Catrina's Garden

A place for gardeners, foodies and garden inspired artists.

Tag: Native

Liatris spicata – Blazing Star

Liatris spicata is also known as Gayfeather, Blazing Star or Button Snakeroot

About 2 feet tall and hardy to zone 3 this native plant is easy, does not require watering and attractive to butterflies and pollinators.  Its violet flowering stalks are attractive in the summer garden featuring rounded fluffy blooms topping clumps of grassy foliage.

$6.00
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Cup Plant – Silphium perfoliatum

cup-plant-stems1Cup Plant is a large native prairie plant that catches water at the base of its wide large leaves.  The height of its strong square stem depends on how much moisture it gets but average is 6 feet. Birds and insects enjoy the water, but those that drown are actually absorbed by the plant making it “carnivorous”.  In summer, yellow daisy like flowers are held high atop the stems and smaller clusters at the leaf margin.

$5.00
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Baptisia Tinctoria

baptesia-solar-flare1This native prairie plant is smaller than the better known blue indigo.  This is good for a landscape setting as the height is still over 2 feet with a 2 to 3 foot spread.  This plant is a member of the pea family with yellow pea like flowers.  The plant produces beneficial bacteria from its roots called rhizobia.  Baptisia blooms from late July through August and is hardy from zone 3 to 9.  The blue green foliage and black seed pods are also interesting.  This plant has been used as a dye plant and is attractive to butterflies.

$7.00

Iris Versicolor – Blue Flag

Iris versicolor with Hosta Elvis Lives and Golden Prayers

Iris versicolor with Hosta Elvis Lives and Golden Prayers

A very robust, native water iris will also grow in the garden if given enough water. The sword-like leaves are topped by large, violet-blue flowers accented by whitish markings at the base of the sepals. Petals and sepals spread out flat making it an attractive place for feeding by hummingbirds. It can grow to 3 feet in the water but will be shorter in a garden situation.  They are hardy to zone to and can tolerate freezing in the ice with no problem. They like about 6 inches of water, but can tolerate deeper water for a short time.

$7.00
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Sea Holly – Eryngium planum

Sea holly Eryhgium planum and Sedum sarmentosum graveyard moss

Sea holly Eryhgium planum and Sedum sarmentosum graveyard moss

Sea Holly although it behaves like a prairie plant is not native. It has however been in North America since the 1800’s.  I love it for its true blue color. This small thistle like plant has round umbels with bright steel blue flowers and blue-green bracts, on bright blue stems. The color, although quite bright blue also appears somewhat silvery; so this plant is wonderful in the moon garden and as a backdrop for white flowers. This is one of those plants that will live nearly anywhere, but it is best in full sun and sandy or poor soil and not too wet. If placed in shade or overly rich soil it tends to get bigger and flop over. In preferred conditions it stays about 2 feet tall, fuller and upright. This plant is very drought tolerant once established and is also ignored by deer. It is a super easy care free plant, just cut the taller stems from the basil leaves once a year. I usually do it very late in fall.  The plant dries really well and holds its color when dried. If using it for wreaths and arrangements wait until the stems and flowers develop their brightest color.

$5.00
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Rudbeckia Triloba – Brown Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia-Triloba

Rudbeckia-Triloba

This native plant is 3-4 feet tall and a branched form can make it equally as wide. The fuzzy, dark green, three lobed leaves make it deer resistant. It prefers moisture but will do fine in any condition including drought when established. The plant self-sows easily and flowers in the second year so don’t worry that they are considered a short lived perennial. These plants seem to “move around” in your garden. The first year it is a mound of basal foliage and the next year a mass of 1-2 inch bright yellow flowers with contrasting dark brown centers. They bloom from midsummer into hard frost. It plays well with native grasses and is a great cut flower.

$4.00
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Oxeye Sunflower – Heliopsis Helianthoides

Oxeye Sunflower - Heliopsis helianthoides

Oxeye Sunflower – Heliopsis helianthoides

A 3 to 5 foot tall native perennial with and equally wide spread. The Branched stems have masses of sunflower-like heads. The petals as well as the cone-shaped center disk are yellow. The 2 inch flowers are nicer than “real” native sunflowers because the petals remain though out the summer and into fall where the sunflower petals fade as the seeds are produced. It tolerates both dry sandy soil and clay and needs little care other than to cut it back when it is done.  You can do this in spring if you like the branching skeleton for winter interest. This multipurpose butterfly magnet is great for arrangements and doubles as a bird feeder.

$4.00
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Asarum Canadense – Wild Ginger

This nice little native woodland plant makes a wonderful ground cover for your garden, too. It does best in shaded areas that have moist acidic soils. Wild Ginger only gets about 6” tall and is deer resistant! The heart shaped leaves can be 6” but more often are 3” and the leaves and stems are fuzzy. It is nice with ephemerals as it will stay around when they fade. There is a little dark red to brown flower that is often not noticed as it hangs down below the leaves. It is an important plant for the Pipe vine swallowtail Butterfly. It is edible and has been used medicinally.

$5.00
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Acorus Calamus – Sweet Flag

This native perennial is 2-3 feet tall with iris or cattail like leaves rising up directly from a rhizome. You can tell them apart as these will have a mid-rib.  Some leaves will have a spadix grow from them. These are 2-4” long, semi-circular and covered with green/yellow flowers in a diamond pattern. The crushed leaves or root stock has an unforgettable scent. These plants like to grow with wet feet but will do fine in a garden situation. They even live over the winter in pots. They creep by the roots stock but are not difficult to remove if you get too many. They will creep slower in drier soils. Acorus has been used medicinally in the past but please enjoy it only in your garden for its gorgeous upright form as recent studies have found that some varieties are carcinogenic.

$4.00
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