This perennial plant is 1-3′ tall, branching occasionally to frequently. The light green stems are glabrous and bluntly 4-angled, but they are not conspicuously winged. The opposite leaves are up to 4″ long and 1″ across; they are light to medium green, lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and serrated to sparingly serrated along their margins. The leaves are sessile or they clasp the stems; petioles are absent. Leaf bases are round to slightly cordate, while their tips are slender and pointed. Individual flowers develop from the leaf axils of the middle to upper stems. These flowers are about 1″ long, and they have two-lipped corollas that are usually pale blue-violet (less often pink or white).
Asymmetrical, 2-lipped, blue-purple flowers rise from the axils of opposite leaves that clasp the square stem.
The flower looks something like a monkeys face, hence the common and genus names, the latter from the Latin mimus (a buffoon). A variety of this plant, M. ringens var. colpophilus, found from Quebec to Maine on tidal muds, is classified as an endangered species in Maine. The lavender-flowering Sharp-winged Monkeyflower (M. alatus) has stalked leaves and a winged stem. It is more common southward and westward in wet sites.
Host Plant – Red Admiral, Eastern Comma, Question Mark Preferring wet-mesic and semi-shady sites, Boehmeria cylindrica lacks the stinging hairs of some of its nettle cousins. Stringy heads of tiny yellow-green flowers form between leaf stems in summer. Moths and butterflies are attracted to this modest plant.
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.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, moist soil. Intolerant of dry soils. Cut back in late winter to control growth. Grows well from seed.
This deciduous, woody, climbing vine is an eastern American native which typically occurs in the wild in rich, moist woods and along streams. Can rapidly grow to 20-30′. An old-fashioned favorite that is grown for its large, heart-shaped, densely overlapping leaves (6-12″ long) which can quickly cover an arbor or trellis with attractive, glossy, deep green foliage. Commonly called Dutchman’s pipe because the unusual, 2″ long, yellowish-green flowers (each flaring at the calyx mouth to form 3 brownish-purple lobes) superficially resemble Dutch smoking pipes. Although the flowers make interesting conversation pieces, they are usually hidden by the dense foliage and are somewhat inconspicuous.
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.
Host Plant – Eastern Tailed Blue / Spring Azure / Summer Azure
A deciduous shrub that grows just 3′ tall, the dried leaves of New Jersey Tea make a flavorful tea that was popular during the Revolutionary War. This extremely adaptable species can withstand inhospitable conditions because of massive, deep roots.
The white flower poms are attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators.
New Jersey Tea is excellent as a shrub border and a is a fabulous addition for native plant gardens. It is also effective as a shrubby ground cover for hard-to-grow areas such as dry rocky slopes and banks. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in sandy loams or rocky soils with good drainage. Thick, woody, red roots go deep and help plant withstand droughty conditions, but make established shrubs difficult to transplant.
Grown in one quart pot with approximately 6” of top growth.
Plants grown without harmful pesticides and are safe for butterfly gardens.
This is a lovely, and very long lived shrub of the prairie. The deep purple flower spikes rise above the silver-gray foliage to create a striking bloom display in June. The very deep taproot allows this plant to be very drought tolerant. Butterflies are attracted.
Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed and is native to most of the eastern United States though it is uncommon to rare in cultivated gardens. Similar to Ascelpeias syriaca (Common Milkweed) it is an excellent garden choice due to its non-invasive nature. It has a long bloom season and the fragrant, intense rosy pink flowers attract numerous insects and butterflies. Purple Milkweed is very tolerant of a wide variety of soils and light levels making it easy to grow. It will tolerate shade, but blooms better in the sun. It commonly occurs in dry to moist open woods, dry ridge tops, thickets, glades, prairie openings, stream banks and wet meadows.
All of our plants are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and are safe for developing larvae.
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Also known as Prairie Milkweed, Sullivant’s Milkweed is a long-lived perennial and a well-behaved relative of Common Milkweed. Very similar in appearance, it is less aggressive and an excellent choice for butterfly gardens. Prairie Milkweed grows best in a sunny, medium to medium-moist garden. The pinkish, mauve flowers are very fragrant and attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Sullivant’s Milkweed is listed as ‘threatened’ in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan.