Anise Hyssop has very showy flowers, fragrant foliage and seems to be of little interest to deer. It self seeds readily and often blooms the first year. New seedlings are hardy and can be transplanted easily. It's a bee, hummingbird, and butterfly magnet and makes an excellent addition to herb gardens, borders, perennial gardens, and prairies. When the leaves of the Anise Hyssop are crushed they smell like licorice and have been used to make tea and cold remedies. Other common names in use: Lavender Hyssop or Blue Giant Hyssop
Anise Hyssop has very showy flowers, fragrant foliage and seems to be of little interest to deer. It self seeds readily and often blooms the first year. New seedlings are hardy and can be transplanted easily. It’s a bee, hummingbird, and butterfly magnet and makes an excellent addition to herb gardens, borders, perennial gardens, and prairies. When the leaves of the Anise Hyssop are crushed they smell like licorice and have been used to make tea and cold remedies. Other common names in use: Lavender Hyssop or Blue Giant Hyssop.
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).
Desmodium canadense is aptly named Showy Tick Trefoil for its numerous pink flowers that bloom along the plant’s upper stems for about three weeks in mid-summer. The effect is more attractive in colonies than isolated plants and tight plantings can help counter a tendency to sprawl. Like other tick trefoils (legume), Desmodium canadense adds soil nitrogen and has tiny hairs along its stems, leaves and seedpods, facilitating seed distribution by passing mammals and humans. The nectar, pollen, seeds and foliage of this species appeal to a number of insects, birds and mammals.
Characteristics that distinguish Showy Tick Trefoil from Desmodium illinoense (Illinois Tick Trefoil) are its shorter seedpods, much-shorter leaf-stem connecting the compound leaf to the stem and smaller, more deciduous leafy bracts at the base of the leaf-stem.
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.
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.
Growing in moist conditions, Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) produces flat to roundish heads of white flowers. The stem is covered with long spreading hairs with leaves that are often joined at the base, appearing to surround the stem. Many different insect species are attracted to the flowers as the nectar is relatively easy to access.
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Also known as Prairie Milkweed, Sullivant’s Milkweed is a long-lived perennial and a well-behaved relative of Common Milkweed. Very similar in appearance, it is less aggressive and an excellent choice for butterfly gardens. Prairie Milkweed grows best in a sunny, medium to medium-moist garden. The pinkish, mauve flowers are very fragrant and attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Sullivant’s Milkweed is listed as ‘threatened’ in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan.
Tiny rose-purple flowers in cylindrical, head-like masses at ends of upright wiry stems.
This is one of the most widespread of the perennial Prairie Clovers, identifiable by their cone-like flower heads. An excellent range species, with high protein content, Purple Prairie Clover decreases in abundance with overgrazing. A midwestern white-flowering species, White Prairie Clover has elongated flower heads and is only 2 (60 cm) tall. A white-flowering southeastern coastal plain species, D. carnea var. albida, has conspicuous green bracts within the heads.
‘Ice Ballet’ is an elegant, long-blooming, bright white cultivar of native Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) and features a compact habit and dark green foliage. 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. Asclepias incarnata 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.