Wisconsin Native

Showing 49–56 of 98 results

  • Euphorbia corollata Flowering spurge Z 4-7

    Small white flowers (bracts), like a baby's breath



    Small white flowers (bracts), like a baby’s breath but better, July & August. One of the best prairie natives but slow to mature.

    Size: 36' x 24"
    Care: sun in well-drained to moist well-drained soil. Drought tolerant & deer resistant.
    Native: Canada to Florida and west through the plains, Wisconsin native

    Euphorbia was named for Euphorbus, physician of Numibian King Juba (c. 50 B.C. – 20 A.D.)  Reputedly Euphorbus used  spurge to remedy the King’s enlarged stomach.   Euphorbus’ brother was Augustus Caesar’s physician. Corollata  means “like a corolla.”   A favorite medicine among Native Americans.  Cherokee rubbed the plant’s juice on skin to cure cancer.  Also used to remedy toothache and gonorrhea.  According to Breck (1851): “One of the most elegant species peculiar to the United States.”

  • Filipendula rubra Queen of the Prairie Z 3-9

    Frothy pink plumes in midsummer



    Extraordinary frothy pink plumes, like cotton candy, midsummer

    Size: 4-6’ x 4-5'
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained to moist soil
    Native: eastern U.S., Wisconsin native

    Name is Latin filum pendulus meaning “hanging by a thread” referring to threads on the roots of Filipendula. Meskwaki Indians used it for heart ailments and as an aphrodisiac.   Grown in American gardens since 1900.

  • Gaultheria procumbens Wintergreen, Checkerberry, Teaberry Z 3-8

    Urn-like spring blossoms, fall red berries



    “Gaultheria procumbens is in absolute perfection and beautiful – first as regards its bell-shaped blossoms, and afterwards its berries…”  The Garden , January 1876.

    Size: 4” x 2’, slow but dense groundcover in time.
    Care: part shade in moist to moist well-drained, acidic soil
    Native: Eastern North America – Canada to Georgia west to Michigan, Wisconsin
    Awards: England’s Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit.

    Named by Swedish botanist Peter Kalm after Dr. Gaulthier, with whom he botanized in Canada and the upper Midwest in 1749. But 1st described as a grape in 1717. Ojibwa made tea from the leaves because the tea “makes them feel good.”  Algonquin used Wintergreen to cure the common cold, headaches, grippe and stomachaches.  Cherokee used it to cure swollen gums and colds. Wintergreen was sent to England in 1762.  Sold in America’s 1st plant catalog, Bartram’s Broadside, 1783. During the American Revolution when tea became unavailable, colonists used the plant to make tea.  The tea reputedly relieved pain from headaches, muscle pains and colds.  The leaves contain oil effective against pain – methyl salicylate. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.

  • Geranium maculatum American Cranesbill Z 4-8

    Bright pink to lilac pink blooms



    Geranium maculatum  American Cranesbill, Wild geranium, Spotted geranium  Z 4-8
    Bright pink to lilac pink blooms in June – July

    Size: 30" x 18"
    Care: Full sun to part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil, immune to Walnut toxicity
    Native: East North America, Wisconsin native.
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    Geranium is Greek meaning “crane” referring to the shape of fruit resembling the bill of a crane.   This species 1st collected by Michaux.  Jefferson asked John Bartram to obtain seeds, 1786. G. maculatum considered “a showy native species” (Bailey.)  Native Americans taught colonists to use the plant to cure diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhaging. Also used on open wounds and sore feet. Sent to Europe in 1732.

  • Geum triflorum Prairie smoke Z 1-6

    Pale purplish to pink cup-shaped flowers in spring



    Pale purplish to pink bud-shaped flowers in spring followed by long silky seed heads – like magic.

    Size: 12" x 12"
    Care: sun to part shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil, drought tolerant.
    Native: all of northern No. America, Wisconsin native

    Introduced to gardens in 1609. Many Native American medicinal uses. Blackfoot, to cure coughs, skin sores and wounds, swollen eyes, canker sores, and fuzzy thinking. Okanagan-Colville women made a love potion from the roots, and cured vaginal yeast infections.

  • Hypericum kalmianum Kalm’s St. Johns wort SHRUB Z 4-7

    Yellow saucers with a puff of showy stamens in mid to late summer



    Yellow saucers with a puff of showy stamens in mid to late summer, compliment the glaucous blue leaves on this small mounding, evergreen shrub.

    Size: 3-4’ x 3-4’
    Care: sun to shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil. Blooms on new growth so prune in late winter to early spring as far back as you wish.
    Native: Quebec to WI, S. to IL
    Wildlife Value: attracts bees and butterflies
    Awards: Great Plants for Great Plains

    The name Hypericum comes from Greek hyper  meaning “above”, and eikon, meaning “icon or image”. The yellow flowers of some species were placed above images to ward off evil spirits, and according to legend, Satan pierced the leaves in revenge. This species collected by & named for Peter Kalm, Swedish plant hunter, on his expedition in North America before 1753.  Offered for sale in Bartram Garden’s 1783 Broadside, America’s 1st plant catalog.


  • Iris versicolor Blue flag Z 3-9

    Purple, lavender or blue flowers in June



    Purple, lavender or blue flowers in June

    Size: 36" x 12"
    Care: sun, moist to moist well-drained soil
    Native: Eastern United States, Wisconsin native

    Iris is named after the Greek goddess who accompanied the souls of women to the Elysian Fields by way of the rainbow.  Her footprints left flowers the colors of the rainbow.   Iris means the eye of heaven. Omaha Indians used the roots topically to cure earaches. Other tribes applied a poultice to cure sores and bruises. Root is poisonous. Cultivated in gardens since the 1700’s.

  • Knautia macedonica syn. Scabiosa rumelica Pincushion plant Z 5-9

    Claret pincushions float at the tips of airy wands all summer & fall



    Claret pincushions float at the tips of airy wands all summer & fall

    Size: 2- 3’ x 10”
    Care: sun in well-drained soil. Keep compact by cutting back to 10” in spring, if you wish
    Native: Central Europe
    Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies

    Knautia named for German doctor & botanist Christoph Knaut (1656-1716) who published a method of classifying plants.  Collected before 1879