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Songbird Plants

These plants are for the birds! Actually, yes they are. These trees, shrubs, perennials, and vines produce fruit or seeds that our native songbirds relish! In order for some of these perennial plants to be useful to birds, you will need to leave the seedheads, unsightly as they may seem to some, through fall and winter where the birds can properly utilize them. This list includes some of the top most important fall and winter fruits for your favorite feathered friends like Hollies, Beautyberries, Coneflowers - both Echinacea and Rudbeckias, and more.

 

Blue Mistflower, Wild Ageratum, Hardy Ageratum, Blue Boneset

Conoclinium coelestinum, Eupatorium coelestinum  

Flat topped clusters of bluish-purple Ageratum-like flowers are born atop sturdy stems in summer and sometimes into fall. Blue Mistflower is a rhizomatous colonizing native perennial that may be best suited to naturalistic settings or among larger growing plants as a tall groundcover. Excellent for pollinators, particularly native bees. Item# 10458

Grows To: 18-30"H x 8-12" and spreading, space at 8-12" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun

Spikes of deep blue to near purple pea-shaped flowers are produced in spring atop the gray-green foliage in mid to late spring. Blue Wild Indigo is a long-lived easy to grow native that develops and extensive taproot and so it prefers not to be moved once it begins to get established. Baptisias are durable pest and disease resistant perennials that should be considered the Lupine of the South. Provide a sunny position for optimum flowering. Like a fine wine these natives only get better with age. Item# 11593

Grows To: 2-4'H x 2-3'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 12
US$12.99

Bog Sage, Blue Spike Sage

Salvia uliginosa  

Spikes of 1/2" long, tubular, two-lipped, deep azure blue flowers have a contrasting bright white bee-guide and throat are produced in late spring or early summer and continue into fall atop the tall wispy stems. The nectar rich flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Bog Sage, Salvia uliginosa, is a rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial producing a multitude of tall thin wiry stems that can reach 5-6' high in rich fertile moist soils but tends to remain shorter, 3-4' high or so, under average moist garden conditions, which it can tolerate quite well, despite its name, once fully established. it tends to be more restrained under drier conditions as well. Its long flowering season and ease of care have garnered Bog Sage the RHS Award of Garden Merit. It can tolerate full sun in the cooler portions of its range but may be at its best where it receives a little midday shade in areas with hot summer climates. Item# 12906

Grows To: 4-6'H and spreading, space about 1' apart for groupings
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$9.99
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A continuous display of brown-eyed golden-rayed daisy-like flowers are produced from early to midsummer into fall on well-branched plants with deep bronzy green hairy foliage. The Brown-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia triloba, is very similar in all regards to the wild forms of the Black-Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta, and it begins flowering about the time that the latter species is finished for the year. This biennial to short-lived perennial is a heat tolerant, sun-loving, deer and rabbit resistant native well-suited to both the garden and landscape as well as in naturalistic settings like prairies, meadows, and roadside plantings. It readily reseeds on exposed soils but is not aggressive or difficult to control. It prefers a full to mostly sunny position in well-drained, average moist to semi-dry soils. The flowers of the Brown-Eyed Susan offer pollen and nectar to bees, smaller butterflies, and other garden beneficials. The seeds offer food for songbirds and small mammals. Item# 11980

Grows To: 18-24''H x 12-18''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 26
US$12.99

Burgundy Blast Baptisia, False Indigo

Baptisia 'Burgundy Blast'  PP34689

New in 2022 and a breakthrough color! Dense spikes of dark wine purple pea-like flowers that are accented by a contrasting primrose yellow keel are held above the mound of deep green foliage. Flowers are produced in late spring to early summer and attract mainly bees. Burgundy Blast Baptisia or False Indigo, a hybrid cultivar of US native species (a.k.a. nativar), with good vigor and deep green foliage growing to about 3' x 3'. These are easy and low-maintenance, deer resistant, long-lived, taprooted perennials that produce more and more flowering spikes with each passing year with some plants producing over a 100 spikes on mature plants. Considered a must for the cutflower garden as the spikes have an excellent vase life. Provide Baptisias with a full to mostly sunny site in a soil with average or better drainage and moderate fertility. Images courtesy of Walter's Gardens, Inc., all rights reserved. Item# 12893

