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


Native Plants for Nutrient-rich Soils

Acer circinatum
Vine Maple
Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
Prefers well drained, nitrogen-rich soils.
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.
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 humus rich soils and well-drained, moist sites. Tolerant of serpentine soils.
Height: 6-43 inches (15-110 cm).
Asarum caudatum
Wild Ginger
Low-growing evergreen perennial that smells strongly of lemon-ginger when crushed.
Prefers rich soils.
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.
Claytonia sibirica
Siberian Spring Beauty
Low-growing delicate herb.
Prefers nutrient-rich, moist soils.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
Prefers seasonally inundated soils.
Height: Up to 20 feet (6 meters).
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Can tolerate nitrogen-poor soils.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
Corylus cornuta
Beaked Hazelnut
Slender, multi-trunked deciduous shrub.
Prefers calcium and nitrogen rich soils.
Height: 3 feet - 13 feet (1 meter - 4 meters).
Deschampsia cespitosa
Tufted Hairgrass
Densely tufted perennial grass.
Grows vigorously in nutrient-rich sites.
Height: Up to 4 feet (120 cm) tall.
Hydrophyllum tenuipes
Pacific Waterleaf
Single leafy, hairy stem grows from rhizomes and fleshy fibrous roots; with small clusters of greenish-white flowers.
Prefers rich, moist soils.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Oemleria cerasiformis
Indian Plum, Osoberry
Deciduous shrub producing clusters of white flowers in very early spring. One of the earliest plants to bloom.
Prefers nutrient rich soils.
Height: 16.5 feet (5 meters).
Oplopanax horridus
Devil's Club
An erect to sprawling shrub with thick, spiny, crooked stems and very large leaves.
Found often in wet, but well-drained seepage sites.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
Can tolerate several soil types.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Physocarpus capitatus
Pacific Ninebark
Erect to spreading shrub up to 4 meters tall with clusters of white flowers.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Ranunculus occidentalis
Western Buttercup
Slender perennial herb with fibrous roots and yellow flowers.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Rosa nutkana
Nootka Rose
Spindly shrub with a pair of prickles at the base of each leaf and large pink rose flowers.
Prefers rich soils.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
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.
Prefers soils rich in nutrients.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Stachys cooleyae
Cooley's Hedge Nettle
Perennial from rhizomes.
Prefers nutrient rich, mucky, peaty soils.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
Large conifer with branches that droop and then turn back up (J-shaped), broad crowns.
Prefers nutrient rich soils with poor drainage.
Height: 100-230 feet (30-70 meters).
Tolmiea menziesii
Piggy-back Plant
A woodland herb whose leaves give rise to small plantlets.
Urtica dioica
Stinging Nettle
Tall perennial herb with deciduous leaves covered in stinging hairs.
Prefers nutrient-rich soils.
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.