The Northeast US is home to many amazing places and sights. It's also home to some amazing native plants. Today, we'll talk about five native plants suitable for the Northeast US. For this article, we are defining native plants as plants that have been established in a given area for hundreds of years. This definition is often paired with a geographic location, like the Northeast US. The Northeast US contains USDA zones 3-6, and all of these plants are suitable for planting within these zones. There may be other environmental conditions to take into account when choosing plants.
Evergreen - Canadian Hemlock Arching 60 to 70 feet tall at full maturity, Canadian hemlock is a gorgeous evergreen tree to include in your landscapes. The strong pyramidal shape, dipping lower branches and dark foliage provides an excellent backdrop year-round while providing habitat for some birds and mammals.
Deciduous Tree - Sassafras Tree With bright yellow flowers in the spring, and red-orange leaves in the fall, sassafras provides seasonal interest year-round. Reaching anywhere from 40 to 60 feet tall, sassafras has been used for ages for a wide variety of culinary, herbal, medicinal and artistic uses. It also provides habitat for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.
Shrub - Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry Standing about 15-20 feet tall when fully mature, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry has something for everyone. In the spring, small white flowers appear in a very short window, followed by small, blueberry-like fruits loved by both people and animals. In the fall, Autumn Brilliance lives up to its name, turning a vibrant red. Plant it as a hedge or as a specimen plant for seasonal appeal year-round.
Flowering perennial - Coreopsis With petite yellow flowers in the summer, coreopsis flowers contrast beautifully against the thin, dark green foliage from June through August. Because it is drought tolerant, including it in a low-water landscape will provide just that pop of color you were looking for. Planting it in masses results in a vibrant, colorful mass approximately 2 feet tall that will bring a smile to your face all summer long.
Grass - Little Bluestem Starting with a blue-ish hue in the spring and turning to orange tint in the fall, no landscape is complete without little bluestem. Topped with small white seed heads in the fall that last until spring, little bluestem seed heads provides winter interest and can be used in floral arrangements. Standing about three feet tall, it is ideally suited for landscape use.
Using each of these plants in your landscape will not only echo the beauty of the native Northeast US, but these plants are already adapted to the soils and climate of the area, increasing their chances of success. Try seeing if you can find a place for each of these plants in your landscapes, and be amazed at how, with the right care and placing, they thrive. To see our favorite native plants for other regions, check out these articles: Native Plants for the Southeast Native Plants for the Upper Midwest Native Plants for the Southern Midwest Native Plants for the Southwest Native Plants for the Northwest