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Plant of the Month

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Meet our Plant of the Month from Plant Select, a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists dedicated to promoting plants that thrive in the high plains and Rocky Mountain region.

Meadow Blazing Star (September)

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Meadow Blazing Star attracts Monarch butterflies. Photo credit: Plant Select.

Formal name: Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis).

Plant profile: This tough beauty, with its rosypurple flowers, tolerates heat, humidity, drought and isn’t fussy about the soil it sinks its roots into. Flower stalks rise 18-36 inches in height and send out tufts of blooms through the summer and fall.

Wildlife friends: It is a pollinator that attracts hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and birds, while deer will leave it alone. Monarch butterflies come for the flowers’ nectar while goldfinches love the seeds.

Hardiness: Perennial. Can survive winter temperatures down to minus 30.

Why we love it: Drought-tolerant. Loves a sunny or partly sunny location. Needs little to no extra water once established. Plus, wildlife!

Find it: At your local garden center, look for the Plant Select logo to find this and other water-wise plants that fit naturally into Colorado’s climate.

Ultra Violet Salvia (August)

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We love showy, glowy purple flowers. The fact that Ultra Violet Salvia is drought-tolerant and loves sunshine is simply icing on the cake. Photo credit: Plant Select

Formal name: Ultra Violet Salvia.

About this purple wonder: This beauty, with its unusually iridescent purple flowers, originated in a northern Colorado garden, grows 18-24 inches in height and width, and blooms through the summer and fall.

Wildlife friends: It is a pollinator that attracts bees and butterflies, while deer and rabbits will leave it alone.

Hardiness: Perennial. Can survive winter temperatures down to minus 20.

Why we love it: Drought-tolerant. Loves sunshine. Needs little to no extra water once established. (And the glowing purple flowers!)

Find it: At your local garden center, look for the Plant Select logo to find this and other water-wise plants that fit naturally into Colorado’s climate.

Bellina Pink Cornflower (July)

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Did Dr. Seuss help design this beauty? Photo credit: Plant Select.

Formal name: Bellina Pink Cornflower (Psephellus simplicicaulis).

About Bellina: This small-scale, 4-inch groundcover merrily waves bright pink pincushion flowers perched on 8-10-inch stems from late spring to midsummer. With frilly matte-green leaves (they’re silvery underneath!), Bellina spreads slowly, eventually to about 3 feet or more across. Likes sunny to partially sunny locations.

Wildlife friends: This pollinator attracts bees and butterflies.

Hardiness: Perennial. Can survive winter temperatures down to minus 20.

Why we love it: Drought tolerant. Needs little to no extra water once established. (And those flowers!)

Find it: At your local garden center, look for the Plant Select logo to find this and other water-wise plants that fit naturally into Colorado’s climate.

Shimmer evening primrose (June)

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Meet our water-wise Plant of the Month from Plant Select for June: Shimmer evening primrose. Photo credit: Plant Select.

Formal name: Oenothera fremontii Shimmer

About Shimmer: The Shimmer evening primrose has narrow, grassy silver foliage dotted with cheerful, large, lemon-yellow flowers that bloom profusely in late spring, then again in the summer and fall, scenting the evening air with fragrance. Likes sunny to partially sunny locations.

Benefits: A pollinator that attracts bees, sphinx moths and butterflies.

Hardiness: Can survive winter temperatures down to minus 30.

Water needs: Drought tolerant. Needs little to no extra water once established.

Find it: At your local garden center, look for the Plant Select logo to find this and other water-wise plants that fit naturally into Colorado’s climate.

The right plant for the right place in your landscape