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Choose the Perfect Plant

Maine native plants provide the greatest benefit to wildlife. Click on any of the boxes below to filter plants based on different criteria (Bloom Month, Sunlight, Soil Conditions, Size/Plant Height, Caterpillars Hosted, and Wildlife Benefited). Combine your filters to find the perfect plants for you!

You can choose multiple criteria and the results will automatically update. You can remove filters too, by clicking on any of your filter items.

Alternate-leaved (Pagoda) Dogwood

Swida alternifolia
This small flowering tree is as ornamental as it is beneficial. Its small size and flat-topped growing habit make an interesting shady spot for a small yard or space, and large white flowers followed by blue/black berries support countless wildlife species. Formerly known as Cornus alternifolia.

American Hazelnut

Corylus americana
A rounded, thicket-forming, multi-stemmed shrub that produces edible nuts, which can be roasted, ground to flour, or left for wildlife to enjoy. Nice fall foliage.

American Hop-hornbeam

Ostrya virginiana
This slow-growing tree has a wider, round canopy, and is highly adaptable to light and soil conditions. It has beautiful yellow foliage in the fall, and nutlets that are enjoyed by songbirds and other mammals. Also called Ironwood.

American Hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana
Small, attractive tree or large shrub with attractive foliage and flowers, and very unique “muscled” trunk.

American Larch

Larix laricina
In boreal and other northern forests, the brilliant fall foliage of Larix laricina is unmistakable. It is the only New England conifer to drop its needles, so don’t be surprised to find it bare come November. A lovely specimen tree for rich soils that is host to more than 128 caterpillar species!


Viburnum dentatum
Adaptable mid-sized shrub provides unique leaf shape and texture with showy flower and fruit display typical of viburnums.

Beach Plum

Prunus maritima
Attractive shrub or small tree with abundant flowers and edible fruit. Salt and drought resistant. Species is listed as Endangered in Maine.

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina
One of the largest of the cherry trees! Has a beautiful spring bloom and attractive fall foliage. Fruit is very attractive to wildlife.

Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa
Beautiful, hardy, and beneficial medium-sized shrub, well suited for use in developed landscapes. Produces lovely flowers and edible fruit, and is forage for many wildlife species.

Black Gum

Nyssa sylvatica
Attractive, slow-growing tree with waxy leaves. Beautiful blue berries and showy scarlet-colored fall foliage.

Black Willow

Salix nigra
Fast-growing, medium to large sized water-loving tree, great for erosion control and flood prevention. Bark and twigs are commonly browsed by wildlife.

Blue Flag Iris

Iris versicolor
This spring stunner has sword-shaped blue-green leaves and produces 3-4” wide bluish-purple flowers with yellow and white blotches. It’s a natural for wet areas and spreads by rhizomes.

Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata
A wonderful wet-meadow plant with blue to purple flowers occurring in a candelabra-shaped panicle. It often grows in colonies and creates a lovely display when planted amongst tall native grasses and wildflowers.

Blue Wood Aster

Symphyotrichum cordifolium
A lovely keystone species which can thrive in a variety of habitats from meadows to woodlands or the spaces in between. It spreads vigorously by seed, so it's best suited for naturalized landscapes. Also called Heart-leaved Aster.

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod

Solidago caesia
Clump-forming, non-aggressive growing Goldenrod with arching, purple stems, and small clusters of daisy-like yellow flowers. Very attractive to pollinators and deer tolerant!


Cornus canadensis
Small, hardy accent or groundcover with beautiful foliage, flowers, and fruit. Also known as Chamaepericlymenum canadense.

Bush Honeysuckle

Diervilla lonicera
Suckering densely branched shrub with fragrant, brightly colored tube-like flowers, attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.

Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa
This stunning perennial provides a pop of bright orange color and is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. State-listed as Potentially Extirpated.


Cephalanthus occidentalis
A low-maintenance shrub with glossy leaves and long-lasting white fragrant flowers that resemble pincushions. Attracts a wide variety of pollinators and adapts easily to various soil types.

Canada Serviceberry

Amelanchier canadensis
Small tree, or multi-trunked shrub, with delicate white flowers in the spring, small red fruit, and orange-red foliage and blue fruit in the fall.

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis
This plant is absolutely stunning with large, cardinal-red tubular flowers that are magnets for hummingbirds and butterflies. Super effective in moist and shady areas, providing a pop of brilliant color.


Prunus virginiana
Large shrub/small tree with fragrant, dense clusters of white flowers and red/dark purple fruit, that are very attractive to birds and butterflies, and can be made into jelly or preserves. Excellent wildlife value!


Aquilegia canadensis
A beautiful woodland native with nodding red and yellow spurred flowers. Attracts hummingbirds and is deer resistant.

