Native flowers can beat the heat in your Edmonton-area garden

·2 min read
An Edmonton-area native flower garden with giant hyssop, common tall sunflowers and rhombic-leaved sunflowers grown by Manna Parseyan, owner of Arnica Wildflowers. (Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers - image credit)
An Edmonton-area native flower garden with giant hyssop, common tall sunflowers and rhombic-leaved sunflowers grown by Manna Parseyan, owner of Arnica Wildflowers. (Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers - image credit)

This summer, CBC Edmonton is doing a special column focusing on gardening in our Zone 3 climate. Everything from knowing your planting zone, to ditching the lawn for a water-wise garden, we'll explain why certain garden practices will help you get the best out of your Zone 3 garden.

During this heat wave have you been fretting about your plants? Native plants don't need much in the way of care because they've evolved to manage our extreme climate.

They're also good for local wildlife which has evolved side-by-side with native plants to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

CBC Edmonton's summer garden columnist, Tanara McLean, spoke about why it's smart to garden with native plants on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

For information about wildflowers native to your area and how to sustainably source them, visit the Edmonton Native Plant Society or the Alberta Native Plant Council.

Here is a list of 10 plants native to the greater Edmonton area:

Monarda fistulosa (beebalm, wild bergamot)

  • Size: 70 centimetres tall

  • Light condition: sun, part shade

  • Soil condition: dry or moist

  • Bloom season: July, August

  • Wildlife use: butterflies, birds, hummingbirds

Manna Parseyan, Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan, Arnica Wildflowers

Antennaria rosea (rosy pussytoes)

  • Size: 25 centimetres tall

  • Light condition: sun, part shade

  • Soil condition: dry

  • Bloom season: June, July

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

  • Size: 70 centimetres tall

  • Light condition: sun, part shade

  • Soil condition: moist

  • Bloom season: May, June, July

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Linum lewisii (wild blue flax)

  • Size: 70 centimetres tall, 1 metre wide

  • Light condition: sun

  • Soil condition: dry, well-drained

  • Bloom season: May, June, July, August

  • Wildlife use: butterflies, birds, bees

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Geum triflorum (three-flowered avens, prairie smoke, old man's whiskers)

  • Light condition: sun, light sahde

  • Soil condition: well drained or dry

  • Bloom season: May, June, July

  • Wildlife use: bees

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Sisyrinchium montanum (blue-eyed grass)

  • Size: 25 centimetres tall, 50 centimetres wide

  • Light condition: sun

  • Soil condition: moist or dry

  • Bloom season: April, May, June, July

  • Wildlife use: bees, birds

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Canadanthus modestus (great northern aster, modest aster, giant mountain aster)

  • Size: 70 centimetres tall

  • Light condition: sun, part shade

  • Soil condition: moist or wet

  • Bloom season: August, September, October

  • Wildlife use: butterflies

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Liatris ligulistylis (meadow blazing star, Rocky Mountain blazing star)

  • Size: 50 centimetres tall, 50 centimetres wide

  • Light condition: sun, part shade

  • Soil condition: dry, moist, well-drained

  • Bloom season: July, August

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Gaillardia aristata (gaillardia, blanket flower, great blanket flower)

  • Size: 70 centimetres tall, 50 centimetres wide

  • Light condition: sun, dappled shade

  • Soil condition: dry, well-drained

  • Bloom season: June, July, August

  • Wildlife use: butterflies, birds, bees

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers

Solidago lepida (Western Canada goldenrod)

  • Size: 50 centimetres tall

  • Light condition: sun

  • Soil condition: dry, moist and well-drained

  • Bloom season: July, August, September

  • Wildlife use: butterflies, bees, birds

Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
Manna Parseyan/Arnica Wildflowers
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