Recommended Native Species

Below are some recommended native plants and trees. We have broken them down into categories. If you are interested in a particular category, click on the tab to see the plants. There is a search field at the top of each table. Also, the table can be sorted by any column.


If a plant’s name is in green, clicking on it will take you to the plant’s listing in our Plant Gallery. The Plant Gallery has additional information on the plant. If we have them, it will also have photos.


After compiling a list of plants that might work in your landscape, head over to our Nurseries page to locate nurseries in your area that might be able to supply you with those plants.


Our Native Plant Handouts page has easy to print PDFs for some of the categories. You might want to take them with you when you go shopping.

Small Trees (up to 25 feet)
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture 
Amelanchier arboreaServiceberrydeciduousfull / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Aralia spinosaDevil’s walkingstickdeciduousfull / part-sunhydric / xeric
Asimina trilobaPaw pawdeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Carpinus carolinianaAmerican hornbeamdeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Castanea pumilaChinquapindeciduousfull-sun / shadesub-xeric / xeric
Cercis canadensisEastern Redbuddeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Chionanthus virginicusFringe Treedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Cornus alternifoliaPagoda dogwooddeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Cornus floridaFlowering dogwooddeciduoussun / shademesic / xeric
Crataegus phaenopyrumWashington hawthorndeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Diospyros virginianaPersimmondeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Halesia carolinaCarolina silverbelldeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Hamamelis virginianaCommon witch-hazeldeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Ilex opacaAmerican hollyevergreenfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Juniperus virginianaRed cedarevergreenfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Magnolia tripetelaUmbrella treedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Ostrya virginianaHop-hornbeamdeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
<a href='' target='blank'>Oxydendrum ArboreumSourwooddeciduousfull-sun / shadesub-xeric / xeric
Ptelea trifoliataHoptreedeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Prunus americanaAmerican plumdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Prunus pensylvanicaPin cherrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Sassafras albidumCommon Sassafrasdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Viburnum rufidulumBlackhaw Viburnumdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Large Trees (over 25 feet)
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture

Acer rubrum

Red mapledeciduousfull-sun / shadehydric / xeric

Acer saccharum

Sugar mapledeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Aesculus flavaYellow buckeyedeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric

Betula alleghaniensis

Yellow birchdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Betula lentaSweet birchdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Betula nigraRiver birchdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / sub-xeric
Carya cordiformisBitternut hickorydeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Carya glabraPignut hickorydeciduousfull-sun / shadesub-xeric / xeric
Cladrastis kentukeaYellowwooddeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Fagus grandifoliaBeechdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Liriodendron tulipiferaTulip treedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Magnolia acuminataCucumber treedeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Nyssa sylvaticaBlack tupelodeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Platanus occidentalisSycamoredeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / mesic
Picea rubensRed spruceevergreenfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Prunus serotinaBlack cherrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Quercus albaWhite oakdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Quercus montanaChestnut oakdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Quercus rubraRed oakdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Quercus stellataPost oakdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Tilia americanaAmerican lindendeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Tsuga canadensisCanadian hemlockevergreenfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Tsuga carolinianaCarolina hemlockevergreenfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Low Shrubs (under 4 feet)
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture
Ceanothus americanusNew Jersey teadeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Comptonia peregrinaSweetferndeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Hydrangea aborescensSnowhill Hydrangeadeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Hypericum prolificumShrubby St. John’s Wortdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / xeric
Leucothoe fontanesianaDrooping leucothoeevergreenpart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Rosa carolinaCarolina rosedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Rosa palustrisSwamp rosedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / mesic
Vaccinium macrocarponCranberryevergreenfull-sun / part-sunhydric / mesic
Vaccinium pallidumLowbush blueberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Viburnum acerifoliumMaple-leaf Viburnumdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Med-size Shrubs (4 to 10 feet)
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture
Aronia arbutifoliaRed chokeberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / sub-xeric
Aronia melanocarpaBlack chokeberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / sub-xeric
Calycanthus floridusSweetshrubdeciduouspart-sun / shadehydric / sub-xeric
Clethra acuminataCinnamonbarkdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Cornus amomumSilky dogwooddeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / sub-xeric
Corylus americanaHazelnutdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Diervilla sessilifoliaBush-honeysuckledeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Euonymus americanusHearts-a-bustindeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Fothergilla majorLarge Fothergilladeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Hypericum densiflorumDense Hypericumdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Ilex verticillataCommon winterberrydeciduousfull-sun / shadehydric / mesic
Itea virginicaVirginia sweetspiredeciduousfull-sun / shadehydric / sub-xeric
Kalmia latifoliaMountain laurelevergreenfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Lindera benzoinSpicebushdeciduouspart-sun / shademesic
Rhododendron arborescensSweet azaleadeciduousfull-sun / shadehydric / mesic
Rhododendron calendulaceumFlame azaleadeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Rhododendron carolinianumCarolina Rhododendronevergreenpart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Rhododendron catawbienseMountain rosebayevergreenfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Rhododendron periclymenoidesWild or Pinxter azaleadeciduouspart-sun / shadehydric / sub-xeric
Rhododendron vaseyiPinkshell azalea


