Wisconsin Native

Showing 65–68 of 109 results

  • Lobelia siphilitica Great lobelia Z 5-9

    Medium to dark blue racemes from August to October



    Medium to dark blue racemes of two-lipped flowers from August to October

    Size: 3' x 12"
    Care: Full sun to part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil
    Native: Eastern United States
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

    Introduced to gardens before 1665. Cherokee used the root to treat syphilis and in 1749 Swedish botanist Peter Kalm wrote that Indians used Lobelia to cure venereal disease, having “an infallible art of curing it.”

  • Lupinus perennis Sun-dial lupin, Old maid’s bonnet, wild pea Z. 4-9

    Many flowered blue, pea flowered raceme May-June



    Many flowered blue, pea flowered raceme May-June

    Size: 1-2' x 12"
    Care: full sun in well drained soil. A legume, so it enriches the soil by adding nitrogen.
    Native: Maine to FL, Ontario to MN to Louisiana.
    Wildlife Value: Attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. The only food for larvae of endangered species, Karner Blue butterfly.

    Lupinus is Latin from Lupus meaning “wolf.”  Likely sent from its native Virginia to England by Tradescant the Younger in 1637. Certainly collected by Michaux, late 1700’s.  Grown by Jefferson.  The Cherokee used this to stop bleeding.  The Menominee fattened their horses with this Lupin and made them spirited.  They rubbed the plant on themselves to give power to control the horses.

  • Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells Z 3-7

    pink buds turn to sky blue trumpets



    Pink buds turn to sky blue trumpets in May.  Ephemeral, dies back in summer.

    Size: 18" x 10"
    Care: Moist well-drained soil in part shade. Deer resistant.
    Native: N.Y. to Tennessee, west to Kansas, Wisconsin native

    First collected by John Banister in colonal Virginia.  Named Mertensia after Franz Karl Mertens, a German botanist who never set foot in America.  Cherokee cured whooping cough and consumption with Virginia bluebells.  Grown by both Washington and Jefferson.  “Gentian blue … very pretty and worthy of culture,” Sanders 1913.  Recommended by Gertrude Jekyll, mother of mixed perennial borders, in 1908.

  • Monarda fistulosa Wild bergamont Z 3-9

    Lavender tubes and bracts encircle 3' tall square stems



    Lavender tubes and bracts encircle 3′ tall square stems in July and August.

    Size: 3-4' x spreading
    Care: Sun to part shade any soil. Drought tolerant Walnut toxicity resistant.
    Native: central U.S., Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds

    Fistulosa refers to the hollow stem. Native Americans used the plant for abdominal pain, pimples, and chest pain in children. Sent to Europe by Tradescant the Younger in 1637. Cultivated by George Washington.