A garden that welcomes butterflies can be a real joy. A number of butterflies are native to our region and one way to attract them is by planting natives.
See our list of many of the NW Native plants that are good butterfly plants as well as good garden plants. Read more...
Hummingbird gardens come in every shape and size, from large landscapes to containers on a patio. These tiny birds are joyful to watch and natives can bring them into your garden!
Using our Hummingbird Feature, you can provide blooms for these delightful birds throughout the season. Read more...
The wild fruit of the Pacific Northwest offers a variety of fresh and delicious flavors. Use alone or combine with other fruit for a unique twist in your favorite jam, sauce or baking recipe.
Create an ‘edible forest’ and have a bounty that you can both enjoy and share with the birds that visit your garden! Read more...
Our feature on Natives for Winter Interest will help with including plants that add beauty and interest in the winter garden.
In winter, the garden view can be sparse and bare. Add color or texture to the winter garden by planting NW natives. Read more...
When you see a northwest native plant with a name in single quotes attached, like Acer circinatum 'Pacific Fire', you know it is a cultivar. This means it was originally found occurring naturally in the wild, selected and propagated to maintain the distinct or desirable individual quality.
Cultivars are random or sporadically-found variations; they must be propagated vegetatively from divisions, cuttings, etc. in order to maintain their individual characteristics. A seed collected and grown from a cultivar will not necessarily produce the unique feature. A variety, by contrast, is a consistent variation of the original species, and is able to be propagated by seed.
Native plant variations that are selected to be propagated as named cultivars are done so for a variety of reasons potentially attractive to the home gardener: Garrya eliptica 'James Roof' has particularly long and showy catkins.
Acer circinatum 'Monroe' is shorter in stature and has more finely cut leaf structure, making it more suitable for containers and small gardens; the native Kinnickinnick cultivar 'Vancouver Jade' was found to be more tolerant of our wetter soils and demonstrates more vigorous growth in the west Cascades lowlands than the original species.
Since cultivars must be propagated by divisions or cuttings and don't "come true" from seed, the subsequent plants are clones, rather than offspring. Therefore, there is debate over whether or not cultivars can truly be considered "native."
Each gardener interested in using native plants has to decide for themselves where to draw these lines. There are solid arguments on both sides of the debate.