Upper Peninsula

Deciding which native species to focus on can be overwhelming. To assist your selection, we have developed a list of about 50 plant species that are common to the Upper Peninsula. The list is meant as a place to start as you learn about native plants, and consider a planting of your own. Not all are suitable for all applications. For more information about these species, as well as others to consider, contact your local native plant producer and see the plant fact sheets at this website.

Wildflowers

NATIVE PLANT NAME FLOWERS SUN SIZE MOISTURE NOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine Red/Yellow x x x 1-3   x   LH, B
Asclepiasincarnata Swamp Milkweed Pink x x   3-4   x x LH, N
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell Blue x    1-2 x x    
Chamerion angustifolium (Epilobium angustifolium)    Fireweed Purple x x    3-4   x   LTD, O
Coreopsis lanceolata Sand Coreopsis Yellow x    1-2 x x   B, N
Eupatoriadelphus maculatus (Eupatorium maculatum) Spotted Joe-pye Weed Pink x x    4-5   x x N
Eupatorium perfoliatum Common Boneset White x x    3-5   x x N, PP
Eurybia macrophylla (Aster macrophyllus) Big-leaved Aster Violet   x x  1-3 x x   LH, N
Euthamia graminifolia Grass-leaved Goldenrod Yellow x x    3-4   x x  
Heliopsis helianthoides False Sunflower Yellow x x    4-6   x    
Iris versicolor Wild Blue Flag B lue x x    2-3   x x N
Liatris aspera Rough Blazing Star Pink x      3-4 x x   N
Maianthemum racemosum (Smilacina racemosa) False Spikenard, False Solomon’s Seal White   x x  1-2   x    
Maianthemum stellatum (Smilacina stellata) Starry False Solomon’s Seal White x x    1-2 x x x  
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot Lavender x    2-4 x x   N
Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan Yellow x x    1-3 x x   LH, N,
Scutellaria lateriflora Mad-dog Skullcap Blue x x    2-3   x x  
Symphyotrichum laeve (Aster laevis) Smooth Aster Lavender x      2-4 x x   LH, N, PP
Symphyotrichum puniceum (Aster puniceus) Swamp Aster Pale blue x x    3-5   x x LH, N
Thalictrum dasycarpum Purple Meadow-rue White x x    3-7   x x  
Thalictrum dioicum Early Meadow-rue White   x x  2-3   x    
Verbena hastata Blue Vervain Blue x x    3-5   x x N

Key to letter codes:
B: Provides food (fruit, seed, or nectar) or nesting habitat for birds
GC: Groundcover
LH: Larval host
for butterflies
LS: Well-suited for landscaping; not well-suited to gardens
LTD: Limited plant material supply
N: Provides nectar for butterflies
NS: Does not establish well from seed
O: Opportunistic -
spreads aggressively
PP: Attract pollinators and predatory insects
S: Spreads by underground suckers

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Ferns

NATIVE PLANT NAME FLOWERS SUN SIZE MOISTURE
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet
Adiantum pedatum Maidenhair Fern -   x x  1   x x
Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Fern - x x x  3-4   x x
Osmunda claytoniana Interrupted Fern - x x x  3-4   x  

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Trees, Shrubs, Vines

NATIVE PLANT NAME FLOWERS SUN SIZE MOISTURE NOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Acer rubrum Red Maple Red x x    50-100   x    
Acer saccharum Sugar Maple Yellow x x    60-100   x    
Amelanchier arboria Serviceberry, Northern Juneberry White x x    12-25 x x   B, LH
Betula papyrifera Paper Birch Brown x x    30-60   x   LH
Clematis virginiana Virgin’s Bower White x x    vine   x x  
Cornus canadensis  Bunchberry White     x  .5-1   x x LTD
Cornus sericea (Cornus stolonifera) Red-osier Dogwood White x x x  3-9 x x x LH, B, N, S
Juniperus communis Ground Juniper - x      3-5 x x   B
Physocarpus opulifolius Ninebark White x x    3-9   x x N
Prunus virginiana Choke Cherry White x x    10-30 x x   LH, N, S
Quercus rubra Red Oak Green x    65-90   x   LH
Sambucus nigra (Sambucus canadensis) Elderberry White x x    5-12   x x B
Sambucus racemosa (Sambucus pubens) Red-berried Elder White x x    5-12 x x   B
Vaccinium angustifolium Wild Lowbush Blueberry White x x x  .5-2 x x    
Viburnum lentago Nannyberry White x x    15-30   x x B, N, LH

Key to letter codes:
B: Provides food (fruit, seed, or nectar) or nesting habitat for birds
GC: Groundcover
LH: Larval host
for butterflies
LS: Well-suited for landscaping; not well-suited to gardens
LTD: Limited plant material supply
N: Provides nectar for butterflies
NS: Does not establish well from seed
O: Opportunistic -
spreads aggressively
PP: Attract pollinators and predatory insects
S: Spreads by underground suckers

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Grasses, Sedges, Rushes

NATIVE PLANT NAME FLOWERS SUN SIZE MOISTURE NOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem Green x      5-7 x x x  
Carex scoparia  Lance-fruited Oval Sedge Green x      1-2   x x LTD
Carex stricta Tussock Sedge Green x      2-4     x LH, LS
Carex vulpinoidea Fox Sedge Green x x    2-3   x x LH
Elymus virginicus Virginia Wild-rye Green x x    2-4   x x  
Glyceria striata Fowl Manna Grass Green x x    1-3   x x LH
Hierochloe hirta (Hierochloe odorata) Northern Sweetgrass Green x x    1-2   x x NS
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass Green x x    3-5 x x x LH
Schizachyrium scoparium (Andropogon scoparius) Little Bluestem Green x      2-4 x x   LH

Key to letter codes:
B: Provides food (fruit, seed, or nectar) or nesting habitat for birds
GC: Groundcover
LH: Larval host
for butterflies
LS: Well-suited for landscaping; not well-suited to gardens
LTD: Limited plant material supply
N: Provides nectar for butterflies
NS: Does not establish well from seed
O: Opportunistic -
spreads aggressively
PP: Attract pollinators and predatory insects
S: Spreads by underground suckers

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Project Greeen Michigan State University Extension AgBioResearch