Bearberry

Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi   Description: This circumpolar evergreen groundcover produces tiny flowers and red berries. Grows in very poor soil. Propagation: Root cuttings in early spring or fall Initial bloom (month and week): April W4 Garden name: Sunny Garden Color of flower: White Height: 6-12″ Spread: 3-5′ Family: Ericaceae Soil type: Acid gritty soils Soil…

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris Iris x germanica   Description: Of hybrid origin. Once dried, the root has a violet-like scent and has historically been used to scent perfumes and potpourris. Propagation: Lift rhizomes and cut apart in July Initial bloom (month and week): May W2 Garden name: Sunny Garden Color of flower: White Height: 18″ Spread: 24″…

Bishop’s Cap

Bishop’s Cap Mitella diphylla   AR Plant Model Description: This plant is grown for its attractive leaves and its tiny, exquisite flowers. Also known as two-leaf miterwort. The seed pods resemble mitres, a type of headdress worn by bishops. Propagation: Easy from seeds. Initial bloom (month and week): April W4 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden…

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart Dicentra eximia   Description: Attractive, fern-like foliage and hanging, heart-shaped flowers. Propagation: Seeds or divisions from the rhizome Initial bloom (month and week): May W2 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Pink Height: 12″ Spread: 16″ Family: Papaveraceae Soil type: Acidic woodland Soil moisture: Moist Light: Shade to part shade Zone:…

Bloodroot

Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis Description: One of the earliest-blooming spring wildflowers. Their white flowers open during the day and may last only 1-2 days. The bright red sap of the roots was used by Native Americans to produce dyes. Propagation: Easy to divide in early spring Initial bloom (month and week): March W4 Garden name: Shady…

Blue Wood Sedge

Blue Wood Sedge Carex flaccosperma   Description: This narrow-leaf sedge is a good replacement for liriope, which it resembles. Propagation: Divisions in early spring Initial bloom (month and week): May W2 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Green Height: 1′ Spread: 1′ Family: Cyperaceae Soil type: Acidic or neutral Soil moisture: Medium moist…

Blue-eyed Grass

Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium Description: This adorable tiny iris looks like a grass from its foliage, but close examination of the flower reveals the six petals of an iris. This is a good groundcover in soils that don’t dry out. Shear it back to prevent seeding around where you don’t want it. Propagation: Division or seeds…

Canada Mayflower

Canada Mayflower Maianthemum canadense   Description: The name is compounded from the Latin Maius (May) and the Greek anthemum (a flower). Where happy it will form a ground cover of exquisite beauty. Like many spring ephemerals, it will disappear by late summer, making it easier to compete with tree roots for soil moisture and nutrients….

Catmint

Catmint Nepeta x faassenii   Description: A European hybrid, catmint provides early flowers for bees and wasps. Propagation: Seeds or divisions Initial bloom (month and week): May W4 Garden name: Sunny Garden Color of flower: Blue Height: 18″ Spread: 24″ Family: Lamiaceae Soil type: Neutral loam Soil moisture: Dry Light: Full sun Zone: 3 –…

Christmas Fern

Christmas Fern Polistichum acrostichoides   AR Plant Model Description: Evergreen fern for neutral woods Propagation: Divide large roots in early spring Initial bloom (month and week):no flower Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: no flower Height: 16″ Spread: 18″ Family: Dryopteridaceae Soil type: Neutral woods Soil moisture: Moist or dry Light: Shade to…

Cinnamon Fern

Cinnamon Fern Osmundastrum cinnamomeum   AR Plant Model Description: The cinnamon-brown fruiting stalks give this fern its name. A large and dramatic fern. Propagation: Spores, or dividing the creeping rhizome Initial bloom (month and week): no flower Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: no flower Height: 3-5′ Spread: 3′ Family: Osmundaceae Soil type: Neutral…

Common Blue Violet

Common Blue Violet Viola sororia AR Plant Model Description: This “weed” of lawns is widespread.  An edible native (both flowers and leaves) high in Vitamin C and potassium.  Seeds are cleistogamous, producing seeds underground without pollination.  Pollination of the flower results in normal seeds. Propagation: Seeds, divisions in spring or fall Initial bloom (month and…

