Native Plants on trial in the Michigan State University Gardens

In 2009, we initiated a new program within the trial gardens here at Michigan State University.  With the support of Bill Schneider at Wildtype Nursery, we planted 18 Michigan native plants in trial format.  First year interest was gained from Lobelia cardinalis, Lobelia siphilitica and Senna hebecarpa

A list of natives and some notes compiled June 2013 are as follows:

Allium cernuum Nodding Wild Onion - 2013 still going strong

Aralia racemosa Spikenard - has survived and is very nice in fall

Eragrostis spectabilis
Purple Love Grass - has struggled after a few years. A few plants remaining

Geranium maculatum
Wild Geranium - still doing well

Heuchera americana
Alum Root - still doing well

Koeleria macrantha
June Grass - has not performed well in this site.

Lobelia cardinalis
Cardinal Flower - still going strong - doing great for what is usually considered a short-lived perennial

Lobelia siphilitica
Blue Lobelia - very nice performance every year

Monarda punctata
Horsemint - has completely died out

Penstemon hirsutus
Penstemon - very very nice in flower

Rudbeckia laciniata
Green Headed Coneflower - lovely - large and showy

Senecio obovatus
Round Leaved ragwort - blooms very early - and then looks a bit rough the rest of the year

Senna hebecarpa
Wild Senna - very nice but seeds out very freely

Smilacina stellata
Starry Solomon Seal - has done very well - even with half a day of sunshine

Solidago flexicaulis
Zig-Zag goldenrod - interesting plant - not very showy in typical garden sense - but has not spread

Verbena stricta
Hoary Vervain - has completely died out

Vernonia missurica
Ironweed - doing very well - massive

Veronicastrum virginicum
Culvers Root - very very nice garden plant


Michigan State University - Department of Horticulture

MSU Horticulture Gardens Michigan State University