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Regional Picks: Seasonal Combo—Northern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue #193
Illustration: Elara Tanguy

1. Inland New Jersey Tea

Inland New Jersey Tea
Photo: Marianne Majerus Garden Images

Ceanothus herbaceus

Zones: 4–8

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; dry to medium, well-drained soil

Native range: Eastern and central United States and adjacent Canada

This native prairie shrub forms neat, rounded mounds of dense foliage topped by showy white flowers in May and June. The tiny flowers bloom in rounded clusters, about 3 inches in diameter with 20 to 30 flowers each, that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. The unusual common name refers to an eastern relative, New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus, Zones 4–8), which was used as a tea substitute during the American Revolution.

 

2. Junegrass

Junegrass
Photo: Elke Borkowski/gapphotos.com

Koeleria macrantha

Zones: 3–8

Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and 9 to 18 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; dry to medium, well-drained soil

Native range: Western and central United States and adjacent Canada

Many familiar prairie grasses are warm-season species…

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