The Pollinator Pathway Committee hopes to inform and inspire residents to try some native plants in their gardens and watch them come alive as never before—with baby birds and amazing insects and gorgeous moths and butterflies!
Wondering if you already have native plants in your garden? There's an app for that! Download the "Seek” app by iNaturalist. You can take photos of your plants, flowers, and trees and find out if they're “native” or “introduced." This is a great activity to do with kids and get everyone engaged.
You can then start to replace introduced species with native species. See our list of native plants and local gardens and visit our Garden Design Tips & Resources for how you and your gardener can start to grow your garden and where to buy native plants.
Valuable Local Native Trees
Red Maple, Silver Maple
Yellow Birch, River Birch
Tulip Tree, Tulip Poplar
Black Gum, Black Tupelo
White Oak, Northern Red Oak
Native Shrubs and Small Trees
Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) - spring flowers, showy fruits, autumn color
Elderberry (Sambucus racemose)
Inkberry (Ilex glabra) – a good native alternative to boxwood
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
Shadbush, Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis, A. laevis)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillate)
Native Dogwood Tree (Cornus florida)
Redbud Tree (Cercis canadensis)
American Holly Tree (Ilex opaca)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) - has bright fall color
Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) - a favorite of hummingbirds
Summer Grape or Fox Grape (Vitis labrusca) - attracts bees, tasty fruit
Sun-loving native flowers
Asters - New York aster and white wood aster are compact enough for gardens and bloom in fall.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) - Tough, drought tolerant with showy yellow flowers. Blooms in late summer.
Native Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - pink flowers, blooms in summer.
Goldenrod (Solidago) - the perennial which supports the most beneficial insects in our region. Blooms late summer/fall. Different types available ranging from tall meadow plants to smaller species like Downy Goldenrod which fits compactly in a garden without spreading.
Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium) - tall plant, which can be pruned shorter in the spring, with wide pink flowers in late summer.
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) - blue spiky flowers in summer attractive to bees.
Beebalm (Monarda) - blooms in various colors in summer, seeds are eaten by birds in winter.
Milkweed – Common milkweed (Ascelepias syriaca) and Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) are the two locally native types of milkweed appropriate for monarchs and many other pollinators, including moths and bees.
Native flowers for shade
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria) - one of the top pollinator plants, blooms in late spring and summer, prefers part shade to sun.
Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) - multiple colors, blooms in spring.
Barren Strawberry - tolerates a variety of conditions, forms a low mat useful for keeping out weeds, bright yellow blooms in spring.
Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) - not the Annabelle cultivar, which is pretty but sterile. This type of hydrangea has more feathery white flowers, blooms during summer, in partial shade.
Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) - unique white blooms in early spring.
Coral Bells (Heuchera) - prefer semi shade, often colorful wavy leaves.
White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata) – tolerates heavy shade and dry soil
Native Ferns (Maidenhair, Christmas, Lady, Wood, Fiddlehead) - non-flowering natives that work well in shade as ground covers.