2015 Wildflower Week--May 29 through June 9

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum serves as coordinator for statewide Wildflower Week activities, bringing together organizations and individuals across the state who recognize the value of wildflowers—not only for their beauty but also for what they imply and symbolize.
For more information, klarsen1@unl.edu.

Wildflower Resources

What Wildflower is it? Enter color, month, region for ID

Wildflower Week poster

Wildflower Week bookmarks

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

Native Wildflowers and Grasses (10-page pdf)

Wildflower crossword puzzle and answers

List of places to view native wildflowers.

Wildflower, native plant & landscape posts daily at Facebook

2015 Wildflower Events

  • May 29-June 5 in Lincoln. Wildflower Scavenger Hunt at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. Tour the museum and gardens in search of wildflowers. Tuesday-Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 1-4. 402-472-6549, info@quiltstudy.org, www.quiltstudy.org

  • May 29-June 5 in Beatrice.  Beatrice Public Library Arboretum will have a display of books and information on wildflowers plus small packets of assorted wildflower seeds and ornamental grasses to give away. Wildflower seedlings will also be given away. 402-223-3584, www.beatrice.ne.gov/library 

  • May 29-31 in and near Onawa, IA. Annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar with indoor programs in Onawa and outdoor sessions starting from Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area. Presentations on prairies, woodlands, wildflowers and natives for the home landscape for all ages, 5-105. Free unless you want to order meals (in advance) for Friday evening through Sunday noon. 712-222-6083, pkistner@nwaea.org, www.nwaea.k12.ia.us/en/educators/loess_hills_prairie_seminar/

  • May 29 through August near Harrison. Plant signage for ID and an herbarium to help visitors identify and enjoy wildflowers at the Agate Fossil Beds Visitor Center, open 8-5pm and trails open dawn till dusk. Located 22 miles south of Harrison on Hwy 29, then east 3 miles on River Road. 308-668-2211 or 308-436-9760, www.nps.gov/agfo

  • May 30 in Omaha. Celebrate Nebraska Wildflower Week with an exploration of the amazing world of pollination at Lauritzen Gardens at 10am and again at 1pm. Participants will discover a variety of pollination “stories” on this guided walking tour through the gardens led by Director of Conservation Jim Locklear. Free to members or with garden admission ($10 adult; $5 children 6-12).  To register, call 402-346-4002 x263 or h.saalfeld@omahabotancalgardens.org

  • May 30 near Ceresco. Prairie Walk through the saline wetlands of Saunders county starting at 8am at Darby Springs Farm (3 miles east of Ceresco off County Road A). Learn about native pollinators, dung beetles and salt creek tiger beetles and see the benefits of grazing, multi-species pasture staking and more. Free event sponsored by the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society; families welcome. 402-525-7794, Facebook.com/NebraskaSustainableAgricultureSociety, healthyfarms@gmail.com

  • May 30 in Lincoln. Nebraska History Museum-on-the-Move Free Family Day 2-4pm. Learn about wildflowers, make flower crown, stationery, bookmarks at Nebraska State Historical Society 1500 R St. nebraskahistory.org or 402-471-4757.

  • May 30-31 near Kimball. Wildflower tours at 6pm led by rancher and biologist Shaun Evertson. Call 308-241-0573 to reserve a spot. Meet in parking lot at 204 S. Kimball Blvd.

  • May 31 near Harrison. "Wildflower Talk and Walk with a Ranger" at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument at 2 pm, starting from visitor center and moving outdoors. Located 22 miles south of Harrison, NE on Hwy 29, then east 3 miles on River Road. 308-668-2211 or 308-436-9760, www.nps.gov/agfo

  • June 2 in Lincoln. “Jazz in June” tour of plants and design along the 12th Street mall to the Stadium at UNL Botanical Gardens & Arboretum city campus at 6 p.m. led by Park Planner Mark Canney. Tuesday Jazz in June dates continue through the month. 402-472-1229, susan.budler@unl.edu, www.jazzinjune.com 

  • June 3 in Wayne. “Native Plants in the Landscape through the Seasons,” a leisurely stroll through the Wayne State College Campus at 6:30pm to explore the use of native plants in the landscapes in different seasons; includes a raffle for free plants. Meet in Parking Lot 6. More dates at www.wsc.edu. 402-375-7384, kischra1@wsc.edu
  • June 4 in Lincoln. Brown-bag on “Environmentally Adapted Trees” by Heather Byers of Great Plains Nursery at noon in UNL east campus Keim 150. arboretum@unl.edu, arboretum.unl.edu/brown-bags

