Native Wildflowers, Grasses, & Woodland Plants

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Native Wildflowers

Bergamot - Monarda fistulosa: Flowers that appear July through September are pink to lavender. 1" long tubes cluster together in dense but ragged heads that may be 1 ˝" across. Sturdy erect stem can grow to 5 feet tall. Leaves and stems have a minty aroma. Partial shade, rich, moist soils. Commonly found along edges of woods and on roadsides as well as in old pastures.

Black-Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta: Golden yellow petals surround a slightly raised conical brow disc. 1' to 3' tall. Blooms June – October. Dry to medium to somewhat moist soils. Full sun to dappled shade.

Blue Vervain - Verbena hastata: Good for sunny meadow and prairie garden. Spikes of small purple-blue flowers appear in mid summer. Prefers moisture but will do well in dryer areas. Will grow 3 to 5' tall in full sun to partial shade.Supplies nectar for butterflies. Deadhead to prolong flowering.

Boneset - Eupatorium perfoliatum: The leaves of boneset surround the stem and grow straight out, horizontally; they are rough, hairy and sort of crinkly. But the flowers are attractive in large clusters of long-lasting white blooms form summer through to autumn. This plant looks especially good near the back of the border in a large clump. Its strong stems never flop and thus it can be used to support weaker-stemmed growers, such as sky blue aster. Prefers moist conditions but will do just fine in average soil, as long as it gets sun. Give it lots of room as it will fill in large areas to dramatic effect. Good companion plants are spotted Joe Pye weed and fall blooming Asters, such as New England and Sky Blue Aster and Stiff Goldenrod.

Butterfly Weed - Asclepias tuberosa: Found throughout tall grass prairies in dry open areas, and along country roads. Flowers from June to September. The stout, simple or terminally branched stems are generally clumped and may be up to 2˝ feet tall. Rough pointed leaves alternate along the stem. The flowers are normally bright orange with many individual flowers in a head. Does not ransplant easily.

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia Cardinalis: Cardinal flower with its brilliant red blossoms is very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. It grows best in moist, even wet soil in light shade to full sun. Once established, it usually will re-seed itself. Provides late summer bloom to the perennial border, wild garden, native plant or woodland garden.

Compass plant - Silphium laciniatum: Found on mesic prairies, blooming July through August. Growing from a thick, deeply penetrating taproot, the compass plant may reach a height of 8 feet. The leaves grow to 1' long and 6" wide. The irregularly lobed basal leaves tend to orient themselves in a general north-south direction, hence, the common name. Yellow ray flowers, numbering 20 to 30 per head alternate up the stem, are up to 2" long. They resemble those of a wild sunflower and contribute to the late season show of color on the prairie.

Culver's Root - Veronicastrum virginicum: A particularly distinctive plant, Culver's Root is prized for its well-defined, clean lines. The elegant white flower stalks rise like spires above the whorls of deep green leaves in July and August. Growing 3' to 6' tall, it creates a unique background when planted behind shorter species. Does well in any medium to moist rich soil, in sun or light shade.

Cup Plant - Silphium perfoliatum: Requiring nothing in the way of care, can grow to 9’ in thick-stemmed clumps with abundant yellow flowers. Everything about this plant is dramatic: large leaves clasp the stem, creating a fascinating water retaining vessel that gives this plant its name; its prolific yellow blooms last well into autumn; the stem is thick and almost square. To keep your garden from turning into a cup plant plantation, you’ll need to weed out volunteers. Tolerates clay soil and drought. Deep roots make it difficult to transplant when mature. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted for the nectar, birds for the seed.

False Boneset - Brickellia eupatoriodes: For dry to moderately moist sunny areas. Plants reach about 3' tall but the tap roots can reach as far down as 16" deep making this difficult to transplant. Stems are round and hairy, flower heads resemble a 3/4" fuzzy ball. Good for dry arrangements.

False Dragonhead (Obedient Plant) - Physostegia virginiana: Found in a wide range of conditions, from moist to average soil, full sun to partial sun. It spreads well, creating a bushy clump. Flowers are pink arriving in August.

