hybrids cultivars vs native plants

Cultivars and hybrids vs. native plants

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Let’s talk about what you’re planting in your garden! Cultivars and hybrids offer gorgeous, elaborate flowers. Plus, they are readily available at your local retail nurseries and big box stores. You probably already have quite a few in your garden. These plants are intentionally bred by horticulturalists to enhance a desirable trait: size of flowers, height of plant, color, growing habitat, disease resistance and fruit or nut size. A lot of these plants are alien species from other countries. Many of these plants have become invasive pests, outcompeting native species and degrading habitat in remaining natural areas.

Native plants, on the other hand, occur naturally in a region in they evolved, providing genetic diversity and supporting local ecosystems. Since they are best adapted to local environmental conditions, they are low maintenance, requiring less water and improving air quality. Native bees, honey bees and other pollinators are facing serious challenges. With true open-pollinated native wildflowers, your garden can attract and provide nectar and pollen resources for pollinators.

You don’t need to rip out all your cultivars just yet. Instead, slowly start adding a variety of native plants, so your garden is in bloom over a wide period of time. Better yet, plant in floral clumps, or circular groups of at least three. Rather than just one of a lot of different plants, try planting with an odd number of the same kind of attractive plant. This gives the appearance of a more natural grouping.

If you want to sustain biodiversity, you just need to be more mindful of the ecological function of the plants you’re planting.

Our new perennials for 2019

posted in: Wildflowers | 0

Spring is finally here! After a long winter, we’re excited to share the new additions to this year’s native plant offerings. Many of these perennials would make excellent additions to your pollinator garden.


20 percent off native plant sale

Save 20% off select native plants

posted in: Sales | 0

We’re clearing out the greenhouse here at Keystone Wildflowers to make room for next season! Naturalize your meadow or garden with native plants that support pollinators, and save 20% off select native plants for a limited time only.

Plant varieties available for a limited time only

  • Cardinal Flower
  • Showy Goldenrod
  • White Aster
  • Boneset
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Wild Petunia
  • Virginia Mountain Mint
  • Dog-Toothed Daisy
  • Yellow Coneflower
  • Evergreen Goldenrod
  • Blue Mist Flower
  • Smooth Blue Aster
  • Sweet Black-Eyed Susan

  • Old Field Goldenrod
  • False Aster
  • Foxglove Beardtongue
  • Hair Penstemon
  • Great St. John’s Wort
  • Doll’s Eyes
  • Turtlehead
  • New Jersey Tea
  • Brown-Eyed Susan
  • Spotted Joe Pye Weed
  • Lance-leaf Coreopsis
  • Showy Mountain Mint

Discounted native plants are available in various container sizes: 72 or 30 count trays, trade gallons or quarts. 

For more details or to place an order, please contact us at bill@keystonewildflowers.com.

wildflowers for rain gardens

Improve water quality with rain gardens

posted in: Wildflowers | 0

These small maintainable gardens replace lawn areas with native wildflowers and grasses and soak up rainwater runoff from your roof, driveway, or lawn. The rain garden fills with a few inches of water to slowly filter into the ground rather than allowing pollutants in your yard like fertilizers to runoff to storm drains, streams, ponds and lakes. Compared to conventional lawns, rain gardens soak up to 30 percent more water. They also reduce local flooding and soil erosion. Want to learn more about the benefits of rain gardens and which plants you should use for your site?

Many of the plants found in a rain garden provide seeds and shelter for birds, as well as pollen and nectar for countless species of butterflies and native bees. Over the years, I’ve also found rain gardens promote an abundance of biologically beneficial insects to balance the local ecosystem and ward off damaging insect pests.

Here are some of the many native flowers and grasses you can use to create a rain garden in a sunny site: Purple Coneflower, Liatris, Bergamot, Smooth Penstemon, Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Cardinal Flower, New England Aster, Little Bluestem and Switch Grass.

The best wildflowers to attract hummingbirds

posted in: Wildflowers | 0

It’s no secret here at Keystone Wildflower that we love hummingbirds. There is something magical about watching the tiny, dramatic creatures hover and flit about from plant to plant dressed in magnificent, iridescent plumage.

Hummingbirds prefer native plant nectar with high sugar content. Usually, the plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange and bright pink, but hummingbirds accept nectar from all ranges of colored plants. So, which native plants are the best to attract hummingbirds? We compiled a short list of a few of our favorites:

  1. Cardinal Flower – Lobelia cardinalis
  2. Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
  3. Bradbury Monarda/Bee Balm – Monarda bradburiana
  4. Butterfly Milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa
  5. Eastern Blazing Star – Liatris scariosa
  6. Foxglove Beardtongue – Penstemon digitalis
  7. Great Blue Lobelia – Lobelia siphilitica
  8. Indian Pink – Spigelia marilandica
  9. Marsh Blazing Star – Liatris spicata
  10. Monkey Flower – Mimulus ringens
  11. Northern Blue Flag Iris – Iris versicolor
  12. Purple Coneflower – Echinacea purpurea
  13. Turtlehead – Chelone glabra
  14. Wild Bergamot – Monarda fistulosa
  15. Wild Lupine – Lupinus perennis
  16. Wild Petunia – Ruella humilis