Native plants for urban landscapes

Native plants for the urban landscape

Native plants are excellent choices for landscaping urban areas. These species are adapted to our local pests and climate, and will require less maintenance in the long run than most ornamentals. Planting natives in an urban situation also provides wildlife habitat where it is often scarce or degraded. This lists emphasizes smaller trees to remain in proportion with the urban surroundings and lessen interference with power lines and buildings. Remember to mulch plantings to suppress weeds and irrigate the first two summers following planting. Check optimum site conditions for each species in our catalog before planting to best determine where each will thrive. 





Vine maple

Acer circinatum

Brilliant fall color, mature height: 20’, multi-stemmed


Amelanchier alnifolia

Versatile, spring blooms, mature height: 20’, can be slow to establish

Choke cherry

Prunus virginiana

Versatile, wildlife value, mature height: 20’


Rhamnus purshiana

Versatile, fast grower, mature height: 30’




Red-osier dogwood

Cornus sericea

Brilliant red stems, fall color, winter interest, requires a moist site

Beaked hazelnut

Corylus cornuta

Versatile, prefers well-drained soils, nuts loved by wildlife

Tall Oregon grape

Mahonia aquifolium

Evergreen, versatile, sharp foliage can deter foot traffic

Low Oregon grape

Mahonia nervosa

Evergreen, needs shade, stays low (2’ tall), slower growing

Pacific wax-myrtle

Myrica californica

Evergreen, fast-growing, excellent hedge species

Mock orange

Philadelphus lewisii

Drought tolerant, white blooms have wonderful fragrance

Red-flowering currant

Ribes sanguineum

Drought tolerant, beautiful red blooms, do not over water

Bald-hip rose

Rosa gymnocarpa

Versatile, needs shade

Blue elderberry

Sambucus cerulea

Versatile, fast-growing, blue berries

Red elderberry

Sambucus racemosa

Versatile, fast-growing, red berries


Symphoricarpos albus

Versatile, winter interest (white berries), good hedge species, stays low (2’-6’ tall), will spread




Goat’s beard

Aruncus diocius

Tall (to 6’), white blooms, fast-growing

Wild ginger

Asarum caudatum

Gorgeous foliage, evergreen, mat-forming, slower growing

Lady fern

Athyrium filix-femina

Tall (to 6’), deciduous, requires a moist site

Slough sedge

Carex obnupta

Evergreen, usually 2’-3’ tall, drooping seed heads

Coastal strawberry

Fragaria chiloensis

Somewhat evergreen, spreads rapidly, versatile, can outcompete weeds

Woodland strawberry

Fragaria vesca

Spreads rapidly, requires a moist site, can outcompete weeds

False lily-of-the-valley

Maianthemum dilatatum

Somewhat evergreen, spreads rapidly

Sword fern

Polystichum munitum

Versatile, evergreen, tall (to 5’)


Tellima grandiflora

Versatile, lovely foliage, can outcompete weeds