When visualizing native plants in Nebraska, many people tend to think of tall prairie grasses. In reality, Eastern Nebraska is home to a variety of beautiful flowering plants, shrubs, and groundcover. If you’re spending more time outside this summer and looking to add some color to your landscaping, here are some of the best flowering plants that are easy to grow in this area.
The purpose of planting native plants in your garden helps expand the biodiversity of the area’s ecosystem. Native plants can help conserve water, provide food for pollinators, and even create healthier soil.
These native Nebraska plants can be found all over the state in the wild. Although they don’t typically flower in the west, when grown in the Eastern part of the state, they produce lavender or bright blue flat petals with notches. The flowers form small clusters and attract many forms of pollinators.
Purple Poppy Mallow
Endearingly known as “Winecup,” this plant creates groundcover with purple and maroon flowers. These perennials are drought tolerant and the flowers open in the morning and close in the evening. They make a beautiful addition to your garden bed.
This is a small prairie shrub that grows little purple flowers in stalk-like clusters and reach about 1-3 feet tall. Blooms usually appear in June and July and require ample sun with little shade. They are excellent at attracting pollinators.
Prairie Blazing Star
This flowering perennial produces rose or purple fuzzy flower heads on stems ranging from 2-5 feet tall. If you’re looking to attract butterflies to your garden, this is an excellent choice.
Wild Blue Aster
Also known as Aromatic Aster, these small perennials bloom blue or lavender flowers with many thin petals around an aromatic center. It only grows to be about 1-2 feet tall and blooms from September to November. This plant requires very little water and is tolerant to Nebraska’s extreme weather conditions.
Typically ignored by foraging rabbits and deer, yarrow blooms love the sun and stand up to summer heat and drought. Sterile varieties like ‘Coronation Gold’ won’t spread aggressively, making it a good addition to your landscaping.
Incredibly hardy, this drought-tolerant plant will spread into a nice stand given a sunny location. Numerous hybrids come in colors from orange to green, but the native pale purple coneflower may be desirable if choosing native plants for your garden. It’s also a great attraction for pollinators with its long drooping petals and large cone that attract bees and butterflies.
These flowering plants are excellent choices for your native gardens. When combined with other plants such as larger shrubs, grasses, and trees, they can give your landscaping a beautiful and dynamic visual appeal.
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