Pearly Everlasting is a sturdy, undemanding native wildflower that can be grown in dramatic drifts in sun or part shade.Hundreds of glowing, white flowers atop woolly, erect stems account for its “pearly” appearance. Fine food source for butterflies. More info here and here.
Rocky Mountain Columbine: Glorious light to deep blue flowers 2-3in across sometimes bi-colored with white. An excellent border perennial, grand for cutting, in bloom for several weeks and will grow in sun or light shade. Pollinators: bumblebees, hawk moths. Tolerates clay. More info here.
Golden-spurred Columbine, a native of the canyons of the Southwest produces fragrant cheerful yellow flowers with long outward-curving spurs In late spring. The fragrant blooms rise on slender stems above beautiful blue-green, fernlike foliage. Tolerates clay.
Jupiter’s Beard produces masses of crimson flowers fading to pink from late spring right through the summer. Periodic deadheading will enhance the bloom even more. Attracts Swallowtails and Monarchs. Can seed out somewhat aggressively.
Valuable as a shade-tolerant groundcover, Plumbago will also grow in full sun. Glossy deep green leaves and lovely blue flowers with striking red calyces make this a most attractive spreading groundcover. The plant vanishes in winter, but comes back reliably each spring.
‘Flashing Lights’ Dianthus (Pink): This evergreen dianthus is not pink, but a deep, brilliant red. The mound of narrow, dark green, grassy leaves is attractive year-round. Great for low edging at the front edge of a bed or in a rock garden. Attracts butterflies.
Sticky Purple Geranium is found in open woods and meadows. This tall native wildflower has large deeply cleft, maple-like leaves and five petaled pinkish-purple flowers in summer, occurring in loose groups at the top of the plant. Pollinators: native bees, butterflies.
Prairie Smoke has early summer blooms, followed by distinctive feathery pink seed heads. Appreciates moderate water and does best in part shade, except at higher elevations, where it thrives in full sun. Pollinators: native bees More info here.
Coralbells has dramatic spikes of cream to white flowers rise from a base of scalped deep green leaves. Favors rock outcroppings; great in full sun or dry shade. Very long blooming in our Boise garden. Choice!
Creeping Oregon Grape is a low-growing, evergreen shrub. Bright yellow flowers bloom in spring followed by blue berries. Leaves are evergreen. Adaptable to many soil types and does well in full sun or full shade. Nectar and pollen source for native bees.
Colorado Four O’Clock is one of those plants that vanishes completely in the winter, retreating underground to an enormous root. Then, fairly late in the spring, shoots begin to emerge and once the plant starts growing—there’s just no stopping it! It can sprawl far and wide and looks lovely draped over a wall. Long-lived! More info here.
Beebalm or Wild Bergamot is a widespread native wildflower with clusters of tufted lavender flowers and is an important plant for native bees and butterflies. A long-lived, clump-forming perennial, it is attractive at the back of a border or in a meadow-like setting.
Davidson’s Penstemon is a choice landscape plant with a low, sprawling woody structure that allows it to function like a ground cover. If given some sun protection in winter it will be completely evergreen. Lavender tubular flowers show up in late spring. Likes well-drained soils.
Dwarf Shrubby Penstemon is a compact version of the native Shrubby Penstemon and quite similar to Davidson’s Penstemon. Gorgeous lavender flowers in late spring. Evergreen mounds are beautiful in winter. Charming!
Golden Currant is a deciduous shrub with fragrant, golden yellow flowers in early spring. Small, bright green maple-like leaves with lovely fall color. Widespread in Boise foothills. Tolerates a wide variety of conditions. More info here.
Dwarf Culinary Sage grows into a shrub covered with a dense mound of edible leaves. Covered with showy lavender-blue flowers in early summer, it becomes a magnet for honeybees. Unlike ordinary culinary sage, this dwarf form is completely evergreen, creating a beautiful gray-green mound in the winter garden. Tolerates clay and shade.
Wooly Veronica is a vigorous xeric ground-cover. Woolly evergreen foliage creates a handsome, dense gray-green carpet, covered in early spring with blue bell-like flowers. Does best in part shade, works well crawling under shrubs.
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