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


Native Plants for Low Elevations

Abies grandis
Grand Fir
Abies grandis is a tall, straight tree with short, dense branches.
Acer circinatum
Vine Maple
Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
Height: Found at elevations below 760 meters.
Acer macrophyllum
Big-leaf Maple
A tree with a large, often multi-stemmed trunk and a loose, broad crown of large leaves.
Height: Found mostly west of the Cascades below 300 meters (Kruckeberg).
Achillea millefolium
Yarrow
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Height: Found at nearly all elevations but most common at lower elevations.
Achlys triphylla
Vanilla Leaf
Grows low to the ground, spreading by rhizomes to form dense ground cover in shady areas.
Height: Sea level to 1500 meters.
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.
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.
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.
Allium cernuum
Nodding Onion
Clusters of long grass-like leaves overtopped by nodding umbels of pink flowers.
Alnus rubra
Red Alder
A fast-growing deciduous tree well suited to disturbed sites.
Height: Below about 300 meters elevation.
Amelanchier alnifolia
Serviceberry, Saskatoon
Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly Everlasting
Clump forming, perennial herb with small withering basal leaves and papery white flower clusters.
Aquilegia formosa
Red Columbine
Delicate perennial with large nodding, star-shaped, spurred flowers that are a favorite of hummingbirds.
Arbutus menziesii
Madrone
An attractive broadleaf evergreen with a twisting reddish trunk and irregular branches with an overall rounded outline.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Kinnikinnick, Bearberry
A mat-forming evergreen shrub producing lovely pink flowers that later turn into red berries.
Armeria maritima
Sea-thrift.
Round balls of pink flowers held on slender leafless stems above a cluster of grass-like leaves.
Height: Coastal, below 200 meters elevation.
Aruncus dioicus
Goat's Beard
Tall perennial herb topped with large feathery clusters of white flowers, grows from rhizomes and has multiple stems.
Asarum caudatum
Wild Ginger
Low-growing evergreen perennial that smells strongly of lemon-ginger when crushed.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Aster modestus
Great Northern Aster
A tall, much-branched perennial with numerous heads of purplish flowers.
Aster subspicatus
Douglas Aster
Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.
Athyrium filix-femina
Lady Fern
Tall, delicate, light-green fronds from a basal cluster.
Height: All elevations except alpine.
Betula glandulosa
Bog Birch
Spreading, small-branched perennial shrub of bogs and wet areas.
Betula papyrifera
Paper Birch
A small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive white, peeling papery bark.
Blechnum spicant
Deer Fern
Dark green fern leaves grow in tufts from short, stout rhizomes.
Boykinia occidentalis
Slender Boykinia
A slender herb with open panicles of small white flowers.
Brodiaea congesta
Harvest Lily
Long slender stems to 3 feet (1 meter) in length topped by a dense cluster of deep purple flowers.
Height: Restricted to low elevations.
Brodiaea hyacinthina
Fool's Onion, White Brodiaea
Onion-like plant from an underground corm, with large clusters of white flowers at tip of stems.
Height: 0-2000 m; prefers uplands, but wet prairies also.
Caltha biflora
Marsh Marigold
Perennial herb with large white flowers held above broadly rounded leaves; grows in wet subalpine meadows.
Height: 900-3300 meters elevation.
Caltha palustris
yellow marsh marigold
Large yellow flowers top this creeping, perennial, semi-aquatic herb.
Camassia leitchlinii
Great Camas
Stately perennial from a deep bulb, producing spikes of large blue flowers in early spring.
Camassia quamash
Common Camas
Bulbous perennial producing a spike of large blue flowers.
Campanula rotundifolia
Harebell
Delicate stems topped by large, nodding bell-shaped blue flowers.
Carex cusickii
Cusick's Sedge
A woodland sedge with grass-like leaves and small clusters of tiny greenish flowers.
Carex obnupta
Slough Sedge
Large grass-like plant creating thick patches in coastal wetlands.
Castilleja miniata
Red Paintbrush
An attractive wildflower with red brush-like flower clusters.
Height: Can be found from low to high elevations, but most common in the subalpine.
Ceanothus velutinus
Snowbrush
A tall shrub with glossy leaves and clusters of white flowers.
Cerastium arvense
Field Chickweed
Chamerion angustifolium
Fireweed
Tall perennial from rhizome like roots with unbranched stem and terminal spikes of large red to pink flowers.
Clarkia amoena
Farewell to Spring
A taprooted annual with large showy, usually pink flowers; often grown horticulturally.
Claytonia perfoliata
Miner's Lettuce
Low-growing, mat-like herbaceous annual with succulent round leaves.
Claytonia sibirica
Siberian Spring Beauty
Low-growing delicate herb.
Cornus nuttallii
Western Flowering Dogwood
Multi-branched, irregular trees with attractive large white "flowers".
Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Height: 0-1500 meters.
Corylus cornuta
Beaked Hazelnut
Slender, multi-trunked deciduous shrub.
Height: Below 2100 meters.
Crataegus douglasii
black hawthorn
large shrub or small tree with clusters of white flowers and dark purplish-black berries.
Deschampsia cespitosa
Tufted Hairgrass
Densely tufted perennial grass.
Height: Common at all elevations.
Dicentra formosa
Bleeding Heart
Hairless, soft stems and light green lacy leaves overtopped by small nodding clusters of pink heart-shaped flowers.
Disporum hookeri
Hooker's Fairybells
Rhizomatous perennial with sparsely branched stems and irregularly curled leaves with hanging white flowers beneath the upper leaves.
Height: Prefers low elevations.
Dodecatheon hendersonii
Henderson's Shooting Star
Leafless stems topped with nodding star-shaped pink flowers. This is our only shooting star with oval leaves.
Dryopteris expansa
Spiny Wood Fern
A semi-evergreen fern of woodland areas with triangular fronds from a stout rhizome.
Eleocharis palustris
Creeping Spikerush
A wetland plant with leafless, grass-like stems topped by small brownish spikes of flowers.
Elymus glaucus
Blue Wild-rye
Tufted perennial grass usually forming small clumps, 0.5 to 1.5 m tall.
Height: Below 2500 meters.
Epilobium brachycarpum
Tall Annual Willowherb
Taprooted annual of dry, gravelly or disturbed sites.
Epilobium watsonii
Watson's Willowherb
Erect herbaceous perennial with opposite leaves.
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: Below 3000 meters.
Equisetum telmatiea
Giant Horsetail
More robust and larger than common horsetail. Sheaths around its sterile stems have 14-18 teeth.
Height: Below 1000 meters.
Erigeron philadelphicus
Philadelphia Fleabane
Short-lived perennial with erect stem-base and taproot or fibrous roots.
Eriophorum chamissonis
Chamisso's Cotton-grass
Extensive beds growing from spreading rhizomes or stolons with tufts of cotton-like seed heads.
Eriophyllum lanatum
Woolly Sunflower
Wooly leafy perennial with yellow daisy-like flowers.
Erythronium oregonum
White Fawn Lily
Showy white lily from segmented corm.
Erythronium revolutum
Pink fawn lily
Large nodding pink flowers grow from a thick and segmented corm.
Festuca rubra
Red Fescue
Perennial grass with thread-like leaves forming small patches.
Height: Below 2500 meters.
Fragaria chiloensis
Coastal Strawberry
Spreads low across ground with runners. White flowers and small red strawberries.
Fragaria vesca
Woodland strawberry
A wild strawberry with thin leaves, low, short runners, white flowers, and small red strawberries.
Fragaria virginiana
Wild strawberry
Low growing wild strawberry with runners, white flowers, and small red strawberries.
Fraxinus latifolia
Oregon Ash
Tough-wooded tree with gray bark and compound leaflets arranged oppositely around twigs.
Fritillaria lanceolata
Chocolate Lily, Rice Root
Rare herb to 80 cm tall from bulb with numerous rice-like bulblets; flowers are mottled maroon and yellow.
Height: From sea level to nearly sub-alpine.
Galium aparine
Cleavers, Bedstraw
Galium trifidum
Small Bedstraw
Sprawling perennial with numerous stems from slender rhizomes.
Height: Common from low to fairly high elevations.
Gaultheria shallon
Salal
Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
Geum macrophyllum
Large-leaved Avens
Hairy perennial with short rhizomes and big leaves topped by small yellow flowers.
Gilia capitata
Globe Gilia
Upright taprooted annual with large ball-like heads of blue flowers.
Glyceria elata
Tall Mannagrass, Fowl Mannagrass
Tall wetland grass.
Glyceria grandis
Reed Mannagrass
very similar to G. elata
Goodyera oblongifolia
Rattlesnake Plantain
Evergreen orchid from short rhizomes with an unusual mottled leaf pattern.
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Oak Fern
Delicate, deciduous fronds. Usually solitary, but often forms a mat of herbaceous cover in forests.
Height: Mostly found at mid-elevations.
Heuchera micrantha
Small-flowered Alumroot
Grows from rhizomes with one to many flower stems that are reddish and covered with fine hairs and topped with delicate panicles of tiny white flowers.
Holodiscus discolor
Oceanspray
Multi-stemmed upright shrub with ridged young stems and arching older stems with peeling bark. White flowers.
Hordeum brachyantherum
Meadow Barley
Grass with erect stems that are bent at the base and sometimes hairy on the leaf sheaths.
