Malden, Massachusetts, is located north of Boston in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and 7. Gardeners in Malden create native wildflower gardens with plants of all sizes from tall shrubs to shorter perennials. Pick plants that take the full sun and others that need some degree of shade, plants that need wet soil for planting near the water, plants that need a moist soil for the average garden plot and plants that need a dry soil for the hotter areas.
Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum) is also known as clammy azalea and cory azalea. It's a deciduous shrub that grows to 15 feet tall and 12 inches wide. The green leaves turn orange or maroon in the fall, grow in clusters at the tips of the branches, reaching from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long and up to 1 1/2 inches wide. The flowers bloom from May through August, are white with a lavender tube and grow up to 1 3/4 inches long. Plant the swamp azalea in partial shade and in wet soil, as in the swamps and bogs where it grows naturally. The bush is a favorite of song birds.
Devil's Darning Needles
Devil's darning needles (Clematis virginiana) is also known as virgin's bower and old man's beard. The plant is a vine that grows from 12 to 15 feet long. The leaves are made up of three individual leaflets. The white flowers bloom in July, August and September, growing in clusters surrounded by the brown, feathery fruits. The vine will grow in full sun, partial shade or full shade and in a soil that is dry to moist, but not wet. Devil's darning needles are a favorite of both hummingbirds and bees.
Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa) is also known as wild bergamot. The plant is a perennial that grows from 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide. It produces gray-green leaves that are used to make mint tea. The flowers bloom from May through September, crowing in clusters on top of the stems. The small, thin petals stand straight up, making the white , pink or purple flowers look like miniature pom-poms. Plant beebalm in full sun or partial shade and in a soil that is moist but well-drained. The flowers are a favorite food source for bee, butterflies and birds.
Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower
Paleleaf woodland sunflower (Helianthus strumosus) is also known as paleleaf sunflower and woodland sunflower. It grows up to 7 feet tall and produces narrow, oval shaped leaves that are green on top and whiteish on the bottom, growing up to 8 inches long. The yellow flowers grow from 2 to 4 inches across in clusters at the ends of the branches from July through September. Paleleaf woodland sunflower can grow in sun, partial shade or full shade and needs dry soil. Birds come for the small seeds.