Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, is such an eye-popping brilliant orange. It is in the milkweed family and a real friend to Monarch butterfly caterpillars that rely on milkweeds for food. Monarchs are on the decline, so planting this showy native in your yard might benefit them.
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pupurea, is a crowd pleaser all the way around. Not only does it have lovely blossoms, Purple Coneflowers tolerate cuttings. A bouquet of Echinacea could be a lovely addition to one's desk or diningroom table. It also draws the attention of many colorful winged visitors. Butterflies frequently visit the large pink flowers. After the flowerheads have wilted, more visitors will come. American Goldfinches loooove Purple Coneflower seeds. They become so engrossed plucking the seeds from the heads, one can quietly sneak up to them to get a better view. I was within three feet of one normally wary bird.
Purple Fringeless Orchid, Platanthera peramoena. A first for me. We came across a wet meadow adorned with these lavender lovelies . I was practically speechless.
This Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is just starting to bloom. I took this a few years ago in our bird feeding area next to our building at Southeastway Park. Hummingbirds love this plant. We would frequently have a few feisty hummers duking it out over who possessed the blossoms.