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NATIVE PLANT LIST for Alaska

 
 
   
This is a "starter" list of native plants for Alaska. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

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  TREES     SHRUBS    FLOWERING PERENNIALS    FERNS    GRASSES  
  Trees            
  Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moist. Ht.
    Comments
 
 

Paper Birch
Alaska Cedar

American Larch
White Spruce
Black Spruce
Sitka Spruce
Beach Pine
Balsam Poplar
Quaking Aspen
Western Hemlock
Mountain Hemlock

Betula papyrifera
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
Larix laricina
Picea glauca
Picea mariana
Picea sitkensis
Pinus contorta
Populus balsamnifera
Populus tremuloides
Tsuga heterophylla
Tsuga mertensiana
F
P-F

F
P-F
F-P
P-F
F
F
F
P-S
P-S
A
W

W
A
W
W
D
W
A
A
W
50-70'
25-100'

50-70'
50-100'
40-80'
40-150'
20-30'
60-80'
35-50'
40-150'
30-100
White, peeling bark. Nice fall color.
White bark, weeping branches, evergreen foliage.

Deciduous. Inconspicuous. Rapid growth.
Evergreen. White-green needles. Food for wildlife.
Evergreen. Blue-green needles. Low branches take root.
Yellow bloom in May. Evergreen.
Evergreen. Dark-green needles, red-brown bark.
Deciduous. Cottony seeds. Fragrant, resinous buds.
Deciduous. Nice fall color. Leaves tremble in breeze.
Slow growing evergreen. Red-brown scaly bark.
Delicate, evergreen foliage. Provides habitat for birds.
 
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Sun Exposure
F = Full Sun
P = Part Sun
S = Shade
Soil Moisture
W = Wet
A = Average
D = Dry
  Shrubs            
  Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moist. Ht.
    Comments
 
  Green Alder
Sitka Alder
Serviceberry
Silverberry
Common Mountain Juniper
Labrador Tea
Shrubby Cinquefoil
Prickly Rose
Nutka Rose
Thimbleberry
Soapberry
Mountain Ash
Snowberry
Alaskan Blueberry
Lingonberry

Alnus crispa
Alnus sinuata
Amelanchier alnifolia
Elaeagnus commutata

Juniperus communis
Ledum palustre
Potentilla fruticosa
Rosa acicularis
Rosa nutkana
Rubus parviflorus
Shepherdia canadensis
Sorbus sitchensis
Symphoricarpos albus
Vaccinium alaskaense
Vaccinium vitis-idaea

F
F
P-F
F

F
P-F
F
P-S
P-S
P-F
P
P-F
S
P
P

W
W
A
D-A

D-A
W
W-D
A
W
A
D-A
A-W
A-D
W
A-W

10'
10'
15'
12'


3'
3-4'
4'
10'
4'
6'
4-20'
2-5'
3-5'
2-8"

Thicket-forming, deciduous, produces cones & samaras.
Fast-growing, fixes nitrogen, extensive root system.
White flowers; small, edible purple berries.
Silvery, ornamental foliage.

Evergreen. Tolerates poor soil. Berry-like cones.
Aromatic leaves, fragrant white flower clusters.
Dark green leaves; yellow, buttercup-like flowers.
Pink flowers, attractive, needs careful pruning.
Edible, often very fragrant, pink flowers.
White-ish flowers, thimble-shaped fruit, good for wildlife.
Edible, bitter red berries.
Foliage colorful in autumn. Round, reddish berries.
White berries. Tolerant of a variety of soils.
Deciduous, berry-producing shrub.
Evergreen. Edible red fruit.




 
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Sun Exposure
F = Full Sun
P = Part Sun
S = Shade
Soil Moisture
W = Wet
A = Average
D = Dry
  Flowering Perennials          
  Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moist. Ht.      Comments  
 

Northern Monkshood
Cut-leaf Anemone
Narcissis-flower Anemone
Western Columbine
Sea Pink
Arnica
Aster
Marsh Marigold
Harebell
Indian Paintbrush
Arctic Daisy
Larkspur
Shooting Stars
White Fireweed
Dwarf Fireweed
Northern Geranium
Wildflag Iris
Nootka Lupine
Bluebells
Monkeyflower
Field Oxytrope
Yellow Oxytrope
Jacob's Ladder
Yellow Sedum
Beach Fleabane
Northern Goldenrod
Violet

