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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects


Native Plants for Aquatic and Wetland Habitats

Adiantum aleuticum
Maidenhair Fern, Aleutian maidenhair, western maidenhair, serpentine maidenhair
Small to medium-sized delicate, deciduous fern with a fan-shaped arrangement of five to seven fingerlike branchlets each bearing many toothed leaflets.
Height: 6-43 inches (15-110 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Broadleaf Water-Plantain
A terminal cluster of small white flowers sits above a tall leafless stem. It grows in marshy or semi-aquatic environments.
Height: up to 48 inches (120 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Alnus rubra
Red Alder
A fast-growing deciduous tree well suited to disturbed sites.
Height: Up to 80 feet (25 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Height: Can grow up to 3 ft. (100 cm.) Leaves deciduous.
Aster modestus
Great Northern Aster
A tall, much-branched perennial with numerous heads of purplish flowers.
Height: Grows up to 40 inches (100 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Aster subspicatus
Douglas Aster
Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.
Height: Grows up to 32 inches (80 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Athyrium filix-femina
Lady Fern
Tall, delicate, light-green fronds from a basal cluster.
Height: Grows 3-6 feet (2 meters) tall. Leaves deciduous.
Betula glandulosa
Bog Birch
Spreading, small-branched perennial shrub of bogs and wet areas.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall; usually shorter. Leaves deciduous.
Betula papyrifera
Paper Birch
A small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive white, peeling papery bark.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Blechnum spicant
Deer Fern
Dark green fern leaves grow in tufts from short, stout rhizomes.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter) tall. Leaves evergreen.
Boykinia occidentalis
Slender Boykinia
A slender herb with open panicles of small white flowers.
Height: Up to 24 inches (60 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Caltha biflora
Marsh Marigold
Perennial herb with large white flowers held above broadly rounded leaves; grows in wet subalpine meadows.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Caltha palustris
yellow marsh marigold
Large yellow flowers top this creeping, perennial, semi-aquatic herb.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Camassia quamash
Common Camas
Bulbous perennial producing a spike of large blue flowers.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Carex obnupta
Slough Sedge
Large grass-like plant creating thick patches in coastal wetlands.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
Height: Up to 20 feet (6 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Corylus cornuta
Beaked Hazelnut
Slender, multi-trunked deciduous shrub.
Height: 3 feet - 13 feet (1 meter - 4 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Deschampsia cespitosa
Tufted Hairgrass
Densely tufted perennial grass.
Height: Up to 4 feet (120 cm) tall. Leaves deciduous.
Eleocharis palustris
Creeping Spikerush
A wetland plant with leafless, grass-like stems topped by small brownish spikes of flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (100 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Epilobium watsonii
Watson's Willowherb
Erect herbaceous perennial with opposite leaves.
Height: Up to 5 feet (150 cm). Leaves evergreen.
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm). Leaves evergreen.
Equisetum telmatiea
Giant Horsetail
More robust and larger than common horsetail. Sheaths around its sterile stems have 14-18 teeth.
Height: 3-7.5 (10) feet tall; 1-2.3 (3) meters tall. Leaves deciduous.
Erigeron philadelphicus
Philadelphia Fleabane
Short-lived perennial with erect stem-base and taproot or fibrous roots.
Height: Up to 2.25 feet (70 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Eriophorum chamissonis
Chamisso's Cotton-grass
Extensive beds growing from spreading rhizomes or stolons with tufts of cotton-like seed heads.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Galium trifidum
Small Bedstraw
Sprawling perennial with numerous stems from slender rhizomes.
Height: up to 28 inches (70 cm). Leaves evergreen.
Geum macrophyllum
Large-leaved Avens
Hairy perennial with short rhizomes and big leaves topped by small yellow flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Glyceria elata
Tall Mannagrass, Fowl Mannagrass
Tall wetland grass.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Glyceria grandis
Reed Mannagrass
very similar to G. elata
Height: up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) Leaves evergreen.
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Oak Fern
Delicate, deciduous fronds. Usually solitary, but often forms a mat of herbaceous cover in forests.
Height: To 16 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Juncus acuminatus
Tapertip Rush
Tufted perennial grass-like plant.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Juncus ensifolius
Daggerleaf Rush
Height: Can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Leaves deciduous.
Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis
Bog Laurel
Small, slender-branched shrub with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of bright pink flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter). Leaves deciduous.
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Linnaea borealis
Twinflower
Trailing, slender, semi-woody, with short erect leafy stems and dainty bell-shaped flowers.
Height: 4 inches (10 cm). Leaves evergreen.
Lonicera involucrata
Twinberry
Tall shrub with opposite leaves and pairs of small yellow flowers in leaf axils.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters tall). Leaves deciduous.
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Height: 3-6 feet (1-2 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Lysichiton americanum
