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Desert Jewels Nursery

Perennials & Annuals

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Cherry Brandy' Gloriosa Daisy

Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy'

This beautiful black-eyed Susan has dozens of giant red and maroon daisies with black eyes. They attract butterflies and bees all summer. In autumn, hungry songbirds replace the butterflies and bees, feasting on the seeds.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

red/ black center

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 ft.

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Azure Sage, Pitcher Sage

Salvia azurea

A tall, linear accent plant most of the season. Flowers with the asters, with the most amazing sky blue flowers. Height depends on watering. Shorter where mostly dry; can get quite tall with watering.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

sky blue

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Late summer

Size

3-5 ft.

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Sedum

Sedum sp.

Many species and forms. Most quite drought adapted. Many make great ground covers or green roof material.

Region

(most) Introduced

Evergreen

depends on species

Flower Color

Depends on species; yellow, pink, white

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring, summer

Size

Varies by species, variety.

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Orange Globemallow

Sphaeralcea muroana

Very tough & beautiful plant. Reblooms if deadheaded. Cut back in spring for best form.

Region

L

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Orange

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

1 1/2 ft.

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Adam's needle

Yucca filamentosa

Great upright, evergreen accent for the dry landscape. Gorgeous with Artemisias or purple sage in the winter, and with smooth blue asters in the fall.

Region

From SE US

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

Base to 2 ft.; flower stem 4 - 6 ft and more.

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Soapweed, Great Plains Yucca

Yucca glauca

The most hardy midwestern native yucca. Many traditional uses by Native Americans. Long lived and easy to grow.

Region

M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

1 - 6 feet tall

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Creeping Hummingbird Trumpet

Zauschneria garrettii

Spreads like a groundcover to 18" wide. Reportedly not browsed by deer. Water regularly when in bloom to keep flowers coming. Prefers some afternoon shade.

Region

W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

bright orange/ scarlet

Xeric

moderately - does better with some irrigation

Flower Time

Summer

Size

4 - 6"

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Anise Hyssop

Agastache foeniculum

*Native to Canada and the northern tier of the US. Flowers from July through October. Anise scented, deep blue-green foliage. Honeybees love it. Full or partial sun, and moderately moist to dry conditions. More resistant to drought than many others in the mint family.

Region

R, M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

purple

Xeric

Flower Time

Mid to late summer

Size

2 -3 ft.

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Apache Sunset Agastache

Agastache rupestris 'Apache Sunset'

Fine-leaved, blue green foliage with a wonderful anise or root beer scent. It flowers from mid to late July until frost. Hummingbirds love it.

Region

W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Orange with purple calyx

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 - 2 1/2 ft.

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Nettle-leaf Agastache

Agastache urticifolia

Tall, strongly scented plant in the mint family. Butterflies love it.

Region

L,W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Pale purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

4-6 ft.

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Blue Star

Amsonia tabernaemontana

The showy blooms make good cut flowers, and the leaves have great fall color. Deer don’t bother this plant. Although it prefers a rich, moist loamy soil, it will tolerate some drought.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

pale blue

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

2 ft.

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Fringed sage

Artemisia frigida

Grows only a few inches tall. Fringed sage has fragrant, feathery finely divided leaves. Tolerates rabbit, deer, and drought.

Region

R,M,S

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

inconspicuous

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

6-12 inches tall and wide

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Narrowleaf milkweed

Asclepias fascicularis

Dainty pink flowers in a small ball.  Narrow leaves circle the stems.  Grows at the base of shady slopes in pine woods, along river margins,and in dry intermittent stream beds.  A fine upright accent in the flower garden.

Region

L, R

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

lilac - pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

late spring

Size

8 - 12 inches

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Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa

This showy and fragrant wildflower is important to many different pollinators, including Monarch butterflies. Prefers site with good spring moisture. Spreads by rhizomes and makes a sizable patch under proper conditions.

Region

L, R, W, M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 ft.

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Orange butterfly flower

Asclepias tuberosa

Grows about a foot tall, with clusters of showy orange flowers.  Perennial and mid-summer blooming.  Outstanding honeybee plant as well as good for butterflies.  Surprisingly drought tolerant. Another Monarch plant.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

orange

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

Mid-summer

Size

12 - 15 in.

