JACOB’S LADDER Polemonium Reptans is a woodland native and has china blue, bell-shaped blooms in the spring. Plant in sun or part shade, 12” apart. Grows 8-12” tall. Tolerates deer.
Best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soil in part shade.
Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions. No serious insect or disease problems.
Best in partially shaded areas of the rock garden, naturalized areas, woodland gardens or native plant gardens.
‘Montana’ (Eastern Bluestar)
Bluestar has pale blue star-shaped blooms. Use for borders or backgrounds. Plant in full sun. Grows to 3’ tall. Late spring bloomer. Tolerates deer, drought and clay soils.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, loamy soils. When grown in full sun, plants often require no pruning or staking. When grown in some shade and/or in rich soils, however, plants tend to become more open and floppy and often require staking or pruning. For a neater appearance, particularly for shade-grown plants, consider cutting back stems by 1/2 to 1/3 after flowering to promote bushy growth and, if desired, a more rounded foliage mound. Bluestar, is a native herbaceous perennial which occurs most frequently in rich, open woods and thickets. An erect, clump-forming plant which features terminal, pyramidal clusters of 3/4″, soft light blue, star-like flowers in late spring atop erect, leafy stems growing 2-3′ tall. Narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn an attractive yellow in fall.
‘Montana’ differs from the species in that the flowers are a deeper blue, the leaves are slightly wider, the habit is more compact and the flowers bloom 1-2 weeks earlier.
No serious insect or disease problems. Rust may occur.
An easy-to-grow plant which is best massed in informal settings such as native plant gardens, shade gardens or open woodland areas. Also appropriate for borders or containers.
The Aquilegia Canadensis variety of American Columbine has yellow and red bi-color flowers, and is a spring bloomer. It is used for cutting and in rock gardens. Sun to part shade, 12-24” tall. Tolerates rabbit, deer, drought, and dry soil.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Wide range of soil tolerance as long as drainage is good. Prefers rich, moist soils in light to moderate shade. Freely self-seeds and will naturalize to form large colonies in optimum growing conditions. Remove flowering stems after bloom to encourage additional bloom. Keep soils uniformly moist after bloom to prolong attractive foliage appearance. When foliage depreciates, plants may be cut to the ground.
Delicate, biternate foliage is somewhat suggestive of meadow rue (Thalictrum) and remains attractive throughout the summer as long as soils are kept moist. Flowers are quite attractive to hummingbirds.
This species has very good resistance to leaf miner which often causes severe damage to the foliage of many other columbine species and hybrids.
Used in borders, cottage gardens, open shade gardens, woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Also a good selection for a hummingbird garden. Continue to water plants after bloom to enjoy the ground cover effect of the attractive foliage.
Wild Ginger is prized for its beautiful foliage. Heart shaped, glossy leaves are a rich green. Small, brownish-red flowers appear in late spring, often hidden under the foliage. Prefers rich, organic soil. This plant is ideal as a shady woodland ground cover. Plant in part shade to shade. Grows 6-8” tall. Tolerates deer, heavy shade, erosion, and wet soil.
Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil, in part shade to full shade. Prefers constantly moist, acidic soils in heavy shade. Spreads slowly by rhizomes to form an attractive ground cover for shade areas.
Asarum canadense, commonly called wild ginger, is a native spring wildflower which occurs in rich woods and wooded slopes throughout the state. Basically a stemless plant which features two downy, heart-shaped to kidney-shaped, handsomely veined, dark green, basal leaves (to 6″ wide). Cup-shaped, purplish brown flowers (1″ wide) appear in spring on short, ground-level stems arising from the crotch between the two basal leaves. Flowers are quite attractive on close inspection, but bloom singly on or near the ground and are usually hidden from view by the foliage. Although not related to culinary ginger (Zingiber officinale), the roots of this plant produce a scent that is reminiscent thereof. Fresh or dried roots were used by early Americans as a ginger substitute, but the plant is not normally used today for culinary purposes.
No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails can be occasional problems. Usually grown as a ground cover in shady areas. Woodland gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Also may be used for edging.
ROAYL CATCHFLY OR SHOWY CATCHFLY
Royal Catchfly is a large, brilliant scarlet-red flower. Plant in full sun, grows to 36” tall. Attracts hummingbirds and tolerates drought, dry soil, and shallow-rocky soil. Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers a sandy or gravelly soil. Excellent drainage is essential for growing this plant. Catchfly is a native wildflower which occurs in dry, rocky soils in open woods, wood margins and prairies primarily in the Ozark region of the State. A clump-forming perennial which grows 3-4′ tall. Small clusters of 5-petaled, scarlet red flowers (2″ across) appear in summer. Sticky calyx can trap or “catch” small insects, hence the common name. Long, slender, often reclining stems. 10-20 pairs of downy, lance-shaped leaves (to 5″ long). Similar to fire pink (Silene virginica), except royal catchfly is taller and blooms later, leaves are thicker and flower petals lack notches. Silene is in the same family as Lychnis and Dianthus.
It has no serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need some support. Best in part shade areas of wildflower gardens, native plant gardens, rock gardens, woodland gardens or cottage gardens. Can also be grown in borders. **Becoming rare due to loss of habitat.
Brown-eyed Susan is a bushy biennial or short-lived perennial with many branching stems. Flower heads are numerous, much smaller than other rudbeckias, to 1 inch across. Ten to 16, bright yellow; ray florets with a ring of maroon-red around the disk are sometimes seen. Disks are dark brown. The stems are dark red and they have conspicuous white hairs, particularly along the upper half of the plant. Blooms June–November. Leaves are lanceolate, with fine to coarse teeth, hairy, the bases narrowly winged or clasping. Lower leaves are 3-lobed but are usually shed before flowering time. Height: to 5 feet. The preference is full to partial sun, moist to mesic conditions, and fertile loamy soil, although soil with some gravel or clay is tolerated. This plant has moderate drought-tolerance; it may drop some of its lower leaves or wilt should this occur. After the blooming season is over, Brown-Eyed Susan can appear rather untidy.
Brown-Eyed Susan is often self-pollinated, but it nonetheless attracts numerous nectar-seeking and pollen-seeking insects to its flowers. These visitors include bumblebees, little carpenter bees, and an assortment of other bees. One of these bees, Andrena rudbeckiae, is a specialist pollinator of Rudbeckia and Ratibida coneflowers. The foliage is sometimes browsed by deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and other mammalian herbivores.
Mexican Hat gets its name from its distinctive shape – a tall cone surrounded by drooping petals that looks something like a sombrero. Also called the prairie coneflower and thimble-flower, the Mexican hat plant is native to the prairies of the American Midwest, but it has spread throughout and can be grown in most of North America. Its characteristic shape is made up of a tall, leafless stalk that can reach 1.5-3 feet in height, ending in a single flower head of a reddish brown to black spiky cone rising above 3-7 drooping red, yellow, or red and yellow petals. Most cultivars are perennials, though a particularly harsh winter will kill it off. Its foliage – deeply cleft leaves near the base – has a strong odor that works as a fantastic deer repellent. The Mexican hat plant is a hardy wildflower and very easy to grow. In fact, the most likely problem is that it will crowd out weaker plants nearby. Plant it by itself or mingled with other strong, tall perennials that can stand up to it. Mexican hat plant care is minimal. It will grow in virtually any well-drained soil in full sun and is very drought tolerant, though regular watering during very dry periods will produce better flowers.
