The Ohio State University at Marion

July Blooms

Awl Aster

Symphyotrichum pilosum

Blooms July - October

Awl Aster puts on an enviable show in late fall, when it erupts into clouds of white flowers. It grows two-to-four feet tall and blooms late in the season to provide color even after many hard frosts.


Monarda fistulosa

Blooms July - September

The heads of this lavender flower attract many insects, including bees, butterflies and beetles. Its square stems and opposite pairs of leaves help to identify this member of the Mint family. The entire plant has a strong minty odor when rubbed or crushed. The seeds of this plant are tiny and numerous, which aid it in spreadying out. This mint's oil is an essential flavoring in Earl Grey tea.

Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata

Blooms July - September

This is a slender, but erect, native perennial plant. The green and red stems are four-angled, sometimes with fine white hairs. densely crowded all around with numerous reddish blue or violet flowers with no scent. Four nutlets are produced per flower – they are reddish brown, oblong, and triangular convex.


Eupatorium perfoliatum

Cup Plant

Silphium perfoliatum

Blooms July - September 

The large leaves of Cup Plant clasp the square stems to form little cups, hence its name. These cups catch and store rainwater, often for many days. Birds and butterflies come for a drink and hummingbirds regularly visit these plants. In fall, goldfinches descend upon the plants to devour the large seeds.

Early Goldenrod

Solidago juncea

Blooms July - September 

The easiest of the goldenrods to identify, as it is the first of the goldenrods to bloom each spring. This plant grows to three feet tall with numerous yellow flowers. Blooms appear mid to late summer and last about a month and half.

Flowering Spurge

Euphorbia corollata

Blooms July - August 

Flowering Spurge can grow up to three feet tall and has very tiny flowers. The five white petal-like structures surrounding the flowers are not petals at all, but actually modified leaves. The flower is the tiny yellow center portion which blooms in July and August. The stems are slender and smooth.

Green Headed Coneflower

Rudbeckia laciniata

Blooms July - September 

The statuesque Green Headed Coneflower stands above its coneflower relatives. Unusual green-centered flowers are surrounded by bright yellow petals, on five-to-eight foot stems. Drooping yellow petals will help with identifying this large plant.

Grey Headed Coneflower

Ratibida pinnata

Blooms July - September 

One of the most striking of the prairie flowers, with bright yellow petals set against gray centers. Growing three-to-six feet tall Grey-headed Coneflower's tall, thin, hairy stems support yellow flowers with droopy petals. The cone dries to a light gray color after pollination and smells strongly of lemon when crushed.

Heath Aster

Symphyotricum ericoides

Blooms July - October 

This small, dense packed white flowered aster is not restricted to prairies. It grows in open woods, ditches, and other sunny, most habitats. It is more common in young, not fully established prairies.

Hoary Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canescens

Blooms July - September 

The blooms of Hoary Tick Trefoil are pink and spread along the stem. The stem is covered in a fine hair and often sticky and reaches three-to-five feet tall. Like others in the legume family, this plant's seeds are covered with Velcro-like hairs which stick to fur and clothing and ensure some propagation in other locations. The leaves are also hairy and often stick to clothing as well.

Nodding Wild Onion

Allium cernuum

Blooms July - August 

White to light pink flowers bloom in July and August suspended on two foot tall stalks. The bell-shaped flowers are arranged in a cluster that bend down towards the earth.

Partridge Pea

Cassia fasciculata

Blooms July - September 

Yellow flowers grace this short prairie plant. Blooms appear in June when the plant is about two feet tall. This annual plant produces so many seeds that it is basically a perennial. The seeds are in dark brown pods which pop open when the seeds are developed. The leaves are somewhat sensitive and will fold up after being touched.

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

Blooms July - September 

Purple Coneflower has become one of the most popular perennials in America today. Its purple flowers, long season of bloom, and its ability to attract butterflies are just a few reasons for its popularity. It grows up to four feet tall and blooms from July through September. The American Goldfinch finds its seeds irresistible.

