Our native wildflowers - page 1

Anise hyssop
(Agastache foeniculum)
 ©Janet Allen Anise hyssop flowers

Anise hyssop has beautiful, nectar-filled flowers bees love, but one of the most appealing aspects of this flower, to me, is something you can't experience with this photo: its minty, licorice fragrance. I can't pass by this plant without grabbing a leaf, crumpling it, and sniffing. Hyssop is a member of the mint family, so the mintiness is understandable, but add to that the licorice scent, and it's a winner!

(Note: Unlike some mints, it does NOT spread underground, so it's not a problem plant; any seedlings are welcome.)

Wildlife: Butterflies, hummingbirds
** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
** SPECIAL VALUE TO BUMBLE BEES **
More info from Wildflower Center

Anise hyssop
(Agastache foeniculum)
 ©Janet Allen hyssop seeds

Truly an all-purpose plant! When the flowers fade, they become seeds birds find irresistable. (The leaves are also edible for people, and recipes exist, but I haven't experimented yet.)

Nodding onion
(Allium cernuum)
 ©Janet Allen Nodding onions

These are supposed to spread quite a bit, and I do see seedlings in the immediate area of bare ground. We have them next to some densely-planted larger perennials, so I don't expect they'll be a problem. So far, I've really enjoyed them. They're about 15 inches tall and a lovely pink color. I think they're rather elegant.

Wildlife: Butterflies, hummingbirds
Larval host: Hairstreak
** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
** Attracts predatory or parasatoid insects that prey upon pest insects **
More info from Wildflower Center

Lead plant
(Amorpha canescens)
 ©Janet Allen Leadplant leaves

This plant is a woody legume. It's actually a prairie plant, not native to the Northeast. It's one of few woody plants of the prairie, and as a legume, it supplies nitrogen to the prairie.

Wildlife: Nectar for insects, fruit for mammals
** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
More info from Wildflower Center

Lead plant
(Amorpha canescens)
 ©Janet Allen Leadplant flowers

This isn't a good photo of the flowers, which are past their prime. They're purple with orange stamens.

Common bluestar
(Amsonia tabernaemontana)
 ©Janet Allen Amsonia

Common bluestar is aptly named—it's light blue and the flowers are star-like. My amsonia plants are still young, but I've seen them become quite large.

More info from Wildflower Center

Pearly everlasting
(Anaphalis margaritacea)
 ©Janet Allen Pearly everlasting

This is an interesting plant, with gray downy leaves and papery-looking white flowers. These are interesting enough that I would grow a few of these plants anyway, but I grow quite a few since they're a prime larval host plant for the American Lady butterflies. This particular plant is a little tired-looking since the caterpillars have been eating it some.

Wildlife: Nectar for butterflies
Larval host: Skippers, American lady, Painted lady
More info from Wildflower Center

Pearly everlasting
(Anaphalis margaritacea)
 ©Janet Allen Pearly everlasting

If you have more plants than American Lady caterpillars, pearly everlasting can have a lot of flowers.

Canada anemone
(Anemone canadensis)
 ©Janet Allen Canada anemone

A beautiful white flower, but it needs to be sited carefully. I found this one among the bayberries, though I can't remember planting it there, and I see it spreading throughout the bed. We recently planted some in the area between the sidewalk and the street, which should be able to keep it confined. It's too beautiful not to find a place for it, though.

** Attracts predatory or parasatoid insects that prey upon pest insects **
More info from Wildflower Center

Thimbleweed
(Anemone virginiana)
 ©Janet Allen Thimbleweed

A charming little plant. I like the simple flowers, which are decorated with a little yellow halo.

More info from Wildflower Center

Thimbleweed
(Anemone virginiana)
 ©Janet Allen Thimbleweed seeds

I like to see the wide variety of seeds on all my plants. These thimbleweed seeds are especially interesting. Very cottony.