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


Native Plants for Well-drained Soils

Abies grandis
Grand Fir
Abies grandis is a tall, straight tree with short, dense branches.
Abies grandis is susceptible to rot and therefore is typically found in drier soils.
Height: 130-260 feet (40-80 meters).
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)
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).
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).
Allium cernuum
Nodding Onion
Clusters of long grass-like leaves overtopped by nodding umbels of pink flowers.
Prefers dry sandy to rocky soils.
Height: Up to 20 inches (50 cm).
Amelanchier alnifolia
Serviceberry, Saskatoon
Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.
Height: Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Kinnikinnick, Bearberry
A mat-forming evergreen shrub producing lovely pink flowers that later turn into red berries.
Prefers coarse, well-drained soils.
Height: Can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
Aster subspicatus
Douglas Aster
Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.
Height: Grows up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Betula papyrifera
Paper Birch
A small to medium sized deciduous tree with attractive white, peeling papery bark.
Height: Up to 100 feet (30 meters).
Cornus nuttallii
Western Flowering Dogwood
Multi-branched, irregular trees with attractive large white "flowers".
Prefers well-drained sites.
Height: Up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall.
Corylus cornuta
Beaked Hazelnut
Slender, multi-trunked deciduous shrub.
Prefers calcium and nitrogen rich soils.
Height: 3 feet - 13 feet (1 meter - 4 meters).
Elymus glaucus
Blue Wild-rye
Tufted perennial grass usually forming small clumps, 0.5 to 1.5 m tall.
Height: 20-40 inches (0.5-1 meter).
Erythronium oregonum
White Fawn Lily
Showy white lily from segmented corm.
Height: Flower stem up to 1 feet (30 cm) tall.
Festuca rubra
Red Fescue
Perennial grass with thread-like leaves forming small patches.
Will withstand inundation if soil is well drained.
Height: Can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall.
Gilia capitata
Globe Gilia
Upright taprooted annual with large ball-like heads of blue flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Holodiscus discolor
Oceanspray
Multi-stemmed upright shrub with ridged young stems and arching older stems with peeling bark. White flowers.
Prefers well-drained rocky soils.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Myrica californica
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Tall shrub with small evergreen leaves.
Height: Up to 15 feet (5 meters) tall.
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).
Penstemon fruticosus
Lowbush Penstemon
Spreading shrub with numerous tubular purple flowers.
Height: Up to 40 cm (1.5 ft) tall.
Picea sitchensis
Sitka spruce
Large tree with horizontal branches and drooping branchlets
Height: Up to 200 feet (60 meters) tall.
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas fir
Large coniferous tree with thick, fluted bark.
Height: Up to 300 feet (90 meters).
Quercus garryana
Garry Oak
Beautiful, deciduous, heavy limbed oak tree.
Height: Up to 82 feet (25 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 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).
Symphoricarpos albus
Snowberry
Erect shrub with attractive white berries that persist through the winter.
More common in deciduous than coniferous forest.
Height: Up to 6.5 feet (2 meters).
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).
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.
Xerophyllum tenax
Beargrass
Forms a tall grass-like clump of tough leaves topped by a large dense cluster of white flowers.
Tolerates a wide range of soils.
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.