Natives: What to plant - and what not to plant

Sara Tangren, natives expert with the University of Maryland Extension, offers this list of perennials, shrubs and trees for the native garden. These plants are native to the Piedmont and/or the Coastal Plains regions of Maryland, which best describes the areas around Baltimore. Western Maryland is a mountain region.



Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis, part sun to full shade, very-deer resistant)

Blue sedge (Carex glaucodea, use to replace liriope, part sun to full shade)


Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides, shade, very deer-resistant)

Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea, moisture, part shade)

Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa, very deer-resistant, full sun to light shade, supports monarch butterflies)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis, needs moisture, don't let leaf litter cover basal foliage, hummingbirds love it)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower, very hard to find except as cultivars)


Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)

Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium, diverse soils, sun or shade, very deer-resistant)


High-bush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, moist soils, acidic, sun or shade, edible fruits)

Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum, variable soils, sun to part shade, red twigs, blue fruits)

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata, moderate to wet soil, sun to part shade, grown for its beautiful red berries)


White oak (Quercus alba)

Sour-gum (Nyssa sylvatica, extraordinary fall color, fruit for birds)


Sassafras (Sassafras albidum, extraordinary fall color, fruit for birds)

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida, understory tree)

Sources for native plants

Herring Run Nursery, 6131 Hillen Road, Baltimore,

The Perennial Farm, 2017 Glen Arm Road, Glen Arm,

Cavanos Perennials, 6845 Sunshine Ave., Kingsville,


Irvine Nature Center has a native plant seminar and sale on Aug. 23 with many good vendors.

Friends School also has a native plant sale in the fall.

Weekend Watch

Weekend Watch


Plan your weekend with our picks for the best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV shows and more. Delivered every Thursday.

What not to plant

And here are some plants that are mistakenly thought to be native to Maryland

Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens)

Miscanthus sinensis (not only not native, it's invasive)


Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)