Sweet Shrub, commonly called Carolina allspice, is a dense, rounded deciduous shrub with a suckering habit which grows 6-9′ (less frequently to 12′) tall with an equal or slightly greater spread. Features very fragrant, brown to reddish-brown flowers (2″ across) which bloom at the ends of short branchlets in May. Flowers give way to brownish, urn-shaped fruits (seed capsules) which mature in fall and persist throughout the winter. Lustrous, dark green (pale beneath), ovate to elliptic leaves to 6″ long turn golden yellow in fall. Leaves are aromatic when bruised. Best to purchase this plant when in flower because the quality and intensity of the fragrance can vary widely from plant to plant. Also commonly called sweetshrub and strawberry bush in reference to the fragrant blooms which have been described as combining hints of pineapple, strawberry and banana. Further common name of hairy allspice is in reference to the hairy twigs and leaf undersides of this plant. U.S. native from Virginia to Florida.
No serious insect or disease problems. It is a trouble-free shrub. Its flowers are showy, fragrant and good as cut flowers. Tolerates deer, and clay soil.
Place specimen near the front door, patio or other living areas where the fragrant flower aroma may be enjoyed. Great as shrub borders, foundations or native plant areas.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Grows somewhat taller in shade than in sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers rich loams. Prune immediately after flowering to shape or maintain compactness. Tends to sucker and often forms colonies in the wild. Remove root suckers promptly if naturalization is not desired.
White Yarrow is a graceful perennial wildflower which produces an abundance of large, flat clusters of creamy-white flowers, 5” across. They are born on tall stems atop pleasantly aromatic, green, fern-like foliage that is disease resistant. Both flowers and foliage are attractive and long-lasting. Great choice for prairie or meadow plantings. The plants bloom for weeks from early to late summer. Ease of care, drought, heat, humidity, deer and rabbit tolerant make it a must have for the garden. Grows 24-36” tall and 12-18” wide. Thrives in full sun in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Light shade is tolerated. Dry soil is also tolerated. Avoid rich, moist soil which will cause yarrow to get floppy or leggy. Good drainage is essential. Excellent for borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens, coastal gardens, meadows or prairies. The flowers are excellent quality for bouquets or dried arrangements. They are a must for attracting butterflies. Deadheading will extend the bloom season and prevent it from spreading by seed. Cutting after initial flowering will promote rebloom. This plant actively self seeds and can naturalize quickly if not monitored.
Wine Cups, a native perennial, are commonly called Poppy Mallow or Cowboy Rose. It grows from a huge turnip-like taproot where it sends out ground-hugging stems up to 4′ in all directions. If not watered during the summer, Poppy mallow may go dormant. Simply clip away the faded stems. This satiny rose-purple flowering native resprouts a rosette of leaves in the fall that remain through winter. Full sun to part shade. Grows 6” tall and may be 72” wide. Purple Poppy Mallow is a very rare native plant that produces a non-stop show of attractive, cup-shaped, wine red flowers with white centers from June through to September! Its trailing stems are perfect for hanging over walls and it makes an excellent ground cover. Very drought-tolerant and easy to grow in well-drained soils, Callirhoe involucrata is a valuable plant for hot south or west facing
Missouri Primrose is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates poor and/or limy soils, drought and some light shade. Easily grown from seed and will self-seed under optimum growing conditions. Missouri evening primrose is a sprawling, native plant which occurs on limestone glades and bluffs and rocky prairies. Typically grows 6-12″ tall and features very large (3-5″ across), solitary, 4-petaled, mildly fragrant, bright yellow flowers which open for only one day (usually open late afternoon and remain open until the following morning). Flowers arise from leaf axils and are generally upward-facing, but sometimes rest on or touch the ground. Long spring to summer bloom period. Flowers are followed by somewhat unique, winged seed pods (2-3″ long). Narrow, lance-shaped leaves. This species was formerly called (and is still often listed for sale as) Oenothera missouriensis. No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in wet, poorly drained soils. Best in border fronts or rock gardens. Also effective in wild gardens, meadows, cottage gardens or native plant gardens. A showy plant which can be grown in poor, dryish soils. Flowers are showy and fragrant. Tolerates drought, clay soil, dry soil, and shallow-rocky soil.