Our native wildflowers - page 15

Obedient plant
(Physostegia virginiana)
 ©Janet Allen Obedient plant

I've bought both the cultivars 'Bouquet Rose' and 'Rose Crown' as well as a white variety, which seems to have died out. I'm not sure which cultivar is pictured, but I'm sure it's a cultivar since I've never seen the species available for sale. Lots of people won't plant obedient plant since they find that it's not obedient, becoming a plant thug. I haven't had this problem at all, probably because it's surrounded by other vigorous plants.

Wildlife: Hummingbirds, butterflies
Deer resistance: High
More info from Wildflower Center

Pokeweed
(Phytolacca americana)
 ©Janet Allen Pokeweed

You generally won't find pokeweed in any native plant gardening books, even though it's native. I suppose you could call it a "weed"—a plant we didn't plant intentionally, but which grows whereever its seeds happen to land—but it's actually quite handsome.

It's a favorite bird food, so we let a few of these large plants remain in out-of-the-way places. NOTE: All parts of the plant is poisonous—true of many plants, native and non-native.

Wildlife: Berries for birds
Deer resistance: High
More info from Wildflower Center

Pokeweed
(Phytolacca americana)
 ©Janet Allen Pokeweed berries

The berries are interesting at all stages—even after they've been gobbled up.

Jacob's ladder
(Polemonium reptans)
 ©Janet Allen Jacob's ladder

I have a few cultivars of this and other species of Jacob's ladder. The foliage is interesting, too.

Wildlife:
Larval host:
Deer resistance:
** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
** SPECIAL VALUE TO BUMBLE BEES **
More info from Wildflower Center

Smooth Solomon's seal
(Polygonatum biflorum)
 ©Janet Allen Solomon's seal

This solomon's seal, not surprisingly, is much shorter than the giant solomon's seal. It has the same elegance as the giant form.

Wildlife: Butterflies, berries for birds; roots used by mammmals
More info from Wildflower Center

Great Solomon's seal
(Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)
 ©Janet Allen Giant solomon's seal

I can't believe I used to think (back in my ornamental gardening days) that Solomon's seal was boring. Why would anyone plant something with such little flowers? Now I value it as one of the most elegant plants I have. I love the foliage, the graceful curve of the stem, and the lovely little flowers.

More info from Wildflower Center

Bowman's root
(Porteranthus trifoliatus)
 ©Janet Allen Bowman's root

This shows the plant in its first year. When it matures, it will be covered with these slight white flowers, their profuseness making up for their slightness.

More info from Wildflower Center (aka Gillenia trifoliata)

Short-toothed mountain mint
(Pycnanthemum muticum)
 ©Janet Allen Short-toothed mountain mint

Certainly mountain mint isn't grown mostly for its flowers (though the whitish haze of a large patch of these is impressive) but it is an excellent nectar plant. What I most like about mountain mint is its unbelievably intense minty fragrance.

** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
** SPECIAL VALUE TO BUMBLE BEES **
** SUPPORTS CONSERVATION BIOLOGICAL CONTROL **
More info from Wildflower Center

Slender-leaved mountain mint
(Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)
 ©Janet Allen Slender-leaved mountain mint

This is another species of mountain mint, but this one has small white flowers that are actually flowers, rather than P. muticum's little florets around the edge. It's probably less showy than P. muticum, but it's nice to have some diversity. This species also has an intense mint scent. Even though it's a mint, I haven't found that it spreads much. In fact, I thought it had died out when I found this single stem still growing.

Wildlife: Bees, butterflies; numerous animals eat seeds
Deer resistance: No
** SPECIAL VALUE TO NATIVE BEES **
** SPECIAL VALUE TO BUMBLE BEES **
** SUPPORTS CONSERVATION BIOLOGICAL CONTROL **
More info from Wildflower Center