Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers for a Garden or Landscape

Looking to get started in native gardening but don’t know good plants to start with? These four plants are all nice selections with interesting foliage or blooms. Some are very tolerant to the extremes, and others are just pretty to look at. Also remember to think about landscaping while planning your garden, from the patio to the stepping stones to the pond. If you are looking for a condensate pump, home depot may not be your best choice. Think outside the box. I like to use battery operated floor sweepers to clean the patio or the stepping stones. Don't be afraid to mix it up and put contemporary ceramic table lamps on a patio deck to have some night time ambiance.

These native plants are all native to the United States and are great ones to incorporate into the landscape.

Chelone lyonii Pursh (Pink Turtlehead)

Pink turtlehead grows two to four feet high with one inch flowers in deep pink or rose-purple hues. It has a bearded lower lip that will present yellow hairs on the blooms. Flowers appear from summer to fall. Leaves are round at the base and pointed at the tip with an egg shape. It prefers to grow in sun or partial shade with rich moist soil. There won’t be serious pest or disease problems with this native plant.

Dyschoriste oblongifolia (Michx.) Kuntze (Twinflower, Oblongleaf Snakeherb)

An interesting flower that will get six to 18 inches tall, it needs a spacing of three to nine inches. It prefers full sun to partial shade and has average water needs. Its violet or purple flowers bloom all year and it will self-sow on its own. Twinflower is a favorite of butterflies. Its common name comes from the trait of having back to back flowers

blooming at the same time. It is not salt tolerant, so be careful around coastal gardens.

Eryngium yuccifolium Michx. (Button Eryngo, Rattlesnake Master, Button Snakeroot)

This plant grows up to four feet and has an 18 inch spread. It prefers full sun and moist soil to grow efficiently. It has pale green to light blue blooms coming mid-summer. It is ornamental and easy to grow. Button eryngo is part of the carrot family. You can divide the root ball to propagate.

Eupatorium purpureum L. (Sweetscented Joepyeweed, Eupatorium purpureum var. purpureum, Eupatoriadelphus purpureus)

This plant will get three to four feet high and have an equal spread. It prefers sun and partial shade and is very carefree. It will have pink, purple, or near white blooms from summer to fall. You can bag the seed heads to capture the seed if you are planning to propagate. You need to sow the seed as soon as possible as it is not a good candidate for storage. You can cut to the ground in the winter or leave unattended.


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