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


Natives With Showy Flowers

Achillea millefolium
Yarrow
Aromatic herb with delicate fern-like leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
Flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters 5-10 cm (2-4 in) across at stem tips. What appear to be single flowers within this cluster are actually tight heads of several tiny flowers, each head with 3-5 white ray flowers surrounding several yellow disk flowers; both ray and disk flowers produce seeds. The ray flowers are usually white but can also be pink or reddish. Flowers bloom later at higher elevations.
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.
Flowers have 5 long, straight red spurs with bulbous, glandular tips. Stamens and styles protrude from a central tuft. Each plant usually has 2-5 drooping flowers; primary color: red with yellow tinge.
Aruncus dioicus
Goat's Beard
Tall perennial herb topped with large feathery clusters of white flowers, grows from rhizomes and has multiple stems.
Male plants have the showiest flowers.. Height: Can grow up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall.
Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Flowers are densely packed in elongated terminal feathery clusters. Flower branchlets are spike-like. Each saucer-shaped flower is white to cream with petals to about 1 mm long.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Height: Can grow up to 3 ft. (100 cm.)
Each flower has 15-40 lavender to white ray flowers that range from 5-15 mm long with numerous small yellow disk flowers in the center. Each composite flower head is cupped by a green involucral of bracts that are 5-7 mm high and mostly blunt at the tip. The ray flowers of this plant are often mistaken for petals. The center of the flower contains tiny, tubular disk flowers.
Aster modestus
Great Northern Aster
A tall, much-branched perennial with numerous heads of purplish flowers.
Height: Grows up to 40 inches (100 cm).
Each flowerhead contains 20-45 very narrow ray flowers surrounding a center of numerous disk flowers. Ray flowers are violet or purple; disk flowers are yellow to greenish. Beneath the flowers are the involucres - narrowly lance-shaped, spotted bracts that range between 7-11 mm high. Note: The bracts have small glands.
Brodiaea hyacinthina
Fool's Onion, White Brodiaea
Onion-like plant from an underground corm, with large clusters of white flowers at tip of stems.
Height: 10-30 inches (25-70 cm).
In large umbel at top of a slender stalk 25-70 cm (10-28 in) tall and surpassing leaves. 3-5 bracts below umbel are small and papery. Each braodly bell-shaped flower is white to light blue, with blue or green veins; size: 1-1.5 cm long.
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).
1-2 flowers emerging from a stem with one leaf. Flowers lack true petals but have 5-7 bright white sepals and many stamens. Fize: 1.5-4 cm (.6-1.5 in) across.
Caltha palustris
yellow marsh marigold
Large yellow flowers top this creeping, perennial, semi-aquatic herb.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Usually two flowers per stem; each flower has 5-12 yellow sepals and numerous stamens. Flower size: 1.5-4 cm (0.6-2 in) wide.
Camassia leitchlinii
Great Camas
Stately perennial from a deep bulb, producing spikes of large blue flowers in early spring.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
5 or more deep blue (rarely white) flowers in a long terminal spike; the tepals (petals) of the great camas eventually twist together to cover and protect the fruit which distinguishes it from the common camas; anthers are dull yellow/violet; size: 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long.
Camassia quamash
Common Camas
Bulbous perennial producing a spike of large blue flowers.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
5 or more pale to deep blue (rarely white) flowers in terminal spike, the common camas has five tepals curved upwards and the 6th curved downward; anthers are bright yellow. Size: 3.5 cm (1.4 in) across.
Campanula rotundifolia
Harebell
Delicate stems topped by large, nodding bell-shaped blue flowers.
Height: 4-32 inches (10-80 cm).
Large, nodding bell-shaped blue or purplish-blue flowers (rarely white); sepals hairy at fused base with awl-shaped lobes; 5 fused petals. Flowers single several on thin, wiry stalks atop stem. Size: 1.5-3 cm (.6-1 in) long.
Chamerion angustifolium
Fireweed
Tall perennial from rhizome like roots with unbranched stem and terminal spikes of large red to pink flowers.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters), but usually shorter than 6 feet (2 meters).
