Native Shrubs


Please note: We do not ship plants. We sell retail to the area only. Non-profit organizations, state and county parks, schools and landscapers receive a discount from retail pricing. Most shrubs are in trade "1-3 gallon" pots, sizes 300, 600 and 1200. Prices range from $19 to about $40/pot, depending on pot size, plant height and variety. Notes on nativity and distribution throughout PA are from The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania, by Rhoads and Klein.

Aronia arbutifolia, Red Chokeberry | PA Native | wide distribution

A shrub with an upright habit. Small, white flowers in spring are followed by dense clusters of showy red berries in late summer, which persist on the plant well into winter - since they only become palatable to birds after several frosts. Outstanding red foliage color gives this plant several seasons of interest.

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade. Prefers moist to wet soil, where it may sucker to form colonies, but also tolerates average to dry conditions.

Height: 6-8' h x w. 

Available: straight species; cultivar 'Brilliantissima', with improved fruit set.

Aronia melanocarpa, Chokeberry | PA Native | moderate distribution

Small, white flowers in May are followed by clusters of purple-black berries in fall. Berries have an astringent taste that birds eat only after they've been hit with a few good frosts. Fall color can be good purplish red, but is most consistent on cultivars. Suckers to form thickets. 

Culture: Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained, wet or dry soils; extremely adaptable. Develops best fall color in sun. 

Height: 3'-5'h x 3'-5'w. 

Available: straight species, and cultivar 'Autumn Magic', with more brilliant fall color.

Ceanothus americanus, New Jersey Tea | PA Native | wide distribution
Ceanothus americanus, New Jersey Tea | PA Native | wide distribution

A really adaptable shrub that performs beautifully in tough, dry conditions, even in part shade. White, fragrant flowers from late spring to mid-summer. Deep roots mean this shrub holds the soil well on banks. Dried leaves were used as a tea substitute in Revolutionary War times.  Genus hosts Brown Elfin and Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to part shade in average to dry, well-drained soil.

Height: 3'h x w.

Available: straight species

Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush | PA Native | wide distribution

An essential species to include in natural wet areas. Fluffy, golf ball-like fragrant white flowers cover the plant in August and September, and are a magnet for butterflies. Its loose appearance in the landscape is best suited to informal, natural gardens.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in consistently moist areas; tolerates wet soil. Cut to the ground every few years to rejuvenate the plant.

Height: 4' - 10' h. 

Available: straight species.

Clethra alnifolia, Summersweet | PA Native | limited distribution

Why plant butterfly bush when you could plant summersweet? Covered with fragrant spikes of flowers for a long period in the summer (white for the species, with cultivars offering different colors). Fall leaf color is yellow.

Culture: Plant in partial shade; will tolerate full sun for part of the day. Prefers moist soil, but also tolerates drier conditions.

Height: 5-8' h x w

Available: straight species; cultivar 'Ruby Spice' with rose-pink flowers.

Comptonia peregrina, Sweet-fern | PA Native | wide distribution
Comptonia peregrina, Sweet-fern | PA Native | wide distribution

A real collector's plant! Sweet-fern is not often seen in the trade, but is a lovely low-growing shrub that can form dense stands where happy. Foliage looks like a fern, but the resemblance stops there. Sweet-fern fixes nitrogen, making it a good choice for nutrient poor or stripped soils. 

Culture: Plant in full sun in average, well-drained soil. Tolerates poor soil, salt, drought. Can be difficult to establish.

Height: 2'-4'h x 4'w.

Available: straight species

Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood | PA Native | wide distribution
Cornus amomum, Silky Dogwood | PA Native | wide distribution

A good shrub for moist to wet areas along streams, ponds, or bogs. Loose, rounded appearance is informal; flowers are yellowish-white in May or June, followed by ornamental blue berries in August, which are quickly eaten by birds. Genus (Cornus) is a host for Spring Azure and Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in partial shade to full sun in moist to wet soils; will tolerate drier soils.

Height: 6-10' h. 

Available: straight species.

