Asclepias sullivantii – Sullivant’s Milkweed / Prairie Milkweed
Asclepias sullivantii – Sullivant’s Milkweed / Prairie Milkweed

Winner of the 2015 Green Thumb Award for Best New Product!

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.

Available – May 2017

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Liatris spicata – Dense Blazingstar
Liatris spicata – Dense Blazingstar

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Somewhat tolerant of poor soils, but prefers moist, fertile ones and generally performs better in moist soils than most other species of Liatris. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. May be grown from seed, but is slow to establish.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Blazing star (also commonly called dense blazing star or marsh blazing star) is a tall, upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to moist low grounds, meadows and marsh margins. In Missouri, it has only been found in Oregon County on the Arkansas border (Steyermark). It typically grows 2-4′ tall in cultivation, but can reach a height of 6′ in some parts of its native habitat. Features terminal spikes (6-12″ long) of sessile, rounded, fluffy, deep purple flower heads (each to 3/4″ across) appearing atop rigid, erect, leafy flower stalks. One or more stalks arise from a basal tuft of narrow, grass-like, medium green leaves (to 12″ long). Stem leaves gradually decrease in size toward the top. Blooms in summer. Liatris belongs to the aster family, with each flower head having only fluffy disk flowers (resembling “blazing stars”) and no ray flowers. The feathery flower heads of liatris give rise to another common name of gayfeather. See also L. spicata‘Kobold’ which is a popular compact cultivar that is less likely to need staking than the species.

 

Available May – Mid May 2017

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Zizia aurea – Golden Alexanders
Zizia aurea – Golden Alexanders

Zizia aurea is one of those natives that every garden should have. It is fairly easy to grow and, although short-lived, will self-seed and persist in many sun/soil situations. Zizia is an important plant to a number of short-tongued insects that are able to easily reach the nectar in the small yellow flowers. Black Swallowtail caterpillars will feed on its leaves.

Golden Alexanders have a long bloom time, giving the garden/prairie some well-deserved early color for several weeks in late spring to early summer when many other plants have not yet flowered.  Also called Golden Zizia, Golden Alexanders will tolerate a lot of shade but prefer full sun or light shade.

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