Amorpha canescens – Leadplant
Amorpha canescens – Leadplant

Host Plant – Silver Spotted Skipper

This is a lovely, and very long lived shrub of the prairie. The deep purple flower spikes rise above the silver-gray foliage to create a striking bloom display in June. The very deep taproot allows this plant to be very drought tolerant. Butterflies are attracted.

Available May – Mid May

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Asclepias incarnata – ‘Cinderella’ Milkweed
Asclepias incarnata – ‘Cinderella’ Milkweed

‘Cinderella’ is a cultivar of native Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) featuring pale pink, vanilla scented flower clusters. This milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Swamp milkweed needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies.The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant.

Available –  May 2017
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Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Swamp milkweed needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are fragrant and very attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies. The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant. Also known as Rose Milkweed, Red Milkweed, and Marsh Milkweed.

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Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed – 1 gallon pot
Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed – 1 gallon pot

Host Plant – Monarch

Red Milkweed attracts butterflies of all kinds and the leaves are a preferred food source for the Monarch Caterpillar.Asclepias incarnata thrives along ponds, streams and detention basins. It preferes moist soil but also does wel in average, well-drained garden sites. Full sun is best and some light shade is tolerated. No butterfly garden is complete without Red Milkweed, also known as Swamp Milkweed or Marsh Milkweed.

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Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed – 4″ pot
Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed – 4″ pot

Host Plant – Monarch

Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Swamp milkweed needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are fragrant and very attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies. The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant. Also known as Rose Milkweed, Red Milkweed, and Marsh Milkweed.

Available – May 2017

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Asclepias syriaca – Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca – Common Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed is the plant most people think of when they hear the word ‘milkweed’.  This Michigan native occurs throughout most of the United States and thrives in almost any well drained soil and produces a profusion of fragrant mauve colored flowers in midsummer.  The sweet scented flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and beneficial insects. Of all the milkweeds this is the easiest and fastest to establish, yet it is known to be invasive and must be used with care. This milkweed grows best in full sun and average to well-drained soil with no irrigation and will tolerate extreme conditions.

Available May 2017

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Echinacea pallida – Pale Purple Coneflower
Echinacea pallida – Pale Purple Coneflower

Host Plant – Silvery Checkerspot

Pale Purple Coneflower should be planted in well-drained soil in full to partial sunlight. Most native Coneflowers dislike soil that is kept excessively moist or has poor drainage and they will start to rot in these situations. Once the taproot is established it is extremely drought-tolerant and needs little care, but then also may be difficult to move. In the past all of the Purple Coneflowers were used as medicinal plants by the Native Americans. There is still a market for the roots, which are used to make herbal medicines and tonics.

Pale Purple Coneflower grows up to 3′ feet tall and has very pale purple to pink flowers.  It blooms in early summer when only a few of the sun loving plants are in bloom and provides nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies, and the leaves provide food for the Ottoe-skipper larva.  Also easy-to-establish and a prairie icon is its cousin, Echinacea pallida Pale Purple Coneflower, which has a deeper purple flower and will bloom just at the tail end of Pale Purple Coneflower’s bloom cycle.  Planting these two together will give you many, many weeks of  Echinacea blooms.

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Echinacea paradoxa – Ozark Coneflower
Echinacea paradoxa – Ozark Coneflower

Host Plant – Silvery Checkerspot

Relatively rare in the wild and in cultivation, this coneflower is stunning in summer and flowers for an extended period. It’s bright pure yellow flowers consist of drooping petals surrounding a soft brown cone. Butterflies and other beneficials will flock to the flowers for nectar. Goldfinches devoured the seeds in late summer and fall. 

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