These wildflowers are well suited to Manitoba’s dry and medium moisture prairies and woodlands. Some are more versatile and do well in moist habitats, too.
Dry soils are very well drained and usually composed of nutrient-poor sand, gravel or rock with some loam. Drought-like conditions are common, so vegetation is sparse or patchy and mostly short to mid-height.
Medium soils range from well-drained to somewhat poorly drained and may consist of sandy loam or clay with a thick, dark, nutrient-rich upper layer. Vegetation is dense and ranges from low (ground cover) to tall (>5 feet).
What’s really neat about this goldenrod is its pin-wheel leaf arrangement.
This miniature member of the iris family is a joy to see in spring-blooming prairies.
One of my favourite dry prairie plants!
Bold and beautiful, purple coneflower has a high tolerance for dry conditions.
This hemi-parasite creates micro habitats where less-competitive forbs can thrive.
Dwarf milkweed plays host to monarch caterpillars and its flowers are visited by a variety of insects.
Striking clusters of large inflated pods are a beautiful pale yellow blushed with red. Ranked S1, critically imperilled, in Manitoba.
Striking deep pink flowers brighten the June landscape, turning to cute balls of dense fluff by mid-summer.
Stiff goldenrod is one of the relatively few prairie plants that seems to attract more attention when it’s not flowering.
Downy Wood Violet
Makes a great ground cover for rich, dry to medium woods.
Familiarity breeds comfort with this common plant of forest floors.
Western Silvery Aster
The magenta-coloured flowers are the most beautiful of all the asters.
The flowers provide a late-season nectar source for a wide range of insects.
Plants have a sweet black licorice scent and flavour and make wonderful tea and medicine.
The long, reddish brown stem fibers make strong cordage.
Large yellow flowers with heart-shaped petals and a wonderful fruity aroma.
Smooth aster brings welcomed colour and an important source of pollen and nectar to the late summer/fall landscape.
Purple Prairie Clover
Incredibly attractive flowers and aromatic leaves.
White Prairie Clover
Some species of cellophane bee are specific to white prairie clover and, in turn, are parasitized by cuckoo bees.
White Upland Goldenrod
My favourite goldenrod! White flowers with creamy centers are arranged in flat-topped clusters.
I like this plant because of its unique leaves, which have widely-spaced teeth or tooth-like projections along the edges and get characteristically smaller towards the top of the stem.
Black-eyed susans are the primary nectar food plant for the endangered Powesheik skipperling.
Excellent for flavouring all kinds of foods and highly medicinal, too.
Stately, mid-sized plants with unique cream-coloured flowers.
Bright yellow flowers seem to emit their own light.
The star-like flowers are just as flavourful as the precious bulbs.
A typically low-stature goldenrod of dry prairies and gravel ridges.
Shrubby Evening Primrose
A beautiful addition to dry prairie sites.
Plants are quick to develop dense, fibrous root systems and often flower the first year.
Short-stature sunflowers with a chocolatey scent.
Blanket Flower, Gaillardia
These simple flowers are definitely head-turners, attracting the attention of both people and a range of bees.
This is my favorite Manitoba sage. The soft, feathery, dusty green leaves are very unique and attractive.
Plants are beautifully scented and hold a special place in many Indigenous cultures.