Prairie Wildflowers Native to Indiana

LEADPLANT (Amorpha canescens)
Height: 2′-3′ In Bloom: May – July The short, woolly gray hairs of the leaves of this plant suggest its common name.
BIG BLUESTEM GRASS (Andropogon gerardiI) Height: 5′-7′ In Bloom: Aug. – Sep. Called “turkey foot” by the pioneers, this species was a dominant plant of the eastern tall grass prairie.
BUTTERFLY MILKWEED (Asclepias tuberosa)
Height: 2′-3′ In Bloom: June – Sep. The brilliant coloring of its flowers attracts many butterflies.
NEW ENGLAND ASTER (Aster novae-angliae)
Height: 2′-4′ In Bloom: Sep. – Oct. Makes attractive cut flowers in the fall.
TALL TICKSEED (Coreopsis tripteris)
Height: 1′-3′ In Bloom: May – Aug. After flowering, the disc turns brown and produces seeds that resemble ticks, hence its common name.
SHOOTING STAR (Dodecatheon media)
Height: 4″-20″ In Bloom: April – June From 4-100 flowers dangle from the top of this plant’s leafless stalk.
PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea pallida)
Height: 2′-3′ In Bloom: June – July These long-lived perennials resemble Daisies, but with backward curving pink-purple ray flowers; the flower center contains a prickly raised dome.
CLOSED GENTIAN (Gentiana andrewsii)
Height: 1′-3′ In Bloom: Aug. – Oct. The common name notes that its flowers stay closed when it is blooming.
FALSE SUNFLOWER (Heliopsis helianthoides)
Height: 3′-5′ In Bloom: July – Sep. Also called “Ox-eye”; can be grown in moist soils
BLAZING STAR (Liatris spp.)
Height: 1′-4′ In Bloom: July – Oct. The easily transplantable corms were used as winter food by early settlers.
HOARY PUCCOON (Lithospermum canascens)
Height: 1′-2′ In Bloom: May – July The leaves and stem are hairy; the roots yield a yellow dye, formerly used as warpaint.
WILD BERGAMOT (Monarda fistulosa)
Height: 1′-5′ In Bloom: July – Aug. As a member of the mint family, the leaves were used to make flavored tea.
FOXGLOVE BEARDTONGUE (Penstemon digitalis)
Height: 2′-4′ In Bloom: May – July Previous Indian uses included laxative from leaves, whooping cough syrup from flowers, and rattlesnake bite dressing from pounded leaves.
GRAY-HEADED CONEFLOWER (Ratibida pinnata)
Height: 3′-5′ In Bloom: June – Sep. When crushed, the oblong disk head emits the odor of anise.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN (Rudbeckia hirta)
Height: 1′-2′ In Bloom: June – Oct. An antibiotic extract is obtained from this rough,hairy species.
ROYAL CATCHFLY (Silene regia)
Height: 1′-2′ In Bloom: April – Sep. The sticky sap of the plant’s stem traps crawling insects, preventing them from collecting its nectar. Beautiful scarlet flowers.
STIFF GOLDENROD (Solidago rigida)
Height: 1′-5′ In Bloom: Aug. – Oct. The flowers of this species are in a flat-topped cluster, unlike the more common showy Goldenrod.
INDIANGRASS (Sorghastrum nutans)
Height: 3′-6′ In Bloom: Aug. – Sep. An aggressive grass which forms large stands of beautiful golden-bronze.
NORTHERN DROPSEED GRASS (Sporobolus heterolepis)
Height: 2′-3′ In Bloom: August Delicate seed heads stand erect over gracefully arching, narrow leaves, making this an excellent garden ornamental.
SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia virginiana)
Height: 1′-2′ In Bloom: April – July The angular growth of the leaves, suggests a squatting spider; the stem and leaves can be used in salads, while the flowers can be candied for cake decoration.

Wildflower information provided by Ricky Kemery <kemeryr@purdue.edu>, former graduate student and Dr. Michael N. Dana <dana@purdue.edu>, Professor of Horticulture and Extension Urban Horticulture Specialist.

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