Rocky Mountain Blazing Star produces tall upright stalks of lavender/purple flowers that are premium butterfly attractors. This prairie native is a robust grower and does best in fertile soils with infrequent but deep soakings. Nectar plant for Monarch and other butterflies. Excellent cut flower.
A showy plant for dry gardens or shortgrass meadows, Dotted Gayfeather produces lavender bottlebrushes that bloom from the top down. Deep tuberous taproots account for extreme drought tolerance and long life. Nectar plant for butterflies. Not currently available.
Lewis Flax, a vigorous native that produces masses of cheerful little blue flowers from late spring through mid-summer. Each flower lasts only a day, drops to the ground and is replaced by more the next morning. Charming. Pollinators: 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.
Select Blue Catmint This is a sterile hybrid catmint forming a neat mound of grey-green leaves and loads of soft blue flowers. It has all the beauty of our old catmint with none of the pesky seedlings! Trim it back after bloom for a second flush of flowers in late summer. Attracts bees and other beneficial insects. Catmint is related to but not same as Catnip.
Fremont’s Evening Primrose gives a dazzling display of lemon-yellow flowers in mid-summer. Blooms are tucked in and around the narrow gray- green foliage. Deeply tap-rooted and long-lived. Needs good drainage.
Hopflower Oregano is an outstanding cascading ground cover. This ornamental oregano produces hundreds of small lantern-like flowers on wiry stems. Terrific for edging, cascading over walls or filling in between larger plants. Not currently available.
Silver Nailwort is native to the Pyrenees of southern Europe, Silver Nailwort is a tough-as-nails ground cover that very closely resembles Creeping Thyme. Blooming in late spring, the flowers are insignificant, but the white bracts light up the plant for several months. Turns copper in winter then re-greens in spring.
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!
Richardson’s is a wonderful and easy Penstemon for filling in spaces in the garden or tumbling down banks on trailing stems. Unlike most penstemons, this one starts blooming late, producing a charming profusion of rosy purple flowers that lasts from early summer nearly until frost. It re-seeds readily and multiplies in the garden.
Common name: Blue Mist Penstemon, Front Range Penstemon
Exposure: Sun / part shade
Height x Width: 8 in. x 8 in.
Native to: Mountain West
Blue Mist Penstemon or Front Range Penstemon is a dwarf penstemon, native to the plains and foothills of the Eastern Rockies, often growing in large colonies. In late spring, dainty spikes of lavender-blue flowers rise over evergreen rosettes Likes dry, well- drained soil and is well adapted to garden conditions.
Shrubby Cinquefoil is a small native shrub covered by small, yellow flowers all summer. Attractive foliage makes this a nice accent plant for sun or partial shade. Not currently available. Attracts bees and butterflies. Not currently available.
Chokecherry has profuse racemes of white flowers that turn into edible black fruit. Leaves turn deep glossy red in fall. Freely suckering growth form provides good wildlife habitat, especially for birds. Pollinators: butterflies, bees.
Charming, low-growing rock garden plant or small-scale groundcover. Finely cut evergreen foliage creeps across the ground, sprouting pincushion-like mauve flowers in late spring. Attractive seedhead tufts follow.
A stout, upright shrub or subtree growing to head-high or higher. Produces many pale yellow, wildrose-type flowers in the spring, each of which produces five feathery plumes with a seed attached. Related to bitterbrush.
This cheerful wildflower, with its distinctive yellow and red blossoms, blooms over a long period in hot, dry summers. Attracts bees and butter-flies. Great in meadows and other casual landscapes. Will seed around.
Oakleaf Sumac is a dense, mid-sized to large shrub, excellent foundation plant. Yellow bloom in spring and nice orange-yellow leaf color in fall. Female plants can yield a tart fruit traditionally used to make a lemony drink. Deciduous. Good bird habitat. Unrelated to poison sumac.
Azure Blue Sage is a tall, late-blooming Salvia. Brilliant blue tubular flowers on slender, arching stems provide dramatic late- season color in the garden. Disappears in winter and comes booming back from the roots in spring. Great late-season food source for bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds! Tolerates clay.
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.