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Native Plants for the Landscape Guide - Grasses and Wildflowers

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Native  Grasses and Wildflowers for groundcover/wildlife/aesthetics

Big bluestem (Andropogan gerardii) - height: 3'-7'; clumping, vertical, deep blue stem; purple seedhead

Bushy bluestem (Andropogan glomeratus) - to 4'; large, cottony flowers; full sun; moist-wet, rich soils

Broom sedge (Andropogan virginicus) - to 3'; full sun; poor soils in assoc. w/E. red cedar; orange in fall

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) - less than 1'; never needs mowing; clumps; dry shade/trees

Northern sea oats/river oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) - to 3'; aggressive; moist woodlands; adaptable

Fraser' sedge (Cymophyllus fraseri) - to 1'; rich, cool, moist woodlands; evergreen - leaves red in winter

Hairgrass,tufted (Deschampsia cespitosa)  to 3'; medium / moist soil; semi-shade; clumps w/airy panicles

Purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) - to 2'; dry, poor soils; full sun; delicate purple flowers

Soft rush (Juncus effusus) - to 3'; bright green, spiky plant; very moist - wet soil; pond edge; mostly sunny

Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) - 2' clumps; fine textured, light green blades; sun; poor soil; accent

Switch grass (Panicum virgatum) - to 3'-7'; winter wildlife cover; accent plantings; yellow fall color; sun

Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) - to 3'; nearly any soil; seeds hang uniformly on side of stems

Little bluestem (Andropogan scoparius) - 2' to 3'; wildflower meadows; accents; red-gold fall color; sun

Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) - to 5'; clumps of green w/yellow flowers-July; copper plumes; sunny

Eastern gamma grass (Tripsacum dactyloides) - to 3'-6'; coarse textured clumps; moist-boggy soils; sun

Sundrops (Oenothera fructicosa) - herbaceous perennial; meadows, dry fields, roadside banks

Butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa) - herbaceous perennial; dry woods, old fields; bright orange flowers

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - 2'-4'; wet - moist soils; attracts butterflies; rose flowers

Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) - herbaceous perennial; blue to pink flowers; rich soil, deciduous woods

Indian paintbrush ( Castilleja coccinea) - herbaceous annual/biennial; moist meadows; brilliant flowers

Beard-tongue (Penstemon digitalis) - herbaceous perennial; meadows, old fields, & roadsides

Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) - to 3'; perennial, white to pink flowers; tolerates poor soils

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) - to 5'; perennial w/persistent white flowers; wet meadows,floodplains

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) - 2'-6'; purple flowers, late summer; meadows; butterfly nectar

Blazing star (Liatris spicata) - to 3'; perennial; moist meadows, roadsides; lavender flower spikes; sun

Prairie coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) - to 5'; perennial; yellow flowers; dry fields, limestone uplands

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) - 1'-3'; herbaceous biennial; fields, meadows; yell. Flowers w/brown

Cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia lacianata) - 2'-6', tall daisy; tolerates wet soils

Ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) - 2'-5'; perennial; fields, floodplains; food & cover for birds

Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) - to 5'; perennial; old fields; yellow flowers; nectar for butterflies

Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida) - to 5'; perennial; moist fields, rich soil; yellow flowers-August; butterflies

Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) - to 4'; perennial; moist meadows, rocky woods; yell. flowers-Sept.

Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) - 1'-3'; tolerates wet soils; attracts hummingbirds; whitish flowers

Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum) - 3'-6'; wet - moist soils; butterflies; purple flowers

Recommendations for vegetating steep slopes:

Native legumes such as Bush-clover, Showy Tick-trefoil, et. al. are currently much too expensive for any  practical applications.  A non-invasive, introduced mix of Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) @ 5 lb./A ; Redtop (Agrostis alba) @ 10 lb./A; and Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) @ 10 lb./A is suggested.