Ideas for a native revival in a local meadows

The growth we want to keep to is plains plants.  Some near water – others should survive fully in the  sun.

I would like to turn wayside gardens into a native treasure in our small area.

Starting around the Wayside meadows sign small shrubs and herbacious perennials greet the neighbors.

Near the drainage ditch, taller shrubs.

And at Wadsworth big, polution tolerant trees.


On the eastern quadrant there is an area that gets water logged.  Might suggest planting butterfly host grass, Deschampsia caespitosa.   In the surrounding areas thistle, chokecherry to feed others.

Dill, parsely, fennel amongst the grasses to feed many butterflies and act as host food for some.

Taller plants like hollyhock and rabbit brush could mix in the western edge stream bed.

Information Soure: Colorado State Extension

Small Shrubs less than 4′


Amorpha canescens

silvery leadplant

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation:P
  • Water: L
  • Deciduous
  • Erect, Fernlike
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Soil: Poor
Plant Characteristics

  • Erect, Fernlike
  • Flowers: Purple
pic Atriplex canescens

fourwing saltbush

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation:P
  • Water: L
Plant Characteristics

  • Deciduous to Evergreen
  • Light green-grey small leaves/li>
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Soil: Poor or salty
 Ceratoides lanata


Site Characteristics
3,500 – 9,500 ft Elevation

Chrysothamnus nauseosus

rabbitbrush, rubber rabbitbrush

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation:P -F
  • Water: L
Plant Characteristics

  • Deciduous to Evergreen
  • Narrow aromatic, green-silver small leaves/li>
  • Flowers: Yellow late summer
  • Flowers: Yellow late summer
  • Soil: Poor or salty
Size and growth habit varies
with subspecies; narrow aromatic leaves; young stems green to silvery-gray;
showy clusters of yellow flowers on new growth in late summer attract
butterflies; can be aggressive.
pic Prunus besseyi

Western sand cherry

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation:P
  • Water: L-M
Plant Characteristics

  • Deciduous
  • Upright rounded shrub/li>
  • Flowers: Purple – black with winter fruits for
  • Attracts: Birds
  • Soil: Poor or salty
  • Pawnee Buttes low,spreading groundcover, Plant Select


4 -6 FT Shrubs

Amorpha fruticosa

false indigo, leadplant

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation:P
  • Water: L
  • Soil: Poor or salty
Plant Characteristics

  • Deciduous
  • Open, wide-spreading shrub; feathery/li>
  • Flowers: Deep blue summer
  • Yellow leaves in Fall
  • deer resistant
Fallugia paradoxaApache plumeSite Characteristics

  • Elevation:P
  • Water: L
Plant Characteristics

  • Deciduous to Evergreen
  • Light green-grey small leaves/li>
  • Flowers: Purple
Open, rounded shrub; small grayish-green
leaves; whitish shreddy bark; white, rose-like flowers; fuzzy pinkish
seed heads appear all summer; native to San Luis and Arkansas Valleys.
Plant Select®5a.
Rhus trilobatathree-leaf sumac, skunkbush3,500 – 9,000Plains – Foothills,Upper SonoranLDArching branches with glossy green three-parted
leaves, small yellow flowers before leaves; reddish hairy edible fruits;
orange to red fall color.
Ribes aureumgolden currant4,000 – 10,000Plains – Foothills,Upper SonoranL – MDArching growth habit; yellow
flowers in late spring; yellow to black fruit attracts birds; well-drained
sites; orange to red fall color.

Tall Shrubs

Cornus sericeared twig dogwood,red-osier dogwood4,500 – 10,000Plains – MontaneM – HDRed stems in winter; flat, white flower
clusters followed by white to blue fruits attractive to birds; yellow
to red fall color; streamside understory plant, shade tolerant.
Prunus americanaAmerican plum, wild plum4,500 – 8,500Plains – FoothillsL – MDThicket-forming; white flowers before
leaves, fruit good for preserves; attracts wildlife; cold and drought
tolerant; yellow to red fall color; found along canyons and slope
runus virginiana melanocarpaWestern chokecherry4,500 – 8,500Plains – Montane,Upper SonoranMDIrregular, branching shrub with shiny
dark green leaves and elongated flower clusters; suckers to form thickets;
dark purple fruit excellent for preserves; reddish-orange to yellow
fall color.
Ptelea trifoliatahop tree, wafer-ash4,000 – 6,500Plains – Foothills3bM – HDShrub or small tree with three-parted
foliage, drought and shade tolerant; small, fragrant flowers, yellow
fall color, persistent hop-like fruit
Rhus glabrasmooth sumac4,000 – 8,000Plains – Foothills,Upper SonoranL – MDOpen, rounded thicket-forming shrub;
bright green leaves; pyramidal clusters of yellow flowers produce
fuzzy dark red fruits in fall that persist into winter; outstanding
yellow-orange-red fall color.


4 -6 FT Shrubs

Amorpha fruticosafalse indigo, leadplant3,500 – 6,000Plains3bLDOpen, wide-spreading shrub; feathery
green foliage; spikes of deep blue flowers in summer; yellow fall
color; deer resistant.
Fallugia paradoxaApache plume3,500 – 8,000Plains,Upper Sonoran3bLD – EOpen, rounded shrub; small grayish-green
leaves; whitish shreddy bark; white, rose-like flowers; fuzzy pinkish
seed heads appear all summer; native to San Luis and Arkansas Valleys.
Plant Select®5a.
Rhus trilobatathree-leaf sumac, skunkbush3,500 – 9,000Plains – Foothills,Upper SonoranLDArching branches with glossy green three-parted
leaves, small yellow flowers before leaves; reddish hairy edible fruits;
orange to red fall color.
Ribes aureumgolden currant4,000 – 10,000Plains – Foothills,Upper SonoranL – MDArching growth habit; yellow
flowers in late spring; yellow to black fruit attracts birds; well-drained
sites; orange to red fall color.


Juniperus monospermaoneseed juniper4,000 – 7,500Plains – Foothills3bLEmulti-stemmed tree with small, scale-like leaves,
found on dry rocky slopes, often with pinon.
Salix amygdaloidespeachleaf willow3,500 – 7,000Plains – FoothillsUpper SonoranHDfast-growing; lance-shaped leaves; new twig
growth orange-yellow; ascending branches; found along streams.



