Native Garden Plants of the Finger Lakes

Not all of the following plants are recommended for gardens, but all could be interesting for gardens, meadows, or naturalistic woodlands. Those best for gardens are noted and can be selected with an advanced plant search. Native plants often have very specific cultural requirements and success in growing them often depends on reproducing the native habitat. Many references can provide more information on the type of soil, etc. that would be best for a given species. Many of these plants are not available in standard nurseries, but are readily propagated from seed. FLNPS has a members’ seed exchange, and can provide information on propagation. Please see the note on legal status and collecting at the end of the plant list.
Use the Advanced Search. | View Printable List ............ Click plant name for additional information.

Herbaceous Plants - Annuals, Biennials, Perennials
Species Common Name Culture Blooms Status Note
Actaea pachypoda
  • doll's eyes
  • white baneberry
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Late Spring exploitably vulnerable - protected Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Can take dry shade, deer resistant. A pink-red fruited form can be found. The peduncle is thick compared to A. rubra, so it is easily distinguished.
Actaea racemosa
  • black cohosh
Moist Part Shade, Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Will spread in good conditions, and can tolerate mild drought once established. (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Anemone virginiana
  • Thimbleweed
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Large petals, when in seed is easily confused w/A. cylindrica which often has tiny curved petals.
Antennaria parlinii
  • plantain-leaved pussytoes
Dry Sun, Part Sun Spring Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies.
Apocynum androsaemifolium
  • spreading dogbane
Dry Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Sandy Summer Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies. Showier than A. cannabinum, but spreads
Apocynum cannabinum
  • Indian hemp
Moist Part Shade Summer Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies. very aggressive spreader and difficult to eradicate
Aquilegia canadensis
  • wild columbine
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Rocky/Stony Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Well-drained soil
Arisaema dracontium
  • green dragon
Moist, Wet Shade Humus-rich Woodland Early Summer Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Arisaema triphyllum
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
Moist Shade Humus-rich Woodland Spring, Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Asarum canadense
  • Wild Ginger
Dry, Moist Shade Spring Recommended for gardening. Groundcover; mild drought OK
Asclepias incarnata
  • Swamp Milkweed
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies.
Asclepias syriaca
  • Common Milkweed
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer Can be weedy. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. Spreads
Asclepias tuberosa
  • Orange Milkweed
  • Butterfly Weed
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Sandy Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. Well-drained soil
Baptisia tinctoria
  • wild indigo
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Early Summer Attracts butterflies. Attractive but slow to establish. Very difficult to move once established due to deep roots.
Blephilia hirsuta
  • hairy woodmint
Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall Scarce in Finger Lakes Well-drained. Attracts butterflies. fragrant foliage, mint
Caltha palustris
  • Marsh Marigold
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Acidic Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Standing water is not necessary year round, but very moist soil is needed.
Campanula americana
  • Tall Bellflower
Moist Part Shade Late Summer, Fall Critically imperilled (S1)/endangered NYS Recommended for gardening. Biennial. Probably extirpated in the wild in the Finger Lakes area, but grows well and is very attractive. Obtain local seed from exchanges & other gardeners (prolific seed producer)
Campanula rotundifolia
  • Harebells
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun Rocky/Stony Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Well drained, crevices; commercial sources usually European forms
Cardamine concatenata
  • cut-leaved toothwort
Dry, Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Early Spring Attracts butterflies. Ephemeral. Site can be dry in summer if moist in spring. (Dentaria laciniata)
Castilleja coccinea
  • Indian paintbrush
Moist Sun Mid Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer Critically imperilled (S1)/endangered NYS Attracts butterflies. semi-parasite, very difficult to grow unless you live in its natural habitat. Biennial. Transplants usually die.
Chelone glabra
  • White Turtlehead
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Late Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. easy from seed, plant enough that Baltimore checkerspot caterpillars can have some.
