White Turtlehead has white, pink-tinged flowers, which bloom August-October. The blooms resemble the head of a turtle, thus its common name. Butterflies and hummingbirds benefit from the nectar. It is a host plant for butterflyand moth larvae (caterpillars), including Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton). White Turtlehead requires moist soil, and will tolerate wet soil. Use it in borders, edges of rain gardens, shade gardens, and moist naturalized areas.
Common Boneset is a clumping perennial. Clusters of small white flowers bloom atop tall stems, July-September. Butterflies and bees value the nectar as a food source. Its green leaves fuse around the stem, offering a unique vegetative feature in the garden setting. Boneset is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Lined Ruby Tiger Moth (Phragmatobia lineate), Burdock Borer Moth (Papaipema cataphracta), Three-lined Flower Moth (Schinia trifascia), Blackberry Looper (Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria), Geometrid Moth (Semiothisa continuata) and Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene). Use Boneset in the back of borders to add depth to your landscape. Plant it in your rain garden, along woodland edges, meadows, or in naturalized areas around your yard.
Great Blue Lobelia features purple-blue, tubular flowers, which bloom July-September in whorled clusters atop tall, erect stems. This plant’s nectar is a food source for bees and hummingbirds; it has special value for native bees and bumblebees. It prefers part-shade, but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates. Its native habitat includes swamps and moist, low areas. Use Great Blue Lobelia in the back of borders to add depth to your garden. Plant it in rain gardens, wildlife gardens, woodland gardens, and moist areas of your yard.
Pink Tickseed is a multi-stemmed, clumping perennial with dense, green foliage. Small, pink-purple, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers are scattered within the vegetation. It blooms all summer, June-September. The native habitat of Pink Tickseed consists of wet, sandy soils. It needs consistent moisture and does not tolerate clay soils. It may self-seed to form a dense groundcover. Use Pink Tickseed in borders, along walkways, in your native plant garden, and in moist meadows.
Joe-Pye Weed is a tall, sturdy perennial with dark green leaves. Clusters of tiny, fragrant, pinkish-rose-colored flowers bloom July-September. The nectar is highly valued by butterflies and honeybees. The flowers are followed by seed heads (which persist into winter), providing an important food source for sparrows, as well as providing seasonal interest. Joe-Pye Weed is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Three-lined Flower Moth (Schinia trifascia), Eupatorium Borer Moth (Papaipema eupatorii), and Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene). It prefers moist, fertile soils, and is intolerant of dry conditions. Use Joe-Pye Weed in masses in the back of borders to offer depth to your garden. It is best planted in groups in meadows, native plant gardens, butterfly gardens, rain gardens, or naturalized areas. It is valued by native Americans for its medicinal properties.
Prairie Cordgrass is a tall, stiff, warm-season perennial grass. Its clustered branches of yellow-brown flowers bloom on spikelets, July-August. Its sharp-edged leaves have earned it one of its common names, Ripgut. Leaves turn yellow in the fall. Prairie Cordgrass provides habitat and nesting materials for birds and wildlife. It prefers wet, fertile, loamy soil and will tolerate periodic flooding; it creates thick stands in optimum conditions. However, it will also tolerate dry soils, where it will not grow or spread as quickly. The native habitat of Prairie Cordgrass includes freshwater marshes, as well as low roadside areas. Use it to aid in erosion control around ponds, or plant it in your rain garden. This plant is also used to vegetate large swales and retention basins.
Saltmeadow Cordgrass is a warm-season perennial grass. The slender, wiry plants grow in thick mats. The action of wind and water can bend the stems, giving a whorled appearance to this hay-like grass. Purplish, wind-pollinated flowers appear on spikelets, June-August. This plant grows on salty, brackish, and freshwater marshes, tidal flats, and dunes. It tolerates flooding, and spreads aggressively through rhizomes (underground stems). Although it is native to salty areas, it grows larger in fresh water habitats. Saltmeadow Cordgrass is highly adaptable to a range of soil conditions. It provides food and cover for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. You can use Saltmeadow Cordgrass as shoreline protection to control erosion, for dune stabilization, and tidal marsh restoration. There are many cultivars available commercially to suit your needs and preferences.
Goat’s Beard is a tall perennial with astilbe-like flowers. Large feathery spikes of small, creamy-white flowers bloom April-June. This perennial is dioecious (male and female flowers are on separate plants); the males have slightly showier flowers. The flowers can be used fresh-cut or dried in floral arrangements. The nectar attracts butterflies and bees. Goat’s Beard is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Dusky Azure (Celastrina nigra). It prefers consistently moist soils and can tolerate occasional flooding. Plant Goat’s Beard in masses in the back of borders, woodland gardens, rain gardens, or along edges of ponds or streams. It can also be used as a specimen or as a screening plant.
Coleus is grown for its boldly patterned, multi-colored leaves. Varieties are available in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, and white. Coleus prefers moist, organic soils and will tolerate shade. Pinch back stem tips to keep plant compact and bushy; remove flowers as they appear to promote lush leaf growth. Coleus provides beautiful color accent when mixed with flowering perennials. Use in groups in beds and borders or in pots and hanging baskets. Plants can be potted in fall and brought indoors to overwinter as houseplants.
The Zinnia genus contains many species with flowers ranging in sizes and colors, including red, yellow, pink, orange, and purple. Zinnia is one of the easiest annuals to grow. Each brightly colored, daisy-like flower blooms on a single, erect stem. The flowers bloom from June to frost and attract many pollinators, including hummingbirds and butterflies. They also make excellent fresh-cut flowers. This annual will re-seed itself for next season. It is susceptible to powdery mildew; minimize overhead watering and wetting leaves to avoid this disease. Use Zinnia in mixed borders, beds, butterfly gardens, and for colorful accents around your yard. Smaller varieties can be used for edging and in containers.