Asclepias spp. – Milkweeds

  Most people are aware of the value of milkweed as a host plant, to one of our favorite pollinators, the Monarch butterfly. A few of you are aware of its use as the fluff in comforters and coats.  But did you realize there are 17 species of milkweed native to Nebraska, some of which are perfectly well-behaved companions in …

Oenothera serrulata (syn. Calylophus serrulatus) – yellow sundrops

  YELLOW SUNDROPS Oenothera serrulata (Syn. Calylophus serrulatus) (Yellow Sundrops, Plains yellow primrose) is a plant without a lot of press, but it is amazingly beautiful.  Pictured in the lower right in the photo at the left. It blooms with Poppymallow, butterfly milkweed, pale coneflower and prairie phlox.  In the prairie, it is a diminutive plant, but in a landscape …

Aquilegia canadensis – Columbine

    Aquilega candensis, also called Columbine, is a striking native plants with bright intricate red and yellow flowers.  The genus name “Aquilegia” comes from the Latin “aquila” which means “eagle” and refers to the spurred petals that many believe resemble an eagle’s talons.  These spurs also hold nectar which provides amino acids needed by hummingbirds, hawkmoths, and bumble bees. …

Carex sprengelii – long-beak sedge

    Our plant of the week this week is a sedge.  Like all sedges, it has a triangular stem. Long-beaked sedge is one of the best sedges for shade, and makes a wonderful plant for dappled shade or sun.  It is an excellent filler for the landscape with gracefully drooping leaves which make a good backdrop for flowers such …

Astragalus crassicarpus – Ground Plum

  Astragalus crassicarpus, also known as ground plum, is a low-growing perennial legume. It is found on dry prairie hillsides and makes an excellent border edge. It has a taproot that breaks up prairie soils and like other legumes is a nitrogen fixer, making food for other plants and for the soil microbes that are busy storing carbon. In March …