Corydalis sempervirens
  • Pink Corydalis
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Rocky/Stony Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall Rare in Finger Lakes Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Short-lived, self-sows; probably extirpated in Ithaca area
Desmodium canadense
  • Tick-Trefoil
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Attracts butterflies. Can be weedy.
Dicentra cucullaria
  • Dutchman's breeches
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Neutral Early Spring Ephemeral. Recommended for gardening. Site can be dry in summer if moist in spring.
Doellingeria umbellata
  • flat-topped white aster
Moist Sun, Part Sun Fall Attracts butterflies. (Aster umbellatus)
Enemion biternatum
  • false rue anemone
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Spring Recommended for gardening. Native to the midwest and the far west of NYS, but found in gardens and can be confused with the wood anemone Thalictrum thalictroides.
Erigeron philadelphicus
  • Philadelphia Fleabanae
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening.
Erigeron pulchellus
  • Robin's Plantain
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Eupatorium fistulosum
  • Hollow Joe Pye Weed
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies.
Eupatorium perfoliatum
  • Boneset
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Early Fall Attracts butterflies.
Eupatorium purpureum
  • Sweet Joe-Pye Weed
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies.
Eurybia divaricata
  • White Wood Aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Summer, Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. (Aster divaricatus) Spreads
Eurybia macrophylla
  • Bigleaf Aster
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Fall Well-drained. Attracts butterflies. (Aster macrophyllus) Well-drained, rich
Eurybia schreberi
  • Schreber's aster
Moist Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Mid Fall Scarce in Finger Lakes Attracts butterflies. (Aster schreberi)
Euthamia graminifolia
  • Narrow-Leaved Goldenrod
Moist Sun Late Summer Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies.
Eutrochium maculatum
  • Spotted Joe-Pye Weed
Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. Eupatorium maculatum
Gentiana andrewsii
  • Prairie Bottle Gentian
Moist Part Sun Humus-rich Woodland Acidic Early Fall Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. A lovely blue flower for late summer, useful for bumblebees. Best in moist part shade.
Gentiana clausa
  • Closed Gentian
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Early Fall Recommended for gardening. lovely blue flowers at the top of (sometimes weak) stems
Geranium maculatum
  • Wild Geranium
Moist Part Shade, Shade Mid Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Can take some summer drought.
Helenium autumnale
  • Sneezeweed
Moist Sun, Part Sun Fall Recommended for gardening. good in wet meadows
Helianthus decapetalus
  • Ten-Rayed Sunflower
Moist Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Open woods; Can spread
Heliopsis helianthoides
  • False Sunflower
  • Ox-Eye Sunflower
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Mid Summer Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. aggressive
Hepatica nobilis var. acuta
  • Sharp-Lobed Hepatica
Moist Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Lime Loving Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa
  • Round-Lobed Hepatica
Moist Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Hibiscus moscheutos ssp moscheutos
  • Swamp Rosemallow
Moist, Wet Sun Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Iris versicolor
  • Blue Flag
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Can take standing water
Jeffersonia diphylla
  • Twinleaf
Dry, Moist Shade Neutral Mid Spring Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Great foliage; flower short-lived; easy from fresh seed.
Lilium canadense
  • Canada Lily
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Deer love it
Lilium superbum
  • Turk’s Cap Lily
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Fussy about site; may refuse to bloom or bulb split into scales.
Lobelia cardinalis
  • Cardinal Flower
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Scarce Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Very showy species - some odd cultivars
Lobelia siphilitica
  • Great Blue Lobelia
Moist, Wet Part Sun, Part Shade Late Summer, Fall Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Short lived – spread seeds
Lupinus perennis
  • Wild Lupine
Sun Sandy Acidic Late Spring, Early Summer Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Well-drained, acid; goes dormant after flowers
Lysimachia ciliata
  • Fringed Loosestrife
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening.
Maianthemum racemosum
  • False Solomon's Seal
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. previously Smilacina
Mertensia virginica
  • Virginia Bluebells
Part Shade, Shade Mid Spring, Late Spring Scarce Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Ephemeral. Can be dry in summer
Mitella diphylla
  • Miterwort
  • Mitrewort
  • Bishop's-Cap
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening.