Grows To: 36-42"H x 36-42"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, *Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 16
US$14.99

A paradoxically yellow flowered purple coneflower with deep sunny yellow ray petals that surround the dark bristly rounded cone. This is the only species of Echinacea that naturally produces yellow flowers. The Ozark, Bush's, or simply the Yellow Coneflower is a native of the Ozark regions of northern Arkansas and central Missouri. In midsummer it produces the fragrant, nectar rich yellow flowers atop sturdy 2-3' high stems. Attracts butterflies, bees, and a variety of other pollinators. This is a clump forming, taprooted perennial that prefers well-drained soils Item# 11446

Grows To: 2-3'H x 1-1-1/2'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 26
US$12.99

Butterfly™ Golden Skipper Coneflower, Echinacea

Echinacea 'Echgol243'  PP28523, EU45815

Ray petals in shades of bright yellow leaning into orange hues surround the dark cones tipped in golden yellow composing the 3-4" wide flowers that are perched atop 18" high stems and are produced over an extended period in summer. Butterfly™ Golden Skipper Coneflower is a hybrid Coneflower selected for its exceptionally long flowering season that lasts from mid to late spring into fall, briliant color, large flowers, excellent branching habit meaning more flowers, good resistance to leaf spot diseases, as well as its perennial reliability as a garden plant. Coneflowers are clump forming perennials whose often fragrant flowers are adored by butterflies, bees, and other pollinators that can be enjoyed as part of the sunny garden garden and landscape as well as container specimens. Leave seedheads for fall and winter songbirds to enjoy. Removal of spent flowers may help to prolong the flowering season. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of AB-Cultivars, all rights reserved. Item# 13050

 

Grows To: 18"H x 18-24"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$14.99
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The dense, rounded, white to greenish-white, up to 1" diameter, flower clusters sit atop thick sturdy stems that emerge from a rosette of soft yucca-like foliage and are produced over an extended period in summer. Button Snakeroot, Eryngium yuccifolium, is a tough and long-lived, adaptable clump forming native perennial whose long-lasting summer flowers will attract a myriad of butterflies, bees, wasps and other pollinators to your garden. Typically found in consistently moist settings like bogs, moist savannahs, prairies, and meadows but it readily tolerates average moist garden conditions. Provide Button Snakeroot with a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist to moist soil. Item# 9260

Grows To: 2-4'H x 2-3'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 12
US$12.99

Buttonbush, Button Willow, Honey Bells

Cephalanthus occidentalis  

Lightly honey scented, white to cream, tight ball-like flower clusters are produced on new growth in late spring and summer and attract an array of butterflies, bees, and other garden beneficials. The Buttonbush is a vigorous, medium-sized to large growing, deciduous shrub that does best in consistently moist soils with most of a day of sunlight. A moderate to severe annual pruning of established plants in late winter helps to promote fuller plants and the most flowers. Item# 9247.

Grows To: 6-12'+H x 4-8'W+
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$14.99
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Cardinal Flower, Red Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis  

2-3' high spikes of glowing scarlet tubular flowers are produced in late spring or summer on this US native wildflower. A rosette forming herbaceous perennial to biennial, the Red Cardinal Flower is commonly found along stream banks, marshes, and bogs and will perform well in average to wet garden soils. Attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators. Item # 1217.

