High Plains Environmental Center
Monthly Native Plant Spotlight
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
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
Erigeron speciosus/ Aspen Daisy
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