EC 1623    Published May 2008
Reviewed:
October 2017

Growing native plants can be rewarding in many ways. They add beauty with colorful flowers, foliage, texture, and scents. If planted in a suitable habitat, native plants are well adapted to our soils and climate. This reduces the need for supplemental water (once established) and maintenance, and makes it easy to maintain plant health.

When grown in the right conditions, native plants typically experience less environmental, insect, and disease damage than nonnative plants. Native plants also create the best environments for local pollinators and wildlife. They tend to be minimally invasive when planted in the right environment.

The lists of trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials in this publication focus on native plants that are readily available from local nurseries and adapt easily to an urban landscape environment (figures 1 and 2). These are not complete lists of Central Oregon native plants.

When selecting native plants, choose plants whose natural habitat is similar to conditions in your landscape. For example, select plants native to riparian areas for a wet area of the landscape, or choose dryland plants for your rock garden. The information in the lists regarding preferred growing conditions and size refers to landscape conditions, not to plants growing in the wild.

Table 1. Native plants that are available from local nurseries and adapt easily to an urban landscape environment.

These are not complete lists of Central Oregon native plants.

Common name

Botanical name

Preferred growing conditions

Mature height

Deciduous trees

Alder, Mountain

Alnus tenuifolia

sun/moist

10 ft

Alder, White

Alnus rhombifolia

sun to part shade/moist

50–60 ft

Aspen, Quaking

Populus tremuloides

sun/moist or dry

30–40 ft

Cherry, Bitter

Prunus emarginata

sun to part shade/moist to dry

20–50 ft

Cottonwood, Black

Populus trichocarpa

sun/moist

100+ ft

Hawthorn, Black

Crataegus douglasii

sun/moist

10–30 ft

Conifers

Douglas-Fir

Pseudotsuga menziesii

sun/moist

40–80 ft

Fir, Grand

Abies grandis

sun to part shade/moist

100+ ft

Fir, Noble

Abies procera

sun to part shade/moist

50–100 ft

Fir, Pacific Silver

Abies amabilis

sun to shade/moist

50–80 ft

Fir, Subalpine

Abies lasiocarpa

sun/dry

30–50 ft

Hemlock, Mountain

Tsuga mertensiana

sun to part shade/moist

30+ ft

Juniper, Western or Sierra

Juniperus occidentalis

sun/dry

15–30+ ft

Larch, Western

Larix occidentalis

sun/moist to moderate

100+ ft

Pine, Lodgepole

Pinus contorta latifolia, narrow upright form

sun to part shade/dry

50–70 ft

Pine, Murrayana

Pinus contorta murrayana, bonsai or sparse form

sun/dry

40–60 ft

Pine, Ponderosa

Pinus ponderosa

sun/dry

50–60 ft

Spruce, Engelmann

Picea englemannii

sun to part shade/moist

80–100 ft

Deciduous shrubs

Ash, Sitka Mountain

Sorbus sitchensis

sun to light shade/moist to dry

10–20 ft

Birch, Water

Betula occidentalis

sun/moist to dry

15–30 ft

Bitterbrush

Purshia tridentata

sun/dry

3–4 ft

Chokecherry

Prunus virginiana

sun to part shade/moist to dry

15–30 ft

Currant, Golden

Ribes aureum

sun to shade/dry

6–8 ft

Currant, Wax

Ribes cereum

sun/dry

4–6 ft

Desert Sweet

Chamaebatiaria millefolium

sun/dry

3–6 ft

Dogwood, Redosier

Cornus sericea ssp. occidentalis

sun to part shade/moist

7–9 ft

Elderberry, Blue

Sambucus mexicana

sun/moist

15–30 ft

Elderberry, Red

Sambucus racemosa

sun to part shade/moist

6–20 ft

Maple, Rocky Mountain

Acer glabrum

sun to part shade/moist or dry

10–20 ft

Maple, Vine

Acer circinatum

shade to part sun/moist

10–20 ft

Mockorange

Philadelphus lewisii

sun to part shade/moist to dry

5–10 ft

Oceanspray

Holodiscus discolor

part shade/moderate

10–15 ft

Rabbitbrush, Gray

Ericameria nauseosus

sun/dry

2–6 ft

Rabbitbrush, Low Green

Ericameria viscidiflorus lanceolatus

sun/dry

1–4 ft

Rose, Wood’s

Rosa woodsii

part shade to sun/ moderate

3–6 ft

Serviceberry

Amelanchier alnifolia

sun to part shade/moderate

8–12 ft

Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

sun to part shade/moderate

4–6 ft

Spirea, Douglas

Spiraea douglasii

sun/moist

3–7 ft

Willow species

Salix spp.

sun/moist

varied

Evergreen shrubs

Groundcovers (1–12”) denoted by (G)

