June 22, 2012
find wisconsin native ferns at johnson's nursery in menomonee falls ftimg

Native Ferns Comparison

Wisconsin Native Ferns Under rated and under utilized perennials, Wisconsin native ferns are staples in part-to-full shade landscapes. We commonly tout ferns for their ability to give any landscape setting a \”woodsy\” feel. The easily recognizable foliage offers shade environments a unique level of texture. These Wisconsin native perennials are […]
December 15, 2010
hairy penstemon hirsutus wisconsin native perennial flower ftimg

Hairy Penstemon

Hairy Penstemon is a Wisconsin native perennial with clusters of trumpet-shaped, light lavender flowers on upright stalks in early summer. Found on dry gravelly and sandy prairies, or in hillside oak woodlands. It is also naturalized on roadsides.
December 15, 2010
blue giant hyssop agastache foeniculum wisconsin native anise ftimg

Blue Giant Hyssop

Blue Giant Hyssop is a Wisconsin native perennial commonly found in drier prairies and upland forests. Leaves and flowers are fragrant, similar to licorice. Great nectar source for bees, butterflies, and their allies. The aromatic leaves can be used to make herbal teas or jellies. Seeds can be added to cookies or muffins.
December 15, 2010
shooting star dodecatheon meadia wisconsin native perennial ftimg

Shooting Star

Shooting Star is a Wisconsin native spring ephemeral of the prairie. They are completely done with their season and go dormant by mid-summer. Wide color variation naturally occurs from purple to pale pink to almost white. Mahogany-colored seed pods that are often not noticed because other tall species have over-topped them by that time.
November 20, 2010
sensitive fern onoclea sensibilis wisconsin native ferns perennial bead ftimg

Sensitive Fern

Sensitive Fern is a Wisconsin native perennial fern that prefers partial to full shade. Sensitive Fern will mature to 1-2 feet tall and 1.5-2 feet wide.
October 31, 2010
prairie dock silphium terebinthinaceum wisconsin native perennial fall bloom yellow flower ftimg

Prairie Dock

Prairie Dock Silphium terebinthinaceum Description & Overview Portraying large leaves with a rhubarb-like appearance, Prairie Dock is a statement native that will flaunt its blooms through October. This beautiful fall-blooming perennial will give life to an otherwise fading garden during the chilly months of September and October. Once established, Prairie […]
October 29, 2010
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Compass Plant

Compass Plant Silphium laciniatum Description & Overview Creating a mass of up to 30 yellow, sunflower-like blooms, Compass Plant is a statement to any wildflower landscape. Serving as the focal point of the garden or the backdrop, there are many ways to incorporate this native into a landscape. Compass Plant […]
October 28, 2010
cup plant silphium perfoliatum wisconsin native flower perennial ftimg

Cup Plant

Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum Description & Overview Attractive to us, attractive to wildlife; Cup Plant fosters a habitat with a native ecosystem and works in conjunction with the environment to create a full perennial hedge. The beautiful, large-yellow flowers have an analogous appearance to a Sunflower or a large, yellow […]
October 21, 2010
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Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica Description & Overview A native Wisconsin wildflower, Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) blooms in late summer with bright blue flowers on tall spikes that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Sometimes a short-lived perennial, Great Blue Lobelia can self-seed under the right conditions, forming attractive colonies in […]
October 21, 2010
cardinal flower lobelia cardinalis wisconsin native plant summer bloom red flower ftimg

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis Description & Overview A native Wisconsin wildflower, Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is known for its bright scarlet-red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Flowers appear on tall spikes in late summer and add a splash of color to the perennial bed or naturalized area. Often a […]
October 18, 2010
leadplant amorpha canescens wisconsin native prairie perennial flower ftimg


Leadplant Amorpha canescens Description & Overview A Wisconsin native prairie plant, this wily perennial loves full sun. This is a resilient plant with a long taproot which makes it drought tolerant and great for an area with sandy, dry soil. The blue/purple flower racemes in later summer last up to […]
October 12, 2010
wild columbine aquilegia canadensis johnson's nursery wisconsin native plants ftimg

