2014 Wildflower Week--Friday, May 30 thru Sunday, June 8

Inspired by a similar national event, the aim of Nebraska Wildflower Week is to “foster understanding, enjoyment and conservation of Nebraska’s wildflowers and other native plants.”

The event is observed in early June, when Nebraska’s prairies and gardens are typically at their prime. For information on how to participate in Nebraska Wildflower Week, contact Karma Larsen at (402) 472-7923 or klarsen1@unl.edu.

What Wildflower is it? Online database lets users enter flower color, bloom time, etc. for ID

Wildflower Week publication (8-page pdf of 17x11" pages)

Native Wildflowers and Grasses (10-page pdf)

List of places to view native wildflowers.

Wildflower, native plant & landscape posts daily at Facebook

Nebraska Wildflower Week Proclamation

"WHEREAS, prairies, woodlands and other natural plant communities are essential to the ecological health of Nebraska , and give the land its great beauty and unique character, and 

WHEREAS, Nebraska is rich in wildflowers, grasses, trees and other native plants with beauty and hardiness that commends their use for landscaping homes, businesses and community green space. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I Dave Heineman, Governor of the State of Nebraska , DO HEREBY PROCLAIM the first week of June, as Nebraska Wildflower Week, and I do hereby urge all citizens to participate in events and activities during Nebraska Wildflower Week that foster understanding, enjoyment and conservation of Nebraska 's wildflowers and other native plants. "

-- Governor Dave Heineman

See LAST YEAR'S events below for ideas for wildflower celebrations...