Foxglove Beard Tongue - Penstemon digitalis: Elegant clusters of pure white flowers decorate this showy plant. Growing to 2' - 3', in medium soils in the open or in light shade. Blooms in June. For the open woodland garden, prairie, or meadow garden. Blooms before the majority of prairie natives begin their show. For the best effect, plant a couple of Beard Tongues together rather than isolating single plants here and there, you’ll have a sea of white blooms in early summer. A lovely addition to fresh arrangements.

Gray Headed Coneflower - Ratibida pinnata: This prairie native produces large pale-yellow petaled flowerswith an elevated, cone-like center with shades from gray to light purple, blooming June - August. Leaves arranged alternately along a tall, stout stem. Growing 3' -5' in well drained to drought. Full sun.

Golden Alexanders - Zizia aurea: In the spring an airy display of small bright yellow flowers, borne in slightly domed umbels, then throughout the summer, when its dry seed heads turn a beautiful purple (resembling dill seed pods). Leaves a deep rich green divided into threes are also quite attractive. A versatile plant, Golden Alexanders does well in moist to dry soil, full to partial sun, and acidic to neutral soil. It spreads well on its own (can become invasive). Good companions are with prairie smoke and Canada Anemone.

Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia siphilitica: Blu tubular flowers flaring into 2 lobs at the top os the blossom in late summer. Flowers cover the thick, tall growing spike that looks particularly dramatic in clumps. Moisture is the most important requirement of great lobelia, don’t let the soil dry out. In average soil conditions you may need to water occasionally, other than that it’s quite versatile, growing in sun to partial shade, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Mulch to conserve moisture and replenish the soil with compost in the spring.

Hairy Beard Tongue - Penstemons hirstus: Tubular flowers up to 1" long pale lavender with whitish tips. Grows 1' - 2' in open woods or rocky hillsides. Grows in cllusters on hairy stems. Blooms May - June, then producoes interesting seed podsd in August. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hoary Vervain - Verbena strictaa: This drought resistant plant grows on dry sandy soils to a height to 1' - 3'. Blooming during the heat of August. The long lavender flower stalks stand out brilliantly and bloom for many weeks. Flourishes in poor soil. Loves full sun.

Horsemint - Monarda punctata: Grows 1' to 3’ tall with long narrow leaves. The flowers are pale, spotted with purple appearing in a ring. Most dryer soils, full sun. Fragrant blooms May - August.

Ironweed - Vernonia missurica: Ironweed’s bright reddish-purple flowers resemble those of its well-known relative, Joe Pye Weed. Named for its tough fibrous stem, that will grow in almost any moist to medium soil. A good plant for adding color to hard to landscape areas. Grows 3' to 6' tall. Late summer bloomer, July - August. Good for pollinators.

Jacob's Ladder - Polemonium reptans: The foliage alone is a good enough reason to plant Jacob’s ladder: numerous paired leaflets form a kind of ladder. The flowers are also attractive, abundant violet-blue bells that cover the plant, in the right conditions it will spread quickly, forming ground-covering carpets. Prefers rich soil, full of organic matter, and does well in slightly acidic to neutral conditions in filtered sun to shade. Growing 1' - 1 ˝', blooming spring to early summer.

Joe Pye Weed - Eupatorium maculatum: The extravagant Joe Pye Weed is crowned with large flat-topped clusters of pale purple flowers in late summer. This inhabitant of wet meadows and thickets will grow luxuriantly in any rich garden soil, reaching a height of 6' - 8' depending on soils. Bumblebees and butterflies are fond of roosting on the flowers.

Lead plant - Amorpha canescens: This shrubby perennial grows to 3' in dry, sandy soils. Tiny purple flowers are in a spike-like mass along the upper portion of the stems. The entire plant is hairy, so much so that is has a whitish appearance. A very deep root system helps with erosion control, but difficult to transplant.