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* Arrowleaf balsamroot (only available in spring)

Balsamorhiza sagittata

These cheery yellow daisies decorate regional slopes and woodlands in the spring. The whole plant is edible and was used by all local tribes. Seeds are important food for birds and other small wildlife. Very long lived plant goes dormant in summer.

Region

L, W, M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

12 - 18 inches

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Blue Wild Indigo

Baptisia australis

This Mid-Western prairie wildflower blooms in late spring with large, lupine-like spikes of blue flowers. Ornamental seed pods follow the flowers and can be harvested for dried arrangements. Deer & rabbit resistant. Drought tolerant.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

deep blue

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

18-24 inches tall and wide

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Winecups

Callirhoe involucrata

The low spreading stems make this plant useful on slopes and for cascading over retaining walls. A valuable plant for hot south or west facing beds. Grows well in a wide range of soil types, including clay. Zones 4-9.

Region

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

wine red

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

5” x 24-30” wide.

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Dwarf sundrops

Calylophus serrulatus

A small, mounding plant with a profusion of 1 inch yellow flowers. Blooms all summer in the dry garden. Self sows and naturalizes.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

All summer

Size

4-6 inches

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Nuttall's larkspur

Delphinium nuttalianum

This extremely variable delphinium is native throughout the west and into Canada. The flowering spikes are loosely flowered with white to grayish-blue to deep blue-purple, spurred flowers. Self sows profusely. Warning: All Delphinium species, both wild and cultivated, are toxic if consumed

Region

L, R, W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

deep purple to blue

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

about 1 ft.

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Yellow foxglove

Digitalis lutea

Shade tolerant, hummingbird attracting perennial with gracefully curving spikes of small creamy yellow flowers.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

pale yellow to cream

Xeric

no

Flower Time

Summer

Size

24 inches

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Purple coneflower, Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea

Purple coneflower was and still is a widely used medicinal plant of the Plains Indians. Still used in folk medicine. Great cutflower. Seeds enjoyed by goldfinches.

Region

E, M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Pink

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

midsummer

Size

Up to 40 inches.

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Yellow Coneflower

Echinacea paradoxa

This is a very rare native wildflower found in the Ozarks, Oklahoma & Texas. The Ozark Coneflower is a tap-rooted plant that requires several growing seasons to reach its full size, so be patient. A narrow growing plan,t so plant in groups of 3 or more. Zones 3 -9. Sun to Partial Shade.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

midsummer

Size

24 - 36 inches tall

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Cutleaf Daisy

Erigeron compositus

Small rock garden plant. Very long blooming and cheery.

Region

L, R, W, M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

White, occasionally pink or blue

Xeric

very

Flower Time

spring, summer

Size

6 inches

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Desert Yellow Daisy

Erigeron linearis

Locally native to dry rock outcrops in the sagebrush desert. Covered with cheery yellow flowers for many weeks in late spring to early summer. Recommended for the dry rock garden, in sun or part shade.

Region

L, R, W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

very

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

4 inches tall, 6 - 12 inches wide

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Showy Daisy

Erigeron speciosus

Long blooming. Gently self sows.

Region

W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Pale to dark lilac & yellow

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

15 - 18 inches

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Oregon Sunshine

Eriophyllum lanatum

Small, cheery yellow daisies - rock garden or xeriscape plant. Reseeds. Butterfly magnet. Habit variable: annual, biennial, perennial.

Region

L

Evergreen

somewhat

Flower Color

Yellow

Xeric

very

Flower Time

spring

Size

4 - 6 inches

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Spinystar cactus

Escobaria vivipara, Coryphantha vivipara

This small barrel shaped cactus has hot pink blossoms. It is hardy from Canada south to Texas, in the Midwest and inland West. It does well in the ground, but due to its small size it is best displayed in a pot, bowl or trough.

Region

W, M*

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Hot pink

Xeric

very

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

up to 4 inches.

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Prairie Smoke

Geum triflorum

Wonderful groundcover for sun or shade. Goes dormant if very dry, but will remain green with occasional watering.

Region

L, R, W, M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

4 - 6 inches

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Scarlet Gilia

Gilia aggregata

Attracts hummingbirds. Long blooming: sun to part shade.

