Plant Sciences


Welcome to the Department of Plant Sciences

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Agriculture is a fascinating and complex industry with international dimensions. The demand for Plant Sciences graduates is high, not only in North Dakota and the region, but throughout the United States and the world. The Department of Plant Sciences provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding critical for professional success in a changing world. If you have an interest in plants and want to make a difference in the world, this department is for you!


Pollinator Plantings

There are several separate gardens dedicated to plants specifically geared toward attracting pollinators such as birds, butterflies, bees, and wasps. Genera found in these areas include Asclepias (Milkweed or Butterfly flower), Symphyotrichum (Aster), Monarda (Bee Balm), Salvia, Liatris, and Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed).

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Daylily Display Gardens

These are the farthest west gardens and contain almost 2000 daylily cultivars and species. This is an official display garden of the American Daylily Society and was the first official public historic daylily display garden for that organization. Daylily cultivars are considered historic if they are registered with the Society prior to 1990. Some cultivars bloom as early as May and others as late as September, but the peak time to view these beds is mid-July through early August.

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Other Garden Areas

Other areas to explore are the Darwin Perennials hardiness trials, a small collection of German bearded iris, and other perennials used in the upper Midwest.

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Accessibility Garden

Directly off the small parking area, these raised beds are designed for gardeners who may be wheelchair-bound or otherwise unable to bend or garden in ground-level beds. They are surrounded by concrete for accessibility and are planted with different types of annual flowers and ornamental grasses.

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Meadow Garden

This area consists of grasses and forbs native to the prairies of the upper Midwest. Grasses include Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem), Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed), Stipa viridula (Green Needlegrass), and Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama). Forbs include Dalea purpurea (Prairie Clover), Echinacea, and Symphyotrichum (Aster).

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Xeric Planting

This full sun area consists of plants that are low-maintenance and require less water once they are established. Perovskia (Russian Sage), Echinacea, Nepeta (Catmint), and Baptisia (False Indigo) are some of the genera planted here.

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Sun/Shade Perennials

This area receives both sun and shade and includes perennials that are tolerant of different light conditions. Some genera here, such as Hosta cultivars, are also planted in the full shade area for comparison.

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Shade Area

This dry, shady area under a stand of poplar and pine trees is unofficially named Kiesling Grove after the Plant Pathology Department Chair who had this area planted. Perennials planted here include Hosta, Bergenia, Filipendula, and Astilbe cultivars. There is also a small area for shade-tolerant annuals.

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All-America Selections

All-America Selections cultivars are planted in a separate bed west of the bedding plant trials. Winners from the current year plus the previous five years are planted here in a landscape setting.

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Bedding Plant Trials

Located in the southeast corner of the area, these beds contain 200-300 cultivars of sun-loving annuals. These beds are an official display garden of All-America Selections and contain some of the newest annuals available while still showcasing old favorites. The best time to view the bedding plant trials is July through the first hard freeze.

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