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


Native Plants for Dry Areas

Abies grandis
Grand Fir
Abies grandis is a tall, straight tree with short, dense branches.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 130-260 feet (40-80 meters).
Acer macrophyllum
Big-leaf Maple
A tree with a large, often multi-stemmed trunk and a loose, broad crown of large leaves.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 65-100 feet (20-30 meters) tall with trunk 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters)diameter.
Achillea millefolium
Yarrow
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
Allium acuminatum
Taper-Tip Onion
This native wild onion has grass-like basal leaves overtopped by umbels of purple flowers, and egg-shaped bulbs containing a fibrous network on the surface.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm).
Allium cernuum
Nodding Onion
Clusters of long grass-like leaves overtopped by nodding umbels of pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 20 inches (50 cm).
Amelanchier alnifolia
Serviceberry, Saskatoon
Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly Everlasting
Clump forming, perennial herb with small withering basal leaves and papery white flower clusters.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 40 inches (100 cm).
Arbutus menziesii
Madrone
An attractive broadleaf evergreen with a twisting reddish trunk and irregular branches with an overall rounded outline.
Prefers drier, shallow soils.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters).
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Kinnikinnick, Bearberry
A mat-forming evergreen shrub producing lovely pink flowers that later turn into red berries.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
Brodiaea congesta
Harvest Lily
Long slender stems to 3 feet (1 meter) in length topped by a dense cluster of deep purple flowers.
Prefers drier soils.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Camassia leitchlinii
Great Camas
Stately perennial from a deep bulb, producing spikes of large blue flowers in early spring.
Needs moist soil in winter and spring, then dry in summer.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Ceanothus velutinus
Snowbrush
A tall shrub with glossy leaves and clusters of white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Cerastium arvense
Field Chickweed
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Chamerion angustifolium
Fireweed
Tall perennial from rhizome like roots with unbranched stem and terminal spikes of large red to pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters), but usually shorter than 6 feet (2 meters).
Clarkia amoena
Farewell to Spring
A taprooted annual with large showy, usually pink flowers; often grown horticulturally.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
Elymus glaucus
Blue Wild-rye
Tufted perennial grass usually forming small clumps, 0.5 to 1.5 m tall.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 20-40 inches (0.5-1 meter).
Epilobium brachycarpum
Tall Annual Willowherb
Taprooted annual of dry, gravelly or disturbed sites.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 1-4 feet (30-120 cm) tall.
Erigeron philadelphicus
Philadelphia Fleabane
Short-lived perennial with erect stem-base and taproot or fibrous roots.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 2.25 feet (70 cm).
Eriophyllum lanatum
Woolly Sunflower
Wooly leafy perennial with yellow daisy-like flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Fragaria chiloensis
Coastal Strawberry
Spreads low across ground with runners. White flowers and small red strawberries.
Never found far from the sea.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Galium aparine
Cleavers, Bedstraw
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Gaultheria shallon
Salal
Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 16 feet (5 meters) in exceptional cases but typically 3-7 feet (1-2 m) tall.
Gilia capitata
Globe Gilia
Upright taprooted annual with large ball-like heads of blue flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Goodyera oblongifolia
Rattlesnake Plantain
Evergreen orchid from short rhizomes with an unusual mottled leaf pattern.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 1.5 feet (45 cm).
Holodiscus discolor
Oceanspray
Multi-stemmed upright shrub with ridged young stems and arching older stems with peeling bark. White flowers.
Common in dry and moist habitats.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Prefers areas that are wet in spring and dry in summer.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Larix occidentalis
Western Larch
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Lithophragma parviflorum
Small-flowered Woodland Star
Delicate herb from slender rhizomes with numerous small bulblets; white star-shaped flowers.
Flowers and seeds while soil is moist (spring).
Height: 2-16 inches (10-40 cm).
Lomatium utriculatum
Spring Gold
Perennial herb with finely lacey foliage and flat-topped umbels of bright yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Lonicera hispidula
Hairy Honeysuckle
Clamboring vine with clusters of light purple tubular flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters) in trees.
Luetkea pectinata
Partridgefoot
Low-growing ground cover with spikes of small white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 6 inches (3 cm) tall.
Mahonia aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
More tolerant of drier sites than Mahonia nervosa.
Height: 2.5 - 6.5 feet (0.8 meters - 2 meters).
Mahonia nervosa
Dull Oregon Grape
Low-growing creeping shrub with dark green holly-like leaves and slender spikes of yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall.
Mimulus lewisii
Pink Monkey-flower
A clump forming perennial with large pinkish-red flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Nothochelone nemorosa
Woodland Penstemon
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Oemleria cerasiformis
Indian Plum, Osoberry
Deciduous shrub producing clusters of white flowers in very early spring. One of the earliest plants to bloom.
Tolerant of fluctuating water tables.
Height: 16.5 feet (5 meters).
Olsynium douglasii
Satin Flower, Grass Widow
Showy tufted perennial resembling a miniature iris topped with large pink to purple flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm).
Oxalis oregana
Wood Sorrel
A delicate herb with clover-like leaves and white to pink flowers, forming carpets in forested areas.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Penstemon davidsonii
Davidson's Penstemon
Low mat-forming perennial with small evergreen leaves and large blue-purple tubular flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) tall.
Penstemon fruticosus
Lowbush Penstemon
Spreading shrub with numerous tubular purple flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 40 cm (1.5 ft) tall.
Penstemon serrulatus
Coast Penstemon
Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Phlox diffusa
Spreading Phlox
Mat forming perennial with showy white to pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Pinus contorta
Shore Pine
Short pine tree, often with crooked trunk and bushy habit.
Tolerant of salt spray.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters).
Plectritis congesta
Sea Blush
Delicate annual herb with large dense clusters of small pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Polemonium pulcherrimum
Showy Jacob's-ladder
Taprooted perennial with mostly basal leaves and blue bell-shaped flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Polystichum munitum
Sword Fern
A large attractive fern with erect evergreen fronds forming a circular crown.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).
Populus tremuloides
Quaking Aspen
Deciduous thicket-forming tree with smooth white bark and leaves that "quake" in the wind.
Can tolerate a wide range of moisture levels.
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas fir
Large coniferous tree with thick, fluted bark.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 300 feet (90 meters).
Quercus garryana
Garry Oak
Beautiful, deciduous, heavy limbed oak tree.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 82 feet (25 meters).
Rhamnus purshiana
Cascara
Erect, tall shrub or small tree with alternate leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters.
FAC-
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters).
Rhododendron macrophyllum
Pacific Rhododendron
Showy shrub that can grow very large, with clusters of large pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 26 feet (8 meters) if grown in shade; shorter and bushier in sunlight.
Ribes sanguineum
Red Flowering Currant
Erect, multi-stemmed shrub with showy clusters of deep pink flowers in early spring.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: 3-10 feet (1-3 meters).
Rosa gymnocarpa
Baldhip Rose
Spindly shrub with brittle weak straight spines and small pink rose flowers.
Common in moist and dry habitats.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Rosa nutkana
Nootka Rose
Spindly shrub with a pair of prickles at the base of each leaf and large pink rose flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Rubus parviflorus
Thimbleberry
Unarmed spreading shrub with large white flowers. Usually forms dense thickets.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Rubus ursinus
Trailing Blackberry
Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: 20 inches (50 cm).
Sedum lanceolatum
Lance-leaved Stonecrop
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Sedum oreganum
Oregon Stonecrop
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Sedum spathulifolium
Broad-leaved Stonecrop
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Solidago canadensis
Canada Goldenrod
Forms patches from long creeping rhizomes. Stems leafy and hairy near the top, with a dense cluster of small yellow flowers.
Common in dry and moist habitats.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Sorbus sitchensis
Sitka-Mountain Ash
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Symphoricarpos albus
Snowberry
Erect shrub with attractive white berries that persist through the winter.
Can tolerate fluctuating water tables.
Height: Up to 6.5 feet (2 meters).
Trientalis latifolia
Broad-leaved Starflower
A small delicate herb with a single whorl of leaves topped by several small, pink, star-shaped flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Tsuga heterophylla
Western hemlock
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen huckleberry
Bushy shrub with small shiny green evergreen leaves and small clusters of pink bell-shaped flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
Height: Up to 4 meters (13 ft) tall.
Viola adunca
Early-blue Violet
A blue flowered violet that grows from slender rhizomes and is stemless in the early season, later grow upright stem.
Common in dry and moist habitats.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Viola sempervirens
Evergreen Violet
A creeping violet with evergreen leaves and yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: dry.
Xerophyllum tenax
Beargrass
Forms a tall grass-like clump of tough leaves topped by a large dense cluster of white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: moist, dry.
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.