Our native yarrow is one of our most common prairie plants and can be found in both wet and dry prairies. It is quick to establish on restoration sites so is great to use for enhancement or on disturbed areas. This member of the carrot family attracts many different pollinators and beneficial insects making it an important habitat plant. It can have white to pink flowers, 1-2 ft.
Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia (Common Fiddleneck)
Common fiddleneck is found in both wet and dry prairies and has bristly hairs on the foliage. The large, elongating flower stems are bright orange and curl at the ends (like the head of a fiddle). The seed is a favorite food on our native goldfinches. It does best in disturbed habitats and areas of low competition.
Narrow-leaf milkweed attracts butterflies and bees and is smaller in stature than showy milkweed. It tolerates very dry conditions and is, typically, found in thin rocky soil areas in the Willamette Valley. It is a host plant for Monarch butterflies.
The Monarch butterfly host plant with great retail appeal, so it's easy to sell. It is unusual and showy with 3-in., globes of pink-tinged, star-shaped flowers. This increasingly rare plant is the only genus on which Monarch butterflies will deposit eggs. The nectar-filled flowers, opening late summer, exude a pleasing sweet fragrance and produce magnificent seed pods. 2-3 ft. tall.
This tall (up to 5 feet in flower) perennial grass is native to many western states and does well in a variety of habitats. The flowers are in spikes with long awns and turn golden brown in our mid-summer prairies looking impressive as they wave in the breeze. This is not a dominant grass of our Willamette Valley prairies but an important component to add diversity to a site
Eriophyllum lanatum var. leucophyllum (Oregon Sunshine)
Provides a very long-lived showing of golden daisies to the mid-spring and summer landscape. The wooly leaves form a dense, nearly evergreen mat 1-2' tall. It is excellent as a border perennial or a groundcover and is one of the matrix species in the Willamette Valley prairies. Nectar species for Fenders Blue Butterfly and Field Cresent.
Because this is the dominant native bunchgrass in the upland prairies west of the Cascades from southern British Columbia to central California it is an easy choice for mass plantings. With its fine thread-like leaves of steely blue-gray that form tussocks 10 in. height, it is very beautiful too, even planted individually in the landscape. No concern over ecological invasiveness. Drought and deer resistant.
The flowers seem to float above the greenery in the Willamette Valley, where it grows among taller grass. Our iridescent solitary bees are very common sight on the large purple-violet flowers that are presented over a long period; June through early July. 16" tall, 20" wide. Key nectar species for Fenders Blue Butterfly.
Potentilla gracilis (Slender or Graceful Cinquefoil)
Just as the common name says, this plant produces a graceful 1' mound of lacy fretted palmate foliage with sunshine yellow flowers. In western Oregon, it is a key species in both our wet and dry prairies and its long bloom-time in June attracts numerous native pollinators.
Prunella vulgaris var. lanceolata (Lance Self-heal)
Our native self-heal, Oregon sunshine, and yarrow, are the work-horse species of restoration sites. The small seeds are attractive to goldfinches. Good bedding plant in the garden (short-rhizomes), purple spikes of flowers, medicinal plant "self-heal" used for many ailments, 0.5-2 ft tall. Nectar species for Sonora skipper and many other long tongued butterflies.
Very showy, large yellow flowers (sunflower family), large expressive leaves (aka "mule's ears"). The seeds are large and attract goldfinches at the height of summer. Nectar species for Field Cresent butterflies.