Gardeners in Missouri have a wide variety of flowers to choose from in all shapes and colors. Low-growing ground covers can go under tall trees where other plants will not survive. Tall flowers go well against a fence or in the background with the shorter ones in front. A good mix of sizes and colors will bring butterflies, hummingbirds and bees to the garden in search of a meal, and in return they help pollinate the garden and bring an animated element all their own.
Bluestem pricklypoppy (Argemone albiflora) is also known as white pricklypoppy. The plant grows from 3 to 6 feet tall and produces white flowers that grow at the top of a stem from March through July. Plant bluestem pricklypoppy in partial shade and in a soil that is dry. Bees and other insects will come by for the nectar. Parts of the plant are toxic and can be fatal to humans.
Mexican aster (Cosmos bipinnatus) grows from 1 to 7 feet tall and has fine lacy leaves that grow up to 10 inches long. The red, white, pink or purple flowers grow from 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Plant Mexican aster in full sun and in a soil that is moist, well-drained and sandy. Butterflies will stop by for the nectar.
Beebalm (Monarda didyma) is also known as Oswego tea, bergamot and scarlet beebalm. The plant grows in clumps, producing elongated oval leaves that grow from 2 to 6 inches wide. The plant will grow from 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide with clusters of flowers that are tube-shaped and about 1-1/2 inches long. Plant beebalm in full sun or partial shade and in a soil that is moist and not allowed to go dry. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees all think of beebalm nectar as a perfect meal.
Carpet bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a ground cover that grows from 6 to 10 inches tall. The leaves are dark green, oblong or spoon shaped, 3 to 5 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. The plant produces small blue or purple flowers that grow in clusters on spikes that grow from 6 to 10 inches tall. Plant carpet bugleweed in partial or full shade and in a soil that is moist to wet.
Downy sunflower (Helianthus mollis) grows from 2 to 6 feet tall and produces leaves that are 2 to 5 inches long and about half as wide. The flowers have brown centers and yellow petals, measure 3 to 5 inches across and bloom from June through September.