5 Unique Native Plants to the Northwest United States

5 Unique Native Plants to the Northwest United States

Northwest USA

Like the stunning landscapes found in the Northwest United States, the native plants found in that region of the country are unique and intriguing. Native plants are defined 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 Northwestern US. It is challenging to pinpoint an exact geographical boundary, as plants do not follow the same boundaries people do, so we will just limit it to the Northwest in general - zones 5 through 8, west of the Rocky Mountains.



Deciduous tree - Ginkgo As a tree known to be as old as the dinosaurs, ginkgo makes an interesting statement in the landscape. With its unique fan-shaped leaves, it has no known living relative in the country. It’s bright yellow fall color is a delight to see, and is easy to identify in the winter with its unique knobby branches. Use it as a statement piece, and have a plant that walked with dinosaurs in your yard.


Shrub - Potentilla Also known as shrubby cinquefoil, potentilla is a little powerhouse in full sun. Delicate flowers bloom in the summer, ranging in color from white to yellow to pink. As a low maintenance plant, it is perfect for your shrub border and is also deer resistant. With its small rounded form, potentilla does not grow too large but provides a pop of color that can't be missed.

Christmas Fern

Evergreen - Christmas Fern Christmas Fern provides green foliage year-round when planted in the shade. Growing about two feet tall, the Christmas fern's long fronds provide a soft, feathery backdrop to other plants during their growing seasons and stand out in the bleak winter months. Fiddleheads in the spring are tightly curled and can be edible with proper preparation.


Flowering Perennial - Columbine Columbine flowers nod their brightly colored flowers in the spring breezes, with colors in almost every color imaginable. The origami series features blue and red flowers with white centers, looking like they were folded from incredibly thin paper. Later in the season, they die back, allowing for other flowers to take center stage. But while they are blooming, they are not to be missed!


Grass - Soft Rush Grass While not an actual grass, soft rush grass appears to be one at first sight. With soft, round stems,  oft rush grass thrives in moist environments. Often used by birds for nest material, and by people for weaving material, soft rush grass provides an upright aspect to wet and boggy landscapes.

Each of these plants represents the diversity available within the Northwestern United States. These plants have adapted to the environmental conditions of the Northwest and are ready to provide you with unique and exciting features within your landscape.

To see our favorite native plants for other regions, check out these articles: Native Plants for the Northeast Native Plants for the Southeast Native Plants for the Upper Midwest Native Plants for the Southern Midwest Native Plants for the Southwest
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