Canadian Columbine

Canadian Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Description & Overview Canadian Columbine is an interesting shade plant with dainty, fan-shaped foliage. Numerous, nodding red flowers with yellow centers are borne on slender stems in late spring and early summer. Delicately beautiful, this plant is an excellent choice for alkaline environments in partial shade. […]
October 8, 2010
prairie smoke geum triflorum three flowered avens old man's whiskers ftimg

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke Geum triflorum Description & Overview Prairie Smoke is an excellent native perennial for all season interest! In spring sprays of pendulous pinkish-white flowers explode into a striking display of smoky-pink feathery plumes creating a billowy cloud of “smoke”. Its fern-like mounds of foliage remain attractive all season and […]
September 27, 2010
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Ironweed Vernonia fasciculata Description & Overview Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) gets its common name for its tough, rusty green-colored stems among other “iron-like” plant characteristics. This large statured perennial features large clusters of distinctively glabrous bright purple flowers which stand out in the late summer landscape drawing in pollinators from far […]
September 27, 2010
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Sky Blue Aster

Sky Blue Aster Symphyotrichum oolentangiense Description & Overview Sky Blue Aster is a versatile Wisconsin native that blooms in early fall, adding a nice pop of color to any flower garden with its pretty blue flower petals and yellow central disks. Naturally found in prairies, fields and open woodlands, Sky […]
September 27, 2010
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Zig Zag Goldenrod

Zig Zag Goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis Description & Overview This native woodland perennial is a boon to wildlife and to someone with a shady yard. Zig Zag Goldenrod prefers part-shade and fertile soil but is also tolerant of heavy shade and clay soil. Once established it will also tolerate dry soil. […]
September 27, 2010
yellow coneflower ratibida pinnata wisconsin native perennial ftimg

Yellow Coneflower

Yellow Coneflower Ratibida pinnata Description & Overview Native to dry prairies and savannas in Wisconsin, Yellow Coneflower is a striking plant, featuring vibrant yellow, slightly drooping florets that surround a skyward-pointing cone-like green center. Coarse, rough leaves on sturdy, long flower stalks contrast with its nodding and graceful heads that […]
September 27, 2010
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Prairie Phlox

Prairie Phlox Phlox pilosa Description & Overview The German horticulturist Karl Foerster once wrote: ‘Life without phlox is a mistake.’ With their adaptability to many habits, fragrances, and color varieties, Phlox can find a home almost anywhere. More specifically, Prairie Phlox (Phlox pilosa) are easy-to-grow, low-maintenance perennials that flourish in […]
September 27, 2010
prairie blazing star liatris pycnostachya wisconsin native perennials ftimg

Prairie Blazing Star

Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya Description & Overview Native to Wisconsin, Prairie Blazing Star is the tallest of the blazing stars, reaching 5 feet tall, with tons of bright rose-pink to lilac-purple flowers. Upright and striking, Prairie Blazing Star flowers from top to bottom from July through September, attracting many […]
September 27, 2010
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Bigleaf Aster

Bigleaf Aster Eurybia macrophylla Description & Overview Bigleaf Aster is a Wisconsin native woodland perennial aster that spreads by rhizomes to form a lush carpet of large, hairy leaves that grow up to 8-inches in length. It has rather delicate flowers with thin lavender/blue petals that appear in late summer. […]
September 27, 2010
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Pale Purple Coneflower

Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Description & Overview Pale Purple Coneflower is a beautiful Wisconsin native perennial that will handle many soil types and moisture levels. Typically found in prairies, they are tough and can handle rocky, clay, and dry soil. Their taproot makes them drought tolerant. They are distinguishable […]
September 27, 2010
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Stiff Coreopsis

Stiff Coreopsis Coreopsis palmata Description & Overview Stiff Coreopsis can handle many soil types and all the heat while gifting us with pretty, long-lasting yellow flowers in late summer followed by orange to purple foliage in the fall. This perennial is a hardy, reliable Wisconsin native that butterflies (and many […]
September 27, 2010
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Red Milkweed

