Here are five of our favorite foolproof natives:
Liatris spicata (Spike Gayfeather)
Blooms July- August. Full sun, moist well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established. Butterflies, birds, hummingbirds. Special value to native bees. The brilliant purple shines during hot summer days.
Myrica pensylvanica (Bayberry)
Evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub, grows to 9 feet. Adaptable, grows on poor sandy soil. salt tolerant. Full sun, dry to wet. Birds will eat the seed (found only on female plants). Both male and female plants are needed if you want the berries, which are used to make Bayberry candles.
Aster novae-angliae/Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
(New England Aster)
Moist, sun to part sun, to 5 feet tall; Violet to purple flowers late summer. Butterflies. Nectar source for Monarchs. Special value to native bees, bumble bees, and honey bees. This easy plant is a cheerful addition to any garden.
Rudbeckia fulgida var fulgida
(Orange Coneflower, Brown Eyed Susan)
Moist, sun to part sun. 2′-3′ tall. Yellow flowers mid summer. Nectar for butterflies and beneficial insects. No garden is complete without it! The long bloom season brings joy to the latter half of the summer and these delicate blooms go right past frost.
Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)
Moist to permanently flooded, Sun. Open habit to about 9 feet. Buttonlike flower in summer. Birds, butterflies, beneficial insects. Moderately deer resistant. Special value to native bees, bumble bees, and honey bees.