A lovely slow-growing, multi-stemmed maple native to the Intermountain West, including SE Idaho. Related to the Eastern Sugar Maple, Big Tooth has beautiful fall color. Tolerant of shade and many different soil types.
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. More information here.
Kinnick-kinnick is a glossy deep-green groundcover that does well under trees and shrubs in full sun or part shade. Small pinkish blooms are followed in fall by bird-friendly red berries. Leaves green or deep red in winter.
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!
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.
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. More info here.
Northern Sea Oats’ upright bamboo-like foliage produces unique drooping, flat panicles or seed-heads. The foliage turns a beautiful bronze in the fall and remains highly ornamental throughout winter. Seed heads are great for dried bouquets.
The stems of Red Twig Dogwood (Red Osier Dogwood) turn brilliant red in the fall and are gorgeous all winter. Turning back to green in the spring, the shrub leafs out and then produces clumps of small white blossoms that are popular with pollinators. Tolerates a range of conditions. Can be pruned for shape. Nectar and pollen source for native bees and butterflies. More information here.
This tap-rooted perennial is found in open, dry prairies of the Midwest, and is prized for its medicinal value. It is also highly ornamental, with lovely purple coneflowers floating above narrow-leaved stalks. Good nectar plant for butterflies and bees.
Thin purple petals of this Conflower drape delicately from a bold brown center. It is lovely in a bouquet and also great for naturalizing en masse in the garden. Its deep taproot allows it to thrive in dry soils. Nectar plant for Monarch and other butterflies. Tolerates clay. Pollinators: bees, butterflies.
Rattlesnake Master is a tall, striking accent plant with stiff, yucca-like foliage and 1” white thistle-like flowers. Name derives from traditional belief that root will cure snake bite. Native to midwestern prairies. Pollinators: bees, beetles and flies.
Sticky Purple Geranium makes a lovely addition to informal meadow-like landscapes. Native to higher elevations in Idaho and across the mountain west, it thrives in moist to dry settings. Blooming in mid-spring, it attracts a variety of native pollinators and honeybees.
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.
Dense Blazing Star: With showy spikes of pink flowers over grass-like foliage, this native prairie plant will add stunning variety, texture & beauty to your border or meadow. Excellent cut flower. Nectar plant for butterflies.
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.
One of the showiest of all North American native Penstemons, Penstemon grandiflorus can reach heights of three feet with stunning pink to purple flowers. The plant’s beautiful vertical structure and succulent gray-green foliage, make it a very unique Penstemon.
Syringa or Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub with lovely four petaled flowers, incredible fragrance. In the wild, Syringa grows in variety of habitats, from streambanks to lava flows. Can adjust to very low water sites. Idaho state flower.
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 information here.
Silver Buffaloberry is an attractive mid-size shrub with grey-green foliage, similar to Russian Olive. It tolerates a wide range of conditions from wet and heavy to dry soils, but to keep growth under control, give very little water. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.
This native Checkermallow is a charming wildflower sporting dozens of small hollyhock-like blooms. Found in the wild in moist meadows, but it does well in moderately irrigated gardens. Supports native pollinators.
This cheerful little native wildflower produces dainty blue/purple flowers on grassy foliage. It prefers rich, moist soil in spring but tolerates summer dryness. Will gradually spread, creating a little ‘meadow’.
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