Prairie Shore Botanicals
Native Plant Nursery

Prairie Shore Botanicals offers a variety of native prairie and woodland plants. All plants are started from seed harvested from local native species, not cultivars, and are grown peat-free with a conscious effort to reduce plastic waste.

 

Individual plants - $6

Combinations - $10

Combinations include two species that commonly occur together in their natural environment. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see what's available.

 

Note: Availability is subject to change. Pickups or dropoffs only (live plants will not be shipped.)

 

To place an order, please email info@psbotanicals.com.

Flowers (dry to medium soil moisture)

PRAIRIE SAGE (Artemisia ludoviciana)

 

This is Manitoba’s native take on dusty miller. Prairie sage is more discrete, though, with its spikes of small, inconspicuous, yellow flowers that are wind-pollinated. The plants are beautifully scented and hold a special place in many Indigenous cultures.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: August

Height: 1 – 2 ft

Soil: dry – medium

PASTURE SAGE (Artemisia frigida)

This is my favorite Manitoba sage. The soft, feathery, dusty green leaves are very unique and attractive. When rubbed, the plant emits a wonderful scent that’s slightly sweeter than prairie sage. Pasture sage is wind-pollinated, so don’t expect it to attract pollinating insects. It will, however attract the attention of anyone who walks past your native prairie garden. Plants are clump-forming and do not spread vegetatively.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: August - September

Height: 4 – 16”

Soil: dry

BLANKET FLOWER, GAILLARDIA (Gaillardia aristata)

 

These simple flowers are definitely head-turners, attracting the attention of both people and a range of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. They are short-lived perennials that reseed easily.

 

Life Cycle: perennial, cool season

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: 1 – 2.5 ft

Soil: dry - medium

BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWER (Helianthus laetiflorus)

Like the other wild sunflowers, the flowers smell just like chocolate! These short-stature (2-4 ft) sunflowers are more common in drier prairies. Yellow flowers have dark centers.

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 3 - 5 ft

Soil: dry - moist

LONG-HEADED CONEFLOWER (Ratibida columnifera)

Yellow reflexed petals subtend a long, brown, central cone at the end of long, leafless stalks. Flowers bloom continuously throughout the summer. The neat-looking leaves are large (up to 6” long), deeply lobed, and concentrated at the base of the plant.  These plants are quick to develop dense, fibrous root systems and often flower the first year.  Long-headed coneflower has a smaller stature compared to most other yellow coneflowers. It’s one of those plants that doesn’t demand attention, but is well worth a second look.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June - August

Height: 1 - 3 ft.

Soil: dry

SHRUBBY EVENING PRIMROSE (Oenothera serrulata)

A beautiful addition to dry prairie sites! Plants are short and woody with sparse yellow, four-petaled flowers. Terminal racemes curve downward and gradually straighten up as the flowers bloom from base to tip. The flowers close at night and open during the day. Usually found in sandy/gravelly soils in prairies or open woods.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: June to August

Height: 9 – 24”

Soil: dry to medium

MISSOURI GOLDENROD

A typically low-stature goldenrod of dry prairies and gravel ridges. The bloom period often starts earlier than most goldenrods. The red stems and yellow flowers make it quite attractive.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July to September

Height: 1 – 3 ft.

Soil: dry

PINK-FLOWERED ONION (Allium stellatum)

Pink-flowered onion usualy goes unnoticed until it’s flowering because the narrow, tubular leaves blend in with surrounding grasses. Bulbs are small and take about 5 years to reach a "good" size, but the flowers are just as flavourful. This plant does well in thin, dry soils (dry prairies and even rock outcrops) where vegetation/competition is often sparse, but also fairs well in more heavily vegetated and moister sites. It often keeps company with Indian breadroot, pasture sage, gaillardia, harebell and western silvery aster.

 

Flower Colour: pink

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: July – August

Height: 0.5 – 1 ft

Soil: dry to moist

HELIOPSIS, OX-EYE (Heliopsis helianthoides)

Very similar to our true native sunflowers with three main differences. Heliopsis blooms earlier (starting in June); the flowers have yellow centers (not brown) and seem to emit their own light; and the flowers only sort of smell like chocolate. One of my favourite mid-summer flowers!

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 2 - 3 ft

Soil: dry - medium

TALL CINQFOIL (Potentilla arguta)

Unique cream-coloured flowers appear in tight, but few-flowered, terminal clusters. Fuzzy, compound leaves are concentrated at the base of the plant. These stately, mid-sized plants really stand out in areas of low competition where they often grow.

 

Flower Colour: creamy white

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: June - August

Height: 1 - 3 ft.

