Prairie Plants

Showing 1–8 of 85 results

  • Agastache foeniculum Anise hyssop Z 4-8

    Purplish-blue spikes from July to October.  Fragrant foliage.

    $12.25/bareroot

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    Purplish-blue spikes from July to October.  Fragrant foliage.

    Size: 2-3' x 12"
    Care: Full sun in well-drained soil, heat and drought tolerant.
    Native: North America, Wisconsin native.
    Wildlife Value: Skipper butterflies and Rusty patched Bumble Bees love Anise hyssop’s nectar, deer resistant.

    The name Agastache is from Greek agan and stachys meaning much like an ear of wheat referring to the shape of the flower spike.  Anise hyssop leaves were used by American Americans of the Missouri River region to make tea and as a sweetener in cooking. For Cheyenne it relieved chest pain due to coughing or to a dispirited heart. Listed as an aromatic herb in McMahon’s 1805 book.

  • Allium cernuum Nodding onion, Prairie onion Z 4-8

    Umbels of arching stems with nodding bells of lilac shading to pink

    $8.95/bareroot

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    Umbels of arching stems with nodding bells of lilac shading to pink or occasionally white.  May to June.

    Size: 12”-18”x 3-6”
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil
    Native: Canada to Mexico, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: nectar source for Hairstreak butterfly, Attracts hummingbirds.

    Cernuum is Latin meaning “nodding.”  Many groups of 1st Americans ate the bulbs raw, roasted or dried for winter storage or as flavoring for soups and gravies. Cherokee used this plant medicinally to cure colds, hives, colic, “gravel & dropsy,” liver ailments, sore throats, “phthisic,” and feet in “nervous fever.”  Those in the Isleta Pueblo were not quite as creative as the Cherokee and used this only for sore throats and infections.  Meriwether Lewis collected this in Montana and wrote, “I met with great quantities of a small onion about the size of a musquit ball … They were crisp, white and well-flavoured.   I gathered about a half a bushel of them before the crew arrivd.” Chicago is believed to be named for the Algonquin word for this plant chigagou.

  • Amorpha canescens Lead plant Z 2-9

    Arching violet spikes flower in mid-summer top pinnately compound, grey-green leaves.

    $8.95/bareroot

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    Arching violet spikes flower in mid-summer top pinnately compound, grey-green leaves.  Liberty Hyde Bailey (1933): “Handsome free-flowering shrub of dense habit, well adapted for rockeries and borders …”

    ONLY AVAILABLE TO SHIP IN EARLY SPRING, WHILE DORMANT.  (USUALLY APRIL/MAY)

    Size: 2-4’ x 2-3’
    Care: sun in well-drained to moist well-drained soil, drought tolerant.
    Native: Broad swath of central No. America from Canada to TX. Wisconsin native. Common shrub in Great Plains’ tall-grass prairies and seasonally wet soil.
    Wildlife Value: Honeybees and butterflies; especially Whitney's Underwing, relish its nectar. Supports over 50 bee species.
    Awards: Great Plants for Great Plains

    Amorpha means “deformed” in Greek and “becoming grey” in Latin.  Called Lead plant due to old belief that plant grew in soil containing lead. 1st described in published work in 1813.  Used medicinally by numerous Native Americans to kill pinworms, remedy eczema, stomach aches, neuralgia, rheumatism and cuts.  Steeped leaves made tea for Oglala. Oglala mixed its dried leaves with buffalo fat for smoking. Winnebago powdered the leaves, added water and applied it to skin to remedy scalds. They also ate the roots. Sioux: A tea made from leaves drank as a beverage, treated flu related congestion and as a bath for eczema.  Dried leaves part of mixture for smoking. Pre-bison hunt ceremony used stems. 

  • Anemone cylindrica Thimbleweed Z 4-7

    In spring a whorl of leaves grows from the ground.  Then a second whorl of leaves grows from inside the 1st whorl. A long, bare stem grows from the 2nd whorl of leaves. and then a single, white 5-petaled flower tops the stem. In fall it turns into a green cylinder then transforms to cottony clouds that blow away in wind.

    $12.75/pot

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    In spring a whorl of leaves grows from the ground.  Then a second whorl of leaves grows from inside the 1st whorl. A long, bare stem grows from the 2nd whorl of leaves. and then a single, white 5-petaled flower tops the stem. In fall it turns into a green cylinder then transforms to cottony clouds that blow away in wind.