Common Camas

Common Camas Camassia quamash Description: The bulbs were an important food among Native Americans, who called it Quamash. Sacajawea, who guided Lewis and Clark, fed the whole party with the roots of this plant. Propagation: Seeds or bulbs, best planted in fall Initial bloom (month and week): May W4 Garden name: Sunny Wetland Garden Color…

Coral Bells

Coral Bells Heuchera americana   Description: A clump-forming plant with heart-shaped leaves. In late spring, longer stems emerge from the leaves to produce bell-shaped flowers. Propagation: Seeds or root divisions Initial bloom (month and week): May W3 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: White Height: 18″ Spread: 18″ Family: Saxifragaceae Soil type: Acidic…

Coral Honeysuckle

Coral Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens   Description: Flowering from May to August, honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds and butterflies with its long, red, tubular flowers. Propagation: Stem cuttings Initial bloom (month and week): May W1 Garden name: Sunny Garden Color of flower: Red Height: 3-9′ Spread: 36″ Family: Caprifoliaceae Soil type: Neutral Soil moisture: Medium moist Light: Full…

Cream Violet

Cream Violet Viola striata   AR Plant Model Description: Produces white flowers with purple veins striping the lower petals. “Striata” means striped in Latin. Propagation: Seeds Initial bloom (month and week): June W1 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: White Height: 8″ Spread: 12″ Family: Violaceae Soil type: Acidic woodland Soil moisture: Medium…

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox Phlox stolonifera   Description: Pink in PA and blue in GA, this ground-covering phlox has intermediate color forms throughout the range. Powdermill has an especially fine form with wide and brilliant petals. Propagation: Seeds, or divide whole plants in early spring. Initial bloom (month and week): May W1 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden…

Cutleaf Toothwort

Cutleaf Toothwort Cardamine concatenata Description: This fragile wildflower is the larval host plant for Pieris virginiana, the toothwort white butterfly Propagation: Seeds Initial bloom (month and week): April W2 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Pink Height: 12″ Spread: 12″ Family: Brassicaceae Soil type: Neutral woodland soil Soil moisture: Medium moist Light: Shade…

Downy Alumroot

Downy Alumroot Heuchera pubescens   Description: The plant was used as an astringent and poultice during the Civil War, pulling wounds together and stopping excessive bleeding. Wounds were then packed with sphagnum moss. These practices saved many lives. Propagation: Seeds and divisions from the rhizome Initial bloom (month and week): June W1 Garden name: Shady…

Downy Phlox

Downy Phlox Phlox pilosa   Description: This native plant is endangered in Pennsylvania. It forms a 1-2’ tall mound with pale pink to lavender flowers. Soft hairs cover the stems and leaves. This plant prefers dry soils and full sun and blooms in May and June. Propagation: Divisions or cuttings Initial bloom (month and week):…

Dutchman’s Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches Dicentra cucullaria   Description: Flowers resemble tiny pairs of pants. A true spring ephemeral, it will fade away by summer. Propagation: Seeds and divisions from the rhizome Initial bloom (month and week): April W4 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: White Height: 10″ Spread: 15″ Family: Papaveraceae Soil type: Acidic woodland…

Dwarf Crested Iris

Dwarf Crested Iris Iris cristata Description: A low-growing plant that features blue and white flowers with a tiny gold beard. The perfect small groundcover for acidic woodlands. Propagation: Seeds are unreliable because of poor set, but should be sown fresh. Much easier is to lift the rhizomes and divide them into pieces in late fall….

Dwarf Ginseng

Dwarf Ginseng Panax trifolius   Description: The medicinal properties belong to Panax quinqufolia Propagation: Seeds. The small roots are wary of being moved. Initial bloom (month and week): April W1 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: White Height: 6″ Spread: 12″ Family: Araliaceae Soil type: Acidic woodland soil Soil moisture: Moist rich woods…

False Solomon’s Seal

False Solomon’s Seal Maianthemum racemosum   Description: Plumes of white flowers grace the arching stems in spring, and red berries provide interest in the fall. Propagation: Division of the underground rhizomes. Initial bloom (month and week): May W4 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: White Height: 1-3′ Spread: 18″ Family: Asparagaceae Soil type: Acidic…