Common Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis
Large, full shrub produces showy white flowers and edible fruit. Food source for countless insects, pollinators, songbirds, and mammals.

Common Juniper

Juniperus communis
Needled evergreen conifer that loves colder climates! Behaves like low-spreading shrub but can grow tall in certain conditions.

Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana
Unique large shrub with interesting foliage and flowers, which bloom in late fall following leaf drop.


Geranium maculatum
One of the best spring-blooming natives, this low-maintenance beauty produces pink to lilac five-petaled flowers that give way to distinctive seed capsules. Has deeply cut, five-lobed dark green leaves.

Creeping Phlox

Phlox subulata
Also called Moss Phlox. Perfect for rock gardens, borders, and edge plantings, this native carpet-forming, spreading plant has reddish-purple, pink, and occasionally white tubular, fragrant flowers. Pollinators love it!

Culver’s Root

Veronicastrum virginicum
Like a glowing candelabra, this stunning native will light up back-of-the-border areas and create cottage charm. Elegantly reaches 5’ with spikes of white to purple-tinged flowers. Attracts bees and butterflies galore!

Cutleaf Coneflower

Rudbeckia laciniata
Yellow, daisy-like flowers with drooping rays, and a yellow/green center cone.

Dutchman’s Breeches

Dicentra cucullaria
A standout in a shade or woodland garden, Dicentra cucullaria has a short presence but lasting impact! Its name stems from its lovely small white flowers which resemble pantaloons of an upside-down Dutchman. Great alternative to non-native bleeding hearts!

Early Meadow Rue

Thalictrum dioicum
A whimsical woodland perennial with beautiful white and orange flowers suspended above delicate green foliage. It stands out best when surrounded by native woodland groundcovers.

Eastern Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis
Classic Northern New England conifer serves well in a variety of protected settings in town.

Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana
Beautiful upright evergreen tree that is very adaptable to dry sites along roads, fences, and buildings. Namesake plant for Cedar Waxwing, which love this fruit.

Flax-leaved stiff-aster

Ionactis linarifolia
A lesser known member of the Aster family, Ionactis linarifolia is a unique, low growing perennial with violet petals. It prefers acidic soils low in nutrients, and is great for drought tolerant landscapes!

Flowering Raspberry

Rubus odoratus
A beautiful shrub with fragrant long lasting blossoms and large vibrant green foliage. Unlike others in the rubus genus, Rubus odoratus is thornless making it a much friendlier garden addition!

Foam Flower

Tiarella cordifolia
A great groundcover for shade gardens, the small, white to pinkish, foam-like flowers of this native plant really shine. The semi-glossy, heart-shaped leaves are often tinged with burgundy variegation along the veins. A real winner!

Foxglove Beardtongue

Penstemon digitalis
For an amazing spring show-stopper, this native plant can’t be beat. It features white to pink, two-lipped, tubular flowers atop tall stems. Attracts a huge variety of pollinators and beneficial insects.


Aruncus dioicus
A handsome perennial with creamy white flower plumes that brightens shady spots. It becomes shrublike over time and is a great plant for the back of the garden.

Golden Alexander

Zizia aurea
Beautiful upright herbaceous plant with flat-topped clusters of tiny yellow flowers. Fruit and leaves turn purple in the fall. Attracts native pollinators. Moderately deer resistant.

Golden Ragwort

Packera aurea
Semi-evergreen basal foliage creates a nice ground cover, with attractive yellow daisy-like flowers shooting up in the spring. Leaves are purple underneath. Perfect for moist-woodland gardens.

Gray Dogwood

Swida racemosa
Thicket forming shrub with beautiful white flowers and white berries that grow on red stems. Deer tolerant and very attractive to wildlife! Formerly known as Cornus racemosa.

Great Blue Lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica
Wow! This plant has it all—light to dark blue, tubular, two-lipped flowers blooming in tall spikes late in the season. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and countless other beneficial insects. Species is Potentially Extirpated in Maine.

Highbush Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum
Medium to large sturdy shrub with pretty foliage, plump berries, and gorgeous fall color. Food source for people and many taxa of wildlife.

Highbush Cranberry

Viburnum trilobum
Unique viburnum with bright red edible berries that ripen through winter. Also known as Viburnum opulus.

Lady Fern

Athyrium filix-femina
Lacy, light-green, arching fronds with finely-divided, pointed leaflets grace this shade-loving fern. Easy to grow and is low maintenance.

Lanceleaf Tickseed

Coreopsis lanceolata
A wonderful plant for colonizing poor soils, this native produces bright yellow daisy-like flowers on long stems. Great for pollinators and beneficial insects!

Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium
Heat and drought tolerant, this wonderful native provides year-round interest with blue-green foliage in the summer, followed by orangish-burgundy fall color. The silvery-white seed tufts persist into winter. Upright, clump-forming and carefree!

