Though some include the word “weed” in their common name, the plants listed here are anything but weeds—they’re showy, easy-to-grow garden plants. All bloom in summer, typically bearing many small, starlike flowers in broad, flattened clusters at or near the branch tips. Their inflated seedpods split open to reveal silky seeds and milky sap. Their nectar attracts butterflies.
Native to western and central North America. This striking perennial grows 2–4 ft. tall and not quite as wide; may spread by underground stems to form colonies. Thick, upright stems hold big, softly hairy leaves of gray; summer flowers are 3-in.-wide balls of fragrant, purplish pink. Long winter dormancy; new shoots may not appear until midspring. Needs only occasional water once established.
Native to southern Europe. Upright plants grow to 1–5 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide, with deeply cut, ...
Native to Iran, Afghanistan, and central Asia. Absolutely covered with slender, sinuous spikes of...
Lilac flowers in fall. Orange-red stigma is the true saffron of commerce. To harvest saffron, pluck st...