Monarda didyma
  • Oswego Tea, Bee Balm
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Attracts butterflies. Can spread a lot in sun & moist soil
Monarda fistulosa
  • Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Mid Summer, Late Summer Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies.
Oenothera perennis
  • Small Sundrop
Dry, Moist Sun Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Biennial
Packera aurea
  • Golden Ragwort
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Spring, Late Spring Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. good groundcover, best in large groups (syn: Senecio aureus)
Penstemon digitalis
  • Foxglove Beardtongue
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening.
Penstemon hirsutus
  • Hairy Beardtongue
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Rocky/Stony Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Prefers rocks or sandy soil; easy from seed
Phlox divaricata
  • Wild Blue Phlox
Moist Part Shade, Shade Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies.
Phlox subulata
  • Moss Phlox
Dry, Moist Sun Rocky/Stony Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Rocky or sandy soil but must be well drained; some highly colored cultivars are hybrids
Polemonium reptans
  • Jacob's Ladder
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Late Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Semi-dormant in summer.
Polygonatum biflorum
  • Smooth Solomon's Seal
Moist Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Polygonatum pubescens
  • Hairy Solomon's Seal
Moist Shade Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Porteranthus trifoliatus
  • Bowman’s Root
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Pycnanthemum virginianum
  • Virginia mountain mint
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun Mid Summer, Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. An insect magnet! Very tolerant of varied soil moisture.
Rudbeckia laciniata
  • cut-leaved coneflower
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Spreads. “Golden Glow” is a double form
Sanguinaria canadensis
  • Bloodroot
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Lime Loving Early Spring, Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. sterile double forms available
Sedum ternatum
  • woodland stonecrop
Dry, Moist Part Shade Rocky/Stony Lime Loving Late Spring Well-drained. "green" in winter. Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. A low growing, spreading plant for between rocks.
Solidago caesia
  • Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod
  • Wreath Goldenrod
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Early Fall, Mid Fall Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. takes dry shade & woodland, under 3 ft
Solidago flexicaulis
  • Zig-Zag Goldenrod
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Summer, Fall, Early Fall Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. woodland, under 3 ft; showy; spreads
Symphyotrichum cordifolium
  • heart-Leaved aster
  • blue wood aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Fall, Late Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. (Aster cordifolius)
Symphyotrichum laeve var laeve
  • Smooth Blue Aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Lime Loving Fall Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Attracts butterflies. (Aster laevis)
Symphyotrichum lanceolatum ssp lanceolatum
  • White Aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Fall Attracts butterflies. Weedy (Aster lanceolatus)
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum
  • white aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Fall Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies. (Aster lateriflorus)
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
  • New England aster
Moist Sun, Part Sun Fall Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Attracts butterflies. (Aster novae-angliae) may need staking unless cut back mid-summer
Symphyotrichum pilosum var pilosum
  • hairy white old-field aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Fall, Late Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. (Aster pilosus) prostrate cultivar available
Symphyotrichum prenanthoides
  • zig-zag aster
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Mid Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. (Aster prenanthoides)
Symphyotrichum puniceum
  • swamp aster
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Early Fall, Mid Fall Attracts butterflies. (Aster puniceus)
Symphyotrichum undulatum
  • wavy leaved aster
Dry Part Sun, Part Shade Late Summer, Fall Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies. 1-3', very pale petals appear pinkish-lilac to blue depending on light. More floriferous in sun.
Symphyotrichum urophyllum
  • arrow-leaved aster
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Fall Can be weedy. Attracts butterflies. (Aster sagittifolius)
Thalictrum pubescens
  • Tall Meadow Rue
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Thalictrum thalictroides
  • rue anemone
Moist Part Shade, Shade Spring Recommended for gardening. Well-drained, slightly acid to slightly calcareous; Double & pink cultivars available.
Tiarella cordifolia var. cordifolia
  • Foam Flower (Running)
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Late Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. Stoloniferous; var collina (Wherry’s, clumping) blooms longer but is native further south. Cultivars often Wherry’s or hybrids.
Trillium erectum
  • Wake Robin
  • stinking benjamin
Moist Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Acidic Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Has an off-white form; grow from seed.
Trillium grandiflorum
  • White Trillium
  • Large-Flowered Trillium
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Neutral Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. grow from seed
Uvularia grandiflora
  • Large-Flowered Bellwort
Moist Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Neutral Early Spring, Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. May go dormant in summer if dry; neutral to limey
Vernonia noveboracencis
  • New York ironweed
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Fall Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. Very tall, late blooming composite. Questionably native in the Finger Lakes region, but lovely in the garden.
Veronicastrum virginicum
  • Culver's Root
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening.
Viola canadensis
  • Canada Violet
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening.
Viola labradorica
  • Dog Violet
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Spring Recommended for gardening. Heat tolerant woodlander; purple leaved plant is a northern form
Viola pubescens
  • Downy Yellow Violet
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Mid Spring Recommended for gardening.
Viola sororia
  • Common Blue Violet
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. various colors, but spreads! Rhizomes! Even in dry spots
Waldsteinia fragarioides
  • Barren Strawberry
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Mid Spring Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. Too aggressive in mixed beds; not edible
Zizia aptera
  • Heart-leaved Alexanders
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Takes only moderately dry
Zizia aurea
  • Golden Alexanders
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Spring, Early Summer, Fall Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Self-sows too freely, but 2 bloom seasons
Ferns & Fern Allies
Species Common Name Culture Blooms Status Note
Adiantum pedatum
  • maidenhair fern
Moist, Wet Shade Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Asplenium trichomanes
  • maidenhair spleenwort
Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Rocky/Stony exploitably vulnerable - protected Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Will grow in shade if placed between two rocks to ensure sharp drainage and crown protection.
Athyrium angustum
  • Lady Fern
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Cystopteris bulbifera
  • Bulblet Fern
Dry, Moist, Wet Shade Rocky/Stony Lime Loving exploitably vulnerable - protected Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. spreads nicely, particularly down slopes
Cystopteris fragilis
  • fragile fern
Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Rocky/Stony Neutral Recommended for gardening. Well-drained.
Deparia acrostichoides
  • silvery glade fern
Moist Part Shade, Shade exploitably vulnerable - protected Recommended for gardening. mid size structural fern for limey soils
Dryopteris carthusiana
  • Spinulose Wood Fern
Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Dryopteris goldiana
  • Goldie's Fern
Moist Shade exploitably vulnerable - protected Recommended for gardening. Easy to propagate from spores
Dryopteris intermedia
  • evergreen wood fern
  • intermediate wood fern
Moist Shade exploitably vulnerable - protected "green" in winter. Recommended for gardening.
Dryopteris marginalis
  • Marginal Wood Fern
Dry, Moist Shade Acidic exploitably vulnerable - protected "green" in winter. Recommended for gardening. tolerates lime
Matteuccia struthiopteris
  • Ostrich Fern
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Spreads into dense thickets
Osmunda claytoniana
  • Interrupted Fern
Moist, Wet Part Shade Recommended for gardening. Elegant, can take drier soil than other Osmundas
Polypodium virginianum
  • Common Polypody
  • Rock Cap Fern
Moist Shade Rocky/Stony Lime Loving Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Prefers thin soil on top of rocks
Polystichum acrostichoides
  • Christmas Fern
Dry, Moist Part Shade, Shade Recommended for gardening.
Grasses, Sedges, Rushes
Species Common Name Culture Blooms Status Note
Andropogon gerardi
  • big bluestem
Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Very large.
Carex pensylvanica
  • woodland sedge
Dry, Moist Part Shade Spring Groundcover. Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Can form a grass-like groundcover in wooded areas.