Hydrophyllum tenuipes
Pacific Waterleaf
Single leafy, hairy stem grows from rhizomes and fleshy fibrous roots; with small clusters of greenish-white flowers.
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Juncus acuminatus
Tapertip Rush
Tufted perennial grass-like plant.
Juncus ensifolius
Daggerleaf Rush
Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis
Bog Laurel
Small, slender-branched shrub with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of bright pink flowers.
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Lilium columbianum
Tiger Lily
Linnaea borealis
Twinflower
Trailing, slender, semi-woody, with short erect leafy stems and dainty bell-shaped flowers.
Lithophragma parviflorum
Small-flowered Woodland Star
Delicate herb from slender rhizomes with numerous small bulblets; white star-shaped flowers.
Lomatium utriculatum
Spring Gold
Perennial herb with finely lacey foliage and flat-topped umbels of bright yellow flowers.
Lonicera ciliosa
Orange Honeysuckle
Climbing vine with clusters of tubular bright orange flowers.
Lonicera hispidula
Hairy Honeysuckle
Clamboring vine with clusters of light purple tubular flowers.
Lonicera involucrata
Twinberry
Tall shrub with opposite leaves and pairs of small yellow flowers in leaf axils.
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Lysichiton americanum
Skunk Cabbage
A wetland plant with very large waxy erect leaves and yellow flower spikes enclosed in a large yellow sheath.
Height: Sea level to 1300 meters.
Mahonia aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
Height: Below 1200 meters elevation.
Mahonia nervosa
Dull Oregon Grape
Low-growing creeping shrub with dark green holly-like leaves and slender spikes of yellow flowers.
Maianthemum dilatatum
False Lily-of-the-Valley
Quickly spreading ground cover with attractive glossy green leaves.
Maianthemum racemosum
False Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
Starflowered False Solomon's Seal
Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
Height: Up to 2500 ft in Cascades.
Mentha arvensis
Field Mint
A wild mint with small groups of light purple flowers in the leaf axils.
Menyanthes trifoliata
Buckbean
White, curly-haired flowers and large trifoliate leaves decorate this patch-forming plant found in shallow water.
Mimulus guttatus
Yellow Monkey-flower
Large yellow tubular flowers top this deciduous-leaved wetland perennial.
Myrica californica
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Tall shrub with small evergreen leaves.
Myrica gale
Sweet Gale
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.
Oemleria cerasiformis
Indian Plum, Osoberry
Deciduous shrub producing clusters of white flowers in very early spring. One of the earliest plants to bloom.
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.
Olsynium douglasii
Satin Flower, Grass Widow
Showy tufted perennial resembling a miniature iris topped with large pink to purple flowers.
Oplopanax horridus
Devil's Club
An erect to sprawling shrub with thick, spiny, crooked stems and very large leaves.
Oxalis oregana
Wood Sorrel
A delicate herb with clover-like leaves and white to pink flowers, forming carpets in forested areas.
Penstemon serrulatus
Coast Penstemon
Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
Physocarpus capitatus
Pacific Ninebark
Erect to spreading shrub up to 4 meters tall with clusters of white flowers.
Picea sitchensis
Sitka spruce
Large tree with horizontal branches and drooping branchlets
Pinus contorta
Shore Pine
Short pine tree, often with crooked trunk and bushy habit.
Plectritis congesta
Sea Blush
Delicate annual herb with large dense clusters of small pink flowers.
Polystichum munitum
Sword Fern
A large attractive fern with erect evergreen fronds forming a circular crown.
Populus balsamifera
Black Cottonwood
Populus tremuloides
Quaking Aspen
Deciduous thicket-forming tree with smooth white bark and leaves that "quake" in the wind.
Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica
Silverweed
Low growing hairy herb with runners and solitary yellow flowers.
Potentilla gracilis
Graceful Cinquefoil
Light green herb with toothed palmate leaves and diffuse panicles of yellow, saucer-shaped flowers.
Potentilla palustris
Marsh Cinquefoil
Perennial from long, creeping, often floating, somewhat woody rhizomes, with small maroon flowers.
Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata
Self Heal
Fibrous-rooted perennial from short rhizome or stem-base with small purple flowers.
Prunus emarginata var. mollis
Bitter Cherry
Shrub or small tree with white flowers and small red cherries.
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas fir
Large coniferous tree with thick, fluted bark.
Pteridium aquilinum
Bracken Fern
Rhizomous perennial fern with large, much-divided solitary fronds,
Pyrola asarifolia
Pink Wintergreen
A small woodland herb with a basal clump of glossy green leaves and slender spikes of pink flowers.
Quercus garryana
Garry Oak
Beautiful, deciduous, heavy limbed oak tree.
