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


Native Plants for Partly Sunny Areas

Abies amabilis
Pacific Silver Fir
An attractive conifer with short dark green needles. Tolerant of shade.
Abies grandis
Grand Fir
Abies grandis is a tall, straight tree with short, dense branches.
Height: 130-260 feet (40-80 meters).
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)
Achillea millefolium
Yarrow
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Loves sun but is also tolerant of shade.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
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).
Amelanchier alnifolia
Serviceberry, Saskatoon
Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Height: Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Aquilegia formosa
Red Columbine
Delicate perennial with large nodding, star-shaped, spurred flowers that are a favorite of hummingbirds.
Height: Can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Aruncus dioicus
Goat's Beard
Tall perennial herb topped with large feathery clusters of white flowers, grows from rhizomes and has multiple stems.
Height: Can grow up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Height: Can grow up to 3 ft. (100 cm.)
Athyrium filix-femina
Lady Fern
Tall, delicate, light-green fronds from a basal cluster.
Height: Grows 3-6 feet (2 meters) tall.
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.
Caltha biflora
Marsh Marigold
Perennial herb with large white flowers held above broadly rounded leaves; grows in wet subalpine meadows.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
Carex obnupta
Slough Sedge
Large grass-like plant creating thick patches in coastal wetlands.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Claytonia perfoliata
Miner's Lettuce
Low-growing, mat-like herbaceous annual with succulent round leaves.
Prefers open to shady forest.
Height: 12 inches (30 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).
Dodecatheon hendersonii
Henderson's Shooting Star
Leafless stems topped with nodding star-shaped pink flowers. This is our only shooting star with oval leaves.
Height: Up to 1.5 feet (50 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.
Epilobium watsonii
Watson's Willowherb
Erect herbaceous perennial with opposite leaves.
Height: Up to 5 feet (150 cm).
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm).
Erythronium oregonum
White Fawn Lily
Showy white lily from segmented corm.
Height: Flower stem up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall.
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.
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: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
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.
Geum macrophyllum
Large-leaved Avens
Hairy perennial with short rhizomes and big leaves topped by small yellow flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meters).
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).
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).
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis
Bog Laurel
Small, slender-branched shrub with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of bright pink flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
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).
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.
Height: Typically up to 20 feet (6 meters).
Lonicera hispidula
Hairy Honeysuckle
Clamboring vine with clusters of light purple tubular flowers.
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters) in trees.
Lonicera involucrata
Twinberry
Tall shrub with opposite leaves and pairs of small yellow flowers in leaf axils.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters tall).
Luetkea pectinata
Partridgefoot
Low-growing ground cover with spikes of small white flowers.
Height: Up to 6 inches (3 cm) tall.
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Height: 3-6 feet (1-2 meters).
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 aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
More tolerant of open sites than Mahonia nervosa.
Height: 2.5 - 6.5 feet (0.8 meters - 2 meters).
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 racemosum
False Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
Starflowered False Solomon's Seal
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.
Height: Up to 15 feet (5 meters) tall.
Nothochelone nemorosa
Woodland Penstemon
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.
Slightly tolerant of shade.
Height: 16.5 feet (5 meters).
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).
Penstemon davidsonii
Davidson's Penstemon
Low mat-forming perennial with small evergreen leaves and large blue-purple tubular flowers.
Height: 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) tall.
Penstemon serrulatus
Coast Penstemon
Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
Height: Up to 30 inches (80 cm).
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).
Picea sitchensis
Sitka spruce
Large tree with horizontal branches and drooping branchlets
Height: Up to 200 feet (60 meters) tall.
Polemonium pulcherrimum
Showy Jacob's-ladder
Taprooted perennial with mostly basal leaves and blue bell-shaped flowers.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata
Self Heal
Fibrous-rooted perennial from short rhizome or stem-base with small purple flowers.
Height: Up to 20 inches (50 cm).
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas fir
Large coniferous tree with thick, fluted bark.
Height: Up to 300 feet (90 meters).
Pteridium aquilinum
Bracken Fern
Rhizomous perennial fern with large, much-divided solitary fronds,
Height: Usually 3-6 feet (1-2 meters) tall, sometimes taller.
Rhamnus purshiana
Cascara
Erect, tall shrub or small tree with alternate leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters.
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters).
Rhododendron macrophyllum
Pacific Rhododendron
Showy shrub that can grow very large, with clusters of large pink flowers.
Height: Up to 26 feet (8 meters) if grown in shade; shorter and bushier in sunlight.
Ribes lacustre
Black Gooseberry
Erect to spreading shrub with spiny stems.
Height: Up to 6.5 feet (2 meters).
Rosa gymnocarpa
Baldhip Rose
Spindly shrub with brittle weak straight spines and small pink rose flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Rubus spectabilis
Salmonberry
Erect and branching shrub with early spring pink flowers and reddish-orange raspberry-like fruits.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Rubus ursinus
Trailing Blackberry
Trailing prickly vine producing small blackberries in late summer.
Height: 20 inches (50 cm).
Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry
Shrub to small tree with clusters of small white flowers and red berries.
Height: 20 feet (6 meters).
Scirpus microcarpus
Small-flowered Bulrush
Sisyrinchium idahoense
Blue-eyed Grass
A small clump-forming iris-like plant with small blue flowers.
Height: 28 inches (40 cm).
Sorbus sitchensis
Sitka-Mountain Ash
Sparganium eurycarpum
Broadfruit Bur-reed
Stachys cooleyae
Cooley's Hedge Nettle
Perennial from rhizomes.
Common in open or in forest under story.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Streptopus amplexifolius
Clasping Twisted Stalk
Perennial herb with a branched zigzagging stem and dangling white flowers.
Height: 3 feet (1 meter).
Symphoricarpos albus
Snowberry
Erect shrub with attractive white berries that persist through the winter.
Prefers sunny edges or clearings.
Height: Up to 6.5 feet (2 meters).
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).
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.
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.
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).
Viburnum edule
High Bush Cranberry
Shrub with bright red berries and brilliant fall foliage.
Height: 3-9 feet (1-3 meters) tall.
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.
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).


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