Northern Lower 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 northern Lower 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)
Achillea millefolium  Yarrow White YES YES  NO  1-3 YES YES  NO  —
Actaea pachypoda White Baneberry White  NO YES YES  1-2  NO YES  NO  —
Anemone canadensis Canada Anemone White YES YES NO   1-2  NO YES YES O
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine Red/Yellow YES YES YES  1-3  NO YES  NO LH, B
Aralia racemosa Spikenard White YES YES YES  3-6  NO YES  NO  —
Asarum canadense Wild Ginger   YES  NO  NO  .5-1  NO YES  NO  —
Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed Pink YES YES  NO  3-4  NO YES YES LH, N
Asclepias tuberosa Butterflyweed Orange YES NO   NO  1-3 YES YES  NO LH, N
Campanula rotundifolia Harebell Blue YES  NO  NO  1-2 YES YES  NO  —
Coreopsis lanceolata Sand Coreopsis Yellow YES  NO  NO  1-2 YES YES  NO B, N
Desmodium canadense Showy Tick-trefoil Pink YES YES  NO  3-4  NO YES  NO LH
Doellingeria umbellata (Aster umbellatus) Flat-top White Aster White YES YES  NO  2-4  NO YES YES LH, 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
Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium Pink YES YES YES  1-2  NO YES  NO  —
Helianthus occidentalis Western Sunflower Yellow YES  NO  NO  2-4 YES  NO  NO N, LH
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
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower Red YES YES  NO  2-4  NO YES YES B, N
Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue Lobelia Blue YES YES  NO  1-3  NO YES YES PP
Lupinus perennis Wild Lupine Blue YES YES  NO  1-2 YES  NO  NO LH, N
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot Lavender YES  NO  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO N
Monarda punctata Horsemint Yellow YES  NO  NO  1-3 YES  NO  NO N, PP
Penstemon digitalis Foxglove Beardtongue White YES YES  NO  3-4  NO YES YES B
Penstemon hirsutus Hairy Beardtongue Pink YES  NO  NO  1-2 YES YES  NO B
Potentilla simplex Common Cinquefoil Yellow YES YES YES  1 YES YES   GC
Pycnanthemum virginianum Mountain Mint White YES YES  NO  1-2  NO YES YES N
Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan Yellow YES YES  NO  1-3 YES YES  NO LH, N,
Solidago caesia Blue-stemmed Goldenrod Yellow YES YES YES  2-3 YES YES  NO N
Solidago speciosa Showy Goldenrod Yellow YES  NO  NO  2-5 YES YES  NO N, PP
Symphyotrichum laeve (Aster laevis) Smooth Aster Lavender YES  NO  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO LH, N, PP
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (Aster novae-angliae) New England Aster Purple YES  NO  NO  3-6  NO YES YES LH, N, PP
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (Aster oolentangiensis) Skyblue Aster Blue YES YES  NO  2-3 YES YES  NO LH, N
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  NO  3-7  NO YES YES  —
Thalictrum dioicum Early Meadow-rue White   YES YES  2-3  NO YES  NO  —
Tradescantia ohiensis Common Spiderwort Blue YES YES  NO  2-3 YES YES  NO  —
Verbena hastata Blue Vervain Blue YES YES  NO  3-5  NO YES YES N
Verbena stricta Hoary Vervain Purple-blue YES YES  NO  2-4 YES YES  NO  —
Zizia aurea Golden Alexanders Yellow YES YES  NO  2-3  NO YES YES PP

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 NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURE
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet
Adiantum pedatum Maidenhair Fern -  NO YES YES  1 NO  YES YES
Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive Fern - YES YES  NO  1-2  NO  NO YES

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Trees, Shrubs, Vines

NATIVE PLANT NAMEFLOWERSSUNSIZEMOISTURENOTES
Scientific Common color full part shd height (feet) dry ave wet (see bottom for code key)
Amelanchier arboria Serviceberry, Northern Juneberry White YES YES  NO  12-25 YES YES  NO B, LH
Betula alleghaniensis Yellow Birch Yellow YES YES  NO  40-70  NO YES YES LH
Betula papyrifera Paper Birch Brown YES YES  NO  30-60  NO YES  NO LH
Cornus amomum Silky Dogwood, Pale Dogwood White YES YES YES  3-9  NO YES YES LH, B, N, S
Cornus racemosa (Cornus foemina) Gray Dogwood White YES YES  NO  3-10 YES YES  NO LH, B, N, S
Cornus sericea (Cornus stolonifera) Red-osier Dogwood White YES YES YES  3-9 YES YES YES LH, B, N, S
Ilex verticillata Winterberry White YES YES  NO  6-12  NO YES YES B
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
Rosa blanda Wild Rose Pink YES YES  NO  4-5 YES YES  NO  —
Rosa carolina Pasture Rose Pink YES YES  NO  1-3 YES YES  NO S
Sambucus racemosa (Sambucus pubens) Red-berried Elder White YES YES  NO  5-12 YES YES  NO B
Viburnum lentago Nannyberry White YES YES  NO  15-30  NO YES YES 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 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 pensylvanica Pennsylvania Sedge Green  NO YES  NO  .5-1 YES YES  NO GC
Carex stricta Tussock Sedge Green YES NO  NO  2-4  NO NO YES LH, LS
Eragrostis spectabilis  Purple Love Grass Green YES  NO  NO  1-2 YES  NO  NO LS
Juncus effusus Soft-stemmed Rush Green YES NO  NO  1-3  NO NO YES  —
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
Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass Green YES  NO  NO  4-6  NO 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

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