More Plants with Winter Interest

Gaillardia aristata (Blanket Flower)

A few red flower petals still cling to Gaillardia aristata (blanket flower).

I’ve been taking more photos of the native plants in my garden between snowfalls. I’ve noticed how some plants show off their red colors as the snow falls off the seed heads. I especially like Gaillardia aristata in the winter. Its seed heads are so interesting and look different depending on what stage of seed production they were in when the first hard freeze hit.





Dalea purpurea (Purple Prairie Clover)

Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover) is stunning in winter light.

Dalea purpurea is another of my favorites in winter. Its erect form is quite stately and once all the seeds fall off, the reddish stems are topped with shimmering white in winter light. I think, if ever the space presents itself, I should like to plant this one in mass just to enjoy it in the winter.







Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats Grama)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) struggle to stay vertical.

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama), on the other hand, tends to droop with the snow load. Most are smashed to the ground under the snow. A few managed to keep their heads up and still maintain their graceful form. The birds do enjoy reaching for the seeds and this grass species certainly makes a lot of it!

Ratibida columnifera (Prairie Coneflower)

Ratibida columnifera (prairie coneflower) also holds up well in the snow, providing good cover and food for birds and mammals.

Ratibida columnifera (prairie coneflower), with its faithful yellow blooms in summer, forms a solid mass of stems and seed heads in winter. I love how the black seed heads punctuate the white background.

With winter solstice behind us, I know I’ll soon start thinking of spring blooms. But, for now, I’m content to enjoy my winter garden.

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