HOME

About WNPS
Administration
Calendar
Contact WNPS
History
How to Donate
Membership
Online Store

Activities
Conservation
Ecosystems
Education
Landscaping
Native Plant Lists
Publications
Research
Restoration

Local Chapters
Field Trips
Programs
Plant Sales
Volunteer

Photo Gallery

Priorities
Garry Oak
Invasive Species
Shrub-Steppe

Programs
Growing Wild
Ivy OUT
WNPS Stewards

An Affiliate of

Earthshare of Washington

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


Native Plants for Mostly Shady Areas

Abies amabilis
Pacific Silver Fir
An attractive conifer with short dark green needles. Tolerant of shade.
Acer circinatum
Vine Maple
Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
Shade tolerant and commonly found in understories.
Height: 13-26 feet (4-8 meters)
Achlys triphylla
Vanilla Leaf
Grows low to the ground, spreading by rhizomes to form dense ground cover in shady areas.
Prefers shady understory.
Height: To 12 inches (30 cm) tall.
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.
Boykinia occidentalis
Slender Boykinia
A slender herb with open panicles of small white flowers.
Height: Up to 24 inches (60 cm).
Brodiaea congesta
Harvest Lily
Long slender stems to 3 feet (1 meter) in length topped by a dense cluster of deep purple flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Carex obnupta
Slough Sedge
Large grass-like plant creating thick patches in coastal wetlands.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Claytonia sibirica
Siberian Spring Beauty
Low-growing delicate herb.
Prefers shady understory, can tolerate direct sun.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Corylus cornuta
Beaked Hazelnut
Slender, multi-trunked deciduous shrub.
Prefers shade.
Height: 3 feet - 13 feet (1 meter - 4 meters).
Dicentra formosa
Bleeding Heart
Hairless, soft stems and light green lacy leaves overtopped by small nodding clusters of pink heart-shaped flowers.
Prefers shady understory.
Height: Up to 1.5 feet (50 cm).
Disporum hookeri
Hooker's Fairybells
Rhizomatous perennial with sparsely branched stems and irregularly curled leaves with hanging white flowers beneath the upper leaves.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meters).
Dryopteris expansa
Spiny Wood Fern
A semi-evergreen fern of woodland areas with triangular fronds from a stout rhizome.
Height: To 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm).
Erythronium revolutum
Pink fawn lily
Large nodding pink flowers grow from a thick and segmented corm.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 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.
Galium trifidum
Small Bedstraw
Sprawling perennial with numerous stems from slender rhizomes.
Height: up to 28 inches (70 cm).
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.
Glyceria elata
Tall Mannagrass, Fowl Mannagrass
Tall wetland grass.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Glyceria grandis
Reed Mannagrass
very similar to G. elata
Height: up to 5 feet (1.5 meters)
Goodyera oblongifolia
Rattlesnake Plantain
Evergreen orchid from short rhizomes with an unusual mottled leaf pattern.
Height: Up to 1.5 feet (45 cm).
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).
Lilium columbianum
Tiger Lily
Linnaea borealis
Twinflower
Trailing, slender, semi-woody, with short erect leafy stems and dainty bell-shaped flowers.
Height: 4 inches (10 cm).
Lysichiton americanum
Skunk Cabbage
A wetland plant with very large waxy erect leaves and yellow flower spikes enclosed in a large yellow sheath.
Grows larger in shady understories.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 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 racemosum
False Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
Starflowered False Solomon's Seal
Myrica californica
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Tall shrub with small evergreen leaves.
Height: Up to 15 feet (5 meters) tall.
Nothochelone nemorosa
Woodland Penstemon
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.
Shade or sun.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter).
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).
Oxalis oregana
Wood Sorrel
A delicate herb with clover-like leaves and white to pink flowers, forming carpets in forested areas.
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
Height: Up to 30 inches (80 cm).
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.
Rhamnus purshiana
Cascara
Erect, tall shrub or small tree with alternate leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters.
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters).
Rubus ursinus
Trailing Blackberry
Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.
Height: 20 inches (50 cm).
Streptopus amplexifolius
Clasping Twisted Stalk
Perennial herb with a branched zigzagging stem and dangling white flowers.
Height: 3 feet (1 meter).
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.
Shade tolerant, will germinate in shady understory.
Height: 100-230 feet (30-70 meters).
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.
Trillium ovatum
Western Trillium
Short stout stems topped with a whorl of three leaves and a single large white flower.
Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
Tsuga heterophylla
Western hemlock
Tsuga mertensiana
Mountain Hemlock
Slow growing evergreen conifer.
Height: Up to 40 meters (130 ft) tall, but often shorter.
Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen huckleberry
Bushy shrub with small shiny green evergreen leaves and small clusters of pink bell-shaped flowers.
Height: Up to 4 meters (13 ft) tall.
Vaccinium parvifolium
Red Huckleberry
Delicately branched shrub with small red huckleberries, suitable for shady areas on decaying wood.
Height: 4-10 feet (1.5-3 meters).
Vancouveria hexandra
Inside-out Flower
Rhizomatous perennial with small white flowers and delicate leaves.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
Viola glabella
Yellow Wood Violet
An attractive yellow-flowered violet of moist open woodlands.


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