Common Name: Black Cohosh
Shade-loving perennial herb with deeply cleft, glossy leaves. A tall spire of tiny white flowers blooms in summer. Prefers the moist, humus-rich soils of bottom land hardwood forests. Another common name is "fairy candles" which refers to the bright spires of flowers that stand out in the deep shade where this plant naturally occurs.
Common Name: Red Buckeye
Multiple upright stems form a large deciduous shrub or small tree with glossy, dark green palmately compound leaves. Puts forth multiple stalks of brilliant red tubular flowers in late spring. The flowers are followed by small smooth seeds commonly known as "buckeyes." The flowers provide nectar for bees and hummingbirds.
Common Name: Giant Purple Hyssop
Erect, multiple, semi-woody stems with opposite, lance shaped leaves with rounded teeth at the margins. Each stem is topped with a spike of many small purple tubular flowers with extended stamens. Highly fragrant foliage gives off a pleasing mint-like smell, especially when disturbed. The flowers attract numerous insects with abundant nectar. Small black seeds form in the papery bracts that remain after the flowers wither.
Common Name: Schwerin’s False Indigo
A medium-sized shrub consisting of one or more arching, woody stems with sparse branches lined with shiny, dark green, pinnate leaves. Elongated plumes of tiny, deep purple flowers with bright orange anthers bloom in late Spring, and are followed by small brown seed pods in late Summer. Birds seem to love the seeds as they have eaten all the pods off of all the plants at Beech Hollow Farm in a single day much to the dismay of would-be seed collectors. A member of the pea family with Nitrogen-fixing roots.
Common Name: Blue Star
A large underground root sprouts multiple semi-woody stems lined with slender, opposite, glossy leaves that are topped with flowers in spring. The flowers are pale blue to white colored with five petals and are about 1/2" across. The multiple stems covered in leaves give this plant a bushy, or shrub-like appearance. Clump-forming and drought tolerant, this is a good plant for sunny borders or rock gardens.
Common Name: Tall Thimbleweed
Low-growing cluster of deeply cleft basal leaves that put forth several 2-3' tall flower stalks topped with unique flowers. Flowers resemble an unripe green strawberry, or a thimble, and after pollination split open to release a tufted cotton-like mass of fibers that bear the seeds on the wind.
Common Name: Plantain Leaf Pussytoes
Low-growing, dense colony forming herb comprised of an evergreen basal leaf rosette that sprouts a small stem topped with a tiny bloom. Leaves are covered in silver hairs. The erect stems bear tiny white flower heads. Prefers the dappled shade of a dry woodland floor.
Common Name: Red Columbine
Delicate upright stems lined with 3-lobed leaves in clusters topped very showy flowers in spring. Nodding flowers are bright red with a yellow throat and five distinctive backward facing spurs. Long yellow stamens extend downward from the center five joined chambers. Prefers part shade and a moist, well-drained soil. Forms colonies through abundant self seeding. Hummingbirds are attracted to these flowers and feed on them frequently.
Common Name: Jack In The Pulpit
Low-growing single stalks topped with three leaflets rise from a tuberous root in early spring followed by a distinctive hooded flower on its own stalk. The green flower with dark purplish stripes resembles a pitcher plant and is followed by a conical cluster of bright red berries in late summer. Naturally occurring in moist, low-lying wooded areas, especially those that seasonally flood, this plant requires consistent moisture and rich soils.
Common Name: Red Chokeberry
An upright, slender, twiggy shrub with multiple stems and sparse, alternate elliptical leaves. Terminal clusters of small white flowers with five petals hang from the branches in spring. Leaves turn deep red in fall, especially in full sun. The bright red berries are winter persistent, often clinging onto the plant stems until early spring. Brilliant red berries attract northward migrating birds such as Cedar Waxwings and provide food for them on their way to spring nesting grounds.