Echinacea takes a wide array of conditions from average dry soil to medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full sun. Plant flowers best in full sun. Low-maintenance and tolerates drought, humidity, heat, poor soil. Resistant to pest and disease but sometimes susceptible to aster yellows disease. To encourage longer bloom time, flower heads can be deadheaded but not necessary. Seedheads are a delightful source of food for birds.
Introduced by Jelitto, who gave us ‘Magnus’, Echinacea ‘Ruby Star’ is a slightly shorter plant with large flat-topped flowers that are a deeper purple-pink, almost ruby red, than most others. Plants are easy to grow, tough, and heat and drought tolerant once established. Their roots have famous medicinal qualities, they make great, long-lasting, cut flowers and attract numerous butterflies and small birds.
Tropical Milkweed, also known as Blood flower, is a tender evergreen perennial in the dogbane and milkweed family. It is native to South America, but has naturalized worldwide in many tropical and subtropical areas. It has a much longer flowering period than the perennial milkweeds that are winter hardy in Michigan. Showy red-orange flowers bloom late spring through late autumn except in USDA Zones 9-11 where it is winter hardy. Grows best in light, rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Will tolerate light shade and some soil dryness. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers. Monarch butterflies lay eggs on this plant and the resulting larvae (caterpillars) use the plant leaves as a food source. Flowers are followed by long, narrow seed pods (3-4” long) which split open when ripe releasing silky tailed seeds for dispersal by wind. Stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut or bruised. Plants can be poisonous to livestock. Consider wearing gloves when working with these plants because the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and can be toxic to human skin.
Spider Milkweed is also commonly known as Green Antelopehorn Milkweed. In Texas, it is quite common and is considered an important food source for the Monarchs as they start their spring migration northward. Spider Milkweed has a native range of Texas north to Nebraska and eastward as far as West Virginia and South Carolina. It can be found along roadsides, ditches, prairies, open areas, and other areas with little vegetative competition. This species tends to be short (12 inches) with multiple stems emerging from the root crown of mature plants. Taller, more erect plants, usually with one or a few stems, can be found in moist prairies. Spider Milkweed features rose-white flowers surrounded by green that form in showy umbellated clusters, often one per plant.
‘Ice Ballet’ is an elegant, long-blooming, bright white cultivar of native Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) and features a compact habit and dark green foliage. Swamp milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Asclepias incarnata needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies. The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant.
Aquatic Milkweed is a petite white milkweed suitable for wet soils. It survives in water and will grow in light-sandy and medium-loamy soils. Native to stream sides it is generally most common in lightly shaded woodlands near streams. This little milkweed is a great performer, being shade tolerant and flowering spring through autumn.
‘Cinderella’ is a cultivar of native Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) featuring pale pink, vanilla scented flower clusters. This milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Swamp milkweed needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies.The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant.
Tiny rose-purple flowers in cylindrical, head-like masses at ends of upright wiry stems.
This is one of the most widespread of the perennial Prairie Clovers, identifiable by their cone-like flower heads. An excellent range species, with high protein content, Purple Prairie Clover decreases in abundance with overgrazing. A midwestern white-flowering species, White Prairie Clover has elongated flower heads and is only 2 (60 cm) tall. A white-flowering southeastern coastal plain species, D. carnea var. albida, has conspicuous green bracts within the heads.
Growing in moist conditions, Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) produces flat to roundish heads of white flowers. The stem is covered with long spreading hairs with leaves that are often joined at the base, appearing to surround the stem. Many different insect species are attracted to the flowers as the nectar is relatively easy to access.
‘Herbstsonne’ is an upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial coneflower which typically grows 4-7′ tall. This is a substantial plant which features large daisy-like flowers (3-4″ across) with drooping yellow rays and elongated bright green center cones. Flowers bloom singly atop slender … Read More