Bloom Forward

Transform marginalized land into vibrant and self-sustaining habitats for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Help establish large native wildflower meadows that bloom from Early Spring through Late Autumn to provide needed nectar and pollen with nesting and overwintering sites.


Free Seeds

We help distribute free native wildflower seeds to provide excellent sources of pollen and nectar for struggling pollinators. Grow in full sun in large groupings alongside other selected varieties that collectively bloom from Early Spring to Late Autumn. Plant a flowerbed or pollinator meadow.

Join us and share tomorrow the seeds you grow today. It’s easy. Label small envelopes with the common name, scientific name, address to this website, and the seed harvest date. We use self-inking stamps to swiftly label our envelopes. Once labeled, enclose seeds harvested from your garden, seal the envelope flap, and share your packets with your community.


Show flowers for:

Antelope Horns Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias asperula subsp. capricornu — Robust flower heads mature into unique horn-shaped seedpods on this early-blooming Texas milkweed that proves invaluable to monarch butterflies migrating north for the summer. Milkweeds are the only plants the butterflies will lay their eggs upon and the only leaves the caterpillars will eat due to their immunity to the plant’s toxins which bioaccumulates in and protects them from predators. The host plant repels deer but can harm curious pets, livestock, and children and should be planted away from their access. Flowers bloom all summer long with deadheading, one plant at a time, to feed adult butterflies, bees, and birds with its energy-packed nectar. Preferring rocky, well-draining soil, do not expect flowers or seeds in the first year while this perennial establishes itself.

Aquatic Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias perennis

Aromatic Aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium — With balsam-scented flowers and leaves when handled, these nearly indestructible ornamental flowers thrive in very dry, rocky soils where they have little competition. One of the last blooms of the season, blooming well after the first frost, the masses of violet-blue rays from amber-colored disks that shift to reddish purple and are a much needed food source for butterflies such as the Silvery Checkerspot and periodically attracts wild turkeys. The top-heavy plant can splay open but early Summer pruning will keep the plant thick.

Azure Blue Sage

Salvia azurea — Also called Pitcher Sage after Doctor Zina Pitcher, a 19th century army field surgeon, this threatened species has many medicinal properties in additional to being highly attractive to bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with its densely-packed, two-lipped, intense-blue flowers that individually blossom throughout the season. With deep roots up to 8’ long, this prairie flower prefers drier soil. Although its squared stem is strong, avoid fertilizers and position this sage against a fence for bracing, or prune half-height in Spring to promote bushiness.

Baby Blue Eyes

Nemophila menziesii — Aswim in color, these five-petal true-blue flowers are one of the first to bloom once Winter has melted and are perfect for ground coverings, rock gardens, and hanging baskets. Favored by Victorians, succulent leaves and stems allow this easy-to-grow hardy annual to survive moderate droughts before self-seeding in mulch-free environments for next year. The soft-hued flowers prefer full sun but need protection from afternoon heat to prevent wilting. Pinch new growth tips to force bushiness and deadhead flowers to prolong the blooms for the bees and butterflies.

Baldwin’s Ironweed

Vernonia baldwinii — With loose flower clusters reminiscent of magenta-tipped paint brushes, this sunflower cousin is named for its toughness. An excellent backdrop, this perennial is best in meadows where large colonies can be appreciated. Vibrant flowers bloom until frost and are popular with long-tongued bees and sulfur butterflies but the bitter lance-shaped leaves are unpalatable to livestock and deer.

Bigleaf Lupine

Lupinus polyphyllus — Stately spikes of blue and purple prove popular with bumblebees and hummingbirds and thrive in poor, but moist, soils. Garden varieties can also be red, pink, white, or multicolored, but require division as seeds never sow true and dominate bluish-purple genes become evident over time. Garden varieties are often highly poisonous with bitter alkaloids but sweet cultivars are popular livestock fodder while also enhancing soil with its nitrogen fixing abilities. Seeds remain viable for more than 50 years and plants are resilient when established, dried seeds need 12 hours of stepping in water just brought to a boil for increased germination rates. Brought to England from North America by famed botanist David Douglass, this perennial is a staple in English gardens, but care is required to prevent invasiveness in non-native locations.

