Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). Photo: Scott Woodbury

Water Garden 

All wildlife needs water to survive. A small pool is a delightful addition to your garden that will attract birds, frogs, toads, dragonflies and insect-eating swallows.


Full sun, dry soil

D. Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya)

J. Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea)

N. Southern blue flag iris (Iris virginica)

O. Orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

P. Aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius)

Q. Foxglove beard tongue (Penstemon digitalis)

R. Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)

S. Pickerel Plant — in a pot (Pontedaria cordata)

T. Tussock Sedge (Carex stricta)

U. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

V. Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

Shade or semi-shade, average to moist soil

AA. Golden ragwort (Packera aureus)

CC. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

DD. Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

II. Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

PP. Copper iris (Iris fulva)

QQ. Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

RR. Meadow phlox (Phlox maculata)

SS. Wild sweet William (Phlox divaricata)

UU. Lizard’s tail – in a pot (Saururus cernuus)

VV. Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Select from the list of woody plants based on the amount of sun or shade your planting site receives.


Full Sun Shade 

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Golden currant (Ribes odoratum)
Native viburnums (Viburnum spp.)
New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)


Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Deciduous holly (Ilex decidua)
Sumacs (Sumac spp.)
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus)
Indian cherry (Rhamnus caroliniana)



Full Sun Shade 

American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
Leather flower (Clematis versicolor)
Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana)


American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
Leather flower (Clematis versicolor)
Virgin’s bower (Clematis virginiana)



Full Sun Shade 

Green hawthorn (Crataegus viridis)
Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)


Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus)

The plants closest to the pond grow best in moist soil while those farther away prefer drier soil.

Native landscaping isn’t just for the back yard! If you want to establish a formal native shade garden for your front yard or other area, this  plan can help you. This Front Yard Formal article by Scott Woodbury from the spring 2019 issue of the Missouri Prairie Journal is a companion to this plan, and contains photos of many of the featured plants. Learn more about plants featured in this plan from this audio file from Scott, and learn more about the plants’ growth habits from this audio file from Scott. The following practices apply to plantings where some degree of control is desired. That is, these design elements will help produce a garden that looks as though it was thoughtfully designed and planned as opposed to a naturalistic meadow or recreated prairie where plants grow more randomly.

Water Garden