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


Native Plants for Wet Areas

Acer circinatum
Vine Maple
Tall, erect, multi-trunked shrub or small tree with sprawling branches.
Favors well drained moist to wet soils.
Height: 13-26 feet (4-8 meters)
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Broadleaf Water-Plantain
A terminal cluster of small white flowers sits above a tall leafless stem. It grows in marshy or semi-aquatic environments.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: up to 48 inches (120 cm).
Asarum caudatum
Wild Ginger
Low-growing evergreen perennial that smells strongly of lemon-ginger when crushed.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Can grow up to 3 ft. (100 cm.)
Aster modestus
Great Northern Aster
A tall, much-branched perennial with numerous heads of purplish flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Grows up to 40 inches (100 cm).
Aster subspicatus
Douglas Aster
Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Grows up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Athyrium filix-femina
Lady Fern
Tall, delicate, light-green fronds from a basal cluster.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Grows 3-6 feet (2 meters) tall.
Betula glandulosa
Bog Birch
Spreading, small-branched perennial shrub of bogs and wet areas.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall; usually shorter.
Caltha biflora
Marsh Marigold
Perennial herb with large white flowers held above broadly rounded leaves; grows in wet subalpine meadows.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
Caltha palustris
yellow marsh marigold
Large yellow flowers top this creeping, perennial, semi-aquatic herb.
Prefers wet conditions.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Camassia quamash
Common Camas
Bulbous perennial producing a spike of large blue flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Carex cusickii
Cusick's Sedge
A woodland sedge with grass-like leaves and small clusters of tiny greenish flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Carex obnupta
Slough Sedge
Large grass-like plant creating thick patches in coastal wetlands.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Cornus stolonifera
Red-osier Dogwood
Spreading, thicket-forming shrub with bright red stems.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 20 feet (6 meters).
Dryopteris expansa
Spiny Wood Fern
A semi-evergreen fern of woodland areas with triangular fronds from a stout rhizome.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: To 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Eleocharis palustris
Creeping Spikerush
A wetland plant with leafless, grass-like stems topped by small brownish spikes of flowers.
Prefers flooded conditions.
Height: Up to 3 feet (100 cm).
Equisetum arvense
Field Horsetail
Succulent, hollow, jointed stems with whorls of branches.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 6-24 inches (15-60 cm).
Equisetum telmatiea
Giant Horsetail
More robust and larger than common horsetail. Sheaths around its sterile stems have 14-18 teeth.
common in areas with high water tables.
Height: 3-7.5 (10) feet tall; 1-2.3 (3) meters tall.
Eriophorum chamissonis
Chamisso's Cotton-grass
Extensive beds growing from spreading rhizomes or stolons with tufts of cotton-like seed heads.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Erythronium revolutum
Pink fawn lily
Large nodding pink flowers grow from a thick and segmented corm.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Fraxinus latifolia
Oregon Ash
Tough-wooded tree with gray bark and compound leaflets arranged oppositely around twigs.
Prefers to be near streams or areas that flood.
Height: Up to 82 feet (25 meters).
Galium trifidum
Small Bedstraw
Sprawling perennial with numerous stems from slender rhizomes.
FACW+
Height: up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Geum macrophyllum
Large-leaved Avens
Hairy perennial with short rhizomes and big leaves topped by small yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meters).
Glyceria elata
Tall Mannagrass, Fowl Mannagrass
Tall wetland grass.
FACW+
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Glyceria grandis
Reed Mannagrass
very similar to G. elata
FACW+
Height: up to 5 feet (1.5 meters)
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Oak Fern
Delicate, deciduous fronds. Usually solitary, but often forms a mat of herbaceous cover in forests.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: To 16 inches (40 cm).
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Prefers areas that are wet in spring and dry in summer.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Juncus acuminatus
Tapertip Rush
Tufted perennial grass-like plant.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Juncus ensifolius
Daggerleaf Rush
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall.
Juncus tenuis
Slender Rush
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Kalmia microphylla ssp. occidentalis
Bog Laurel
Small, slender-branched shrub with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of bright pink flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Ledum groenlandicum
Labrador Tea
Evergreen, branching shrub with rusty-hairy leaf undersides and white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters).
Lonicera involucrata
Twinberry
Tall shrub with opposite leaves and pairs of small yellow flowers in leaf axils.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 meters tall).
