By | 29 January 2023

There are many good reasons for including native plants in the landscape. Not only are these species well adapted to the environment and require little maintenance, but they also benefit local animals, birds, and insects. Here is a comprehensive list of native plants that Northeast gardeners are sure to love.

Perennial Flowering and Foliage Plants

Whether you’re looking for plants native to Maryland to add a bit of color to your home garden or you’re just tired of the decorations in your New York backyard, these native plants are a great addition to any flower bed. It will add visual interest:

  • Elmrot (Heuchera americana)
  • Sweet star (Symphotrichum oblongifolius)
  • Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Blue-eye grass (Caesarinchium angustifolium)
  • blue iris (iris versicolor)
  • wild indigo (Baptisia australis)
  • Bigbean (Cimicifuga racemosa)
  • Butterfly Milk (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Common poinsettia (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
  • Common sneezer (Helenium autumnus)
  • Alfalfa roots (Veronicastrum virginicum)
  • Cutleaf Coneflower (Red Beckia laciniata)
  • Dwarf crested iris (Iris cirstata)
  • False Solomon’s seal (Simella sinae racemosa)
  • Foxglove Beard Tongue (Penstemon digitalis)
  • Phlox garden (Phlox paniculata)
  • Golden Alexander (Zyzia aurea)
  • Golden Ragwort (Senesio Oreos)
  • Great blue lobelia (Lobelia cephalica)
  • Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
  • Heartleaf Foamflower (Tirella cordifolia)
  • Jacob’s Ladder (Polymonium Reptons)
  • March Blazing Star (Latrice spicata)
  • Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
  • Meadow bottle (Gentiana classa)
  • New England Easter (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
  • American New York Easter Bunny (Symphyotrichum novi-beggii)
  • New York ironweed (Vernonia novoboracensis)
  • Orange carnation (Rhodebeckia fulgida)
  • Oxeye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
  • Reed Coleman (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Vermilion bee balm (Monardo Didyma)
  • Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)
  • Pycanthemum tenuifolium (Pycanthemum tenuifolium)
  • Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
  • spotted cranberry (geranium)
  • Marsh milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
  • swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
  • Verbena (Verbena hastata)
  • Sweet Joe Grass Pie
  • Tall Coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris)
  • Grass horn (Utrochyme fistulosum)
  • Turkish Cap Lily (Lilium michenensis)
  • Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
  • White Tortoise (Chelon glabra)
  • White Woodland Aster (Yerbia divaricates)
  • Wild bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia)
  • Wild ginger (Asarum canadense)


From the western edge of Pennsylvania to the top of Maine, native plants for these fern species are excellent accent plants for shady areas in the garden:

  • Cassia cinnamon (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)
  • Spotted fern (Osmunda claytonia)
  • Marginal wood fern (Dryopteris hamburgis)
  • Northern Lady Fern (Ethereum Angstome)
  • Ostrich fern (Mitocia struthiopteris)
  • Royal Fern (Osmunda Regalis)
  • Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

Grasses, Rushes, and Sedges

Why struggle with non-native species of lawn grass and ornamental plants? Try these plants native to New England and Pennsylvania instead.

  • Common rush (Juncus efusus)
  • Fox sage (Carex vulpinoidea)
  • Indian grass (sorghum)
  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  • Pennsylvania sage (Carex pensylvanica)
  • Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolips)
  • Switchgrass (Panecum vergatum)
  • Tussock Sedge (Carexricta)


Whether you’re looking for blueberry plants that thrive in New Jersey or native hydrangeas, gardeners in the Northeast have an array of native shrubs to choose from:

  • American hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
  • Arrowhead (Viburnum dentatum)
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
  • Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginia)
  • common winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
  • Cranberry bush (Viburnum opalus)
  • Eastern nine-bark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
  • Rhus aromatica
  • dogwood gray (Sueda racemosa)
  • Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
  • Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinum angustifolium)
  • Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)
  • Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • Redosier Dogwood (Swida sericea)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
  • Silky dogwood (Sueda amoumum)
  • Little Bayberry (Morella carolinensis)
  • sweet fern (Comptonia peregina)
  • Sweet pepper bush (Clethra nifolia)


Let’s not forget the many native tree species that make up the acres of forests in the northeastern United States. These will be native plants for backyards throughout the area:

  • American Elm (Ulmus americana)
  • American Holly (Alex Opaka)
  • American trumpet (Carpinus caroliniana)
  • Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
  • Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Pin oak (Quercus palustris)
  • red maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Birch River (Betula nigra)
  • Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  • white oak (Quercus alba)
  • White pine (Pinus strobus)

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