Native Plants

Native Plant List for Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington

This is a "starter" list of native plants for Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington Trees

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Big-tooth Maple Acer grandidentatum F-P A-W 8-40' Fall foliage varies from orange to yellow.
Water Birch Betula occidentalis F A-W 15-25' An excellent choice for Rocky Mtn. states.
Netleaf Hackberry Celtis reticulata F D 10-30' Reddish orange berries in the fall.
Western Juniper Juniperus occidentalis F D 20-30' Blue-green cones appear in the spring.
Western Larch Larix occidentalis F A 150' This deciduous conifer turns golden in fall.
Blue Spruce Picea pungens F-P A 30' Large evergreen with a silver-blue color.
Pinyon Pine Pinus edulis F D 10-20' Requires full sun and good drainage.
Western White Pine Pinus monticola F-P A 150'+ Grows best in sun with moist, well-drained soil.
Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa F D 130' Yellow brown, sweet-scented bark on old trees.
Quaking Aspen Populus tremuloides F W 50' Leaves turn gold in fall, shimmer in wind.
Black Cottonwood Populus trichocarpa F W 100' Oval leaves are glossy dark green.
Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii F-P A 200' Best in full sun with well-drained soil.
Rocky Mountain Ash Sorbus scopulina F-P W 13' Bet in moist, well-drained acidic soil.

Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington Shrubs

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Rocky Mountain Maple Acer glabrum F-P A-W 8-25' Showy fall foliage is red, orange, and yellow.
Saskatoon Serviceber. Amerlanchier alnifolia P A 5-20' White flowers April-May become purple fruit.
Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi P A 6" Mat-forming shrub has pink flowers Mar-Apr.
Silver Sagebrush Artemisia cana F D-A 3-5' Semi-evergreen shrub with silver foliage.
Fringed Sagebrush Artemisia frigida F A 8-18" Foliage is metallic silver.
Louisiana Sage Artemisia ludoviciana F A 12-18" Smells strongly of sagebrush.
Big Sagebrush Artemisia tridentata F D-A 3-12' Yellow inconspicuous flowers in the fall
Four-wing Saltbush Atriplex canescens F D-A 4-5' Yellow inconspicuous flowers mid-spring
Curl-leaf Mtn. Mahog. Cercocarpus ledifolius F D-A 8-15' Evergreen; dark green leaves, gray bark
Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus montanus F-P A 5-10' White flowers Apr-May, Plumes persist into fall
Fern Bush Chamaeb. millefolium F A 6-8' White flowers in summer
Rubber Rabbitbrush Chrysoth. nauseosus F D-A 2-7' Dark yellow flowers late summer into fall
Green Rabbitbrush Chrysoth. viscidiflorus F D-A 3' Leaves green, shiny, and sticky
Red-osier Dogwood Cornus stolonifera F-S A 3-9' White flowers May-Jun, berries attract birds
Douglas Hawthorn Crataegus doulasii F-P A 8-20' Showy clusters of white flowers mid spring
Mormon Tea Ephedra viridis F D 2-5' Yellow flower-like cones and berry-like fruits.
Apache Plume Fallugia paradoxa F D-A 4-6' White to rose flowers late spring-early summer
Winterfat Kraschen. lanata F D 1-3' Tolerates highly alkaline soil, needs drainage
Creeping Oregon Grape Mahonia repens P-S D-A 1' Holly-like leaves; drought and shade tolerant
Mockorange, Syringa Philadelphus lewisii F-P D-A 4-10' Incredibly fragrant flowers begin late spring
Ninebark Physocarp. malvaceus F-S A 3-6' White flowers (spring); red fall color
Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla fruticosa P A 3' Yellow flowers early summer- mid fall
Bitter Cherry Prunus emarginata F-P A 6-8' Fragrant white flowers become red cherries
Chokecherry Prunus virginiana F-P A 10-20' White flowers in spring become red-purple fruit
Antelope Bitterbush Purshia tridentata F D 5-8' Yellow highly fragrant flowers Apr-May.
Smooth Sumac Rhus glabra F-P A 4-20' Compound, blue-green leaves turn red in fall.
Oakleaf Sumac Rhus trilobata F-P D-A 3-6' Leaves turn a bright red to orange color in fall.
Golden Currant Ribes aureum F-P A 3-6' Bright yellow flowers in early spring.
Red-flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum P A 3-5' Pale to dark pink flower spikes in early spring.
Woods' Rose Rosa woodsii F-S D-A 3-4' Pale to dark pink flowers bloom in late May.
Blue Elderberry Sambucus cerulea F-P W 8-12' Small white flowers in late spring; attracts birds
Silver Buffaloberry Sheperdia argentea P W-A 10-15' Dense form of silver foliage, good bird habitat
Russet Buffaloberry Sheperdia canadensis F-P D-A 3-12' Leaves are blue-green, often with rusty dots
Common Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus P-S A 4-6' Pink to white flwoers bloom in May or June

Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington Flowering Perennials (Wildflowers)

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Western Yarrow Achillea millefolium F D 1-3.5' White flowers fading to cream from spring-fall
Parry's Agave Agave parryi F D 24" Light gray to green foliage is broad and flat
Pearly Everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea F-P A 6-18" White flowers bloom prolifically Jun-Sep
Rosy Pussytoes Antennaria spp. F-P A 4-8" Pink and white flowers Jun-Jul; drought tolerant
CO Blue Columbine Aquilegia caerulea P A 12-30" Blue and white unique blooms Jun-Aug
Western Columbine Aquilegia formosa P A-W 2-3' Unique red and yellow flowers spring-summer
Wild Aster Aster spp. F A 12-36" Purple, light blue to cream flowers
Arrowleaf Balsamroot Balsamorhiza sagittata F A 12-24" Plants don't flower until they are five years old
Blue Camas Camassia quamash F W 1-2' Blue petals and yellow stamen blooms May-Jun
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea F-P A 2-3' Continuously blooms (purple) summer-fall
Cut-leaf Daisy Erigeron compositus F D 6" Numerous white to lavender flowers in spring
Wyeth Buckwheat Eriogon. heracleoides F A 6-16" Creamy white flowers; drought tolerant
Snow Buckwheat Eriogonum niveum F A 6-18" White flowers in the summer and fall
Sulfur Buckwheat Eriogonum umbellatum F A 1' Yellow flowers with hints of reddish orange
Woolly Sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum F A 6-12" Yellow flowers in the spring; drought tolerant
Blanket Flower Gaillardia aristata F-P A 24" Flower rays a mix of red, yellow or orange
Sticky Geranium Gerani. viscosissimum F-P A 12-30" Pink to lavender flowers with red veins May-Sep
Prairie Smoke Geum triflorum F-P A 18" Reddish to purplish flowers
Texas Red Yucca Hesperaloe parviflora F D 4' Red blooms in summer reach 5'; slow-growing
Scarlet Gilia Ipomopsis aggregata F-P A 12-24" Red flowers (Jun) attract hummingbirds
Wild Blue Flax Linum perenne F-P A 8-24" Blue flowers all spring and summer; drought tol
Silver Lupine Lupinus argenteus F-P A 8-24" Blue to white flowers; nitrogen fixing
MO Evening Primrose Oenoth. missouriensis F D 6-12" Yellow flowers Jun-Sep; slightly fragrant
Prickly Pear Cactus Opuntia spp. F D 12" Flowers of yellow, pink, or red bloom Jun-Jul
Pagoda Penstemon Penstemon angustifolius F A 1' Comes in various shades of blue to lavender
Scarlet Bugler Penstemon barbatus F A 2-3' Distinctly bright red corolla, flowers Jun-Sep
Dark Blue Penstemon Penstemon cyaneus F A 12-28" Dark blue to violet flowers May-Aug
Hot Rock Penstemon Penstemon deustus F A 8-18" Small creamy white flowers May-Jun
Firecracker Penstemon Penstemon eatonii F A 3' Flower stalks lined with bright red flowers
Shrubby Penstemon Penstemon fruticosus F A 18" Blue/lavender to light purplish flowers May-Jun
Palmer Penstemon Penstemon palmeri F D-A 2-4' Large pink fragrant flowers attract hummingbird
Pine-Leaf Penstemon Penstemon pinifolius F A 6-18" Red flowers attract hummingbirds
Rydberg's Penstemon Penstemon rydbergii F-P A 8-28" Bluish-purple flowers in whirls around stem
Showy Penstemon Penstemon speciosus F-P A 2-6" Bright purple to violet flowers May-Jun
Rocky Mtn. Penstemon Penstemon strictus F A 1-3' Blue to violet blooms Jun-Jul
Lovely Penstemon Penstemon venustus F A 36" Stunning flowers lavender-purple May-Jun
Whipple's Penstemon Penstemon whippleanus P A 8-24" Flowers usually creamy white-green Jul-Aug
Prairie Clover Petalostem. purpureum F D 1-2.5' Pinkish purple flowers May-Sep; fixes nitrogen
Goldenrod Solidago spp. F A 2-5' Yellow flowers cover plant late summer-fall
Desert Globemallow Sphaeralcea ambigua F A 20-40" Orange to brick red flowers Mar-Jun
Gooseberry-leaf Globe. Sphaera. grossulariifolia F D-A 12-24" Salmon colored flowers in the summer
Orange Globemallow Sphairalcea munroana F D-A 12-24" Apricot-pink to reddish-orange flowers
Prince's Plume Stanleya pinnata F D 3-4' Spikes of lacy yellow flowers spring-summer
Narrowleaf Yucca Yucca glauca F A 3-6' Creamy white bell shaped flowers in July

Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington Grasses

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Soil Moisture Heights     Comments
Indian Ricegrass Achnather. hymenoides F D 12-16" Beautiful inflorescence when it goes to seed
Little Bluestem Andropogon scoparium F A 12-36" Blue-green warm season grass; reddish in fall
Blue Grama Bouteloua gracilis F D 4-12" Mat forming warm season grass
Buffalograss Buchloe dactyloides F D 3-5" Long blue-gray to green blades; reddish in fall
Bottlebrush Squirreltail Elymus elymoides F D 13-24" Unique tufted seed head in mid-spring
Idaho Fescue Festuca idahoensis F-P A 18" Gray-blue blades in early summer
Sheep Fescue Festuca ovina F-P D-A 18" Does not do well in continuously wet sites
Great Basin Wildrye Leymus cinereus F D 4-6' Bluish tan blades with wheatlike seed heads
Bluebunch Wheatgrass Pseudo. spicata F D 13-24" Bluish cast, decorative inflorescence
Sand Dropseed Sporobolus cryptandrus F D 8-16" Stays green in heat of summer; resists fire if mowed anually

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