Marsh Blazing Star - Liatris spicata: The most moisture-tolerant of Liatris species, this Blazing Star does equally well in sunny, well-drained garden sites, growing 2' - 5'. Blooms June - July sporting purple wands of stemless, crowded flowers, facing all directions and blossoming from the top of the stem down. The alternating leaves of the plant are grass-like, up to 10” long and dense at the base, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem. Sandy loam, dry to moist, full sun, but shade tolerant.

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus americanus: Found throughout the prairies, borders of woods, commonly on gravelly or rocky sites. Small 5-petaled flowers occur in dense oblong clusters appear in late May - September. Considered a low upright shrub growing to 3' tall and up to 4' wide with several branching stems. Usually several branching stems. Known as a substitute for tea. Leaves gathered while the plant is in full bloom can be dried and stored like any other tea. Attractive to pollinators, also himmingbirds that will eat the tiny flowers.

New England Aster - Aster novae-angliae: This native wildflower is our most showy aster with small flowers spreading atop a cluster of green foliage. Flowers range in color from deep violet to magenta and are excellent fall plants for butterflies. 2' - 7' tall. Blooms August – October in average to somewhat poorly drained soils. Full sun to somewhat shade tolerant.

Nodding Wild Onion - Allium cernuum: Its grass like ribbony leaves are long and graceful; its flower cluster hangs down, covered with a fine onion-skin-like sheath before opening. The blooms in mid-summer are whitish rose colored and bell-shaped, and its seed heads are round. Planted in groups around the edges of flower beds, it’s a charmer. Growing in a wide range of conditions, from sun to partial sun, moist to dry soil, acidic to neutral, rocky to rich. Prefers good drainage, so mix some sand into heavy soil. Good companion plants are Lead Plant and Prairie Dropseed grass.

Northern Blazing Star - Liatris scariosa: Native from Maine to Wisconsin and south to Alabama. Prefers medium to dry soils, especially with a sandy or rocky component. It can grow between 2' - 3’ tall; taller in moister soils. The purple flowers are thistle-like and are typically about 1” across. The flowers bloom August - September in columned bunches that can extend up to 18” of the overall plant stem from the top of the plant toward the bottom, so may fall over unless tied to a stake. These flowers attract many bees and butterflies, especially bumblebees and Monarch butterflies. The foliage of Northern Blazing Star can be quite appetizing to deer and rabbits, especially in the early years, so keep them protected until they are established. Full sun to part shade.

Prairie Coreopsis - Coreopsis palmata: Prairie Coreopsis matures to a height of just 2' tall, 18" wide in full sun. Prefers medium to dry soil conditions and sets striking yellow flowers for 3-4 weeks, June - July. Dead-head flowers to prolong bloom time. It is tolerant of poor soils and drought and is deer resistant. Beekeepers consider all Coreopsis species to be good honey sources, relished by butterflies as well. WIll grow in moist soils, but will thrive in sandy soils. Will naturalize, but will require maintenance. Deer resistant.

Prairie Dock - Silphium terebinthinaceum : Prairie Dock is among the taller and larger-leaved prairie plants, often maturing to 9' - 10' in height. Its sandpaper-textured leaves, 18" long and 12" wide, prove too coarse for most rabbits. These leaves will mature in size in early summer and by late summer the flowering stalk will shoot up with attractive yellow composite flowers. Because of its height, it competes well with aggressive prairie grasses such as Big Bluestem and Indian Grass. Prairie Dock attracts bees, including honeybees and bumblebees. Goldfinches eat and disperse the seeds, helping the plant self-propagate. Blooms July – August in sandy loam, dry to moist, full sun, shade tolerant. Deer resistant.

Prairie Smoke - Geum triflorum: Pictured are the feathery plums of seed heads of the Prairie smoke. The plant is well adapted to dry areas and so is a good one for areas where water conservation is needed. Long feathery leaves grow from the base. Separate flower stalks topped by drooping, purplish flowers. These are found in prairies and dry, rocky meadows, growing 8" - 18" tall blooming April - June. Full sun, average organic content. There must be good drainage around the roots. Spreads by rhizomes and can form crescent-shaped clumps.