Skunk Cabbage
A wetland plant with very large waxy erect leaves and yellow flower spikes enclosed in a large yellow sheath.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
Height: 16.5-40 feet (5-12 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Mentha arvensis
Field Mint
A wild mint with small groups of light purple flowers in the leaf axils.
Leaves deciduous.
Menyanthes trifoliata
Buckbean
White, curly-haired flowers and large trifoliate leaves decorate this patch-forming plant found in shallow water.
Leaves deciduous.
Mimulus guttatus
Yellow Monkey-flower
Large yellow tubular flowers top this deciduous-leaved wetland perennial.
Leaves deciduous.
Myrica californica
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Tall shrub with small evergreen leaves.
Height: Up to 15 feet (5 meters) tall. Leaves evergreen.
Myrica gale
Sweet Gale
Leaves deciduous.
Nuphar luteum ssp. polysepalum
Yellow Pond-Lily
An aquatic water lily with large, round, floating leaves and fleshy, yellow flowers held at the water surface.
Leaves deciduous.
Oenanthe sarmentosa
Pacific Water Parsley
Semi-aquatic, often reclining or scrambling herb, with stem tips ascending or curled and small flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter). Leaves deciduous.
Oplopanax horridus
Devil's Club
An erect to sprawling shrub with thick, spiny, crooked stems and very large leaves.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
Height: Up to 30 inches (80 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Physocarpus capitatus
Pacific Ninebark
Erect to spreading shrub up to 4 meters tall with clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Pinus contorta
Shore Pine
Short pine tree, often with crooked trunk and bushy habit.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters). Leaves evergreen.
Platanthera dilatata
White Rein-Orchid, Bog Candle
Perennial orchid with spikes of white flowers from tuber-like roots.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Polystichum munitum
Sword Fern
A large attractive fern with erect evergreen fronds forming a circular crown.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters). Leaves evergreen.
Populus tremuloides
Quaking Aspen
Deciduous thicket-forming tree with smooth white bark and leaves that "quake" in the wind.
Leaves deciduous.
Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica
Silverweed
Low growing hairy herb with runners and solitary yellow flowers.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Potentilla palustris
Marsh Cinquefoil
Perennial from long, creeping, often floating, somewhat woody rhizomes, with small maroon flowers.
Height: Ip to 3 feet (1 meter). Leaves deciduous.
Prunus emarginata var. mollis
Bitter Cherry
Shrub or small tree with white flowers and small red cherries.
Height: Up to 50 feet (15 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Ranunculus sceleratus
Cursed Buttercup
A much-branched herb of wet areas, with tiny yellow flowers.
Leaves deciduous.
Ribes lacustre
Black Gooseberry
Erect to spreading shrub with spiny stems.
Height: Up to 6.5 feet (2 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Rorippa curvisiliqua
Curvepod Yellowcress
Leaves deciduous.
Rorippa palustris
Bog Yellowcress
Leaves deciduous.
Rosa gymnocarpa
Baldhip Rose
Spindly shrub with brittle weak straight spines and small pink rose flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Rosa pisocarpa
Swamp Rose
Thicket forming shrub with spiny stems and clusters of pink rose flowers.
Leaves deciduous.
Rubus spectabilis
Salmonberry
Erect and branching shrub with early spring pink flowers and reddish-orange raspberry-like fruits.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Sagittaria latifolia
Wapato, Arrowhead
Tall semi-aquatic perennial of marshes or lake margins, with large arrowhead shaped leaves and small white flowers.
Height: 3 feet (90 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Salix piperi
Piper's Willow
Leaves deciduous.
Salix sitchensis
Sitka Willow
Leaves deciduous.
Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry
Shrub to small tree with clusters of small white flowers and red berries.
Height: 20 feet (6 meters). Leaves deciduous.
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
Softstem Bulrush
Leaves deciduous.
Scirpus maritimus
Seacoast Bulrush
Leaves deciduous.
Scirpus microcarpus
Small-flowered Bulrush
Leaves deciduous.
Sisyrinchium californicum
Golden-eyed Grass
A small iris-like plant with yellow flowers.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Sisyrinchium idahoense
Blue-eyed Grass
A small clump-forming iris-like plant with small blue flowers.
Height: 28 inches (40 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Sium suave
Water-parsnip
Leaves deciduous.
Sparganium angustifolium
Narrowleaf Bur-reed
Leaves deciduous.
Sparganium eurycarpum
Broadfruit Bur-reed
Leaves deciduous.
Spiraea douglasii
Douglas' Spirea
Leaves deciduous.
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
Large conifer with branches that droop and then turn back up (J-shaped), broad crowns.
Height: 100-230 feet (30-70 meters). Leaves evergreen.
Tiarella trifoliata
Foamflower
Herb with erect or ascending stems and spikes of dainty white flowers.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm). Leaves deciduous.
Tsuga mertensiana
Mountain Hemlock
Slow growing evergreen conifer.
Height: Up to 40 meters (130 ft) tall, but often shorter. Leaves evergreen.
Typha latifolia
Broad-leaved Cattail
A tall wetland plant with long, erect sword-like leaves and dense brown flower spikes.
Leaves deciduous.
Vaccinium oxycoccus
Bog Cranberry
Creeping perennial of peat bogs, producing pink flowers and dark red cranberries.
Leaves deciduous.
Viburnum edule
High Bush Cranberry
Shrub with bright red berries and brilliant fall foliage.
Height: 3-9 feet (1-3 meters) tall. Leaves deciduous.


The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.