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta — One of America’s most beloved wildflowers, Black-Eyed Susans serve as the official state flower for Maryland and inspired the University of Southern Mississippi colors. The flowers are popular with short and long-tongued pollinators, the leaves are an important food for Silvery Checkerspot butterfly larva, and the seeds are feasted upon by goldfinches. The chocolaty-centered discs emanate bright yellow rays to humans but appear as three-ringed bull’s eyes to pollinators as demonstrated by botanists in 1969 who used the flower as the primary subject in ultraviolet light research highlighting the nectar guiding markings. While it shares the same moniker with other flowers, likely from a 1720s poem of a black-eyed woman searching for her Sweet William, its prestigious botanical name that uniquely identifies the plant honors Olof Rudbeck, the teacher of Carl Linnaeus who created the botanical naming convention. The flowers flourish in wide ranges of soils, except poorly draining soils, and tolerates drought due to copious root hairs that excel at water absorption while also controlling erosion. The flower may act as an annual in some places but typically develops in the first season and flowering in the second before freely self-seeding with seeds that remain viable for decades. A poultice from this flower was used by the Chippewas for snake bites and the Menominee and Pottawatomie used this medicinal herb as a diuretic.

Blanketflower

Gaillardia pulchella — Add a splash of color to your garden or meadow with the vivid reds, oranges, and yellows of Blanketflowers that form thick blanket-like colonies on the ground. The hardy state wildflower of Oklahoma thrives in heat and dryness and can bloom year round in some places. Bees love the firewheel-esque flower and make a buttery-rich honey from the nectar while goldfinches love the seeds which freely self-sow if fallen on bare ground, but typically will not germinate if fallen on mulch. While the plant quickly loses symmetry after flowering and flops as gravity dictates, leggy plants can be trimmed to stimulate new growth.

Blue Mistflower

Conoclinium coelestinum

Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata — With candelabra-like flowers that can last three months, this flower attracts many bees and hummingbirds. The plant hosts Common Buckeye butterflies and feeds cardinals, sparrows, and juncos with its seeds. Mammals usually avoid the bitter greens, except for cottontail rabbits which feed on the young foliage. Thriving in wet soil, colonies can form from slowly spreading rhizomes and self-seeding. While scent-free, blue vervains make excellent companion plants alongside fragrant boneset and Joe Pye weed.

Boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum — Blossoms of snow bloom late-season and grow tall with small florets and white petals making clean breaks above its leaves in partially shady and bright patches. Highly-accessible nectar attracts many Lepidoptera butterflies while bitter foliage deter pests. Perfect for rain gardens, Boneset thrives in moist and organic-rich soil. Introduced to the colonists by indigenous Americans for Dengue fever, cold, and flu treatments, this medicinal perennial was also thought to aid broken bones and had its leaves incorporated into splint bandages. This belief stemmed from the distinctive fused leaves that appear pierced by cylindrical stalks, while no longer used to set bones, this unique shape gave rise to the species name perfoliatum—to pierce. Still, this herbaceous herb has a rich medical past as showcased its other names to include agueweed and feverwort. The flower is easily propagated by seed and can be trimmed in early Spring to promote bushier growth.

Bottle Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii — In a purpetual state of bud, this slow growing flower make bumbleees and other strong insects work for their nectar by requiring them to force their way inside blue bottle shapped petals that never open. Possibily due to its inacessibility along with erratic seed germination and high seed mortality, this flower is listed as threatened in New York and Maryland. Once established, however, this unique flower is long lived, requires little care, and will grow into large groupings if provided with moist, temperate, and partially shady conditions. Large groupings, or planted alongside prairie blazing star and New England aster where native, help keep individual plants upright despite the weight from the buds. The species name honors Henry Charles Andrews, an accomplished botanical artist, and cataloged by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a biologist twice rejected by Thomas Jefferson for the Lewis & Clark Expedition to save costs by having Meriwether Lewis trained to act as a botanist.

Butterfly Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias tuberosa — While slow to grow and may take three years before the flowers blooms, butterfly milkweed rewards its gardeners with many years of bright tangerine-orange flowers covered in butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees who come to drink the flowers heavy with nectar and pollen. Once classified as a noxious weed due to toxic effect on livestock, there were efforts to eradicate this vital larval host plant that monarch, queens, and grey hairstreak butterflies depend on. Butterfly milkweed will inevitably have an aphid problem which can serve as a buffet for ladybugs or can be safely removed by spraying the aphids and foliage with soapy water. While officially a milkweed, butterfly milkweed lacks the milky sap that can irritate skin. Grow in sunny spots in almost any well-draining soil from seed and deadhead to stimulate another bloom cycle about a month after the first. Butterfly milkweed is not related to butterfly bush (Buddleja sp.) which we discourage in American and Canadian gardens.

