Ecological Restoration Specialists

Perennials, Ferns & Groundcovers

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Terms defined

Current inventory may include species not on this list—please inquire.

herbaceous

Bleeding-heartField mintRattlesnake plantain
Blue-eyed grassFringecupRed columbine
Broadleaf stonecropGoat’s beardRoemer’s fescue
Broad-leaved shooting starGolden eyed-grassSalal
BunchberryGreater boykiniaSitka valerian
Canada goldenrodGreat camasSlender cinquefoil
Canary violetInside-out flowerSmith’s fairybells
Coastal miterwortKinnikinnikSpiny wood fern
Coastal strawberryLady fernStarry false Solomon’s-seal
Coastal wormwoodLarge-leaved lupineSword fern
Columbia lilyLow Oregon grapeThree-leaf foam flower
Common brodiaeaMad-dog skullcapTwinflower
Common camasMaidenhair fernVanilla leaf
Common harebellMarsh violetWestern buttercup
Common self-healMissouri goldenrodWestern trillium
Common woolly sunflowerNorthern bedstrawWhite brodiaea
Cooley’s hedge-nettleNuttall’s larkspurWhite fawn lily
Deer fernOrange honeysuckleWild ginger
Douglas’ asterOregon figwortWoodland beardtongue
Early blue violetOregon irisWoodland strawberry
Evergreen violetOregon stonecropWood sorrel
False lily-of-the-valleyPacific waterleafYellow monkey flower
False Solomon’s-sealPalmate coltsfoot

 

Achlys triphylla Vanilla leaf
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist, dry soil in shade okay
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: perennial herb to 12 inches

Vanilla leaf spreads by rhizomes to fill in spaces. Flowers are a delicate but showy white spike. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Adiantum aleuticum (A. pedantum) Maidenhair fern
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to slow
Form: perennial herb to 2 feet, rhizomatous

One of our most delicate fern species, this species has striking black petioles. Maidenhair fern prefers sites high in organic matter. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Aquilegia formosa Red columbine
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist, well-drained okay, dry soil in shade okay
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: perennial herb to 3 feet, with taproot

Red columbine grows in moist, open sites or in partial shade on the edge of woodlands. It may spread by seed, but generally doesn’t compete well with invasives. It is a nectar plant for hummingbirds. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Kinnikinnik
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry, well-drained
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: slow until established
Form: evergreen shrub or groundcover to 8 inches, mat forming

Once established, kinnikinnik withstands drought and full sun exposure and does best in coarse, low-nutrient soils. It is not competitive on richer sites. It is slow to start growing, so plant densely or intermix with a fast grower if quick coverage is important. After a year or two, kinnikinnik will spread more rapidly to form mats. We often recommend this species for erosion control projects in full sun. An important food plant for wildlife. “Kinnikinnik” is the longest palindrome (a word spelled the same forwards or backwards) in the English language. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Aruncus dioicus Goat’s beard
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist, dry in shade okay
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 6 feet, short rhizomes, separate male and female plants

Goat’s beard has attributes that may serve you well on restoration sites: it transplants fine, tolerates some sun, and is much larger than most of our perennials so it’s less likely to get lost or stepped on. Seeds are food for song birds. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Artemisia suksdorfii Coastal wormwood
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 5 feet

Occurs in coastal areas and along the Puget Sound on sandy beaches and ocean bluffs. This drought-tolerant species has long spikes of yellowish blooms and grows vigorously to form clumps. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Asarum caudatum Wild ginger
Exposure: partial shade to deep shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: slow
Form: evergreen perennial, mat forming, to 10 inches, from thick rhizomes and woody stem

Wild ginger requires shade and soil rich in organic matter. It may not grow noticeably for a year or so following transplanting, but once established it begins to spread moderately by rhizomes and can put on several new leaves a year. It is common under western red cedar. We consider this a species for enhancement projects, not for revegetating open sites. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Athyrium filix-femina Lady fern
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to high
Form: deciduous fern with fronds to 6 feet, from stout rhizomes

With ample moisture, lady fern is a vigorous grower; it is common on mucky streamside terraces. With very moist soil and fall installation, it may tolerate full sun. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Blechnum spicant Deer fern
Exposure: shade
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: evergreen fern with fronds to 2 feet

Common throughout moist, conifer forests in western Washington. One of the few species of fern native to our area to have dimorphoic fertile and sterile fronds. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Boykinia major Greater boykinia
Exposure: sun to shade
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 3 feet

Occurs along streams and in wet, open places. Blooms are white and delicate. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Brodiaea coronaria Common brodiaea
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 12 inches, from a bulb

Common in prairies, meadows and rocky slopes. Flowers are showy, blue-purple and occur in late spring and early summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Brodiaea hyacinthina White brodiaea
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 2 feets, from a corm

Occurs in open, rocky areas. Flowers are showy, white and occur in late spring and summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Camassia leichtlinii Great camas
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry, well-drained
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 18 inches, from a deep bulb

Great camas is less abundant than common camas but occurs on similar sites. Both camas species are very drought tolerant, requiring moist soils only during the early spring. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Camassia quamash Common camas
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry, well-drained
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 25 inches, from a deep bulb

Common camas is abundant in meadows of western Washington, most typically in the prairies formed on gravelly glacial soils. For best results, outplant in the fall when camas is dormant–bulbs generally don’t transplant well when disturbed during the growing-season. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Campanula rotundifolia Common harebell
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 30 inches

Common harebell occurs in meadows and on rocky, open ground. Showy blooms are purple or rarely white and occur in June-September. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Cornus unalaschkensis (canadensis)  Bunchberry
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: moderate
Growth rate: slow until established
Form: soft herbaceous perennial to 10 inches, from slender, fleshy rhizomes

This species has blooms of showy white bracts in the spring, and red berries in the late summer or fall that are loved by birds. Can be tricky to establish unless there is adequate organic matter, prefers acidic soils. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Delphinium nuttallii Nuttall’s larkspur
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 feet, spreads by seed

Native to the gravelly outwash prairies of the South Sound, this species has deep blue to purple blooms. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Dicentra formosa Bleeding heart
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist, dry in shade okay
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: soft herbaceous perennial to 20 inches, from slender, fleshy rhizomes

Bleeding heart needs soil rich in organic matter to really shine – given moist, fluffy soil, this plant will spread rapidly. In poorer soil, bleeding heart will do reasonably well, as long as it is protected from the sun. Bleeding heart can provide food and nectar for wildlife. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Dodecatheon hendersonii Broad-leaved shooting star
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 12 inches,

A prairie perennial with basal leaves and showy, magenta to pink blooms that occur in spring. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Dryopteris expansa Spiny wood fern
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to wet
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: deciduous fern with fronds to 3 feet, from stout rhizomes

This species spreads both vegetatively and by spore. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Eriophyllum lanatum Common woolly sunflower
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 feet

This multi-stemmed, spreading perennial has large, yellow, composite blooms and foliage covered with white, woolly pubescence. Also known as Oregon sunshine, this species is common throughout the state of Washington on dry, rocky sites. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Erythronium oregonum White fawn lily
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 12 inches

This species has distinctive, mottled leaves and showy white flowers in spring. Occurs in prairies, meadows and in moist woodlands. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Festuca idahoensis ssp. roemeri Roemer’s fescue
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: bunchgrass to 3 feet tall

A grass with bluish-green foliage that is concentrated at the base. Common in prairies and oak woodlands, this species prefers well-drained soils. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Fragaria chiloensis Coastal strawberry
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: leathery, somewhat evergreen perennial to 10 inches, spreads by runners

Very successful in coarse, poor soils characteristic of the early stages of restoration. It is competitive in disturbed, weedy sites and grows vigorously through the winter following fall planting in the Puget Sound area. It generally grows on sand dunes and sea bluffs, and it is well adapted to droughty, exposed conditions. We recommend it for erosion control projects because it spreads quickly and anchors the surface layer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Fragaria vesca Woodland strawberry
Exposure: full sun to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 12 inches, spreads by runners

