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


Native Plants for Nutrient-poor Soils

Achillea millefolium
Yarrow
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Achillea millefolium is capable of enduring poor soil and dry conditions.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
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).
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Can tolerate nitrogen-poor soils.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Gaultheria shallon
Salal
Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
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.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
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.
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Mahonia aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
Tolerant of nutrient-poor, rocky soils.
Height: 2.5 - 6.5 feet (0.8 meters - 2 meters).
Pinus contorta
Shore Pine
Short pine tree, often with crooked trunk and bushy habit.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters).
Sisyrinchium californicum
Golden-eyed Grass
A small iris-like plant with yellow flowers.
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.