Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's Celebrate Wildflowers This Week!

Baptisia 'Starlight Prairie Blues' is also in bloom.

It's been a great Spring for wildflowers at Clay and Limestone. Gardeners in Nashville and all around Tennessee, weren't surprised with any late freezes; so far we've had smaller weather events then the big flooding rains of last year; and, the temperatures are only now approaching 80F. The redbuds and dogwoods were the best I've seen them in years. Everything that can flower looks like it will! So, I am celebrating wildflowers everyday this week along with Frances of fairegarden and anyone else who wants to join the party. Post anytime this week~or everyday. Let's just celebrate!

Phlox pilosa, Aquilegia canadenses, Baptisias, Salvia lyrata, grasses and native friendly exotics

Wildflowers and native shrubs have to be rugged to grow in the shallow clay soil and survive our wet winters and dry summers. Cedar Glade natives and native friendly exotics that will grow and thrive in clay and limestone make sense.

Here's one that needs to be showcased more often; with a nod to several of its companion.

Salvia Lyrata
Lyreleaf Sage or Salvia lyrata

Some folks (and while I am not naming names, you know who you are~xoxo) still insist that this delightful wildflower is a lawn weed! Not in my eyes.

Blue Eyed Grass is a tiny little iris that grows best in average to poor soil!
When mixed with native sedges and grasses, and cutie pie Western Daisy and Blue Eyed Grass you can have a fantastic substitute for a water hungry lawn. The lawnette where Lyreleaf Sage grows is also Tommie Crocus friendly. I think it's a wonderful native~Good looking and functional.

Western Daisy is a native annual that makes a lawn pop from Spring through the Summer
Salvia lyrata is native to the wood's edge, thickets, roadsides, tall meadows and lawns of the eastern USA. Give it full sun, deep shade or anything in between: sandy or clay soil; and, occasional moisture! Our summer droughts and humidity don't faze it! It can be walked on, mowed or left alone to create a delightful groundcover.
It's a mint family member with a square stem and two lipped blossom and it will make a nice groundcover.
Lyreleaf sage has the square stem and 2-lipped blossom of the mints. Its pale-blue to violet, tubular flowers are arranged in whorls around the stem forming an interrupted, terminal spike. (spaces between whorled flowers) Each blossom is about 1 inch long.

This lip is the perfect bee landing pad! That makes me smile!
The exposed lower lip of this and other salvias provides an excellent landing platform for bees. When a bee lands, the two stamens are tipped, and the insect is doused with pollen.

I never tire of saying or feeling this~Isn't nature amazing!


PS More wildflowers to come. Mid week will bring us around to Wildflower Wednesday for any regular participants. Please note that Mr Linky will be on the sidebar all week! Feel free to join anytime.

This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. Dear Gail, many thanks for helping me to see the special beauty and importance of our native wildlings! We will be poking around the garden this week, looking for the ones that wish to be showcased. I hope your readers will do the same! Thanks for the linkage, my friend! :-)

  2. Gail, Your garden is singing! Love the shot with all the blooms and bottles. The wild flowers are beautiful to us and to the lovely swarming critters as well.

  3. Great idea Gail. I wish I could contribute, but it is a bit early here for the native wildflowers to show. A couple have shown up on the farm, but not in any great numbers yet. Heck, tulips are not even out yet.

  4. I will get outside between showers and get some pictures this week. If we would get just a ray of sunshine I think the phlox you sent me last year will bloom. It has some buds sitting there just waiting for the right movment to open. I am so excited. I have tried blue-eyed grass. It didn't last for me. Hmmmmmm Maybe one of these monsoons took it out. I think it is so pretty.

  5. Gail I will be posting a wildflower of last summer on Wed...as Donna at GWGT said it is too early here...natives are still hiding although the bloodroot are up just not opening...I will save my photos for May when I will have tons...can't wait to visit your wildflowers though all week..

  6. I am having an image of a bee 'doused in pollen' and it is both beautiful and amusing. Thanks for the visual image.

  7. Love the wildflower pics. I walked in a woods on Saturday, full of interesting plants and flowers so I will have a Wildflower Wednesday post for sure!

  8. Wild flowers and weeds? I would love to have them all over my garden...those look so lovely in any garden!

  9. I have the Salvia lyrata and love it. Great foliage color interest! I'll try and jump in sometime this week!

  10. Good for your wildflowers, Gail- what a great photo of the natives mingling with the friendly exotics!

    Could you pop over & give my Salvia lyrata a pep talk? After losing it 3 times I tried again this spring. Maybe the gardener need a pep talk, too - must be doing something wrong.

    Love the blue-eyed grass!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. You know I love the wildflowers. While mine aren't as far along as yours, I still have plenty in bloom already. Spring wildflowers do rock. (Love the eyes on the Baptisia bloom. LOL!)

  12. Yes, I'll join you later in the week. Wonder if I'll find any wildflowers at P. Allen Smith's place? I'll go tomorrow and see.~~Dee

  13. Our wildflower celebration was last week, during California's native plant week. Now I feel like I get to extend the celebration with you and Frances! I love blue-eyed grass, and have some growing here. I'm hoping it will set seed so I can propagate some more. I really like the Salvia lyrata too, but then again, I've never met a Saliva I didn't simply love!

  14. Lyre-leaved sage is a wonderful hummingbird magnet in my wildlife garden. I love this plant :)

  15. So worth the wait, aren't they? I love your Wildflower celebration. My PPPP is just about to open. It's much earlier this year than last. I think of you when I see it. Thank you again for your generosity. :)

  16. Gail, you surely must have the most beautiful wildflowers around! No wonder the pollinators find your garden so bee-utiful:) The wildflowers and natives are a little slower here up north, but I'll scout around to find something to share this Wednesday.

  17. Gail, thanks for this great opportunity (kick in the pants?) to post some of my wildflowers. I think I can find a blooming wildflower for every day this week.

    Salvia lyrata will probably flower in a week or so here. Our ditch next to the road is just full of them, and I moved some to the garden but they're not quite settled in yet.

    I did a double (or triple) take on that first photo in this post :-)

  18. Love the picture of your garden. Gorgeous. What is the name of the allium? ~ it really ties the colors of the baptisias and columbine together.

    Western Daisy always captivates me with its elegant simplicity.

    We have Lyreleaf Sage in our floodway fields and I need to transplant some into the gardens. I like both the foliage and flower effect.

  19. Hi Gail, Love the picturs of your wildflowers! Especially the blue-eyed grass and the Baptisia. Two of my favorites!

    I added my link to your Mr. Linky.

  20. how wonderful to have a meme for wildflowers. love the links and the pictures. i tried linking my post but am not seeing it appear.

  21. Thanks for hosting this great meme, Gail! The wildflowers are so pretty this time of year!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson