Category Archives: Native Plants

Black Gooseberry

Black gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum)
Ribes divaricatum

Black gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum) is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 8ft tall with arching stems. The white flowers usually bloom in mid-spring and are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. The berries are small and offer a great food source for wildlife.

The plant prefers moist soil and can grow in both full sun and semi-shade. Please note that the plant does have sharp thorns, and precautions should be taken if planting in areas used by young children and pets.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 5-8ft
  • Mature Width: 3-5ft

Red Alder

Red alder (Alnus rubra)
Alnus rubra

Red alder is a fast-growing deciduous tree well suited for disturbed and infertile soils, and an excellent nitrogen fixing plant. Generally grows to a height of 40-50 feet, sometimes reaching up to 80 feet. Red Alder flowers in March with hanging, cylindrical reddish-orange catkins. Leaves turn a slight golden color in the autumn.

In the open, red alders grow into a broadly conical shape with spreading branches. It is an excellent wildlife tree that provides cavity-nesting opportunities and forage for a wide range of songbirds. It also serves as a host plant for swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Best in sun to part shade with moist soils.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 40-50ft
  • Mature Width: 40-50ft

Madrone

Madrone (Arbutus menziesi)
Arbutus menziesii

Madrone is an attractive, broad-leaved evergreen tree with a twisting trunk that develops beautiful reddish-brown exfoliating bark with age. Mature size ranges from 20 to 65 feet tall and wide. Madrone does best in full sun and grows well on hillsides with dry, well-drained or rocky soils. Leaves are dark, shiny green and shed irregularly throughout the year.

Flowers are small, pinkish, and bell-shaped, arranged in drooping clusters. Flowers appear in April, followed by small round orange-red berries. Madrone’s fruit is eaten by a wide range of birds and its flowers attract numerous pollinators. They reach their full aesthetic potential when planted in a grove. Madrones can be difficult to establish, so plant small seedlings and be patient.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun
  • Water Requirements: Dry
  • Ease of Growing: Hard to grow
  • Growth Rate: Slow
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 20-65ft
  • Mature Width: 20-65ft

Paper Birch

Betula papyrifera

Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) is a medium to fast growing deciduous tree, reaching a mature height of 50-70 feet. The leaves are simple, alternate, to 4 inches long, toothed and roughly egg-shaped, coming to a pointed tip. The leaves turn bright yellow in the autumn. Flowers are male and female catkins to 1½ inches, blooming in the spring.

Paper birch is a widespread North American species; on the West Coast, the birch is considered native from eastern Oregon to Alaska. Paper birch is known for its distinctive bark, which is whiter than many birches and peels in papery strips. The bark of the birch was used for canoe-making across the United States outside of the Pacific Northwest (in the Pacific Northwest, Western redcedar is more commonly used). Traditional uses for birch resin include medicine, adhesive, and chewing gum. Today birch is a commonly used for pulp wood and as an ornamental tree.

Because all birches attract aphids and their “honeydew,” the tree is not recommended for patios or parking areas.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate, Fast
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals, Pollinators
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 50-70ft
  • Mature Width: 15-25ft

Baldhip Rose

Baldhip Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa)
Rosa gymnocarpa

Baldhip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) is a low rhizomatous shrub, growing up to 5 feet high. The plant is widespread and common throughout Oregon. It provides food and shelter for a variety of birds and mammals and attracts pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Baldhip rose leaves are compound and deciduous with 5-9 1.5-inch leaflets. Thorns are thin and straight, ranging from numerous to sparse. Flowers are pink and fragrant, blooming in late spring. Half-inch rose hips are orange to scarlet and edible. This rose tolerates full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant. Rosa gymnocarpa hybridizes with other roses.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 5ft
  • Mature Width: 3-5ft

Pacific Serviceberry

Amelanchier alnifolia

Pacific serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is a large shrub or small tree, with mature dimensions to 18’ by 10’, sometimes larger. Leaves are round to oval, 1-2 inches long and entire at base but serrate at the top. It bears fragrant white flowers from mid-spring to early summer followed by dark blue, edible pomes, ¼ to ½ inch in diameter.

Serviceberry is a common and wide-spread species, growing native from Alaska to California, and across Great Plains into eastern Canada. It grows in full sun to partial shade, and tolerates dry, moist, or wet soil. The best autumn color is found on shrubs in sunnier sites.

In additional to being edible, the plant has medicinal and other uses. Fruit is well-liked by wildlife and flowers attract pollinators.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 15-30ft
  • Mature Width: 10-20ft
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