Pale Purple Coneflower - Echinacea pallida: Found in dry open woods, growing in clay to sandy soil, full to partial sun. Blooms June - July but many rebloom later in the season. Deadhead to prolong blooming. The fragrant Pale Purple Coneflower is more elegant than the Purple Coneflower. Growing 3' tall, its petal-like ray flowers are narrower than purple coneflower and a bit longer in their droop. Good for cut flowers, attracts butterflies and is deer resistent. Divide every 4 years.

Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea: This coneflower grows 2' - 5' tall. A dependable, low-maintenance, plant with a long season, blooming summer - falll and no pest problems. Each flower goes through an attractive and lengthy transformation staring out pale pink with thin turned down petals, then gradually turning a deeper purple, getting bigger and the center cone becoming burnished-copper colored. Deadheading sill increase the bloom time. Soil compatibility is versatile, growing in clay to sandy soil, full to partial sun, acidic to neutral, average to dry conditions. Good companion plans are Black-eyed Susan, Showy Goldenrod and Yellow Coneflower. A great nectar plant for butterflies and hummingbirds. Small birds will eat the seeds leading into winter. A larval host plant for the Ottoe skipper butterfly.

Rattlesnake Master - Eryngium yuccifolium: Notable for its excellent yucca-like foliage, this unusual plant creates tremendous interest in the landscape. The slightly fragrant, unique white “flower balls” appear in July - August on long stalks. Native Americans brewed a tea of the root and drank it as an antidote for rattlesnake venom. Does best n medium and dry limey soils, reaching a height of 3'- 4'. Needs full un. Insects such as bees, moths and butterflies visit for pollen and nectar.

Rosinweed - Silphium integrifoliium: The shortest of the Silphiums, Rosinweed grows 2' - 6' tall. Its bright yellow flowers resemble large daisies and are produced in profusion. Leaves are 5" long on branches 2" - 3" hairy stems. Will form clumps: large seeds which attrach Gold Finches. Fragrant, attracting bees and butterflies. Grows easily on a wide variety of soils. A biannual.

Rough Blazing Star - Liatris aspera: August – September these tufted flower heads composed of dozens of bright lavender filaments range up and down the 3 foot tall flower stalks. Great for butterflies and hummingbirds while the seeds are a good food source for songbirds. Prefers dry sandy soil but will grow in any well-drained soil. Full sun. Good for cut flowers.

Round Leaf Ragwort - Senecio obocatus: Round Leaf Ragwort is a spectacular wildflower for full sun to open shade. The showy flowers are typical of the Aster family, of which it is a member. They are daisy-like, up to 1" across, with yellow disks and rays, atop terminally-branched, 1' tall slender stalks emerging from basal foliage. The central, flowering stalk is mostly bare, with 2 or 3 alternate leaves that are much thinner than the basal ones, elongated and deeply lobed. The foliage forms an effective ground cover, the flowering stems will shoot up to a height of about 1' - 2'. Blooms April – June. Sandy loam, moist to wet. Full sun to part sun. Deer resistant.

Sand Tickseed - Coreopsis lanceolate: A single flower head composed of butter-yellow petals surrounding a darker yellow disc makes this an attractive addition to any sunny garden or open field. Growing 1' - 2', blooming May - August in well drained to droughty soil Full sun. Seed attracts Finches in late summer to early fall. Low maintenance when established. Attracts pollinators, self seeds, good for cut flowers and deer resistant.

Showy Coneflower - Rudbeckia fulgida: Showy Coneflower, also called Orange Coneflower, mid-summer-to-fall bloom time that can be prolonged by removing spent blossoms (dead-heading). The large 2 1/2" daisy-like flowers have yellow-orange rays and purple-brown centers. Plants remain in a mounded-profile and can form colonies in large plantings on sunny sites with medium-dry to medium-wet soil, although consistent moisture and good circulation seem to be preferred in the establishment years. Leaves are oblong to lanceolate with a medium green color. Good cut flower, deer resistant. Grows 2' - 3' June - October in full sun.