Calico Aster

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum — Veiled in delicate white flowers with creamy centers that transition to plum, the easy to grow forb provides long lasting blooms late in the season. Many pollinators collect its nectar but the pollen accessible only by insects like short-tongued bees. Perfect for edging walkways, the flowers grow best in lightly shaded spots with moist soil. Calico aster is an important host plant to silvery checkerspot and pearl crescent butterflies and is occasionally browsed by deer and rabbits. The plant may hybridize with other white asters which makes distinguishing the plants challenging.

California Aster

Symphyotrichum chilense — Most flowers don’t have identity crises—not this one. Formerly Aster chilensis, this flower, along with 180 others, was moved into a more appropriate genus to better divided American and European plants. In addition, the species was mistakenly thought native to Chile and named after that country even though the flower’s native range is limited to North America only. The flower is a host plant to checkerspot and crescent butterflies and provides a critical pollen source for bees active in late fall, including new bumble bee queens needing to build their energy reserves before winter. Narrow, light-purple florets emanate from yellow discs and deep fibrous roots help stabilize soil. The flower is facultative; equally likely to occur in wetlands and non-wetlands alike.

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum

California Goldenrod

Solidago californica

California Phacelia

Phacelia californica

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica — Designated the state flower of California in 1903, this drought-tolerant poppy also has its own holiday on April 6th. The solitary, long-stemmed flowers have four satiny petals that range from creamy yellows to oranges and reds and sometimes pink, all with a dark orange center favored by many insects including oligolectic bees. The phototrophic flowers respond to sunlight and close at night or cloudy weather to reopen again when sunny. Long blooms can be extended with periodic deadheading and supplemental watering. A cold-weather annual or short-lived deep-rooted warm-weather perennial, the flowers self-seeds and is favored to help control erosion in Californian roadside plantings. The genus is named after the surgeon Doctor Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz by his close friend Adelbert von Chamisso, both of whom accompanied Otto von Kotzebue on his first expedition around the world in 1815-1818.

Canada Goldenrod

Solidago canadensis — With forceful rhizomatous growth, canada goldenrod is favored in fields for cattle, sheep, and horses for fodder or to stabilize disturbed land. The long lived plant can be used in gardens if contained in a pot and its wind dispersed seeds are removed. Bright yellow flowers held above its foliage are visited by a wide variety of insects for its pollen and nectar and preferred by oligolectic bees and honey bees who can collect large amounts of nectar from its plentiful blossoms. Falsely accused as causing hay fevers, goldenrods are merely the scapegoats for ragweed’s conspicuous greenish flowers and wind-dispersed pollen that bloom at the same time. This long-lived herbaceous flower prefers full to partial sun, moist soil, and moderate levels of organic matter in the soil and can form dense stands in some habitats, particularly when the ground is disturbed or opened.

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis — A magnet for swallowtail butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds, this perennial is named after the vesture color of Roman Catholic cardinals and not the bird who, along with other birds, are uninterested in this flower due to its small seeds. Intense blossoms form on 8” spikes with each flower form a tube from two rising upper petals and three spreading lower petals. While it was relatively common, over-picking of this wildflower has caused scarcity in some regions. The low-maintenance plant needs full sun to part shade and constant moisture from stream banks, water edges, or rain gardens. The flower takes two years to bloom, forming a large rosette the first year, and readily self seeds in optimum conditions. The genus was named in honor of Flemish botanist Matthias de l’Obel.

Clasping Coneflower

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Cleveland Sage

Salvia clevelandii — A desert native that loves the sun and arid conditions as much as hummingbirds and bees love its blossoms. Fragrant stems of whorled amethyst blossoms bridge Spring and Summer and rise above sprawling silvery-green leaves that make an excellent substitute for sage in cooking. The leaves are evergreen with mature shrubs sheltering ground birds like quail underneath. This perennial was named in honor of plant collector Daniel Cleveland who founded the San Diego Society of Natural History Herbarium.