2013 Wildflower Events in Eastern Nebraska

  • Friday, May 31 at 1:30 p.m. near Red Cloud. “Willa Cather Wildflower Walk” at Willa Cather Memorial Prairie 5 miles south of Red Cloud on Highway 281. 402/746-2653, ttucker@willacather.org, www.willacather.org/conferences/spring-conference
  • Saturday, June 1 at 7 a.m. near Ceresco. “Darby Springs Farm Pasture Walk” through saline wetlands near Ceresco at 414 CR 15, sponsored by Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. 402/525-7794, healthyfarms@gmail.com, www.NebSusAg.org
  • Saturday, June 1 at 9 a.m. near Marquette. “Griffith Prairie Fun Run/Walk” hosted by Prairie Plains Resource Institute. Enjoy scenery & wildflowers; entry fee of $20 includes t-shirt. From I-80 Aurora exit, north on Highway 14 to Marquette turnoff ; 4 miles west and straight ahead to stop sign; turn north for signs leading to entrance. 402/694-5535, amyppri@hamilton.net, www.prairieplains.org/index.php?q=events.htm&mo=6&yr=2013
  • Saturday, June 1 from 9-2 in Lincoln. Wildflower tour and sale of primarily native plants & wildflowers hosted by Nebraska Statewide Arboretum at greenhouses north of UNL east campus near 38th and Leighton. 402/472-2971, rhenrickson1@unl.edu, arboretum.unl.edu/plant-sales
  • Saturday, June 1 at 10 a.m. in Lincoln. “Bringing Wildflowers Home” workshop at Finke Gardens & Nursery, 500 N 66th. Select the best native plants for home landscapes. No pre-registration; questions & situations can be submitted in advance by mail or to finkegardens.com/ask-rich; 402/466-1995
  • Saturday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Omaha. Explore the fascinating world of pollination on this guided walking tour of Lauritzen Gardens, taking an up-close look at plant and pollinator interactions throughout the garden.  Free to members or with garden admission. 402/326-4002, j.locklear@omahabotanicalgardens.org, lauritzengardens.org
  • Saturday, June 1 afternoon/evening near Red Cloud. “Prairie Wildflower Tours” at Willa Cather Memorial Prairie followed by dinner from celebrity chuckwagon cook Kent Rollins of Food Network. 5 miles south of Red Cloud on Highway 281. 402/746-2653, ttucker@willacather.org, www.willacather.org/conferences/spring-conference
  • June 1-9 at Beatrice Public Library. “Wildflower Week” displays, bulletin boards, weekly newspaper column and wildflower photos updated daily. 100 North 16th Street, cbaker@beatrice.lib.ne.us
  • June 1-9 (June 1-30) near Burwell. “Birds & Blooms Sandhills Safari Jeep Tour” from Calamus Outfitters. Guided open air jeep tour through the Sandhills of Loup County.  Native grasses and wildflowers, including blowout penstemon, and lakes and meadows that draw many species of birds. Tours accommodate 2-12 people. Cost per person of $50 includes light lunch. Calamus Outfitters 16 NW of Burwell. 308/346-4697, www.calamusoutfitters.com
  • Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m. near Lincoln. “Weekend Wildflower Walk” from Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center. Learn the names and discover amazing adaptations of many native wildflowers. Fee of $6/adult, $4/child (for children 8-12 years accompanied by adult); register by June 1. From 4-way stop at Denton, go west half a mile to SW 98th St., then 3 miles south. 402/797-2301, scp@audubon.org, www.springcreekprairie.org
  • Tuesday, June 4 at 6 p.m. in Lincoln. “Jazz in June” tour of perennial gardens at University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus, focussing on plants that withstood last summer’s drought and on best landscape management practices; sponsored by UNL Landscape Services. 402/472-1229, susan.budler@unl.edu, www.jazzinjune.com
  • Saturday, June 8 at 7 a.m. near Ceresco. “Darby Springs Farm Pasture Walk” through saline wetlands near Ceresco at 414 CR 15, sponsored by Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. 402/525-7794, healthyfarms@gmail.com, www.NebSusAg.org
  • Saturday, June 8 from 9:30-11:30 in Lincoln. “Reading, Writing and Compost” workshop from Community CROPS at Prescott Elementary School, 1920 S. 20th Street. 402/474-9802, info@communitycrops.org, www.communitycrops.org
  • Saturday, June 8 at 10:30 a.m. in Brownville. Furnas Arboretum presentation on “Trees for a Changing Climate” at the Schoolhouse Gallery and Nature Center. 402/414-1813, http://www.brownville-ne.com/
  • Saturday, June 8 from 1-3 p.m. in southeast Nebraska. Contact: arnold.mendenhall@gmail.com. Wachiska Audubon representatives will be at:
       Lamb prairie near Sterling: 2 miles west from west end of Sterling on NE41/43 to Ave 608 (Lutheran Church at intersection), 2 miles south across BNSF RR tracks to intersection with Rd 732; prairie is in northeast corner of northeast quarter section, on southwest corner of intersection.
       Dieken Prairie near Unadilla: 1.5 miles south on Rd 20 from northwest corner of intersection of Unadilla and NE 02/Rd 20; then .75 miles west on Rd I; prairie located on northwest corner of northwest quarter section.
       Bentzinger Prairie near Syracuse: 10.5 miles south on NE 50 from NE 50/NE 02 intersection at Syracuse; prairie is on west side of NE 50 in northeast corner of northeast quarter section bordered by NE 50 on east and Otoe Rd S/Johnson Rd 738 on north.
       Wulf Prairie near Eagle: 7.5 miles east on US 34 from 84th Street in Lincoln; prairie is located on south side of US 34, just east of 176th Street.
  • Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. in Lincoln. “Jazz in June” tour of Love Garden focussing on history of Love Library and memorial gift from Don Love; sponsored by UNL Landscape Services and starting from east entrance to Sheldon Museum of Art. 402/472-1229, susan.budler@unl.edu, www.jazzinjune.com
  • Sunday, June 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Lincoln. Wachiska Audubon Society Backyard Habitat Tour, with homeowners on hand to answer questions. Visitors can start at any location; maps and brochures available at each site. Locations announced one week prior. Recommended donation of $5/person.  lsenkbeil@hotmail.com, www.wachiskaaudubon.org
  • Saturday, June 22 from 9-11 a.m. at Waverly Park. Tour the park with Justin Evertson, great opportunity to ask any & all landscape questions about trees, perennials, design, plant selection, etc.
  • Saturday, June 22 from 9-3 p.m. at Pioneers Park Nature Center. Herbal Festival with speakers and hands-on workshops. Call 402/441-7895; register at http://parks.lincoln.ne.gov/naturecenter
  • Saturday, June 22 from 4-8pm in Bellevue. Garden walk featuring six gardens. www.bellevuegardenclub.com/
  • Sunday, June 23 from 11am-3pm in Bellevue. Garden walk featuring six gardens. www.bellevuegardenclub.com/