Grows To: 18-36''H x 12''W
Outdoor Light: Part shade, Light shade, *Part sun, *Full sun

Carolina Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Jasmine, Evening Trumpet Flower, Woodbine

Gelsemium sempervirens, Bignonia sempervirens, G. lucidum, G. nitidum, Jeffersonia sempervirens, Lisianthus sempervirens  

Masses of bright yellow, 1" long trumpets herald the coming of spring and have a strong Jasmine-like fragrance that is produced in early evening and at night suggesting that they are pollinated by hummingbird or sphinx moths as well as by native bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. *It is not a suitable nectar plant for honeybees. Carolina Yellow Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is a native, twining, evergreen to semi-evergreen vine with glossy, dark green, narrow foliage that can climb up to 20' high but is just as happy on a 6' fence or other sturdy support. It is native to the southeastern US from eastern Texas, all along the Gulf Coast, north to Virginia, as well as in the southern half of Arkansas and about 3 counties in southcentral Tennessee. Provide Carolina Jasmine with a full sun to mostly sunny site in an average to well-drained, fertile soil for optimum growth and to maximize flowering. Although, it is shade tolerant it doesn't flower as profusely. Tough and easy as well as drought, deer, and rabbit resistant. Its fragrance is enough to stop you in your tracks on an evening stroll! Item# 1208

Grows To: 10-20'H+ but easily maintained on a sturdy 6'H fence or 8-12'H post
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, *Part shade, *Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$14.99
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CHA CHA™ Cherry Penstemon, Beardtongue

Penstemon 'Cha Cha Cherry'  PP28163, EU46649

Dense 20-28" high spikes of large, deep cherry red, almost foxglove-like flowers with a striped white throat are produced beginning in late spring and can continue into fall if periodically deadheaded. The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and even butterflies. CHA CHA™ Cherry Penstemon, a complex hybrid of native Penstemon species, is a clump forming perennial with glossy deep green narrow foliage selected for its denser flower spikes and more compact habit that lends it to use as a low maintenance container plant as well as in the garden and landscape. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12860

Grows To: 20-28''H x 18-24''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 27
US$12.99

CHA CHA™ Hot Pink Penstemon, Beardtongue

Penstemon 'Cha Cha Hot Pink'  PP26699, EU43674

Dense 20-28" high spikes of large, traffic-stopping dayglow pink, almost foxglove-like flowers with a striped white throat are produced beginning in late spring and can continue into fall if periodically deadheaded. The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and even butterflies. CHA CHA™ Hot Pink Penstemon, a complex hybrid of native Penstemon species, is a clump forming perennial with glossy deep green narrow foliage selected for its denser flower spikes and more compact habit that lends it to use as a low maintenance container plant as well as in the garden and landscape. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12859

Grows To: 20-28''H x 15-20''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
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CHA CHA™ Purple Penstemon, Beardtongue

Penstemon 'Cha Cha Purple'   PP26698, EU43672

Dense 18-24" high spikes of large wine-purple, almost foxglove-like flowers with a striped white throat are produced beginning in late spring and can continue into fall if periodically deadheaded. The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and even butterflies. CHA CHA™ Purple Penstemon, a complex hybrid of native Penstemon species, is a clump forming perennial with glossy deep green narrow foliage selected for its denser flower spikes and more compact habit that lends it to use as a low maintenance container plant as well as in the garden and landscape. Provide a full to mostly sunny site in an average moist, well-drained, fertile soil for optimum vigor and flowering. Photos courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12857

Grows To: 18-24''H x 15-18''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 22
US$12.99

Cheyenne Spirit Purple Cone Flower

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'  

2013 AAS Perennial of the Year! This award winning seed grown Purple Cone Flower produces 3-4" wide daisies in brilliant colors ranging from red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and cream. Sturdy and winter hardy compact plants with excellent flower power. The Purple Coneflower is an excellent plant for pollinators with its nectar rich flowers. Provide ample sunlight and good drainage. Flowers the first year! Image courtesy of Kieft Seed. Item# 10525.

