Cardinal-flower – Lobelia cardinalis
This bright perennial grows 1-4′ & is found in moist areas such as along stream banks. It makes a strong visual impact with its stunning red flowers. Cardinal-flower attracts hummingbirds with its bright color. The plant makes good background color in a garden.
Cowpen daisy with Common Checkered Skipper – Verbesina encelioides
This annual attracts multiple species of butterflies. A stand in a corner of your yard or a field will create an entire summer of butterfly-watching. It reaches heights of 4 feet & is a prolific seeder. Native Americans reportedly used Cowpen daisy in treating skin diseases.
White rosinweed – Silphium albiflorum
This beautiful, tough plant gets its name due to the sticky secretions that cover the stems & leaves. It can be found in calcareous soils & prairies throughout our region.
Narrowleaf gayfeather – Liatris mucronata
Gayfeather is a late-summer blooming perennial that keeps brilliant color in the landscape & your garden into the fall. Landscaping varieties are sold in many nurseries. It grows well on poor limestone & caliche soils.
Maximilian sunflower – Helianthus maximiliani
Upright, tall perennial that can reach 10 feet in height. This is a naturally dominant plant of the prairies, but has been reduced through grazing. This tall sunflower would make a nice backdrop in landscaping, while at the same time providing a food source for our native birds!
Western yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is a popular landscaping plant sold in nurseries. Our native yarrow has white blooms. This perennial enjoys full sun or partial shade & can grow up to 3 feet high. Its lacy, fernlike leaves add a deep green color to any garden. Yarrow has been used for medicinal purposes because of its pungent oil. It also looks good in dried flower arrangements.
Antelope horn with Buckeye Butterfly – Asclepias asperula
Antelope horn is loved by many species of butterflies & moths. It’s a perennial that reaches up to 2 feet in height. It can often be seen in overgrazed pastures & along roadsides. The silky fluff from the seed was used in making candle wicks in the past & goldfinches use it to line their nests (in their breeding range).
Butterfly milkweed with Northern Oak Hairstreaks – Asclepias tuberosa
Butterflies love this milkweed. It grows in open sandy prairies & stands erect. When growing alongside a road, it easily demands your attention.
Leavenworth’s eryngo – Eryngium leavenworthii
Eryngo is striking in its color & form. By late summer, the purple extends down through the leaves & stem. It can be found in prairies & “weedy” areas. The dried plant looks nice in dried native flower/grass arrangements.