2016 Wildflower Week is Friday, June 3 - Sunday, June 12

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

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

2016 Wildflower Events   

    • June 1 in Sidney. Urban Best Management Practices Landscape Workshop at the South Platte NRD, 551 Parkland Dr., from 6-8pm. spnrd@spnrd.org
    • June 1-8. Beatrice Public Library Arboretum will have a display of books and information on wildflowers plus wildflower seedlings and giveaway packets of wildflower and grass seeds. 100 N 16th St., 402-223-3584, www.beatrice.ne.gov/library
    • June 2 in Gering. GreatPlants Planting at 2975 Country Club Road 10am to noon. Plant identification presentation at the Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail, 1-3pm (lopmdirector@gmail.com, 308-436-1989). Please note: the Memorial Tree Planting at Northfield Arboretum has been CANCELLED.
    • June 2-4 in Red Cloud. Willa Cather Spring Conference—“Both Bitter and Sweet: Cather, Literature and the Great War.” Register at 866-731-7304, https://www.willacather.org/events/61st-annual-willa-cather-spring-conference
    • June 3-5 in Onawa, Iowa. Loess Hills Prairie Seminar with James Locklear on the updated Jewels of the Plains; Douglas Tallamy on the importance of growing native plants in home landscape; and other speakers and free presentations. West Monona High School, 1314 15th St. http://www.nwaea.k12.ia.us/en/educators/loess_hills_prairie_seminar/
    • June 3 in Scottsbluff. Downtown Arboretum Tour from 9-10am. Garden Coffee Break presentation from 11-12 at Godfathers (lsato@scottsbluff.org, 308-630-8011). Afternoon events at TLC Nursery & Landscaping, 3109 Avenue B, include a GreatPlants for the Great Plains demonstration of plant choices and placement for landscapes that reflect western beauty at 3pm and a greenhouse discussion about plants that attract pollinators and other beneficial insects at 4pm. Wildcat Hills Wildflower Nature Hike 6-8pm, meet at the new Pellet Gun Range southeast of the Nature Center, 210615 Highway 71, Gering.
    • June 4. Chadron State College hands-on planting project from 9 to noon and 1-2pm campus tour, 1000 Main Street. lmays@csc.edu
    • June 4 in Omaha. "Pollination Ramble" at Lauritzen Gardens at 10-11:30 a.m. Explore the amazing world of pollination and hearing stories about pollinators on a  walking tour through the gardens led by director of conservation Jim Locklear. Free to members or with garden admission. Advance registration requested. 402-346-4002 x 263, http://www.lauritzengardens.org/Learn/Programs_for_Adults/
    • June 4 near Denton. Native Prairie Wildflower Walk 2-3:30pm with botanist Kay Kottas at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center. Explore the tallgrass prairie to learn about native wildflowers, grasses and forbs and their importance for wildlife, especially pollinators. Location: , 11700 Sw 100th St. Register at 402-797-2301, scp@audubon.org, http://springcreekprairie.audubon.org/
    • June 4 near Marquette. Sixth Annual Prairie Plains 5K or 10K Fun Run or Walk at Gjerloff Prairie from 8:30-11am on mowed trail through hills and prairie. Take Nebraska Highway 14 to Marquette corner, 4 miles west on 22 Road, 0.5 north on M Road. Register at contactppri@hamilton.net, http://www.prairieplains.org/
    • June 4 near Wood River. Volunteer Work Day for seed harvesting from 9-12 at The Nature Conservancy’s Platte Prairies (I-80 exit 300, 2 miles south to South Platte River Dr.) Bring gloves and scissors or pocket knife.  RSVP at 402-694-4191, mjasnowski@tnc.org, http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/nebraska/index.htm
    • June 4-5 near Garden City, KS. Spring/Summer Kansas Native Plant Society Board Meeting & Outings include botanizing at Sand sage Bison Range, Forest Park Lake, Lee Richardson Zoo and Horsethief Reservoir. 620-290-2411, azukoff@gmail.com , http://www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org/
    • June 5 near Harrison. National Park Service Centennial Wildflower Talks and Walks at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 22 miles south of Harrison, NE. Walks start at 2 p.m. in visitor center, then one mile roundtrip walk on the Daemonelix Trail with ranger and/or wildflower expert. 308-668-2211, agfo_ranger_activities@nps.gov, https://www.nps.gov/agfo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
    • June 6-9 in Lincoln. Camp Discovery at Pioneers Park Nature Center from 9-11:30am. “Seeds and Soil” for ages 3-6 lets kids dig, plant and learn in the Children’s Garden. Register at 402-441-7895, naturecenter@lincoln.ne.gov, http://lincoln.ne.gov/city/parks/naturecenter/links/2016campdiscovery.pdf
    • June 7 in Lincoln. Jazz in June Garden Tours at 6pm every Tuesday in June. Meet at the east entrance of Sheldon Museum of Art for 1 hour tours. For June 7, Eileen Bergt will tour “Historic and Unique Trees on Campus.” https://www.facebook.com/unlgardenfriends
    • June 8 at Wayne State College. "Exploring Native Plants in the Landscape" campus tour at 6:30pm to explore the use of native plants in landscapes, including a native plant raffle. Location: 1111 Main Street, meet in Parking Lot #6 southeast corner of campus. Tour is handicap-accessible. 402-375-7384, kischra1@wsc.edu, https://www.wsc.edu
    • June 10 in Lincoln. Nebraska Statewide Arboretum plant sale at 38th & Leighton with many hard-to-find native wildflowers from noon to 5pm. 402-472-2971, arboretum@unl.edu, http://plantnebraska.org/
    • June 11 near Gretna. Tours of the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center Arboretum and gardens led by UNL Douglas/Sarpy County 4-H Master Gardeners. 402-332-4496, kdjeffers@aol.com, http://4h.unl.edu/4hcampeastern
    • June 11 in Lincoln. Community Crops Garden Gala at Southern Heights Food Forest & Community Garden, 5750 S. 40th, from 10am-2pm. Free family festival celebrating growing food at Lincoln’s first ever food forest. Fun activities for kids and lots of great information on pollinator plants available. 402-474-9802, http://communitycrops.org/events/garden-gala/
    • June 12 near Harrison. National Park Service Centennial Wildflower Talks and Walks at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 22 miles south of Harrison, NE. Walks start at 2 p.m. in visitor center, then one mile roundtrip walk on the Daemonelix Trail with ranger and/or wildflower expert. 308-668-2211, agfo_ranger_activities@nps.gov, https://www.nps.gov/agfo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
    • Month of June. Hastings Highland Park Arboretum has a xeriscape garden with drought-tolerant wildflowers labelled for self-guided walks. 1300 N. Burlington, 402-461-7209, karren.carnes@unl.edu
    • Month of June near Burwell. Sandhills Wildflower Tours, 1-4 hour open air Jeep tours from Calamus Outfitters near Burwell. Register at 308-346-4697, www.calamusoutfitters.com

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.