Herbaceous perennials

Scientific name1
Common name
Allium cernuum
Nodding onion
To 10,000′MSun to part shadel-mPink5-24″Waxy foliage; nodding flowers from bulbs; attracts butterflies; well-drained soils.
Amsonia jonesii
Blue star
To 7,000’E-MSunlBlue10-15″Clusters of star-shaped flowers; foliage turns clear yellow in fall; Plant Select®.
Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly everlasting
To 10,500′MSunl-mWhite12-20″Silvery foliage; button-like clusters on top of upright stems; excellent dried flower; most soils.
Anemone multifida
To 10,000′E-MSun to part shadel-mWhite to Pink-red12-24″Deeply cut dark green leaves form a rounded clump; flowers borne on wiry stems; organic soils.
Antennaria parvifolia and A. rosea
To 11,000′E-MSun to part shadel-mCream to Pink2-6″Spreading mat of silver gray foliage; flowers in small clusters resemble cat toes; good between flagstones or in rock gardens; well- drained soils.
Aquilegia caerulea
Blue columbine,
To 11,000′E-MPart shademBlue/purple and white12-36″Delicate lobed leaves; large spurred flower; Colorado state flower; attracts hummingbirds; foliage often turns reddish in fall; organic soils.
Aquilegia chrysantha
To 11,000′E-MSun to part shadel-mYellow24-36″Robust plant with lobed leaves; many spurred flowers; attracts hummingbirds; reseeds readily; Plant Select®; clay or organic soils.
Artemisia frigida
Fringed sage
To 10,000′N/ASunlN/A8-24″Aromatic feathery silver foliage; evergreen; subshrub; insignificant bloom; well-drained soils.
Artemisia ludoviciana
Prairie sage,
Silver sage
To 10,000′N/ASunlN/A15-30″Coarse silver foliage; insignificant bloom; aggressive grower; well-drained soils.
Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly weed
To 7,000′M-LSunlOrange18-36″Umbrella-like clusters of flowers, narrow green leaves; attractive to butterflies; may be difficult to establish.
Berlandiera lyrata
Chocolate flower,
To 8,000′MSunl-mYellow with green/red centers12-18″Mounded rosette of lyre-shaped leaves; daisy like flowers with chocolate scent; thrives in heat; Plant Select®; well-drained soils.
Callirhoe involucrata
Purple poppy
Wine cups
To 7,000′M-LSunl-mMagenta with white centers4-10″Spreading groundcover with scalloped leaves; long blooming; likes heat; Plant Select®; dry clay soils.
Calylophus lavandulifolius
To 7,000′MSunlLemon yellow (spent flowers turnorange)4-8″Spreading habit; green narrow leaves; four-petaled flowers solitary on stems; long blooming; likes heat; well-drained soils.
Calylophus serrulatus
Plains yellow
To 7,000′MSunlYellow15″Mounding subshrub with narrow leaves; heavy bloomer; well-drained soils.
Campanula rotundifolia
To 13,000′M-LSun to part shadel-mPurple8-15″Narrow delicate foliage;nodding bell shaped flowers; most soils.
Clematis scottii
To 8,500′ESun to part shadel-mPurple8-15″Mounds of lacy foliage with nodding purple flowers; attractive to bumblebees; Plant Select Petite®.
Dalea purpurea
Purple prairie
To 7,500′MSunlPurple24-36″Narrow leaflets; slender stems; cylindrical heads of fragrant flowers; fixes nitrogen; well-drained soils.
Erigeron speciosus
Aspen daisy,
Showy daisy
To 9,500′MSun to part shadel-mLavender blue with yellow center12-18″Rich green foliage; daisy-like flowers; attracts butterflies; most soils.
Eriogonum umbellatum
Sulphur flower
To 10,500′MSunlSulphur yellow ages to rust brown6-12″Mat of leathery green foliage with silver undersides; turns reddish in fall; flowers attract butterflies; well-drained soils.
Gaillardia aristata
Blanket flower
To 9,000′MSunlYellow (to yellow/red) with red/brown centers18-24″Fuzzy gray-green leaves; large daisy flowers; well-drained soils.
Geranium viscosissimum 
Sticky geranium
To 9,500′E-MSun to part shadel-mPale Pink to rose/purple with darker veins12-24″Lobed leaves turn red in fall; open clusters of flowers with sticky stems; well-drained soils.
Geum triflorum
Prairie smoke
To 10,000′ESun to part shadel-mCream to deep Pink6-12″Rosettes of gray-green fernlike foliage; nodding flowers followed by long Pink feathery seed heads; prefers moist clay or organic soils.
Helianthus maximiliana
To 6,500′LSunl-mYellow60-120″Lance-shaped leaves on stout stems; showy flowers; spreads aggressively by rhizomes, esp. in moister soils; most soils.
Heliomeris multiflora
Showy goldeneye
To 10,000′LSunlYellow18-30″Heavily branched with narrow leaves; prolific sunflower-like flowers; available only from seed; reseeds aggressively; well-drained soils.
Ipomea leptophylla
Bush morning glory
To 7,000′M-LSunlLavender purple24-36″Spreading mounded plant with linear leaves; huge tap root; morning glory-like flowers; long lived; sandy or sandy loam soils.
Ipomopsis aggregata
Scarlet gilia,
Fairy trumpets
To 9,000′MSunlRed, Pink and white12-30″Rosette of finely divided leaves; trumpet-shaped flowers; attracts hummingbirds; biennial; reseeds readily; well-drained soils.
Liatris punctata
Blazing star
To 7,500′LSunlRose purple12″Rigid linear leaves; stout spikes of fringed flowers; attracts butterflies; well-drained soils.
Linum lewisii
Blue flax
To 9,500′MidSun, part shadel-mblue12-24″Fine blue-green foliage; saucer-shaped flowers; reseeds readily; well-drained soils.
Lupinus argenteus
Silver lupine