Stalked, sepals 4, petals 4, stigma 4 lobed; several to many (15+) in long cluster atop stem; primary color: pink to red/purple; size: 2-4 cm (0.8-1.5 in) wide.
Clarkia amoena
Farewell to Spring
A taprooted annual with large showy, usually pink flowers; often grown horticulturally.
Height: 4 inches to 3 feet (10-100 cm).
Few to many flowers in loose, leafy-bracted clusters. Each flower has four petals, dark spotted in the center, 1-4 cm long, and 8 stamens. Primary color: pink to rose-purple; size: 6 cm (2.5 in) across.
Cornus nuttallii
Western Flowering Dogwood
Multi-branched, irregular trees with attractive large white "flowers".
Height: Up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall.
Small, inconspicuous cluster of greenish-white flowers surrounded by 4-6 large, showy white bracts 2-7 cm long that appear to form a single flower. Sometimes will bloom again in September.
Cornus unalaschkensis
Bunchberry
Low, trailing, rhizomatous perennial with white flowers.
Semi-evergreen groundcover. Work rotting bark, wood, etc. into the soil when planting.. Height: Up to 10 inches (25 cm).
What looks like a single large flower is actually four white bracts with a small cluster of greenish-white flowers in the center. Each flower has 4 sepals, 4 stamens, 4 petals. May bloom twice (late spring and again in late summer). Size: 2.5 cm (1 in) across (including bracts).
Crataegus douglasii
black hawthorn
large shrub or small tree with clusters of white flowers and dark purplish-black berries.
Stinky odor; 5 petals, 5 styles, 10-20 stamens; flowers are in clusters borne terminally or in leaf axis; primary color: white; size: 1 cm across.
Dodecatheon hendersonii
Henderson's Shooting Star
Leafless stems topped with nodding star-shaped pink flowers. This is our only shooting star with oval leaves.
Well suited to a rock garden.. Height: Up to 1.5 feet (50 cm).
Distinctive with the 5 pink petals swept backwards, united at base in yellow collar with a wavy purple ring; 5 stamens, the stalks united into a maroon tube 1.5-3 mm long; yellow to reddish anthers 4-7mm long; flower size: 10-20 mm long.
Eriophyllum lanatum
Woolly Sunflower
Wooly leafy perennial with yellow daisy-like flowers.
Long lasting flowers; forms mats.. Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Daisy-like. Ray flowers 8-13, yellow, 1-2 cm long. Disk flowers yellow. Involucre 9-12 mm high, the bracts firm, erect, embracing the ray achenes. Heads single on long stalks; size: 3-5 cm (1-2 in) across.
Erythronium oregonum
White Fawn Lily
Showy white lily from segmented corm.
Good in a woodland garden when planted in masses. Dies back in winter.. Height: Flower stem up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall.
Tepals (petals) white with yellow bases, bent back; anthers yellow. Flowers usually single terminal and nodding.
Erythronium revolutum
Pink fawn lily
Large nodding pink flowers grow from a thick and segmented corm.
Should be planted in woodlands and along waterways. Deep bulb-like corm requires 5-7 years before flowering.. Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Tepals bent back, single, terminal, nodding; primary color: bright rose-pink.
Gilia capitata
Globe Gilia
Upright taprooted annual with large ball-like heads of blue flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Small, stalkless, and numerous in dense, bractless, ball-shaped heads at tips of stems and branches; primary color: light-blue; each flower is 6-10 mm long.
Grindelia integrifolia
Entire-leaved Gumweed
Seaside perennial with sticky heads of yellow flowers.
Height: Can grow up to 32 inches (80 cm) in height.
Flowe heads are hemispheric, with 10-35 yellow ray flowers and numerous yellow disk flowers; involucral bracts have sticky, glandular resin and long, slender spreading tips; size: ray: 8-20 mm long; disc head: 1-3 cm wide.
Helenium autumnale
Mountain Sneezeweed
Holodiscus discolor
Oceanspray
Multi-stemmed upright shrub with ridged young stems and arching older stems with peeling bark. White flowers.
Nice background plant.. Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Flowers are in dense terminal pyramidal cluster, 10-17 cm long; 5 white petals, 20 stamens, mostly 5 pistils, ovary is two-ovuled; flower clusters turn brown and remain on plants over winter; primary color: white to cream; size: 5 mm across.
