Wildflowers and Native Plants


Wildflower Mix KY Wildflower Mix

There are many different native wildflowers that you can plant in your backyard or on your property.  Put these plants in the proper environment (shade, sun, wet or dry) and you will greatly enhance wildlife habitat.  Listed below are some common plants native to Kentucky that may be suitable for your property.

Common Name Botanical Name Soil Moisture Light
Alumroot Heuchera americana m p,s
Bee Balm Monarda didyma m f,p
Birdfoot Violet Viola pedata d f,p
Black Cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa d p,s
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis m p,s
Blue-Eyed Grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium d f,p
Blue Flag Iris Iris versicolor w f,p
Blue Sage Salvia azurea d f,p
Blue Vervain Verbena hastata m,w f
Blue Wild Indigo Baptisia australis d f,p
Boneset Eupatorium perfoliatum m,w f,p
Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii w f,p
Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa d f
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis  m f,p
Celandine Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum d p,s
Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca d f,p
Compass Plant Silphium laciniatum d f
Culver's Root Veronicastrum virginicum d f,p
Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum d f
Dutchman's Breeches Dicentra cucularia m p,s
Dwarf Crested Iris Iris cristata d p,s
Early Saxifrage Saxifraga virginiana m,w p,s
False Solomon's Seal Smilacina racemosa m s
Fire Pink Silene virginica d p,s
Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia d p,s
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica m,w f,s
Illinois Bundleflower Desmanthus illinoensis d,w f
Ironweed Vernonia altissima d f
Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum d f,p,s
Jacob's Ladder Polemonium reptans d p,s
Joe-Pye-Weed Eupatorium fistulosum m,w f,p
Lanceleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata d f
Large-Flowered Bellwort Uvularia grandiflora m s
Large White Trillium Trillium grandiflorum m s
Lizard Tail Saururus cernuus w p,s
Meadow Phlox Phlox maculata d,m f,p
Mistflower Eupatorium coelestinum d,w f,p
Monkey Flower Mimulus alatus m p,s
Narrow-Leaved Sunflower Helianthus angustifolius m,w f
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae d f
Nodding Wild Onion Allium cernuum d f,p
Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana d,m f
Partridge Pea Cassia fasciculata d,m f
Phacelia Phacelia bipinnatifida d p,s
Prairie Coneflower Ratibida pinnata d f
Prairie Dock Silphium terebinthinaceum d f
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea d f,p
Purple Prairie Clover Petalostemum purpureum d f
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium d f,p
Rosinweed Silphium integrifolium d f
Rough-leaved Goldenrod Solidago rugosa d,m,w f
Round-headed Bush Clover Lespedeza capitata d f
Royal Catchfly Silene regia d f,p
Shooting Star Dodecatheon meadia d f,p
Showy Beardtongue Penstemon laevigata d f,p
Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa d f
Solomon's Seal Polygonatum biflorum d,m p,s
Squirrel Corn Dicentra candensis m p,s
Stonecrop Sedum ternatum d p,s
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata m,w f,p
Sweet Flag Acorus calamus w f,p
Tall Coreopsis Coreopsis tripteris d f
Toad Trillium Trillium cuneatum m s
Turk's Cap Lily Lilum superbum m f,p
Turtlehead Chelone glabra m,w p,s
Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginiana m p,s
Virginia Spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana d p,s
White Prairie Clover Petalostemum candidum d f
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa d,m f,p
Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis d f,p,s
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum d p,s
Wild Ginger Asarum canadense d p,s
Wild Pink Silene caroliniana d p
Yellow Erect Trillium Trillium erectum m s
Yellow Lady's -Slipper Cypripedium pubescens m p,s

Legend: d - well drained soil, m - mesic soil, w - moist to wet soil, f - full sun, p - partial sun, s - shade

Don't forget to add ferns to your native garden.  Ferns typically prefer well-drained soil in partial or full shade.  The exception is the Cinnamon Fern, which prefers moist soil and is commonly found in wetlands.  Some common Kentucky ferns include:

Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea
Lady Fern Athrium filix-femina
Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum
Royal Fern Osmunda regalis
Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensibilis

Native warm season grasses make an excellent addition to anyone's property.  They can be used to replace exotic species such as fescue, or can be used as small ornamental plantings.  These grasses are bunchgrasses, growing in clumps which results in bare soil between each plant.  These bare spaces are excellent spots for forbs to colonize, as well as foraging and nesting areas for grassland birds and small mammals.

Big Bluestem Andropogon gerardii
Eastern Gamagrass Tripsacum dactyloides
Indiangrass Sorghastrum nutans
Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium
Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis
Side-oats Grama Bouteloua curtipendula
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum

Interested in what butterfly young feed on in your yard?  Click here for a list of caterpillars and their host plants.

Native Wildflower Seed Companies

Shooting Star Nursery
444 Bates Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 223-1679
Kentucky American Seeds, Inc.
PO Box 1104
Hopkinsville, KY 42241
(888) 398-4516
Blazing Star Associates
2107 Edgewood Drive
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-4716
Sharp Bros. Seed Co.
396 SW Davis-Ladue
Clinton, MO 64735
(660) 885-7551
Spence Restoration Nursery
2220 E. Fuson Road
Muncie, IN 47308
(317) 286-7154
Albright Seed Company
487 Dawson Drive
Bay 5s
Camarillo, CA 93012
(805) 484-0551
Native American Seed
127 North 16th Street
Junction, TX 76849
(800) 728-4043
Earthly Goods
P. O. Box 614
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 944-2903
Ion Exchange
1878 Old Mission Drive
Harpers Ferry, IA 52146
(800) 291-2143
Ladies of the Prairie
16287 Lakewood St.
Lowell, IN 46356
(219) 696-9212
Habitats Native Plants Nursery
PO Box 265
Silver Grove, KY 41085
(859) 442-9414

Books on Growing and Identifying Wildflowers

100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants by Lorraine Johnson - Firefly Books, Ltd.
A Guide to the Wildflowers & Ferns of Kentucky
by Mary E. Wharton and Roger W. Barbour - The University Press of Kentucky
Common Weeds of the United States
by the Agriculture Research Service - Dover Publications, Inc.
Gardening for the Birds
by Thomas G. Barnes - The University Press of Kentucky
Golden Guide Wildflowers of North America by Frank D. Venning - Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Grasses - An Identification Guide by Lauren Brown - Houghton Mifflin Company
Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers - When and Where to Find Them by Robert W. Hutson, William F. Hutson, and Aaron J. Sharp - Windy Pines Publishing
How to Grow Wildflowers and Wild Shrubs and Trees in Your Own Garden by Hal Bruce - The Lyons Press
How to Know the Grasses - Pictured Key Nature Series by Richard W. Pohl - Wm. C. Brown Company
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers - Eastern Region by William A. Niering and Nancy C. Olmstead - Alfred A. Knopf
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb - Little, Brown and Company
Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by George A. Petrides - Houghton Mifflin Company
Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers - A Field Guide by Doug Ladd - Falcon Publishing, Inc.
The Wildflower Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes - Little, Brown and Company
Weeds by Alexander C. Martin - Golden Press
Weeds of Kentucky and Adjacent States by Patricia Dalton Haragan - The University Press of Kentucky
Wildflowers - Usborne Spotter's Guides by Christopher J. Humphries - Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Wildflowers of North America by Frank D. Venning - Golden Press
Wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians - How to Photograph and Identify Them by Kevin Adams and Marty Casstevens - John F. Blair, Publisher

Wildflower Links

Daviess County Audubon Society