This large pink flower has a long bloom time, May-October, and attracts many pollinators including bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
American Beachgrass is an evergreen grass, ubiquitous to the northeastern seaside landscape. Yellow, inconspicuous flowers bloom on spikes, May-September. It is commonly used as a dune stabilizer along the east coast. Rhizomes (underground stems) travel vertically and horizontally for up to 20 feet, creating a “net,” which holds the sand in place. As sand builds up around the plant, the vertical stems grow higher; this continuous process builds the dune. American Beachgrass is best planted during its dormancy period, October-March.
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.
Swamp Verbena features purplish-blue flowers, which bloom on tall spikes, a few at a time from bottom to top, June-September. The flowers are a nectar source for bees and butterflies. Swamp Verbena is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). This plant prefers moist soil conditions. Use it in rain gardens, along water features, or in other moist areas of the yard. It can also be planted in borders and meadows.
Highbush Blueberry is a flowering deciduous shrub with edible fruit. It features white to pinkish-white flowers, which bloom in May, offering a valuable early nectar source for native bees. The edible fruit ripens June-July, providing food for birds. The berries are used in pies, muffins, and other dishes, and eaten fresh! Highbush Blueberry offers lush green foliage in the summer, and yellow, bronze, orange, or red foliage in fall. Reddish stems offer ornamental value in winter. Plant Highbush Blueberry as a shrub border, in a small garden plot, or in naturalized areas of your yard.
Bald Cypress is a tall, pyramidal-shaped, deciduous tree. The foliage turns yellow-brown in fall before it drops. Its small seeds attract some birds. Bald Cypress prefers wet areas, but can adapt to dry sites. Bald Cypress offers high-wind resistance, but it is flammable; plant a minimum 30 feet from buildings in wildfire-prone areas.
Seaside Goldenrod features dense, deep-yellow flowers, which bloom on terminal stalks, August-October. The thick, waxy leaves deter salt and sand penetration, making this plant a good choice for coastal gardens. Seaside Goldenrod provides a nectar source for native bees, honeybees, and butterflies. The dried seeds provide a food source for birds. It attracts beneficial predatory insects, which prey on garden pest insects in your yard. Use Seaside Goldenrod in borders, butterfly gardens, seaside gardens, and coastal landscapes.
Prickly Pear is New Jersey’s only native cactus! Flat, fleshy, oval, evergreen pads stand erect or lie horizontally on the ground. The pads become somewhat dessicated and shriveled during the winter but plump-up again in the spring. Yellow, ornate flowers develop along the top of each pad and bloom June-July. Each flower is diurnal and blooms for only one day. A red edible fruit will follow fertilization. Flowers, fruits, and pads all offer food for wildlife. The pads and fruit are also edible for humans; however, tiny reddish spikes persist and necessitate much care in handling all parts of this plant. Use Prickly Pear in seaside gardens, rock gardens, sunny borders, dry sandy areas of your yard, or as groundcover.
Narrowleaf Evening Primrose is a wildlife-friendly perennial featuring four-petaled, yellow flowers, which bloom April-July on erect stems. Despite its common name, the flowers are open during the day. Its nectar provides food for hummingbirds, butterflies, and native bees. The flowers are followed by attractive seed pods that add ornamental interest to your garden. Use Narrowleaf Evening Primrose in borders, rock gardens, and wild gardens around your yard.
Hairawn Muhly is a clump-forming, warm-season grass. Pink to purple to red flowers bloom above the foliage September-November, offering attractive fall color. It tolerates heat, humidity, drought, and poor, dry, sandy soils, as well as flooding — perfect for Jersey-Friendly Yards! Plant Hairawn Muhly in groups along your borders and foundations and in naturalized areas of your yard.