Less time, money and water sounds like the magical combination for any planting project. Using native plants can deliver on all points without compromising the beauty and acceptability within our neighborhoods. Better still are the benefits to the other living things that share our world. Critically important pollinating insects that insure the balance of life systems that feed us all depend on native plants. And as the cost of public water systems escalate with urban development and growing populations, it is critical that we make every drop and dollar count. By planting native and well adapted trees, shrubs, perennials and turfgrass, we contribute to the health of our world. Join us at Finke Gardens as we plant to make the difference in our world for generations to come.[soliloquy slug=”ne-natives-and-cultivars” ]
[envira-gallery id=”6429″ slug=”ne-natives-deciduous-shrubs”]
Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’
This durable little serviceberry was selected for commercial fruit production. The fruits ripen in June and can be used in jam, wine, and baked goods, if the birds don’t eat them first! Blooms with a white flower in early spring. Fall foliage color is golden yellow to orange. Because of its thicket-forming tendencies, it is often used in naturalized settings in sun or part shade. Adapts to a wide range of soil types.
Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘Sputnik’
Buttonbush is native to Nebraska and it prefers moist planting sites. This variety was selected for its exceptionally large flower spheres that take orbit around the large mounding shrub each summer, looking much like Soviet satellites. Seed balls persist into the winter for added interest. The foliage is clean, glossy, and disease resistant on this easy-to-grow shrub.
Cornus sericea ‘Isanti’
Isanti Dogwood was selected as a more compact version of red-twig dogwood. Stems become an intense red in the winter and stand out against a backdrop of conifers or snow. Small white flowers appear in early summer and give way to fleshy white berries enjoyed by songbirds. It grows in sun or part shade and prefers moist soil.
[envira-gallery id=”6432″ slug=”ne-natives-deciduous-trees”]
A picturesque shade tree with deeply furrowed bark and stout branches that are particularly handsome in winter. Female trees develop leathery mahogany colored seed pods that add to the winter interest. Compound leaves are late to emerge in spring, are blue-green in color, and provide filtered shade. Autumn brings hues of golden yellow. The tree prefers deep, moist soil, but will adapt to adverse conditions including clay, salt, alkalinity, and drought. Native to Nebraska, 2002 Great Plants award winner, and promoted by the ReTree Nebraska program!
Hophornbeam (a.k.a. Ironwood)
This native tree goes by several common names including Ironwood and Hophornbeam. It makes its best growth in sites with average moisture and a bit of dappled shade, but it will adapt to a variety of sites. The fruits are quite interesting as they are enclosed in a papery husk resembling hops. The wood of this medium-sized tree is dense and strong.
Chinkapin Oak is a medium sized shade tree with a broad dense crown. The foliage is dark green and glossy with a silvery underside. Fall color varies from golden yellow to orange to warm leathery brown. It is indigenous to upland slopes with rocky and alkaline soils. It is very tolerant of drought. Small acorns are a source of food for wildlife. Named Tree of the Year in 2006 by the Great Plants for the Great Plains program and is recommended by the ReTree Nebraska program.
Dwarf Chinkapin Oak
Dwarf Chinkapin Oak is a small tree or very large shrub native to Nebraska. It is typically grown as a multi-trunked plant. The foliage is an attractive dark green, but fall color is subtle shades of brown and yellow. It grows in dry, rocky, alkaline soils, making it a rugged and durable choice for the urban landscape. Avoid constantly wet sites. The small acorns are a valuable source of food for wildlife.
Valley Forge American Elm
Ulmus americana ‘Valley Forge’
A true American classic, elms are making a comeback! Elms are hardy, vigorous shade trees and they adapt to virtually any soil type. Elms are equally drought and flood tolerant. The really exciting thing is new varieties are being selected for resistance to Dutch elm disease. ‘Valley Forge’ is a true American Elm (not a hybrid) noted for is majestic size, fast growth rate, and strong wood. The fall color is deep golden yellow. A relatively ‘clean’ tree and native to Nebraska.