Native Plants Garden
Northeast Region

Native Plant List

Agastache rupestris
Anise Hyssop

The scented foliage smells like licorice, hence its common name.  It has warm orange colored flowers with silvery foliage and grows somewhat upright.  Full sun.  Well drained soil.  2’-3’. 

Amelanchier canadensis
Shadblow or Serviceberry

One of the first native trees to bloom in spring, serviceberry has slightly fragrant, white flowers that appear before the leaves emerge. The nectar attracts butterflies and other pollinators. Flowers give rise to very flavorful, purple-black, berrylike fruits relished by both songbirds and people. Edible berries resemble blueberries in size and color and can be used in jams, jellies and pies. The colorful fall foliage is a blend of orange, gold, red and green.  Full sun or part shade. Adapts to moist or dry conditions.  15’-20.

Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’
Blue Ice Star Flower

This perennial has narrow, deep green leaves that with depp lavender flowers that bloom in mid-May. spring.  The fall color is golden yellow and is beautiful.  Full to part sun.  Blooms late spring.  18”. 

Aquilegia canadensis
Wild Columbine

Flowering in April and May, this native has red flowers with yellow centers.  It prefers rocky, sandy soil and naturalizes.  Part sun to shade.  1’-3’.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ‘Massachusetts’

Evergreen and drought tolerant, this groundcover does best in poor and sandy soil.  It is good or hot, dry slopes.  It’s dark green leaves turn a reddish brown in fall with persistent berries that last through the winter that provide food for wildlife.  6”-12”. 

Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed produces bright orange, flat-topped flowers. Green pods full of seeds with silky white hairs follow the flowers. This is an essential plant if you want to attract butterflies, especially monarchs.  These plants have deep taproots so they should not be moved.  They are slow to emerge in the spring.  Full sun.  Average to dry soil. 18”-30”. Blooms June to July.

Aster novae-angliae
New England Aster

This late summer bloomer has purple to pink shades and is found in full sun meadows.  It likes moist to average soil.   2’-5’.

Athyrium filix-femina 'Victoiraie'
Victoria Lady Fern

These frilly, feathery fronds criss-cross to for a great pattern in the garden.  Shade to part shade.  18”-24”. 

Baptisia australis
Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo

This perennial has a growth habit more like a shrub although it dies back completely in winter.  Clusters of indigo-blue, pealike flowers followed by interesting blue-black pods are makes this a plant interesting in more that one season. The foliage is blue-green and looks good all season.  This plant has a taproot and does not like to be moved. It takes a few years to become established.   Full sun.  Average soil. Blooms May to early June.  3’-4’. 

Betula nigra 'Heritage'
‘Heritage’ River Birch

'Heritage' is a vigorous, fast-growing tree with layers of cinnamon, salmon and brown bark peeling back in big sheets to reveal creamy white inner bark. It is especially beautiful when multiple trees are placed together in a grove. Chickadees, song and white-throated sparrows, wild turkey and other birds love the seed. It provides larval food source for Mourning cloaks, Canadian tiger swallowtails and duskywing butterflies.  Trees also provide great cover and nesting sites. This tree has yellow fall color and excellent disease and pest resistance. Full sun to part shade.  Prefers moist soil but can grow in drier conditions. 35’-40’.

Carex pennsylvanica
Pennsylvania Sedge

A native ground cover that like average to dry shade.  It spreads slowly and can be a lawn substitute.  8”.

Chasmanthium latifolium
Northern Sea Oats

Drooping seed heads hang in clusters from slightly arching stems topping an upright clump of bamboo-like foliage. Green leaves turn copper in fall and the seed heads emerge green but turn purplish bronze by late summer then dry to a straw color. Clumping grasses like this provide nest sites and winter cover for quail and sparrows. They also provide fall and winter seeds for a number of birds including cardinals, towhees, juncos, sparrows and finches.  Full sun to part shade. Wide soil tolerance.  3’

Clethra alnifolia
Summersweet/ Sweet Pepper Bush

Summersweet is a vase-shaped deciduous shrub, which features fluffy, bottle brush-like, 3-6" spikes of extremely fragrant white flowers that are an extremely important nectar source in summer. Glossy, dark green leaves turn a rich yellow in autumn.  Full sun or part shade.  Prefers moist soils but adapts well to a wide range of soils.  Blooms mid-summer. 5’-7’.

Comptonia peregrina

This fern-like shrub has wonderful scented foliage.  It prefers sandy, infertile soil and colonizes by spreading.  2’-4’.

Cornus sericea 'Baileyi'
Red Osier Dogwood

'Baileyi' is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with cherry red winter stems. The stems are especially showy against a snowy backdrop. Tiny white flowers appear in flat-topped clusters in late spring. Flowers give way to clusters of creamy white fruit in late summer. Fruit is very attractive to birds and is generally considered to have as much if not more ornamental interest than the flowers. Dark green leaves turn an attractive red-purple in autumn.

Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Star'
Coneflower ‘Ruby Star’

A wonderful prairie wildflower with large carmine red to purple petals and big, pincushion-like, dark bronze-brown central cones attract all types of butterflies. Seedheads provide wonderful winter interest and provide food for the birds in winter.  Flowers are 4" in diameter and bloom from June through August with some later blooms possible. Full sun.  Moist but well-drained soil.  36” – 42”.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan'

Another wonderful coneflower with clean white sturdy flowers from June to September.  Full sun.  2’-3’. 

Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake Master

An architectural plant with bluish-silver spiny leaves and rosettes that add a lot of interest to your dry meadow garden.  Full sun.  4’-5’.

Helenium 'Dancing Flames'

Attractive to butterflies, this perennial does best in full sun and makes wonderful cut flowers.  Yellow to orange flowers bloom mid-late summer.  Full sun.  3’. 

Hydrangea quercifolia
Oakleaf Hydrangea

A real work horse in the garden with excellent fall color, this shrub has large deep green foliage and huge panicled flowers in the summer.  Winter interest includes peeling cinnamon colored bark.  Full sun or part shade.  5’-6’.

Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’

Winterberry is a deciduous holly that is slow growing, with an upright-rounded habit. In the wild, it often suckers to form large thickets or colonies but can be pruned to form a small tree. Very small white flowers appear in late spring which then gives way to bright red berries in late summer to fall. Berries are quite showy and persist through most of the winter, hence the common name. You need to plant in masses to assure that you have berries.  Full sun or part shade.  Medium to wet soil.  8’-10’.

Maintenance: Prune to shape in early spring to shape it.

Liatris spicata
Blazing Star

Upright purple spikes bloom open from the top down in July and August.  They are an adaptable plant and add a wonderful element to any mixed meadow.  Full to part sun.  3’-5’.

Magnolia virginiana ‘Moonglow’
‘Moonglow’ Sweetbay Magnolia

'Moonglow' has a distinctly upright growth habit and lemon-scented, creamy white flowers bloom well after the last frost. Plants flower heavily in mid-spring then continue sporadically through summer. The foliage is shiny green on top with silver on the lower side. Foliage is evergreen to semi-evergreen, depending on where you live. The cone-like fruits contain bright red seeds and are an important source of food for birds in the fall. Moist but well drained.  Sun or filtered shade. Blooms late spring to early summer. 30’-35’.

Maintenance: Needs to be kept moist during the establishment period.  Will not tolerate drought.

Osmunda cinnamomea
Cinnamon Fern

Cinnamon fern is a regal, upright, vase-shaped fern with lustrous green fronds. Appearing in early spring, they quickly turn bright cinnamon-brown, hence its common name. Ferns provide seasonal cover and hiding places for ground frequenting birds such as ovenbirds, waterthrushes, wood thrushes, Kentucky and hooded warblers, robins and Carolina wrens.  Full sun to shade.  Moist soil.  2’-3’.

Pachysandra procumbens
Allegheny Spurge

This is our native pachysandra that has wonderful foliage in multi-shades of green.  Preferring part shade, it flowers in April and May.  6”-9”.

