Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2015

15 Native Garden Plants to Consider for 2015

By Carole A. Barth

Winter, while the seeds sleep snug in the soil, is when gardeners nourish fond hopes for spring’s awakening.  With few garden chores to occupy us, verdant visions grow in our imaginations.

As you dream about the seasons to come, consider whether you have room in your garden for any of the native plants on this list.  You’ll be doing our environment a favor, because we need native plants to support pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.

Planting natives is also a great way to deal with difficult garden conditions such as heavy clay soils, dry shade, or steep hillsides.  It is always easier to grow plants suited to the conditions you have, rather than trying to change your garden to suit some plant’s requirements.  In fact, once established in the right place, most natives will not need to be watered or fertilized.  All the plants on this list are perennials, meaning that they come back year after year.

For more information on these (and other native plants) visit the Chesapeake Region Native Plant Center.  You can also learn more at the Maryland Native Plant Society, and participate in events held by the Montgomery county chapter (click on “Chapters” and “Montgomery County”).   ■

Common NameLatin NameHabitatComments
Adam’s Needle Yucca filamentosa Full Sun, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms June-September, white, flower stalk can rise 5-10 feet above foliage, evergreen
Blue False Indigo Baptisia australis Full Sun-Pt. Shade, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms May-June, blue-purple, blue-black seed pods
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis Full Sun-Pt. Shade, Moist to Wet Soil Blooms July-October, scarlet.  Attracts hummingbirds.  Keep leaves clear in winter.
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides Part Sun to Full Shade, Moist Soil Evergreen.  Good clumping groundcover, or for rock gardens
Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Full Sun to Part Shade, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms April-July, red and yellow.  Attracts hummingbirds.  Burgundy leaves in Fall.
Golden Ragwort Packera aurea Full Sun to Full Shade, Moist to Wet Soil Blooms April-August, yellow, good spreading groundcover in wet soils.  Attracts butterflies.
Green and Gold Chrysogonum virginianum var. austral Full Sun to Full Shade, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms March-June, yellow, good spreading ground cover for shade
Joe-Pye Weed Eupatorium dubium Full to Part Sun, Moist to Wet Soil Blooms July to October, purple, attracts butterflies and song birds.
Moss Phlox Phlox subulata Full Sun, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms April-June, rose, pink, white.  Evergreen, good groundcover, butterflies
New York Ironweed Vernonia novaboracensis Full Sun to Part Shade, Moist to Wet Soil Blooms August to October, bright purple. In fall, attractive dried flower heads.  Tall stems stay upright, spreads. Attracts butterflies.
Rose Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos Full Sun to Part Shade, Moist to Flooded Soil Blooms July-September, cream, rosy pink. Attractive seed capsules, hummingbirds.
Sneezeweed Helenium autumnale Full Sun to Full Shade, Moist Soil Blooms July-November, yellow.  Attracts butterflies, was used for snuff.
Virginia Spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana Full Sun to Full Shade, Moist Soil Blooms April-July, deep blue-purple.  Dies back mid-July-August, new foliage in fall.
White Wood Aster Eurybia divaricata Partial Sun to Shade, Dry to Moist Soil Blooms July-October, white with yellow or red centers, good groundcover.  Attracts butterflies.
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum Full Sun to Part Shade Blooms April-July, lavender-blue.  Good groundcover.  Attracts butterflies, leaves red in fall.

   © 2015 NFCCA  [Source:]