When designing a landscape or a native plant nursery, some individuals may turn to exotic and ornamental plants. These plants often need more maintenance than common plants. If invasive, they can impair local ecosystems, so it is key to care for them properly. Native plants are a great way to add color and personality to any property. They are beautiful, sustainable, and support the environment. Here are a few native plant options to consider adding to your landscape:
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
American witch hazel (H. virginiana) has striking yellow flowers that bloom in late fall. Vernal witch hazel (H. vernalis) blooms in mid to late winter (January to March). Their colorful blooms support pollinators when most flowers are gone. Branches provide shelter for birds, enhancing the biodiversity of your garden. Witch hazel is easy to care for and adaptable to various soil types. It’s an ideal choice for both new and experienced landscape designers.
Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago)
Nannyberry viburnum is another versatile and resilient native shrub. Its multi-season stems include white spring flowers and inky blue, edible fall berries. Those berries attract a variety of birds during fall. It’s a great choice for hedgerows, privacy screens, or as a focal point in your landscape design.
American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)
The American hornbeam is a small-to-medium-sized tree. It is ideal for shady landscapes or woodland gardens. This native’s most prominent feature is its smooth, gray, muscle-like bark. Its leaves emerge with a charming red tint during spring that gives way to a lush green during summer. Its red, orange, and yellow fall foliage creates the quintessential autumn aesthetic.
Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
The Yellowwood tree adds both beauty and significant ecological benefits to all landscapes. In spring, fragrant, white, pea-like flowers emerge in hanging clusters. They add an elegant touch while attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. During summer, its smooth, heart-shaped leaves provide comforting shade. Growing up to 50 feet, yellowwood is great for large spaces. It can be used in recreational parks, or as a centerpiece in a native landscape.
Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
Achieving heights of 50 feet or more, the post oak is a magnificent tree. It showcases a broad canopy filled with textured leaves. It is drought-tolerant and adaptable to various soil types. The post oak falls into the white oak group, and shares many of the same traits as the white oak (Quercus alba). This native plant includes excellent food and habitat for local wildlife.
American Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
The American wintergreen plant is a shrub that grows low to the ground and can tolerate heavy shade. This native plant works well in landscapes that are naturally cool and wet. It is an excellent option as a groundcover, or you can allow the bright red berries to stand out as an accent in your yard or garden. The small berries on the American wintergreen plant are edible, and the leaves have a variety of medicinal benefits. Consider adding this versatile plant to your landscape collection or native plant nursery.
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
The red maple tree is named after its beautiful bright red foliage. These resilient plants can thrive in almost any climate, and they work well in a variety of soil types. Red maple trees provide excellent shade for lawns or other public areas. This attractive plant offers stunning colors and would make an excellent addition to any outdoor environment.
Plan Your Native Plant Nursery or Landscape Project Today
Creating a native landscape celebrates the inherent beauty of a region. It also creates a thriving ecosystem that may benefit local wildlife throughout the year. Your native landscape can help wildlife no matter its size. Search for a reputable plant nursery in your area to find unique native plants that fit your needs and preferences.