Showy Goldenrod - Solidago speciosa: 2' - 3' tall on average, well-drained soil such as sandy or loamy. Rich soil may lead to rampant spread and floppy growth. This Goldenrod produces conical spires of tiny bright yellow flowers forming clusters on stiff stems which may be reddish in colr. Good fall color September - October. Full sun, good for cut flowers.

Sky Blue Aster - Symphyotrichum oolentangiense: This ASter's daisy-like 1" blue flowers mirror the autumn sky, covering the prairie with an azure blanket. A most attractive and versatile prairie Aster. The deep greenish-blue arrow shaped leaves are distractive. Will do well in a variety of garden settings. Grows 2' to 3' tall in very dry to slightly moist soils. Prefers full sun, naturalizing well. Will tolerate light shade in dry soils. Attracts bees and butterflies.

Spiderwort - Tradescantia ohiensis: (Obedient Plant) The erect, slender stem of this violet-blue perennial is often branched and grass like. Dense showy clusters of flowers appear at the top of stem. Each flower has three oval petals is 3/4" to 1" across. The flowers tend to open in the morning. When touched in the heat of the day the petals shrivel to a fluid jelly that trickles like a tear. The plant was once thought to be a cure for spider bites, hence the common name. Blooms late spring - mid-summer. Growing 2' - 3' tall. Can be aggressive. Full sun to partial shade in most soils.

Stiff Goldenrod - Solidago rigida: This yellow flower head makes a great basking platform for butterflies including Monarchs, and a great nectar source for pollinators. Will grow 1' - 5' in a wide variety of soils. Blooms July - October in full sun to a 1/2 day of sohade. Readily reseeds itself. Deer resistanr. Not to be confused with Canada Goldenrod.)

Swamp Milkweed (Red Milkweed) - Asclepias incarnate: Don’t let the name put you off, as Swamp Milkweed is a great plant. Its deep red to pink long-lasting flowers are clustered at the top of tall stems and emit an intoxicating fragrance of vanilla. Leaves are willow-like. Height average 2 to 4 feet, full sun. A plant of wet meadows, preferring moist conditions but will also thrive in average soil, also versatile with regard to nutrient requirements and pH, doing just fine in a wide range. Plants in the milkweed family are the only known larval food for the Monarch butterfly; a larval host plant for the Queen butterfly, and attracts many different butterflies to its nectr. Good companion plants are Tall Meadow Rue with tall billowy white flowers, Boneset and New England Aster.

Sweet Black-Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia subtomentosa: (Sweet Coneflower) One of the showiest and most rugged of all the Rudbeckia. While many other plants fold in the heat of the summer, the variety of Black Eyed Susan effortlessly maintains its luxuriant deep green foliage. From August - October, it produces a plethora of butter-yellow blooms with shimmering reddish-brown centers. Growing 4' to 6' tall, adapting well to any reasonably rich soil, including loam, clay and rich sand. An outstanding plant that looks great in both the perennial garden and prairie meadow. Fragrant, good for cut flowers, deer resistant.

Tall Coreopsis - Coreopsis tripteris: (Tall Coreopsis) Stands quite tall reaching heights of 7’. Because of its height, it would be best to start with a few plants to form a loose colony. Arranged in a flat-topped cluster, the flowers comprise a disk of yellow, deepening to purple-red. This Coreopsis blooms late-summer and into fall. It typically occurs in prairies, dry open woods and wood margins, and along roadsides and railroad tracks. Features solitary, yellow, daisy-like flowers (1" - 2” diameter) with eight yellow rays (rounded and untoothed at the tips) and flat brown center disks. Flowers bloom atop slender, erect stems with anise-scented leaves that are tripartite (divided into three narrow lance-shaped segments). Soils: sand, loam, dry to moist, full sun to part shade. Deer resistant.

