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My Favorite Native Plants (So Far)

1. Joe Pye Weed-Gateway (Eupatorium maculatum). Late flowering, tough, creates a great screen in mass.

2. Eastern Red Bud (Cercis canadensis). The most beautiful spring blossoms.

3. Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron arborescens). Summer blooming azalea with a wonderful fragrance.

4. Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica). Great ground cover. More subtle than Japanese varieties.

5. Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). Tall, erect fern that spreads quickly.

6. Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea). Beautiful cinnamon-colored spore fronds contrast with green erect leaves.

7. Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis). The most graceful fern with a beautful chartreuse color in spring.

8. Tall white beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis). Tall, white snap dragon type flowers.

9. Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia). Shrub with June/July flowers that have a vanilla fragrance.

10. Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina). Low shrub grows wild in woods, but looks great massed in garden.

11. Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). Striking oak-shaped leaves and big cone-shaped blooms. Great fall colors. (Turns out to be not so native to NE after all).

12. Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica). Fragrant white flowers in June. Leaves turn yellow, orange and purple in fall.

13. Arrowood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum). Grows and blooms in shade. Good screening plant.

14. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Have native species and several cultivars.

15. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia). Great ground cover with showy white flowers in spring.