Native Plants

Native Plant List for Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York

This is a "starter" list of native plants for Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York Trees

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height Comments
Box Elder Acer negudo S W-D 30-50' Migrating birds eat seeds; male & female plants
Red Maple Acer rubrum F W-D 50-75' Buds & young twigs are red: great fall color
Silver Maple Acer saccharinum F-P A-W 60-75' Lacy leaves with a white bloom on the underside
Downy Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea F-P A-D 15-25' Yellow-orange-red fall color; white flowers in April
Sweet Birch Betula lenta F-P A 40-55' Golden yellow 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, scarlet fall color
Bitternut Hickory Carya cordiformis F-P D-W 50-70' Striking yellow buds; yellow fall color; rapid growth
Pignut Hickory Carya glabra P-S D 50-99' Golden yellow fall color; rapid growth rate
Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata F-P A 70-90' Yellow to golden-brown fall color; squirrels eat nuts
Hackberry Celtis occidentalis F-P W-D 50-75' Mild yellow fall color; warty trunk interesting in winter
Atlantic White Cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides F A-W 40-50' Green needle-like foliage with white markings
Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus F-P A 20' Show-stopping creamy white flowers in Apr-May
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana F-S D-A 30-50' Yellow, orange to mauve fall color; butterfly larval plant
American Beech Fagus grandifolia F-S A 50-80' Golden brown fall color; nuts attract birds & squirrels
White Ash Fraxinus americana F-P A 60-80' Yellow, maroon to purple fall color; butterfly larval plant
Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica F-P A 50-60' Grows fast; yellow fall color
American Holly Ilex opaca F-P A-D 20-40' To ensure fruit one male is needed to 2-3 females
Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana F-P D-A 30-40' Good for screening; attracts birds
Sweet Gum Liquidambar styraciflua F W-A 60-85' Brilliant scarlet red to red-purple fall color
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera F A 70-90' Large tulip-like flowers are yellow, green & orange
Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana P-F W-A 60' White, fragrant flowers(spr) become red seeds(summer)
Red Mulberry Morus rubra F-P A 50-70' Red to dard purple sweet & juicy edible fruits
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica F A-D 30-60' Scarlet red fall color
Shortleaf Pine Pinus echinata F-P D 80-99' Dark blue-green needles; seed eaten by birds
Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda F D-W 50-90' Dark green needles; rapid growth; seed eaten by birds
Virginia Pine Pinus virginiana F D 15-40' Foliage used in Christmas decorations; birds eat seeds
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis F-P A-W 70-99' Leaves drop all summer; white mottled bark
Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides F A 70-99' Modest fall color; can be messy
Large-tooth Aspen Populus grandidentata F D-W 50-70' Fast growing; fall color; leaves flutter in wind
Wild Black Cherry Prunus serotina F-P D 50-80' Messy tree; small edible berries in sum; attracts birds
White Oak Quercus alba F-P D 60-99' Brown, red, wine fall color; acorns eaten by wildlife
Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea F-P D 75' Brilliant scarlet fall color; rapid growth
Southern Red Oak Quercus falcata P-S D-A 70-90' Brown fall color; drought tolerant
Pin Oak Quercus palustris P-S A-W 60-80' Russett, bronze, red fall color
Willow Oak Quercus phellos F-S W-A 100+' Beautiful shade tree; good street tree; high branching
Sassafras Sassafras albidum F-P D-A 30-60' Yellow flowers(Apr) yellow, orange, to scarlet fall color
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum F A-W 50-75' Deciduous needles turn russett in fall
American Basswood Tilia americana P-S A-W 60-80' Wood used for carving; nectar makes honey; seeds
American Elm Ulmus americana F A 60-80' Yellow fall color; high spreading canopy

Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York Shrubs

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height Comments
Smooth Alder Alus serrulata F-S W 15-20' Yellow & orange fall color; fruit eaten by birds
Red Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia P-S A-W 6-10' Red berries load schrub, eaten by mammals & birds
Paw Paw Asimina triloba P-S A 40' Unique fruit resembles & tsstes like banana
Groundsel Tree Baccharis halimifolia F-P A 3-10' White flower heads; attractive fall foliage
Common Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis F-P A 6-12' Golf-ball like fragrant flower clusters attract butterflies
Sweet Pepperbush Clethra alnifolia F-P W-A 2-4' Ivory white fragrant blooms in summer
Silky Dogwood Cornus amomum P-S A-W 6-10' Creamy-white flowers May-Jun; no fall color
Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida F-S D-A 25-30' White flowers in spring become bird-attracting berries
American Hazelnut Corylus americana F-S A 12-15' Edible nuts; suckering
Cockspur Hawthorn Crataegus crus-galli F A-D 20-30' White flowers in spring; red fruit in sum; red fall color
Dwarf Hawthorn Crataegus uniflora F-P A 12' White 5-petaled flowers(Apr-May); dull red berries(Oct)
Black Huckleberry Gaylussacia baccata P-S D-A 1-3' Edible fruit - ancestor of blueberry
Dangleberry Gaylussacia frondosa P-S A 3-6' Dark blue fruit is important to wildlife
American Witch-Hazel Hamamelis virginiana F-S A-D 8-20' Golden yellow flowers in fall; spectacular fall color
Inkberry Ilex glabra P-S A 4-8' Evergreen schrub; forms suckering colonies
Winterberry Holly Ilex verticillata F-P A-D 6-15' Small red berries on female plants persist into winter
Virginia Willow Itea virginica F-P W-D 3-6' White blooms early summer; red, orange, maroon in fall
Marsh Elder Iva frutescens F A-W 8' No fall color; inconspicuous flowers; evergreen
Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia F-P D-W 5' Terminal fragrant white flower clusters; wine fall color
Fetterbush Leucothoe racemosa F-P A-W 3-13' Racemes of delicate bell shaped flowers(Apr-Jun)
Spicebush Lindera benzoin P-S W-A 8-15' Yellow spicily fragrant blooms in early spring
Maleberry Lyonia ligustrina F-P W-A 6-12' White flowers in June; fall color
Southern Bayberry Myrica cerifera P-S D-A 15-20' Leaves are fragrant when crushed & olive green in color
Norhtern Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica F D-W 5-8' Semi-evergreen; transplants well
American Plum Prunus americana F-P W-D 12-20' White fragrant flowers in spring; 1" red or yellow fruit
Beach Plum Prunus maritima F A-D 10' Profusion of white blooms in spring; fruit makes jam
Dwarf Azalea Rhododendron atlanticum F-P A 3-10' Pinkish white fragrant flowers in mid April
Pink Azalea Rhodod. periclymenoides F-P A 6-10' Variable color, but often pink; sometimes pink
Swamp Azalea Rhododendron viscosum P A-W 5-8' Fragrant white flowers in late spring - early summer
Winged Sumac Rhus copallinum F D 8-20' Brilliant red fall foliage; fruit feeds birds; butterfly host
Smooth Sumac Rhus glabra F D-A 9-15' Velvety red fruit on female plants persists into winter
Staghorn Sumac Rhus hirta F-P A-D 30' Provides food & shelter for wildlife; suckering
Swamp Rose Rosa palustris F W-A 4-6' Fragrant flowers in summer; red hips persist; fall color
Common Elderberry Sambucus canadensis F-S A-W 5-12' Showy white flowers(Jul); edible fruit in September
Highbush Blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum F-P A 6-12' Brilliant red fall foliage; fruit attracts wildlife
Early Lowbush Blueber. Vaccinium pallidum F-P A-D 24" Small white bell-shaped flowers in late spring; fall color
Squaw Huckleberry Vaccinium stamineum P A-D 6-8' White bell-shaped flowers in late spring; fall color
Maple-leaf Viburnum Viburnum acerifolium F-P A-D 6' Pie-shaped clusters of creamy-white flowers; fall color
Southern Arrowwood Viburnum dentatum F-P D-A 5-9' Flowers May-Jun; small blue-black berries in fall
Possumhaw viburnum Viburnum nudum P-S W 5-20' Clusters of small white-flowers (May-Jul)
Smooth Blackhaw viburnum prunifolium F-P A 12-15 White flowers(spring); edible fruit attracts birds

Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York Vines

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height Comments
Trumpet Creeper Campsis radicans F-P A-D 20-40' Orange flowers attract hummingbirds; flowers in full sun
Trumpet Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens F-P A 15-25' Red/yellow trumpet-shaped flowers; berries attract birds
Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia F-P A 30-50' Excellent red fall color; attracts birds
Glaucous-leaf Greenbriar Smilax Glauca P-F D-A 10-20' Thorny vine with small fragrant flowers; berries for birds

Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York Flowering Perennials

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height Comments
Maidenhair Fern Maidenhair Fern S A 1-3' White flowers in summer; dried seed heads nice cuttings
Lady Fern Lady Fern P-S A 12+" Spathe appears Mar-May; red berries late sum/fall
Silvery Spleenwort Silvery Spleenwort S A 4-6" Evergreen groundcover, glossy heart shaped leaves
Spinulose Wood Fern Spinulose Wood Fern F A 12-36" Pink to white flowers in the spring
Crested Wood Fern Crested Wood Fern F-P A 24-36" Clusters of brilliant orange flowers attract butterflies
Evergreen Wood Fern Evergreen Wood Fern F-P D-A 1-3' Clusters of white flowers late summer into fall
Marginal Wood Fern Marginal Wood Fern F-P A 40-60" Bright lavender flowers with yellow centers late summer
Sensitive Fern Sensitive Fern P A-W 8-16" Terminal clusters of four-petaled white or pinkish flowers
Cinnamon Fern Cinnamon Fern P-S A 1-2' Small yellow-green flowers(spring) blue berries in cluster
Interrupted Fern Interrupted Fern P-S W 1-3' White to pink 1.5" flowers summer into fall
Royal Fern Royal Fern F D 2-3' Bright yellow clusters of loose, single 1" daisy-like flower
Christmas Fern Christmas Fern P-S A 3-8' Long slender candle-like clusters of white flowers
Bracken Fern Bracken Fern F A-D 36-48" Purple flower attracts bees and butterflies

Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Long Island, New York Perennial Ferns

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height Comments
Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum P-S A 18-36" fan-shaped green fronds held on delicate black stems
Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina S A-W 18-24" Delicate & lacy arching fronds, red stems at maturity
Silvery Spleenwort Deparia acrostichoides F-S A 2-3' Needs constant moisture; straw fall color
Spinulose Wood Fern Dryopteris carthusiana P-S A-W 2-3' Nearly tri-pinnate, very lacy looking
Crested Wood Fern Dryopteris cristata F-P W-A 2-5' Upright blade with sparse pinnea perpendicular
Evergreen Wood Fern Dryopteris intermedia S A 2-3' Must not dry out; dark green lacy fronds
Marginal Wood Fern Dryopteris marginalis P-S A-W 18-24" Evergreen fern grayish-green deeply cut leathery fronds
Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensiblilis F-P W 12-24" Deeply pinnate leaves; poisonous to livestock
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea P-S A-W 24-48" Circular clusters of arching fronds; brown fertile fronds
Interrupted Fern Osmunda claytonia S D 3-4' Fertile leaflets interrupt the fronds; light green
Royal Fern Osmunda regalis P A-W 2-6' Bi-pinnate blade; pinnae resemble locust tree leaves
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides P-S A 12-36" Stiff deep green fronds are once-pinnate
Bracken Fern Pteridium aquilinum P-F A-W 2-7' Attractive branching fern; is not a round cluster
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 *