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


Native Plants for Clay Soils

Acer macrophyllum
Big-leaf Maple
A tree with a large, often multi-stemmed trunk and a loose, broad crown of large leaves.
Height: 65-100 feet (20-30 meters) tall with trunk 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters)diameter.
Alnus rubra
Red Alder
A fast-growing deciduous tree well suited to disturbed sites.
Fixes nitrogen, can flourish in poor soils.
Height: Up to 80 feet (25 meters).
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).
Caltha palustris
yellow marsh marigold
Large yellow flowers top this creeping, perennial, semi-aquatic herb.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm).
Grindelia integrifolia
Entire-leaved Gumweed
Seaside perennial with sticky heads of yellow flowers.
Can tolerate nutrient-poor, clay-like soils.
Height: Can grow up to 32 inches (80 cm) in height.
Lysichiton americanum
Skunk Cabbage
A wetland plant with very large waxy erect leaves and yellow flower spikes enclosed in a large yellow sheath.
Common in wet soils under cedar trees.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Scirpus maritimus
Seacoast Bulrush
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
Large conifer with branches that droop and then turn back up (J-shaped), broad crowns.
Prefers nutrient rich soils with poor drainage.
Height: 100-230 feet (30-70 meters).
Xerophyllum tenax
Beargrass
Forms a tall grass-like clump of tough leaves topped by a large dense cluster of white flowers.
Tolerates a wide range of soils.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).


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