Woodland strawberry will accept a fairly wide range of soil and light conditions, from dry soil in shaded areas to moist soil in the open sun. It spreads very quickly, and if the soil is rich, it will grow lushly to provide good cover and weed competition. Fruit is eaten by birds and small mammals (and humans if they’re quick enough). Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Galium boreale Northern bedstraw
Exposure: full sun to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 30 inches

Prolific white blooms occur in summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Gaultheria shallon Salal
Exposure: partial shade to deep shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: medium to high if shaded, low if not
Growth rate: slow until established
Form: evergreen shrub 2-5 feet, sometimes more; very shallow and fibrous root system, spreads vigorously by underground stems once well established

Though a woody shrub, salal is mostly used as a groundcover due to its spreading habit.  Salal does not like to be transplanted. For best results, plant in shade or partial shade and add woody mulch. If planted into full sun, it will require a lot of babying to survive. Once planted, salal generally remains small for a few years as it becomes established. When it begins its more typical, rampant growth, it may require regular pruning to maintain it as a “groundcover”. It generally grows to around three feet at maturity, except in the wettest coastal climates where it may tower overhead. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Goodyera oblongifolia Rattlesnake plantain
Exposure: shade
Soil moisture: dry to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: slow to moderate
Form: evergreen perennial to 6 inches

In the orchid family, this species has distinct, mottled leaves with a pattern of veination reminiscent of snakeskin. The inflorescence is a spike of tiny, white blooms. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Hydrophyllum tenuipes Pacific waterleaf
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 30 inches, from short, thick rhizome and fleshy roots

Waterleaf is common in moist, open forests in the lowlands. We have seen it spread copiously, once established. This species must be planted in shade and will benefit from light organic mulching (not more than an inch). Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Iris tenax Oregon iris
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 30 inches, from slender rhizomes

This species occurs in South Sound prairies, meadows, pastures, along roadsides and in open forests. Leaves are narrow and tough and flowers are bluish purple. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Lilium columbianum Columbia lily
Exposure: partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 4 feet, from a bulb

Also known as tiger lily, this species has spectacular orange blooms with red spots, occurring in summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Linnaea borealis Twinflower
Exposure: partial shade to deep shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: low to medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: semi-woody evergreen to 4 inches with long, leafy runners

We have found twinflower somewhat difficult to transplant successfully–it may rot if too wet or get crispy if too dry. Twinflower does well in shaded, organically rich habitats, free of invasives. It does not compete well with weeds. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Lonicera ciliosa Orange honeysuckle
Exposure: partial shade to deep shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to rapid
Form: woody vine

This vine can climb up to 20 feet. Blooms are bright orange, tubular in shape and provide nectar for hummingbirds. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Lupinus polyphyllus Large-leaved lupine
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 5 feet

A vigorous species, large-leaved lupine commonly occurs in wet meadows and along streamsides, but also on drier sites such as slopes and open woodlands. Flowers are blue to purple in color and occur in June through August. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Mahonia (Berberis) nervosa Low Oregon grape
Exposure: shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: slow
Form: evergreen shrub to 2 feet; taproot, spreads by underground stems

The common names “long-leafed”, “low”, and “dull” all apply to this one species of Oregon grape! Its needs and growth habits differ significantly from tall Oregon grape. Though a woody shrub, low Oregon grape is most often used in planting designs as a groundcover due to its spreading habit.  It requires shade to survive transplanting, and on drier or nutrient-poor soils, we advise an organic mulch such as wood chips. We have found this species difficult to establish except as an understory planting. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Maianthemum dilatatum False lily-of-the-valley
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist, dry in shade okay
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial (somewhat evergreen) to 12 inches, from slender, branching rhizomes

False lily-of-the-valley does not like being in a pot, but once released into the soil, it spreads abundantly. For best results, with this species and many other native perennials, plant in at least partial shade and top-dress lightly with organic mulch. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Maianthemum racemosum (Smilacina  racemosa) False Solomon’s-seal
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 3 feet, from stout rhizomes

False Solomon’s seal is found in moist forests and on stream banks in mature soils. Unless it will be receiving irrigation, transplant at the end of the growing season, in September through November. We consider false Solomon’s seal and other lilies for enhancement projects, rather than for revegetating open sites. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website. 