Royal Catchfly

Silene regia

Blooms July - August 

Royal Catchfly plant boasts deep red star shaped flowers. Growing two-to-four feet tall, it produces its brilliant crimson blooms over a period of many weeks in July and August. Royal Catchfly is a listed threatened plant in Ohio, but it continues to thrive at the Prairie Nature Center.

Sawtooth Sunflower

Helianthus grosseserratus

Blooms July - October 

Sawtooth Sunflower is a prairie giant that can grow up to twelve feet tall with yellow flowers which are three to four inches across! The blooms appear in late summer and last between one and two months. Notice the sandpaper textured leaves of this plant, which often curl upward during hot dry weather and its dark red/purple stem.

Showy Tick Trefoil

Desmodium canadense

Blooms July - August 

Watch out! You may have a bit of the seed of the Showy Tick Trefoil stuck to your shirt. The seed pods, called loments, are very sticky which helps them disperse. This plant grows three feet tall and is graced with relatively small pink and purple flowers.

Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

Blooms July - October 

Swamp Milkweed has fragrant pink flowers in tight clusters at the ends of each stem. The plant reaches three feet tall and its stems release a milky sap when cut. Slender, smooth seed pods form in the fall and later open to release seeds attached to silky tufts which are easily carried by the wind, aiding in seed dispersal.

Tall Coreopsis

Coreopsis tripteris

Blooms July - September 

During the late summer to early fall, small yellow daisy like flowers appear on the upper stems of this plant, which reaches four-to-eight feet tall. Impressive in large colonies, tall coreopsis is a favorite of goldfinches and butterflies.

Tall Ironweed

Vernonia gigantea

Blooms July - September

Brilliant deep purple flower clusters cover the top of Tall Ironweed in August and September. The plant grows five-to-eight feet tall with sharply toothed pointed leaves arranged alternately on the tall stem. Butterflies can’t resist the flowers, so look for some of your favorites on this plant!

Tall Meadow Rue

Thalictrum polygamum

Blooms July - September 

In close-up, it becomes apparent that meadow rue flowers have no petals; the petal like flower is actually white filaments of the stamens. Meadow-rue is a wind-pollinated plant whose tall stems hold their fluffy plumes of cream-white flowers high above most other vegetation in the tall growth of mid-June. There are both staminate and pistillate flowers, the former the fluffier and more delicate, with dangling white stamens. They produce great quantities of pollen which is blown by the wind to oilier meadow-rue plants to make seed formation possible.

Virginia Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum virginiana

Blooms July - September 

Small white flowers bloom mid summer for about a month. Look closely and you'll notice the small purple dots on the white flowers. Also notice that only a few flowers bloom at once. Blooms occur at the outside and move towards the center. The foliage of this plant releases a strong mint scent when crushed. Animals don't seem to like the strong mint fragrance and rarely bother this plant.

Western Ironweed

Vernonia fasciculata

Blooms July - September 

Brilliant deep purple flower clusters cover the top of Tall Ironweed in August and September. The plant grows five-to-eight feet tall with sharply toothed pointed leaves arranged alternately on the tall stem. Butterflies can’t resist the flowers, so look for some of your favorites on this plant!

Whorled Milkweed

Asclepias verticillata

Blooms July - September 

Whorled Milkweed usually has one thin stem that branches near the top into several flat-topped flower clusters. Each flower has a slit that allows an insect's leg to slip inside and emerge with a pair of pollen sacs, so the insect will unwittingly pollinate another flower. This complicated process means that only a few flowers become pollinated.

Whorled Rosinweed

Silphium trifoliatum

Blooms July - September 

Whorled rosinweed has leaves attached to the stems in a "whorl," as their point of attachment seems to spin around the stem. Its has a bold appearance when the two-inch sunflower-like blooms appear from July through September. It grows from four-to-six feet tall. The seeds are large and flat can be can be carried for several feet by the wind, if they aren't eaten by the birds first!

Wild Senna

Cassia hebecarpa

Blooms July - August 

Bunches of butter-yellow flowers appear in July and August on the robust stems, reaching up to six feet tall. The attractive foliage is in large leaflets, typical of the Pea Family to which it belongs. The brown seedpods add interest in the fall and winter and are used by birds and other wildlife.