Native Plants

Native Plant List for Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota

This is a "starter" list of native plants for Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

See Also:

Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota Trees

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Red Maple Acer rubrum F W-D 50-75' Buds and young twigs are red; great fall color
Sugar Maple Acer saccharum F-P A 50-75' Exellent fall color; beautiful large shade tree
Apple Serviceberry Amelanchier grandiflora F-P W-D 12-15' White, star-shaped flwrs (Apr-May); Green-red fall color
River Birch Betula nigra F A-W 40-70' Modest yellow fall color; seed attracts birds
American Hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana P-S W-A 20-30' Good street tree; yellow, orange and scarlet fall color
Pignut Hickory Carya glabra P-S D 50-60' Golden yellow fall color; rapid growth rate
Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata F-P A 70-90' Yellow to gold brown fall color; squirrels eat nuts
Hackberry Celtis occidentalis F-P W-D 50-75' Mild yellow fall color; warty projections on trunk-winter
Pagoda Dogwood Cornus alternifolia P-S W-D 15-25' White flower clusters to black berries; maroon fall color
Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida F-S D-A 25-30' White flowers in spring become bird-attracting berries
Grey Dogwood Cornus racemosa F-S W-D 8-15' 2" Hemispherical inflorescences for week in May/June
Hawthorn Cratageus spp. F-S A 15-20' Beautiful pink flowers turn into dusky red berries in fall
Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana F-P A-D 40-50' Offers nesting and cover to birds
Tamarack Larix laricina F A-W 50-75' Decid. conifer; needles yellow before falling, pink flwrs
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera F A 70-90' Tulip-like flowers of yellow, green, orange (May-June)
White Spruce Picea glauca F-P A 40-60' Evergreen tree; tolerates somewhat wet or dry soil
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis F-P A-W 70-100' Leaves drop all summer; white mottled bark
Quaking Aspen Populus tremuloides F-P A 20-30' Light-colored undersided leaves shimmer in wind
American Plum Prunus americana F-P W-D 12-20' White flowers in spring; 1" red or yellow fruit in summer
Black Cherry Prunus serotina F-P A-W 50-80' Prized hardwood; edible fruit; poisonous leaves, twigs
Common Chokecherry Prunus virginiana F-P A 20-30' White flowers become baredly edible fruit birds will eat
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor P-S W 50-60' Yellow to red-purple fall color
Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa F W-D 60-75' Mild yellow-brown fall color
Red Oak Quercus rubra F-P D-A 60-75' Russet to bright red fall color; grows rapidly
Black Willow Salix nigra F-P A-W 50+' Host plant for butterflies
Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis F A-W 20-40' Evergreen heavily browsed by deer
Nannyberry Viburnum Viburnum lentago F-P A-D 18' Creamy, white, flat-topped 5" dia. inflorescences in May

Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota Shrubs

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Downy Serviceberry Amelanchier arobrea F-P A-D 15-25' Yellow-orange-red fall color; white flowers in April
Indigo Bush Amorpha fruticosa F A-D 6-15" Narrow 8-20" racemes of deep-purple gold stamen flwrs
New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus F-P A 3' Short spikes of tiny, white flowers in June
Buttonbush Cephalanth. occidentalis F-P W-A 5-12' Spherical white blossom heads
Silky Dogwood Cornus amomum P-S A-W 6-15' Flat white flower head mid-spring; not fragrant
Roughleaf Dogwood Cornus drummondii F-S A-D 15-25' Beautiful flowers and fall color; attracts 40+ bird spec.
Hazelnut Corylus americana F-S A 12-15' Edible nuts; suckering
Common Witchhazel Hamamelis virginiana P-S D-A 15-30' Fragrant, creamy to bright yellow flowers in fall
Kalm's St. John's Wort Hypericum kalmianum F D-A 2-3' Yellow flowers Jul-Sep; doesn't respond well to pruning
Winterberry Ilex verticillata F W-A 6-12' Red berries feed birds through cold season; holly-like
Spicebush Lindera benzoin P-S A 6-12' Tiny fragrant yellow flowers; berries for birds
Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius P-S W-D 5-10' White flowers May-June; berries for birds; yellow in fall
Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa F-P A-W 1-3' Bright yellow flowers June-August
Fragrant Sumac Rhus aromatica F-P D 2-6' Showy orange to reddish-purple fall color
Illinois Rose Rosa setigera F D 5-6' Soft pink flowers with yellow centers bloom in July
Shining Willow Salix lucida F A-W 20' Attractive glossy-leaved shrub with yellowish stems
Elderberry Sambucus canadensis F-S A-W 5-12' Showy white flowers in July; edible fruit in September
Meadowsweet Spiraea alba F A-W 4' White flowers in June, July
Stepplebush Spiraea tomentosa F-P A-W 2-4' Pink blooms July through September
Snowberry Symphoricarpus albus F-S A 4-6' White to pink bell-shaped flwrs May-Jun; white berries
Wolfberry Symphoric. occidentalis F-P A 3' Flowers May-Jun; seeds ripen Sep-Nov; attracts wildlife
Arowwood Viburnum Viburnum dentatum F-P D-A 5-9' Flowers May-Jun; small blue-black berries in fall
Amer. Cranberrybush Viburnum trilobum F-P A-W 8-12' White flowers; edible bright-red bird-attracting fruit

Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota Flowering Perennials

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Doll's Eyes Actea pacypoda P-S A 1-2.5' Sm. white flwrs Apr-May; Poison white berries Aug-Sep
Canada Anemone Anemone canadensis F-P A 12-18" Strong growing plant produces single white blooms
Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis P-S A-D 1-2.5' Unique red and yellow flowers attract hummingbirds
Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum P-S A 12+" Spathe appears Apr-May; Red berries late summer, fall
Wild Ginger Asarum canadense P-S A 6" Evergreen groundcover with heart-shaped glossy leaves
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata F-P A-W 3-4' Clusters of upturned pink flowers draw butterflies
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa F D 1-2' Clusters of brilliant orange flowers June-August
Heath Aster Aster ericoides F A-D 1-3' Explodes into profusion of tiny white flowers in fall
Smooth Aster Aster laevis F A-D 2-4' Blue flowers appear in unbridled profusion in autumn
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae F A 3-7' Bright lavender flowers with yellow centers late sum-fall
Arrow-leaved Aster Aster sagittifolius F-P A-D 3-5' Flowers range from pale blue to lavender to white (fall)
Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris F W 1-2' 1-1.5" bright yellow flowers in spring and summer
Harebell Campanula rotundifolia F-P A-D 1-2' Deep blue bell-shaped flowers June-July
Turtlehead Chelone glabra F-P A 1-3' White to pink 1-1.5" flowers summer into fall
Prairie Coreopsis Coreopsis palmata F-P D 18-30" Soft yellow daisy-like flowers late spring to mid-summer
Prairie Larkspur Delphinium virescens F-P D 2-4' Interesting white flowers June-July
Showy Tick-trefoil Desmodium canadense F A-D 2-5' Branches with bright pink/purple pea-like flowers (sum)
Dutchman's Breeches Dicentra cucullaria S A 1' White and yellow flwrs resembling pantaloons (spring)
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium F D 2-5' Yucca-like foliage; flowers in spherical thistle-like heads
Purple Joe-Pye Weed Eupatorium purpureum F-S A 60" Purple-tinted foliage; large clusters of fluffy red flowers
Flowering Spurge Euphorbia corollata F-P D 36" Bursts with sm. white flwrs with green-yellow centers
Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii F-P A-W 1-2' Blue flowers in Aug-Oct with bottle-like appearance
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum F-S A 1-2' 1" lavender-purple flowers in spring and summer
Prairie Smoke Geum triflorum F A-D 6" Feathery pink seedheads are beautiful in the spring
Sneezeweed Helenium autumnale F A 3-5' Daisy-like flowers with red and yellow petals, late sum.
False Sunflower Heliopsis helianthoides F A 48-60" Sunflower-like flowers bloom on much-branched plant
Alumroot Heuchera americana P-S A-D 2' Attractive light-green foliage with bronzy veining, edges
Wild Blue Flag Iris versicolor F-P A 2-3' 3-4" blue flowers with yellow and white markings
Rough Blazing Star Liatris aspera F A-D 2-5' Bright pink-purple stalks of interesting flwrs (Aug-Sep)
Marsh Blazing Star Liatris spicata F A 3' Tall purple spikes bloom after 2-3 years
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis F-P W 3-5' Terminal clusters of 1.5" bright red flowers in fall
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica P-S W 1-3' Elongated cluster of pale-dark blue flwrs late sum-fall
Wild Lupine Lupinus perennis F-P D 2-3' Spikes of lavender flowers in early summer
Monkey Flower Mimulus ringens F W 2-5' 1" violet flowers in summer and fall
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa F-P A-D 2-5' Intricate lavender flowers attract butterflies (Jul-Sep)
Foxglove Penstemon digitalis F-P A 2-3' Long-blooming pure white flowers June into midsummer
Sweet William Phlox divaricata F-P A 10-20" 1.5" rosy-lavender to soft pale flowers cover in spring
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta F A-D 2-3' 2-4" flwr heads with 10-20 yellow petals in sum and fall
Compass Plant Silphium laciniatum F A 5-9' Sunflower-like flowers; basal leaves orient north-south
Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum F-P A-W 36"-5' Sunflower-like flowers; pairs of cup-forming leaves
False Spikenard Smilacina racemosa F-P A 1-3' Plumes of white flowers in late spring; bright red berries
Stiff Goldenrod Solidago rigida F D 30-48" Loved by birds, butterflies; Yellow flat-topped flowers
Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa F A-D 1-3' Foot-long wands of blazing yellow in early autumn
Common Spiderwort Tradescantia ohiensis F-P A-D 2-4' Deep-blue flowers bloom late spring and early summer
Trillium Trillium grandiflorum S A .5-2' 2-3.5" white-pink flwr on erect stalk with 3 broad petals
Blue Vervain Verbena hastata F-P A-W .5" Small blue flwrs crowded into terminal spikes (Jun-Oct)
Hoary Vervain Verbena stricta F D 36" Green pipe cleaner-like flwr spikes with ring of lav flwrs
Culver's Root Veronicast. virginicum F-S A 3-6' White spire-like flwrstalks above green leaves (Jul-Aug)
Golden Alexanders Zizia aurea F-S A-W 1-2' Bright yellow color can brighten shady spot

Michigan, Wisconsin, & Eastern Minnesota Perennial Ferns

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Maindenhair Fern Adiantum pendatum S M 18-36" Airy, fan-shaped blue-green fronds on del. black stems
Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina S A-W 18-24" Delicate, lacy arching fronds; dk-red stems at maturity
Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensibilis F-P A-W 12-24" Deeply pinnate leaves; poisonous to livestock
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda connamomea F-P A-W 24-48" Circ. clust. of arching fronds; reddish-colored when fert.
Interrupted Fern Osmunda claytoniana S W-D 3-4' When fertile, middle shrivels for 2-6" (fertile part)
Royal Fern Osmunda regalis P A-W 2-6' Bi-pinnate blade; pinnae resemble locust tree leaves
Sun Exposure Soil Moisture Drought Tolerance
F = Full Sun W = Wet E = Excellent
P = Part Sun A = Average G = Good
S = Shade D = Dry M = Moderate
P = Poor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *