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


Native Plants for Organic Soils

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.
Blechnum spicant
Deer Fern
Dark green fern leaves grow in tufts from short, stout rhizomes.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter) tall.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Can tolerate nitrogen-poor soils.
Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
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.
Fraxinus latifolia
Oregon Ash
Tough-wooded tree with gray bark and compound leaflets arranged oppositely around twigs.
Prefers saturated .
Height: Up to 82 feet (25 meters).
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.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
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.
Prefers humus-rich soils.
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.
Typically on sloped topography.
Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
Tsuga mertensiana
Mountain Hemlock
Slow growing evergreen conifer.
Height: Up to 40 meters (130 ft) tall, but often shorter.
Urtica dioica
Stinging Nettle
Tall perennial herb with deciduous leaves covered in stinging hairs.
Prefers nutrient-rich soils.
Vaccinium parvifolium
Red Huckleberry
Delicately branched shrub with small red huckleberries, suitable for shady areas on decaying wood.
Needs well decayed wood or bark; usually grows on old stumps and logs.
Height: 4-10 feet (1.5-3 meters).
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.


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