Region

L, R, W

Evergreen

Biennial. First year rosette evergreen. Dies second fall.

Flower Color

Red, scarlet or pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 - 2 1/2 ft.

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Roundleaf Alumroot, (Wild Coralbells)

Heuchera cylindrica

Great in rocky sites. Bright green even in very dry sites. Great for shade or sun.

Region

L, R, W, not SW

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

4 - 6 inches: up to 12 - 15 inches in bloom.

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Rocky Mountain iris

Iris missouriensis

Our regional wild iris blooms in areas with spring moisture. Nearly as large as cultivated bearded irises.

Region

L, R, W, M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

lavender

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

1 1/2 - 2 ft. in bloom

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Bigleaf Lupine

Lupinus polyphyllus

Tall and stately, with long racemes of flowers. One of the original parents of Russel hybrid lupines. Full sun to part shade. Moist to wet soil.

Region

L, R, W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

blue/purple: often bicolored

Xeric

no

Flower Time

Summer

Size

3 or more feet

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Eastern Beebalm

Monarda bradburiana

Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. The toothed, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 4") may be used in teas. Long summer bloom period. Best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates somewhat poor soils and some drought.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Pink to white with purple

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Size

1-2 ft.

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Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Native to all of the US except CA & FL. Grows in meadows, open forests, clearings, and moist sites in the mixed grass prairie. Wild bergamot contains thymol, a natural antiseptic compound commonly used in mouthwashes. Traditional medicinal, beverage and seasoning. Cutflowers. Hummingbird & bee plant.

Region

L, R, W, M, E

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

purple

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 - 4 ft.

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Mountain Monardella, Coyote Mint

Monardella odoratissima

Very fragrant (minty), mounded plant. Best with occasional water. Native American tea plant. Native to BC, WA, OR, CA, ID, NV.

Region

L, R, W

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

6 - 12 inches

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Garden Catmint

Nepeta faasinii

A hardy plant that flowers all season, needs a minimum of maintenance, is resistant to drought and sails happily through the coldest and driest of winters. It is a reliable plant, and a magnet for bees.

Region

Introduced

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Blue

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2 ft. in bloom

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Tufted Evening-Primrose

Oenothera caespitosa

A standout in the dry landscape. Long blooming & gorgeous. Large flowered.

Region

R, W, M

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

White

Xeric

extremely

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

10 inches

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Missouri Evening-primrose

Oenothera macrocarpa

The flowers are a glorious crayon yellow, and measure 3 to 5 inches across. Each mildly fragrant flower is open for only one day, but many flowers are produced over a long spring to mid-summer bloom period. Mature plants are 3 feet across, and have massive tap roots. Can be grown in poor, dryish soils.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

yellow

Xeric

moderately

Flower Time

Summer

Size

6-12 inches tall, 2 - 3 ft. Wide

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Sand Penstemon, Sharpleaf Penstemon

Penstemon acuminatus

Native only to WA, OR, ID, NV. Grows in sandy habitats. Large blue flowers beautiful in the landscape.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes?

Flower Color

blue

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

Up to 2 ft. tall

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White Penstemon

Penstemon albidus

Penstemon albidus has a large distribution throughout the Great Plains of North America, from Texas and Oklahoma to Alberta and Manitoba. The flowers are typically white.

Region

M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

6-10 inches tall

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Gilia beardtongue, Pink plains penstemon

Penstemon ambiguus

An unusual, open flowered, shrublike penstemon. Flowering increases with age as the woody base produces more stems. Leaves are thread-like in width, some persisting year-round. Tolerates extreme heat and drought conditions. Quite airy and dainty compared with other penstemons.

Region

M (southern part)

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Summer

Size

1-3 ft. tall

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Torrey's Penstemon

Penstemon barbatus var. torreyi

Torrey's penstemon prefers full sun and well-drained soil. A hummingbird favorite. Hardy to Zone 4.

Region

M (southern part)

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Red

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

2-4 ft. tall

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Little Yellow Penstemon

Penstemon confertus

From the forests and woodland openings of the northwest (Alberta, BC, WA, OR, ID & MT). Dense whorls of small flowers above bright green mats of small leaves.