Corylus americana, Hazelnut | PA Native | wide distribution
Corylus americana, Hazelnut | PA Native | wide distribution

A multi-stemmed shrub with ornamental catkins in the spring, followed by 1/2" hazelnuts which mature in September and October. The fruits are often used in desserts. A good smaller tree for a property.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil with organic matter. May sucker from the base; suckers can be pruned to improve appearance.

Height:: 8' - 15' h. 

Available: straight species.

Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy', Fothergilla | US Native | Southeastern US

White, bottlebrush flowers in spring with a light fragrance; in fall, foliage turns beautiful shades of dark orange to red. 'Mt. Airy' is natural hybrid of two species of Fothergilla native to the southeastern US. An elegant plant worthy of a front-and-center place in a landscape. 

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil with organic matter.

Height: 3-5' h x 3'w.

Fothergilla major, Fothergilla | US Native | Southeastern US
Fothergilla major, Fothergilla | US Native | Southeastern US

This large shrub has sweetly-scented white bottlebrush flowers in spring, after the leaves have emerged, and truly excellent fall color – the same leaf can be yellow, orange and red! Lovely with rhododendrons. A connoisseur's plant that deserves greater use. 

Culture: Plant in sun to partial shade in average, well-drained soil. May sucker to form colonies, but this tendency can be kept in check by pruning.

Height: 6-10'h x 5'w.

Available: straight species

Hamamelis virginiana, Witchhazel | PA Native | wide distribution
Hamamelis virginiana, Witchhazel | PA Native | wide distribution

Our native witchhazel blooms late in the fall, with yellow, strap-like, fragrant flowers. The fall color is often a beautiful clear yellow. Witchhazel has a striking architecture, with broad, coarse branches and a wide-spreading, open form, making it effective in the landscape even in the winter. Genus (Hamamelis) is a host for Striped Hairstreak butterflies.

Culture:Plant in full sun to part shade in moist soil; does well in clay soil; does not tolerate high pH. 

Height: 20'-30'h x 20'w. 

Available: straight species

Hydrangea arborescens, Smooth Hydrangea | PA Native | wide distribution
Hydrangea arborescens, Smooth Hydrangea | PA Native | wide distribution

Spherical clusters of white flowers turn shades of green and brown throughout the summer, providing for a long season of interest; the bleached flower heads are also extremely ornamental in the winter. An excellent cut flower.

Culture: Plant in partial shade  in moist, well-drained soil. Cut down to the ground in late winter for largest flowers.

Height: 3-5' h.

Available: cultivar 'White Dome', with large, pure white lace-cap flowers.

Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea | US Native

This is a plant with fully 4 seasons of interest: strikingly large oak-shaped leaves, beautiful, showy panicles of white flowers in summer, outstanding violet fall foliage, and exfoliating bark in winter. A must-have in the garden.

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade in a site protected from wind; best in moist, well-drained soils with organic matter.

Height: species 6' h, cultivars from 4' h. 

Available: cultivar 'Pee Wee', compact habit to 5' h; cultivar 'Alice', 6' h

Ilex glabra, Inkberry | PA Native | native populations now extinct; formerly v. limited distribution
Ilex glabra, Inkberry | PA Native | native populations now extinct; formerly v. limited distribution

This is a real workhorse of a plant. Evergreen foliage stays attractive throughout the year. Rounded habit does not require pruning. Dark black fruit appears in fall. Over time, lower leaves fall away. Adaptable to many different garden conditions.

Culture: Plant in full sun; tolerates shade, but will be less dense. Best in moist, acidic soils, but adapted to wet soils and tolerates dry soils.

Height: species 6' h, cultivars from 4' h. 

Available: straight species; cultivar 'Densa', with improved ability to hold lower leaves.

Ilex verticillata, Winterberry | PA Native | wide distribution

An excellent plant for fall and winter interest, with striking displays of red berries on female plants that persist through winter. Cultivars offer a wide range of heights.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in soil that is consistently moist. NOTE: a male plant is needed for fruit set.

Height: species 6-10' h, cultivars from 3' h. 

Available: cultivar 'Berry Nice', 6-8' h, with improved fruit set, and male pollinator 'Jim Dandy', 7-10' h.

