Cosmos (cosmos bipinnatus), a native to Mexico and the southern states, are a happy annual that readily reseed here in Colorado.
I have been growing these in my front garden for more than 8 years from an original purchase of 10 plants. These are a showy addition that attract painted lady butterflies. But do not have any plant host qualities that would make them the choice of the prairie garden. So while I test out the natives below = we will have a nice display.
Though not a great native for denver area, it serves as a beautiful accent plant.
Ratibida columnifera – like dalea purpurea, this forb called mexican hat is a bright yellow native coneflower that is better suited to colorado than the echinacea I currently have in the pollinator’s garden.
The two above intermixed with side-oats grama will be tested.
Rudbeckia Hirta – Black eyed susan. Larval Host for the Gorgone Checkerspot and Bordered Patch butterfly, neither I’ve ever seen on my Rudbeckias that I know of anyway. These rudbeckia may replace the shasta daisies out front. But the shastas tend to be evergreen well into fall – providing a nice carpet below the evergreen.
Helianthus Pumilus a gorgeous native sunflower that is found at the farm.