    Size: 2’ x 12”
    Care: full sun to part shade in well-drained soil.
    Native: Maine to Delaware, British Columbia to Arizona and all parts in between. Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: Leaves causing mouth irritation deters rabbit and deer. Pollinated by bees and flies.

    HoChunk and Winnebago put masticated fuzz from the seeds on boils or carbuncles, opening them after a day.   Sioux used the rot, a tap root, to treat burns, headaches and headaches.  Collected for botany from the wild before 1880’s.  Plant emits allelopathogin inhibiting seed germination of other plants.

  • Anthemis tinctoria Marguerite

    Cheerful yellow daisies all summer, non-stop.

    $12.75/bareroot

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    Cheerful yellow daisies all summer, non-stop.

    Size: 2-3' x 2'
    Care: Full sun well-drained to moist well-drained soil, drought tolerant
    Native: Eastern Europe

    This promiscuous flower sports maize colored daisies with ferny, aromatic foliage. The name Anthemis evolved from anthemon meaning “free flowering,” which describes the plant’s carefree, June through fall, blossoms. Philip Miller illustrated Marguerite in his 1750’s Dictionary. The flower was used to dye wool and to make tea.

  • Aquilegia canadensis Canada Columbine Z 3-9

    May - June scarlet and yellow columbines

    $12.75/bareroot

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    May – June, scarlet and yellow columbines

    Size: 24-36”x 12”
    Care: part shade in moist well-drained soil
    Native: Eastern Canada to Florida, west to New Mexico, Wisconsin native.
    Wildlife Value: Rich, sugary nectar important food for ruby-throated hummingbirds. Buntings and finches eat the seeds. Sole food source for columbine duskywing caterpillar.

    Seeds are fragrant when crushed, used by Omaha, Ponca and Pawnee as perfume. Pawnee used the plant as a love charm by rubbing pulverized seeds in palm of hand and endeavoring to shake hand of desired person. Crushed seeds also used to cure fever and headaches. Cherokee made a tea for heart trouble. The Iroquois used the plant to cure poisoning and to detect people who were bewitched. Grown by Englishman Tradescant the Elder in 1632. He may have received it from France. Cultivated by Washington & Jefferson.

  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry, Bear’s grape, Kinnikinnick Z 2-7

    In spring fragrant, pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers, evergreen, glossy foliage and Marlboro red berries in fall.

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    OUT OF STOCK – EMAIL FOR AVAILBILITY

    “Dwarf ornamental shrub, ornamental in foliage, flowers and berry.”  Rand 1866.    In spring fragrant, pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers, evergreen, glossy foliage and Marlboro red berries in fall.   Great for cascading over edge of wall or groundcover.

    Size: 4” x 20” forms dense groundcover over time. Stems root to spread.
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained to dry, acidic soil. Needs watering until established. Best grown with protection from wind.
    Native: No. America, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: Host for several butterfly species including Hoary Elfin, Brown Elfin and Freija Fritillary.
    Awards: Cary Award Distinctive Plants for New England

    Kinnikinnick is Algonquin meaning “mixture.” Used as an ingredient in Native American smoke mixtures. For centuries leaves used to make medicinal tea as a tonic and diuretic in many parts of the world. Cheyenne drank the tea to cure back sprains. Some Native Americans used it to cure venereal disease, others to cure pimples and itching, peeling skin. Both Indians and colonists mixed leaves with tobacco for smoking. Collected by Meriwether Lewis on the Expedition.

  • Artemisia frigida Prairie sagewort, Silky wormwood Z 3-10

    Erect stems bear silvery-white, finely-divided foliage. Leaves smell like camphor. Inconspicuous yellow flowers bloom in summer. 

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    OUT OF STOCK – EMAIL FOR AVAILABILITY

    Erect stems bear silvery-white, finely-divided foliage. Leaves smell like camphor. Inconspicuous yellow flowers bloom in summer. 

    Size: 6-18” x 12-18”
    Care: sun in well-drained soil
    Native: all North America except the SE, CA and OR, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: deer resistant, source of nesting material for native bees, food for caterpillars of several butterflies & moths
    Awards: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
    Size: Native Americans used this Artemisia to preserve meat, feed horses, repel insects, to remedy toothache, headache, coughing, lung ailments, heartburn, and colds. Indians in Great Basin used it in ceremonies. Chippewa made a decoction of root for convulsions. For the Lakota this was "women's medicine" with an infusion helping regulate menstrual periods and inducing contractions in pregnancy.

    Meriwether Lewis collected this along the Missouri River in South Dakota on October 3, 1804.