Deep South and Southeast Wildflowers for Rain Gardens

Aniscanthus wrightii
Flame Acanthus

Aniscanthus wrightii is better known as Flame Acanthus. Acanthus has brilliant red blooms, blooming late in the summer to early fall and grows to a medium height of around four feet. Aniscanthus wrightii is a major draw for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Eupatorium coelestinum
Blue Mistflower

Another butterfly magnant, mistflower is indeed a delicate mist of lilac bundles on a stalk of heartshaped leaves a vibrant green. Mistflower is also known as Blue Bonnet. Mistflower blooms in late July and will welcome the fall and is found in southern Missouri as well as further south. It has also been seen in Kentucky. Blue Mistflower stays rather low, not growing higher than three feet and is great as a groundcover to fill bare patches in your garden.

Helianthus angustifolius
Swamp Sunflower

Helianthus derives from the Greek Helio, or sun and this flower is indeed sunny. Swamp Sunflower looks more like a bright-eyed, yellow daisy than a sunflower. Another late bloomer, Helianthus can grow tall. Swamp Sunflower is a bright wildflower that is yet another late bloomer, bursting into full life in the fall.

Oenothera speciosa
Pink Evening Primrose

Pink Evening Primrose is a wonderful, sprawling wildflower, that stays low to the ground, growing just one to one and half feet tall. It boasts bundles of yellow-centered pink flowers that many pollinators will love. Primrose blooms in the summer and enjoys full sun.

Penstemon tenuis
Gulf Coast Penstemon

Finally, an early bloomer to welcome the spring. Don't limit Penstemon to the Southeast it is common throughout most of the United States. This shruby wildflower grows mauve flowers on a moderately tall, 2 foot spikes. Gulf Coast Penstemon is the second wildflower on this page.

Rudbeckia maxima
Giant Coneflower

This Rudbeckia is often called Cabbage Leaf Coneflower. As its second name would imply Coneflower has large cabbage-like leaves, that remain low to the ground and disappear in the winter. This flower does very well in the balmy summers of the deep south, but also grows well in Brooklyn and all throughout the east and midwest. The leaves sometimes become covered in a whitish waxy substance that wipes of easily. This is normal. In the late summer and early fall the Giant Coneflower will sprout long stalks topped by flowers that look a lot like black-eyed susan.

Stokesia laevis
Stokes Aster

Stokes Aster keeps its leaves in a little green rosette all winter long, throughout South Carolina to Florida. Here's the perfect wildflower to fill the summer months between your early bloomers and your late bloomers. Another wonderful attractor of pollinators, Stokes Aster's beautiful purple blooms burst with color and spread widely. Aster stays fairly short, not more than 2 feet and is a great drought resistant wildflower.