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Native Plants for Western Montana - Top Picks for 2024




Happy Valentine's Day! A time for the exchange of flowers among

sweethearts, we’d like to share our top picks for 2024, flowers and other plants alike! 


This list will invite and encourage you to create natural areas enjoyable for both humans and wildlife alike, with beautiful plants that require less maintenance over time. Embracing native species is delightful and rewarding! We're commencing the growing season with a comprehensive list of native plants that will educate and encourage others to integrate more native plants into their surroundings.




Spring


Pulsatilla patens (Pasque flower)

Blooms March-April, Full Sun

The feathery flower unfurling its purple petals to the warming sun is the distinctive feature of this western grassland species.








Koeleria macrantha (Prairie Junegrass) 

Blooms April-July, Full Sun

Moving in the spring breeze, the versatile Prairie Junegrass sways with beautiful seed heads complementing the surrounding scenery.











Aquilegia caerulea (Colorado blue columbine)

Blooms April-June, Partial Shade

Producing long-lasting, vibrant blue and white blossoms, the Colorado blue columbine attracts hummingbirds.











 Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue)

Blooms May-June, Full Sun/Partial Shade

A hardy grass with fine blades. Grazed in spring by deer, and a year-round forage for elk.











Viola species (Native violet)

A floral favorite among forest animals. Small flowers to decorate the lawn while still providing for pollinators.










Summer


Dalea purpurea (Purple Prarie Clover)

Blooms June-September, Full Sun

They are highly attractive to pollinators and are nitrogen-fixing, making the soil more fertile.










Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama)

Blooms June-August, Full Sun

With its wide-spread environmental adaptation and ease of establishment, the beautiful, tall, seed-laden Blue Grama fills the summer fields.






Rudbeckia laciniata (Cutleaf Coneflower)

Blooms Early to Late Summer, Full Sun/Partial Shade

This bright happy flower loves to soak up the sun, making it perfect for planting along streambanks and pond edges.









Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed)

Blooms Midsummer-Fall, Full Sun

The Showy Milkweed becomes a haven for the monarch butterflies with its pink and white flowers serving up a feast.










Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)

Blooms June-October, Full Sun

Tiny white papery flowers have an elegant subtlety, perfect for a garden edge. The blossoms can be dried for durable bouquets as they keep their color and shape well, hence the name, Everlasting.





Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)

Blooms June-August, Full Sun

The Prairie dropseed grows with green narrow leaves that arch downward making it one of the most ornamental of the native prairie grasses.






© Copyright 2016, Hoffman Nursery, Inc

Autumn


Ratibida columnifera (Prairie Coneflower)

Blooms Summer-Fall, Full Sun

This drought-tolerant flower has a tall central cone, giving it other names such as Long-headed Coneflower and Mexican Hat.










Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)

Blooms August-February, Full Sun

A large bunchgrass that has beautiful foliage from blue-green in the summer to reddish-brown hue in the fall.










Agastache rupestris (Sunset Giant Hyssop)

Blooms July-September, Full Sun

One of the most durable species in the Agastache family. With orange flowers and slender leaves, the plant is scented like licorice and mint.











Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Blue Aster)

Blooms Late Summer-Fall, Full Sun/Partial Shade

The leaves on the plant are smooth to the touch. Its tall standing stem with shades of blue flowers attracts a variety of pollinators.









Solidago missouriensis (Missouri Goldenrod)

Blooms Late Summer until Frost, Full Sun

These golden clusters of flowers are a source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects in the late summer and fall.












Late Fall/Winter


Liatris punctata (Dotted Gayfeather)

Blooms August-October, Full Sun/Partial Shade

A vivid soft purple bloom in the fall that provides nourishment for pollinators at a time when they have many few options.









Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian Sunflower)

Blooms August-November, Full Sun

A showy sunflower that towers over the plants around it. A nice pop of color and a food source for bees and butterflies before the cold days.










Many of our 2024 Top Picks grow cooperatively and are visually striking in both gardens and bouquets. Consider our Western Montana Meadow Seed Mix and/or Western Montana Native Grass Seed mix to get started and have native plants like these throughout the year. Both of these mixes are curated to create a natural meadow environment, competing with and eliminating noxious weeds. Shop here




Interested in purchasing some of these natives for your garden or landscape? Check out these Western Montana retail nurseries that carry GBNP plants:  Missoula


Bozeman/ Gallatin Area


Great Falls


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