Itea virginica, Virginia Sweetspire | PA Native | native populations now extinct; formerly v. limited distribution
Itea virginica, Virginia Sweetspire | PA Native | native populations now extinct; formerly v. limited distribution

A very attractive shrub with lightly fragrant, white spikes of flowers in early summer, on a shrub with a dense, rounded habit. Fall color is excellent, especially on cultivars, which exhibit shades of red, orange, and purple.

Culture: Plant in full sun to full shade in moist to wet soils; tolerates drier soils, as well. Plant is denser and showier in sun.

Height: species 3-10' h, cultivars from 3' h. 

Available:: cultivar 'Little Henry', with mature height of 3-4', consistently excellent fall color.

Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel | PA Native | wide distribution

The state flower of PA, mountain laurel delights with its white to pale pink blooms against glossy, evergreen foliage. Many cultivars are available in a variety of flower colors and patterns. Attractive branching habit makes a nice silhouette even in winter. Genus (Kalmia) is a host for Brown Elfin butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun for densest growth; has a more open habit in shade. Needs excellent drainage. Prefers moist, acidic soil; tolerates drier soil. Mulch well.

Height: species 7-15' h, cultivars shorter. 

Available: straight species

Lindera benzoin, Spicebush | PA Native | wide distribution

A much-beloved understory plant in our woods, emitting a spicy fragrance when the leaves or bark are brushed up against. Flowers before the leaves, in early April. Produced attractive red berries in the fall that are quickly eaten by birds. Genus (Lindera) is a host for Spicebush Swallowtail and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to full shade in moist, slightly alkaline soil. Tolerates drier conditions, as well.

Height: 6-12' h. 

Available: straight species.

Physocarpus opulifolius, Ninebark | PA Native | wide distribution

Pinkish-white flowers in May and June, preceded by attractive bud clusters. Exfoliating bark adds interest in winter. The cultivars of ninebark have extremely showy foliage - ranging from lime green to dark purple - and make a real splash in the garden.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade. Tolerates poor, dry soil, but often found in the wild in moist to wet conditions.

Height: species 5-10' h, cultivars from 4' h. 

Available: cultivars 'Diablo' with dark red foliage, 8-10'h x w; 'Summer Wine', with fine-textured dark foliage, 5-6'h x w; 'Coppertina' with copper foliage; 'Dart's Gold' with chartreuse foliage.

Rhododendron arborescens, Sweet Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution
Rhododendron arborescens, Sweet Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution

A lovely summer-blooming native azalea with extremely fragrant white to pinkish flowers in June-July. Erect, loosely-branched habit. Foliage may turn reddish in fall. Shrubs are very large, so give them space! 

Culture: Plant in partial shade in light, acidic soil that is consistently moist.

Height: 4'-6'h x w.

Available: straight species

Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame Azalea | PA Native | V. limited, protected in PA
Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame Azalea | PA Native | V. limited, protected in PA

A native deciduous azalea with large, showy flowers in vibrant but variable colors that may range from yellow to orange to red.  Beautiful loose, open form when grown in shade. Slow growing. All wild populations in PA are now extinct.  Genus hosts Striped Hairstreak and Brown Elfin butterflies.

Culture: Plant in part shade to full shade in well-drained, moist, acidic soil. Do not prune except to remove dead branches.

Height: 5-8'h.

Available: straight species

Rhododendron canescens, Piedmont Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution - SE PA only
Rhododendron canescens, Piedmont Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution - SE PA only

This large, deciduous azalea bears fragrant flowers in shades of white, pink, to rose in mid-spring. Spreads slowly to form large colonies over time. This is a wonderful plant to naturalize in the woods, under a high shade canopy, underplanted with spring wildflowers.  Striped Hairstreak and Brown Elfin butterflies

Culture: Plant in partial shade in well-drained soil with organic matter. Moderately drought tolerant once established. Do not expose to winds. 

Height: 6-8' h.