 

Maianthemum stellatum (Smilacina  stellata) Starry false Solomon’s-seal
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 20 inches, from thin rhizomes

Starry false Solomon’s seal grows in similar habitats to false Solomon’s seal, sometimes in slightly drier (or better-drained) substrates. For best results, transplant in the fall or provide irrigation and put into rich soil. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website. 

 

Mentha arvensis Field mint
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to wet
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2.5′

This species spreads readily by runner and seed – blooms are purple and occur in the summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Mimulus guttatus Yellow monkey-flower
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: wet, well-drained okay
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial or annual to 30 inches, from creeping stolons and rhizomes

This species is found along streams, in wet meadow, seeps, and other wet places. It does not require rich soil, but does need a steady supply of moisture. It spreads well by seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Mitella ovalis Coastal miterwort
Exposure: shade
Soil moisture: moist to wet
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial, rhizomatous

This species occurs along streambanks and in moist forests. Flowers are tiny, delicate and white and typically occur in spring. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Nothochelone nemorosa Woodland beardtongue
Exposure: shade to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 1/2 feet

Herbaceous stems emerge from a woody crown in this Figwort family member and flowers are pink to purple in color. This species spreads well from seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Oxalis oregana Wood sorrel
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 6 inches, from rhizomes

Wood sorrel spreads very well once established. It will tolerate fairly dry soil if planted in the shade. It is one of our most robust groundcovers, but still has trouble in open, weedy sites. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Petasites frigidus var. palmatus Palmate coltsfoot
Exposure: shade to sun
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 feet, from creeping rhizomes

This vigorous species is common throughout western Washington in wet to moist forests, clearings and swamps. Flowers precede the appearance of leaves in the spring. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Polystichum munitum Sword fern
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: evergreen fern with fronds to 5 feet, woody rhizomes

We often see sword fern planted in full sun, but transplants usually don’t survive in the open unless there is ample soil moisture. However, with suitable conditions this plant will thrive with little or no care after planting; it is highly successful when planted in partial or full shade and mulched. Sword fern is also tough and competitive against invasive species once established. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Potentilla gracilis Slender cinquefoil
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 1/2 feet

Like most cinquefoils, this species is a fast grower and spreads readily by seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Prosartes (Disporum) smithii Smith’s fairybells
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 3 feet

Showy, pendulent white blooms occur in the spring with orange berries to follow. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website. 

 

Prunella vulgaris Common self-heal
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 1 1/2 feet

Purple blooms occur in the summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Ranunculus occidentalis Western buttercup
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 18 inches

A vigorous perennial that occurs in moist meadows and woodlands – widely tolerant. Flowers are yellow composites and occur in spring. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Scrophularia oregana Oregon figwort
Exposure: sun to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 4 feet

This species produces clusters of small, maroon blooms in July through August. Spreads readily by seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Scutellaria lateriflora Mad-dog skullcap
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 2 1/2 feet, from slender rhizomes

Occurs in moist meadows and clearings, this species has blue to pink blooms in late summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Sedum oreganum Oregon stonecrop
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: dry, moist okay if well drained
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 6 inches, from rhizomes

A good drought-tolerant choice for filling in a site with well-drained soils, spreads mainly vegetatively. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Sedum spathulifolium Broadleaf stonecrop
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: dry, moist okay if well drained
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 8 inches, from rhizomes

Another good drought-tolerant choice for filling in a site with well-drained soils, spreads mainly vegetatively. Yellow bloom May-August. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Sisyrinchium californicum Golden-eyed grass
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 18 inches

A member of the iris family, this species has narrow grass-like leaves. Yellow blooms are showy and occur in June through July. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Sisyrinchium idahoense Blue-eyed grass
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: wet to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 18 inches