Soil: dry to medium

YARROW (Achillea millefolium)

Feathery leaves and a wonderful menthol-like scent make this plant very attractive. It’s medicinal qualities are also very attractive. It is sought out for it’s ability to break a fever, aid digestion, heal wounds and stop bleeding. The white, flat-topped flower clusters are fun to watch because they attract so many different types of insects.

 

Flower Colour: white

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: June – August

Height: 1 – 3 ft

Soil: dry to medium

WILD BERGAMOT (Monarda fistulosa)

This upland mint is my favourite! I call it the pizza plant because of its oregano-like smell and flavour. I’ve heard others refer to it as the muppet plant because its flowers resemble tufted muppet hair. Excellent for flavouring all kinds of foods and highly medicinal, too. Wild bergamot is a bee magnet.

 

Flower Colour: pink

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 2 - 3 ft

Soil: dry – medium

yellow

BLACK-EYED SUSAN (Rudbeckia hirta)

Our native “daisy”, yellow ray petals encircle a black/brown center. The leaves have an almost pillowy hairiness to them and the stem is speckled with red. Black-eyed susans are referred to as “platform flowers” because they act as landing pads for a wide variety of flying insects. Black-eyed susans are the primary nectar food plant for the endagered Powesheik skipperling. A host of non-flying insects and spiders also make use of these flowers, including ambush bugs, stick caterpillars, and crab spiders.  They look great with harebells and western tiger lilies.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June - August

Height: 1 - 3 ft.

Soil: dry - medium

CANADA HAWKWEED (Hiearcium canadense)

I like this plant because of its unique leaves, which have widely-spaced teeth or tooth-like projections along the edges and get characteristically smaller towards the top of the stem. It’s most often found along woodland edges or open woods in sandy-soiled prairies.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 2 - 3 ft

Soil: medium

WHITE UPLAND ASTER (Solidago ptarmicoides)

My favourite aster! White flowers with creamy centers are arranged in flat-topped clusters. This species sometimes hybridizes with stiff and Riddell’s goldenrods, producing flowers that range from creamy white to creamy yellow within the same flower cluster. The leaves have characters that are halfway between each parent plant. These hybrids aren’t rare, but they are significantly less common than the pure species.

 

Flower Colour: white

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July – August

Height: 1 – 2 ft

Soil: dry to medium

PRAIRIE DANDELION (Agoseris glauca)

When flowering, prairie dandelion resembles the common dandelion, with its single yellow flower on a leafless stalk. But the long narrow, toothless leaves, arranged in a basal rosette, are thick and rubbery. Seed puffs are pure white, compared to the gray puffs of common dandelions.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: 8 – 15”

Soil: medium

HAREBELL (Campanula rotundifolia)

Often called bellflower, harebell often goes unnoticed until the nodding blue, bell-shaped flowers appear. Flowering continues throughout the summer. Multi-stemmed plants are quite hardy and will do well in dry and nearly soilless conditions as well as medium moisture prairie. Basal leaves are round to heart-shaped while stem leaves are linear and widely spaced toward the top of the stem.

 

Flower Colour: blue

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: July

Height: 8 – 20”

Soil: dry to medium

WHITE PRAIRIE CLOVER (Dalea candida)

Flowers are densely packed in unique cylindrical flower heads that begin flowering from the bottom up. These legumes have small, aromatic leaves with 3-5 leaflets that are wider than those of purple prairie clover. Both white and purple prairie clovers are host to a large number of insects, including various bees, wasps, butterflies, weevils, and flies. Some species of cellophane bee are specific to white prairie clover and, in turn, are parasitized by cuckoo bees. White prairie clover is less common than purple prairie clover and prefers drier soils.

 

Flower Colour: white

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July – August

Height: 1 – 1.5 ft

Soil: dry to medium

PURPLE PRAIRIE CLOVER (Dalea purpurea)

Bright pink flowers with protruding yellow anthers are densely packed in unique cylindrical flower heads that begin flowering from the bottom up. These legumes have small, aromatic leaves with 3-5 leaflets that are narrower than those of white prairie clover. Both purple and white prairie clovers are host to a large number of insects, including various bees, wasps, butterflies, weevils, and flies. Some species of cellophane bee are specific to purple prairie clover and, in turn, are parasitized by cuckoo bees. Purple prairie clover is often found with Kalm’s brome grass, black-eyed susan, and sticky asphodel.

 

Flower Colour: pink

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July – August

Height: 1 – 1.5 ft

Soil: dry to medium

SMOOTH ASTER (Aster laevis)

 

Smooth aster brings welcomed colour and an important source of pollen/nectar to the late summer/fall landscape. It’s found in a wide range of habitat types, from dry to moist, producing copious amounts of mauve flowers. The leaves, as the name suggests, are very smooth, making it easy to distinguish from other asters.