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Moist to wet.
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.
Prefers wet habitat.
Height: 1-5 feet (30-150 cm).
Malus fusca
Pacific Crabapple
Small tree, slender in form, appears thorny; bushy in the open.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 16.5-40 feet (5-12 meters).
Mentha arvensis
Field Mint
A wild mint with small groups of light purple flowers in the leaf axils.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Menyanthes trifoliata
Buckbean
White, curly-haired flowers and large trifoliate leaves decorate this patch-forming plant found in shallow water.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Mimulus guttatus
Yellow Monkey-flower
Large yellow tubular flowers top this deciduous-leaved wetland perennial.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Myrica gale
Sweet Gale
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
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.
Aquatic, grows in shallow water.
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.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Up to 40 inches (1 meter).
Petasites palmatus
Palmate Coltsfoot
Many-stemmed perennial with umbrella-like leaves from creeping rhizomes.
FACW-
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.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Platanthera dilatata
White Rein-Orchid, Bog Candle
Perennial orchid with spikes of white flowers from tuber-like roots.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
Populus balsamifera
Black Cottonwood
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Populus tremuloides
Quaking Aspen
Deciduous thicket-forming tree with smooth white bark and leaves that "quake" in the wind.
Can tolerate a wide range of moisture levels.
Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica
Silverweed
Low growing hairy herb with runners and solitary yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Potentilla gracilis
Graceful Cinquefoil
Light green herb with toothed palmate leaves and diffuse panicles of yellow, saucer-shaped flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Potentilla palustris
Marsh Cinquefoil
Perennial from long, creeping, often floating, somewhat woody rhizomes, with small maroon flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: Ip to 3 feet (1 meter).
Pteridium aquilinum
Bracken Fern
Rhizomous perennial fern with large, much-divided solitary fronds,
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Usually 3-6 feet (1-2 meters) tall, sometimes taller.
Ranunculus sceleratus
Cursed Buttercup
A much-branched herb of wet areas, with tiny yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Rhamnus purshiana
Cascara
Erect, tall shrub or small tree with alternate leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters.
FAC-
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters).
Rorippa palustris
Bog Yellowcress
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Rosa pisocarpa
Swamp Rose
Thicket forming shrub with spiny stems and clusters of pink rose flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Rubus spectabilis
Salmonberry
Erect and branching shrub with early spring pink flowers and reddish-orange raspberry-like fruits.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: Up to 13 feet (4 meters).
Sagittaria latifolia
Wapato, Arrowhead
Tall semi-aquatic perennial of marshes or lake margins, with large arrowhead shaped leaves and small white flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Height: 3 feet (90 cm).
Salix lucida
Pacific Willow
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Salix piperi
Piper's Willow
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Salix sitchensis
Sitka Willow
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
Softstem Bulrush
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Scirpus maritimus
Seacoast Bulrush
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Scirpus microcarpus
Small-flowered Bulrush
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Sisyrinchium californicum
Golden-eyed Grass
A small iris-like plant with yellow flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 16 inches (40 cm).
Sisyrinchium idahoense
Blue-eyed Grass
A small clump-forming iris-like plant with small blue flowers.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 28 inches (40 cm).
Sium suave
Water-parsnip
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Sparganium angustifolium
Narrowleaf Bur-reed
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Sparganium eurycarpum
Broadfruit Bur-reed
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Spiraea douglasii
Douglas' Spirea
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Thuja plicata
Western Red Cedar
Large conifer with branches that droop and then turn back up (J-shaped), broad crowns.
Can establish in drier sites with rich soils.
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.
Preferred moisture levels: wet, moist.
Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
Typha latifolia
Broad-leaved Cattail
A tall wetland plant with long, erect sword-like leaves and dense brown flower spikes.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.
Vaccinium oxycoccus
Bog Cranberry
Creeping perennial of peat bogs, producing pink flowers and dark red cranberries.
Preferred moisture levels: wet.


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