Grows To: 18-30"H x 12-16"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun

Claire Grace Beebalm, Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa 'Claire Grace'  

Rounded clusters of medium purple tubular flowers are produced in late spring to early summer atop sturdy stems. The flowers attract hummingbirds and larger butterflies. Claire Grace Beebalm was selected not only for its long-lasting masses of darker purple flowers but also for its glossy green healthy foliage with good resistance to powdery mildew. This was one of the top 3 performing Monardas in trials that included over 40 cultivars at Mt. Cuba Center near Wilmington Delaware. Discovered in Mississippi by Barb and Michael Bridges of the now defunct Southern Perennials and Herbs and named for their daughter. Beebalm makes an easy and reliable addition to the garden and landscape as well as in naturalized areas. Provide a full to mostly sunny position in well-drained soils for optimum health and flowering. Images courtesy of North Creek Nurseries, all rights reserved. Item# 11946

Grows To: 30-48"H x 12-18"W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny

Climbing Aster, Carolina Climbing Aster

Ampelaster carolinianus, Aster carolinianus, Symphyotrichum carolinianum, Virgulus carolinianus  

Masses of 1"+ wide light purplish pink fragrant daisies with bright yellow centers are produced over several weeks beginning in late summer and fall adorn the climbing and arching stems of this unusual native perennial. The Climbing Aster, Ampelaster carolinianus, is an easy to grow small, vine-like, clump forming native perennial found in moist sites mainly in Florida but also in South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi and maybe extirpated (extinct in that area) in North Carolina. Even though it is found in moist areas it does quite well in average moist, well-drained soils and prefers a full to mostly sunny site for optimum vigor and flowering. The climbing stems are deciduous in areas that experience hard freezes but readily regrow each spring. In mild winter regions, like its native Florida, it may remain evergreen flowering much of the year on the previous year's growth. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators including bees, butterflies, and other garden beneficials.Caterpillar host: Field Crescent, Pearl Crescent, Texan Crescent, Roadside Checkerspot, Hoffman's Checkerspot, and American Lady. Item# 12350

Grows To: 6-12'H space about 3' or more apart, may also be used as an informal groundcover
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$12.99
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Considered by many to be the best of the Mountain Mints, Clustered Mountain Mint produces an abundance of tiny whitish tubular blooms touched with purple or lavender in tight clusters held above the attractive bluish white bracts. The bracts are probably more showy than the flowers but the flowers attract loads of pollinators including bees and small butterflies. The foliage is wonderfully fragrant and can be used in teas and cooking. This is a durable and slowly spreading native perennial that flowers throughout the summer months. Item# 10029.

Grows To: 2-3'H x 1-2'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 59
US$12.99

Colorwheel Stokesia Daisy, Stoke's Aster

Stokesia laevis 'Colorwheel'  PP12718

The 3" wide, cornflower-like daisies open white, slowly work their way through shades of lavender, and finally deepen to a violet blue creating a rainbow of cool-colored flowers even on the same flower stalk. Colorwheel Stokesia is just as tough and reliable as its brethren creating a mound of foliage on a durable and dense clump forming native perennial. Stokesia Daisy is one of those plant it and forget it perennials, once they become established in nearly any garden or landscape they require almost no additional care. Image courtesy of North Creek Nurseries. Item# 10928.

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 7,8,9,(5,6 if mulched)
Grows To: 12-18''H x 12-18''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
3.5 inch Pot / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$12.99
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Common Evening Primrose

Oenothera biennis  

Small clusters of large 4-petaled sunny yellow flowers are lightly fragrant and open in the evening to attract pollinating moths and may last until about noon the following day when they attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Ripe seeds are utilized by songbirds. Common Evening Primrose is a tall growing tap-rooted native biennial species found throughout most of the lower 48 states and into Canada. It is common in disturbed areas, meadows and prairies. The first year it produces a rosette of foliage and the second year it shoots up to 3-6' high and begins flowering in summer and may continue into fall under good conditions. The Common Evening Primrose will readily reseed on exposed soils. It is a good addition to naturilized areas or add it to the Moon Moth Garden. Item# 11761