 

Flower Colour: mauve

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: August - September

Height: 2 – 4 ft

Soil: dry to moist

Flowers (medium to moist soil moisture)

GOLDEN ALEXANDER (Zizia aurea)

 

Yellow dill-like flower clusters appear in spring and attract a wide variety of insects. Golden alexander is a larval food host for the black swallowtail butterfly. The caraway-like seeds don’t fall far from the plants, so plants often occur in colonies.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: May - June

Height: 1 – 3 ft.

Soil: medium to moist

HONEWORT (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

Honewort is ranked S1 (critically imperiled) in Manitoba where it reaches the northwest extent of its range. It is a plant of rich, moist, but well-drained forests where it prefers dappled sunlight. It’s not particularly attractive, tending to blend in with the surrounding vegetation, but the entire plant, from root to seeds, is edible, having a flavour similar to parsley or celery. The leaves look similar to black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica) and the umbelled flowers loosely resemble those of sweet cicely.

 

Flower Colour: white

Sun Exposure: part shade - shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 1 – 3 ft

Soil: medium - moist

SWEET-SCENTED BEDSTRAW (Galium triflorum)

 

The sprawling, shade-loving nature of this bedstraw makes it great ground cover for woodland areas as several stems radiate out from a central point. The leaves are arranged in whorls of 6, making it very distinctive. Plants are edible when very young and taste like sweetgrass, but backwards-facing hairs on developing plants quickly make them inedible.

 

Flower Colour: white

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: part shade - shade

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: up to 1 ft

Soil: medium to moist

Flowers (moist to wet soil moisture)

SWAMP MILKWEED (Asclepias incarnata)

Beautiful deep pink flowers with white centers emit a wonderful aroma that resembles cherry Fruit Loops! As the name suggests, swamp milkweed naturally occurs in wet soils – in sedge meadows and shallow wetlands, but it does very well in flower gardens, too. Monarchs aren’t the only insects attracted to the plants – a wide diversity of pollinators, from skippers to hover flies, enjoy them, too.

 

Flower Colour:  deep pink

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: 3 - 4 ft

Soil: moist - wet

NUTTALL’S SUNFLOWER (Helianthus nuttallii)

The best thing about this plant is that the flowers smell like chocolate! Not kind of like chocolate, but exactly like chocolate. They bloom late-season (mid-August to fall) but are worth every minute of anticipation. True to the nature of sunflowers, the flowers turn to face the sun as it arcs across the sky. Plants can reach up to 7 feet, but are usually closer to 5 feet tall.

 

Flower Colour: yellow

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: August - September

Height: 4 - 6 ft

Soil: moist - wet

WILD MINT (Mentha arvensis)

 

A wetland mint that produces clusters of tiny, light pink flowers in the leaf axils. This is the best mint you’ll ever smell or taste. It makes wonderful tea and is great added to chocolate cake, roasted dandelion coffee, cake icing, etc.

 

Flower Colour: pink

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun – part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 1 – 3 ft

Soil: moist to wet

BUGLEWEED (Lycopus asper)

 

Not to me mistaken for wild mint, which looks similar and often grows nearby. Bugleweed has white flower clusters in the leaf axils. It has a “dull lemony” smell, but it tastes similar to Labrador tea and makes a great substitute for Earl Grey tea. Perhaps best of all, bugleweed produces small, edible tubers that make a great crunchy snack.

 

Flower Colour: white

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun – part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: ½  – 3 ft

Soil: moist

AMERICAN WATER HOREHOUND (Lycopus americanus)

 

Another one of our wetland mints, this little number has distinct, lobed leaves and white flower clusters appear in the leaf axils. Closely related to bugleweed, and sometimes called cut-leaf bugleweed, American water horehound is very bitter. It can handle a fairly wide range of soil moistures – I have seen it in temporary standing water as well as along the edge of my sandy driveway.

 

Flower Colour: white

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun – part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: up to 1 ft

Soil: medium to moist

MARSH HEDGE-NETTLE (Stachys palustris)

 

This wetland mint gets a terminal spike of beautiful pink flowers and its leaves have a distinctive bumpy texture to them. It’s often found in the company of bugleweed, wild mint and calamus.

 

Flower Colour: pink

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun – part shade

Bloom Period: July - August

Height: 1 – 3 ft

Soil: moist to wet

CALAMUS, SWEET FLAG, RAT ROOT (Acorus americana)

 

The plant of many names! Calamus is know for it’s extraordinarily bitter, hot roots that have wonderful medicinal properties. It is little known for the opposingly sweet leaves that both smell and taste like orange creamsicles. This is a wetland plant that prefers flooded (less than 2 ft of water) and fully saturated soil conditions.

 

Flower Colour: green

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June

Height: 1 – 5 ft

Soil: wet

WILD IRIS (Iris versicolor)

 

Striking blue and white flowers stand out in any wetland setting – woodland or prairie. The long, flat leaves can be twisted or braided into rope and used to make baskets.