Carex plantaginea
  • plantain-leaved sedge
  • seersucker sedge
Moist Part Shade, Shade Late Spring, Early Summer "green" in winter. Recommended for gardening. short, wide leaves, woodland
Carex platyphylla
  • broad-leaved sedge
Moist Part Shade, Shade Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. short, wide leaves, woodland
Elymus canadensis
  • prairie wild rye
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall Showy fruit. Recommended for gardening. Blue tinged leaves; great in meadows
Elymus hystrix
  • bottle-brush grass
Dry, Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Showy fruit. Recommended for gardening. Elegant for shade, particularly backlit or with dark background
Panicum virgatum
  • switch grass
Moist Sun Mid Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. fall color
Schizachyrium scoparium
  • little bluestem
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Summer, Early Fall Recommended for gardening. golden fall color
Vines
Species Common Name Culture Blooms Status Note
Adlumia fungosa
  • Allegheny vine
Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Summer Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Climbing Bleeding Heart
Celastrus scandens
  • American bittersweet
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Fruits terminal- the more aggressive oriental bittersweet has axial fruit
Clematis virginiana
  • virgin's bower
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Late Summer, Fall Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. Can spread aggressively in moist sun, otherwise OK, large vine. Shade at base, sun at top.
Lonicera hirsuta
  • hairy honeysuckle
Moist Part Sun Rocky/Stony Lime Loving Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Mid-size vine with bright yellow flowers. Flowers bloom in June, maturing into red berries.
Shrubs, Trees
Species Common Name Culture Blooms Status Note
Acer pensylvanicum
  • striped maple
  • moosewood
Moist Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Acidic Spring Recommended for gardening. Cool acidic soil; nice bark
Acer saccharum
  • sugar maple
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Neutral Very Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Day-glo orange fall color
Amelanchier amabilis
  • lovely shadbush
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Rocky/Stony Lime Loving Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. wildlife value
Amelanchier laevis
  • Allegheny serviceberry
  • shadbush
  • shadblow
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Very Early Spring, Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. tough plant, wildlife value
Aronia melanocarpa
  • black chokeberry
Moist, Wet Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Mid Spring, Late Spring Scarce Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Can survive dry soil, but not happily. Suckers in wet conditions. Good fall color.
Betula alleghaniensis
  • yellow birch
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Humus-rich Woodland Late Spring Recommended for gardening. An attractive feature in a moist-wet situation.
Carya ovata
  • shagbark hickory
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Large tree. Can take moderately dry soil; peeling bark; wildlife value. Edible nut.
Cephelanthus occidentalis
  • buttonbush
Moist, Wet Part Shade, Shade Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. often in standing water. good for rain gardens
Cornus alternifolia
  • alternate-leaved dogwood
  • pagoda dogwood
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Acidic Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. bird food source, tolerant of black walnut trees, shallow roots
Cornus amomum
  • silky dogwood
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Wildlife value, tolerates black walnut
Cornus florida
  • flowering dogwood
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. prone to anthracnose, great red fall color
Cornus racemosa
  • gray dogwood
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. spreads by stolons
Cornus rugosa
  • round-leaved dogwood
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Rocky/Stony Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. gravelly slopes; wildlife value, fall color
Cornus sericea
  • red-osier dogwood
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Neutral Late Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Spreads (stoloniferous); only moderate dryness, prefers wet
Crataegus sp.
  • hawthorn
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Thorns! WIldlife value. Numerous hard-to-distinguish species in our area. Avoid the introduced species if you can.
Hamamelis virginiana
  • witch-hazel
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Mid Fall, Late Fall Recommended for gardening. OK in seasonally wet-moderately dry conditions
Ilex verticillata
  • winterberry
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. only female has berries, needs nearby male
Kalmia latifolia
  • mountain laurel
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Early Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Well-drained.
Lindera benzoin
  • spicebush
Moist, Wet Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Mid Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. only female has berries, needs nearby male; fall color, tolerates wide pH range
Liriodendron tulipifera
  • tulip poplar
Moist Sun, Part Sun Humus-rich Woodland Early Summer Recommended for gardening.
