native garden plants of the week

  To learn about the plants chosen for our native pollinator garden, scroll through the information below.  Many of the plants have been added to our grounds. More plantings will happen this spring! 

Thank you for helping us beautify our grounds and care for native species and pollinators.

  • Little bluestem

    Little Bluestem (schizachyrium scoparium) is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backdrop for prairie flowers. Little Bluestem is a host plant for numerous skipper butterflies.

  • mountain ninebark

    Native to the western United States, Mountain Ninebark (physocarpus monogynusis) is a hardy shrub. Clusters of white, fragrant spirea-like flowers bloom in late spring. Deep green leaves turn yellow in the fall. Bark exfoliates cinnamon-brown and tan, adding winter interest to the landscape.

  • Rocky mountain columbine

    Rocky Mountain Columbine (aquilegia caerulea) is planted for its beautiful blue and white flowers. Native to the higher elevations of the intermountain West, is best suited to mountain gardens and areas of the West with cool nights. It attracts hummingbirds and pollinators.

  • mock bearberry manzanita

    Mock Bearberry Manzanita (Arctostaphylos × coloradensis) is a native broadleaf evergreen shrub from western Colorado. Waxy, urn-shaped, white flowers produce small red berries on established plants. 

  • small-leaf pussytoes

    Small-leaf pussytoes (Antennaria parvifolia) is a mat-forming wildflower found in dry, open areas. A low growing western native, this plant produces flowers that attract pollinators, specifically painted lady butterflies. Flowers are followed by fluffy seeds.

  • Pawnee buttes sand cherry

    Pawnee Buttes (Prunus p. Besseyi) is a low-growing, spreading form of the native sand cherry shrub. It has lustrous green leaves on graceful, trailing stems.  Small clusters of fragrant white flowers bloom in early spring and turn to black fruit by midsummer, which are attractive to wildlife. Attracts butterflies and birds. Bee friendly.

  • prairie dropseed

    A preferred native grass for prairie gardens, Prairie Dropseed (sporobolus heterolepis) adds a touch of elegance to any planting. A burst of flowering panicles on slender stems float above the tufted grass in late summer in tints of pink and brown.

  • creeping grape holly

    Creeping Grape Holly (mahonia repens) is a shrub with bluish-green spiny toothed leaves that turn bronzy-red in winter. Yellow flowers in spring are followed by blue berries. Attracts birds.

  • kinnikinnick (bearberry)

    Kinnikinnick of various forms also known as bearberry because sometimes bears will eat the fall berries in mountainous native growths, or by its botanical name Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a low growing, mostly evergreen ground cover that is an excellent shade tolerant choice for slope erosion control.

  • butterfly weed

    Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a bushy, 1 1/2-2 ft. perennial prized for its large, flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers. Its brilliant flowers attract butterflies. It's tough root was chewed by Native Americans as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments.

  • lupine

    The blue spires of Lupine are a welcome sight in late spring and early summer. Lupine is an excellent plant for dry sandy soils where so many other plants struggle. Lupine is a host plant for the rare Karner Blue butterfly as well as several other species of butterfly.

  • artic fire

    The stems of this shrub are rich red in late fall, through winter and early spring. Arctic Fire is a compact dwarf Cornus. Provides striking color against a snowy backdrop. Lovely white flowers in late spring are followed by small berries.

  • sulphur buckwheat

    Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) is native to western North America from California to Colorado to central Canada. The leaves are usually woolly and low on the plant, and the flowers come in many colors from white to bright yellow to purple.

  • wood lily

    Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is a smaller Lily, reaching only a foot in height, and has funnel-shaped, red-orange petals with brown spots near the base. Wood Lily grows in prairies as well as open woods. The nectar and pollen of the lily attract bees, hummingbirds and larger butterflies.

  • heartleaf arnica

    Heartleaf Arnica (Arnica cordifolia) is in the sunflower family, known by the common name heartleaf arnica. It is native to western North America and supports butterflies and moths.

  • common harebell

    Common harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is a clump-forming perennial wildflower, bearing pretty bell-shaped blooms on tall, erect stems from summer to autumn. Although a natural meadow plant, it’s ideal for growing in wildlife-friendly planting schemes.

  • sand lovegrass

    Sand lovegrass (eragrostis trichodes) is a North American native, inhabiting sandy prairies in the Central and Southern Great Plains. It’s ability to grow quickly with a minimum of moisture on sandy, eroded terrain has made it a star in the field of erosion prevention.

  • Prairie Smoke, pink plume avens

    Geum triflorum is a native North American perennial commonly called Prairie Smoke, for the appearance of the wispy seedheads. Unfortunately, it has become rather rare over much of its range, out-competed by naturalized invaders and eliminated by development. Native Americans used this plant for medicinal purposes.

  • appalachian sedge

    Appalachian Sedge (carex appalachica) is a native grass-like plant with thin, fine-textured leaf blades. It is an outstanding choice for use as an attractive grassy groundcover for shade and heavy shade areas and is low-water tolerant.