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Sepals and petals to 6 cm (2.5 in) long; 1-2 flowers on each flowering stems; primary color: blue to purple with yellow/white highlights.
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).
Several in loose, terminal clusters; 10 stamens, the tip of each tucked into a small pouch in a petal, and held under tension like a bow; the stamens pop out when stimulated by touch; primary color: pink to rose; size: 2 cm (.8 in) across; shape: saucer-shaped.
Lilium columbianum
Tiger Lily
Lithophragma parviflorum
Small-flowered Woodland Star
Delicate herb from slender rhizomes with numerous small bulblets; white star-shaped flowers.
Height: 2-16 inches (10-40 cm).
5 to 11 flowers in a compact to elongated cluster at top of stem; 5 petals, 3-fingered. Plants along the coast of Washington and Oregon appear to have distinctly pinkish- to purplish-tinged stems and flowers; size: 1 cm wide.
Lonicera ciliosa
Orange Honeysuckle
Climbing vine with clusters of tubular bright orange flowers.
Height: Typically up to 20 feet (6 meters).
Flowers narrowly trumpet-shaped flaring to 5 lobes, bright orange; in whorls above end-pair disks at stem tips; can become purple when drying; size: 2-4 cm (.8-1.5 in) long.
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Widely cultivated as a garden ornamental; many colors and shades have been developed.. Height: 3-6 feet (1-2 meters).
Shaped like a pea flower; flower stalks are short; primary color: bluish-purple, brown with age; vary from pale blue to dark violet or purple; occasionally all-white; arranged in spikes 12-28 inches long along upper section of main stem.
Lysichiton americanum
Skunk Cabbage
A wetland plant with very large waxy erect leaves and yellow flower spikes enclosed in a large yellow sheath.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Numerous small flowers on thick axis (spadix) that is hooded by a large bright yellow bract/sheath, gives off skunk-like odor when flowering, flowers before the leaves appear; primary color: greenish-yellow; size: 6-8 cm (2.5-3 in) thick, 30 cm (12 in) long.
Mahonia aquifolium
Tall Oregon Grape
Erect, stiff-branched shrub with holly-like leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
Use as a hedge or individually; prune lightly.. Height: 2.5 - 6.5 feet (0.8 meters - 2 meters).
Many in erect clusters that are up to 20 cm (8 in) long, flower parts in sixes; primary color: bright yellow; size: about 0.5 cm (0.25 inches) long.
Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
Plant near waterways, wetlands, or other moist sites. Very salt-tolerant.. Height: 16.5-40 feet (5-12 meters).
fragrant white to pink apple blossoms in small clusters; pretty in bloom, but small; size: 9-14 mm long; shape: petals oblong-oval to obovate.
Mimulus guttatus
Yellow Monkey-flower
Large yellow tubular flowers top this deciduous-leaved wetland perennial.
Good in seeps. Spreads readily..
Mimulus lewisii
Pink Monkey-flower
A clump forming perennial with large pinkish-red flowers.
Olsynium douglasii
Satin Flower, Grass Widow
Showy tufted perennial resembling a miniature iris topped with large pink to purple flowers.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm).
Satiny in appearance, usually 2 terminal flowers above leaf-like bracts; primary color: pinkish-purple; size: 4 cm (1.5 in); shape: 6 large oval petals.
Penstemon davidsonii
Davidson's Penstemon
Low mat-forming perennial with small evergreen leaves and large blue-purple tubular flowers.
Suitable for dry banks or rock gardens.. Height: 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) tall.
Large blue-purple tubular flowers 1-3 cm long.
Penstemon fruticosus
Lowbush Penstemon
Spreading shrub with numerous tubular purple flowers.
Suitable for dry banks or rock gardens.. Height: Up to 40 cm (1.5 ft) tall.
Large tubular purple flowers are produced in late spring or early summer, in spikes of 3-10 at tops of stems.
Philadelphus lewisii
Mock Orange
Erect, loosely branched shrub with large fragrant white flowers.
