Native plants have a variety of texture, color and shapes that make the winter garden shine, even in the darkest days. Which native plants stand up to the snow and look great in a winter garden? Plants that bloom at the end of the season such as asters and goldenrods, are good contenders for ‘Last Plant Standing.’ Being late bloomers gives them an advantage. But there are others with strong stems that continue to stand through the winter, with their seed heads available to birds.
Above, Wild White Indigo (Baptisia lactea). The dark color and complex texture stands out against the light color and simpler texture of grasses. In the foreground, the fluffy silver seed heads of an aster add another element.
Ironweeds (both vernonia fasciculata, above, and vernonia altissima) have super strong stems. Ironweeds bloom later in summer, but they continue to stand through the winter, their stems are lines on the winter canvas:
Little Bluestem. Schizachyrium scoparium, below, is low in stature, but very sturdy in the winter garden. It’s a perfect backdrop for other plants, but also stands out on it’s own with great color and texture.
Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida), below, has the late season advantage for being Last Plant Standing. It also has very rigid stems, as the Latin name implies.
A wide variety of Asters bloom in fall and continue to stand strong – their fluffy seed heads are charming. Birds love the seeds:
These are just a few that I noticed this weekend, following an early season snow in Wisconsin. What’s in your winter garden? We’d love to see. Show us the native plants in your winter garden by posting on our Facebook page!