Monday, October 13, 2008

Forty Easy Native Garden Plants

Easy to grow, Easy to maintain, Easy on the Environment

Garry oak Quercus garryana
Deciduous, full sun, needs good drainage, drought tolerant once established, young acorns have sweet scent, late to leaf out, late to drop leaves, only host plant of Propertius duskywing, a blue-listed butterfly.

Shore pine Pinus contorta var. contora
Full sun, tolerant of most growing conditions from droughty soils to bogs but check gene source for adapted plants. Not a first food choice for deer. Host plant of white pine and western pine elfin butterflies.

Seaside juniper Juniperus maritima
Full sun, drought tolerant when established, lovely bluish green foliage, not a first food choice for deer (very similar to Rocky Mt juniper but discovered as new species-grows at Albert Head).

Mountain-ash Sorbus sitchensis
Deciduous, to 4 m tall, full sun to part-shade, white flowers in clusters, red berries in fall, favoured by birds, needs adequate moisture.

Scouler’s willow Salix scouleriana
Deciduous, small tree, quite drought tolerant, fast growing. Host plant for Western tiger swallowtail, mourning cloak and Lorquin’s admiral butterflies.

Oceanspray Holodiscus discolor
Sprays of creamy white flowers adorn this hardy, drought resistant shrub in early July. Plant in full sun to part shade.

Indian plum Oemleria cerasiformis
One of our earliest shrubs to flower, with drooping racemes of white flowers in February and March, quickly followed by chartreuse green leaves. Full sun to part shade, great for early pollinators and birds love the small fruits. Effective in a hedge row. Drought tolerant but prefers some moisture to remain presentable.

Saskatoon Amelanchier alnifolia
Wonderful display of pure white blooms in April, produces small fruit which is quickly consumed by birds, can form lovely small tree. Full sun to part shade, dry to slightly moist soils.

Elderberry Sambucus racemosa
Deciduous, small tree, part shade to full sun, needs moist conditions, lovely panicle of creamy white flowers that feed various insects and hummingbirds, followed by brilliant red berries that are loved by many birds, makes an excellent jelly but must be cooked.

Evergreen huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen shrub with small glossy leaves, full sun with adequate moisture, part-shade to shady, quite drought tolerant once established, slow growing, delicious blue or black fruit. Not a first food choice for deer.

Oregon Grape-tall Mahonia aquafolium
Evergreen, full sun, drought tolerant when established, panicles of yellow flowers, holly-like leaves, edible blue fruit for jellies or wine. Not a first food choice for deer.

Oregon Grape-low Mahonia nervosa
Evergreen, part shade, drought tolerant when established, panicles of yellow flowers, edible fruit for jellies and wine. Not a first food choice for deer.

Salal Gaultheria shallon
Evergreen, sprawling, shrubby groundcover, part-shade to shade, some moisture needed, edible, delicious, dark purple berries, somewhat slow growing. Good for steep slopes. Not a first food choice for deer.

Manzanita Arctostaphylos columbiana also A. x media
Evergreen shrub, full sun, needs excellent drainage, somewhat slow growing, has beautiful peeling reddish bark, bonsai-like shape, white to pink flowers early in spring, supplies food for hummingbirds. Not a first food choice for deer.

Flowering currant Ribes sanguineum
Deciduous, part shade or full sun with adequate moisture, beautiful early red, pink or white (hummingbirds prefer red) flowers, somewhat drought tolerant, fast growing.

Gummy gooseberry Ribes lobbii
Covered in small single, fuschia-like blooms in late March, great for hummingbirds. Part shade to full sun, has prickles.

Mock orange Philedelphus lewisii
Deciduous, full sun, appreciates good drainage, somewhat drought tolerant but needs some supplemental watering to look good, wonderfully scented white flowers.

Sword fern Polystichum munitum
Evergreen, part-shade to shade, needs some moisture but somewhat drought tolerant, large and lush looking. Good filler. Not a first food choice for deer.

Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Evergreen groundcover, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant when established, fast growing, beautiful red berries, loved by birds. Great trailing over stone walls. Not a first food choice for deer.

Hairy/orange honeysuckle Lonicera hispidula and L. ciliosa
Vines, rambling plants, good to climb up trees and clamber over shrubs. L. hispidula with purple flowers and L. ciliosa with orange flowers, used by hummingbirds and pollinators. Drought tolerant, full sun to part shade.

