More Midwest Wildflowers for Rain Gardens

Eupatorium perfoliatum

This Midwest native blooms with thick bundles of white, snowy flowers from July through October. Below, it boasts long, lilly-like leaves. Boneset or Thoroughroot grows to a medium height of up to four feet so it will make for a lovely center stage plant. Boneset was once used as a laxative and still is to a certain degree, among several other medicinal uses.

Geum rivale
Water Avens

Water Avens has many other names, such as Water Flower, Indian Chocolate and Nodding Avens. Water Avens is one of the few wildflowers native to Europe as well as Canada. Water Avens is another wildflower often used in medicines. Geum rivale's little rose colored flowers droop like Bleeding Hearts and bloom early in the summer and spring. The whole plant only grows to one to two feet in height, so make sure Avens gets a place up front.

Helianthus grosseserratus
Sawtooth Sunflower

As the name implies Helianthus has all the appearence of a sunflower just without all the size. This midwest wildflower normally grows to a modest height of 4 to 5 feet. Sawtooth Sunflower blooms in late July to October.

Helianthus maximiliani
Maximilian's Daisy

H. maximiliani is another lovely sunflower gracing the Great Plains. Unlike H. grosseserratus, Maximilian can grow eight feet tall. blooms late summer to early fall and is favored by ranchers as excellent fodder. This sunflower also produces a heavy seed head making it great for wildlife.

Lobelia spicata
Pale-spiked Lobelia

Lobelia spicata boasts dozens of tender, white flowers on the standard spike of the Lobelia Plants. Pale-spiked Lobelia is a varied plant. Varied in color(blueish to white), height (one foot to four feet) and even bloom time. It can bloom anyway from early spring, May, to late early fall, August. One odd note: the flowers of this midwest wildflower are inverted, meaning that what may appear to be the top is in fact the bottom of the flower.

Rudbeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta is a very familiar wildflower on the great Plains and right here in our own pastures. I and the rest of you would known it as Black-eyed Susan. Black-eyed Susan grows to three feet tall and boasts fun yellow heads with deep black center. They bloom in the high summer.

Verbena hastata
Blue Vervain

Vervain is another late bloomer. It's delicate purple flowers pop out on multiple stems. Verbena hastata grows four to five feet tall and blooms for only two years, making it a biennial, but being native it should go to seed and germinate in your gardens for many years. The seeds of Blue Vervain were once roasted by Native Americans and ground into flour.

Vernonia gigantea
Tall Ironweed

Vernonia gigantea is another wonderful, lilac Aster closely related to the Prairie Blazing Star. Ironweed blooms in late summer, early fall and can reach heights of 8 feet under the right conditions. Vernonia gigantea is just a single species of Vernonia ideal for rain gardens. Be sure and look for more Vernonia species.