Aquilegia canadensis – Columbine Little Lanterns
Thrives in part to full sun in any well-drained soil. Plants tolerate full sun if temperatures are cool, but they prefer partial shade. They may go dormant in mid summer if stressed by heat or drought, but will emerge again in late winter. Plants reseed readily and plantings may double in size in two years.
Echinacea purpurea – Green Twister
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.
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.