Category Archives: Native Plants

Blue-eyed Grass

Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum)
Sisyrinchium idahoense

This plant is not a true grass but has a grass-like appearance as it is low-growing with long, thin leaves. They often grow on grasslands and resemble iris, a close relative. The flower is a deep bluish-purple to blue-violet and rarely white. The fruit is a dry dark or pale-brown capsule with one to several seeds in a locule. It blooms from March to May and is quite variable.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pest-eating Insects
  • Edible:
  • Mature Height: 8-12in
  • Mature Width: 6-12in

Larkspur

Larkspur (Delphinium trollifolium)
Delphinium trollifolium

This wildflower reaches one half to just over one meter in height. It has large, shiny, deeply lobed leaves. The top half of the stem is an inflorescence of widely spaced flowers on long pedicels, the longest over nine centimeters long. The flowers are usually deep brilliant blue. The upper two petals may be milky white. The spur exceeds two centimeters in length in the largest of the flowers. This plant is toxic.

  • Light Requirements: Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 4ft
  • Mature Width: 2ft

Wild Ginger

Wild ginger (Asarum caudatum)
Asarum caudatum

Groundcover with unique maroon flowers hidden under heart-shaped glossy leaves in spring; it has edible roots.


  • Light Requirements: Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate, Difficult
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 6in
  • Mature Width: 3ft

Pacific Crabapple

Pacific crabapple (Malus fusca)
Malus fusca

In the spring, small, pinkish-white fragrant blossoms hang in clusters from this native tree. By mid-summer, 3/4″ long crabapples appear. The fruits are quite sour, but appeal to birds and animals. The fruit turns yellow to reddish in the fall, and the leaves provide fall color in shades of orange and bright red.

  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: No
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 30ft
  • Mature Width: 25ft

Pacific Ninebark

Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus)
Physocarpus capitatus

Pacific ninebark, or tall ninebark, is native to western North America from southern Alaska to southern California, and east to Montana and Utah.

It is a dense deciduous shrub growing to 1 to 2.5 meters tall. The name references the appearance of the bark, which peels in many layers. The shrub has distinctive maple-like lobed leaves 3-14 cm long and broad, and clusters of small white flowers with five petals and numerous red-tipped stamens. The unique fruit is an inflated glossy red pod which turns dry and brown and then splits open to release seeds.

It is often found in wetlands, but also forms thickets along rivers and in moist forest habitats. While it grows robustly in wet environments, it is drought-tolerant to a degree and is a popular garden plant.


  • Light Requirements: Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 8-12ft
  • Mature Width: 4-7ft

Tufted Hairgrass

Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa)
Deschampsia cespitosa

Tufted Hairgrass is found around the world including the eastern and western coasts of North America, parts of South America, and Eurasia. It is a native, perennial, tussock forming grass found along stream banks and in moist meadows, fields, wet ditches and open areas surrounding lakes and ponds. Tufted hairgrass is a large densely tufted, course, long lived, perennial bunch grass. It has bright green foliage and a large volume of fountain-like seed culms emerging in early spring, making it highly aesthetic. Tufted hairgrass prefer open sites. This grass is rarely, if ever an under story species of temperate forest communities (Brown et al. 1988).

In the Pacific Northwest tufted hairgrass form pure stands in wet and intermittently flooded areas such as tidal mudflats and estuaries plant communities. It grows in seeps bogs, and brackish waters along the coastal waterways. It is very salt tolerant grass and, as a result, is commonly included in many restoration or re-vegetation projects where brackish water exists.

Tufted hairgrass is also a rapid colonizer of disturbed sites at high elevations (8,000 ft – Cascade & Sierra Range). Such characteristics make it valuable for reclamation of disturbed high elevation mines, ski slopes and high elevation meadows. Tufted hairgrass, unlike blue wildrye, is genetically heterogeneous, self-incompatible and requires wind and insect pollinators for effective fertilization. Tufted hairgrass should be included in wetland, restoration projects since it provides very dense nesting foliage and has a very long summer green period. It is also a valuable stream bank erosion plant where long-term stabilization is necessary, and should be established with a nurse crop (blue wildrye, meadow barley, California brome, Alaska brome) or native straw mulch for superior first year establishment.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 2-3ft
  • Mature Width: 1-2ft
1 2 3 4 5 6 12