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’
Switch Grass

This grass has bluish green foliage with airy panicles that turn wonderful shades in the fall.  Preferring average to moist soils, deer are not big fans so it helps to keep them at bay.  Full sun.  3’-5’. 

Penstemon digitalis
Foxglove Beardtongue

In early summer, white or light pink tubular flowers form on stalks that rise above deep green foliage.  This native is drought tolerant, tough as nails and deer resistant.  Butterflies visit the flowers for nectar and songbirds such as cardinals and goldfinch eat ripe seed from the flower stems in fall and winter. Full to part sun.  Moist to dry.  3’-4’.  Blooms early summer.

Phlox stolonifera ‘Blue Ridge’
Creeping Phlox

The creeping habit of this native groundcover is great for part shade or deep shade gardens.  Flowering in the spring with blue flowers, it quickly covers areas and helps to suppress weeds.  6”-10”.

Physocarpus x 'Coppertina'

This multi-stem shrub is tolerant of poor soils and likes full sun.  White flowers bloom in late May and June and are a wonderful contrast against the deep copper colored.  Full to part sun.  6’-10’.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Summer Wine'

This multi-stem shrub is tolerant of poor soils and likes full sun.  White flowers bloom in late May and June and are a wonderful contrast against the deep reddish foliage.  Full to part sun.  4’-6’.

Polystichum acrostichoides
Christmas Fern
Adaptable and evergreen, this native fern thrives in many types of conditions from moist to dry.  Providing cover in the winter to wildlife, planted in mass these ferns are a nice groundcover.

Pycnanthemum muticum
Mountain Mint

Silvery bracts highlight dense clusters of small pinkish flowers from summer to early fall. The flowers are an extraordinarily good source of nectar for smaller types of butterflies. The leaves smell strongly of spearmint when they are crushed and, like many members of the mint family, the leaves may be used in teas.  Sun to filtered shade.  Moist soil.  Blooms late summer to fall.  24” – 36”.

Rhododendron viscosum
Swamp Azalea

This deciduous azalea blooms from mid-June until July. The abundant white to pink flowers have a spicy, clove-like fragrance that fills the garden. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants grow into multi-stemmed shrubs that put on a show in fall with their flame red foliage.  Sun to filtered shade.  Moist to wet soil.  8’-10’.  Blooms in summer.

Maintenance: Prune after flowering for best shape.

Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’
Lo-Gro Sumac

This low growing and spreading shrub is a great on slopes and banks.  It is happy in poor soil and full to part sun.  Small catkins appear in late summer and its fall color makes it worth planting.  10”-18”.

Rudbeckia triloba
Three-lobed Coneflower

Hundreds of small deep gold flowers with brown centers bloom for almost three months. This plant is very resistant to drought, heat and pests. Butterflies and other pollinators like the nectar and songbirds eat the seed, which forms as flowers age.  Full sun.  Average to moist.  Blooms late summer to fall.  36”-42”. 

Schizachyrium scoparium
Little Bluestem
A native warm season grass that is happiest in poor and dry soils, this grass has wonderful fall color.  Full sun.  3’-4’. 

Senecio aureus
Golden Groundsel

In May, yellow daisy shaped flowers appear over dark green shiny foliage.  Full to part sun.  12”.

Sorghastrum nutans
Indian Grass

This is a native warm season grass for a dry meadow.  In the fall, the seed heads become a beautiful golden brown.  Full sun.  3’-4’.

Stylophorum diphyllum
Celadine Poppy

An early season perennial blooming in April, these poppies have yellow flowers that continue to bloom for a long period.  While preferring some shade, these plants do well in moisture and will aggressively seed which makes them ideal for a wild garden.  12”-18”.

Tiarella cordifolia 'Running Tapestry'

This dainty but tough groundcover performs well among tree roots in shaded areas. Masses of tiny white flowers appear in airy racemes in spring for 6 weeks.  Shade to filtered shade.  Moist to dry.  Blooms mid-spring.  8”-10”. 

Maintenance: Should not be allowed to dry out completely.  Wet soil in winter could be fatal.

Tradescantia ‘Purple Profusion’

A long blooming perennial, this spiderwort has deep purple flowers in May and June.  Happiest in moist soils and deep shade, it is an adaptable plant and can do well in many places.  18” – 24”.

Trollius laxus
American Globe Flower

Blooming from April to June, these pale-yellow buttercup-like flowers are a spring delight.  Happy in part shade areas, they like moist to wet locations.  12”-20”. 

Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Blue Jay’
Highbush Blueberry

Clusters of dainty, waxy, bell-shaped, white flowers bloom appear in spring. Flowers are followed by tasty blue berries, which ripen in summer. The fruit is a favorite among humans as well as birds, small mammals and box turtles. 'Blue Jay' is a very vigorous grower with heavy fruit set.  Plant at least two varieties for fruit set.  In the first few years of growth, remove flowers to encourage vegetative growth.  Full sun to part shade.  Moist to dry soil.  5’-7’. 

Maintenance: Prune as needed after third year of growth.

Verbena hastata
Blue Vervain

Tall thin spikes of blue violet clusters, this plant is happiest in a moist locations.  Full sun. 4’-6’.

Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur'
Witherod Viburnum

'Winterthur' is a compact cultivar featuring fragrant white flowers arranged in flat-topped clusters that bloom in April-May. The flowers provide nectar for butterflies, native bees and other pollinators. Flowers are followed by clusters of rounded berries that change color as they ripen from light pink to deep pink to blue to purplish-black. Glossy dark green leaves turn maroon or dark red-purple in fall.  For best pollination and fruit display, plant in groups.  Sun to filtered shade.  Moist to dry soil.  7’-8’.

Viola labradorica
Labrador violet

This little viola is a fantastic ground cover for shady sites. It has rich dark purple foliage during the cool weather of spring and fall; as temperatures rise the color fades to a unique bronze-green. In mid-spring, small purple flowers appear just above the leaves. Plants flower sporadically all season long in regions with cool summers then re-bloom in the fall regardless of zone.  Filtered shade.  Average to moist soil.  Blooms late spring to early summer. 2’-4’.

Wild Columbine. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.
Aquilegia canadensis - Wild columbine.
Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.



Amelanchier canadensis - Shadblow. Credit: Pride's Corner
Amelanchier canadensis - Shadblow. Credit: Pride's Corner



Arctostaphylos uva-ursi - Bearbury. Credit: Pride's Corner
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi - Bearberry. Credit: Pride's Corner



Butterfly weed. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.
Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly weed. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.



Betula nigra - Heritage River Birch. Credit: Pride's Corner
Betula nigra - Heritage River Birch. Credit: Pride's Corner



Cornus sericea 'Baileyi' - Red osier dogwood - Credit: Pride's Corner
Cornus sericea 'Baileyi' - Red osier dogwood -
Credit: Pride's Corner



Hydrangea quercifolia - Oakleaf hydrangea. Credit: Pride's Corner
Hydrangea quercifolia - Oakleaf hydrangea. Credit: Pride's Corner



Ilex verticillata - Winterberry. Credit: Pride's Corner
Ilex verticillata - Winterberry. Credit: Pride's Corner



Pachysandra procumbens - Allegheny spurge. Credit: Pride's Corner
Pachysandra procumbens - Allegheny spurge.
Credit: Pride's Corner



Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.
Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.



Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'. Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.
Penstemon digitalis - 'Husker Red'.
Credit: North Creek Nurseries, Inc.



Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas fern. Credit: Pride's Corner
Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas fern. Credit: Pride's Corner



Pycnanthemum muticum - Short-toothed mountain mint. Credit: Pride's Corner
Pycnanthemum muticum - Short-toothed mountain mint.
Credit: Pride's Corner



Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur'. Credit: Pride's Corner
Viburnum nudum - 'Winterthur'. Credit: Pride's Corner

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Last updated: June 4, 2010
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