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Become an expert on native flowers

Keep local love growing this spring with local plants.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed susans are similar to Europe-native daisies.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Table of Contents

You love local food, music, business, and art — so while you’re planning your garden this spring, why not choose local plants, too?

Native plants are naturally adapted to the local climate, provide sustenance to native wildlife, and save water by thriving on normal rainfall. Plus, they’re more visually diverse than, say, lawn grass.

Consider planting some Massachusetts flora this spring. We’ll get you started.

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Water needs: Moist, Dry
Light needs: Sun
Bloom time: March-November

Growing tips: Black-eyed susan can become aggressive without competition, so consider planting it alongside other plants on this list.

Attracts: Birds, butterflies (Bordered Patch + Gorgone Checkerspot)

Butterfly Milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa

Water needs: Moist, dry
Light needs: Sun, shade, part-shade
Bloom time: May-September

Growing tips: Butterfly weed attracts aphids, which you can deal with by spraying with soapy water, blasting with high-pressure streams, or by leaving the aphids for ladybugs.

Attracts: Hummingbirds, butterflies (Monarch + Grey Hairstreak)

Common blue violets

Imagine serving a salad with fresh-picked violets at your next dinner party. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Agnieszka Kwiecień

Common Blue Violet

Viola sororia

Water needs: Moist
Light needs: Sun, part-shade
Bloom time: March-May

Growing tips: Violets grow easily in well-drained soil, but watch out for a violet takeover if growing conditions are too ideal.

Attracts: Birds, small mammals — humans can also cook or candy violets to eat

Common Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Water needs: Dry
Light needs: Sun, part-shade
Bloom time: April-September

Growing tips: Yarrow’s soil-enriching properties, medicinal benefits, and attractiveness to beneficial insects makes it an ideal companion plant.

Attracts: Butterflies, moths, bees, predatory wasps

Wild Red Columbine

Aquilegia canadensis

Water needs: Moist, dry
Light needs: Shade, part-shade
Bloom time: February-July

Growing tips: Plant columbine in thin, well-drained soil to ensure a long lifespan. This flower struggles in heat, so plant in the shade before temperatures climb in spring.

Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, hawk moths, finches, and buntings

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