The current mix of Missouri native plants has been here since the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. Native Plants manage water flow with their strong root networks. Their deep roots slow down the flow of water, preventing soil erosion and reducing stormwater runoff. Once established, native plants thrive without the use of irrigation, but they’re also regenerative. Native plants and rain gardens help clean water naturally because their deep root systems act as filters for the dirty runoff from streets, parking lots and rooftops. Native plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and their deep roots put it back in the ground (where it belongs!) in a process called carbon sequestration (also called carbon capture or carbon trapping). As plants respire, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen back into it. The carbon dioxide is broken down by plants, depositing carbon into the soil and releasing oxygen into the air. This carbon cycle creates oxygen for us to breathe, but it also puts carbon where it belongs – back into the soil!
Echinacea purpurea, commonly called purple coneflower, is a coarse, rough-hairy, herbaceous perennial that is native to moist prairies, meadows and open woods. It typically grows to 2-4' tall. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (to 5" diameter) blooms throughout summer atop stiff stems clad with coarse, ovate to broad-lanceolate, dark green leaves. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter, and if flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds. Attracts birds and butterflies, flies, beetles, cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, moths, and their larvae.
Blooms in the first year from seed planted in early spring, and is accordingly often grown as an annual. It is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in moist, organically rich soils. Tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soils except poorly-drained wet ones. Start seeds indoors around March 1. Seed may also be sown directly in the garden at last frost date. Deadhead flowers to encourage additional bloom and/or to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Whether or not plants survive from one year to the next, they freely self-seed and will usually remain in the garden through self-seeding.
Attracts bees, butterfies and beetles
A native wildflower that grows exceptionally well in moist, shady soils and puts on an impressive display of blooms in late summer to fall. Even when not in bloom, these plants have striking leathery, green foliage that can quickly fill in a shady spot and add a complementary backdrop to neighboring plants. Turtlehead is right at home in a woodland setting and spreads slowly but surely to create dense clumps of plants. It also makes pretty cut flowers.
Attracts butterflies, bees and humming birds.
Clover plants1 fix nitrogen in the soil. Purple prairie clover in gardens helps add this crucial macro-nutrient back into the soil. Growing purple prairie clover as a green manure or cover crop helps enrich the soil when it is mixed in compost and absorbed back into the earth. This plant practically grows itself and its usefulness is of great consequence to the health of your garden and soil condition.
Attracts bees, butterflies,
Yarrow is a perennial, which means it will come back year after year. Yarrow will easily grow via root/rhizome spreading, but also thru seeding. You’ll see yarrow pop up in your garden. Yarrow is, in fact, a beautiful companion plant for your garden, bringing many pollinators .
She prefers full sun and will grow in just about any soil, but prefers dry areas and is drought tolerant.
I recommend growing yarrow in a place where it can spread and not crowd out other herbs and flowers. Attracts ladybugs, Miner, digger, bumble, leafcutter, mason, and sweat bees.
In late summer and early fall, Barbaras Buttons puts out sweetly fragrant, pink or white blooms above its tidy leaves. The rest of the year, its rosette of low-growing green foliage can provide foreground accents for other blooms. Best in organically rich, consistently moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Soils should not be allowed to dry out.
Attracts brids, bees, and butterflies
Most people recognize mantids, or mantises, when they see them. They’re large, elongated insects with triangular heads that can swivel around. The color is usually tan, grayish, or green. Mantids are ambush predators. In your garden they will help to control pests, but they also eat predators.
What they eat: Mosquitos, caterpillars, cockroaches, bees, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, hummingbirds and more. In times of scarcity, they will eat their own species.
These friendly beetles are one of the many beneficial insects that can be found in a garden, orchard, or patio. It is not that it is especially popular for pollinating flowers, but it is one of the best allies that any gardener can have who grows his plants following the principles of organic farming.
What they eat: Aphids, fruit flies, ants, ticks, mites, caterpillars, larvae, nymphs, maggots, and even other ladybugs.
Honey bees are social insects. Their colonies includes a queen, drones and workers. Honey bees have been producing honey for over 100 million years. Honeybees are very important to our environment and are perfectly adapted to help with pollination. Honeybees feed on pollen and nectar from blooming flowers, as well as honey and secretions produced by other members of their colony. The worker bees forage for enough food for their entire colony, using their tongues to suck the nectar up and storing it. They also collect pollen from flowers and groom it off their bodies and onto special structures on their hind legs called pollen baskets.
Slimy, slippery, pinkish, or salmon-colored earthworms are familiar to just about everyone. They are segmented worms with numerous concentric ridges, one for each body segment. The clitellum (the ringlike collar about a quarter of the distance from the head) is typically pink, swollen (raised higher than the rest of the worm), and partially encircles the body.
earthworms — that break down and recycle organic materials, aerate the soil, and make soil permeable to rainwater. The ecosystem within healthy soils is what makes plant life and animal life (including us) possible. Earthworms can deposit more than 1,000 metric tons of fecal material per hectare annually. Their burrowing creates vast networks of tunnels in the soil, changing its structure, allowing air and water to penetrate into the earth. They are constantly moving the soil, having both subtle and large-scale effects.
Most of a damselfly’s life is spent as a nymph. Some species live for five years underwater before becoming adults. They and the adult forms are important predators of mosquitoes, midges, and other small insects. The nymphs are important food for fish and other aquatic insectivores. Swallows, flycatchers, and other birds circle above ponds, hunting the adults. Unlucky adult damselflies, in the process of laying eggs on the water surface, may be gobbled by a fish.
Monarch butterflies are one of the few migratory insects, traveling great distances between summer breeding habitat and winter habitat where they spend several months inactive. In the summer they range as far north as southern Canada. In the fall the eastern population migrates to the cool, high mountains of central Mexico. Monarchs feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, wildflowers in the genus Asclepias.