This week, May 2-8 is National Wildflower Week. As I was thinking about how I could work that into a blog post, I started wondering if the native flowering plants in my prairie garden are still considered wildflowers. Are wildflowers still wildflowers if I buy them at a garden center or a native plant sale? Are they still considered wildflowers when I purposely planted them in my garden? Have I domesticated or tamed the wildflowers when I plant them where I want them to grow and remove them when they try to grow where they want to grow?
OK, I am over-analyzing. Here is a look at some of the wildflowers blooming in my prairie garden this week.
The yellow flowers of four nerve daisies, Tetraneuris scaposa, are prominent in the front yard prairie. Winecups, Callirhoe involucrata, add a magenta accent. In the background are the coral flowers of red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, purple flowers of mealycup sage, Salvia farinacea, and the purple-tinged flowers of the Husker Red variety of Penstemon digitalis.
In the background is mealycup sage. I planted purple mealycup sage, but several white flowered plants are beginning to appear on the prairie. In the foreground are more four nerve daisies, chocolate daisies, Berlandiera lyrata, winecup, and black sampson coneflowers, Echinacea angustifolia.
This is a close up of a black sampson coneflower. This plant is also known as narrow leaf coneflower.
The flowers of Mexican hat, Ratibida columnaris, are highly variable from plant to plant. This is the more common red and yellow combination.
This is a less common solid yellow variation.
The flowers of Missouri evening primrose, Oenothera macrocarpa, open in the evening and close the following day.
Gregg's mistflower, Conoclinium greggii, just started blooming. This is a great butterfly nectar plant, especially for monarch and queen butterflies.
Around in the backyard prairie, more red yucca, mealycup sage, bee brush, Aloysia gratissima, cutleaf daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida, and zexmenia, Wedelia hispida are blooming.
Celebrate National Wildflower Week by planting some wildflowers that are native to your region. They are colorful, easy to grow, conserve water, and are essential to the survival of several species of native bees and butterflies.