Common Camas

Camassia quamash — One of the most important foods to the indigenous people along the Salish Sea, common camas bulbs were second only to dried salmon in food trade. People traveled great distances to harvest the bulbs with specially crafted sticks and employed controlled burnings to maintain open prairie-like habitats for optimum production. Fields of light to deep blue flowers were weeded in bloom with the primary objective to remove death camas—Zigadenus venenosus—a toxic white flowering plant with an indistinguishably bulb from camas when gathered long after the flowers have wilted. The flowers can be propagated by seeds or bulbs and the plants flower in two to four yeas. Camas is traditionally pit cooked for 24-36 hours, sometimes using its stalks and leaves as fuel, to convert the inulin to fructose to be made into sweet breads.

Famished from crossing the Bitterroot Mountains in September 1805, the Lewis & Clark expedition came upon a group from the Nez Perce tribe who fed them camas bread and roots, along with dried salmon, buffalo, and berries. Camas remained a food staple of of expedition while in the Pacific Northwest and Meriwether Lewis remarked in June 1806 when returning East and seeing the fields in bloom for the first time that flowers grew so abundant that it “resembles lakes of fine clear water.” Seventy years later, the Nez Perce War flared when settlers began plowing the camas fields to convert them for European-style agriculture. While no longer as prolific, the flowers stand out in the grassy balds of the San Juan Islands and further south, the city of Camas near Portland is named after the plant. The genus comes from the Nec Perce word for sweet, while the species name is derived from qém’es which means bulb.

Common Sunflower

Helianthus annuus — There are many varied and colorful choices of sunflowers but not all produce pollen. Common Sunflower stands tall as an excellent choice for bees who favor this open-pollinated variety along with butterflies and birds. Plant a flowering drought and heat-tolerant fence with its 1’ wide blossoms, lemon-yellow petals, chocolaty center, and large heart-shaped leaves.

Especially popular with Diadasia enavata and other native bees, Helianthus annuus ‘Lemon Queen’ is a natural fast-growing hybrid and the sunflower of choice for The Great Sunflower Project, the largest Citizen Science project focused on pollinators. More than 100,000 citizen-scientists across North America are collecting data to help San Francisco State University biologists understand the reasons and impact of struggling bee populations.

Common Tidy Tips

Layia platyglossa

Cream Wild Indigo

Baptisia bracteata — Once plentiful on parries prior to human colonization, this long-lived perennial is now registered as a special concern due to large-scaled conversions of parries and savannas to row-crop agriculture and livestock grazing. This skipper and sulfur butterfly host plant persists in isolated pockets along roadside ditches and medians but is being threatened by changing road-side maintenance policy’s increased mowing and herbicide use. Seeing this plant, with its dense cascading raceme of creamy yellow pea-shaped blossoms, in nature is now truly special as you are on one of the few remnants of prairie or a well-planed prairie recreation. The unique horizontal flower spikes often touch the ground from the weight of the blossoms and its dense crown of blue-green foliage resembles a bubbling fountain with cascading plumes. Creamy flowers turn charcoal black as seed pods in develop in late summer. The seed pods are prolific producers of easy-to-grow seeds to share. The deep taproot permits this nitrogen-fixing flower to withstand dry conditions and heat.

Crimsoneyed Rosemallow

Hibiscus moscheutos

Culver’s Root

Veronicastrum virginicum

Cup Plant

Silphium perfoliatum

Dense Gayfeather

Liatris spicata

Dotted Blazing Star

Liatris punctata

Dotted Mint

Monarda punctata — An attractant to hummingbirds and bees, the strongly aromatic flower also attract Karner blue—an endangered butterfly species now extinct in Canada. The flowers are self-fertile and self-seed in ideal conditions with full sun and dry soil. Growing in small colonies, space or thin the plants to promote air circulation to protect against powdery mildew and deadhead the blossoms to prolong summer blooms. Edible leaves can be used raw or cooked and make an aromatic tea. This species is distinguishable from others in the genus with multiple flower whorls each stem and cream and purple dotted corollas. What also sets this flower apart from the others is its thymol content, the highest of all mints. Thymol is an antimicrobial compound that has been demonstrated to control varroa mites and to prevent fermentation and mold growth in beehives.

