Natural Natives

By Mary Ann Fink

Ilex opaca
American holly
Broadleaf evergreen

Pollution tolerant. Berries poisonous if ingested in large quantities.
Allium cernuum
nodding onion

Said to be high in vitamin A.
Hymenocallis caroliniana
spider lily

Moisture tolerant.
Aesculus pavia
red buckeye
Deciduous shrub

Blooms at a young age.
Aronia melanocarpa
black chokeberry
Deciduous shrub

Fruit tastiest after frost.
Callicarpa americana
Deciduous shrub

Greek for "beautiful fruit."
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Deciduous shrub

Tolerant of wide range of conditions--flowers fragrant.
Hamamelis vernalis
Ozark witch hazel
Deciduous shrub

Plant of Merit native
Hamamelis virginiana
common witch hazel
Deciduous shrub

This native is admired in other countries as well--fragrant.
Hydrangea arborescens
smooth hydrangea
Deciduous shrub

Plant of Merit native
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'
Virginia sweetspire
Deciduous shrub

Plant of Merit.
Lindera benzoin
spice bush
Deciduous shrub

Twigs aromatic when crushed.
Rhus aromatica
fragrant sumac
Deciduous shrub

Another "touching-fragrance" mostly when bruised.
Rosa carolina
Carolina rose
Deciduous shrub

Pasture rose--spreads by runners.
Rosa setigera
prairie rose
Deciduous shrub 

The vitamin C content of rose hips is 60 times greater than lemons.
Spiraea alba
Deciduous shrub

Uncommonly beautiful and just as tough.
Viburnum lentago
nannyberry viburnum
Deciduous shrub

Songbird favorite.
Viburnum prunifolium
blackhaw viburnum
Deciduous shrub

Prune as small tree for best display.
Athyrium filix-femina
lady fern

A low maintenace plant.
Osmunda cinnamomea
cinnamon fern

You may already know it as a reliable ornamental but maybe you didn't know this is a native.
Osmunda regalis
royal fern

This fern has two kinds of fronds.
Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia
blue star
Herbaceous perennial

Willow-like narrow leaves.
Anemone virginiana
Herbaceous perennial

Seed heads look like Q-tips. Not over vigorous.
Asarum canadense
wild ginger
Herbaceous perennial

Not like the ginger in the grocery store but a drought tolerant ground cover for shade.
Asclepias incarnata
swamp milkweed
Herbaceous perennial

The seed floss has good insulation qualities.
Asclepias syriaca
common milkweed
Herbaceous perennial

Asclepias tuberosa
butterfly weed
Herbaceous perennial

The butterfly weed has an unfortunate name for a wonderful perennial.
Callirhoe digitata
fringed poppy mallow
Herbaceous perennial

More shade tolerant than other species--frequently foliage persists during mild winters.
Callirhoe involucrata
purple poppy mallow
Herbaceous perennial

Plant of Merit native
Claytonia virginica
spring beauty
Herbaceous perennial

A native bulb--sometimes difficult to get started but very durable once established.
Coreopsis tripteris
Herbaceous perennial

Great for songbirds and butterflies.
Echinacea purpurea
purple coneflower
Herbaceous perennial

"Echino" is Greek for hedgehog--referring to the disk's spiny appearance.
Filipendula rubra
queen of the prairie
Herbaceous perennial

The queen of the prairie does not require royal treatment.
Helianthus salicifolius
willow-leaved sunflower
Herbaceous perennial

Cut back by half in June or wrap stems around a post for a vine-less wonder that doesn't get out of hand.
Heuchera americana
coral bells
Herbaceous perennial

Where all the coral bells began and a great place to start.
Liatris aspera
blazing star
Herbaceous perennial

Butterflies love this late gay feather because it is such a late bloomer.
Liatris pycnostachya
prairie blazing star
Herbaceous perennial

Lobelia cardinalis
cardinal flower
Herbaceous perennial

A place too wet for anything else is perfect for this plant--hardier than many cultivars.
Monarda bradburyana
eastern beebalm
Herbaceous perennial

Not as delicate as it looks--bee balm is loved by butterflies and hummingbirds.
Phlox maculata
wild sweet William
Herbaceous perennial

More mildew resistance than most cultivars on the market and still fragrant.
Ruellia humilis
wild petunia
Herbaceous perennial

Summer blooming beauty- each flower lasts a day. Reseeds but not invasive.
Salvia lyrata
cancer weed
Herbaceous perennial

A salvia for the shade--cultivars available but species has bigger flowers.
Sedum ternatum
three-leaved stonecrop
Herbaceous perennial

A sedum for the shade.
Solidago rigida
Herbaceous perennial

One of the best for butterflies.
Solidago speciosa
Herbaceous perennial

Full heads of flowers--enough for everybody.
Phemeranthus calycinus
Herbaceous perennial

A native that looks more like it is from a marriage of a sedum and a poppy mallow--wonderful.
Tradescantia virginiana
spider lily
Herbaceous perennial

A great and versatile perennial.
Verbena hastata
American blue vervain
Herbaceous perennial

A native with a presence in the garden.
Nyssa sylvatica
black gum

Plant of Merit native
Lonicera sempervirens
trumpet honeysuckle

A honey of a honeysuckle with no problems other than some mildew.