Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nebraska Wildflowers Day 2 -- Wild Quinine

This is Nebraska wildflower week. Each day I'll feature a native wildflower that grows well for me in my fickle clay AND brings in butterflies. Hopefully, you'll find something you've never seen before.

To end the week, on Saturday, June 9 at 10am, I'll be giving a presentation on Nebraska wildflowers at Finke Gardens and Nursery. And don't forget, I do run a native prairie garden coaching business. Ahem.

Also, check out Bob Henrickson's (NE Statewide Arboretum) fantastic advice on planting a mini prairie in your landscape.


I'm betting you've never heard of Parthenium integrifolium . It's a strong-standing perennial that doesn't look "flowery," but I guarantee you'll notice it. A June bloomer, its flower heads look like mini cauliflowers to me. Insects certainly do visit, but for me, the interest is in the unique blooms and how bright they are from a distance before most anything else is alight.

Wild quinine can do wet to dry soil--I have mine in medium clay, full sun. 3' tall by 2' wide.

Not quite open yet


Desert Dweller said...

Cool plants you are featuring...your Parthenium has a couple desert SW relatives, and I'm looking at them right now. Being born then college educated on the prairie, please keep featuring the wealth of your native plants. (and always an insect on a flower)

Benjamin Vogt said...

D--Yeah, I'm trying to get insects pics, but most get really pissed when I get in close, esp butterflies. I'm trying! Stay tuned this week, I do have more coming up! What is a SW relative to quinine?

Gaia Gardener: said...

I've heard of wild quinine but I don't think I've ever seen it in person, so to speak. I just set out a tiny, tiny specimen 2 days ago - we'll see if it makes it through the long summer. The photos haven't pulled me in on this one, but folks that know it (like you) are very enthusiastic - making me think it's one of those relatively rare plants that just isn't really photogenic.

Benjamin Vogt said...

GG--True, it's not terribly photogenic, but it does stand out in the garden right now.

UrsulaV said...

I have two wild quinine plants in the garden, and I love this stuff! Only problem is that the stalks get tall and flop eventually in my soil. But they're an awesome plant, and I do find lots of bugs, especially solitary wasps, wallowing all over the flower heads.