Aconitum delphinifolium
Anemone multifida

Anemone narcissiflora
Aquilegia formosa
Armeria maritima
Arnica spp.
Aster spp.
Caltha leptosepala
Campanula rotundifolia
Castilleja caudata
Chrysanthemum arcticum
Delphinium glaucum
Dodecatheon frigidum
Epilobium angustifolium
Epilobium latifolium
Geranium erianthum
Iris setosa
Lupinus nootkatensis
Mertensia paniculata
Mimulus guttatus
Oxytropis campestris
Oxytropis maydelliana
Polemonium acutiflorum
Sedum sp.
Senecio pseudoarnica
Solidago multiradiata
Viola spp.
P-F
P

F
S-P
F
F
F
P-F
P
F
F
P-F
F
F
F
P-F
P-F
F

F-P
F
F
P-F

F
P-F
S
W-A
D

A
D-W
D
D
A
W
A-D
D-W
W
W
A-W
A
W
A
W
D

W-A
D
D
W

A-W
A-D
W

10-30"
12-18"

8-14"
2-3'
8-10"
6-18"
12-30"
1'
4-15"
8-12"
14"
4-6'
6-18"
3-8'
2'
14-24"
12-24"
2-3'

2-3'
4-12"
6-12"
3-6"

1-2'
1-2'
4-12"

Blue, sometimes white. Toxic: touch can cause numbness.
Fine, light-green leaves. Pink to maroon flowers.

White flowers with yellow centers.
Delicate red flowers with yellow sepals.
Dense tufts of grass-like leaves. White to pink flowers.
Yellow flowers have medicinal value.
Lavender to purple flowers.
Heart-shaped waxy leaves. White saucer-shaped flowers.
Blue-violet. Attractive to wildlife.
Pale yellow paintbrush-shaped flowers.
Can take salty soils.
Purple. Often found in wetlands.
Magenta to lavender. leafless stem.
Pink, showy flowers. Thrives in burned areas.
Spikes of small magenta or pink flowers.
Blue to violet. Attracts bees, butterflies, birds.
Deep violet blue flowers with long green leaves.
Brilliant blue/purple flowers. Self-seeding. Seeds toxic.
Pink/blue/white bell-shaped drooping flowers.
Yellow flowers. Grows well along streams.
Usually cream colored. Prefers rocky/gravelly slopes.
Clusters of small, yellow flowers.
Mainly blue flowers. Leaves alternate sides like ladder.
Yellow blooms. Good ground cover. Drought tolerant.
Bright yellow. Coastal flower, withstands salt spray.
Grows in clusters of yellow flowers, elliptical leaves.
Delicate purple flowers. Attracts butterflies.
 
For more info, enter a plant name
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Sun Exposure
F = Full Sun
P = Part Sun
S = Shade
Soil Moisture
W = Wet
A = Average
D = Dry
  Perennial Ferns          
  Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moist. Ht.      Comments  
  Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina

F-S

W-D

2-3'

Light green, lacy leaves.
 
For more info, enter a plant name
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Sun Exposure
F = Full Sun
P = Part Sun
S = Shade
Soil Moisture
W = Wet
A = Average
D = Dry
  Grasses & Grass-like          
  Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moist. Ht.      Comments  
  Bluejoint Grass
Tufted Hairgrass
Vanilla Grass
Alpine Bluegrass

Calamagrostis canadensis
Deschampsia caespitosa
Hierochloe odorata
Poa alpina

F
F
F
F-P

W
W
W
D

3-5'
2-3'
1-2'
2'

Tussock-forming with light-colored seeds.
Clump-forming. Semi-evergreen.
Fragrant, good soil stabilizer. Spreads quickly.
Densely tufted. Thick, fleshy leaves.

 
               
  TREES     SHRUBS    FLOWERING PERENNIALS    FERNS    GRASSES  
 
1. While the plants listed above are native to and appropriate for their indicated regions, please recognize that, in some instances, human development alters the characteristics of a site such that it may be advisable to use plants from a neighboring region. For example, plantings in urban and suburban areas may receive reflected heat from streets, sidewalks and/or walls or be in media that receives less moisture than normal (e.g., next to a paved area – the pavement blocks rain from entering soil). Accordingly, using plants from a neighboring region that support higher temperatures and/or drier conditions may be more appropriate.

2. While a plant is native to a region, that does not mean that it will grow everywhere in that region. The characteristics of any site will typically vary from place to place and some plants may do better than others at various places within a site. In other words, a little experimentation might be required.

3. The above list is a starter list. Though adequate for most residential and commercial landscapes, there are many more native plants and should you want to consider them, please inquire at a listed nursery, community service organization, reference book or other resources.
 
 

CREDITS:

1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2. Alaska Plant Materials Center, AK Department of Natural Resources

3. PlantNative Staff.

Find another Native Plant List!
 
 
 

 

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