Lowbush Blueberry

Vaccinium angustifolium
Small woody plant is extremely durable and drought-resistant, thus can be found thriving in many tough growing conditions.


Caltha palustris
Beautiful, lush, and low-growing, Caltha palustris is a wonderful addition to areas with richer soils and consistent moisture. In the Buttercup family, its brilliant yellow flowers provide a lovely burst of color and food for early pollinators in spring.


Spiraea latifolia
A lovely mounding shrub with small white and pinkish flowers in cone-shaped clusters. Attracts birds and native bees. Deer tolerant. Also known as Spiraea alba var. latifolia.


Viburnum lentago
Tall shrub or small tree with showy flowers and fruit typical of viburnums.

Narrow-leaved Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium angustifolium
The narrow upright grass-like foliage is adorned with small blue flowers which emerge in late spring and bloom through mid summer. It is best planted in groups to provide the greatest impact.

New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
This pollinator magnet produces a riot of daisy-like blue to purple, and sometimes pink, flowers with yellow centers from late summer to early fall.

New Jersey Tea

Ceanothus americanus
This durable and drought-tolerant plant produces bright white flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Use as a groundcover or a low hedge for the most difficult areas of your yard. Species is listed as Threatened in Maine.

Northern Bayberry

Morella pensylvanica
Gorgeous, full, large shrub with waxy, fragrant leaves and beneficial berries that persist into winter. Salt, drought, and pest resistant. Also known as Myrica pensylvanica.

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra
This rugged staple of the Eastern Forest is just at home as an urban shade or street tree. Oaks are among the most beneficial genera for diverse wildlife.

Northern Spicebush

Lindera benzoin
Large shrub, often multi-trunked, that produces beautiful flowers, fruit, and fall foliage. Very good yellow fall color. Species is listed as Species of Concern in Maine.

Northern White Cedar

Thuja occidentalis
Species is a familiar evergreen hedge or foundation plant due to many cultivars. Straight species has same clean, upright habit plus wildlife benefits.

Obedient Plant

Physostegia virginiana
This bold, long-blooming beauty has robust, tubular, pink snapdragon-like flower spikes that top tall, square stems with narrow, toothed leaves. Great for back-of the border and cottage gardens. Also called Obedient False Dragonhead.

Ostrich Fern

Pteretis nodulosa
The large, lustrous, and graceful dark green fronds of this fern resemble ostrich plumes in summer after emerging as edible fiddleheads in spring. Will form a quick cover with spreading, underground rhizomes. Also known as Matteuccia struthiopteris.

Pennsylvania Sedge

Carex pensylvanica
A beautiful sedge that produces soft delicate fountains of foliage and is an amazing groundcover for dry shady spots.

Plantain-Leaved Pussytoes

Antennaria plantaginifolia
Named for its cat paw-like flower heads, this low-growing perennial makes an excellent ground cover in the right conditions. Leaves are wooly and silvery-green and the flowers range from white (male) to light pink (female). Attractive to butterflies and is deer resistant.

Pussy Willow

Salix discolor
Fast-growing many-stemmed shrub or small tree with shiny green leaves and silky, furry catkins that appear in late winter and early spring, ranging from white, to green, to brown.

Red Maple

Acer rubrum
Large, well-adapted shade tree, interesting spring and fall color. Important early nectar source, bountiful host plant, and shelter/refuge for countless wildlife taxa.

Red-twig Dogwood

Swida sericea
Beautiful flowering shrub with red stems when young. Very attractive to wildlife (including deer). Colorful autumn foliage. Formerly known as Cornus sericea.

Seaside Goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens
Unique clumping form of familiar genus. Long, lobed leaves multiply in upright clump rather than spreading throughout garden. Produces dense, long-lasting flower clusters.

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Dasiphora floribunda
A wonderful, low growing shrub for a variety of sunny landscapes. A member of the rose family, its yellow rose-like blossoms will shine in the front or middle of a border garden. Drought tolerant once established, it’s a great choice for slopes where it will provide erosion control.

Silky Dogwood

Swida amomum
Large, interesting shrub with attractive foliage, flowers, fruit, and stems. Will form wide thicket if low stems allowed to contact ground and root. Formerly known as Cornus amomum.


Solidago bicolor
This long-blooming goldenrod species features white or pale yellow flowers on an elongated spike. Great addition to areas with poor, dry soil. Attractive to pollinators and birds. Drought and deer tolerant!

Smooth Blue Aster

Symphyotrichum laeve
Very attractive and fragrant flowers that are lavender-blue rays surround a central yellow disk on this low-maintenance aster with smooth blue-green foliage.