 

Flower Colour: blue

Life Cycle: perennial

Sun Exposure: sunt - part shade

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: 1 – 2.5 ft

Soil: moist to wet

Grasses

BLUE GRAMA GRASS (Bouteloua gracilis)

 

My favourite dry prairie grass! This warm-season bunchgrass has very curly leaves. The seed heads are (nearly) perpendicular to the main stem and resemble eyelashes. Very unique and intriguing, especially when they’re in flower!  Blue grama often grows in sandy/gravelly soils that are not densely vegetated.

 

Life Cycle: perennial, warm season

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July

Height: less than 2 ft

Soil: dry

PORCUPINE GRASS   (Stipa spartea)

 

I love porcupine grass. Of all the native prairie grasses, it is probably the most fascinating in terms of seed dispersal and germination. Each seed has a very sharply pointed tip that’s covered in stiff, backwards facing hairs that act as barbs. On the opposite end is a long (4 – 8”), twisted “tail” (awn). At maturity, some flower parts drop off, leaving the hairy seed head exposed and capable of hitching a ride on passersby. When they eventually find their way to the ground, the moisture-sensitive tails twist and turn, drilling the seed into the ground. Unfortunately, porcupine grass doesn’t distinguish between soil, clothing and thick fur (like sheep wool), and has earned itself a bad reputation. But it’s an important part of the prairie ecosystem and the mature seed heads are quite striking with their contrasting colours and the long awns that really do resemble porcupine guard hairs. This is a grass of dry to medium sandy prairies. (Not recommended for sheep pastures!)

 

Life Cycle: perennial, cool season

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: June

Height: 2 – 4 ft

Soil: dry

KALM'S BROME (Bromus kalmiii)

One of my favourite grasses! Kalm’s brome is generally shorter than fringed brome with more compact, often reddish-tinged seed heads. Even softer and fuzzier than fringed brome, it’s a joy to have around. Kalm’s brome is usually found in more open, drier sites than fringed brome.

 

Life Cycle: perennial, cool season

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: July

Height: 2 – 3.5 ft

Soil: medium to dry

FRINGED BROME (Bromus ciliatus)

 

Open, pendulous seed heads are soft and fuzzy. The lower leaves and leaf sheaths are also softly hairy. This cool season grass tends towards partial shade and wetter habitats, where it can reach nearly 4 feet.

 

Life Cycle: perennial, cool season

Sun Exposure: part shade

Bloom Period: June - July

Height: 3 - 4 ft

Soil: moist to medium

CANADA WILD RYE (Elymus candensis)


I have rarely, seen this prairie grass growing naturally in open prairie in Manitoba, despite its common use in prairie restorations. Instead, it usually occurs as loosely scattered, individual stems in open woodlands. Canada wild rye is tall – reaching up to 5 feet – with long (up to 10”), curving seed heads that have long, spreading awns. The entire plant may have a bluish tinge to it. Canada wild rye can grow in a wide range of habitats. It is short-lived (a few years), but will reseed itself.


Life Cycle: perennial, cool season

Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade

Bloom Period: June

Height: 3 – 5 ft

Soil: dry to medium

PRAIRIE DROPSEED (Sporobolus heterolepis)

 

This fine-leaved bunch-grass forms beautiful circular clumps with the leaves radiating outward. Older clumps tend to become donut-shaped, allowing other species to grow in the center of the clump. The flowers aren’t particularly showy – in fact they can be difficult to see against a prairie backdrop – but they stand out in an oddly different way. They let off a wonderful peach-like scent that fills the air around them and will even saturate your pants when you walk through a meadow of it.

 

Life Cycle: perennial, warm season

Sun Exposure: full sun

Bloom Period: late July - September

Height: 1 – 2.5 ft

Soil: dry - moist

Combos

Dry to Medium soils

prairie sage + gaillardia

pasture sage + shruibby evening primrose

pasture sage + gaillardia

Kalm's brome + wild bergamot

prairie dandelion + harebell

Kalm's brome + purple prairie clover

white upland aster + purple prairie clover

white upland aster + prairie dandelion

Indian grass + heliopsis

prairie dropseed + meadow blazingstar

prairie dropseed + white prairie clover

prairie dropseed + black-eyed susan

blue grama + smooth aster

blue grama + Missouri goldenrod

blue grama + gaillardia

fringed brome + smooth aster

 

Medium to Moist soils

swamp milkweed + Nuttall's sunflower

honewort + sweet-scented bedstraw

golden alexander + Nuttall's sunflower

 

 

Moist to Wet soils

wild mint + American water horehound

wild mint + marsh hedgenettle

wild mint + bugleweed

bugleweed + marsh hedgenettle