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


Native Plants for Full Shade

Abies amabilis
Pacific Silver Fir
An attractive conifer with short dark green needles. Tolerant of shade.
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.
Prefers cool, shady sites.
Height: 6-43 inches (15-110 cm).
Asarum caudatum
Wild Ginger
Low-growing evergreen perennial that smells strongly of lemon-ginger when crushed.
Prefers deeply shaded forests.
Height: Can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
Athyrium filix-femina
Lady Fern
Tall, delicate, light-green fronds from a basal cluster.
Height: Grows 3-6 feet (2 meters) tall.
Blechnum spicant
Deer Fern
Dark green fern leaves grow in tufts from short, stout rhizomes.
Prefers shady areas.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter) tall.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm).
Festuca rubra
Red Fescue
Perennial grass with thread-like leaves forming small patches.
Height: Can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall.
Gaultheria shallon
Salal
Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
Versatile.
Height: Up to 16 feet (5 meters) in exceptional cases but typically 3-7 feet (1-2 m) tall.
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).
Linnaea borealis
Twinflower
Trailing, slender, semi-woody, with short erect leafy stems and dainty bell-shaped flowers.
Height: 4 inches (10 cm).
Mahonia nervosa
Dull Oregon Grape
Low-growing creeping shrub with dark green holly-like leaves and slender spikes of yellow flowers.
Prefers shady areas.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall.
Maianthemum dilatatum
False Lily-of-the-Valley
Quickly spreading ground cover with attractive glossy green leaves.
Prefers shady areas.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall.
Maianthemum stellatum
Starflowered False Solomon's Seal
Oxalis oregana
Wood Sorrel
A delicate herb with clover-like leaves and white to pink flowers, forming carpets in forested areas.
Polystichum munitum
Sword Fern
A large attractive fern with erect evergreen fronds forming a circular crown.
Prefers shady forest understory.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).
Pyrola asarifolia
Pink Wintergreen
A small woodland herb with a basal clump of glossy green leaves and slender spikes of pink flowers.
Taxus brevifolia
Western Yew
Low-growing conifer with deep red-brown bark, flattened sprays of needles, and red berry-like cones.
Tellima grandiflora
Fringecup
Tiarella trifoliata
Foamflower
Herb with erect or ascending stems and spikes of dainty white flowers.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm).
Tolmiea menziesii
Piggy-back Plant
A woodland herb whose leaves give rise to small plantlets.
Trientalis latifolia
Broad-leaved Starflower
A small delicate herb with a single whorl of leaves topped by several small, pink, star-shaped flowers.
Tsuga heterophylla
Western hemlock
Vancouveria hexandra
Inside-out Flower
Rhizomatous perennial with small white flowers and delicate leaves.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).


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