Native Plant Gardens
|Common Name||Latin Name (Weber)||Height (Feet)||Preferred Environment||Comments and Tips|
|Antelope bitterbush||Purshia tridentata||5||South-facing slopes, dry well-drained soils||Attractive, birds eat seeds|
||Oreobatus (Rubus) deliciosus||5||Dry but perfers moist / Partial shade||Very attractive huge white flowers; wildlife will eat the fruits which aren't very tasty to people.|
|Buckbrush||Ceanothus fendleri||2||Dry / Sun to partial shade
||Juniperus communis ssp. alpina||3||Dry or moist / Shade
||Attractive, broad evergreen shrub that grows low to the ground. Requires shade and moisture.|
|False indigo||Amorpha fruticosa||6||Dry / Sun||A small native shrub which is listed as a state species of special concern. Leaves are late to appear in spring; the purple flower stalks produce a very sweet, fragrant aroma.|
||Atriplex canescens||5||Very Dry / Sun
||Seeds eaten by birds.|
||Ribes aureum||6||Dry to moist / Partial shade||This bush greens up quickly in spring and produces scores of delicate golden-yellow flowers. The flowers sometimes have a clove scent. In late summer, small greenish-golden fruits feed wildlife. Deer will browse foliage. Readily available at nurseries.|
|Kinnikinnick||Arctostaphylos uva-ursi||1||Semi-dry areas; needs acidic, well-drained soil/ Shade
||Attractive, waxy leaves and red berries; ground cover. Browsed by a wide variety of wildlife. Occasionally found at nurseries.|
||Physocarpus monogynus||4||Dry to moist / Shade||Very attractive, showy flowers; birds eat seeds|
Oceanspray (Rock spirea)
|Holodiscus dumosus||10||Dry but prefers moisture / Sun or partial shade||
A lovely drought-tolerant shrub that produces spires of creamy white flowers in late spring or early summer. Often available in nurseries.
|Oregon holly-grape (Creeping mahonia)||Mahonia repens||1||Dry / Sun but prefers shade
Holly-like leaves; attractive ground cover or small shrub. Yellow sweet-scented flowers appear very early in spring; birds eat the sour grape-like fruits. Will grow from seed, transplants easily and may be started from root stocks. Plants take several years to mature and bloom.
Several much taller non native Mahonias are commonly sold in local nurseries - Mahonia aquifolium (tall grape holly) and M. bealii (leatherleaf mahonia). Be sure to ask for M. repens.
|Rabbitbrush, Chamisa||Chrysothamnus nauseosus||1-6||Hot Dry /Sun||
A very attractive drought tolerant shrub which produces masses of greenish-gray foliage. It will grow in the driest, hottest part of your yard. Yellow flowers in late summer attract clouds of butterflies. If the plant becomes straggly or overgrown, give it a severe haircut. You will be amazed how quickly it recovers and fills out!
|Rabbitbrush - dwarf blue||Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. nauseosus||1-4||Hot Dry / Sun||A smaller local variety of the Rabbitbrush listed above. 1-4 feet tall at maturity|
|Shrubby cinquefoil||Pentaphylloides floribunda (Potentilla fruticosa)||3||Dry / Sun or partial shade
||Often cultivated as an ornamental; attractive. Many cultivars are available at nurseries.|
|Symphoricarpos albus||3||Dry / Shade||Attractive red stems and white fleshy berries. This plant grows and transplants easily and needs no care, it will thrive in shady dry places where nothing else seems to grow.|
|Parthenocissus quinquefolia||20 - 30||Part sun, Dry / Moist||
A very hardy climbing vine that adheres to walls and fences with small sticky pads. The tiny pale green flowers become dark purple berries that are food for birds but mildly toxic to humans. In fall, the foliage turns a spectacular crimson. It may cover and shade out other plants if not pruned occasionally.
Virginia creeper is used to shade and cool buildings in summer - the sticky pads do not penetrate masonary, but adhere to the surface. Trying to rip the plant from a wall may damage the surface; but if the plant is first killed, by severing the vine from the root, the adhesive pads will eventually deteriorate and release their grip.
||Ribes cereum||4||Dry / Partial shade
||Not spiny; wildlife eat the fruits, which are related to gooseberries.|
|Waxflower (Cliffrose)||Jamesia americana||6||Sun / dry||Because it naturally grows on cliffs, it makes a fine medium-szied shrub for rock gardens. Aromatic, with attractive white flowers in spring.
Western virgin's bower
|Clematis ligusticifolia||creeping vine||Sun or shade / Dry||A very hardy climbing vine for dry areas, tolerates clay soils. In late summer vines produce clusters of small, delicate white flowers. Female plants then produce masses of feathery seeds. Starts from seed and transplants fairly easily.Can be trained to climb a trellis.
|Vitis riparia||creeping vine||Part sun, Dry / Moist||A hardy but slow-growing climbing vine that produces fruit for wildlife. Starts easily from seed and can be trained up a trellis to form a shaded arbor. Grape leaves are host plants for several attactive local moths.
|Wild rose or Wood's rose||Rosa woodsii||1-6||Dry / Sun but prefers moist partial shade
Wildlife feed on the red rose hips, which are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Some find it aggressive in gardens.
