Greek Yarrow is a slow-growing, tidy, dense evergreen ground cover. This beauty is a reliable heavy-bloomer bearing bright white clusters of tiny flowers for many weeks in late spring. Attracts bees and butterflies.
Western White Yarrow is a tough native wildflower with fragrant, lacy foliage and dense umbels of tiny white flowers in summer. Can spread aggressively by seed. Great attractor of beneficial insects. Tolerates variety of soil conditions. Pollinators: Butterflies and native bees. Firewise. More information here.
A natural hybrid from Bulgaria, this unusual and charming miniature yarrow produces clumps of small white flowers over carpets of attractive silvery leaves. Expanding gradually by root, this plant can form loose colonies.
Persian Stonecress forms handsome tight mounds of unusual deep blue-green foliage which is completely evergreen. The plant is covered with cheerful pink blossoms in late spring to early summer.Can seed out fairly aggressively.
This compact Agastache, or ‘Hummingbird Mint’ bears dozens of upright stalks of purple tubular flowers which–of course!–attract hummingbirds. Because of its compact form, it can be used to create spectacular small ‘hedges’, bringing color to the late summer garden.
Threadleaf Giant Hyssop has numerous spikes of uniquely-colored orange-purple tubular flowers over fragrant, finely divided leaves. It blooms in the heat of mid-summer and persists into fall. Outstanding hummingbird plant and nectar source for bees. More info here.
Mountain Alyssum is one of the earliest of the spring bloomers. Bright right yellow flowers over attractive, low gray-green mats of small oval leaves. Nice for rock gardens, front of borders. Pollinators: bees and butterflies. Can seed out.
Pearly Everlasting is a sturdy, undemanding native wildflower that produces hundreds of glowing, white flowers, accounting for its “pearly” appearance. Fine food source for butterflies and host plant for the American Painted Lady. Firewise. More info here and here.
Littleleaf or Rosy Pussytoes is a very low growing, tight groundcoverwith pinkish “pussytoe” blossoms in late spring. Spreads nicely around garden rocks and thrives in dry sunny areas with poor, well-drained soil. Retains grey-green leaves all winter.
Rocky Mountain Columbine: Glorious light to deep blue and white flowers. 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. Firewise. 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. Firewise. More information here.
Amazingly tight, hard mats of silver-green triangular foliage are sprinkled with tiny white flowers in late spring. A fine and rarely available alpine from Spain. Exquisite rock garden plant, evergreen.
Mountain Sandwort is a classy little alpine or rock garden plant. It forms a low evergreen cushion of dark green leaves, bearing loads of large white flowers during the spring and early summer. Great for edging paths, between flagstones, in walls or rock gardens. Evergreen.
Fringed Sage is a low growing sagebrush relative forming mats of frilly grey-green leaves, giving rise in summer to foot-high fringed seed-stalks. Trim off seed-stalks to maintain as an ornamental ground cover with good color year- round. Firewise.
Narrow Leaf Milkweed, native to Southern Idaho, is smaller and more drought-tolerant than the better-known Showy Milkweed. Mauve-pink flowers emerge in mid-summer. With extra water, bloom time is extended. Host plant for Monarch butterflies.
Showy Milkweed was once common, but modern agricultural techniques have largely eradicated this crucial pollinator plant. Milkweed provides larval food for the dwindling Monarch butterfly. It is tall and beautiful, but spreads through the garden by root–so choose the planting site with care!
Despite its common name, the flowers of Sky Blue Aster are more lavender than blue. But this Aster puts on a brilliant show in fall, each plant covered with hundreds of beautiful blooms. Growing well in almost any soil, from dry sand to moist loam, it attracts butterflies and bees. Firewise.
Snow Flurry is a fall-blooming Aster that creates low-growing dense ground cover carpeted with tiny white flowers in September and October. A good strong grower and a totally new look and use for Asters! Makes an excellent container plant. Cut back in spring. Attracts native bees, honeybees and butterflies. Firewise.
Aromatic Aster is an exceptionally vigorous spreading groundcover. In late fall it bursts into bloom with myriad pink flowers, which provide nectar and pollen for a variety of bees and butterflies. Firewise.
False Aster is a vigorous perennial that comes back from its roots every year to produce a cloud of white blossoms in late fall. Hundreds of white, aster-like flowers provide late season food for bees. Does not spread readily by seed. More information here.
Winecups or Purple Poppy Mallow has striking wine colored blooms on prostrate stems which wind along the ground in and around other plants. Tough and long blooming, it prefers well-drained soil. Pollinators: native bees.
Hartweg’s Sundrops produces masses of cheerful, clear yellow blossoms throughout the heat of the summer and into fall. The yellow blooms age into burnt orange creating a two-tone effect. Easy-and reliable. Needs well-drained soil. Attracts: butterflies and bees.
Harebells is a lovely little wildflower is a native to most of the U.S., including Idaho. Its nodding blue flowers are held on wiry stems above attractive basal foliage. Great for borders, rock gardens. Pollinators: native bees. Firewise. More info here.
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. Firewise.
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.