Native Plants of South Dakota

Landscaping Plant Selections

The Great Plains of America exhibit a diverse selection of perennials, shrubs, and evergreens native to each unique domain within the region. In recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the virtues of using plant material acclimated to the local climate for landscaping purposes. As a result, the greenhouse industry has seen a strong interest in native plant material quickly emerging in its clientele.

South Dakota Native Shrub

The Great Plants of the Great Plains program from the Nebraska Nursery and Landscape Association was established in 1997 to promote exceptional plants of the Plains that are hardy, easy to care for, and ornamental for home landscaping in Zones 4 and 5. A similar initiative from the Denver Botanical Gardens and Panayoti Kelaidis, the Plant Select program, advocates outstanding native plants of South Dakota that work well in the western part of the state, specifically in the Black Hills region.

Jolly Lane Greenhouse has adopted a dynamic selection process to accommodate this new trend towards the native plants of South Dakota. Our greenhouse showcases both the Plant Select and the Great Plants award winners from recent years to help make each greenhouse customer’s garden and landscaping project exciting, successful, and well-rounded.

2012 Great Plants of the Great Plains Selections
Tree of the Year: Shantung Maple (Acer truncatum)
Conifer of the Year: Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca)
Shrub of the Year: Deam’s Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum var. deamii)
Perennial of the Year: Pink Turtlehead (Chelone tyonii)
Grass of the Year: ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’)

South Dakota Native Grass

2012 Plant Select Winners
• Fire Spinner Ice Plant (Delosperma)
• Cape Forget-Me-Not (Anchusa capensis)
• Filigree Daisy (Anthemis marschalliana)
• Weeping White Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Pendula’)
• Ruby Voodoo Rose (Rosa ‘Ruby Voodoo’)
• Dalmatian Daisy (Tanacetum cinerariifolium)

South Dakota Native Flower

Edible Plant Life

In addition to the perennials, shrubs, and evergreens noted above, South Dakota also boasts a list of edible plant life to be harvested from the regional wilderness.

In the tree category, edible fruits can be reaped from the native Downy Hawthorne and the Wild Plum tree. Indigenous Black Walnut trees serve as a deciduous source of edible nuts.

Edible Plant Life of the Black Hills

Across the South Dakota countryside, you’ll also find a number of perennials known to produce edible plant life, typically in the form of berries. An easily picked and gathered fruit, the wild strawberry is a common flowering perennial to behold in this region of the United States, while the red raspberry can be spotted fruitfully throughout the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Less commonly known is the edible Prickly Pear Cactus, a native plant of South Dakota that has served multiple culinary purposes in the past and present.

Without the proper training in edible plant life identification, it is considered quite unsafe to ingest plant material found in the wild. While consuming wild plant life should always be considered a last resort, there are a number of ways to protect the self from poisonous ingestion with edible plant life knowledge. Jolly Lane Greenhouse recommends a thorough study and rehearsed knowledge of the Universal Edibility Test, as well as carrying a copy of The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants while traipsing through the South Dakota Wilderness.