Plant Profiles

Read a little about some of our favorite native plants suitable for home gardens. These perennials, ferns, grasses, shrubs and trees are all native to coastal Washington, Oregon, Northern California and British Columbia, west of the Cascade Mountains.


<em>Vancouveria hexandra</em>   (American barrenwort)
Vancouveria hexandra
Deciduous Groundcovers

Vancouveria hexandra, commonly known as American barrenwort, is an attractive, easy-care groundcover, Its leaves form a mat 6 to 8 inches tall.

Cornus canadensis  (bunchberry)
Cornus canadensis
Deciduous Groundcovers

Cornus Canadensis, more commonly know as bunchberry, is a delicate jewel for a shady, damp area of the garden.

Arctostaphyllos uva-ursi   (kinnikinnick)
Arctostaphyllos uva-ursi
Evergreen Groundcovers

Looking for an all-season-interest ground cover that's ready for a variety of situations? Arctostaphyllos ura-ursi, commonly known as kinnikinnick, may just be that plant.

Sedum oreganum  (Oregon stonecrop)
Sedum oreganum
Evergreen Groundcovers

A beautiful groundcover and rock garden plant, Sedum oreganum has tight rosettes of shiny, succulent, green leaves, reminiscent of a tiny jade plant.

<em>Hydrophyllum tenuipes</em>   (Pacific waterleaf)
Hydrophyllum tenuipes
Deciduous Groundcovers

Pacific waterleaf, Hydrophyllum tenuipes, is a deciduous perennial native to British Columbia and as far south as Northern California.

Oxalis oregana (redwood sorrel)
Oxalis oregana
Evergreen Groundcovers

In the wild, Oxalis oregana, redwood sorrel, is found in moist Douglas fir and Coastal redwood forests in the Cascade, Olympic and Coast Mountains, from Southern British Columbia to...

Achlys triphylla (vanilla leaf)
Achlys triphylla
Deciduous Groundcovers

Achlys triphylla, commonly called vanilla leaf. is found from British Columbia to Northern California. It prefers moist shaded sites in forest openings and along streambeds.


Lonicera involacrata (black twinberry)
Lonicera involacrata
Deciduous Shrubs

There are several specimens of Lonicera involucrata, commonly known as black twinberry or twinberry honeysuckle, growing in the Buck Lake Native Plant Garden.

Myrica californica  (California wax myrtle or Pacific wax myrtle)
Myrica californica
Evergreen Shrubs

Myrica californica, commonly known as California or Pacific wax myrtle, is native to most of the California, Oregon and Washington coasts and as far north as Vancouver Island.

Mahonia nervosa   (Cascade Oregon grape)
Mahonia nervosa
Evergreen Shrubs

Mahonia nervosa is commonly called Cascade Oregon grape. It is an evergreen suckering shrub, growing slowly to about 2 feet tall and wide.

Vaccinium ovatum  (evergreen huckleberry)
Vaccinium ovatum
Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum, with its small, glossy, dark, green leaves and new shoots tinged with bronze, is a tough, but well behaved, addition to the native garden.

Spirea douglasii  (Douglas spirea or hardhack)
Spirea douglasii
Deciduous Shrubs

Spirea douglasii is commonly known as hardhack or Douglas spirea. It is a deciduous shrub 4 - 6 feet tall, often forming large thickets.

Oemleria cerasiformis  (Indian plum)
Oemleria cerasiformis
Deciduous Shrubs

Oemleria cerasiformis, commonly called Indian plum or osoberry, is a large deciduous shrub, growing to 12'-18' tall and 10'-14' wide.

Philadelphus lewisii  (mock orange)
Philadelphus lewisii
Deciduous Shrubs

The native mock orange, Philadelphus lewisii, blooms in mid to late June in the Buck Lake Native Plant Garden.

Holodiscus discolor (oceanspray)
Holodiscus discolor
Deciduous Shrubs

Holodiscus discolor, commonly called oceanspray, because of its frothy pendants of white flowers, is a deciduous shrub found in the wild from southern British Columbia into California.

Mahonia aquifolium   (tall Oregon grape)
Mahonia aquifolium
Evergreen Shrubs

As you enter the Buck Lake Native Plant Garden from the north entrance and walk the main path, you will see the shiny holly-like leaves of tall Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium.

