Wyethia for Landscaping

Mule's Ears, Wyethia amplexicaulis

Native Plants for Landscaping

Mule’s Ears or Wyethia amplexicaulis.  Ok, tell me again why I have never tried to grow this? What’s not to like? Its large 10-12 inch leaves are very unique when it comes to Wyoming native plants. They would lend an almost tropical feel to a garden.  The large (3-4 inches), bright yellow flowers are charming. I can see it surrounding an island of tall native grasses, the ripe grass seed heads blowing in the wind, these happy flowers just below, with those large arrow shaped leaves contrasted against the long thin grass stems and blades.

This plant would do well in the moderately watered garden with no special soil needs other than good drainage. It no doubt could withstand the heat and is naturally drought tolerant.  A little extra water would probably result in a big flower display.

It is a native, the flowers are eaten by livestock and wildlife, and apparently the roots  are edible.* According to the Native Plant Network Plant Propagation Database, the seeds need cold stratification, but seedling success is high at 65 to 75%.  It needs alternating temperatures to germinate, so simple fall planting is probably the best plan. 

It may take up to four years for this large tap rooted plant to flower, but it is a long lived plant and would provide years of enjoyment once established.

*North American Range Plants.  Stubbendieck, Hatch and Hirsch

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