Buckbrush

Ceanothus velutinus

part shade to sun/dry

2–10 ft

Boxwood, Oregon

Paxistima myrsinites

sun to part shade/moist

1–3 ft

Kinnickinnick (G)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

sun/dry

4–8 in

Mahonia Creeping

Mahonia (Berberis)) repens

part shade to sun/moderate

12–18 in

Mazanita, Greenleaf

Arctostaphylos patula

sun to part shade/dry

4–6 ft

Manzanita, Pinemat

Arctostaphylos nevadensis

sun to part shade/dry

12–20 in

Mountain Mahogany, Curl-Leaf

Cercocarpus ledifolium

sun/dry

10–15 ft

Oregon Grape

Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium

part shade to sun/moderate

3–10 ft

Purple Sage

Salvia dorrii

sun/dry

16–18 in

Sagebrush, Big

Artemisia tridentata

sun/dry

3–6 ft

Grasses

Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Pseudoroegneria spicata

sun/dry

2–3 ft

Great Basin Wild Rye

Leymus cinereus

sun/moist to moderate

3–4 ft

Idaho Fescue

Festuca idahoensis

sun/dry

12 in

Indian Rice Grass

Achnatherum hymenoides

sun/dry

2–3 ft

Prairie Junegrass

Koeleria macrantha

sun to part shade/dry

1–2 ft

Sandberg’s Bluegrass

Poa sandbergii

sun/dry

4–12 in

Tufted Hair Grass

Deschampsia caespitosa

sun/moist

1–3 ft

Perennials

Alumroot

Heuchera cylindrica

sun to part shade/moderate

12­–18 in

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Balsamorhiza sagittata

sun/dry

8–30 in

Aster, Long-leaved

Aster chilensis

sun/dry to moderate

1–2 ft

Bleeding Heart

Dicentra formosa

shade/moist

1–1.5 ft

Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium idahoense

shade to part sun/moist

20–24 in

Buckwheat, Creamy

Eriogonum heracleoides

sun/dry

6–14 in

Buckwheat, Sulphur

Eriogonum umbellatum

sun to light shade/dry

6–12 in

Columbine, Western

Aquilegia formosa

part shade to sun/moist

2 ft

Flax, Blue

Linum lewisii

sun/dry to moderate

2 ft

Fleabane, Showy

Erigeron speciosus

sun to shade/dry

10–12 in

Geranium, Sticky

Geranium viscosissimum

sun/dry

10–24 in

Gilia, Scarlet

Ipomopsis aggregata

sun/dry

24–30 in

Globemallow, Scarlet

Sphaeralcea coccinea

sun/dry

6–12 in

Hollyhock, Mountain

Iliamna rivularis

sun/dry or moist

2–3 ft

Indian Blanket Flower

Gaillardia aristata

sun/dry to moderate

24–30 in

Lily, Sand

Leucocrinum montanum

sun/dry

3–4 ft

Lupine, Sicklekeel

Lupinus albicaulis

sun to part shade/dry1–2 ft

Lupine, Silvery

Lupinus argenteus

sun to part shade/dry

2–3 ft

Monkey Flower, Dwarf Purple

Mimulus nanus

sun/dry

2–3 in

Monkey Flower, Purple

Mimulus lewisii

sun to part shade/moderate

1–3 ft

Monkey Flower, Yellow

Mimulus guttatus

sun to part shade/moderate

20–24 in

Oregon Sunshine

Eriophyllum lanatum

sun/dry

8–12 in

Penstemon, Davidson’s

Penstemon davidsonii

sun to part shade/dry

4–8 ft

Penstemon, Lowly

Penstemon humilis

sun/dry

8–12 in

Penstemon, Cutleaf

Penstemon richardsonii

sun/dry

1–2 ft

Penstemon, Showy

Penstemon speciosus

sun to part shade/dry

1–2 ft

Penstemon, Shrubby

Penstemon frutiosus

sun to part shade/dry

12–16 in

Phlox, Spreading

Phlox diffusa

full sun/dry

2–4 in

Rosy Pussytoes

Antennaria microphylla

sun/dry

4–8 in

Strawberry, Chilean

Fragaria chiloensis

sun to part shade/dry

10–12 in

Strawberry, Wood’s

Fragaria vesca bracteata

shade/moist

10–12 in

Resources for finding native plants for your landscape

Detweiler, A.J. 2006. Central Oregon’s Plant Resource Guide

Oregon Association of Nurseries Directory and Buyers Guide

For more information

Detweiler, A.J. 2017. Water-wise Gardening in Central Oregon, EM 9136

Dirr, M.A. 1988. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses, 5th ed., rev. Stipes Publishing, Champaign IL.

Hopkins, W.E. and R.C. Rawlings. 1988. Major Indicator Shrubs and Herbs on National Forests of Eastern Oregon. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.

Jensen, E.C. and C.R. Ross. 2005. Trees to Know in Oregon. Oregon State University Extension Service publication EC 1450, Corvallis, OR.

Kovalchik, B.L., W. Hopkins, and S. Brunsfeld. 1988. Major Indicator Shrubs and Herbs in Riparian Zones on National Forests of Central Oregon. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.

Kruckeberg, A.R. 1992. Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, 2nd ed. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

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