Don’t like to plant year after year, consider perennial plants. These favorites of native gardeners will not die at season’s end. Plenty of choices below give you ideas to help make your next garden project the best it can be, and with native plants you know that they are designed for the area.
Erigeron pulchellus (Robin’s Plantain)
This perennial grows up to 2 feet and has hairy stems. It will have white flowers or lavender flowers that will fade to white over time. It books in mid spring to summer. Robin’s Plantain prefers full sun and well drained soil. Each flower has 50-100 rays and are thin petaled like a daisy. Medicinally this was used as a tea for a diuretic and astringent. BEWARE: This plant can cause dermatitis.
Eupatorium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower)
This perennial grows up to 2 feet high and has wonderful blue violet flowers. They appear from summer to fall and may be invasive in optimum conditions. They prefer sun to partial shade and can be divided by the root ball to propagate.
Fragaria virginiana (Virginia Strawberry)
From the Rose family, this grows up to 12 inches and is a low running perennial. Its blooms are 5 petal white flowers with red fruit. It will flower from May to June. Historically it’s been used for its fruit as an old time gout remedy and its leaves are a mild astringent.
Hydrolea ovata (Ovate False Fiddleleaf)
This gets up to 2 feet tall and has dark blue 5 petal blooms from summer to fall. Songbirds flock to this perennial. Expect hairy fruits that will attract wildlife. It prefers sun or partial shade. This may be invasive so keep a watch on it. It is deer resistant; good for bogs or water gardens.
Lilium superbum (Turk’s-cap Lily)
This perennial gets up to 10 feet tall and has numerous showy flowers; from 1-40. Blooms range in the orange/yellow/red/white range with green star in center. Bloom season runs mid summer to fall. Cherokees made flour from the tubers. It has 3-20 leaves per whorl.
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
This perennial gets up to 5 feet tall and has toothed leaves. Its blooms are red and appear from late summer to fall. Its root was a Native American love potion. BEWARE: It may be toxic.
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
This perennial herbaceous plant gets up to 40 inches tall with alternate 4 inch leaves. It has irregular shaped blue flowers in mid summer. These flowers are larger than most lobelia and have stripes on the tube.
Lysimachia ciliata (Fringed Loosestrife)
This perennial gets up to 4 feet tall and loves partial or full shade. It has bright yellow star shaped flowers from July to August. It has burgundy herbaceous foliage; ovate to lance shaped leaves with fine hairs. It can get invasive; care needs to be took in containing it.
Maianthemum canadense (Canada Mayflower)
A perennial that works well in rock gardens; Canada Mayflower will get up to one foot tall. It likes partial to full shade and will have white flowers mid spring. Its foliage is shiny and textured. BEWARE: Some parts of this are poisonous.
Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)
This perennial only gets up to 6 inch tall and is perfect for a ground cover. It has a spread of up to 18 inches. It prefers partial to full shade and moist soil. Its blooms are white with bits of lavender in late spring. Its foliage is evergreen.
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
A perennial herb, this grows up to 4 feet tall. It has shaggy tubular flowers in the pink/red/violet/white color spectrum. Its bloom season is from late spring to mid summer. Expect wonderful aromatic foliage and flowers.
Packera paupercula (Meadow Golden Ragwort)
This herbaceous perennial will get up to 20 inches tall. It has yellow blooms and belongs to the Aster family. It generally has 20 or so flowers per head. Bloom season ranges from June to August.
Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng)
Usually known for the roots medicinal values, this herbaceous perennial will reach 20 inches in height. It has whorled long leaves reaches up to 10 inches. Its blooms are greenish white 5 part flowers with a bloom season of mid spring to mid summer. Native American tribes used the root to attract game or a husband.
Phacelia bipinnatifida (Fernleaf Phacelia)
This herbaceous perennial gets up to 2 feet tall on erect stems. It has alternate leaves; lobed or divided. Its flowers are 5 petal bright light blue and are small but numerous. It has white buds before turning into its blue color.
Phlox carolina (Thickleaf Phlox)
This fragrant perennial gets up to 4 feet high and has a 2 foot spread. It likes to be planted in full sun. Blooms are typically in the pink/lavender/white range and have a long bloom season; June to August. You should dead head to keep it blooming.