This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.


Lady Bells (Adenophora khasiana) – Beautiful, hardy perennial that is a member of the Campanulaceae family and closely resembles other campanulas with a spire of bell-shaped flowers.  Grows 24-36″ high with a base of 15-18″ in sun to partial shade.  Gorgeous blue to purple flowers.  May self seed.



Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) – a scented plant with an upright growing habit to 2-3 feet with a 1 foot spread. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Produces blue to purple flowers in spikes. Great plant to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Distinct anise flavor makes this a favorite plant for tea.



Giant Purple Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariaefolia) –  A tall plant (to 6 feet) that thrives in sun and partial shade.  Moist soil.  It is an outstanding bee and butterfly plant whose height makes it ideal for the back of the border or a fence line.  Still visible and still gorgeous.  Historically, it was used as an herbal diuretic.  Like most members of the mint family it contains essential oils that are aromatic.



Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) – Agrimony grows in most soils, forming a loose mound of leaves and then shooting up stalks covered in small yellow flowers.  It does well in both full sun and light shade.  Can self -sow profusely.  Seed heads are tiny little burs. Agrimony was used in European and western herbalism as an astringent for the digestive tract as well as for sore throats and wounds.



Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) – An early morning jewel in the garden, lady’s mantle leaves capture dew and rain as a crystal droplet at the base of each leaf. Plant in sun or partial shade. Flowers are yellow-green and form a cloud above the lobed and ruffled leaves. Height to 2 feet with 3 foot spread.  The plant has been used for astringent and febrifuge properties.



Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) – Garlic chives make a beautiful addition to the garden and the kitchen.  Milder flavored than chives, they grow 2-3′ high in a tight clump and put out long stalks with clusters of white stars in late summer.  Full or partial sun.  Average soil and water.  Deadhead the flowers before they set seed to prevent prolific self-seeding.



Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) – Marshmallow is an herbaceous perennial.  Zones 5-8.  Pale pink flowers from mid to late summer.  Sun, partial shade, or shade.  Prefers rich, loamy soil.




Ozark Bluestar, or Shining Blue Star (Amsonia illustris) – Hardy perennial that grows 2-3′ tall and 1′ wide in sun to partial shade.  Blooming with star cluster flowers in a soft blue in May.  The plant is attractive to butterflies and not so attractive to deer.  Zones 5-9.



Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) – Zones 3-8.  Silvery green foliage and clusters of white flowers with yellow centers.  Anaphalis grows in full sun to partial shade in well draining soils.  1-3 feet tall.  Attractive to butterflies.



Pussy Toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) – Low growing ground cover that produces the sweetest little kitten toe looking flowers in white/pink.  Zones 3-8.  Grows up to a foot tall in full sun.  Prefers dryish soil and is drought tolerant when established.  Attractive to butterflies.



Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) – Zone 4-10 plant is a member of the buttercup family. Showy flowers with tubular spurs and sepals. Blooms from April to August, favoring moist, shady gardens areas. Seeds reportedly were once used in perfume.  Pollinated by hummingbirds and a great draw for them in your garden.



Angelica (Angelica archangelica) – Angelica is a biennial plant, but preventing seed development can extend the plant life. Alternatively, let it seed and you will likely have successive generations of plants each spring.  It is a stately and aromatic plant that grows from 4-6 feet high and will tolerate full sun, partial shade or shade. The flowers are typical of the Apiaceae family and form a greenish yellow umbel. Angelica is part of herbal medicine traditions and  used for digestive complaints as a carminative. It has also been used for respiratory support.



White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba) – White indigo is a bushy perennial 10-30” tall.  A member of the pea family.  Flowers bloom April-June followed by pea-like pods.  Dry soil in sun.   Recent studies suggest that there may be immune system stimulating activity.  Used by Native Americans historically for colic, as an astringent on cuts and wounds, and for typhoid and scarlet fever.



Photo by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (Wikipedia)Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia autralis) – Wild indigo grows 18-24″ high in zones 3-10. Plant in full sun. Produces purple lupine-like flowers in late spring to mid summer. Drought tolerant once established. Traditional herbal medicinal uses of this plant include as an immune stimulant, alterative, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, emmenagogue and stimulant. Native Americans and eclectic physicians used the plant for infections. 



Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) – Low growing perennial with a long history of use.  Known as Roman chamomile, the plant grows in zones 4-9 from 1/4 to 1/2′ high and spreads up to a foot wide.  It likes full  sun to partial shade and produces fragrant foliage that has been used in seasonings and to flavor herbal beers.  Long history of use in herbal medicine traditions it’s anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine and tonic effects.



Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) – The perennial turtlehead grows 2-3 feet in moist soils.  Butterflies are drawn to it to collect a bitter resin from the plant to hopefully deter predators.  It was used in Native American medicine to treat works, stimulate appetite and assist with fever and jaundice but is not a common herb for contemporary medicine.



Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) – Artichokes! Well, we had to include these, didn’t we? And why not? They are a fantastically sculptural garden plant that provide luscious produce for dinner, or stunning purple flowers if allowed to flower.  The bees will love you for that! Artichokes like full sun and rich soil with plenty of water during the growing season. Position so they get some wind protection.



 Fringed Pink (Dianthus superbus) – The fringed pink is perennial and will grow to approximately 2 feet tall in sun or partial shade.  It prefers an alkaline soil.  The hardy plant produces delicate flowers with a light, sweet perfume.  Zones 4-8.  Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and known as Qu Mai.  It has a history of use as an antibacterial, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, tonic and vulnerary.



Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) – Single stemmed plant that rises above a tuft of narrow leaves.  Pale purple petals droop from the head of ray flowers.  Grows up to 2-3 feet in height.  Full sun.  Prefers poorer soil and less water than E. purpurea.




Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) – Coneflower grows 3-4 feet tall.  Plant in richer soil with regular watering.  Zones 3-9. Has been a traditional herbal medicine plant to assist with colds and flu.  Recent studies suggest that it does stimulate macrophage activity and increase natural immune defenses.  




Hairy Purple Echinacea (Echinacea simulata) – Beautiful plant, as coneflowers are.  Easy to grow.  Drought and deer tolerant.  Will grow in clay soils.  Bees and butterflies love them.  What’s missing?  Oh, grows in zones 5-8 in sun and partial shade (though it prefers the sun) up to 36″ high.



Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) – Commonly called Rattlesnake Master, but no, I don’t think that you can ward off rattlesnakes by shaking the plant at them.  The name comes in part from the fact that it was used at one time in Native American medicine to treat snake bites.  The yuccifolium comes from the yucca shaped leaves.  However, don’t think that because it looks like a yucca, it can be treated like a yucca.  It won’t like that.  Hardy in zones 3-8, the plant grows up to 5 feet tall in full sun and moist soil.  It is a favorite with bees and butterflies and will tolerate drought (to a point), clay and rocky soil.  As a medicinal plant it has a tradition of use as a diaphoretic, emetic, expectorant, and sialagogue.


Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) – Joe Pye Weed or Gravel Root.  This is a stately, back of the border, sort of plant.  At up to 7 feet tall, it will not be missed.  And when in flower, the large purple and fragrant blooms also ensure the plant stands head and shoulders above the garden.  Zones 4-9 in full sun to partial shade.  Gravel root likes to be damp and will tolerate clay soil and wet ground.  It will also tolerate deer, or is that deer won’t tolerate it?  Unlike deer, butterflies DO like this flower.  As a medicinal it has a long history of use by the American native peoples as a diaphoretic to break fevers.  It continues in contemporary herbalism for its astringent, diuretic, nervine and tonic properties.


Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) – A graceful perennial that grows to 8 feet in zones 3-9.  Plant in moist soil in sun to partial shade.  Like Filipendula ulmaria it is rich in tannins and contains salicylic acid.  Herbal medicine traditions have used this plant as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and astringent.



Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) – Meadowsweet grows up to 4′ tall and produces frothy plumes of white, aromatic flowers. Grow in a rich soil in full sun. Bee plant and deer resistant. Meadowsweet contains salicylates and together with willow bark was one of the first sources of this anti-inflammatory and pain relieving compound in the production of aspirin. In fact, the name aspirin is from the original name of Meadowsweet, Spiraea ulmaria. Traditional herbal medicine used it for its astringent, diaphoretic, and diuretic actions.



 Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis).  These little beauties are native to Europe and Asia Minor and truly a harbinger of spring.  Maybe a little overly enthusiastic even, as they have been known to pop their heads up through snow.  Partial sun to full shade.  Low maintenance.  Deer and other critter resistant.  3-6” tall.  They may multiple and naturalize.  Zones 3-7.



Gumweed (Grindelia integrifolia) – This is the Puget Sound species of gumweed.  Used by the indigenous Native Americans primarily for respiratory ailments but adopted by early settlers and contemporary herbalists as well.  Grindelia is a resinous perennial plant that grows up to 3 feet in zones 3-7.  It likes well drained soil in full sun.



Alumroot (Heuchera americana) – Alum root is an evergreen perennial that grows to 18″ in zones 4-9.  It prefers moist soil in partial shade to sun.  Though full, hot sun can crisp the edges of the leaves a bit.  Delicate, tiny flowers rise above the plant on sturdy stems.  Sweet plant for a shady garden that will continue to provide interest through the fall and winter.  Very astringent plant and the tradition use reflects this.  



Lovage (Levisticum officinale) – If you are looking for an edible garden statement, you could do a lot worse then lovage. It grows up to 6 feet tall in zones 5-9. Needs average sort of garden care in full sun to partial shade. In return you get a beautiful and fragrant plant that will provide leaves and stems for your kitchen and keep the pollinators happy as well. Medicinally, this plant has been part of herbal medicine traditions for ailments of the digestive and respiratory systems. 



 Lupine (Lupinus perennis) – Lupine is one of the earlier of the spring perennials to flower. Grows up to 2 feet tall in zones 3-8 and prefers full sun to partial shade. Dramatic flowers make this a great garden plant.




Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica) – The maltese cross will not be missed in your garden. The brilliant red to orange-red of the flowers will ensure that. The plant grows in zones 4-10 in full sun. It can get as tall as 48″. Bees and butterflies love it, and given the red color, I imagine hummers probably take a peek as well. A beautiful perennial for the border. 



Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – Lemon balm puts out a mound of medium glossy leaves 24 inches high with inconspicuous white flowers. Full sun or partial shade in well drained soil. Aromatic and a great tea plant. Zones 4-9. In herbal medicine traditions lemon balm is used as an antispasmodic for the stomach and nervous system. 



 Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – Peppermint grows in full sun, shade, or partial shade and just about any soil. It grows so well, it is best either contained in a pot or allotted its own corner of the garden. Produces spikes of purple flowers in mid to late summer. Fragrant and attractive addition to the garden. Zones 5-9.  In herbal medicine traditions it has been used as an antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic and stimulant.



Spearmint (Mentha x spicata) – Spearmint, like most mints, can be an aggressive member of the garden. Plant is best grown in a container or in a corner of the garden you don’t mind turning over to mint. Grows in full sun, partial shade or shade reaching a height of 24 inches. Produces purple flowers that bees love.  Rich in volatile oils.  Herbal medicine traditions have used the plant as a carminative, antibiotic and decongestant.



 Catnip (Nepeta cataria) – Zones 3-7. Catnip grows from 15-24 inches high and produces small white spikes of flowers summer to fall. Plant in full sun, partial shade or shade.  As popular with people as with cats. In herbal medicine traditions it is used as an anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic and sedative.



Creeping Golden Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) – Golden colored spreading marjoram that is great as a filling ground cover.  Perennial, zones 6-11 in full sun.  



Prairie Beardstongue (Penstemon cobaea) – Showy and lovely.  Penstemon produces flowers in white, pink or violet in full sun.  Zones 5-8.  Attractive to butterflies.  Deer resistant and drought resistant.  What’s not to love?



Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) – It is a zone 4-8 perennial that grows to 2 foot high in partial to full shade and prefers its feet moist.  Deer resistant.  There are past records of its use for respiratory and skin ailments due to the alterative, astringent, diaphoretic and expectorant actions of the plant compounds but this plant is not used in contemporary herbal medicine.  Also, a decoction of the whole plant has been used as a hair rinse, which sounds intriguing, if a bit involved.



Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) – Perennial that grows to 2 feet tall in moist soil in the sun.  Beautiful golden flowers.  Astringent properties.





 Salad Burnet (Sanguisorbia minor) – Salad burnet is not the showiest plant in the garden, but it is certainly interesting. The foliage unfurls like a green and leafy steampunk creation telescoping out to it’s full glory. The young leaves and shoots are edible fresh or cooked. Can be tossed into a salad. Sometimes added to beverages. They have a slight cucumber taste. Best to collect the leaves before the plant flowers. Burnet is also used in herbal medicine traditions for its astringent, diaphoretic and styptic properties in supporting wounds and rheumatism. European and Mediterranean native that grows is zones 4-8 up to 2 feet tall in full sun. Deer resistant. Guess they don’t like cucumber.



Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) – One of the flashier of perennial herbs, Soapwort or Bouncing Bet is an old cottage garden favorite.  It is lovely as a flower.  The foliage is lush and green.  It is generally unfussy.  And it gives off a delicate sweet fragrance. It will also form a good sized colony if not occasionally divided.  The root contains saponins which were used as a soap alternative, especially for very delicate fabrics.  Medicinally, it has a history of use as an expectorant.  Perennial that grows to approximately 3 feet high in zones 4-8.



Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) – Skullcap is an herbaceous perennial that grows in zones 4-8 and to a height of 8-24 inches. It produces blue flowers from mid to late summer. Grow in full sun or partial shade in well drained, moist soil. Chinese Herbal medicine plant used for “hot and damp” conditions. 



Skullcap (Scutellaria barbata) – Skullcap is an herbaceous perennial that grows in zones 4-8 and to a height of 8-24 inches.  It produces blue flowers from mid to late summer.  Grow in full sun or partial shade in well drained, moist soil.




Photo by Robert H. Mohelenbrock@USDA-NRCS Plants DatabaseVirginia Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) – Skullcap is an herbaceous perennial that grows in zones 4-8 and to a height of 8-24 inches. It produces blue flowers from mid to late summer. Grow in full sun or partial shade in well drained, moist soil. Has been used for its anti-spasmodic, diuretic, sedative and tonic properties. Believed to sooth nervous tension.



Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatrum) – The compass plant is easy going in most garden soils. Prefers moist, moderately fertile soil in the sun or slight shade. Deep root system. The leaves tip vertically and align north and south to minimize sun exposure and provide the basis of the common name.
Various parts of the plant have historically been used medicinally as a diuretic, vermifuge, tonic and expectorant. 



Silver Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – A little more ornamental than common thyme but used interchangeably.  Thyme grows in zones 5-9 to a height of 12-15 inches and produces masses of pink or purple flowers throughout the summer. Grow in full sun or partial shade in well drained soil that is kept on the dry side. This is another Mediterranean plant that likes it sunny and warm and bees LOVE its flowers. The volatile oils in thyme are the source of both its purported carminative and antimicrobial properties.



Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) – Zones 4-9.  This spiderwort will grow 2-3 feet tall and put out lovely deep blue to rose blue flowers.  Grow in full sun to partial shade.  Tolerant of dry soils.




Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – Deliciously fragrant plant that loves full sun and moist, rich soils in zones 4-7. It will grow 3-5 feet tall and produce white to light pink flowers that have a lovely fragrance and have been used in perfume making. As a medicinal herb the root has traditionally been used as a sedative. Warning: the root is not as sweet smelling.  It has been compared to cat urine and smelly gym socks.  



Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) – Zone 3-8.  Zizia grows from 1.5 – 3 feet tall.  Blooms May to June with yellow umbel flowers.  Full sun to partial shade in well drained soil.  Attractive to butterflies.  This is an American beauty.  May reseed.  Has been used as a febrifuge and vulnerary in the distant past but some indication the root may be toxic.


This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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