Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Leadplant and Milkweed

This is a running milkweed, either Asclepias Syriaca, Common Milkweed, or Asclepias speciosa, Showy Milkweed, I've forgotten which.

Leadplant, Amorpha canescens develops a very deep taproot and can become over 4 feet tall with woody stems.


On the top is Elymus canadensis, Canada Wild Rye, and the bottom picture is Bottle Brush Grass, Hystrix patula. Both can handle full or part sun and are easy to grow from seed.

More Blooms

This is the Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida, whose reflexed ray flowers I can't resist, though it's native to places south of Minnesota. In the foreground are leaves of Astragalus canadensis, Canada Milk Vetch, just preparing to bloom now on July 7th. In the background is the lively Prairie Sage, Artemisia ludoviciana. This one runs heartily, so plant a little and watch it cavort ! I find that any native plant that runs like this is easy enough controlled by pulling the runners, but of course if you mistakenly planted alot of it, well, you might be busy for awhile each season. Many milkweeds run like this also, but the Butterfly Weed is very well behaved, just expanding into a nice clump.

Recent Blooms

on the left is Purple Prairie Clover, Petalostemum purpureum, aka Dalea purpurea. Easy to grow from seed, pollinators love it, and it's really pretty.

Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa and Narrow-Leaved Coneflower, Echinacea angustifolia, the only Purple Coneflower that is native to Minnesota. Neither Echinacea Purpurea or Echinacea pallida; Purple Coneflower, or Pale Purple Coneflower are native to the state, just the diminutive Narrow-Leaved, which hardly reaches 18" in height, and whose ray petals tend to to remain much more horizontal to the disc.