CO-Horts Blog

Monday, March 2, 2015

Learning about Native Plants with the Native Plant Master® Program

 by Irene Shonle, CSU Extension in Gilpin County

Colorado is known for its colorful wildflowers.  Some of the earliest treasures start blooming as early as February in warm pockets by rocks at lower elevations, and the wave continues upwards throughout the season with fields of flowers in the high country, and back down to the plains again for a fall show featuring sunflowers and grasses.  
WIldflowers in Colorado's High Country
If you want to become more familiar with these beauties, consider taking a Native Plant Master Class this summer. Participants will be involved in field courses discovering the names of trailside wildflowers while learning how to recognize plants, demystify special botanic terms, understand pollinator interactions, use natives in garden settings, and how invasive species impact the landscape.  There are also special classes explore more in depth plant topics in indoor and outdoor settings.
There are programs across the state; go here to find one near you:

For a full list of events in the Denver Metro Ares, go to For questions contact Lisa Vernon, native plant master program assistant at 303-271-6620 or

I’d like to feature some special classes that will be taught in the very near future by Dr. George Beck, Colorado State University weed expert at the Jefferson County Extension Office:

Exploring Herbicides used to Manage Invasive Weeds on March 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This class is for weed managers and others that manage small and large acreages that have problems with invasive weeds.

Introduction to Invasive Weed Management on March 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This special class is an introduction to invasive weeds and is for anyone interested in controlling invasives, especially those with small acreages.

Bull thistle, a noxious weed

If you want to explore plants now, even while the snow is flying, you can browse the Colorado Plant Database at for research-based information on more than 1,000 Colorado plants.

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