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Pycnanthemum virginianum (Common Mountain Mint) is a well behaved mint growing up to 2 feet, it features profuse white flowers in mid summer. In a rain garden or bio-retention, it is widely tolerant of varying soil moisture. It may be utilizeed in areas ranging from well-drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event. It is very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.
Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master) is a striking plant with pointed foliage similar to a miniature yucca. Spiny white flowers bloom in mid summer. It should be utilized in well drained areas in storm water BMPs such as slopes or rain gardens that drain within a few hours of a rain event.
Vernonia altissima (Tall Ironweed) is a robust plants with deep reddish purple flowers in late summer. It grows up to 8 feet tall and should be utilized in larger scale plantings. It is widely tolerant of soil moisture and will grow in areas from well drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event. It is very attractive to butterflies.
Eupatorium maculatum (Spotted Joe-Pye Weed) is an attractive species sporting a flat topped cluster of bright pink flowers in late summer. Grows 4 to 6 feet tall. This is an outstanding species for attracting butterflies. In a storm water BMP, utilize in moist areas to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a storm event.
Ratibida pinnata (Yellow or Gray-Headed Coneflower) is a very showy prairie species with abundant bright yellow flower in mid summer on 4 to 5 foot plants. It should be utilized in drier areas of rain gardens that drain within a few hours of a storm event.
Rudbeckia fulgida var speciosa (Showy Black-Eyed Susan) is an extremely showy species with golden blossoms throughout the latter half of summer, reaching 2-3 feet in height. It prefers moist soils to areas that hold water for up to 12 hours after a rain event.
Liatris spicata (Dense Blazing Star) feature tall spikes of bright purple flowers in mid to late summer that are very attractive to butterflies. It is an ideal plant for rain gardens as it tolerates conditions ranging from well drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event.
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) has bright pink flowers in mid to late summer that are outstanding for attracting butterflies. An excellent species for storm water BMPs, it should be grown in areas with moist soil to areas that hold water up to 48 hours after a rain event.
Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver’s Root) is an elegant plants with tall white spikes in a candelabra arrangement above whorled foliage in mid summer. In storm water BMPs, it will perform well in areas ranging from well-drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event.
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster) is a common wildflower of mesic to wet sunny locations. Its showy purple flowers make it the signature wildflower of fall. It grows to around 4 feet in height with flowers appearing from early September to mid October. It is excellent for attracting butterflies, particularly migrating Monarchs. In rain gardens, it will grow in areas ranging from well drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event.
Solidago riddellii (Riddell’s Goldenrod) is a particularly attractive goldenrod with a large flat inflorescence in September. The interesting sickle-shaped foliage turns a variety of colors late in the fall. Native to wet prairies and sedge meadows, it also tolerates upland sites. It is very attractive to butterflies. The golden flowers create a beautiful contrast with New England Aster which blooms at the same time. In a rain garden, plant in areas ranging from well drained to areas that hold water up to 24 hours after a rain event.
Silphium perfoliatum (Cupplant) is a robust plant of moist situations. It grows 5 to 7 feet in height, producing 3 inch yellow sunflower-like flower in July and August. The large leaves clasp the square stem, forming a cup which often captures rain water or dew. The flowers develop into large meaty seeds that attract birds. Due to its large stature, it is best utilized in large scale BMPs where it will grow in moist soil to areas that pond in water for up to 24 hours after a rain event.
Asclepias sullivantii (Sullivant’s Milkweed) is an uncommon species characteristic of wet-mesic prairie remnants. The showy pink fragrant flowers appear in mid summer on 3 foot plants. Like all milkweeds it is a larval food source for Monarch butterflies and an important nectar source for many species. The attractive foliage is complimented by conspicuous seed pods in late summer and early fall. In a rain garden, it tolerates over 24 hours of inundation following a rain event.
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is a well known native perennial with showy pink flowers for a long period in mid summer. An excellent plant for attracting butterflies and songbirds, it prefers full sun or partial shade. In a rain garden, it should be confined to the drier edges of the garden where water quickly drains away following a storm event.
Silphium laciniatum (Compass Plant) is a bold plant characteristic of mesic prairies. Its large sunflower like blooms are held high on stalks up to 10 feet or more in height. Do to its enormous scale, it is best used in larger plantings or as a focal point. The deeply dissected foliage resembles a huge pin oak leaf and tends to orient in a north-south direction resulting in the common name. It prefers full sun and good drainage, so it should be used where water quick drains after a storm event in BMPs.
Petalostemum purpureum (Purple Prairie Clover) is a legume common in mesic prairies. The showy purple flowers appear in mid summer above fine textured foliage. Purple Prairie Clover reaches two feet in height, requiring full sun. It is only suitable to the driest areas of BMPs as it needs excellent drainage to thrive.
Solidago juncea (Early Goldenrod) is an attractive goldenrod that is unique in blooming in mid summer. Reaching 3 feet in height, it thrives in full sun and tolerates poor soil. Like all goldenrods, it is attractive to butterflies. Early Goldenrod is recommended only for well drained conditions in BMPs.
Filipendula rubra (Queen of the Prairie) is an extremely showy plant with bright pink frothy flower clusters atop 4 to 6 foot stalks in early summer. It prefers moist to wet soil and full sun. The deeply divided foliage is attractive throughout the growing season. Queen of the Prairie prefers fertile soil with consistent moisture. It tolerates inundation for over 24 hours following a rain event in a BMP.
Liatris scariosa var nieuwlandii (Savanna Blazing Star) is an extremely showy species that is found in well-drained prairies and savannas in the Great Lakes region. The flowers appear on 3 foot stalks, attracting an incredible diversity of butterflies. Savanna Blazing Star should be planted in well drained soil where it receives over a half day of sunshine. It should be restricted to sandy BMPs that drain quickly after a rain event.
Helianthus rigidus (Showy Sunflower) is an attractive species of mesic prairies. The beautiful golden flowers with dark centers appear in mid to late summer. Growing up to 5 feet tall, it spreads aggressively by rhizomes. The seeds are relished by songbirds. Due to its aggressive nature, it should only be utilized in large plantings where it has room to roam. In a BMP, it should be planted in areas that drain within a few hours of a round event.
Aster laevis (Smooth Aster) is a showy species of well drained prairies and savannas. The lavender flowers appear on 3 foot plants in early fall above attractive bluish-green foliage. The abundant flowers are very attractive to butterflies. In a rain garden, Smooth Aster should be confined to the driest areas that are only briefly inundated during rain events.