Garden Types / Prairie and Meadow

 

Prairie Garden, prairie planting, prairie style, prairie plants

Prairie and Meadow

Add swathes of colorful plants and elegant grasses to your garden and attract butterflies!

Emulated by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, many gardeners relish the unique beauty of prairie gardens with their extraordinary blend of grasses and sturdy perennials. Fortunately, you can create prairie style plantings and enjoy the fascinating world of prairie plants, even if you don't have endless acres at your disposal. Good drainage and a sunny open spot are the main requirements. Prairie and meadow garden designs employ large swathes of plants where contrasts of height, texture and form are more important than color, and where maintenance is kept at a minimum.

 


Prairie and Meadow Guides


Baptisia 'Dark Chocolate' (False Indigo)

Very floriferous, Baptisia 'Dark Chocolate' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing long spikes of pea-shaped, nearly black, charcoal purple flowers in late spring to early summer. When the flowers fade away, the blue-green foliage, which forms a bushy, spreading mound, remains neat all season and creates a lovely backdrop for the other perennials in the garden.

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Baptisia 'Dutch Chocolate' (False Indigo)

Very floriferous and compact, Baptisia 'Dutch Chocolate' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, velvety rich chocolate-purple flowers in late spring to early summer. When the flowers fade away, the blue-green foliage, which forms a bushy mound, remains neat all season and creates a lovely backdrop for the other perennials in the garden.

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Baptisia 'Grape Taffy' (False Indigo)

Very compact, Baptisia 'Grape Taffy' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, deep reddish-purple flowers in late spring to early summer. Reminiscent of grapes, each flower is accented by a buff yellow keel. When the flowers fade away, the fresh green foliage, which forms a bushy, spreading mound, remains neat all season

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Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' (False Indigo)

Very floriferous, Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, bright sunshine-yellow flowers in late spring to early summer. Lasting for three weeks, the floral display is quite impressive with the dark gray stems contrasting and accentuating the golden blossoms.

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Baptisia 'Lunar Eclipse' (False Indigo)

Noted for its unique flowers, Baptisia 'Lunar Eclipse' is an upright perennial bearing a profusion of oversized flowers held well above the foliage. Emerging pale lemon over cream, the blossoms gradually turn cream, then pale lilac and ultimately purple-blue, producing a unique multicolor effect.

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Baptisia 'Midnight' (False Indigo)

Noted for its long blooming season, Baptisia 'Midnight' is an upright perennial bearing a profusion of extremely long inflorescences, 24 in. (60 cm), bearing deep blue-violet flowers. Unlike most False Indigos, this plant enjoys two bloom cycles within its blooming season.

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Baptisia 'Pink Lemonade' (False Indigo)

Baptisia 'Pink Lemonade' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, soft yellow flowers that age to pink and mauve-lavender in late spring to early summer. The unique, bicolor flowers contrast nicely with the charcoal stems. The blue-green foliage forms a lush, bushy, vase-shaped clump that remains neat all season and creates a lovely backdrop for the other perennials in the garden.

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Baptisia 'Pink Truffles' (False Indigo)

Quite compact, Baptisia 'Pink Truffles' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, soft pink flowers with a tinge of violet and pale yellow keels. Blooming for 2-3 weeks in late spring to early summer, they provide an amazing floral display. The fresh green foliage forms a lush, bushy, vase-shaped clump that remains neat all season and creates a lovely backdrop for the other perennials in the garden.

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Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' (False Indigo)

One of the oldest hybrid cultivars of false indigo, Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing long spikes of pea-shaped, smoky violet flowers with a purple eye. A mature plant of 3-4 years can bear over 50 blooming stalks! Blooming in mid to late spring, the richly-colored blossoms contrast nicely with the near-black stems.

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Baptisia 'Solar Flare' (False Indigo)

Interestingly, the blooms gradually take an orange to violet cast as they mature, producing a unique bicolored inflorescence.