To 10,000′MSunlWhite to deep purple12-36″Palm-shaped leaf; spikes of pea-like flowers; attracts butterflies; well-drained soils.
Mondarda fistulosa
Bee balm,
Wild bergamot
To 9,000′MSunl-mPink to lavender12-36″Upright growth with fragrant foliage; profuse wispy flowerheads; good air circulation will lessen powdery mildew; well-drained soils.
Mirabilis multiflora
Desert four o’clock
To 8,000′M-LSun, part shadelPink to purple12-30″Blue-green leaves; wide spreading mounded habit; trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow stamens open late morning; well-drained soils.
Oenothera caespitosa
White-tufted evening primrose
To 9,000′MSunlWhite with Pink buds6-12″Dense rosette of dark gray/green leaves; fragrant flowers open in late afternoon, fade the next morning; well-drained soils.
Pulsatilla patens
Pasque flower
To 9,000′ESunl-mLavender6-12″Wooly foliage with cup-shaped flowers followed by feathery seed heads; well-drained soils.
Penstemon ambiguus
Bush or sand penstemon
To 6,500′M-LSunlWhitish Pink24-30″Freely branching bushy plant with woody base; phlox-like flowers clustered towards top of stem; sandy soils.
Penstemon angustifolius
Pagoda or narrow-leaved penstemon
To 7,500′MSunlSky blue12″Narrow blue-green foliage can be evergreen; numerous tubular flowers encircle stalks; requires well-drained soils.
Penstemon barbatus
Scarlet bugler penstemon
To 9,000′MSunlScarlet to red24-36″Slender tall stalks with foliage clustered at base; tubular flowers favored by hummingbirds; well-drained soils.
Penstemon caespitosus
Mat penstemon
To 9,000E-MSunlBlue to violet4-6″Mat forming with trailing stems; excellent for rock gardens; well-drained soils.
Penstemon glaber
Smooth penstemon
To 9,000MSunlDeep blue/
12-18″Stout upright stems; tubular flowers; well-drained soils.
Penstemon grandiflorus
Shell leaf penstemon
To 8,500′MSunl-mWhite, Pink, and purple24-36″Waxy blue-green semi-evergreen foliage; large tubular flowers; can be short lived but reseeds readily; well-drained soils.
Penstemon mensarum
Grand Mesa penstemon
To 9,000′MSunlBlue24-30″Stunning cobalt flowers on narrow spikes; evergreen leaves; Plant Select®.
Penstemon secundiflorus
Orchid/Sidebells penstemon
To 9,500′MSunl-mPink/purple6-18″Waxy blue-green foliage; tubular flowers emerge from one side of the stalk; rocky soils.
Penstemon strictus
Rocky Mountain Penstemon
To 10,000′MSun to part shadel-mBlue to blue-purple12-30″Robust grower; narrow glossy green leaves; tubular flowers in open spikes; developes powdery mildew if crowded; well-drained soils.
Penstemon virens
Bluemist penstemon
To 10,000′E-MSun to part shadel-mLight blue to blue/violet6-12″Dense basal rosette of bright green leaves; profuse clusters of small flowers; good for rock gardens; rocky soils.
Penstemon virgatus
Wand bloom penstemon
To 10,000′MSunl-mPale blue to violet12-30″Erect slender stalks; linear upright leaves; tubular flowers; well-drained soils.
Penstemon whippleanus
Whipple’s penstemon
To 12,000′MSun to part shadel-mWine purple or white10-20″Clustered stems; whorls of nodding tubular flowers; adaptable to moister soils.
Polemonium caeruleum
Jacob’s ladder
To 9,000′MPart shademBlue-purple18-24″Clusters of bell-shaped flowers on upright plants; small pinnately compound leaves.
Ratibida columnifera
Prairie coneflower,
Mexican hat
To 7,500′M-LSunlYellow12-24″Upright slender stalks; finely divided leaves; prominent central cone surrounded by drooping petals; short-lived but reseeds; well-drained soils.
Rudbeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan
To 9,000′MSun to part shademYellow with brown to black center12-24″Fuzzy green leaves with daisy-like flowers; biennial to short lived perennial; reseeds; most soils.
Solidago canadensis
To 7,000′MSun to part shadel-mYellow12-36″Upright stems; spreads by underground rhizomes; spikes of flowers; attracts butterflies and bees; mistakenly blamed as cause of hayfever; clay or loam soils.
Sphaeralcea coccinea
Scarlet globemallow
To 8,000′E-MSunlCoral red, orange8-12″Hairy gray-green leaves; vigorous rhizomes; small hollyhock-like flower; well-drained coarse soils.
Stanleya pinnata
Prince’s plume
To 9,000′MSunlYellow24-48″Gray-green leaves; large plume-shaped flower spikes; can be short lived; well drained soils.
Thelesperma filifolium
Navajo tea,
To 8,000′M-LSunl-mYellow16-24″Vase-shaped clump; finely dissected leaves; profuse daisy- like flowers over long period; well-drained soils.
Thermopsis divaricarpa
Golden banner
To 11,000′E-MSun to part shadel-mYellow18-24″Spreads vigorously by rhizomes; needs room; showy spikes of pea-like flowers; well-drained soils.
Tradescantia occidentalis
To 8,000′MSun to part shadel-mPurple/blue12-24″Upright stalks above grass-like foliage; clusters of three petaled flowers each lasting a day; most soils.
Verbena bipinnatifida
Spreading vervain
To 8,000′E-LSunlRose/purple6-10″Sprawling stems with deeply cut leaves; prolific bloomer; attracts butterflies; well-drained soils.
Zinnia grandiflora
Prairie zinnia,
Golden paperflower
To 6,000′M-LSunlYellow6-8″Mounding habit with wispy leaves; prolific bloomer; flowers have a papery texture; requires well-drained soils.

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