Prairie Plants

Showing 1–8 of 83 results

  • Agastache foeniculum Anise hyssop

    Showy blue spikes from July to September, fragrant

    $9.25/bareroot

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    Showy purple spikes from July to September, fragrant

    Size: 3-5' x 12"
    Care: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil, drought tolerant & deer resistant
    Native: North America, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    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 Indians of the Missouri River region to make tea and as a sweetener in cooking. The Cheyenne used it to relieve chest pain due to coughing or to a dispirited heart. Listed hyssop as an aromatic herb in McMahon’s 1805 book.

  • Allium cernuum Nodding onion Z 4-8

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

    $7.75/bareroot

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    Allium cernuum  Nodding onion   Z 4-8
    Umbels of arching stems with nodding bells of lilac shading to pink, June – July.

    Size: 12”-18”x 3-6”
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil, Deer resistant
    Native: Canada to Mexico, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    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.  Collected for garden cultivation by 1834.

  • Amorpha canescens Lead plant Z 2-9

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

    $16.95/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: 2-3’ x 2-3’
    Care: sun in well-drained to moist well-drained soil
    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 relish its nectar.
    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.

  • Andropogon scoparium Little bluestem Z 5-9

    Blue gray foliage turns plum orange in fall

    $11.95/bareroot

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    Blue gray  foliage turns plum orange in fall  with wispy, feather-like seed heads

    Size: 18" x 12"
    Care: full sun in well-drained soil. Drought tolerant.
    Native: all No. America, Wisconsin native

    Discovered by French plant hunter André Michaux (1746-1802) in America’s prairies.  Comanche used it to relieve syphilitic sores.  Lakota made soft wispy seed heads into liners for moccasins.

  • Anemone cylindrica Thimbleweed Z 4-7

    Pristine pure white petal-like sepals frame many golden anthers in June. Erect cylinders persist summer and fall.

    $11.95/pot

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    Pristine pure white petal-like sepals frame many golden anthers in June. Erect cylinders persist summer and fall.

    Size: 2’ x 12”
    Care: full sun to part shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil.
    Native: on the east – Maine to Delaware & west – British Columbia to Arizona. WI native

    HoChunk put masticated fuzz from the seeds on boils or carbuncles, opening them after a day. Collected from the wild before 1880’s. Plant emits allelopathogin that inhibits seed germination of other plants. Leaves, if eaten, cause mouth irritation, so that critters (rabbits & deer) leave it alone. The name Anemone is Greek for the wind, “so called, because the flower is supposed not to open, except the wind blows.” The Gardeners’ Dictionary, 1768.

  • Anthemis tinctoria Marguerite

    Cheerful yellow daisies all summer, non-stop.

    $11.95/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

    $11.95/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 2-6

    Dwarf ornamental shrub

    $5.95/bareroot

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    “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
    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.