Rhododendron maximum, Rosebay Rhododendron | PA Native | moderate distribution
Rhododendron maximum, Rosebay Rhododendron | PA Native | moderate distribution

This large, beautiful rhododendron has long, broad evergreen leaves and trusses of white, pink, to rose flowers in early to mid-summer. Appreciates a partly shady, cool site, and is often found along streambanks or the ponds' edge. Genus (Rhododendron) is a host for Brown Elfin and Striped Hairstreak butterflies.

Culture: Plant in partial shade to full shade in moist, acidic, well-drained soil; tolerates occasional flooding and wetter soils. Mulch to keep roots cool. 

Height: 4'-15'h x w. 

Available: straight species

Rhododendron periclymenoides, Pinxterbloom Azalea | PA Native | wide distribution

A native azalea which blooms when the leaves come out, in late April or early May. Flowers are usually light pink, but may be white to dark pink. Fall foliage color is an outstanding orange-red. Attractive growth habit. Genus (Rhododendron) is a host for Brown Elfin and Striped Hairstreak butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained, acidic soil. Adaptable to moist or dry soils. Do not prune.

Height: 3-6' h.

Available:: straight species.

Rhododendron viscosum, Swamp Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution - Eastern and Southern PA only
Rhododendron viscosum, Swamp Azalea | PA Native | limited distribution - Eastern and Southern PA only

This deciduous native azalea blooms later than many, in late May to early June, in clusters of white flowers with a spicy, clove-like scent. Loose, open habit. Does not naturalize to form colonies in a garden setting, although this is common in the wild. Genus (Rhododendron) is a host for Brown Elfin and Striped Hairstreak butterflies.

Culture: Plant in partial shade to full shade in moist to wet soil. 

Height:4-6'h x 3'-5'w. 

Available: cultivar 'Summer Eyelet'

Rhus aromatica, Fragrant Sumac | PA Native | limited distribution

A shorter, spreading shrub with orange to red fall color. The stems are fragrant when bruised. Low-growing cultivars like 'Gro Low' make excellent groundcovers. Fragrant sumac is excellent for stabilizing stream banks or sloping areas. Genus (Rhus) is a host for Red-banded Hairstreak and Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade in acidic, well-drained soil.

Height: species 2'-6' h, cultivars from 2' h. 

Available: straight species, and cultivar 'Gro Low', an all-female selection reaching 2'h x 4'w.

Rosa palustris, Swamp Rose | PA Native | moderate distribution
Rosa palustris, Swamp Rose | PA Native | moderate distribution

Here's a wonderful choice for a moist or wet low-lying area. Beautiful pink flowers cover gracefully arching branches in early summer; bright red rose hips follow, which are eaten by birds and other wildlife. Suckers slowly to form colonies. 

Culture: Plant in full sun in wet to consistently moist soils. 

Height: 6'h x 6'w.

Available: straight species

Rosa virginiana, Virginia Rosa | PA Native | limited distribution, found in Berks
Rosa virginiana, Virginia Rosa | PA Native | limited distribution, found in Berks

Single pink blooms abound in early summer. Summer foliage is a nice glossy green, and in the fall, turns shades of purple, orange-red, and yellow. Fruits are bright red and stay on the plant well into the winter. Suckers to form a dense mass, making it an effective natural barrier. 

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade in any type of soil, including heavy clay. May cut entire plant back to ground periodically to rejuvenate and check growth.

Height: 4'-6'h x 4'w.

Available: straight species

Sambucus canadensis, Elderberry | PA Native | wide distribution
Sambucus canadensis, Elderberry | PA Native | wide distribution

A great plant for naturalizing in wet areas. Has a high value for wildlife. White flowers in June and July cover the plant, followed by purple-black berries. Plant multiple plants for best fruit set. Suckers to form large colonies.

Culture: Plant in full sun in moist soil, but also tolerates drier soils and poor conditions.

Height: 5-12'. 

Available: straight species.

Spirea latifolia, Meadowsweet | PA Native | moderate distribution

Bluish-green leaves are a backdrop for pyramidal, white to pink flowers in long panicles late in the summer. Tan seedheads persist into winter. Good wildlife value. Genus (Spiraea) is a host for Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun in average soil.

