Kansas Native Missouri Primrose, is also known as Oenothera macrocarpa subsp. fremontii
Silver Blade Missouri Primrose, is also known as Oenothera macrocarpa subsp. incana 'Silver Blade'
>>>>>Missouri Primrose is a native wildflower with bright lemony yellow flowers occurring mostly in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. native habitat includes limestone glades and bluffs, rocky prairies, and Great Plains. This wildflower also colonizes readily, will grow under the mover blades and can be found along state highways. Foliage is often a green to silver and also very attractive. Flowering is relatively short at 2 to 4 weeks but interesting green four-winged seed pods develop. These eventually break off and blow away spreading more seed. In the landscape, Missouri Primrose can be used in any dry soil situation including berms, hot south or west side of the house, or any other full sun area. These will grow in poor rocky, sandy or clayish soils and even rich organic soils with slightly increased root rot susceptibility. With our average 40 inches of rain per year in eastern Kansas, extra Irrigation is not recommended. Missouri Primrose can be planted in parking lot medians and other hell strips as a very durable groundcover. Combine with any other flower colors except yellow. There is quite a lot of diversity within the species so plants from different locales will have different foliage adapted to the site.
Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) is a coarse-textured, medium to light green, deciduous perennial fern. Native to Asia and North America, it forms large colonies in forests growing best in moist shaded or partially shaded areas. It also colonizes wet meadows, thickets and bogs, as well as stream and riverbanks and roadside ditches. It tolerates extremely wet soils, can be aggressive in ideal locations but not so much in Kansas. It can spread rapidly in humusy, medium well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Perfect in wet shade areas, north walls, areas without tree-root competition, or shaded rain gardens. It cannot handle prolonged Kansas droughts or dry-shade, but can tolerate dryer conditions in shade with good soils. Generally however, in non-irrigated or poor soil areas, this plant will decline and allow weeds to invade. Foliage finally dies back to the ground in early autumn with "fiddle-heads" emerging and unfurling in mid-spring. Generally this plant holds its own in Kansas climates but fails to spread very quickly. Look for a cold microclimate planting location such as East or North exposure. I have seen an established planting thriving on the north side of a customer's house for 20 plus years in zone 6a, Lawrence, KS.
Black Mondo Grass, is also known as Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Arabicus'
This prickly pear (Opuntia cacanapa 'Ellisiana') is truly spineless! Yes, completely spineless and free of glochids. The smooth green paddles and upright growth habit create a unique addition to the desert garden. The pads are sparsely spined, light green, and hardy to about 0 degrees F. This cactus has a place as one of the few upright cacti that can handle extreme cold. Ellisiana Spineless Prickly Pear is most often used as a patio plant in Kansas. Place in full sun with no extra watering except from rainfall. Repotting may or may not be needed depending on how large you want the plant to grow. Potted plants are hardy to at least 10 degrees F if kept dry so you can wait awhile to move these in for the winter. Then move into a cold garage, basement, or window over the winter with NO watering. Although un-tested by the author, this opuntia could survive in a microclimate under a south facing roof overhang kept completely dry in the winter and controlled water in the summer in zone 6a. Several plantings in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Gathering Place endured temperatures as low as -11 degrees F along with prolonged cold (5 days of highs in the teens and lows in the single digits) in February, 2021. This interesting and "completely safe" cactus, when special ordered in quantity, can be used as an annual mass planting in the landscape. If grown as a patio or house plant, move to a bright interior window over the winter before extreme cold occurs with no watering and keep above freezing. If grown as a summer patio plant, move to a bright interior window over the winter before extreme cold occurs with no watering and keep above freezing. As a winter-only house plant, it will look presentable all winter long with just no waterings. As a permanent house plant, provide bright light and allow the soil to dry between waterings for many years of carefree enjoyment. Pads are easy to propagate.
The yellow flowers, maroon long lasting fruits, and upright growth habit of this cactus (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) create a unique addition to the desert garden. The pads are sparsely spined, light green, and hardy to about -5 degrees F. Native to arid soils in Texas and Oklahoma, this cactus has a place as one of the few upright cacti that can handle extreme cold. In fact, I have seen this species growing a in Lawrence, KS in desert gardens along a south wall of a house. With well drained soils and proper micro-climate, this cactus can handle our extreme cold and excess rainfall of Eastern Kansas.