Douglas Aster

Symphyotrichum subspicatum

Douglas Meadowfoam

Limnanthes douglasii

East Coast Dune Sunflower

Helianthus debilis

Eastern Rosemallow

Hibiscus moscheutos

Eastern Smooth Penstemon

Penstemon laevigatus

Elegant Clarkia

Clarkia unguiculata

Field Thistle

Cirsium discolor

Foothill Penstemon

Penstemon heterophyllus

Giant Goldenrod

Solidago gigantea

Giant Ironweed

Vernonia gigantea

Globe Gilia

Gilia capitata

Golden Alexanders

Zizia aurea — This carefree delicate flower provides early, long-lasting color and easily reseeds in many sun and soil combinations. A member of the carrot family, the aromatic blossoms are an important food source for short-tongued pollinators while its leaves serve as a larval host for Black Swallowtail Butterflies. Both the leaves and fruit slowly turn mauve in Autumn. Do not confuse this native flower with Pastinaca sativa, a highly invasive Eurasian biennial commonly found on roadsides and disturbed areas with its leaves that can cause blisters.

Gray Goldenrod

Solidago nemoralis

Great Blue Lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica

Gumplant

Grindelia camporum

Hall’s Aster

Symphyotrichum hallii

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium fistulosum

Lacy Phacelia

Phacelia tanacetifolia — Also called Bee’s Friend for good reason; bees love this flower for its abundant nectar, high-quality pollen, and long bloom time. Droves of bees are so energetically attracted to the clustering of light lavender-blue flowers that some suggest coordinating planting times to avoid competing for attention against crops. This flower is also highly attractive to butterflies as well as other beneficial insects such as hoverflies which eat aphids as well as other garden pests.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Coreopsis lanceolata

Large-Flowered Collomia

Collomia grandiflora — With a seemingly ironic name, these dice-sized flowers are anything but large; however, the term is relative as these trumpet-shaped blossoms are twice the size of Collomia linearis—the first documented flower in this genus named for their sticky seeds. The five-petaled, salmon-colored blossoms are found in compact heads on red-branch tips, with stamens covered in a deep blue pollen to form richly colored pollen baskets on the legs of bumblebees. The annual prefer dry soil in light forested areas and has a robust tap-root which allows the flower to tolerate droughts. After flowering, pods with sticky seeds turn brown and explode when fully ripe to seed freely.

Leavenworth’s Coreopsis

Coreopsis leavenworthii

Leavenworth’s Eryngo

Eryngium leavenworthii

Lemon Beebalm

Monarda citriodora — Whorled tufts of pink blossoms, speckled with purple, radiate from long spears attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds alike. The fragrant edible leaves taste like lemon and can be used in salads, desserts, and teas. The citrus scented leaves contain citronellol and when rubbed on skin makes an effective mosquito and biting-fly repellent. Or the leaves of this drought-tolerant plant can be made into its namesake—a sting-treating balm. This ornamental plant is deer & insect-resistant and grows easily along roadsides and train tracks.

Manyflower Beardtongue

Penstemon multiflorus

Marsh Blazing Star

Liatris spicata

Maximilian Sunflower

Helianthus maximiliani

Meadow Checkermallow

Sidalcea campestris

Mexican Hat

Ratibida columnifera — Preferring sunny, dry, and open spaces where intense reds and yellow petals blossom by the thousands, this fast growing flower establishes itself relatively quickly from seed. While long lasting blooms attract short tongued bees and the occasional butterfly or skipper, the foliage has a scent that repeals deer. Drought tolerant due to a strong taproot, sombrero shaped flowers grow from upright woody stems.

Missouri Ironweed

Vernonia missurica

Narrowleaf Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

Narrowleaf Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias fascicularis

Narrowleaf Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium

Narrowleaf Silkgrass

Pityopsis graminifolia

Narrowleaf Sunflower

Helianthus angustifolius

New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New York Ironweed

Vernonia noveboracensis

Ohio Spiderwort

Tradescantia ohiensis

Pale Purple Coneflower

Echinacea pallida

Prairie Blazing Star

Liatris pycnostachya

Prairie Penstemon

Penstemon cobaea

Prairie Spiderwort

Tradescantia occidentalis

Puget Sound Gumweed

Grindelia integrifolia

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea — Many showy coneflower varieties vie for attention, but wilt when compared to this flower with its high-quality nectar and open-pollinated seeds. Bees, hummingbirds, and monarch butterflies once fed upon this abundant nectar source in prairies and fields before they were developed into parking lots. Fortunately, this easy-to-grow and deer-resistant flower is prized for prairie restorations and sought by gardeners. This moderate-grower needs more than one season to bloom to its fullest, but is worth the wait for its striking sweet-fragranced lavender-pink blossoms perched upon purple-streaked steams. The flowers of this drought tolerant plant make excellent cuttings and promote new buds when picked which extend the blooming season. Let remaining blossoms turn to seed in Autumn for birds, particularly finches, to feast upon and propagate in surrounding areas. Avoid fertilizers which create leggy stems that are unable to support the blossom’s weight.