full-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Sambucus canadensisElderberrydeciduousfull-sun / shademesic
Symphoricarpos orbiculatusCoral berrydeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Viburnum alnifoliumHobblebushdeciduouspart-sun / shademesic
Vaccinium corymbosumHighbush blueberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Vaccinium stamineumDeerberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Viburnum cassinoidesWitherod Vibernumdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Large Shrubs (over 10 feet)
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture
Alnum serrulataTag alderdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunhydric / mesic
Ilex montanaMountain winterberrydeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Philadelphus inodorusMock orangedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Rhododendron maximumRosebay Rhododendronevergreenpart-sun / shademesic / sub-xeric
Rhus glabraSmooth sumacdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Salix sericeaSilky willowdeciduousfull-sun / shadehydric / sub-xeric
Viburnum DentatumArrowwooddeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Scientific NameCommon NameTypeLightSoil Moisture
Aristolochia macrophyllaDutchman’s pipedeciduouspart-sun / shademesic / xeric
Bignonia capreolataCrossvineevergreenfull-sun / shadehydric / sub-xeric
Campsis radicansTrumpet creeperdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunsub-xeric / xeric
Clematis virginianaVirgin’s bowerdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Decumaria barbaraClimbing hydrangeadeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Lonicera sempervirensCoral honeysuckledeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Parthenocissus quinquefoliaVirginia creeperdeciduousfull-sun / shademesic / xeric
Passiflora incarnataPassion flowerdeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / xeric
Vitis labruscaFox grapedeciduousfull-sun / part-sunmesic / sub-xeric
Scientific nameCommon name
Adiantum pedatumMaidenhair fern
Asplenium platyneuronEbony spleenwort
Athyrium felix-feiminaLady fern
Dennstaedtia punctilobulaHay-scented fern
Dryopteris marginalisWood fern
Onoclea sensibilisSensitive fern
Osmunda cinnamomeaCinnamon fern
Osmunda claytonianaInterrupted fern
Osmunda spectablilisRoyal fern
Polystichum acrostichoidesChristmas fern
Thelypteris novaboracensisNew York fern
Woodwardia areolataNetted chain fern
Woodsia obtusaCommon woodsia
Grasses and Sedges
Scientific nameCommon name
Andropogon gerardiiBig bluestem
Andropogon virginicusBroomsedge
Arundinaria giganteaRiver cane
Carex pensylvanicaPennsylvania sedge
Carex plantagineaPlantain-leaved sedge
Chasmanthium latifoliumRiver Oats
Danthonia compressaOat grass
Elymus hystrixBottle brush
Panicum virgatumSwitch-grass
Schizachyrium scopariumLittle bluestem
Sorghastrum nutansIndian grass
Tripsacum dactyloidesEastern gammagrass
Scientific nameCommon name
Antennaria plantaginifoliaPussy’s toes
Asarum canadenseWild ginger
Chrysogonum virginianumGreen-and-gold
Coreopsis auriculataMouse-eared coreopsis
Fragaria virginianaWild strawberry
Gaultheria procumbensWintergreen
Hexastylis arifoliaLittle brown jugs
Iris cristataDwarf crested iris
Mitchella repensPartridge Berry
Pachysandra procumbensAllegheny spurge
Phacelia bipinnatifidaPhacelia
Phlox amoenaChalice Phlox
Phlox divaricataWild blue phlox
Phlox stoloniferaCreeping phlox
Pityopis graminifoliaGolden aster
Polystichum acrostichoidesChristmas fern
Shortia galacifoliaOconee bells
Sisyrinchium mucronatumBlue-eyed grass
Tiarella cordifoliaFoamflower
Xanthorhiza simplicissimaYellow-root