Smooth Serviceberry

Amelanchier laevis
A gorgeous flowering understory tree that’s a great alternative to non-native ornamentals. The fruit is edible and is the most palatable of all our native serviceberries. It’s also a wildlife magnet, hosting more than 100 caterpillar species.

Spotted Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium maculatum
Crowned with clusters of bright pink flowers in late summer, this native is a nectar source for many insect species and is the larval host for 27 different butterflies and moths.

Striped Maple

Acer pensylvanicum
Also known as Goosefoot Maple. Small understory tree with showy leaves and interesting bark. Makes interesting accent for moist shady spots.


Clethra alnifolia
Medium to large shrub with interesting leaves and showy, fragrant, long-lasting white flowers in midsummer. Well adapted to varied growing conditions, very hardy. Species is listed as Species of Concern in Maine.

Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata
A stunning perennial with dark pink flower buds that open to pale pink; a pollinator magnet and host plant to Monarch butterflies.


Comptonia peregrina
A small, aromatic clumping shrub that colonizes and spreads vigorously if left alone. Great native groundcover!

Thin-leaved Sunflower

Helianthus decapetalus
Elegant perennial native sunflower will tolerate varied tough spots and shade. Helianthus hosts the third most species of caterpillars throughout most of Maine, and several species of bees that specialize on its flowers. Responds well to pruning (to encourage spreading and blooms) and dividing like exotic perennials. Deer tolerant.

Virgin’s Bower

Clematis virginiana
This twining vine produces a profusion of white fall-blooming flowers which morph into attractive, plume-like seed heads. Blooms on current year’s growth.

Virginia Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum virginianum
Attract pollinators galore with this awesome native! Bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies, and moths sip the nectar from the small, white-to-lavender flowers. Forms clumps and spreads by rhizomes--a low maintenance winner!

Virginia Rose

Rosa virginiana
Fast-growing vibrant pink rose bush with lustrous dark green leaves. The fruit is high in Vitamin C and can be used to make jam or tea.

White Heath Aster

Symphyotrichum ericoides
This showy aster grows in a somewhat bushy manner, with many-branched stems featuring small white flowers with yellow centers, though the flowers can sometimes have a light blue or pink appearance. Leaves are narrow and rigid, heath-like. Grows and spreads easily by self-seeding. Nice addition to a wildflower or rock garden.

White Oak

Quercus alba
Large, important species of oak in relative decline. Tends to grow stout horizontal branches giving it broader spread than other oaks.

White Turtlehead

Chelone glabra
This striking perennial has lance-shaped, dark green leaves and white snapdragon-like flowers that resemble turtle heads. Adds late summer charm to shade gardens and is a great accent plant.

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa
This amazing plant attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and a host of beneficial insects with its beautiful lavender, two-lipped, tubular flowers atop wonderfully fragrant stems and leaves.

Wild Ginger

Asarum canadense
Fantastic groundcover for shade/woodland gardens! A slow spreader, via rhizomes, each plant consists of two heart-shaped leaves, velvety in texture. A great alternative to its non-native counterpart, European Ginger.

Wild Leek

Allium tricoccum
A favorite of spring foragers, this member of the onion family is considered a culinary delicacy. Rather than depleting native populations, consider creating a source in your own backyard!

Wild Lettuce

Lactuca canadensis
A flowering plant in the daisy family, the greens of Lactuca canadensis are edible to humans, and high in nutrients. While some plants may appear somewhat weedy in character, this is a great native edible to incorporate into a natural landscape benefitting both humans and pollinators alike.

Wild Lupine

Lupinus perennis
Also called Sundial Lupine, this long-lived perennial lupine boasts tall clusters of purple/blue pea-like flowers. Palmate leaves are beautiful on their own! Like other plants in the pea family, it enhances soil by fixing nitrogen into a usable form.

Wild Raisin

Viburnum cassinoides
Showy upright shrub with dynamic flower to fruit display that changes colors into fall. Also known as Viburnum nudum.

Wild Strawberry

Fragaria virginiana
A beautiful and edible cool-season perennial ground cover, with white flowers and red fruit. Attractive to native pollinators and useful for erosion control. Deer and drought tolerant.


Ilex verticillata
Large shrub named for brilliant red berries appearing in late fall and lasting through winter.

Woodland Stonecrop

Sedum ternatum
This low-growing, trailing ground cover has fleshy succulent-like leaves which appear in whorls of three. Spreads easily through plantlets that drop and root. Easy to maintain once established. Produces small, white star-like flowers. A beautiful addition to a shade or rock garden! Deer, rabbit, and drought tolerant.

Zigzag Goldenrod

Solidago flexicaulis
A low-maintenance woodland variety of goldenrod has somewhat zig-zagged stems with small yellow flower heads that are very attractive to pollinators. Deer tolerant.