Showy, elongate clusters of purple, pea-like flowers top the 1-2 ft. stems of this perennial lupine. Blue, pea-like flowers are in an upright, elongated, terminal cluster on an erect stem with palmately compound leaves. Its leaves are palmately divided into 7-11 leaflets. Occasionally flowers range from pink to white.
The plant was once thought to deplete or wolf the mineral content of the soil; hence the genus name derived from the Latin lupus (wolf). Actually the plant and all the family enhances soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen into a useful form. In the south this flower has narrower leaflets and is often recognized as a separate species, Nuttals Lupine (L. nuttallii). Two southern species with undivided elliptic leaves are Spreading Lupine (L. diffusus), with blue flowers and a whitish spot on the standard (upper petal), and Hairy Lupine (L. villosus), a hairy plant with lavender-blue flowers and a red-purple spot on the standard. They are found from North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. A species found in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado, Nebraska Lupine (L. plattensis), has blue flowers with a dark spot on the standard and paddle-shaped leaflets. L. polyphyllus is becoming extremely abundant in the Northeast, particularly Maine and adjacent Canada; it was introduced from the Northwest.
Warning: Plants in the genus Lupinus, especially the seeds, can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. POISONOUS PARTS: Seeds. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include respiratory depression and slow heartbeat, sleepiness, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Alkaloids such as lupinine, anagyrine, sparteine, and hydroxylupanine.
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.
Host Plant – Eastern Tailed Blue / Spring Azure / Summer Azure
A deciduous shrub that grows just 3′ tall, the dried leaves of New Jersey Tea make a flavorful tea that was popular during the Revolutionary War. This extremely adaptable species can withstand inhospitable conditions because of massive, deep roots.
The white flower poms are attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators.
New Jersey Tea is excellent as a shrub border and a is a fabulous addition for native plant gardens. It is also effective as a shrubby ground cover for hard-to-grow areas such as dry rocky slopes and banks. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in sandy loams or rocky soils with good drainage. Thick, woody, red roots go deep and help plant withstand droughty conditions, but make established shrubs difficult to transplant.
Grown in one quart pot with approximately 6” of top growth.
Plants grown without harmful pesticides and are safe for butterfly gardens.
‘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.
Densely packed clusters of clear light blue flowers provide outstanding color in the garden from late summer into fall. Since this species has a dwarf, compact habit, it will not require staking. 'Wood's' selections have shown excellent resistance to mildew and rust.
Asters are excellent cut flowers and attract butterflies. They make a terrific accent to fall blooming grasses and the changing colors of the trees. They are native to North America and are generally very easy to grow.
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers dryish, sandy soils. Self-seeds in optimum growing conditions. Plants tend to open up and sprawl if grown in overly fertile soils or in anything less than full sun. This is a taprooted plant which transplants poorly and is best left undisturbed once established.
Host Plant – Painted Lady / Common Checkered Skipper
Hollyhocks have been grown in gardens for centuries, their tall spikes of satiny, crepe-textured flowers making a fine display in mid-summer. Best at the back of a sunny border, with something in front to hide their bare lower stems. This strain features fluffy double flowers, in a wide range of pastel shades. Plants usually act as short-lived perennials, but will re-seed themselves for many years. The single forms are often said to be more resistant to Hollyhock rust. Attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Wide 1″ felty silver foliage with a hint of green coloring. Artemisia Silver Brocade has uniquely shaped leaves of deeply divided, rounded lobes that provide interesting texture and design to your border. Softens and blends color transitions in the border. Outstanding next to white or blue flowers.
Features to Note:
OK in containers – see FAQ for overwintering
Hot Dry site tolerant
For a sunny spot
Artemisia are prized for their aromatic silver leaves, excellent texture and vigorous growth. This perennial does not flower conspicuously but are used for their contrasting foliage. Also excellent in flower arrangements.
Plant Care:Fast growing. Can be cut back in spring to control size. Can be sheared during the summer if needed – new foliage will flush out quickly.
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.