Scientific nameCommon name
Actaea PachypodaDoll’s eyes
Actaea racemosaBlack cohosh
Amsonia tabernaemontanaBlue star
Anemone acutilobaSharp-lobed hepatica
Anemone virginianaThimbleweed
Aquilegia canadensisWild columbine
Arisaema dracontiumGreen dragon
Arisaema triphyllumJack-in-the-pulpit
Aruncus dioicusGoat’s-beard
Asclepias incarnataSwamp milkweed
Asclepias tuberosaButterfly-weed
Astilbe biternataFalse goatsbeard
Baptisia tinctoriaWild indigo
Caulophyllum thalictroidesBlue cohosh
Chelone lyoniiPink turtlehead
Coreopsis pubescensCoreopsis
Dicentra eximiaBleeding heart
Eurybia divaricataWhite wood aster
Eutrochium fistulosumJoe-Pye weed
Geranium maculatumWild geranium
Helianthus resinosusSunflower
Heuchera americanaAlumroot
Impatiens capensisJewelweed
Liatris spicataBlazing star
Lilium superbumTurk’s cap lily
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal flower
Lobelia puberulaDowny Lobelia
Lobelia siphiliticaGreat Blue lobelia
Lysimachia ciliataFringed loostrife
Mitella diphyllaBishop’s cap
Monarda didymaBee-balm
Phlox carolinaCarolina phlox
Phlox paniculataGarden phlox
Polygonatum biflorumSolomon’s seal
Primula meadiaShooting star
Rudbeckia hirtaBlackeyed susan
Sanguinaria canadensisBloodroot
Silene virginicaFire pink
Solidago rugosaWinkle-leaf goldenrod
Symphyotrichum patensLate purple aster
Thermopsis villosaBushpea
Vernonia noveboracensisNew York ironweed
Mesic for Full Sun
Scientific nameCommon name
Aster novea angliaeNew England aster
Coreopsis pubescensHairy coreopsis
Eutrochium fistulosumJoe-Pye weed
Liatris spicataBlazing star
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal flower
Monarda didymaBee-balmox
Phlox carolinaCarolina phlox
Rudbeckia hirtaBlackeyed susan
Symphyotrichum retroflexumCurtis aster
Mesic for Shade
Scientific nameCommon name
Anemone acutilobaSharp-lobed hepatica
Arisaema triphyllumJack-in-the-pulpit
Asarum canadenseWild ginger
Erythronium umbilicatumTrout Lily
Heuchera americanaAlumroot
Mitchella repensPartridge Berry
Osmunda cinnomoneaCinnamon fern
Polygonatum biflorumSolomon’s seal
Polystichum acrostichoidesChristmas fern
Shortia galacifoliaOconee bells
Tiarella cordifoliaFoamflower

Soil Moisture Definitions

Wet, plants periodically or often inundated by water. Water removed so slowly that water table is at or above soil surface all year; gleyed mineral or organic soils.
Water removed slowly enough to keep water table at or near surface for most of year; gleyed mineral or organic soils; permanent seepage < 30 cm below surface.
Water removed slowly enough to keep soil wet for most of growing season; permanent seepage and mottling; gleyed (greenish-blue-grey) colors common.
Water removed slowly enough to keep soil wet for a significant part of growing season; some temporary seepage and possibly mottling below 20 cm.
Moist, adequate soil moisture retention year-round. Water removed somewhat slowly in relation to supply; soil may remain moist for a significant, but sometimes short period of the year. Available soil moisture reflects climatic.
Water removed readily in relation to supply; water available for moderately short periods following precipitation.
Moist to dry, seasonally moist, periodically dry. Water removed rapidly in relation to supply; soil is moist for short periods following precipitation.
Dry and drought resistant, little moisture retention, excessively drained — May have multiple assignments. Water removed very rapidly in relation to supply; soil is moist for brief periods following precipitation.
Very xeric
Water removed extremely rapidly in relation to supply; soil is moist for a negligible time after precipitation.