Grows To: 3-6'H x 1-2'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny

Compass Plant

Silphium laciniatum  

3-4" wide, yellow,  sunflower-like flowers are born on 4-8'H+ sturdy stems over an extended period in summer on this durable, native, clump-forming, tap-rooted perennial. The dark green, deeply dissected foliage of the Compass Plant was used as a compass as the large leaves generally point north and south. Attracts butterflies and other pollinators. Item# 10309.

Grows To: 4-8'+H x 2'W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$12.99
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Beautiful deep red to coral, yellow throated tubular blooms are born from spring to fall. Attracts hummingbirds and occasional butterflies. Its tame habit and long blooming season make this manageable Honeysuckle an choice for covering a fence, arbor or trellis. Caterpillar host: Chalcedon Checkerspot. Item# 1171.

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11
Grows To: 6-10'(-15')H, spaced at 4-6' or more.
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$14.99
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Corkystem Passionflower, Passionvine

Passiflora suberosa  

Tiny yellow to greenish passionflowers are produced throughout the year on what at first glance appears to be a small growing, naturally evergreen to deciduous vine but it can reach 30'H with support but is easily maintained on a 3-4'H trellis. The Corkystem Passionvine is a native of Florida and Texas that is mainly grown as a butterfly caterpillar host plant for the Zebra Longwing (a.k.a. Zebra Heliconian), the Julia Heliconian, Variegated Fritilary, and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. Easy and makes a nice dense vine on smaller trellises. Provide a full to partly sunny position for the densest growth and flowering. Pollinated flowers are followed by dark purple, marble-sized fruit. Item# 11258

Grows To: 4-6'H to 30'H in frost free climates
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, AM sun, Part shade, Light shade
4.5 inch Pot / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$17.99
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DAKOTA™ Burgundy Penstemon, Foxglove Beardtongue

Penstemon 'TNPENDB'  PP30569, EU55884

A CSU Trial Gardens 2020 Top Performer! The dark burgundy to near black, glossy foliage is to die for but wait it gets better as in late spring or early summer, tall sturdy spikes ascend above the dark foliage and are composed of lavender to purple, 1" long, nectar rich, tubular flowers that eventually develop into decorative dark purple round seed pods. DAKOTA™ Burgundy Penstemon, a flower child of Penstemon digitalis, is more compact than and has darker foliage than Dark Towers and Mystica Penstemons and it has more purple colored flowers and improved reliability easily surviving for 3 years in CSU's trials. Provide this easy to grow perennial, a nativar (a cultivar from native species), with a moist to average moist, well-drained, fertile soil in a full to mostly sunny location for optimum vigor, flowering, and for the deepest foliage colors. Pair DAKOTA™ Burgundy Penstemon with chartreuse foliaged plants for a wonderful contrast. The flowers attract a variety of polliinators including hummingbirds, bees, and occasional larger butterflies. Photos courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc., www.terranovanurseries.com, all rights reserved. Item# 12856

Grows To: 12-24''H x 12-18''W
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny
4.5 inch / 20 fl.oz. / 591 ml
Currently In Stock: 0
US$12.99
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Blue Mistflower, Wild Ageratum, Hardy Ageratum, Blue Boneset

Conoclinium coelestinum, Eupatorium coelestinum  

Flat topped clusters of bluish-purple Ageratum-like flowers are born atop sturdy stems in summer and sometimes into fall. Blue Mistflower is a rhizomatous colonizing native perennial that may be best suited to naturalistic settings or among larger growing plants as a tall groundcover. Excellent for pollinators, particularly native bees. Item# 10458

Grows To: 18-30"H x 8-12" and spreading, space at 8-12" apart
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Mostly sunny, Part shade, Part sun

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