5 Plants You’ll See Everywhere When You Move to Cincinnati, OH

In Cincinnati, OH, there are native plants in backyards, fields and roadsides. Native plants are a necessary source of nectar for insects, birds, and other pollinators. When you use native plants in your gardens, you are helping to preserve both the native plants and the pollinators which use them.

Here are five plants you will see when you move to Cincinnati, Ohio.

1. Prairie Sunflower

Scientific name: Helianthus pauciflorus
Moisture level: Dry – Moist
Sunlight: Full
Height: 4 ft.
Width: 2-4 ft.
Coloring: Yellow
Leaf shape: Spear
Wildlife attraction: Bees, birds, and butterflies

The Prairie Sunflower grows in clumps which resemble small bushes, but single plants can also be scattered everywhere. It’s found in mid-to-late summer along gravelly or sandy roadsides. The leaves have a rough texture and wavy edges and are a dull green or bluish-green in color. The leaves are either spear-shaped or triangular. The spear-shaped leaves can be up to 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. The triangle leaves can be up to 2 ½ inches long and 2 inches in width with a yellow flower and a dark brown center disk. It resembles the Common Sunflower but much smaller.

2. Wild Stonecrop

Scientific name: Sedum ternatum
Moisture level: Moist
Sunlight: Partial
Height: 4-8 in.
Width: Groundcover
Coloring: White
Wildlife attraction: Bees 

Wild Stonecrop forms vegetation in low mats across the ground with stems being either light green or pink. The leaves are a light green and smooth along their obovate to orbicular shape. The leaves are fleshy and either alternated or whirled in groups of three along the stem. The flowers consist of 4 narrow petals. The flowers bloom from late spring into early summer and blooms for about a month for each separate colony of plants. The plants spread by air born seeds and rootlets.

3. White Trillium

Scientific name: Trillium grandiflorum
Moisture level: Moist
Sunlight: Full, partial, shade
Height: 12-15 in.
Width: 2 in.
Coloring: White
Leaf type: Whorl leaf
Wildlife attraction: Insects

White Trillium is becoming endangered because of the slow maturity rate. Several years can pass before the first flower will bloom. Ants spread the seeds by taking the fruit underground to their burrows. They eat the fruit and leave the seed which then eventually will grow and follow.

The flower is 2-3 inches across with three white petals that have either wavy or ruffled edge with a pointed tip. The petal size can vary from being almost as wide as it is long to being narrow the whole length. The white flowers will turn a rosy pink as the plant ages. There are three leaves in a whorl at the top of the stem. Leaves range from 3-6 inches long with an oval to egg-shaped design. It has a sharp pointed tip and tapers at the base with deep radiating veins.

4. Cup Plant

Scientific name: Silphium perfoliatum
Moisture level: Dry – Wet
Sunlight: Full
Height: 6-8 ft.
Width: 3 ft.
Coloring: Yellow
Leaf type: Clasping
Wildlife attraction: Butterflies, hummingbirds

The Cup Plant is a unique plant because the leaves clasp the stem. These clasping leaves form a small basin for rainwater to gather around the stem which is why it’s compared to a cup. This feature is thought to deter flower predators from crawling up the stem searching for a good meal. The yellow blooms start flowering in July when butterflies start their visitation. After the flowers fade, the birds will eat the seeds. Birds have been known to drink the water caught in the cup-like leaves. Cup plants can be started easily from seed.

5. Greyhead Coneflower

Scientific name: Ratibida pinnata
Moisture level: Dry – Moist
Sunlight: Full – Partial
Height: 3-5 ft.
Width: 2 ft.
Coloring: Yellow
Wildlife attraction: Birds and butterflies 

The Greyhead Coneflower is a wildflower with fibrous roots and ridged hairy stems. It has a clumping habit from numerous branched flowering stems that raise up from rhizomes. This plant blooms from early to late summer with multiple flowers atop flower stems. Each head of 6-15 yellow ray florets is on top of an 8″ stalk which is leafless. The petals of the flowers surround an oblong cone. The cone starts out green and then turns ashy gray and then finally brown. Established plants will reseed.

For more information about native plants, gardening, and lawn care in the Cincinnati area, visit LawnStarter Lawn Care.