- Northern SpicebushScientific name: Lindera benzoin Crush a leaf. Smell it. Love it. Features: tolerant of dense shade grows well under black walnut, or beech trees (juglone tolerant) food and host plant for spicebush butterfly leaves can be used to repel mosquitoes (*yet to verify, but it still smells great*) early spring bloomers with yellow flowers that […]
- Silky WillowScientific name: Salix sericea This plant has a very high wildlife value (similar in value to oak trees). I’ve only had it in the ground for about 3 years and it always provides me with something exciting to watch (even when it’s not being visited by wildlife). In the wind, the willow-shaped leaves shimmer as […]
- PokeberryScientific name: Phytolacca americana L. Growing up, I always thought of pokeberry as a weed because everyone told me it was just an ugly weed, and it is more commonly referred to as “Pokeweed”. When I saw it rising from the garden, I had to retrain my mind to appreciate its beauty. From its rose-colored stems […]
- Pitch PineScientific name: Pinus rigida We planted this baby pitch pine, and then relocated it to a place where it will have more sun. I’m really excited about this one, though, I wasn’t expecting to see the magic happen until much later in (my) life. As a mature tree, its branches twist and bend, and it […]
- Prickly Pear CactusScientific name: Opuntia humifusa This prickly pear cactus was given to us by a neighbor, and freshly planted in the garden sometime in early September of 2021. We are very excited to see what it does and how well it grows. It’s native, and (bonus) edible! Planted in a dry location in full sun.
- Shortleaf SpikesedgeScientific name: Kyllinga brevifolia Found some in the back yard. Seems to like part shade. It’s a native (according to the Seek app.) Also, according to the Seek app, the scientific name is Cyperus brevifolius, but according to Google, it also goes by Kyllinga brevifolia.
- Small-Flowered CrowfootScientific name: Ranunculus micranthus It’s native and a prolific spreader. The deer occasionally eat it. I’ve been using it as stringy tall-ish ground cover. It only grows to about 16″ tall. Lately, I’ve been looking up the benefits of different plants, and I’ll need to get back to you on my observations for this one. […]
- Creeping PhloxScientific name: Phlox stolonifera An early spring bloomer, this groundcover won’t tolerate a lot of foot traffic, but it’ll come back for your viewing pleasure year after year, and it spreads relatively quickly. It’s also very resistant to deer, and remains relatively green throughout most of the winter. You can divide it after it has […]
- NimblewillScientific name: Muhlenbergia schreberi A delicate and wispy native grass that is most hated by all lawn lovers. However, if you are interested in naturalizing your property, this grass can be your best friend. It’s a very prolific spreader, and not easy to kill by accident… Actually, you’ll have a hard time killing it on […]
- Common Blue VioletScientific name: Viola sororia In searching for more information about this beautiful native plant, I found a lot of false information. Multiple websites call it “invasive”. People tend to falsely label plants as “invasive” because they don’t understand how it is used with respect to plant/animal life. By definition, an invasive plant or animal is […]
- Wild SennaScientific name: Senna marilandica We got this from a neighbor when it was just a few inches tall just a few months back. Now it’s about 3′ and with seed pods. The yellow flowers were nice, but I really like the almost fern-like leaves the best. While I’ve read it does well on wet-ish sites, […]
- Blanket FlowerScientific name: Gaillardia One of the most rewarding things about native plant gardening is watching what you planted come back every year (perennials), but much less attention is given to the annuals. This flower is an annual, but luckily, I hear it is a prolific re-seeder. It seems to do really well on very poor, […]
- Common MilkweedScientific name: Asclepias syriaca This stuff has been growing to almost 6 feet in height, and spreads readily. It has also attracted an entire apiary to our garden. There looks to be at least two bumble bees for every flower, and the perfume-like aroma is strong. Tip: you can let them grow to about 3 […]
- Scarlet Bee BalmScientific name: monarda didyma Ours grew to 4 feet tall before blooming. Very striking in the garden, and for the height, seems to remain erect while other plants of that height eventually flop over if not supported by other plants or fencing. We only have one plant, and it’s one of the “garden stars” shining […]
- MayappleScientific name: Podophyllum peltatum Yes, people will think they grow into apple trees when you talk about them, but no, they do not grow into trees at all. Actually, they rarely grow beyond 11 inches tall. They hide a very handsome flower underneath their equally interesting umbrella-like leaves. They do really well in heavily shaded […]
- Blue-Eyed GrassScientific name: Sisyrinchium Blue-eyed grass is not a true grass. It has delicate little flowers, short stature, stays green for much of the year, clumping. Seems to be popping in places I didn’t put it, which is great because it’s one of my favorites. When the flowers go away it looks like grass, and doesn’t […]
- Wood SorrelScientific name: Oxalis stricta From what I’ve read, this one is native. I’ve found that it’s not nearly as aggressive as the non-native white clover, and is relatively easy to remove (so I had be careful when pulling non-natives around it). Once I better understood the difference between wood sorrel and the white clover, I […]
- Virginia KnotweedScientific name: Persicaria virginiana Also known as “Jumpseed”, Virginia Knotweed benefits ducks, other birds and small animals (according to internet sources). We don’t typically have ducks passing through our back yard, and I’ve never seen any small animals eat it. In the fall when the seeds formed it attracted cardinal birds. For a few weeks […]
- White AvensScientific name: Geum canadense This is a volunteer. It’s growing happily in a semi-shaded spot in the back yard. I was almost sure it was another invasive or non-native that the previous homeowner planted (or was planted by the birds). Tip: You can identify it much better when the first leaves start growing in spring […]
- StonecropScientific name: Sedum ternatum This one is pretty quick to spread, and is easily transplanted from cuttings or separating plants. I use it for plantings between rocks in full sun areas. It doesn’t really tolerate a lot of shade, but is okay in part shade.
- piedmont azaleaScientific name: Rhododendron canescens. We got this azalea in fall of 2019, and had no idea it would have such showy flowers. It’s a US native that seems to be enjoying it’s full-sun location, though my understanding is that they are happier in part-shade and occur in the wild at the edge of forests in […]
- Jacob’s LadderScientific name: Polemonium This one is a cultivar. Seems to like moister soil than where we planted this, but it’s still alive and flowering in full sun.
Scientific name: Lindera benzoin Crush a leaf. Smell it. Love it. Features: tolerant of dense shade grows well under black walnut, or beech trees (juglone tolerant) food and host plant for spicebush butterfly leaves can be used to repel mosquitoes (*yet to verify, but it still smells great*) early spring bloomers with yellow flowers that […]
Scientific name: Salix sericea This plant has a very high wildlife value (similar in value to oak trees). I’ve only had it in the ground for about 3 years and it always provides me with something exciting to watch (even when it’s not being visited by wildlife). In the wind, the willow-shaped leaves shimmer as […]
Scientific name: Phytolacca americana L. Growing up, I always thought of pokeberry as a weed because everyone told me it was just an ugly weed, and it is more commonly referred to as “Pokeweed”. When I saw it rising from the garden, I had to retrain my mind to appreciate its beauty. From its rose-colored stems […]
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