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The Rockport Garden Club is a strong supporter
of native plants.
Maine's Native Landscape

Maine’s landscape offers spectacular variety, with ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, mountains, fields, and forests. Maine is locally influenced by both coastal and inland weather patterns. This creates relatively mild areas, and areas that are almost arctic, all within the state’s 300-mile length and 200-mile width. Maine rises from sea level to over 5,000 feet in elevation at the top of Mount Katahdin. This wide range of elevation results in a diversity of habitats including flat sandy plains, rolling hills, rounded summits, and craggy mountains with sheer cliffs. Maine’s forests vary from spruce and fir near the coast to hardwoods in the western hills, and mixed hardwood/softwood forests in the North. More than 100 types of habitats have been identified with about 1,500 native plant species spread across the state’s varied landscape.

What Are Native Versus Non-Native Plant Species, and Why Should I Care?

Native plants are those species that either originated here or arrived in Maine without human intervention, perhaps thousands of years ago. Non-native species were brought intentionally for horticultural or other uses or came accidentally in ships’ ballasts, crop seed, or in soil. Some non-native plants continue to escape from cultivation and become naturalized in wetlands, lakes, woods, fields or roadsides.

Natural predators and diseases are often left behind when non-native plants are moved to new places. Therefore, their spread is uncontrolled and such non-native species as purple loosestrife, Japanese barberry, and Asian honeysuckles can become serious pests.

One long-term effect of invasive non-native species is to degrade habitat for native plants and animals. Some non-native plants choke out native vegetation, diminish the availability of food and habitat for wildlife, and alter the behavior of native animals such as pollinators, plant-eating insects, and fruit-eating birds. Unchecked, invasion by non-natives could drive some species to extinction. This is why non-native plants are a major concern to people who want to protect native species and natural areas.

These two paragraphs above are to be credited to extension.umaine.edu

Please find a Native Plant List recommended for Maine landscapes provided by Wild Seed Project. 

Wild Seed Project builds awareness of the vital importance of native plants and provides all people with the tools to restore biodiversity in their own communities. They equip community members, public officials and municipalities, and land-holding individuals and organizations – from farmers to land trusts – with the skills and resources they need to collectively repopulate landscapes with native plants that expand wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and build climate resilience.  They have kindly provided permission for us to use their Plant List below.  To see more about Wild Seed Project, please go to their website at https://wildseedproject.net/.

 

COMPREHENSIVE NATIVE PLANT LIST

SUN TO PART SHADE

Plants for soils with moderate moisture and fertility:

SHRUBS and SMALL TREES
  • Canadian serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis, A. laevis

  • Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia and A. melanocarpa*

  • Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus parviflora#

  • Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia#

  • American hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana

  • Common buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis

  • Coastal sweet-pepperbush Clethra alnifolia

  • Alternate-leaved dogwood Swida alternifolia (syn. Cornus alternifolia)

  • Silky dogwood Swida amomum, S. racemosa and S. sericea (syn. Cornus spp.)

  • Flowering big-bracted-dogwood Benthamidia florida (syn. Cornus florida (needs careful siting)

  • American hazelnut Corylus americana, C. cornuta

  • Hawthorn Crataegus spp*

  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera*

  • Shrubby-cinquefoil Dasiphora floribunda*

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • Wild Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens#, H. quercifolia#

  • Shrubby St. John’s-wort Hypericum prolificum

  • Common winterberry Ilex verticillata

  • Sweet-bay Magnolia virginiana#

  • Hop-hornbeam Ostrya virginiana

  • Atlantic ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius

  • Mountain fetterbush Pieris floribunda#

  • Canada plum Prunus nigra

  • Swamp rose Rosa palustris

  • Flowering raspberry Rubus odoratus (needs space as it forms a large clump)

  • Rosy meadowsweet Spiraea tomentosa

  • American mountain-ash Sorbus americana

  • Northern white-cedar Thuja occidentalis

  • Viburnum Viburnum dentatum, V. lentago, V. nudum, V. trilobum, and V. prunifolium#

 
GROUNDCOVERS

These plants are low sturdy growers and make a dense covering that will crowd out weeds once established. Combine at least 2-3 species to create a beautiful tapestry of foliage and blooms. 

