Monday, June 27, 2011

Full Sun Loving Native Plants That Are Propagated by Seed

These four native plants are great for full sun landscapes and garden plots. They are all propagated by seed and as such can be used as great additions for seed-swap parties. These native plants are a good start to wildflower gardening.

Liatris elegans (Walt.) Michx. (Gayfeather, Blazing Star, Pinkscale Blazing Star)

Gayfeather grows one to four feet high with narrow needle-like leaves and non-ray flowers. Flowers are lavender-pink or purple on a flower spike six to 20 inches long. Leaves are whorled around the stem and gradually reduce in size. Flowers bloom August through October. Gayfeather prefers full sun and dry sandy soils. It also attracts butterflies to the landscape. Propagate by seed.

Manfreda virginica (L.) Salisb. ex Rose (Rattlesnake Master, False Aloe, Agave virginica, Polianthes virginica)

The rattlesnake master grows four to five feet high with thick strap-like leaves. Flowers are tubular and green-white, blooming in May through August. Leaves are basal and leather-like, growing up to 16 inches long. Flowers are in spike-like clusters. Rattlesnake master prefers sunny locations and dry soils. It is drought tolerant. Propagate by seed.

Monarda punctata L. (Spotted Beebalm, Spotted Horsemint, Horsemint, Monarda punctata ssp. villicaulis)
A fast growing drought-tolerant plant it has multiple branches and semi-woody stems. It grows from six inches to three feet tall. Leaves are hairy and opposite, ranging from one to three inches long. They have a faint scent of oregano. Flowers are small and can be pink or purple and at the end of a spike. The blooming season is from April through August. Spotted horsemint prefers full sun and regular watering, but will tolerate drought and tolerates partial shade. Propagate by seed with either dry or moist stratification. It was named after Nicolas Bautista Monardes, a botanist and physician of the 16th century, by Linnaeus.
Liatris squarrosa (L.) Michx. (Blazing Star, Scaly Blazing Star, Scaly Gayfeather)

Blazing star grows 10 to 24 inches tall with one or many stems. Flowers are red-violet and bloom early, from June through September. Tuft-like, the blooms are evenly spaced on a spike. It blooms the earliest of most Liatris varieties. This Liatris prefers sunlight and dry rocky or sandy soil conditions. Propagate by seed. Blazing star makes a good border plant or works well in wildflower gardens.

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