Fernleaf Phacelia

Fernleaf Phacelia Phacelia bipinnatifida   Description: This biennial blooms with blue phlox and looks very similar, but it has its own charm. Propagation: Seeds readily Initial bloom (month and week): April W4 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Lavender Height: 12″ Spread: 12″ Family: Hydrophyllaceae Soil type: Neutral loam Soil moisture: Medium moist Light:…

Fire Pink

Fire Pink Silene virginica   Description: A wildflower with 5 distinctly notched, red petals. Growing 20” tall, this plant blooms during early summer. Propagation: Seeds Initial bloom (month and week): June W1 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Red Height: 1-2′ Spread: 12″ Family: Caryophyllaceae Soil type: Neutral woodland, sand or loam Soil…

Foamflower

Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia   AR Plant Model Description: A rapidly-spreading, clump-forming plant with heart-shaped leaves. The tiny white flowers have a foamy texture. This lovely native groundcover should be used before ivy, vinca or the Japanese pachysandra, especially since it flowers more beautifully than any of them. Propagation: Easy from seed or division. The long stolons…

Foxglove Beardtongue

Foxglove Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis   Description: This plant has a long bloom period. The leaves may be green or purplish-red depending on the variety. Propagation: Seeds or division of rootstock Initial bloom (month and week): May W3 Garden name: Sunny Garden Color of flower: White Height: 24-36″ Spread: 12″ Family: Plantaginaceae Soil type: Clay loam…

Golden Club

Golden Club Orontium aquaticum   Description: This is the only species in the genus, although there are several extinct species described from fossils. The flower stalks are long pointed wands. Propagation: Seeds sown as soon as they ripen in early summer Initial bloom (month and week): April W3 Garden name: Sunny Wetland Garden Color of…

Golden Ragwort

Golden Ragwort Packera aurea    Description: The earliest composite (daisy) to bloom in spring, with bright yellow flowers. Propagation: Easy from seed Initial bloom (month and week): May W4 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Yellow Height: 16″ Spread: 16″ Family: Asteraceae Soil type: Neutral Soil moisture: Moist or dry Light: Shade to part…

Green-and-Gold

Green-and-Gold Chrysogonum virginianum   Description: A splendid golden groundcover with attractive hairy leaves. Propagation: Division of the lax stems Initial bloom (month and week): May W3 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Yellow Height: 6″ Spread: 24″ Family: Asteraceae Soil type: Neutral woods Soil moisture: Moist or dry Light: Shade to part shade…

Greenbrier

Greenbrier Smilax rotundifolia   AR Plant Model Description: Stout, thorny, climbing shrub to 30’. Leaves leathery, round, shiny, basal leaves heart shaped.  Found in dry woods and thickets. Thorny, not recommended for gardens, but found in woodlands. Propagation: Fruits Initial bloom (month and week): April W2 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Greenish…

Halberd-leaf Yellow Violet

Halberd-leaf Yellow Violet Viola hastata AR Plant Model Description: Silvery markings on the arrowhead shaped leaves bring light to woodland banks. Propagation: Seeds Initial bloom (month and week): April W1 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Yellow Height: 10″ Spread: 8″ Family: Violaceae Soil type: Strongly acidic Soil moisture: Dry to medium Light: Shade…

Intermediate Wood Fern

Intermediate Wood Fern Dryopteris intermedia   AR Plant Model Description: This is a lacy evergreen wood fern commonly found near oaks. Propagation: Spores or divisions of the rhizome Initial bloom (month and week): no flower Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: no flower Height: 24″ Spread: 18″ Family: Dryopteridaceae Soil type: Neutral Soil…

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum   AR Plant Model Description: Has one or two large, glossy leaves, divided into three leaflets. The flower occurs on a separate stalk as large, hooded, green- or purple-striped flower. All parts of this plant contain calcium oxalate crystals which causes severe burning and swelling of the mouth and…

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder Polemonium reptans Description: Handsome blue flowers in spring. The pinnate leaves resemble a ladder. Propagation: Division of the lax stems Initial bloom (month and week): April W2 Garden name: Shady Woodland Garden Color of flower: Blue Height: 12″ Spread: 6-12″ Family: Polemoniaceae Soil type: Rich acidic woodland soil Soil moisture: Moist Light: Shade…