Thimbleweed - Anemone cylindrica: Thimbleweed has a tall, upright stem rising from clumped basal leaves with a whorl of three or more deeply-lobed leaves. The greenish white flowers fruit into a greenish white elongated cluster that resembles the rough part of a thimble. Thimbleweed typically grows to 1' - 2' tall. Each plant contains two types of palmate compound deeply lobed leaves: large basal leaves (to 4" wide) and a whorl of smaller stalked stem leaves located 1/2 way up the stem. Naked flower stalks rise upward from the leaf whorl, each stalk containing a single flower. After bloom, the center cone of each flower elongates into a cylindrical cone (to 1 1/2" long) as the seed begins to develop. Mature cones contain tiny dark brown seeds attached to cottony tufts which facilitate distribution of the seed by the wind. Blooms June-July in sandy loam, dry to dry-moist. Full Sun to partial sun. Deer Resistant.

Western Sunflower - Helianthus occidentalis: Well-behaved, compared to some of the more aggressive Helianthus species. Its appearance is very delicate with just a few small leaves at the bottom of the plant and small flowers at the top of 2' - 4' red stems. It spreads by rhizomes on mostly sunny sites with medium to dry soils. This is one of the shortest of the many sunflowers that are native to the United States. It occurs in glades, prairies, dry meadows, fields and rocky open woods. Large, long-stalked, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, basal leaves (to 8” long) form a 4' - 8' tall foliage clump. Sunflowers (to 2” diameter) with orange-yellow rays and yellow disks appear on stiff, almost naked stems. Blooms August – October, are relished by bees, butterflies , and songbirds. Full sun, not deer resistant.

White Turtlehead - Chelone glabra: Turtlehead is named for its pretty white blossoms which resemble a turtle head poking out from its shell. It is an important host plant providing larval food for the lovely orange and brown Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. Its nectar also attracts other butterflies, bumblebees, and ruby-throated hummingbirds. The plant is a stiffly erect, clump-forming, leafy-stemmed, native perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall and occurs in moist woods, swampy areas and along streams. Hooded, snapdragon-like, two-lipped, white flowers with a tinge of pink appear in tight, spike-like terminal racemes from late summer into autumn. It has coarsely-toothed, lance-shaped, dark green leaves. Turtlehead makes a good choice for border and wet meadow plantings and will provide for a late summer bloom. Popular with deer.

Wild Blue Iris - Iris versicolor: Veined violet-blue flowers with yellow center surrounded by white on a sturdy stalk, forming clumps. Sword-like leaves 3' tall. Grows in swamps, marshes, wetlands, and can grow in standing water. Divide after bloom. Rhizomes are poisonous sto people and animals. Will naturalize. Food/cover for waterfowl. Blooms May - August. Full sun to partial shade.

Wild Columbine - Aquilega Canadensis: The orange/yellow flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds. They have long tubes at the end of which are little storage places for nectar. The height is 1' to 3', blooming May - July. Grows in most soils, partial sun to shade. Do not over fertilize or you will get mostly leaves. Self seeds, naturalilzes. A long taproot makes it difficult to transplant. Good for rock gardens. Attracts bees, buttrflies, and hummingbirds. Dose not tolerate escess moisture. Can be poisonous.

Wild Lupine - Lupinus perennis: This lupine will grow 1' to 2', blooming early summer. With typical lupine leaves and tall elongated cluster of pea-like flowers, the wild lupine is a lovely addition to the garden and a perfect focal point in early summer. As a legume, it fixes nitrogen in the soil. Requires good drainage, preferring partial shade to full sun, slightly acidic to neutral soil, sand to heavier loam. Rhizomes form clumps. Good companion plants include Butterfly Weed and Lance Leaved Coreopsis. This native species is larval host plant for many butterflies in the blue family including the endangered Karner Blue, Common Blue butterfly, and Silvery Blue butterfly. Best in mass plantings.

Wild Petunia - Reullia Humilis: A stout, multi-branched stem, normally growing 1 1/2' - 2' tall. Depending on the habitat, it may be so low-growing as to appear as a ground cover. One of several stems arise from a perennial, fibrous root system. The showy flowers are petunia-shaped and vary from light lavender to purple. They are smaller and not as widely flared as the common cultivated petunia. Blooms from June to September. The native habitat is from open woodlands to moist prairies to sand plains, therefore prefers full sun to partial shade, dry to medium soil. Attracts butterflies.

Wild Senna - Cassia hebecarpa: Found along roadsides and in thickets, open shade and full sun, and will do well in clay. This perennial will grow 4' - 6' tall with 5 to 9 pairs of leaflets. The yellow flowers grow in elongated flower clusters with short lateral branches that bear the individual flowers. Its robust form provides cover for wildlife, while the large seeds offer a nutritious meal. Bunches of bright yellow flowers appear in July and August. Prefers moist soil. Seeds eaten by some game birds.

Woodland Sunflower - Helianthus divaricatus: A very common sunflower in partly shady places. Showy yellow flowers are large 1-1/2" - 3" across that blooms July to October. Habitat is sparse woods, dry thickets growing to a height of 5' - 7' feet. Easily grown in average, well-drained soil. Good for pollinators, naturalizes.


Big Bluestem Grass - Andropogon gerardii: The most prevalent and widely distributed of all prairie grasses. Growing three to eight feet tall, it thrives on a tremendous range of soils, form wet, poorly drained clay to dry open sand. In late August it produces its distinctive three-parted seed heads, which resemble a turkey foot. The lush green of the leaves and stems changes with the first frost to an attractive reddish-copper color that provides landscape interest well into the winter.

Bottlebrush Grass - Hystrix patula: It is a bit unusual to see grass-like plants in the woodland garden, there are a number of grasses, sedges, and other grass-like species that do well in shade and should be considered by gardeners looking for something a bit different. Bottlebrush grass is particularly stunning when its gorgeous bristly seed heads are touched by filtered sun. Bottlebrush grass does best in well drained woodland soil, in the partial shade provided by a high canopy cover. Give it room to spread into a large stand. The genus name, Hystrix, is from the Greek for hedgehog, attesting to the spikey look of this grass.

Canada Wild Rye - Elymus Canadensis: If you have a large bare area that you eventually want to return to prairie and you want to cover the soil quickly so the weeds can’t grow, Canada wild rye is a great ground covering grass to plant while you’re waiting for slower-growing species to get established. Flowers (a bushy inflorescence) are very showy – 4 to 10 inches long and looking almost like wheat. Seed plums turn gold as they ripen, nodding under their weight. A delicate-looking, airy plant, but extraordinarily tough. Canada wild rye is extremely versatile, growing in almost all soil types, form clay to sand, moist to dry, acidic to neutral. Requires no maintenance whatsoever. For ornamental planting combine with Butterfly Weed, White False Indigo and Prairie Phlox.

Indian Grass - Sorghastrum nutans: Flower spikes stand 2' - 3' above the foliage. In August flower spikes turn tan/yellow. Clumping , warm season type with ˝” wide leaves range from green to almost blue that branch off at an angle from the stems. Readily reseeds. Full sun, prefers deep rich loam but will tolerate a wide range of soils.

June Grass - Koeleria macrantha: June grass prefers dry locations and full or partial sun in sand, dry prairies, Jack Pine woodlands and oak woodlands. This is a hardy grass for difficult locations. Its vertical blue-green foliage forms clumps that grown to 18” high. The flowers grow that much higher above the leaves in a cylindrical cluster that remains vertical and turns from glossy pale green to golden-brown as the seeds mature from June to July. Consider this one for massing in dry gardens and for naturalizing large areas, or mix it in plantings with other native prairie grasses. June grass can also provide effective cover for dry slopes.