Wild strawberry Potentilla (Fragaria) species
Deciduous, fast growing groundcover, white flowers and some plants fruit well. Parent of commercial strawberries. Host plants for two-banded checkered skipper butterfly. P. chiloensis, full sun, P. vesca and virginiana prefer part-shade.

Stonecrops Sedum spathulifolium, S. oreganum, S. divergens
Evergreen groundcover succulents, prefer drought conditions, full sun, yellow flowers, Sedum spathulifolium & divergens bloom May, S. oreganum blooms end of July. Sedum spathulifolium host plant for blue-listed Moss’s elfin butterfly. Sometimes host to the lovely naked broomrape (Orobanche uniflorum).

Alumroot Heuchera micrantha
Evergreen, herbaceous perennial, lovely white sprays of flowers, blooms June-early July. Not a first food choice for deer. The native version of coralbells.

Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea
Deciduous, herbaceous perennial, to 1 m tall, spreading-plant alone or in containers, silver-gray foliage, white “everlasting” type flowers, blooms mid-July-mid-August. Favourite for pollinators, native bees, butterflies (esp. skippers), beetles. Not a first food choice for deer.

Columbine Aquileja formosa
Deciduous, herbaceous perennial, part-shade, orange flowers, blooms May-June, food plant for hummingbirds.

Wooly sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum
Deciduous, herbaceous perennial, full sun, needs good drainage-add grit to soil, cheerful yellow flowers with blue-green foliage, favoured by pollinators, butterflies, low growing.

Aster Aster subspicatus, A. foliaceus, A. chilensis
Deciduous, herbaceous perennials, spreading-plant alone or in containers, lovely purple flowers with yellow centres, blooms August-September, favoured by pollinators, butterflies, native bees.

Nodding onion Allium cernuum
Semi-evergreen bulbs, full sun, somewhat drought tolerant, pinkish-purple flowers, blooms July, self seeds very freely, edible (like green onions).

Sea Blush Plectris congesta
Annual, full sun, drought tolerant, but grows taller and lusher with supplemental watering, short, bright pink flowers, blooms March-June, self seeds freely.

Farewell-to-spring Clarkia amoena
Annual, full sun, drought tolerant, but grows taller and more lush with supplemental watering, sprawling habit, pink flowers bloom June-till mid-July, sometimes till fall, self seeds somewhat.

Camas Camassia quamash and C. leichlinii
Spring bulb, blooms end of April, early May, beautiful blue flowers (hyacinth-like), full sun, C. quamash prefers drier soils, good for open areas, meadows.

Fawn lily Erythronium oregonum
Beloved spring bulb, blooms mid March, white pendant flowers, part shade, beautiful in drifts under Garry oak trees.

Chocolate lily Fritillaria affinis
Spring bulb, blooms early-mid May, brownish red, speckled with yellow pendant flowers, full sun, charming short lily.

Tiger lily Lilium columbiana
Exquisite flowering lily, approx one metre tall with orange speckled flower in early to mid June. dry to slightly moist soils, full sun to dappled shade.

Gumweed Grindelia integrifolia
Yellow flowers in late summer, need excellent drainage and full sun, wonderful plant for pollinators, member of the aster family. Might be biennial.

Broad-leaved shootingstar Dodecatheon hendersonii
Delightful ground hugging perrenial, pink nodding flowers in March-April. Prefers rich soil, moderately dry, full sun to part shade.

Satinflower Olsynium douglasii
Petite perennial with iris like leaves, purples flowers very early-February-March, great with sedums in rock gardens. Needs full sun and shrap drainage.

Fringecup Tellima grandiflora
Tall spires of odd greenish-white flowers, very fragrant, blooms April-May. Needs good moisture, full sun to part shade, prefers rich soils.

Canada goldenrod Solidago canadensis
Lovely sprays of bright yellow flowers in mid-late summer. Full sun in well drained, poor soil. Food for pollinators.

Sea thrift Armeria maritima
Tight mounds of bright to pale pink flowers, flowering late spring to early summer, can rebloom if flowers are cut back. Needs full sun, excellent drainage, poor soil. Great in rock gardens and in rock walls.

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