These tiny perennial succulent cacti (Opuntia fragilis 'Potato') produce globe-shaped, spherical stems make this selection unique. 'Potato' prickly pear is virtually spineless. It is native to mountainous areas in Western Colorado. The olive green "pads" take on a lovely winter blush of purple in cold weather. Grow this small native gem in a Kansas rock garden, in cracks between rocks, or on top of or in a retaining wall. You may also grow in flat areas like in between stepping stones provided you used a gravelly or sandy base for the stones. It will not tolerate rich moist soils as other plants or weeds will shade it out. Root rot can occur during lengthy hot humid summer rainy periods. If grown as a summer patio plant, move to a bright interior window over the winter before extreme cold occurs with no watering and keep above freezing. As a winter-only house plant, it will look presentable all winter long with just no waterings. Upon moving outside the following spring, plants with plenty of time to acclimate will thrive in full sun but be careful not to rush it or sunburning will occur. Generally if moving outside for the summer, allow 2-3 weeks of part shade or morning sun before placing in full sun. If grown in pots permanently outdoors, keep on the dry side in minerally sandy soil. You may leave out all winter allowing to freeze solid (Hardy to zone 4a); plants will go dormant and resume growth in the spring. As a permanent house plant, provide bright light and allow the soil to dry between waterings for many years of carefree enjoyment. Little potato-like pads are easy to propagate. Our original plant came from Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina and also available on their mail-order website.
Eastern Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia humifusa) have attractive green pads, brilliant yellow flowers in June, and pinkish maroon edible fruits afterward that last into winter. They are native to eastern woods of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and much of the Southeast United States. This cold hardy succulent occupies an unusual niche: growing in poor shallow sandstone based soils in open woods and on sunny rock cliffs that dry out too quickly for most other plants to colonize. Pads are sometimes carried off by animals and take root elsewhere. Grow this small native gem in rock gardens, dry shade areas, in parking lot medians, in cracks between rocks, or on top of or in a retaining wall. This species will grow in full sun or full shade! Although not picky about soils, just ensure that drainage is good. If grown in exterior pots and kept on the dry side, you may leave out all winter allowing to freeze solid; plants will go completely dormant and resume growth in the spring. Although these prickly pear do not have spines, they do have glochids. (painful bristles that come off and irritate the skin for a few days) Great low maintenance cold hardy and very versatile succulent.
Plains Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia macrorhiza) have attractive green pads, brilliant yellow flowers in June, and pinkish maroon edible fruits afterward that last into winter. They are native to much of the Great Plains from Texas to Minnesota. Pads are sometimes carried off by animals and take root elsewhere. Grow this small native gem in rock gardens, dry shade areas, in parking lot medians, in cracks between rocks, or on top of or in a retaining wall. Although not picky about soils, just ensure that drainage is good. If grown in exterior pots and kept on the dry side, you may leave out all winter allowing to freeze solid; plants will go completely dormant and resume growth in the spring. Although these prickly pear have spines and glochids. (painful bristles that come off and irritate the skin for a few days) so be careful around children and pets. Great low maintenance cold hardy and very versatile plant!
Devilwood (Osmanthus americanus / Cartrema americana) has very hard and dense wood, hence the name. It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub or small tree native to southeastern North America and Mexico. Bright green simple leaves emerge in spring turning deeper green in summer. Cream white flowers borne on separate trees and female trees produce abundant blue/black fruit. Growth habit is somewhat open so don't count on it to provide screening or density. Grows in sun or shade but in the northern part of its range, growth is too slow and sparse in the shade. Devilwood grows in most soils including moist ones and occasional flooding. This making it an ideal rain garden plant. Becoming more drought tolerant when established, our 40 inches of typical rainfall in Eastern Kansas is sufficient if planted in good soils. The cold hardiness is surprising: as a zone 5, this could be one of the most cold-tolerant broadleaf evergreens trees available! It survived -16 degrees F and a week of single digit highs in February, 2021 with no damage. It even maintains bright green foliage in winter opposed to a dingy brownish-green like some evergreens. Useful in the garden as a background evergreen shrub or small tree. Sold as Osmanthus americanus, Cartrema americana is technically it's new botanical name.
Oxalis triangularis is also commonly called Purple False Shamrock. It is a species of perennial plant native to several countries in southern South America. Grown mostly for its bright purple shamrock-like leaves and occasional pink flowers, the leaves also move in response to light levels, opening in high ambient light (in the day) and closing at low light levels (at night) In Kansas gardens it is normally grown in containers as an annual, patio plant or house plant. If grown in well drained soil planted in the ground in the right micro-climate (South-facing exposure), it may be a perennial. If low temperatures hit -10 degrees F, it may kill an un-mulched plant; protect any zone 6 perennial with thick layer of mulch. In our trial gardens in Lawrence, KS (zone 6a), three established specimens planted 3-4" deep and mulched 4-6" with leaf mulch survived -17 degrees F. During the arctic blast of February, 2021, lows down to -17 degrees F on Feb 16th, 2021 were recorded. The longevity of this cold blast was also impressive: 10 days on a row with highs of 10-15 degrees F or lower, 8 nights of lows in the single digits and negatives, and 36 straight hours of 0 degrees F and mostly lower. More testing would be good to evaluate true cold-tolerance.