Region

L, R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white to pale yellow

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

6 inches

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Wasatch Penstemon

Penstemon cyananthus

Native to ID, WY, UT. Beautiful & very showy. Likes occasional watering.

Region

W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

2 - 3 ft.

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Foxglove Penstemon

Penstemon digitalis

An excellent perennial for the lightly watered border. Very showy and easy to grow. Will gently spread by seed.

Region

M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

white

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Summer

Size

2+ ft.

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Firecracker Penstemon

Penstemon eatonii

Short lived but outstanding hummingbird attracting perennial.

Region

W

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

red

Xeric

moderately - does better with some irrigation

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

2 ft.

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Stickystem Penstemon

Penstemon glandulosus

SW Washington meadow plant. Large flowered. Glands on all parts of plants glisten in the sun. Very showy. Native only to OR & WA: uncommon in cultivation.

Region

L

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

lilac

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

spring

Size

3 - 3 1/2 ft.

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Shining Penstemon

Penstemon nitidus

The first Penstemon to bloom in the spring. Zones 3-8. Native from Saskatchewan to MT. Also from s.w. Alberta to ID, n. WY and w. ND. Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping.

Region

R, M

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

sky blue

Xeric

?

Flower Time

spring

Size

6-10 inches tall

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Eggleaf Beardtongue

Penstemon ovatus

Many ¾” bright blue flowers in clusters on wide spreading cymes. Soil with organic matter and regular but not continuous watering and occasional division will keep it going for many years, even in dry climates.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

blue

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

spring

Size

2- 3.5 ft. tall

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Pineleaf Penstemon

Penstemon pinifolius

A hummingbird favorite that grows easily in both xeric and traditional perennial gardens. As the plant matures, it forms an evergreen shrublet with bright green, needle-like foliage.
Zones 4-9.

Region

SW

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

red

Xeric

somewhat

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

15 inches tall and wide

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Desert Beardtongue

Penstemon pseudospectabilis

This gorgeous plant can be grown over a wide area. In cultivation it can reach 4’ with many stems and a large, broad gray-blue, leaves. Large, glandular flowers are somewhat pendant and usually deep pink to brilliant magenta. Quite long-lived and evergreen.

Region

SW

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Hot pink

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

Up to 4 feet

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Cutleaf Penstemon

Penstemon richardsonii

Energizer Bunny' of Penstemons. Very long blooming. Cut back in spring to keep tidy. A perfect plant for a rock wall. It will reseed & spread to fill crevices. Good in a border. Can take cold and dry conditions in sun or part shade.

Region

L, R

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

Hot pink

Xeric

very

Flower Time

Mid to late summer

Size

12 - 18 inches

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Cascade Penstemon, Coast Penstemon

Penstemon serrulatus

A vigorous, free-blooming and well-liked plant for a partly shaded, watered flowerbed. Will rebloom if cut back after flowering. Plants have glossy, deep green leaves that turn purple or maroon in winter. Good year-round interest: showy flowers & foliage.

Region

R

Evergreen

yes

Flower Color

Blue-purple

Xeric

moderately - does better with some irrigation

Flower Time

late spring - early summer

Size

24 - 28 inches.

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Blue Mt. Penstemon, Beautiful Penstemon

Penstemon venustus

Very showy flower spikes. Extremely floriferous, beloved by many different pollinators. Cut back to leafy buds in spring. Easy and rewarding.

Region

R

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

purple

Xeric

yes

Flower Time

Early summer

Size

P

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Alpine Jacob's Ladder

Polemonium pulcherrimum

Very long-blooming and charming, small rock garden plant. Likes part day shade and occasional water.

Region

R

Evergreen

semi-evergreen

Flower Color

blue

Xeric

moderately - does better with some irrigation

Flower Time

spring - early summer

Size

5 - 10 inches

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Pasque Flower

Pulsatilla patens

Spring blooming prairie native. In Lakota legend, this is the flower whose song awakens the other plants in spring. A delight in bloom and in seed. Hardy to zone 4.

Region

M

Evergreen

no

Flower Color

lilac

Xeric

no

Flower Time

early spring

Size

4 - 6 inches tall