A list of lists of great native plants for your Mississippi landscape

Gardeners are constantly looking for ways to make gardening easier and more carefree. “Low maintenance” is often the holy grail for most of us. One of the easiest ways to reduce the “work” of gardening is to use plants native to our state. Because they are adapted to our local environmental conditions, they offer a wealth of benefits, including:
1.  They are usually easier to grow.
2.  Once established, they usually require far less maintenance.
3.  They usually require less fertilization.
4.  They usually require less pest control. Many native plants have developed their own natural defenses against many pests and diseases.
5.   They usually require far less water.
6.  They will often provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and many other species of wildlife
7.  They are usually locally grown, not shipped in from another climate.
8.  They are usually long-lived, with some plants living for decades.
9.  They usually tolerate a wide range of light and moisture situations.
10.  They will often provide three or four seasons of interest.
11.  Many of them are truly beautiful, offering a wide range of colors, textures, and forms.
12.  They increase biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
13.  Some can solve landscape problems that many non-natives cannot, such as runoff/wet areas or dry areas.

Eleven Mississippi native plants that love the sun
Milkweed (Asclepias (spp., cvs.))
Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
Helen’s flower (Helenium Mardis Gras)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Coreopsis species and hybrids
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella
Eastern blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium atlanticum)
Gulf muhly – Muhlenbergia capillaris
‘Forest Frost’ phlox (Phlox pilosa ‘Forest Frost’) – Named after Forest, MS, where it was found.

Helen’s flower. Photo by Bill Johnson.

Ten Mississippi native plants for the partial shade/shade
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
White wood aster (Eurybia divaricatus)
Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’)
Prostrate blue violet (Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’)
Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica)
Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia)
Native azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
Florida anise (Illicium floridanum)
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)

Prostrate blue violet.

Nine Mississippi natives that don’t look like native plants and look great in a more formal landscape
Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
False indigo (Baptisia australis) PHOTO: MSNATIVE3 Photo courtesy of Bailey Nursery.
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) 
Dwarf black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Little Goldstar’)
Southern magnolia (M. grandiflora)
Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria)
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Passionflower, maypop (Passiflora incarnata)

False Indigo. Photo courtesy of Bailey Nursery.

Eight all-but-forgotten Mississippi native plants that absolutely should be in your landscape
Milkweed (Asclepias (spp., cvs.)) PHOTO: MSNATIVE4 Photo by Marilyn Stewart.
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)
Carolina silverbell (Halesia tetraptera)

Milkweed. Photo by Marilyn Stewart.
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