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 NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURENOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine Red/Yellow YES YES YES 1-3  NO YES  NO LH, B
Asclepiasincarnata Swamp Milkweed Pink YES YES  NO 3-4  NO YES YES LH, N
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell Blue YES NO  NO  1-2 YES YES  NO  —
Chamerion angustifolium (Epilobium angustifolium)    Fireweed Purple YES YES  NO  3-4  NO YES  NO LTD, O
Coreopsis lanceolata Sand Coreopsis Yellow YES NO  NO  1-2 YES YES  NO B, N
Eupatoriadelphus maculatus (Eupatorium maculatum) Spotted Joe-pye Weed Pink YES YES  NO  4-5  NO YES YES N
Eupatorium perfoliatum Common Boneset White YES YES  NO  3-5  NO YES YES N, PP
Eurybia macrophylla (Aster macrophyllus) Big-leaved Aster Violet  NO YES YES  1-3 YES YES  NO LH, N
Euthamia graminifolia Grass-leaved Goldenrod Yellow YES YES  NO  3-4  NO YES YES  —
Heliopsis helianthoides False Sunflower Yellow YES YES  NO  4-6  NO YES  NO  —
Iris versicolor Wild Blue Flag B lue YES YES  NO  2-3  NO YES YES N
Liatris aspera Rough Blazing Star Pink YES  NO  NO  3-4 YES YES  NO N
Maianthemum racemosum (Smilacina racemosa) False Spikenard, False Solomon’s Seal White  NO YES YES  1-2  NO YES  NO  —
Maianthemum stellatum (Smilacina stellata) Starry False Solomon’s Seal White YES YES  NO  1-2 YES YES YES  —
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot Lavender YES NO  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO N
Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan Yellow YES YES  NO  1-3 YES YES  NO LH, N,
Scutellaria lateriflora Mad-dog Skullcap Blue YES YES  NO  2-3   YES YES  —
Symphyotrichum laeve (Aster laevis) Smooth Aster Lavender YES  NO  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO LH, N, PP
Symphyotrichum puniceum (Aster puniceus) Swamp Aster Pale blue YES YES  NO  3-5  NO YES YES LH, N
Thalictrum dasycarpum Purple Meadow-rue White YES YES    3-7  NO YES YES  —
Thalictrum dioicum Early Meadow-rue White  NO YES YES  2-3  NO YES  NO  —
Verbena hastata Blue Vervain Blue YES YES  NO  3-5  NO YES YES 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

Back to top  

Ferns

NATIVE PLANT NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURE
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet
Adiantum pedatum Maidenhair Fern -  NO YES YES  1  YES YES YES
Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Fern - YES YES YES  3-4  YES YES YES
Osmunda claytoniana Interrupted Fern - YES YES YES  3-4  YES YES  NO

Back to top

Trees, Shrubs, Vines

NATIVE PLANT NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURENOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Acer rubrum Red Maple Red YES YES  NO  50-100  NO YES  NO  —
Acer saccharum Sugar Maple Yellow YES YES  NO  60-100  NO YES  NO  —
Amelanchier arboria Serviceberry, Northern Juneberry White YES YES  NO  12-25 YES YES  NO B, LH
Betula papyrifera Paper Birch Brown YES YES  NO  30-60  NO YES  NO LH
Clematis virginiana Virgin’s Bower White YES YES  NO  vine  NO YES YES  —
Cornus canadensis  Bunchberry White  NO  NO YES  .5-1  NO YES YES LTD
Cornus sericea (Cornus stolonifera) Red-osier Dogwood White YES YES YES  3-9 YES YES YES LH, B, N, S
Juniperus communis Ground Juniper - YES  NO  NO  3-5 YES YES  NO B
Physocarpus opulifolius Ninebark White YES YES  NO  3-9  NO YES YES N
Prunus virginiana Choke Cherry White YES YES  NO  10-30 YES YES  NO LH, N, S
Quercus rubra Red Oak Green YES NO  NO  65-90  NO YES  NO LH
Sambucus nigra (Sambucus canadensis) Elderberry White YES YES NO   5-12  NO YES YES B
Sambucus racemosa (Sambucus pubens) Red-berried Elder White YES YES  NO  5-12 YES YES  YES B
Vaccinium angustifolium Wild Lowbush Blueberry White YES YES YES  .5-2 YES YES  YES  —
Viburnum lentago Nannyberry White YES YES  NO  15-30  NO YES NO 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

Back to top  

Grasses, Sedges, Rushes

NATIVE PLANT NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURENOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem Green YES  NO  NO  5-7 YES YES YES  —
Carex scoparia  Lance-fruited Oval Sedge Green YES  NO  NO  1-2  NO YES YES LTD
Carex stricta Tussock Sedge Green YES  NO  NO  2-4  NO  NO YES LH, LS
Carex vulpinoidea Fox Sedge Green YES YES  NO  2-3  NO YES YES LH
Elymus virginicus Virginia Wild-rye Green YES YES  NO  2-4  NO YES YES  —
Glyceria striata Fowl Manna Grass Green YES YES  NO  1-3  NO YES YES LH
Hierochloe hirta (Hierochloe odorata) Northern Sweetgrass Green YES YES  NO  1-2  NO YES YES NS
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass Green YES YES  NO  3-5 YES YES YES LH
Schizachyrium scoparium (Andropogon scoparius) Little Bluestem Green YES  NO  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO 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

Back to top

Project Greeen Michigan State University Extension AgBioResearch