Asclepias hirtella – Tall Green Milkweed
Asclepias hirtella – Tall Green Milkweed

Asclepias hirtella Tall Green Milkweed is a Michigan native although it is considered threatened in the state. Tall Green Milkweed is found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region in open areas, usually in prairies or remnants of prairies and throughout the midwest. Though not as well known as other varieties of milkweed, Tall Green Milkweed distinguishes itself with abundant clusters of green-white flowers that attract many butterflies and bees.

Other Common Names in use include Green Milkweed.

Available May 2017

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Asclepias purpurascens Purple Milkweed
Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed

DISTRIBUTION

USA:  AR,  CT,  DC,  DE,  GA,  IA,  IL,  IN,  KS,  KY,  LA,  MA,  MD,  MI,  MN,  MO,  MS,  NC,  NE,  NH,  NJ,  NY,  OH,  OK,  PA,  RI,  SD,  TN,  TX,  VA,  WI,  WV

Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed and is native to most of the eastern United States though it is uncommon to rare in cultivated gardens. Similar to Ascelpeias syriaca (Common Milkweed) it is an excellent garden choice due to its non-invasive nature. It has a long bloom season and the fragrant, intense rosy pink flowers attract numerous insects and butterflies. Purple Milkweed is very tolerant of a wide variety of soils and light levels making it easy to grow.  It will tolerate shade, but blooms better in the sun. It commonly occurs in dry to moist open woods, dry ridge tops, thickets, glades, prairie openings, stream banks and wet meadows.

All of our plants are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and are safe for developing larvae.

Grown in 4.5″ square pot.

Available mid-late June 2017

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Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed Milkweed

The Perennial Plant Association is proud to announce Asclepias tuberosa as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year™.

Asclepias tuberosa-Butterfly Weed is one of the most well known wildflowers with its clusters of orange flowers. Native to Michigan and widely distributed throughout the United States, Butterfly Weed is a vigorous milkweed variety that produces clusters of flowers that bloom from early summer until frost. It is a nectar favorite for hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies as well as host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Like most Asclepias, this plant is happiest in well-drained soils. It is a great milkweed for a sunny location in a dry area. Mature plants in ideal locations can make as many as 20 stems at an average height of 2’. The vivid orange color, low mounded profile, and ability to attract and sustain butterflies make this plant a well-known favorite for all types of gardens. Butterfly Weed makes an excellent cut flower.

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Asclepias viridiflora – Short Green Milkweed
Asclepias viridiflora – Short Green Milkweed

Asclepias viridiflora Short Green Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed. While somewhat rare it has an extensive range throughout the United States. The plant matures to 1-3′ in height making it a nice choice for borders. Short Green Milkweed blooms during early summer with blooms lasting about three weeks. Flowers are light green to green and as the plant matures the flowers begin to turn yellowish green or purplish green. It prefers full to partial sun and grows in a variety of soils but prefers dry-mesic to mesic. Habitats include openings in upland forests that are rocky or sandy; upland black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, and hill prairies; barrens, limestone glades, and sand dunes; and abandoned fields.

The flowers attract bumblebees and butterflies. Also known as Green Milkweed, Green Comet Milkweed, Green Antelopehorn Milkweed, Green-Flowered Milkweed.

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Asclepias viridis – Spider Milkweed
Asclepias viridis – Spider Milkweed

Spider Milkweed is also commonly known as Green Antelopehorn Milkweed. In Texas, it is quite common and is considered an important food source for the Monarchs as they start their spring migration northward. Spider Milkweed has a native range of Texas north to Nebraska and eastward as far as West Virginia and South Carolina. It can be found along roadsides, ditches, prairies, open areas, and other areas with little vegetative competition. This species tends to be short (12 inches) with multiple stems emerging from the root crown of mature plants. Taller, more erect plants, usually with one or a few stems, can be found in moist prairies. Spider Milkweed features rose-white flowers surrounded by green that form in showy umbellated clusters, often one per plant.

Available – May 2017

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Echinacea Purpurea White Swan
Echinacea purpurea – ‘White Swan’ Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ Coneflower is a native cultivar that grows happily in our personal butterfly gardens and attracts native butterflies and other pollinators.

‘White Swan’ features unique pure white silky flowers and a coppery cone with a hint of green and a subtly sweet honey fragrance. It is a bit shorter that its native counterparts and may not be as cold hardy and vigorous in some zones. Once established the plants are tough and heat and drought tolerant.

