Plants for Butterflies and Other Pollinators

Showing 25–32 of 210 results

  • Asclepias incarnata Swamp milkweed Z 3-9

    pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt

    $12.25/bareroot

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    Fragrant medium pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt, July – September.

    Size: 3’-4’ x 2-3’
    Care: Sun in moist to moist well-drained soil, deer resistant
    Native: North America – all states (except along the Pacific coast) & eastern half of Canada, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: host for Monarch caterpillars, flowers are source of nectar for several butterflies

    Named after Asclepias, a Greek god of medicine. Native American groups used Swamp milkweed – Chippewa to increase their strength & the stems made into twine; Iroquois to heal navels in babies, to increase or decrease urine and to make a person strong enough to punish witches; Meskwaki to drive out tapeworms; and Menominee used it as an ingredient in food – added to deer soup & cornmeal mush. Listed as growing in England in Miller’s Gardeners’ Dictionary, 1768. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.

  • Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed, Pleurisy-root Z 4-9

    Gorgeous - July - September bright orange cymes

    $9.25/pot

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    Gorgeous – July – September bright orange cymes

    Size: 2-3' x 12"
    Care: Sun in moist well-drained to dry soil
    Native: East and south North America, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: Host for Monarch caterpillars and its nectar is a favorite for 13 different butterflies: 4 Swallowtails, 2 Fritillaries, Checkered white, Spring azure, Small copper, Sachem, Monarch, and Coral and Gray hairstreaks. Attracts Ladybugs that eat many insect pests.
    Awards: Great Plants for Great Plains; Perennial Plant Assn. Plant of the Year 2017.

    Named after Asclepias, a Greek god of medicine.  Omaha Indians ate the raw root to cure bronchial and pulmonary ailments, their Shell Society was the authorized guardian of the plant, taking 4 days to dig, prepare and distribute the root.  Most important medicine for Menominee Indians.  The Iroquois smashed roots on legs to impart strength to runners.  Navajo cured coyote bites and flu with Butterfly weed. Millspaugh said used as “subtonic, diaphoretic, alternative, expectorant, diuretic, laxative, escharotic, carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-pleuritic, stomachic, astringent, anti-rheumatic, anti-syphilitic and what not?” 1st collected by Rev. John Banister in colonial Virginia c. 1680.  A gunman mistakenly shot and killed him while he collected plants. Used by natives for Bloody Flux; the Root must be powdered and given in a Spoonful of Rum, or rather as the Indians give it, bruise the Root, and boil it in Water, and drink the Decoction: Pehr Kalm saith it is excellent for the hysteric Passion.” HoChunk placed masticated root into wounds. Cultivated by Jefferson. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.

  • Aster alpinus Alpine Aster Z 5-7

    Frilly little daisies, May-June, lavender, pink or white

    $9.25/bareroot

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    Frilly little daisies, May-June, lavender, pink or white. Plant where they’ll be seen in the front of the garden.  Also good in rock gardens

    Size: 6-10" x 18"
    Care: Full sun well-drained soil. Drought tolerant & tolerant of Black walnut toxins
    Native: Rockies
    Wildlife Value: attract butterflies

    Aster means star referring to the flower form. Collected by Drummond in the Rockies by 1800.

  • Aster divaricatus syn. Eurybia divaricatus White wood aster Z 4-8

    Loose white corymbs from August to October

    $12.25/bareroot

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    Loose white corymbs from August to October

    Size: 12" x 12" and spreading
    Care: part shade to shade in moist well-drained to dry soil.
    Native: East No. America Quebec to Alabama and west to Ohio
    Wildlife Value: Aster species are nectar sources for many butterflies – Checkered white and Checkered skippers, Spring azure, Pearl crescent, Buckeye, Painted lady, Fiery skipper, Sachem, Sleepy orange, Silver-spotted skipper and Monarch.
    Awards: Recipient Great Plant Pick Award from Elizabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden.

    Sold in America’s 1st plant catalog, Bartram’s Broadside, 1783. Gertrude Jekyll, mother of the perennial border, often used Aster divaricatus in combination with Bergenia.  Collected by John Bartram before 1776.

  • Aster novae angliae syn. Symphyotrichum New England Aster Z 4-8

    Masses of violet, pink or magenta daisies cloak bushy New England asters from August to October.

    $12.25/bareroot

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    Masses of violet, pink or magenta daisies cloak bushy New England asters from August to October.

    Size: 3-5' x 24"
    Care: Full sun dry to moist soil. Drought tolerant.
    Native: Vt to Alabama, west to N. M., Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    Introduced to gardens by Englishman Tradescant the Younger in 1637 when he carried it from Virginia Colony to England. Cultivated by George Washington.

  • Aster oblongifolius syn. Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic aster Z 3-8

    Purplish blue daisies with yellow center blooming in September to November.  Good, bushy mound shape.  

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    $12.25/bareroot

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    Purplish blue daisies with yellow center blooming in September to November.  Good, bushy mound shape.

    Size: 1-2’ x 1-3’
    Care: sun to shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil
    Native: Pennsylvania to No. Carolina west to Wyoming & Texas, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: Bees collect pollen and nectar from it. Medium sized butterflies collect its nectar. Its leaves support Silvery checkerspot and some moth caterpillars, Deer resistant.
    Size: Navajo made a decoction of this to protect against witches.

    Meriwether Lewis collected this on the Expedition September 21, 1804, the day after nearly being swept away while Lewis and the Corps of discovery slept on the eroding sandbar, near the Big Bend of the Missouri River in South Dakota. 1st described by planthunter Thomas Nuttall in 1818(1786-1879).

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  • Astilbe andresii ‘Amethyst’ Z 5-8

    pink plumes flowering in July, with oxblood tinged foliage

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    Three foot tall pink plumes flowering in July, with oxblood tinged foliage

    Size: 36"x 24"
    Care: sun to part shade, moist soil essential. Immune walnut toxicity
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    Astilbe is Greek from a meaning “without” and stilbe meaning “lustre” referring to the fact that the leaves are not shiny.  Early hybrid by George Arends, nurseryman from Ronsdorf, Gemany (1862-1952).

  • Astilbe andresii ‘Fanal’ Z 4-8

    Marlboro red plumes in June

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    OUT OF STOCK

    Striking Marlboro red plumes in June

    Size: 24"x 18"
    Care: sun to part shade, moist soil. Immune walnut toxicity
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies
    Awards: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit

    Astilbe is Greek from a meaning “without” and stilbe meaning “lustre” referring to the fact that the leaves are not shiny.  Cross of A. japonica and A. davidii made by Arends, nurseryman from Ronsdorf, Gemany (1862-1952), in 1930.