Purple Giant Hyssop

Agastache scrophulariifolia

Purple Poppy Mallow

Callirhoe involucrata

Purple Prairie Clover

Dalea purpurea Easily distinguish between purple and white prairie clover before flowering by examining the leaves: narrow on purple, wide on white.

Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium

Riverbank Lupine

Lupinus rivularis

Scarlet Globemallow

Sphaeralcea coccinea

Scarlet Sage

Salvia coccinea

Seaside Goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens

Selfheal

Prunella vulgaris subsp. lanceolata

Showy Goldenrod

Solidago speciosa

Showy Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias speciosa — Milkweeds are the only host plant for monarch butterflies and also used by queen and viceroy butterflies who get chemicals from milkweed to protect themselves from predators. Loose blossom clusters form on top of stems with rose-purple petals maturing to yellow and eventually making way for 3-5” long seedpods that split along the side to release seeds tufted with white silky hairs to disperse by wind. Stems die in winter but new stems emerge in spring with flowers forming in the second and subsequent years. California indigenous tribes, who used the plant’s fibers to make string and rope, burned the plants in Autumn to eliminate dead stems, stimulate flower and seed production, and to allow new growth to grow tall and straight to make longer fibers. Monarchs require dense clumpings as young caterpillars drop to the ground to pretend to be dead to avoid predation and can not find their way back to the milkweed stems they require unless the plants are densely spaced. The flower has an extensive root system making it drought tolerant and a good choice for soil stabilization projects where there is full sun. Although toxic, livestock will avoid the plant if other forage is available.

Slender Clarkia

Clarkia gracilis

Smooth Blue Aster

Symphyotrichum laeve

Smooth Penstemon

Penstemon digitalis

Sneezeweed

Helenium autumnale

Spiderwort

Tradescantia virginiana

Summer Lupine

Lupinus formosus

Swamp Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the monarch butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias incarnata

Virginia Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum virginianum

White Prairie Clover

Dalea candida — Dazzling white blossoms start at the base of short spikes and proceed upwards as the season progresses. This clover is a larval host plant for dogface butterfly, an important browse source for antelope, deer, and grouse, and a palatable and nutritious forage for livestock. Native Americans also chewed the roots for a pleasant sweet treat and made tea with dried leaves. A central taproot grows up to 6’ deep and that plant grows best in sandy, gravely and silty soils. The seeds fall short distances from the plant when the wind blows and does not spread aggressively. Inoculate seeds with a proper Rhizobium strain prior to sowing for maximum nitrogen fixation from this legume. Easily distinguish between purple and white prairie clover before flowering by examining the leaves: narrow on purple, wide on white.

White Wild Indigo

Baptisia alba

Wholeleaf Rosinweed

Silphium integrifolium

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum — Wild geraniums are not the same as your chain box store varieties. These veined blossoms range from pink to magenta with white or dark purple sometimes occurring and they are a magnet for native bees searching for nectar. The petals lure bumblebees, mason bees, cuckoo bees, long-horned bees, and more as well as various types of butterflies. The plant prefers moist soil in light shade and can be found in abundant patches in the woods. Forming seeds are attached to the plant with a unique tail that bends and moves based on humidity. These tails catapult the seeds into the ground at distances of 20 to 30’ away. The plants do not bloom the first year but may bloom in the second year if strong enough.

Wild Golden Glow

Rudbeckia laciniata

Wild Indigo

Baptisia tinctoria

Wild Lupine

Lupinus perennis

Wingstem

Verbesina alternifolia

Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod

Solidago rugosa

Yellow Giant Hyssop

Agastache nepetoides — With beauty only pollinators love, this robust plant will not be winning any ribbons soon. Discreet greenish-yellow flowers, packed closely on squarish terminal spikes, are short-lived but bloom a few at a time to last late into the season and sometimes up to the first frost. Toothed arrowhead-shaped leaves grow up to 5” long and lack the fragrance common with other mints but their bitterness deter deer. One of the top 20 plants for feeding pollinators in some regions, this flower is beloved by yellow-faced bees, sweat bees, and bumblebees alike, along with hungry butterflies. Due to habitat loss and exotic plant invasions, this mint is disappearing from the Northeast where it grew in the open woods and woodland edges. The species name references this plants visual likeness to the catnip genus Nepeta.

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