This mid-summer bloomer is sure to please.

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Liatris spicata – Dense Blazingstar
Liatris spicata – Dense Blazingstar

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Somewhat tolerant of poor soils, but prefers moist, fertile ones and generally performs better in moist soils than most other species of Liatris. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. May be grown from seed, but is slow to establish.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Blazing star (also commonly called dense blazing star or marsh blazing star) is a tall, upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to moist low grounds, meadows and marsh margins. In Missouri, it has only been found in Oregon County on the Arkansas border (Steyermark). It typically grows 2-4′ tall in cultivation, but can reach a height of 6′ in some parts of its native habitat. Features terminal spikes (6-12″ long) of sessile, rounded, fluffy, deep purple flower heads (each to 3/4″ across) appearing atop rigid, erect, leafy flower stalks. One or more stalks arise from a basal tuft of narrow, grass-like, medium green leaves (to 12″ long). Stem leaves gradually decrease in size toward the top. Blooms in summer. Liatris belongs to the aster family, with each flower head having only fluffy disk flowers (resembling “blazing stars”) and no ray flowers. The feathery flower heads of liatris give rise to another common name of gayfeather. See also L. spicata‘Kobold’ which is a popular compact cultivar that is less likely to need staking than the species.

 

Available May – Mid May 2017

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Mimulus ringens – Monkeyflower
Mimulus ringens – Monkeyflower

This perennial plant is 1-3′ tall, branching occasionally to frequently. The light green stems are glabrous and bluntly 4-angled, but they are not conspicuously winged. The opposite leaves are up to 4″ long and 1″ across; they are light to medium green, lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and serrated to sparingly serrated along their margins. The leaves are sessile or they clasp the stems; petioles are absent. Leaf bases are round to slightly cordate, while their tips are slender and pointed. Individual flowers develop from the leaf axils of the middle to upper stems. These flowers are about 1″ long, and they have two-lipped corollas that are usually pale blue-violet (less often pink or white).

Available May – Mid May 2015

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Ruellia humilis – Wild Petunia
Ruellia humilis – Wild Petunia

Host plant – Common Buckeye Butterfly

Wild petunia occurs in dryish soils in open woods, glades, prairies and fields throughout the State except for the far southeastern lowlands. Typically grows to 2′ tall. Features tubular, bell-shaped, petunia-like flowers (to 3″ long), each with five shallow rounded lobes. May to October bloom period. Lavender to lilac flowers appear singly or in clusters in the upper leaf axils. Oblong to lanceolate, olive green leaves to 4″ long. Leaves and stems are hairy. This plant in on threatened list in the state of Michigan.

Available for shipping mid May

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Salix humilis – Prairie Willow
Salix humilis – Prairie Willow

This shrub is 2-8′ tall, often branching near the base and toward the tips of older stems. Woody stems are terete and variably colored – usually some shade of yellowish tan, brown, or gray. Young woody stems are often short-pubescent, but they become glabrous with age. New shoots are light green and short-pubescent. Alternate leaves occur along young stems and shoots. The leaf blades are 1¾-4″ long and ¼-¾” across; they are narrowly lanceolate, oblanceolate, or oblong-elliptic in shape and smooth to slightly crenate along their margins. The margins are often revolute (curved downward) as well. The upper surface of the leaf blades is medium green or grayish green and glabrous to sparsely short-pubescent, while the lower surface (for this variety of Prairie Willow) is short-pubescent and sometimes whitened. The petioles are ¼-½” in length and short-pubescent. At the base of the petioles, lanceolate stipules are sometimes found.

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Spiraea tomentosa – Steeplebush
Spiraea tomentosa – Steeplebush

Pink spikes of flowers mid to late summer make Steeplebush a popular species.  It grows best in moist acidic soils in full sun.  Slow rhizomatous roots help this beautiful plant to spread.

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Zizia aurea – Golden Alexanders
Zizia aurea – Golden Alexanders

Zizia aurea is one of those natives that every garden should have. It is fairly easy to grow and, although short-lived, will self-seed and persist in many sun/soil situations. Zizia is an important plant to a number of short-tongued insects that are able to easily reach the nectar in the small yellow flowers. Black Swallowtail caterpillars will feed on its leaves.

Golden Alexanders have a long bloom time, giving the garden/prairie some well-deserved early color for several weeks in late spring to early summer when many other plants have not yet flowered.  Also called Golden Zizia, Golden Alexanders will tolerate a lot of shade but prefer full sun or light shade.

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