Cardinal-flower

Cardinal-flower

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

Cowpen Daisy

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.

Maximilian sunflower

Maximilian sunflower

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

Western yarrow

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

Antelope Horn

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).

Leavenworth’s eryngo

Leavenworth’s eryngo

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.