Here are some fun suggestions to get an environmentally friendly star spangled garden…
Red Plants:Okay, so red native plants are a challenge. There red native flowers are limited because most pollinators do not see red very well, except for hummingbirds. This can be an opportunity to put in some red garden art (birdbaths, garden gnomes, etc.) or some strategically placed potted red annuals.
On to the plants…Red Maple – an early spring pop of red flowers with red leaves in the fallNative Red and Yellow Columbine – red and yellow flowers, works well in shade Scarlet Beebalm – native to the U.S. and can grow in Minnesota, although Minnesota is slightly out of its rangeSideoats Grama – a grass species with subtle red anthersCardinal Flower – a biennial that needs to reseed itself every yearJack-in-the-Pulpit – green flowers in spring produce red berries (poisonous) in fall, good shade plantAmerican Highbush Cranberry – white flowers in spring, red berries and leaves in fall (avoid its non-native European cousin)Red Osier Dogwood – red stems, white flower and berries
White Plants:Canada Anemone – can be shade tolerantBloodroot – shade plantWhite Prairie Clover – very delicate leavesWhorled Milkweed – good for Monarch ButterfliesCulver’s Root – pollinator favoriteBoneset – really cool clasping leavesFrost Aster – late season bloomer
Blue Plants:Wild Blue Phlox – early spring bloomer for shady locationsOhio Spiderwort – grass-like leaves Wild Lupine - Lupinus perennis is the only food of endangered Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillars, not to be confused with western native lupines that the Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillar cannot eat and are commonly sold in nurseriesBlue Lobelia – pollinator favoriteBottle Gentian – sometimes bloom white, fun to watch bumblebees muscle their way in to get to the pollenSky Blue Aster – delicate blue flowers, plant a group to get a better pop of color
Red, White and Blue in One Plant:Black Chokeberry – white flowers in spring, blue-black berries in summer and red leaves in fall