Red Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Description & Overview Red Milkweed is a fast-growing, wet soil loving, Wisconsin native perennial with beautiful deep pink flowers that attract many insects. The Monarch Butterfly uses it as a host plant. Although it can tolerate moderate moisture and even heavy clay, Red Milkweed, also known […]
September 27, 2010
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Spikenard Aralia racemosa Description & Overview Is it a perennial? Is it a shrub? No, it’s Spikenard! This native, shrubby perennial thrives in the shady, moist, fertile soils of forest floors but can also tolerate rock and clay. It has beautiful, large, compound green leaves with showy white flower racemes […]
July 31, 2010
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Nodding Pink Onion

Nodding Pink Onion Allium cernuum Description & Overview Nodding Pink Onion is a hardy, native North American species with a characteristic drooping flower stalk. As a whole, the plant looks beautiful and delicate. The leaves are light green and grass-like. The flower stalk is long and thin with a droop […]
July 13, 2010


Butterflyweed Asclepias tuberosa Description & Overview Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, also known as Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Chigger Flower is a slow-to-emerge perennial bearing fragrant clusters of orange flowers which attract butterflies. The seedpods are quite ornamental. Drought tolerant once established, requiring well drained soil. Core Characteristics Wisconsin Native: […]
June 14, 2010

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum Description & Overview Single paired 8-12″ long, 3-lobed leaves frame the unusual green and purple hooded flowers. A superb woodland plant that becomes most visible in early autumn when its striking clusters of orange-red berries appear on leafless stalks brightening up shaded recesses. Core […]
June 3, 2010
rattlesnake master eryngium yuccifolium wisconsin native perennial ftimg

Rattlesnake Master

Rattlesnake Master is a Wisconsin native prairie plant that features interesting white golf ball-like flowers with thistle-like foliage.
May 25, 2010
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Heath Aster

Heath Aster Symphyotrichum ericoides Description & Overview A bushy, clump-forming native forb that spreads by creeping rhizomes. Abundant, white ¼” flowers with yellow centers are produced from August through October. Performs best in full sun, sandy to loamy, well-draining soils. Pollinators and wildlife will flock to asters in late summer […]
March 1, 2010
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Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa Description & Overview Wild Bergamot is an iconic Wisconsin native perennial is commonly seen in dry prairies, meadows, and wood edges. Soft lavender-pink flowers show up in late June through August (sometimes as late as September), which offers a midsummer food source for a variety of […]
February 18, 2010
white prairie clover dalea candida johnson's nursery plants native wisconsin ftimg

White Prairie Clover

White Prairie Clover Dalea candida Description & Overview This eco-beneficial perennial draws the eye in with tall green spikes emerging from a crown of white flowers that work their way upwards throughout the season. White Prairie Clover is a native perennial that thrives in mesic (average moisture) to dry conditions, […]
February 17, 2010
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Sweet Black-eyed Susan

Sweet Black-eyed Susan is a superb Wisconsin native perennial with sweetly fragrant, buttery yellow, daisy-like flowers and purplish-brown centers. Seeming to dance upon tall stems, masses of flowers bloom from July through October. With larger and longer-lasting blooms compared to other Black-eyed Susan, they're great in cutting, cottage, or native gardens.
February 16, 2010

Hoary Vervain

Hoary Vervain is a stunner in the garden with blue-purple flower spikes that bloom from the bottom to the top from May into September. A Wisconsin native perennial, Hoary Vervain attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinators continuously throughout the season. Wonderful for borders, prairies, native gardens, or anywhere height and texture is needed.
February 16, 2010
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Large White Trillium

Large White Trillium is a sight to behold in spring with elegant wavy-edged, bright white flowers that shift to pink as they age. At home in shady areas and moist soil, plant in masses along woodland edges and in shade gardens for big impact.
February 15, 2010
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Mayapple is an unusual Wisconsin native perennial with large, tropical-looking, deeply divided leaves. Showy nodding white flowers are hidden by foliage, attracting many pollinators with their fragrance. Edible, green fruits appear after flowering turning golden yellow when ripe.