perennial plant species native to the midwestern United States have potential as ornamentals, but information on how best to use such plants in the landscape remains scarce. Many horticulturists are looking for species that perform well under low-maintenance conditions and that also attract and benefit desirable fauna, such as butterflies and birds. While many of our native plants may fit into this category, not all such species will meet aesthetic criteria for home landscapes. Some native species respond to seasonal changes in temperature and rainfall by browning or going dormant. Others have very specific site requirements for moisture, soil, and humidity that may be difficult to meet in an urban landscape, or their size, growth habit, or other characteristics may make them aesthetically undesirable in the typical home landscape. This study evaluated the performance of 67 plant taxa native to the midwestern United States selected for their promising potential in a low-maintenance landscape situation.

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Rebecca Bull and Mary Haque

Increased interest in nature over the past three decades has generated a need for better educational programming in public botanical gardens. The purpose of this study was to develop stronger educational programming for public botanical gardens. Garden programs which have been most successful are those which incorporate interaction and the multi-media. Eight different programs, which conveyed the same information, were developed to test the impact of drawing on learning. The 240 volunteers observed six native plant either in the field or as slides in the classroom. A 3×4 Factorial Manova was used to evaluate if drawing had any effect on learning. It was concluded that drawing alone improves learning by 12.37%,

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Rebecca Bull and Mary Haque

Increased interest in nature over the past three decades has generated a need for better educational programming in public botanical gardens. The purpose of this study was to develop stronger educational programming for public botanical gardens. Garden programs which have been most successful are those which incorporate interaction and the multi-media. Eight different programs, which conveyed the same information, were developed to test the impact of drawing on learning. The 240 volunteers observed six native plant either in the field or as slides in the classroom. A 3×4 Factorial Manova was used to evaluate if drawing had any effect on learning. It was concluded that drawing alone improves learning by 12.37%,