Wildflower Events in Western Nebraska

  • Sunday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. near Harrison. “Wildflower Talk” in Agate Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center followed by “Wildflower Walk with a Ranger.” June 1 – 9 guided walks offered at 10 a.m. daily as staffing permits; or take self-guided walks on the trails open dawn to dusk year-round. Visitor center open from 9-5.  Located 34 miles north of Mitchell, NE or 22 miles south of Harrison, NE on Highway 29, then 3 miles east on River Road. Free.  308/668-2211 or 308/436-9760, lil_mansfield@nps.gov, nps.gov/agfo
  • Saturday, June 8 from noon till dusk near Harrison. “Sioux County Ranch Trek” hosted by Prairie Plains Resource Institute. Meet at Longhorn Bar & Grill in Harrison at noon MDT for lunch; then join caravan to ranch for riding/walking tour of property with great wildflower and wildlife viewing. Prime rib cookout at 6:30 p.m. and a sunset hike up the bluffs.  402/694-5535, amyppri@hamilton.net, www.prairieplains.org/index.php?q=events.htm&mo=6&yr=2013

Bob Henrickson's Top Twelve Wildflowers

Beardtongue, Penstemon grandiflorus.
There are over 200 species of Penstemon, with nearly 24 native to the Great Plains. Ours are upright, multi-stemmed perennials, growing from 2-3 feet tall. Flowers are shaped like snapdragons, in shades of pink, red, blue, purple or white, arranged in upright spikes. Prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Look great planted in masses.

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta.
Bright golden yellow daisies bloom mid-summer into autumn. Deep brown center disks are striking through winter. Grows in full sun or partial shade in soil that is well-drained but not dry.

Compass plant, Silphium laciniatum.
This classic prairie plant is a relative of the sunflowers, with many large bright yellow flowers in late summer. The large 15" coarse, oak-like leaves align themselves in a north-south direction, then it sends up a 4-7' flowering stalk in summer. Also called "century plant" because of its ability to survive for decades. Best for larger gardens where the prairie sky is your background. Can grow to 3' wide and 7' high.

Desert globemallow, Sphaeralcea coccinea.
Hardy, low-growing native groundcover with coral red flowers throughout the summer. Foliage is silvery gray and deeply cut. Prefers dry site once established.

Leadplant, Amorpha canescens.
A Nebraska native that attracts butterflies. It has showy blue-purple flowers with gold anthers that rise above silvery green foliage. Prefers well-drained soil in full sun, but also tolerates poor, dry soil. Grows 2' high and wide.

Plains coreopsis,Coreopsis tinctoria.
A native annual that flowers from June to September. Showy yellow flowers with red centers and brown center disks are produced on fairly large branched plants. Grows from 1-3' tall and prefers dry prairies or open woodlands.

Prairie larkspur, Delphinium virescens.
Native perennial of moist, tallgrass prairies that grows to 3' tall. Distinctive flowers in May-June have five white petal-like sepals with purplish-brown spot and a long spur.

Purple poppy mallow, Callirhoe involucrata.
This tough native is often grown as a groundcover or allowed to weave among taller perennials. Its stems lie close to the ground, but do not root, growing out to 4’ each year from a bulb-like corm that gets as big as a turnip. Bright purple cup-shaped flowers bloom profusely in early summer among the attractive, cut-leaf foliage.

Prairie coneflower, Echinacea pallida.
Showy flowerheads have pale pink drooping petals around a dark, dome-shaped disk. Grows 1-3' tall in moist to dry upland prairies. Stout, unranched stems are covered with coarse, stiff hairs. Seedheads remain through winter.

Yellow coneflower, Ratibida columnifera.
This bushy 2' tall native prairie plant is extremely drought-tolerant. In late summer the top of the plant is covered with flowers of bright yellow petals drooping around a central cone. Prefers a hot, sunny site and well-drained soils.

Prairie phlox, Phlox pilosa. Native perennial with rounded clusters of deep pink to magenta flowers blooms May-July. Grows from 1-2' tall in dry to moist, well-drained prairies. Narrow leaves can be up to 4" long.

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohioensis.
Clump-forming, multi-stemmed perennials with arching, grass-like leaves. Produce showy clusters of flowers in late spring and early summer. Colors range from various shades of blue to pink, rose, purple and white. Spiderworts native to the Great Plains can tolerate full sun and dry conditions.