Magnolia acuminata
  • cucumber magnolia
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Humus-rich Woodland Spring Recommended for gardening. Large tree with white flowers and interesting seed "cones".
Malus coronarius
  • crabapple
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit.
Physocarpus opulifolius
  • ninebark
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Early Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Pinus rigida
  • pitch pine
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Acidic Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. If leader destroyed, forms twisted shrub
Platanus occidentalis
  • Sycamore
Moist Sun, Part Sun Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Winter bark interest; messy
Prunus americana
  • wild plum
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. best in naturalized groups; colonizes
Quercus alba
  • white oak
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. wildlife value
Quercus rubra
  • red oak
Moist Sun, Part Sun Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. fast growing
Rhododendron maximum
  • great laurel
  • rosebay
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Acidic Mid Summer Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening.
Rhododendron prinophyllum
  • rose shell azalea
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Acidic Spring Recommended for gardening. deciduous, fragrant
Rosa blanda
  • smooth rose
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. thornless, can be trained as a climber
Rosa carolina
  • pasture rose
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. short, suckers
Rosa pallustris
  • swamp rose
Moist, Wet Sun Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. best color, longest bloom; suckers
Rosa setigera
  • prairie rose
  • Ozark rose
Moist Sun, Part Sun Summer, Early Fall Rare in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Long bloom, good color, climber; possibly introduced to Finger Lakes from slightly further west
Rubus odoratus
  • purple flowering raspberry
Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Early Summer Can be weedy. Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Large, showy flowers plus edible fruit! Typical Rubus aggressiveness
Salix discolor
  • pussy willow
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Very Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Salix nigra
  • black willow
Moist, Wet Sun Early Summer Attracts butterflies. Erect tree, grows fast
Sambucus canadensis
  • American elderberry
  • American black elderberry
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Early Summer, Mid Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. edible
Sambucus pubens
  • red-berried elder
Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens.
Sorbus americana
  • American mountain ash
Moist Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. short-lived, food for birds
Spiraea alba var. alba
  • narrow leaved meadowsweet
Moist Sun, Part Sun Mid Summer, Late Summer Attracts butterflies. spreads
Spiraea alba var. latifolia
  • broad leaved meadowsweet
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Mid Summer, Late Summer Attracts butterflies. Spreads; takes drier soils and has wider leaves than var. alba.
Spiraea tomentosa
  • steeplebush
Wet Sun, Part Sun Acidic Late Summer Recommended for gardening. Low shrub, 2-4 ft high; requires moist, acidic soil in at least part sun.
Symphoricarpos albus var. albus
  • snowberry
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Summer Scarce in Finger Lakes Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Nurseries mostly carry var. laevigatus, a western U.S. native
Thuja occidentalis
  • eastern white cedar
  • arborvitae
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun Recommended for gardening. Evergreen, many cultivars available. Deer love the foliage.
Tsuga canadensis
  • eastern hemlock
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Wooly adelgid is fatal; little grows beneath hemlocks
Vaccinium corymbosum
  • high-bush blueberry
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun Acidic Mid Spring, Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. edible fruit
Viburnum acerifolium
  • maple-leaved viburnum
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Cream & pink fall color; Viburnum leaf beetle & deer problems
Viburnum cassinoides
  • witherod
Dry, Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Attracts butterflies. Viburnum leaf beetle (Viburnum nudum var cassinoides)
Viburnum lantanoides
  • hobblebush
Moist Shade Early Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Viburnum leaf beetle; needs cool soil (Viburnum alnifolium)
Viburnum lentago
  • nannyberry
Dry, Moist Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade Late Spring Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. large shrub, edible
Viburnum opulus var. americanum
  • cranberry viburnum
Moist, Wet Sun, Part Sun Late Spring, Early Summer Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. viburnum leaf beetle (Viburnum trilobum)
CSV