Home 9 Native Plant of the Month

High Plains Environmental Center

Monthly Native Plant Spotlight

Welcome to the Monthly Native Plant Spotlight! Each month we will feature a different native plant based on what’s in bloom and what’s valuable for wildlife.

Check out our ONLINE STORE to find out if we grow and sell it in our Native Plant Nursery!

JANUARY

Cornus sericea / Red Twig Dogwood

Family: Cornaceae (dogwood)

Characteristics: Also known as Red Osier Dogwood; upwards spreading shrub that is Native to much of North America’s swampy, riparian, or wetland habitat; create beautiful contrast with snow- great addition for those who want colors in their garden during the winter months.

Height: 6-9 ft.

Season of Bloom: May-July

Bloom Color: White, dense blossoms (drupes) followed by white berries.

Light Requirements: Full Sun – Partial Sun

Water Requirement: Medium – Wet

Eco-Relationships: Deer resistant, attracts pollinators, grows well in wet and clay soils

Life zone/ Habitat: Zones 3-8

FEBUARY

Clematis lingusticifolia/ Western Virgin’s Bower

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)

Characteristics: A woody perennial vine with small white flowers that bloom in clusters.Traditionally called Pepper Vine, and rumored to have been used by Native Americans to treat colds and sore throats.

Height: 12-36 feet

Season of bloom: Spring – Summer (April–August)

Bloom color: White/Cream

Light requirement: Full sun to shade

Water requirement: Medium to Less water

Soil requirement: Well-Draining soil

Eco-relationships: Flower heads attract a wide range of pollinators, especially birds; sub species can be poisonous; not deer resistant

Habitat: Zones 5-7; Riparian Habitats; near running water and lake edges

MARCH

Erigeron speciosus/ Aspen Daisy
(Showy Fleabane)

Family: Sunflower – Asteraceae

Characteristics: Leafy stems with one thin, hairy, & purple petaled flower with a yellow center; grows in clumps or bunches called colonies that may need to be separated in a landscaping setting; highly adaptable to a range of sunlight & water availability.

Height: 1-3 feet

Season of bloom: Summer (June–October)

Bloom color: Very Light- Dark Purple

Light requirement: Full- almost Full Sun

Water requirement: Drought tolerant, but will tolerate watering.

Soil requirement: Dry to Moist soils; tolerant of varying soil conditions.

Eco-relationships: Flower heads attract and provide a landing platform for pollinators; attract a wide range of pollinators including true bugs, thrips, beetles, butterflies, moths, bees, and flies. Supports Conservation Biological Control (a plant that attracts predatory or parasitic insects that prey upon garden pests.)

Life zone: Zones 4-7; Foothills to subalpine

Habitat: Aspen groves, forest margins and openings at 6,000 to 11,000 feet