Physocarpus capitatus  (Pacific ninebark)
Physocarpus capitatus
Deciduous Shrubs

Pacific ninebark, Physocarpus capitatus, deserves a place in any garden. It sports glossy maple-like leaves and showy puffs of white flowers in the spring.

Rhododendron macrophyllum   (Pacific rhododendron)
Rhododendron macrophyllum
Evergreen Shrubs

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Sambucas racemosa berries (red elderberry)
Sambucas racemosa
Deciduous Shrubs

A tree-like shrub, Sambucas racemosa, commonly known as red elderberry, is native to much of the U.S. and Canada, where it grows in open forests, along streambanks and in moist clearings...

Ribes sanguineum   (red-flowering currant)
Ribes sanguineum
Deciduous Shrubs

At the south entrance to the Buck Lake Native Plant Garden, the path is flanked on both sides by cultivars of Ribes sangiuneum, commonly known as red-flowering currant.

Cornus sericea (red-twigged dogwood) flower
Cornus sericea
Deciduous Shrubs

This Plant Profile under construction.

Gaultheria shallon   (salal)
Gaultheria shallon
Evergreen Shrubs

Gaultheria shallon, also known as salal, is one of the most common understory plants found in forests from Alaska to Northern California.

Amelanchier alnifolia  (serviceberry)
Amelanchier alnifolia
Deciduous Shrubs

Amelanchier alnifolia, commonly known as serviceberry, offers multi-season interest and is worthy of a place in every garden.

Garry elliptica (silk tassel)
Garrya elliptica
Evergreen Shrubs

The beautiful shrub commonly known as silk tassel bush, Garrya elliptica, is found in the coast range from southern Oregon to the middle of California.

Symphoricarpos albus   (snowberry)
Symphoricarpos albus
Deciduous Shrubs

Snowberry, or Symphoicarpus albus, is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 6' tall and can colonize an area to form a dense thicket.

Rhododrendron occidentale   (Western azalea)
Rhododrendron occidentale
Deciduous Shrubs

Western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale, is native to Southern Oregon and Northern California, west of the Cascades, occupying a variety of habitats from streambeds to coastal bluffs.

Cercis orbiculata (Western redbud)
Cercis orbiculata (formerly occidentalis)
Deciduous Shrubs

Abundant in the foothills along the northern California coast and in small patches in southern Oregon,Cercis orbiculata, or Western redbud, puts on a stunning display in spring, when its...


Juncus patens   (California gray rush)
Juncus patens
Evergreen Grasses

Juncus patens,California gray rush, is an adaptable reed that is native to the entire west coast of the U.S.


Camassia leichtlinii cearulea
Camassia leichtlinii
Deciduous Perennials

In the wild, Camassia leichtlinii, commonly known as great camas, is found in damp mountain meadows and grasslands.

Sidalcea hendersonii   (checkered mallow)
Sidalcea hendersonii
Deciduous Perennials

Sidalcea hendersonii, Henderson's checkered mallow, sometimes called marsh hollyhock, blooms in early summer with 1'-5' tall spikes of pink flowers.

Iris douglasiana   (Douglas iris)
Iris douglasiana
Evergreen Perennials

One of 11 species of native iris collectively known as Pacific Coast iris, Douglas iris, Iris douglasiana, is native to the Oregon and California coasts, growing most often in grasslands...

Maianthemum racemosum   (false Solomon's seal)
Maianthemum racemosum
Deciduous Perennials

For a shady woodland site, there is no better plant than false Solomon's seal, Maianthemum racemosum.

Erythronium oregonum (yellow fawn lily)
Deciduous Perennials

Erythronium is a genus of spring-flowering perennials, several species of which are native to the area from Northern California to British Columbia.

Lilium paradalinum    (leopard lily)
Lilium paradalinum
Deciduous Perennials

A star in any garden, Lilium paradalium, commonly called leopard lily, blooms in summer with gorgeous crimson blossoms 3"-4" inches across on stems 5'-7' tall.

Mimulus guttatus  (yellow monkeyflower)
Mimulus guttatus and Mimulus lewesii
Deciduous Perennials

Yellow monkeyflower, mimulus guttatus, is a colorful addition to damp areas of the garden.

Lonicera ciliosa  (orange trumpet honeysuckle)
Lonicera ciliosa
Deciduous Perennials

Orange trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera ciliosa, is a garden-worthy native vine, found in thickets and along creek and river banks from British Columbia to Northern California.

Dicentra formosa (Pacific bleeding heart)
Dicentra formosa
Deciduous Perennials

Pacific bleeding heart, Dicentra formosa, looks delicate with is pendulant, heart-shaped flowers and fern-like foliage, but looks are deceiving.

Lupinus rivularis  (riverside lupine)
Lupinus rivularis
Deciduous Perennials

Riverside lupine (also known as streambank lupine), Lupinus rivularis, is common throughout Northern California, Oregon and Washington, west of the mountains.

Corydalis scouleri (Scouler's corydalis)
Corydalis scouleri
Deciduous Perennials

Another beautiful Pacific Northwest wildflower, Corydalis scouleri can be grown in the home garden in a shady spot.

Dodecatheon hendersonii (Henderson's shooting star)
Dodecatheon hendersonii
Deciduous Perennials

As the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait." It will take some patience to introduce Dodecatheon hendersonii, commonly called Henderson's shooting star, to your garden.

Iris tenax   (tough-leaf iris)
Iris tenex
Deciduous Perennials

One of 11 species in the group collectively called Pacific Coast iris, Iris tenex, or tough-leaf iris, will be the jewel of your garden during its May bloom.

Linnaea borealis (twinflower)
Linnaea borealis
Evergreen Perennials

A fragile-looking but adaptable little plant, Linnaea borealis or twinflower, is found across the Northern U.S., and through California and the Rocky Mountains (actually throughout much...

Aquilegia formosa (Western columbine)
Aquilegia formosa
Deciduous Perennials

Although a common perennial, Aquilegia formosa, Western columbine, is nevertheless a beautiful addition to any garden.

Trillium ovatum (western trillium)
Trillium ovatum
Deciduous Perennials

Trillium ovatum, Western trillium, needs conditions of light to dappled shade and a moist, but well-drained, humus-rich soil to thrive.

Asarum caudatum (Western wild ginger)
Asarum caudatum
Evergreen Perennials

Asarum caudatum, or Western wild ginger, is a pretty understory plant that thrives in moist locales on forest floors at low and middle elevations, especially beneath Douglas fir, whose...


Blechnum spicant  (deer fern).
Blechnum spicant
Evergreen Ferns

Blechnum spicant, or deer fern as it is commonly known, prefers shady moist conditions and humas-rich soil.

Polypodium glycyrrhiza  (licorice fern)
Polypodium glycyrrhiza
Deciduous Ferns

Licorice fern, Polypodium glycyrrhiza, is a beautiful and unusual plant. This fern is epiphytic, so needs a moist atmosphere, where it can extract nutrients from the air.

Gymnocarpium dryopteris   (oak fern)
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Deciduous Ferns

Gymnocarpium dryopteris, more readily known as oak fern, adds a punch of apple-green to shady areas of the garden.

Polystichum munitum  (western sword fern)
Polystichum munitum
Evergreen Ferns

The ubiquitous Western sword fern, Polystichum munitum is a garden work horse.


Corylus cornuta   (Hazelnut)
Corylus cornuta
Deciduous Trees

This deciduous, often multi-trunked, tree grows between 10 to 20 feet in height and a similar width.

Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood) flower
Cornus nuttallii
Deciduous Trees

Our native Pacific dogwood, Cornus nuttallii. is a graceful open-branched tree.

Pinus contorta ssp. contorta (shore pine)
Pinus contorta ssp. contorta
Evergreen Trees

The Buck Lake Native Plant Garden has planted a hedge of shore pines as a backdrop to a bed containing mixed shrubs and perennials.

Acer circinatum 'Pacific Fire'    (vine maple)
Acer circinatum
Deciduous Trees

In the wild, Acer circinatum, commonly know as vine maple, is found as an understory plant to taller trees, such as alder and Douglas fir.