Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’ (Gay feather, Blazing star) is a native perennial cultivar of a U.S prairie plant with fuzzy spikes of purple flowers that open from the top down. They can grow to 2-2.5′ and the spread is 12-18″. Flowering occurs from July to August. It needs moist, light, well drained soil and does best if planted in full sun. Propagation for this herbaceous perennial is through division of clumps in the spring or by starting seeds in a cold frame in the fall. It is hardy in zones 3-8 and it attracts butterflies.
Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Garden sage) is a commonly used perennial in the NE United States. It has dark violet blue flower spikes in May and June and benefits from deadheading to extend the bloom time. The foliage is dark green and it grows to 18″ with a 24″ spread. It thrives in average soil, with good drainage, planted in sun to part sun. It is hardy in zones 4-9. Propagation is through rootball division or softwood cuttings. It must be noted that this is not a native plant.
Baptisia‘Bueberry Sundae’ PPAF is a perennial commonly known as false indigo. Deep indigo-blue it flowers in late spring to early summer. The foliage is an attractive blue green. It has a compact, upright form as it matures. It is a vigorous grower that reaches a height of 36″ with a spread of 36″. In the fall it has ornamental seed pods. It is hardy in zones 4-9 and likes to be planted in full sun to partial shade. It is attractive to butterflies but is deer resistant.
Echinacea pupurea x paradoxa, Cultivar name: ‘Katie Saul’, TM name’ Summer Sky’ is a hybrid coneflower which grows 2-3′ tall in an upright manner. It is noted for its bi-colored flowers whose petals are described as shading from peach at the tip of the petal to salmon peach to rose -pink with a dark orange center cone. Color may not be totally predictable however. They bloom from late spring to late summer and have irregular serrate type, dark green leaves. They are hardy in zones 3-8 and grow to a height of 2-3′. Spread is 1.5-2′. They do best when planted in full sun. The coneflower is a low maintenance plant that attracts butterflies and birds. It is a relatively adaptable plant that is heat, drought and poor soil tolerant. Propagation is best done by division. Seeds taken from the cone and planted may not result in plants that hold true to the parent plant’s color.
Fun fact: Echinacea comes from the Greek word “echinos” which means hedgehog, a reference to its spiny center cone.
References with links: