Native Plants Found in Kansas

Gardeners in Kansas can have a wealth of fun and pretty flowers to put in a wildflower or prairie garden. Native plants take less water and less fuss to grow well in the landscape. These flowers are all native to the state of Kansas and are widely distributed elsewhere in the United States.

Thalictrum thalictroides

Common Name: Rue Anemone

Synonyms: Anemonella thalictroides

Lifespan: Perennial

Description: This plant grows to 9 inches tall with dark green leaves and pink or white flowers. Stems are red-brown. Leaves are lacy and in three parts. Bloom season is from March through June.

Planting Guide: Thalictrum thalictroides prefers partial shade and moist acidic soil. It tolerates dry soils.

Propagation: Rue anemone is propagated by seed, division, or by root cuttings. Seed will need cold stratification for 3 months if sown in the spring or be sown in the fall with no pretreatment.

History: This is a similar plant to the meadow rues and can be cultivated in wildflower gardens.

Warnings: This is a poisonous plant and is toxic when large doses are ingested.

Distribution: Thalictrum thalictroides is found in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OK, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WV, WI and DC.

Zigadenus nuttallii

Common Name: Death Camas, Nuttall’s Death Camas, Poison Onion

Lifespan: Perennial

Description: Death camas grows 1 to 2 feet high with long leaves that are narrow and cream flowers that grow in a cluster. Bloom season is February through May. The bulb is large and blackish in color.

Planting Guide: Zigadenus nuttallii prefers partial shade and well-drained loamy soil.

Propagation: Death camas is propagated by seed or clump division.

History: This plant is similar to the edible Camus and should be watched carefully.

Warnings: This is a poisonous plant; all parts are toxic.

Distribution: Zigadenus nuttallii is found in AR, KS, MO, OK, LA, TX and TN.

Eleocharis montevidensis

Common Name: Sand Spikerush

Lifespan: Perennial

Description: This grass grows up to 1 foot high with bright yellow-green leaves and very small flowers in a spikelet inflorescence. The blooms are red and they appear April through August. It has tiny yellow or brown fruits.

Planting Guide: Eleocharis montevidensis is hardy in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 11. Plant this grass in a sunny location with wet or moist soil. The pH isn’t too much of a concern; it’s very adaptable. It does best in a marshy area in bright sunlight. For low and marshy areas of the landscape, this grass can be a good lawn replacement.

Propagation: Sand spikerushis propagated by the division of the roots.

History: Sand spikerush is a good plant for those interested in waterfowl and shore birds as all parts of the grass are eaten by them. It will attract many types of birds.

Warnings: It is not drought tolerant.

Distribution: Eleocharis montevidensis is found in AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, KS, LA, MS, NM, NC, OK, SC and TX.