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Baptisia 'Sparkling Sapphires' (False Indigo)

Very floriferous, Baptisia 'Sparkling Sapphires' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, vibrant violet-blue flowers in late spring to early summer. When the flowers fade away, the blue-green foliage, which forms a bushy, spreading mound, remains neat all season and creates a lovely backdrop for the other perennials in the garden.

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Baptisia 'Vanilla Cream' (False Indigo)

Very floriferous, Baptisia 'Vanilla Cream' (False Indigo) is an upright, densely branched perennial bearing sturdy spikes of pea-shaped, creamy vanilla flowers in late spring to early summer. Emerging in spring with a beautiful bronze cast, the foliage matures to grey-green and forms a lush, rounded clump that remains neat all season.

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Baptisia australis (False Indigo)

Tough and durable, Baptisia australis (False Indigo) is an upright perennial with a long season of interest. In spring, this native to the North American prairies bears spikes of pea-shaped indigo blue flowers, resembling Lupines.

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Baptisia australis var. minor (False Indigo)

Tough and durable, Baptisia australis var. minor (False Indigo) is a compact, upright perennial with a long season of interest. In spring, this native to the North American prairies bears spikes of pea-shaped indigo blue flowers, resembling Lupines.

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Baptisia x Bicolor 'Starlite' (False Indigo)

Opening from deep violet-lavender buds in late spring, the pea-shaped flowers unfurl into attractive periwinkle-blue blooms with contrasting creamy keels. Born on gracefully arching branches, they last for weeks and attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

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Baptisia x variicolor 'Twilite' (False Indigo)

Unusually quick to mature for a Baptisia, three-year-old plants produce upward of 100 flowering racemes.

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Blechnum spicant (Hard Fern)

Noted for its unique and distinctive type of fronds, Blechnum spicant (Hard Fern) is a charming, tufted, evergreen fern with interesting foliage texture. While its evergreen sterile fronds spread horizontally from a basal tuft, to form a neat arching mound of finely cut foliage, its fertile fronds rise straight up above this mound before drying out and withering away in fall.

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Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama)

Low-growing and compact, Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama) is a densely tufted, warm season, ornamental grass noted for its intriguing inflorescences resembling tiny brushes. Suspended horizontally from only one side of the flowering stems, the flowers are red tinted at first before they bleach to a straw color.

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Briza media (Quaking Grass)

A very entertaining ornamental grass, Briza media (Quaking Grass) features diffusely branched inflorescences tipped with flattened dangling spikelets resembling puffy oats.

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Buddleja 'Pink Delight' (Butterfly Bush)

Award-winning Buddleja 'Pink Delight' (Butterfly Bush) is a medium-sized deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves with white-felted undersides, and sweetly scented, slender panicles of bright pink flowers. Borne at the tips of current year's growth, the huge flower spikes, up to 15 in. long (37 cm), are on display from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost.

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Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight' (Butterfly Bush)

Award-winning Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight' (Butterfly Bush) is a vigorous large deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, dark green leaves with white-felted undersides, and sweetly scented, elongated panicles of dark purple, almost black flowers.

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Buddleja davidii 'White Profusion' (Butterfly Bush)

Award-winning Buddleja davidii 'White Profusion' (Butterfly Bush) is a vigorous deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves with white-felted undersides, and sweetly scented panicles of snow-white flowers. Borne at the tips of current year's growth, the outstanding flower spikes, up to 8 in. long (20 cm), are on display from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost.

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Calamagrostis brachytricha (Reed Grass)

Sparkling in the morning dew with its large arrow-like flower heads pointing towards the sky, Reed Grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) is a majestic and distinct ornamental grass, highly valued for its erect feathery silvery gray flower plumes, slightly red tinged, and turning to gold then light tan as the seeds ripen in the fall and winter

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Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' (Feather Reed Grass)

Fast growing, reliable, with a multi-season interest, this cool season grass is not only beautiful, it is also virtually care-free and quite versatile.

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