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).
Asymmetrical, 2-lipped, blue-purple flowers rise from the axils of opposite leaves that clasp the square stem.
The flower looks something like a monkeys face, hence the common and genus names, the latter from the Latin mimus (a buffoon). A variety of this plant, M. ringens var. colpophilus, found from Quebec to Maine on tidal muds, is classified as an endangered species in Maine. The lavender-flowering Sharp-winged Monkeyflower (M. alatus) has stalked leaves and a winged stem. It is more common southward and westward in wet sites.
Blue spikes of pea-shaped flowers resemble the tall racemes of lupines in May and early June. A slow to mature, but very rewarding native garden perennial. Found in open woods, river banks and sandy floodplains, New York to Nebraska to Georgia.
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.
Poke Milkweed is native to Michigan and can also be found throughout the eastern portion of the United States and Canada. It is most often found at the edges of forests and upland woods and is one of the few milkweeds that prosper in shaded conditions. Tall and elegant with drooping flowers that are white with pink accents and extremely fragrant, this milkweed is a popular nectar source in addition to being a host plant for the Monarch butterfly. This is a non-aggressive milkweed and once established, plants are known to survive for decades.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spikes of elegant white flowers top shiny green foliage in late summer and early fall. Grows best in moist meadows, stream banks, and swamps. Favorite breeding site for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly.