Northwestern Native Plants – Native Gardening In The Pacific Northwest

Branch With Small White Flowers
pnw native
(Image credit: randimal)

Northwestern native plants grow in an amazingly diverse range of environments that includes Alpine mountains, foggy coastal areas, high desert, sagebrush steppe, damp meadows, woodlands, lakes, rivers, and savannahs. Climates in the Pacific Northwest (which generally includes British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon) include cold winters and hot summers of high deserts to rainy valleys or pockets of semi-Mediterranean warmth.

Native Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

What are the benefits of native gardening in the Pacific Northwest? Natives are beautiful and easy to grow. They require no protection in winter, little to no water in summer, and they co-exist with beautiful and beneficial native butterflies, bees, and birds.

A Pacific Northwest native garden may contain annuals, perennials, ferns, conifers, flowering trees, shrubs, and grasses. Below is a short list of native plants for Northwest region gardens, along with USDA growing zones.

Annual Native Plants for Northwest Regions

  • Clarkia (Clarkia spp.), zones 3b to 9b
  • Columbia coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctorial var. atkinsonia), zones 3b to 9b
  • Two-color/miniature lupine (Lupinus bicolor), zones 5b to 9b
  • Western monkey flower (Mimulus alsinoides), zones 5b to 9b

Perennial Northwestern Native Plants

  • Western giant hyssop/horsemint (Agastache occidentalis), zones 5b to 9b
  • Nodding onion (Allium cernuum), zones 3b to 9b
  • Columbia windflower (Anemone deltoidea), zones 6b to 9b
  • Western or red columbine (Aquilegia formosa), zones 3b to 9b

Native Fern Plants for Northwestern Regions

Northwestern Native Plants: Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Native Pacific Northwest Conifers

  • White fir (Abies concolor), zones 3b to 9b
  • Alaska cedar/Nootka cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis), zones 3b to 9b
  • Common juniper (Juniperus communis), zones 3b to 9b
  • Western larch or tamarack (Larix occidentalis), zones 3 to 9

Native Grasses for Northwestern Regions

  • Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), zones 3b to 9a
  • Sandberg’s bluegrass (Poa secunda), zones 3b to 9b
  • Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus), zones 3b to 9b
  • Dagger-leaf rush/three-stamened rush (Juncus ensifolius), zones 3b to 9b
Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.