Another member of the iris family, this species also has narrow grass-like leaves. Showy, blue blooms have a yellow center. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Solidago canadensis Canada goldenrod
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 5 feet, from rhizomes. Canada goldenrod is common in open areas throughout western Washington. Yellow terminal blooms occur in July through October. This species spreads both vegetatively and by seed. Blooms attract both bumblebees and butterflies. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Solidago missouriensis Missouri goldenrod
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 3 feet, from rhizomes

This species spreads by creeping rhizomes and by seeds – yellow terminal blooms occur in the summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Stachys cooleyae Cooley’s hedge-nettle
Exposure: sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 5 feet, from rhizomes

Reddish purple tubular blooms attract hummingbirds. Given sufficient moisture, this species spreads both vegetatively and by seed to quickly fill in a space. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Symphyotrichum subspicatum (Aster subspicatus) Douglas’ aster
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herb to 2.5 feet, from creeping rhizomes

This aster has showy blue-purple blooms and is common throughout our region. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

 

Tellima grandiflora Fringecup
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 30 inches, with short rhizomes

One of our customers says that this is the toughest flowering upland herb he knows: it competes with invasive species and tolerates disturbed soil and drought. For best results in full sun, provide an inch of mulch and some irrigation. This species transplants well and spreads well from seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Tiarella trifoliata Three-leaf foamflower
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 1 foot, from rhizomes

In the Saixfrage family, this species’ leaves have three leaflets (hence the latin name) and flowers are white and occur on a long panicle in spring and summer. This species spreads by rhizomes to carpet areas and will also reproduce by seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Tolmiea menziesii Piggyback plant
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist to wet
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 30 inches, well-developed rhizomes

Piggyback plant is very common along streamsides, wetland edges, and moist forests. It requires plentiful moisture and some shade. Given these conditions, it can establish itself quickly and spread. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Trillium ovatum Western trillium
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: slow
Form: herbaceous perennial to 12 inches

Perhaps our showiest native perennial, large white blooms occur in spring, turning pink in color with age. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Valeriana sitchensis Sitka valerian
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: medium to rapid
Form: herbaceous perennial to 4 feet, from rhizomes

Sitka valerian is common in moist meadows and open forests at middle elevations. Dense clusters of white to pinkish blooms occur in summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Vancouveria hexandra Inside-out flower
Exposure: partial shade to shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 10 inches, from rhizomes

Inside-out flower spreads extensively in fertile, mature soils. We advise planting it in at least partial shade and, if soils are poor in organic matter, mulching lightly with wood chips. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Viola adunca Early blue violet
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: moist to dry
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial to 4 inches

A species common in south Sound prairies, this will spread more slowly on dry sites. Blooms are blue-purple, small but showy and occur in spring or summer. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Viola palustris Marsh violet
Exposure: full sun to shade
Soil moisture: moist to wet
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate
Form: herbaceous perennial from spreading rhizomes

Marsh violet is common along forest seeps, on streambanks and in wet meadows. The bloom is white to lilac, and occurs in May through July. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Viola praemorsa Canary violet
Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Soil moisture: dry to moist
Transplanting success: high
Growth rate: moderate to fast
Form: herbaceous perennial to 6 inches

Canary violet occurs in meadows and grasslands as well as open Garry oak woodlands. Yellow blooms occur in April through July. Leaves are more fleshy than other species of native violets and are covered with dense pubescence. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

 

Viola sempervirens Evergreen violet
Exposure: partial shade to deep shade
Soil moisture: moist
Transplanting success: medium
Growth rate: slow
Form: evergreen perennial to 3 inches, scaly rhizomes, mat forming

Evergreen violet will tolerate fairly dry conditions in the shade. It is tricky to transplant successfully, but once it has put down roots, it will flower frequently and spread by seed. Click here for photographs of this species on the University of Washington Herbarium website.

Top of herbaceous and groundcovers

Trees and shrubs

Emergents