  • June 4 in Scottsbluff. Wildflower celebration and presentations at Legacy of the Plains Museum 6-8pm. 308-630-8011, stormwater@scottsbluff.org, www.NebraskaH2O.org

  • June 5 in Scottsbluff. Dedication of downtown gardens and talks from 10 to noon at Emporium Coffeehouse; 11am downtown walking garden tour; planting demonstration at Legacy of the Plains Museum from 1:30-4pm; and wildflower hike at Scottsbluff National Monument leaving from the amphitheater at 6pm. 308-630-8011, stormwater@scottsbluff.org, www.NebraskaH2O.org

  • June 5 near Crawford.  Agate Fossil Beds ranger will present a wildflower talk at Fort Robinson State Park, 3 miles west of Crawford, at 7pm. 308-668-2211 or 308-436-9760, www.nps.gov/agfo

  • June 5-7 in Red Cloud. Willa Cather Conference on “Fragments of Desire: Cather and the Arts.” 402-746-2653, www.willacather.org

  • June 6 in Scottsbluff. Plant sale 9 to noon at TLC with presentations at 10 and 11am. 308-630-8011, stormwater@scottsbluff.org, www.NebraskaH2O.org

  •  June 6 near Marquette. Griffith Prairie Fun Run from 8:30-11am. The course is a beautiful mowed trail through hills and prairie for walkers and runners (5K or 10K). Take Nebraska Highway 14 to Marquette corner, 4 miles west on 22 Road, 0.5 north on M Road. Download a registration form at prairieplains.org/events.htm or email contactppri@hamilton.net

  •  June 6 near Wood River. “Platte Prairies Work Days” with the Nature Conservancy. Help with (and learn about) seed harvesting, native plant nursery work, invasive species control and other efforts to restore and maintain healthy grasslands at the Platte Prairies from 9 to noon. More dates at nature.org/nebraska, 402-694-4191

  • June 6 near Gretna. “We Teach” tour and gardening presentation at 10am from Douglas-Sarpy UNL Extension Master Gardeners at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center Arboretum starting and ending at the Lodge. If you plan to stay for the $5 lunch at 12:30, please email your name, email and phone number to kdjeffers@aol.com

  • June 6-7 near Kimball. Wildflower tours at 6pm led by rancher and biologist Shaun Evertson. Call 308-241-0573 to reserve a spot. Meet in parking lot at 204 S. Kimball Blvd. 

  • June 7 in Lincoln. “Walk among Wildflowers” at Pioneers Park Nature Center prairie building from 1-2pm to learn about the resilient and beautiful flora of Nebraska. Register for $3 tour by June 4. 402-441-8708, JKelley@lincoln.ne.gov

  •  June 7 near Lincoln. Walk through the prairie at Spring Creek Prairie with botanist Kay Kottas from 2-3pm to learn about native wildflowers and their benefit to the prairie, wildlife and people. Cost is $6/adult, $4/children 12 and under who must be accompanied by an adult.  402-797-2301 or  scp@audubon.org
  • June 7 near Harrison. "Wildflower Talk and Walk with a Ranger" at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument at 2 pm, starting from visitor center and moving outdoors. Located 22 miles south of Harrison, NE on Hwy 29, then east 3 miles on River Road. 308-668-2211 or 308-436-9760, www.nps.gov/agfo

  • June 13 in Brownville. Activities and tours of Furnas Arboretum and village sites from 10-4. Talk by Justin Evertson on native vs. non-native plants, biodiversity and questions. Auburn Garden Club will participate. Free with a break for lunch from 12-1pm. johnlauber@windstream.net

  •  June 27 near Pierce. “WOW—Wings on Wildflower” tour from 9-3. Learn about native wildflowers, their importance to pollinators, the need for diversity, try some edible wildflowers, learn about hand-harvesting natives and get tips to start your own plot. Cost of $40 includes transportation, lunch, free stuff and talks. Sponsored by the Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development Council. 402-582-4866, northeastrcd@plvwtelco.net

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.