Cosmos Bipinnatus

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.

Native alternatives:

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.

Dalea purpurea 

The two above intermixed with side-oats grama will be tested.

Other natives:

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.

 

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