Ranunculus occidentalis
Western Buttercup
Slender perennial herb with fibrous roots and yellow flowers.
Ranunculus sceleratus
Cursed Buttercup
A much-branched herb of wet areas, with tiny yellow flowers.
Rhamnus purshiana
Cascara
Erect, tall shrub or small tree with alternate leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters.
Rhododendron macrophyllum
Pacific Rhododendron
Showy shrub that can grow very large, with clusters of large pink flowers.
Ribes lacustre
Black Gooseberry
Erect to spreading shrub with spiny stems.
Ribes sanguineum
Red Flowering Currant
Erect, multi-stemmed shrub with showy clusters of deep pink flowers in early spring.
Rorippa curvisiliqua
Curvepod Yellowcress
Rorippa palustris
Bog Yellowcress
Rosa gymnocarpa
Baldhip Rose
Spindly shrub with brittle weak straight spines and small pink rose flowers.
Rosa nutkana
Nootka Rose
Spindly shrub with a pair of prickles at the base of each leaf and large pink rose flowers.
Rosa pisocarpa
Swamp Rose
Thicket forming shrub with spiny stems and clusters of pink rose flowers.
Rubus parviflorus
Thimbleberry
Unarmed spreading shrub with large white flowers. Usually forms dense thickets.
Rubus spectabilis
Salmonberry
Erect and branching shrub with early spring pink flowers and reddish-orange raspberry-like fruits.
Rubus ursinus
Trailing Blackberry
Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.
Sagittaria latifolia
Wapato, Arrowhead
Tall semi-aquatic perennial of marshes or lake margins, with large arrowhead shaped leaves and small white flowers.
Salix lucida
Pacific Willow
Salix piperi
Piper's Willow
Salix sitchensis
Sitka Willow
Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry
Shrub to small tree with clusters of small white flowers and red berries.
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
Softstem Bulrush
Scirpus maritimus
Seacoast Bulrush
Scirpus microcarpus
Small-flowered Bulrush
Sedum lanceolatum
Lance-leaved Stonecrop
Sedum spathulifolium
Broad-leaved Stonecrop
Sisyrinchium californicum
Golden-eyed Grass
A small iris-like plant with yellow flowers.
Sisyrinchium idahoense
Blue-eyed Grass
A small clump-forming iris-like plant with small blue flowers.
Sium suave
Water-parsnip
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.
Sparganium angustifolium
Narrowleaf Bur-reed
Sparganium eurycarpum
Broadfruit Bur-reed
Spiraea douglasii
Douglas' Spirea
Stachys cooleyae
Cooley's Hedge Nettle
Perennial from rhizomes.
Height: Only common at lower elevations.
Streptopus amplexifolius
Clasping Twisted Stalk
Perennial herb with a branched zigzagging stem and dangling white flowers.
Symphoricarpos albus
Snowberry
Erect shrub with attractive white berries that persist through the winter.
Taxus brevifolia
Western Yew
Low-growing conifer with deep red-brown bark, flattened sprays of needles, and red berry-like cones.
Tellima grandiflora
Fringecup
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
Large conifer with branches that droop and then turn back up (J-shaped), broad crowns.
Height: Sea level to 1250 meters.
Tiarella trifoliata
Foamflower
Herb with erect or ascending stems and spikes of dainty white flowers.
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.
Trillium ovatum
Western Trillium
Short stout stems topped with a whorl of three leaves and a single large white flower.
Height: Sea level to 1200 meters.
Tsuga heterophylla
Western hemlock
Typha latifolia
Broad-leaved Cattail
A tall wetland plant with long, erect sword-like leaves and dense brown flower spikes.
Urtica dioica
Stinging Nettle
Tall perennial herb with deciduous leaves covered in stinging hairs.
Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen huckleberry
Bushy shrub with small shiny green evergreen leaves and small clusters of pink bell-shaped flowers.
Vaccinium oxycoccus
Bog Cranberry
Creeping perennial of peat bogs, producing pink flowers and dark red cranberries.
Vaccinium parvifolium
Red Huckleberry
Delicately branched shrub with small red huckleberries, suitable for shady areas on decaying wood.
Vancouveria hexandra
Inside-out Flower
Rhizomatous perennial with small white flowers and delicate leaves.
Viburnum edule
High Bush Cranberry
Shrub with bright red berries and brilliant fall foliage.
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.
Viola glabella
Yellow Wood Violet
An attractive yellow-flowered violet of moist open woodlands.
Viola sempervirens
Evergreen Violet
A creeping violet with evergreen leaves and yellow flowers.
Xerophyllum tenax
Beargrass
Forms a tall grass-like clump of tough leaves topped by a large dense cluster of white flowers.


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