Litle Bluestem Grass - Schizachyrium scoparium: A popular ornamental grass used in a variety of landscape settings. A clump-forming short grass combines will with native wildflowers. Coloration of the leaves ranges through blue and green hues, which complement one another. They turn a striking bright red in the fall and are topped by fluffy silvery white seedstalks. A patch of Little Bluestem waving in the wind is a truly wonderful sight. Grows best on well drained, medium and dry soils, that will sustain very few other plants reaching to 3' in height. Not recommended for wet or heavy clay soils.

Prairie Cord Grass - Spartina pectinate: Prairie cordgrass is a tall, 6' - 8', robust, native grass. Strong rhizomes with the ability to grow 5' - 10' per year separate this grass from the other desirable native warm season grasses. Best grown in fertile, moist to wet loams in full sun to part shade. Plants tolerate sandy or rocky soils. This grass spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies. Plants also tolerate some dry soils where they tend to grow/spread less aggressively. An easy characteristic to look for is the sharp, serrated edges of the leaf blade. Seed heads are composed of 10 to 20 spikes attached to the main stem. Each spike has up to 40 spikelets, all growing in two rows on the side of the spike away from the stem. The seed typically matures within a week or two of frost, and is flat, paper-like with barbed awns that attach firmly to fur or fabric. Height: 4' - 7' ft. Bloom Time: July-August. Blooms July - August. Yellow-browns in color. Deer Resistant.

Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepis: This grass produces a magnificent fountain of emerald green leaves, adding a touch of elegance to almost any planting. Often considered to be the most handsome of the prairie grasses, making a well-defined and very distractive border when planted 18" - 24" inches apart. The seed head has a faint but unmistakable fragrance that can be detected by some people, but not by others. Plains Indians ground the seed to make a tasty and highly nutritious flour.

Purple Top - Triodia flava: A perennial warm-season grass native to the East Coast and Southern Plains of the United States. It is a bunchgrass that when planted en masse puts a stunning reddish-purple top onto fields and meadows in mid-summer to early autumn. The purple seed heads are covered with an oily substance inspiring another common name, Grease Grass. This grass is often found in pastures, woodland edges, and along railroad lines. Because it is tolerant of road salt, it is often found along roadside ditches. Blooms August/October in medium-dry to dry, full sun to part sun.

Side Oats Grama Grass - Bouteloua curtipendula: This grass grows 2' - 2 1/2' tall. A creeping grass that forms a coarse mat of green foliage with 2' spikes of little oat flowers and fruits. The culms are light green in spring and later during fall, they become light tan. It prefers full sun and dry conditions. This grass grows readily in various kinds of soil, including those containing clay-loam, gravel, rocky material and sand. This grass is quite drought resistant.

Sweet Grass - Hierochloe odorate: This wide, bell-shaped flower clusters can be tan, bronze or purple. Height is 1' - 2'. This cool seasoned grass is sometimes called “Vanilla Grass” because of the scent it emits. Full sun, tolerates partial shade, moist to wet soils.

Switch Grass - Panicum virgatum: Switch Grass is most attractive in its later stages, from the emerging purple, cloud-like seed heads mid-summer to dried golden foliage in fall. Consider not cutting Switch Grass back late fall in your garden; it holds up well in heavy snow providing winter cover for small mammals and land birds. Birds will also feed on the seeds. A dominant grass of what was the vast tallgrass North American prairie, it is clump-forming and rhizomatous. It is an aggressive species, not suited to very small landscapes. Switch Grass is a warm-season grass; it actively grows during the summer when soil temperatures are warm. Height: 3' - 5' feet. Blooms July = September in moist to dry soils.

Pollinator Packages

Pollinator Packages consist of 38 plant plug mix that comes with a design plan that will cover a 4 foot by 10-foot area. Packages available are:
Monarch Way Station
Rain Garden

Sorry, we are no longer accepting orders for the 2022 Tree Sale and Native Plant Sale.
Thank you for your support. Please check back mid-January for the 2023 sale!

Monroe Conservation District
1137 South Telegraph Road, Monroe, MI 48161
734-265-9311     Catherine.Acerboni@mi.nacdnet.net