Forty percent of the world’s insect species are in decline, with scientists sounding the alarm about a 6th mass extinction.
In the USA, the decline of essential pollinators like honey bees and wild bees is threatening food crops.
Amateur gardeners and ordinary homeowners have a vital role to play in insect population renewal by planting lawn flowers.
By adding some common types of flowers into your lawn, you can create a year-round food source for pollinating insects. Look for hardy varieties that need little to no maintenance and you’ll have plenty of lawn flowers.
Let’s take a look at the best types of flowers to plant in your yard to create a pretty and beneficial wildflower lawn.
In This Post:
1. Clover for the Pollinators
Not so long ago, clover (Trifolium sp.) was a common sight in American lawns. Today, people are reducing pesticide and herbicide use to bring clover back.
Homeowners most commonly use white clover (Trifolium repens) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) for lawn flowers.
Clover prefers soil with some moisture but is otherwise very easy to care for. Once it’s established, it will self-seed. And because clover is in the pea family, it improves soil health by fixing nitrogen.
2. Wild Violet for Sweet Treats
Native to the USA and Canada, wild violets (Viola odorata) are a fast-growing ground cover. They have heart-shaped leaves and delicate blue-purple flowers that bloom in spring and summer.
These quick-spreading perennial lawn flowers prefer shady spots under trees or along shrub-lined streams.
Wild violet is not only pretty, it’s edible! Harvest the flowers for jellies, candy, and salads.
3. Thyme for Fragrant Lawn Flowers
A popular culinary herb, it also makes an ideal lawn plant. It’s drought-resistant and tolerant to USDA zone 4. Most gardeners choose a creeping variety like red creeping thyme (Thymus coccineus).
Thyme has types of flowers that are attractive to beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
A lawn planted in thyme will produce a heady scent whenever you walk on it. Imagine yourself in the Greek or Italian countryside each time you visit your yard.
4. Dandelions for Nutrient-Rich Soil
If a green grass lawn is the equal of a food desert for insects, then a yard full of sunshine yellow dandelion flowers is its antithesis.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is not only attractive and hardy, it has enormous benefits for both the health of your lawn and human health.
The long tap roots work through the soil, simultaneously aerating it, bringing nutrients like calcium up from deep underground, and helping to reduce erosion.
Gardeners can make the dandelion root into a tasty coffee substitute and use the flowers to make wine. The young leaves give a peppery bite to a green salad.
5. Nevius Stonecrop to Encourage Diversity
Native to some southern US states, Nevius stonecrop (Sedum nevii) is a succulent groundcover best suited to the edges of a yard or rocky garden pathways. It loves poor soil!
The flowers grow in a subdued white cluster and the leaves are an attractive blue-grey. It’s a very tough, low maintenance plant. It tolerates drought, shade, or sun, and deer won’t eat it.
Nevius stonecrop is threatened in Georgia and endangered in Tennessee, so gardeners can contribute to conservation efforts by growing this plant.
Choose Common Types of Flowers Native to the USA
Wherever possible, choose US natives over introduced species. Native plants and common types of flowers need less fertilizer and water and provide food for local wildlife. By adding indigenous flora to your lawn and garden, you become a steward of North American biodiversity.
Read more about ways to improve your home and upscale your lifestyle in the Domestications blog.