The shrub has showy and aromatic flowers and has horticulture potential in native plant gardens. Highly adaptable.. Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
4 petals; numerous stamens; 3-15 in clusters at the end of lateral branches; size: 2-3 across.
Phlox diffusa
Spreading Phlox
Mat forming perennial with showy white to pink flowers.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Showy; 5 sepals fused into whitened, long-hairy tube with sharp lobes; petals fused into tube 9-17 mm long, spreading flat into 5-9 mm long lobes, solitary and stalkless at ends of stems and branches; primary color: pink to lavender or whitish; size: 1.3 cm across.
Platanthera dilatata
White Rein-Orchid, Bog Candle
Perennial orchid with spikes of white flowers from tuber-like roots.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
White to greenish tinge, waxy, small but very fragrant, spur slender, cylindrical, curved longer than lip, 5-30 flowers in loose to densely packed terminal spikes.
Plectritis congesta
Sea Blush
Delicate annual herb with large dense clusters of small pink flowers.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Pink or rarely white, small (2-8 mm long), petals 5, fused in two lips, with a thick spur; several to many in head-like or spike-like, terminal clusters.
Polemonium pulcherrimum
Showy Jacob's-ladder
Taprooted perennial with mostly basal leaves and blue bell-shaped flowers.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Blue with yellow centers, showy, bell-shaped, 7-13 mm long and as wide; petals rounded at tip; in crowded clusters at top of stems.
Ranunculus occidentalis
Western Buttercup
Slender perennial herb with fibrous roots and yellow flowers.
Height: Up to 2 feet (60 cm).
Yellow, 10-25 mm wide; sepals and petals normally 5 to 8; sepals hairy, bent downwards and falling off early; several at the ends of long stalks; primary color: bright yellow; shape: saucer shaped.
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.
Pink to rose-purple, bell-shaped, 5-lobed (the lobes have wavy edges), 2-4 cm long; few to many in showy terminal clusters.
Ribes sanguineum
Red Flowering Currant
Erect, multi-stemmed shrub with showy clusters of deep pink flowers in early spring.
Height: 3-10 feet (1-3 meters).
In erect or drooping clusters of 10-20 flowers; pale pink to deep red; size: 3-10 mm long; shape: tubular. Flowers appear just prior to leaf emergence.
Rosa gymnocarpa
Baldhip Rose
Spindly shrub with brittle weak straight spines and small pink rose flowers.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
5 petals, numerous stamens; flowers borne singly at the end of branches; primary color: pale pink; size: 1-2 cm across; shape: saucer-shaped.
Rosa nutkana
Nootka Rose
Spindly shrub with a pair of prickles at the base of each leaf and large pink rose flowers.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Large flower borne singly or in pairs of 2-3 at the branch tips; primary color: pink; size: 4-8 cm across; shape: saucer-shaped.
Rubus parviflorus
Thimbleberry
Unarmed spreading shrub with large white flowers. Usually forms dense thickets.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters).
Petals white, crinkled like tissue paper, 2-3 cm long; several (3-11) in long stemmed terminal cluster.
Sedum lanceolatum
Lance-leaved Stonecrop
Sedum oreganum
Oregon Stonecrop
Sedum species are easy rock garden plants..
Sedum spathulifolium
Broad-leaved Stonecrop
Sedum species are easy to grow rock garden plants..
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.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Numerous flower heads in dense pyramidal cluster; ray flowers 10-17, 1-3 mm long; involucres 3-6mm x 3-5mm, long-pointed bracts that sometimes overlap, sometimes sticky and glandular.
Trillium ovatum
Western Trillium
Short stout stems topped with a whorl of three leaves and a single large white flower.
Requires 4-5 years to grow from seed to flower.. Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
The solitary flower has three white petals 2.5-5 cm long by 1.8-4.5 cm wide, with 6 fuzzy yellow stamens and three green sepals beneath. The petals turn pink to purple with age.
Viola adunca
Early-blue Violet
A blue flowered violet that grows from slender rhizomes and is stemless in the early season, later grow upright stem.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Flowers have slender spur which is half as long as lowest petal; the lower 3 petals often have a whitish base or whitish highlights, the lateral pair of petals are white-bearded; primary color: blue to deep violet; size: 1.5 cm long.


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