Thriving on sunny, dry, low fertility soils, Needlegrass is valued for its soil stabilization and revegetating strengths. Named for its spike-like seeds. It could star in naturalized areas with little foot traffic or in a corner as a native ornamental grass. It is found on very dry, rocky sites in the west.
Large-flowered agoseris is found on thin-soiled upland prairies and rocky balds. It has a large rosette of cut-leaves and dandelion-type flowers that close by mid-morning. The flowers become a big white ball of fluff when in seed. As with our lawn dandelion, it will re-flower after it is cut. 1-2 ft.
Camassia leichtlinii var. suksdorfii (Leichtlin's or Great Camas)
A robust spring-blooming perennial with bright blue flowers, our native camas once clothed Oregon valleys in waves of striking color. Settlement and agriculture over the past 150 years have pushed it to marginal small pockets in wetlands, roadsides, and areas unsuited to cropping. Two ft. tall in blossom. Occasional nectar species for Fenders Blue Butterfly.
With intensely blue, starry flowers in dense spikes in a carefree package the camas is a useful addition to gardens. It will gently reseed itself given light shade to full sun and some spring moisture. Dormancy starts in June so it is a great candidate for mixing with other perennials. 18 in. tall. Occasional nectar species for Fenders Blue Butterfly.
This sedge is commonly found in wet prairies and ditches. It is 12-30" tall, has yellowish-green foliage, is densely bunched, and has compact flower heads. It adds great texture to a garden when planted along a drainage.
Our native Willamette Valley shooting star adorns our wetland prairies in the spring with a splash of hot pink. Combined with common camas, the landscape in April resembles an impressionist painting. There are multiple flowers on top of 15 inch stems. The brown seed pods also add early summer interest when used in landscape plantings.
This native annual is found in wet prairies and ditches. It has tall spikes of magenta flowers that provide late summer color.. The small seeds are attractive to goldfinches during their breeding season. 2-4 ft tall
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.
The pale ivory flowers with elegantly recurved tips occur on tall stems. Showy mottled leaves. Plant deeply and grow in sun or shade. They will go dormant early in the season, so it is a great plant to mix into groundcover plantings.
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.
With dark green finely dissected leaves, this biscuitroot produces new growth in the fall and blooms in May with a seemingly never-ending supply of brilliant gold-yellow flowers. It produces an outstandingly beautiful show. It is drought resistant.
This small annual with succulent leaves flowers very early in the spring. It has white, self-pollinating flowers and grows rocky or vernally wet areas in areas free of competing vegetation. The black shiny seeds ripen quickly in early-May and dropping out from the still green flower bracts.
Perideridia gairdneri ssp. borealis (Squawroot or Yampah)
This species of wild carrot is native to western North America and was an important and often a staple food plant for many Native American groups. In Western Oregon, it is found in both wet and dry prairies. The stems are very tall, but delicate often reaching 5 feet at peak flowering.
Although the flowers are not brightly colored, this plant in the waterleaf family attracts a wide-variety of native bees making this a must for both upland restorations and native gardens. The flowering stems elongate as they mature with new flowers opening in long succession in mid-summer. Found in dry, rocky habitat at low and high elevations.
This early blooming species has delicate blue flowers nestled in tufts of dark green leaves. In a wildlife garden, the long-bloom period makes it a great bedding plant. Hookedspur violet is a used a both a nectar and larval host for a variety of butterflies. It does best on upland restoration sites where competition from invasive plants and grassy thatch are kept to a minimum. 4-8 inches tall.
This early-blooming species has deep yellow flowers and soft, fuzzy leaves. In a wildlife garden, the long-bloom period makes it a great bedding plant. It grows in moist to dry open woodlands and prairie where it attracts a variety of early pollinators. It does best on upland restoration sites where competition from invasive plants and grassy thatch are kept to a minimum. 8-10 inches tall.
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.