  • Canada windflower Anemone canadensis

  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera*

  • Common strawberry Fragaria virginiana

  • Golden groundsel Packera aurea

  • Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica#*

  • Heart-leaved golden Alexanders Zizia aptera#

  • Eastern hay-scented fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula

PERENNIALS
  • Asters Doellingeria umbellata, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, S. novi-belgii

  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata, A. purpurescens#

  • Common milkweed Asclepias syriaca Note, for meadows and roadsides ,not gardens

  • Nodding Onion Allium cernuum#

  • Eastern bluestar Amsonia tabernaemontana#

  • Purple-stemmed Angelica Angelica atropurpurea

  • Red columbine Aquilegia canadensis (no heavy mulch or standing water)

  • Hawthorn Crataegus spp. (20 in Maine)

  • Spotted crane’s-bill Geranium maculatum

  • Tuberous sunflower Helianthus tuberosus

  • Sunflower-everlasting Heliopsis helianthoides

  • Blue iris Iris versicolor

  • Blazing-star Liatris scariosa#, Liatris spp.#

  • Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis, P. hirsutus, P. smallii#

  • Black-eyed coneflower Rudbeckia hirta, R.triloba

  • Green-headed coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata

  • Canada burnet Sanguisorba canadensis

  • Mad dog skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora

  • Blue Vervain Verbena hastata

  • New York ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis#

  • Culver’s-root Veronicastrum virginicum#

  • Heart-leaved golden Alexanders Zizia aptera#

  • Common golden Alexanders Zizia aurea#

VINES

For planting on chain link and wood fences, along walls, or to grow up a trellis. Sun to shade (there will be more blooms with sun).

  • Common ground-nut Apios americana

  • American bittersweet Celastrus scandens

  • Virginia virgin’s-bower Clematis viginiana,

  • Wild Cucumber Echinocystis lobata

  • Large-leaved Dutchman’s pipe Isotrema macrophyllum#

  • Trumpet Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens#

  • Trumpet-creeper Campsis radicans#

  • Virginia-creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia

  • Wild Grape Vitis labrusca, V. riparia

  • American Wisteria Wisteria frutescens#

FULL TO PART SHADE

These are woodland and forest edge species that grow well in part to full shade (planted on the north, east or west side of buildings or under deciduous trees.) Soil should be amended with compost or leaf mold and mulched every fall with deciduous leaves.

SHRUBS and SMALL TREES
  • Goosefoot maple Acer pensylvanicum

  • Mountain Maple Acer spicatum

  • Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia#

  • American hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana

  • Redbud Cercis canadensis#

  • Coastal sweet-pepperbush Clethra alnifolia

  • Alternate-leaved dogwood Swida alternifolia (syn. Cornus alternifolia)

  • Flowering big-bracted-dogwood (Benthamidia florida (syn. Cornus florida)

  • American hazelnut Corylus americana, C. cornuta

  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera

  • Black huckleberry Gaylussacia baccata

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • American hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens#

  • Mountain American-laurel Kalmia latifolia

  • Northern spicebush Lindera benzoin

  • American honeysuckle Lonicera canadensis

  • Sweet-bay Magnolia virginiana#

  • Great rosebay Rhododendron maximum

  • Early azalea Rhododendron prinophyllum

  • Clammy azalea Rhododendron viscosum

  • Flowering raspberry Rubus odoratus (give space, becomes a colony)

  • Red elderberry Sambucus racemosa

  • Common snowberry Symphoricarpos albus

  • Blueberry Vaccinium spp.

  • Viburnum Viburnum lantanoides, V. acerfolilum, V. dentatum, V. nudum

SHADE GROUNDCOVERS

These plants are low growers and make a dense covering that will crowd out weeds once established. Combine at least 2-3 species to create a beautiful tapestry of foliage and blooms.

  • Canada windflower Anemone canadensis

  • Wood Asters Eurybia divaricata, Symphyotrichum cordifolia, S. divaricatuss, S. macrophyllus)

  • Common strawberry Fragaria virginiana

  • Golden groundsel Packera aurea

  • Canada-mayflower Maianthemum canadense

  • Mandrake Podophyllum peltatum#

  • Spreading Jacob’s-ladder Polemonium reptans

  • King Solomon’s-seal Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum

  • Ferns- Eastern hay-scented fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula, New York Fern Thelypteris noveboracensis, Fiddlehead fern Matteuccia struthiopteris, Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina

WOODY GROUNDCOVERS
  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera

  • Shrub yellowroot Xanthorhiza simplicissima

  • Flowering raspberry Rubus odoratus

PERENNIALS
  • Red columbine Aquilegia canadensis

  • Doll’s-eyes Actaea pachypoda & A. rubra

  • Thimbleberry Anermone virginiana

  • Ramps Allium tricoccum

  • Astilbe Astilbe biternata

  • American spikenard Aralia racemosa

  • Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaema triphyllum

  • Canada wild ginger Asarum canadense

  • Wood Asters Eurybia macrophylla, E.divaricata, Symphyotrichum cordifolia

  • Southern bellflower Campanula divaricata

  • Blue cohosh Caulophyllum thalictroides

  • Golden Star Chrysogonum virginianum#

  • Black bugbane Actaea racemosa#

  • White turtlehead Chelone glabra, C.lyonii#

  • Wild bleeding-heart Dicentra eximia#

  • Eastern shooting star Dodecatheon meadia#

  • White snakeroot Ageratina altissima

  • Common strawberry Fragaria virginiana

  • Andrew’s bottle gentian Gentiana andrewsii

  • Spotted crane’s-bill Geranium maculatum

  • Sunflower-everlasting Heliopsis helianthoides

  • Crested iris Iris cristata#

  • Jewelweed Impatiens capensis, I. pallida

  • Twinleaf Jeffersonia diphylla#

  • Blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica

  • Meehan’s mint Meehania cordata#

  • Allegany Spurge Pachysandra procumbens#

  • Golden Groundsel Packera aurea

  • Wood Phlox Phlox divaricata# & Phlox stolonifera#

  • Spreading Jacob’s-ladder Polemonium reptans#

  • King Solomon’s-seal Polygonatum biflorum

  • Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum muticum, P. virginicum

  • Blood-root Sanguinaria canadensis

  • Woodland stonecrop Sedum ternatum

  • Feathery false Solomon’s-seal Maianthemum racemosum (syn. Smilacina racemosa)

  • Early meadow-rue Thalictrum dioicum

  • Foam-flower Tiarella cordifolia

  • Goldenseal Hydrastis Canadensis#

  • Small’s penstemon Penstemon smallii#

  • Woodland Goldenrod Solidago caesia, S. flexicaulis

  • Bellworts Uvularia grandiflora, U. sessilifolia

  • New England violet Viola novae-angliae

  • Fiddlehead fern Matteuccia struthiopteris

PART OR FULL SUN 

Dry Sandy or Gravelly Soil 

SHRUBS
  • Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia and A. melanocarpa*

  • New Jersey redroot Ceanothus americanus

  • Sweet-fern Comptonia peregrina*

  • Gray dogwood Swida racemosa(Cornus racemosa)

  • Hazelnut Corylus americana and C. cornuta

  • Bush-Honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera *

  • Shrubby St. John’s-wort Hypericum prolificum

  • Juniper Juniperus communis, J. horizontalis, J. virginiana

  • Small bayberry Morella caroliniensis (syn. Myrica pensylvanica*)

  • Beach Plum Prunus maritima*

  • Dwarf Sand Plum Prunus pumila

  • Staghorn sumac Rhus hirta * (syn.Rhus typhina for large landscapes)

  • Virginia rose Rosa virginiana *

  • Rosy meadowsweet Spiraea tomentosa

  • Viburnum Viburnum nudum and V. prunifolium#

PERENNIALS
  • Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa*

  • Lavender giant-hyssop Agastache foeniculum #

  • Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea

  • Asters Eurybia spectabilis# Symphyotrichum concolor#, S. ericoides, S. laeve S. linariifolius*, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium#

  • Flax-leaved stiff-aster Ionactis linariifolia

  • Nodding wild onion Allium cernuum#

  • Pasqueflower Anemone patens#

  • Field pussytoes Antennaria neglecta*

  • Yellow wild indigo Baptisia tinctoria*

  • Purple prairie clover Dalea purpurea#

  • Prairie coneflowers Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, E. paradoxa, E. purpurea, E. tennesseensis

  • Wild Strawberry Fragaria virginiana*

  • Woodland sunflower Helianthus divaricatus

  • Blazing star Liatris squarrosa*, Liatris spicata#, L. punctata#, Liatris pycnostachya#

  • Wood lily Lilium philadelphicum

  • Blue flax Linum perenne.v.lewisii#

  • Sundial lupine Lupinus perennis*

  • Spotted bee-balm Monarda punctata#

  • Foxglove beardtongue Penstemon digitalis, P. hirsutus

  • Sand/moss phlox Phlox bifida, P. subulata

  • Three-toothed-cinquefoil Sibbaldiopsis tridentata

  • Virginia mountain-mint Pycnanthemum virginianum

  • Gray-headed Mexican-hat Ratibida pinnata

  • Blue Eyed Grass Sisyrinchium montanum, S. angustifolium

  • Goldenrod Solidago rugosa (S. rugosa), S. rugosum, S. sempervirens*

  • Virginia meadow-beauty Rhexia virginica#

  • Black-eyed coneflower Rudbeckia hirta*

  • Virginia spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana

  • Culver’s root Veronicastrum virginicum#

  • Bird-foot violet Viola Pedata

FULL SUN

Wet soils

SHRUBS
  • Alder Alnus spp.

