Tucker mini-prairie & more rock garden blooms


Callirhoe involucrata, commonly called Purple Poppy Mallow, is found in the Malvaceae family.  They prefer dry soil, full sun, and readily reseed themselves.


Tradescantia ohiensis, commonly called Ohio Spiderwort, is found in the Commelinaceae family.  Spiderworts have beautiful bluish-purple flowers with three petals, bright yellow anthers, and very hairy purple filaments.  They bloom from late spring to mid-summer and prefer to grow in full sun, and they can also grow in very dry soil.  Long-tongued bees, especially bumblebees are common pollinators.


Ratibida pinnata, commonly called Gary-headed Coneflower, is found in the Asteraceae family.  These beautiful, yellow coneflowers prefer full sun and dry conditions.


Ratibida columnifera, commonly called Mexican Hat, is found in the Asteraceae family.  The common name, ‘Mexican Hat’, refers to the resemblance the head inflorescence has to a sombrero.  This native Missouri plant prefers full sun, and can withstand very dry soil.  It reseeds readily.


Primrose-Oenothera sp., Onagraceae family

Tucker Rock Garden coneflowers

Echinacea purpurea, or Purple Prairie Coneflower is found in the Asteraceae family.  Coneflowers typically bloom from late May through August, and they thrive in full sun to part shade.  They tolerate drought and heat very well.  The genus name of Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog, referring to the appearance of the prickly central cone, or seed head. The flowers are visited by many different pollinators such as long-tongued bees, Halictid bees, bee flies, butterflies, and skippers.  Small songbirds such as Goldfinches often eat the seed heads of these flowers.

Echinacea is a medicinal plant as well. Native Americans used it to treat infections and wounds, but today people use it as a way to boost their immune systems.  It’s used to fight the common cold and reduce symptoms of sore throat, and fever. The Tucker Rock Garden has several Purple Coneflower plants. The photo below is of a very young flower.  When the flowers are fully mature, each dense head inflorescence will be filled with numerous pinkish purple ray flowers and in the center of the head there will be hundreds of reddish orange disk flowers.  So, the next time you look at a sunflower, coneflower or daisy, you are actually looking at two different types of flowers condensed into one head inflorescence botanically known as a capitulum.

I’ll be posting more photos of these cone flowers as they mature……..

Young coneflower head

Young coneflower head in late May 2016

Same cornflower one week later


Same coneflower one week later


Lychnis chalcedonica or Maltese Cross blooming in the Tucker Rock Garden

red flower

Lychnis calcedonica, commonly called Maltese Cross, is found in the Caryophyllaceae family.

This beautiful member of the Pink family (Caryphyllaceae family) is a native of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.  Members of this family often have notches in their petals, like  Carnations, Dianthus, and Silene.  This plants attracts butterflies and hummingbirds in great numbers.