Selected species for prairie gardens

Always check the scientific name of a plant. A plant may have more than one common name or the same common name may refer to more than one plant.

Scientific name

Common name (flower color)

Recommended space between plants

Overstory Trees

Quercus ellipsoidalis

Northern Pin Oak

20 feet

Quercus macrocarpa

Bur Oak

20 feet


Tall (average mature height greater than 15 feet)

Viburnum lentago


15 feet

Medium (average mature height: 6-15 feet)

Corylus americana


5-10 feet

Viburnum trilobum

American Highbush Cranberry

10 feet

Low (average mature height 5 feet and under)

Amorpha canescens


11/2 feet

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


11/2 feet

Ceanothus americanus

New Jersey Tea

2 feet

Diervilla lonicera

Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle

5 feet

Perennial Flowers

Tall (most plants are 3-5 feet)

Aster novae-angliae

New England Aster (purple)

24-36 inches

Echinacea angustifolia

Purple Coneflower (purple)

24 inches

Liatris aspera

Rough Blazingstar (purple)

6 inches

Liatris pycnostachya

Prairie Blazingstar (purple)

6 inches

Silphium perfoliatum

Cup Plant (yellow)

24-36 inches

Solidago speciosa

Showy Goldenrod (yellow)

12 inches

Medium (most plants are 2-3 feet)

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Flower (orange)

12 inches

Aster oolentangiensis

Sky Blue Aster or Azure Aster (blue)

24 inches

Aster sericeus

Silky Aster (purple)

12 inches

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Partridge Pea (yellow - annual plant that reseeds)

12 inches

Liatris punctata

Dotted Blazingstar (lavender)

12 inches

Lobelia siphilitica

Great Blue Lobelia (blue)

12 inches

Penstemon grandiflorus

Showy Penstemon (pink)

18 inches

Zizia aurea

Golden Alexander (yellow)

18 inches

Low (most plants are 6 inches to 1 foot)

Antennaria neglecta

Pussytoes (white)

6 inches

Campanula rotundifolia

Harebells (blue)

6-12 inches

Geum triflorum

Prairie Smoke (pink to red)

9-12 inches

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan (yellow)

24 inches

Grass-like Plants

Tall (most plants are 3-6 feet)

Andropogon gerardi

Big Bluestem

24 inches

Panicum virgatum


24-36 inches

Sorghastrum nutans


24 inches

Medium (most plants are 2-4 feet)

Bouteloua curtipendula

Sideoats Grama

12 inches

Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Bluestem

18 inches

Sporobolus heterolepis

Northern Dropseed

12 inches

Short (most plants are 6 inches to 2 feet)

Bouteloua gracilis

Blue Grama

6-12 inches

Juncus tenuis

Path Rush

6-12 inches

Koeleria macrantha


12 inches


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