Height: 2'-4' h. 

Available: straight species.

Spirea tomentosa, Steeplebush | PA Native | moderate distribution

Long, 3-8" panicles of dark rose-colored flowers open from the top down in July, looking a bit like steeples. This is our only native, pink-blooming spirea! Tan seedheads remain on plant into winter. Valuable for late summer bloom and attractiveness to wildlife. An under-utilized shrub. Genus (Spiraea) is a host for Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun in moist soil.

Height: 2-4' h.

Available: straight species.

 
Vaccinium angustifolium, Lowbush Blueberry | PA Native | wide distribution
Vaccinium angustifolium, Lowbush Blueberry | PA Native | wide distribution

Lowbush blueberry does double duty as an ornamental groundcover! Pretty white flowers in spring are followed by a crop of blueberries - the smaller "wild-type". In the fall, excellent red fall color provides the third season of interest.  Genus (Vaccinium) hosts Brown Elfin, Striped Hairstreak, and Red-Spotted Purple butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in moist, acidic soil with a pH of 4.0 - 5.0 - get a soil test! Cut 1/3 of the plant back each year for best berry production. 

Height: 18" h x 18" w.

Available: straight species; cultivar 'Brunswick'

Vaccinium corymbosum, Highbush Blueberry | PA Native | wide distribution

Just a fruit plant? Think again! Blueberries are one of our most attractive native plants, with many seasons of interest - from the white, bell-shaped flowers in spring, to the blue berries in summer, to the excellent orange-red fall color. Plant two plants for best fruit set. Genus (Vaccinium) is a host for Brown Elfin, Red-spotted Purple, and Striped Hairstreak butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to light shade in acidic soil. The acidity is extremely important for best fruit production.

Height: species 6-12' h, cultivars from 4' h.

Available: straight species, several cultivars selected for fruit production.

Viburnum prunifolium, Black-haw | PA Native | moderate distribution, only southern PA
Viburnum prunifolium, Black-haw | PA Native | moderate distribution, only southern PA

A large shrub or small tree with a horizontal branching pattern. White, flat-topped flowers in May are followed by edible rose-colored fruit in September. Excellent dark purple or red fall color. Bark is mottled on mature plants. Genus (Viburnum) is a host for Baltimore, Spring Azure, Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to full shade in average soil. Tolerates very poor conditions, including dry soil.

Height: 12-15' h. 

Available: straight species.

Viburnum trilobum, Cranberry Viburnum | PA Native | limited distribution, found in Berks
Viburnum trilobum, Cranberry Viburnum | PA Native | limited distribution, found in Berks

Who will like this shrub more - you, or the birds? It's anyone's guess! White lacecap flowers in spring are followed by showy clusters of red berries that persist on the plant well into winter. Valued by overwintering birds as an essential food source. Nice maroon fall color. Good privacy screening or hedge plant. 

Culture: Plant in full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil with organic matter.

Height: 8-10'h x 6-8'w.

Available: straight species

Virburnum nudum, Smooth Witherod | PA Native | v. limited distribution, only in SE PA
Virburnum nudum, Smooth Witherod | PA Native | v. limited distribution, only in SE PA

Cultivars of this plant, most notably 'Winterthur', have a uniform, rounded growth habit that fits right into the front yard. Pretty white flowers in June may be followed by berries which change color from green, to white, to pink, to black. Excellent burgundy to red fall color. Genus (Viburnum) is a host for Baltimore, Spring Azure, and Summer Azure butterflies.

Culture: Plant in full sun to partial shade in well-drained to moist soils. NOTE: Another viburnum which blooms at the same time is needed for fruit set; for fruit set on 'Winterthur', plant a V. nudum straight species or a different cultivar of V. nudum.

Height: species 5-12' h, cultivars from 5' h. 

Available: straight species; cultivar 'Winterthur', with outstanding berry set and fall leaf coloration.

Copyright MAXXmarketing Webdesigner GmbH

NEWSLETTER

  • * required

    *

    *



    *



    Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse

OUR MISSION

To inspire
earth-friendly, sustainable gardening