  • Common buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis

  • Coastal sweet-pepperbush Clethra alnifolia

  • Dogwood Cornus amomum and C. racemosa and C. sericea

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • Northern spicebush Lindera benzoin

  • Sheep American-laurel Kalmia angustifolia

  • Evergreen winterberry Ilex glabra

  • Common winterberry Ilex verticillata

  • Sweetgale Myrica gale

  • American hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens#

  • Mountain holly Ilex mucronata

  • Canada rosebay Rhododendron canadense

  • Rosy meadowsweet Spiraea tomentosa

  • Pussy willow Salix discolor

  • Elderberry Sambucus canadensis

  • Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum,

  • Viburnum Viburnum dentatum, V. nudum, V. trilobum

PERENNIALS
  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata

  • Asters Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, S. novi-belgii, S. puniceum, S.umbellatus

  • Marsh-marigold Caltha palustris

  • Purple-stemmed Angelica Angelica atropurpurea

  • Turtlehead Chelone glabra, C. lyonii#

  • Virginia virgin’s-bower Clematis virginiana

  • Spotted Joe-Pye weed Eutrochium maculatum

  • Boneset thoroughwort Eupatorium perfoliatum

  • Andrew’s bottle gentian Gentiana andrewsii

  • Water avens Geum rivale

  • Wild sunflower Helianthus decapetalus, H. giganteus H. divaricatus

  • Sunlower-everlasting Heliopsis helianthoides

  • Jewelweed Impatiens capensis, I. pallida

  • Blue Iris Iris versicolor

  • Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya, L. spicata

  • Carolina sea-lavender Limonium carolinianum*

  • Cardinal-flower Lobelia cardinalis,

  • Blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica

  • Canada lily Lilium canadense

  • Wood lily L. philadelphicum#

  • Swamp yellow-loosestrife Lysimachia terrestris

  • Bee-balm Monarda fistulosa, Monarda didyma#

  • Allegheny monkey-flower Mimulus ringens

  • Golden groundsel Packera aurea

  • Obedient false dragonhead Physostegia virginiana #

  • Three-lobed coneflower Rudbeckia triloba

  • Mad dog skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora

  • New York American-aster Symphyotrichum novi-belgii

  • Blue vervain Verbena hastata

  • New York ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis#

FERNS
  • Northern maidenhair fern Adiantum pedatum

  • Sensitive fern Onoclea sensibilis

  • Fiddlehead fern Matteuccia struthiopteris

  • Cinnamon fern Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

  • Royal fern Osmunda regalis

WET SHADE

  • Coastal sweet-pepperbush Clethra alnifolia

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • Northern spicebush Lindera benzoin

  • Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum

  • Ferns- Fiddlehead fern Matteuccia struthiopteris, Cinnamon fern Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, Royal fern Osmunda regalis

  • Cardinal-flower Lobelia cardinalis

  • Blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica

  • Golden groundsel Packera aurea

SUN TO PART SHADE

Medium to dry and highly acidic soil

SHRUBS
  • Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

  • Sweet-fern Comptonia peregrina

  • Eastern spicy-wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens

  • Black huckleberry Gaylussacia baccata

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • Bayberry Morella caroliniensis* (syn. Myrica pensylvanica)*

  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera*

  • Juniper Juniperus horizontalis, J. virginiana

  • American Honeysuckle Lonicera canadensis

  • Red elderberry Sambucus pubens

  • Common lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium

PERENNIALS
  • Wild sarsaparilla Aralia nudicaulis

  • Bunchberry, Chamaepericlymenum canadense

  • Sundial lupine Lupinus perennis

  • Bird-foot violet Viola pedata

  • Ferns – Eastern hay-scented fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula, New York fern Parathelypteris noveboracensis

  • Black-eyed coneflower Rudbeckia hirta

PART TO FULL SHADE

For Acidic Soils

SHRUBS/SMALL TREES
  • Goosefoot maple Acer pensylvanicum

  • Mountain maple Acer spicatum

  • Bush-honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera

  • Black huckleberry Gaylussacia baccata

  • American witch-hazel Hamamelis virginiana

  • American honeysuckle Lonicera canadensis

  • Red elderberry Sambucus pubens

  • Common lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium

  • Viburnum Viburnum acerfolium, V.cassinoides

PERENNIALS
  • Wood Aster Eurybia macrophylla, Symphyotrichum cordifolium, S. divaricatus

  • Canada-mayflower Maianthemum canadense

  • Bunchberry Chamaepericlymenum canadense

  • Wood sunflower Helianthus divaricatus

  • Woodland Goldenrod Solidago caesia, S. flexicaulis

FERNS
  • Eastern hay-scented fern Dennstaedtia punctilobula

  • New York fern Parathelypteris noveboracensis

  • Broad beech fern Phegopteris hexagonoptera

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