When picturing native plant scenes in Eastern Nebraska, one normally imagines vast prairies of tall plants and grasses. However, Omaha Nebraska is home to a wide variety of beautiful flowering plants, shrubs, and groundcover— perfect for a home garden. Here are some native plants that will thrive in your Omaha garden.
Fortunately, Eastern Nebraska is overflowing with native plant, shrub and tree options for your own personal landscape, which can also help expand the biodiversity of your area’s ecosystem. Native plants can help conserve water, provide food for pollinators, and even create a healthier soil, all the while looking beautiful.
This fragrant flower is a Nebraskan native and can be found growing in the wild all over the state. Generally found in the west, these plants tend not to flower. In eastern Nebraska, these plants grow flat, beautifully lavender, or they sprout light blue flowers with notched petals. These flowers form in small clusters, and attract many forms of pollinators.
Also known as “Winecup”, the Purple Poppy Mallow creates small amounts of groundcover, presenting beautiful cup-like purple and maroon flowers with a white spot at each base. These perennials are drought-tolerant, and its flowers open in the morning and close during the evening. Winecup flowers are also great for attracting pollinators to the area, allowing for more wildflowers to spread.
This thornless, loosely branched shrub grows to about 6-8 feet tall, with about the same width. Deep golden yellow flowers will appear on these shrubs during the spring and emit a strong fragrance. In the late spring to mid-summer, these flowers will give way to black currant growth, which can be eaten raw or turned into jellies/jams. Fortunately, these shrubs do not suffer from any major weaknesses toward diseases or pests.
This small, mound-shaped shrub typically grows 4 feet in height and forms two different kinds of colorful clusters. One cluster grows white/green flowers that bloom in April through July. This bush maintains color almost year round, even keeping its coral pink berry clusters through the winter.
This small prairie shrub can grow to a height between 1 to 3 feet tall, featuring tiny purple flowers growing in long stalk-like clusters. These plants usually bloom during June and July and require ample sun with a small amount of shade. They’re great for attracting natural wildlife such as pollinators.
Also known as the Prairie Blazing Star, this perennial creates stems ranging anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall, with rose or purple flower heads growing on half of each stalk. Many stamens and styles protrude from these flower heads, creating a fuzzy appearance, while also attracting plenty of butterflies to your garden. This flowering plant is often used as an ornamental piece for outdoor gardens and landscaping.
Also known as Wild Blue Aster, these small perennials bloom beautiful blue or light purple flowers with many petals and an aromatic center. This flower only grows to about 1 to 2 feet in height, and blooms during September through November. This plant requires very little water, and is tolerant to both cold and heat conditions. Aromatic Aster can survive in either dry, or slightly moist soils.
Also known as American Senna, this small flower blooms with beautiful yellow clusters from July to August. While the Senna’s flowers attract many varieties of butterflies and bumblebees, the plant itself can be poisonous to humans if eaten. However, the plant is easy to care for, requiring no extra attention or special maintenance.
This large, lavender flowering plant is known for producing beautiful pink and purple tubular flowers covering stems growing about 2 to 3 feet tall. This ornamental plant is most beautiful when planted in large quantities, and blooms from May to late June. However, since this is a prairie plant, Beardtongues require a good amount of sunlight daily for the best results.
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