Stems are often covered with small sharp torns, more an annoyance than a hazard.
||Kraschenin-nikovia (Ceratoides) lanata||1-3||Dry / Sun, Sandy alkaline soils||Flower clusters become fluffy resembling lambs' tails.|
|Yucca, Plains yucca||Yucca glauca||3||Hot Dry / Sun
||A very hardy, drought tolerant prairie plant that starts easily from seed and transplants easily when small. The seedlings seem to require shade and moisture for the first few years. Its sharp foliage may injure a careless gardener. The spectacular stalks of white flowers won't appear until the plant is several years old. Yuccas will grow best in the hottest driest parts of your yard.
|Boxelder||Negundo aceroides (Acer negundo)||20||Stream banks||Leaves yellow in fall|
|Chokecherry||Padus (Prunus) virginiana ssp. melanocarpa||12||Dry / Sun but prefers moist partial shade
||In spring, this bush displays sprays of tiny white scented flowers that attract bees and butterflies. The sour astringent purple fruits are a favorite of wildlife and can be boiled down to make fine pancake syrup and jam (with sugar added!). Chokecherries may spread aggressively underground through suckers and may require space and pruning. Deer may browse the foliage. Chokecherries will sprout readily from seeds but take several years to reach maturity. Transplant easily.|
|Celtis reticulata||12||Dry rocky hillsides and ravine banks||A small tree of the plains. Small reddish-brown fruits eaten by birds. The leaves turn golden-yellow in fall.
|Hawthorn||Crataegus erythropoda||10||Dry / Sun
||Beautiful white flowers in spring, like miniature white roses. Fruits are berries like rose hips, red and woody, but are eaten by some animals. Beware the thorns, up to 2" long, shiny red. Thornless variety may be available in the nursery trade.
||Sorbus scopulina||12||Rocky canyons and ravines||
Orange berries produced in fall are said to appeal to wildlife, although this doesn't seem to be the case in Boulder. Deer may aggressively browse the leaves.
Most nurseries stock the European mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia. Check the name carefully!
|Mountain mahogany||Cercocarpus montanus||15||Open rocky woods and stony soils||A drought-tolerant attractive shrub. Seeds have long furry "mouse tails" attached. Leaves turn yellowish in fall, but the plant is sometimes evergreen. Deer may browse the leaves.Often available in nurseries.
|Rocky Mountain juniper||Sabina (Juniperus) scopulorum||15-40||Dry / Sun
||A hardy drought-tolerant tree that can thrive in full hot sun. Birds eat the fruits.|
|Rocky Mountain maple
||Acer glabrum||15||Moist / Shade
||More of a large, loose bush than a tree. Attractive red stems. Birds eat seeds, buds, and flowers. Attractive fall colors.
||Amelanchier alnifolia||15||Dry but prefers moist / Shade
||An attractive tall shrub which produces white flowers in spring. Fruits eaten by wildlife (and people!). Transplants easily. Varieties and cultivars are readily found in nurseries. Seedlings may volunteer.|
|Silver buffaloberry||Shepherdia argentea||12||Streamsides and river bottoms||Leaves silvery on both sides; branches spiny. Native cousin of the noxious Russian Olive.|
||Rhus glabra||5||Dry / Sun Slopes and canyonsides||
This is a medium sized shrub that grows in patches and clumps. Leaves appear late in spring and turn a spectacular crimson in autumn.
AVOID the similar but much larger and more agressive staghorn sumac (R. typhina) - our native doesn't have velvety branches.
|Sumac, Three-leaf (Skunkbush)||Rhus aromatica ssp. trilobata||5||Dry / Sun||Don't be put off by this shrub's name! It is a drought-tolerant gem. Wildlife eats the dry red-yellow fruits, which taste like dill pickles. Leaves appear late in spring but last into the fall, when they turn lovely shades of yellow, red and orange. Trivia: American Indians prepared a sour lemonade-like drink from the berries. Commonly available at nurseries.|
|Thinleaf alder||Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia||18||Swampy ground or sandy soil; montane stream banks and pond borders||Female catkins are cone-like and persist through winter|
||Prunus americana||12||Dry or moist / Sun||These shrubs produce aromatic displays of white flowers each spring. They often form thickets; 1" yellow to red fruits are edible. They will start from seed but take some years to reach maturity. They are somewhat delicate to transplant.|
|Lanceleaf cottonwood||Populus x. acuminata||40 - 60||Stream banks and valleys||First generation sterile hybrid between P. deltoides and P. angustifolia; leaf-shape is indicative of this cross.|
|Narrowleaf cottonwood||Populus angustifolia||30 - 60||Stream banks and valleys||Long narrow willow-like leaves turn yellow in fall. Available as a graft onto P. x acuminata rootstock which should reduce suckering.|
||Populus deltoides ssp. monilifera||60 - 80+||Moist soils; floodplains, riparian areas and valley bottoms||Nursery stock should be male and therefore "cottonless"; broad leaves turn yellow-gold in fall.This tree will grow very quickly.
||Pinus ponderosa||60 - 80+||Variety of habitats - adaptable||Tall evergreen tree grows to more than 80 feet, and can live for several hundred years. Seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. It will grow well in dry, sunny locations. Be careful not to over-water it!
Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2012 11:17