Updated May 16 2022

This is the 2022 Plant List (scroll down), being updated regularly. The height listed at the start of an entry is what the plant is likely to grow to. The height at point of sale will be added  (when time permits) at the end of the listing. The size of the pot is an indication of the size of the plant.

OPENING DATE: Monday May 16. Most plants listed below will be available at that time, some wil not be ready till June.

Hours: By appointment - no fixed hours. Let us know what time works for you. Email.

LOCATION: Just north of Elmvale, Ontario, inland from Georgian Bay, north of Barrie, east of Wasaga Beach, south of Midland, west of Orillia. The postal address is 1186 Flos Rd. 10. E., Elmvale ON L0L 1P0. Map

PAYMENT OPTIONS: e-transfer, cheque, cash. No credit or debit cards.

Advance orders:
We accept advance orders. Email your order to us and we will reply with the total and how to make a 25% down payment to secure the order.

About our plants:
Our plants are potted and hardy in the Great Lakes area. All are native to Eastern North America and most are native to Ontario. Non-Ontario plants, as determined by the US Department of Agriculture plant database, are indicated with a 'x'. You can find a map of the plant's native range on the USDA database.

How we grow: We use no pesticides or commercial fertilizers, to ensure that our plants are safe for pollinators and other insects and therefore safe up the food chain. Most are grown from seed at the ROTN nursery. Some are sourced from other Ontario native plant propagators. No peat is used in the ROTN potting mix, which relieves pressure on the world's dwindling wetlands. The soil-based mix helps your plants accommodate quickly to the natural, non-peat conditions you probably have in your yard, and guards against frost penetrating root systems in winter.

About this nursery:
This is not a garden centre. It is a small enterprise located in the gardens of our family home. Think of it as a boutique operation, with a varied selection of perennial species, some not easily found. Quantities may be limited according to availability. No bulk orders. Prices subject to change.

No shipping (except for books - Heather Holm's books on pollinators and bees and native plants - full of useful gardening information like flowering period and habitat - can be ordered year-round).

We no longer sell seed but have two species we are willing to give away: Aztec Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica), because it produces so much! and the hard-to-find Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera), from 2021 fruit harvested in Toronto and left to stratify outside into 2022. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to Return of the Native, 1186 Flos Rd. 10 E., Elmvale, ON L0L1P0. 

Please recycle:
We are always happy to have our pots and labels returned.

Prices and availability subject to change. 

Helpful reference for lakefront residents and cottagers: Lake Huron Coastal Dune Plants Guide 
Also useful:
-Ontario hardiness zone map (note that microclimates can be created through protective planting and landscaping, allowing for plants to thrive outside their oficial zone).
-Ecozones and Ecoregions
-Keystone plants by Ecoregion

Slideshow photography by Anne McArthur

Services include:
  • Advice on creating an ornamental garden that works for you, your birds, your bees etc...
  • Advice on creating a traditional Medicine Wheel Garden
  • Advice on controlling invasives (see also what not to plant)
  • Onsite consultations: $100-$200, payable on the day of the visit, for an on-site consultation in the Barrie/Midland/Wasaga Beach area (includes written report with suggested plantings). Consultations are offered from June 1 onwards. Call 705-322-2545.
  • Speaking engagements - in person or virtual. Topics include native plants, Monarch butterflies, seed collection, pollinators, birds in your garden, creating habitat, the nature of soil, invasive species and related topics - Fee: $100.
  • Find-a-plant - we are always interested in trying to track down a native plant if you have a specific request.

Annuals & Biennials

Echinocystis lobata - Wild Cucumber Vine 
Very attractive climber. Not edible. Deeply lobed leaves, curly tendrils and fragrant frothy white flowers in August that attract pollinators, interesting prickly seedpods that dry out to a delicate filigree. Self-seeds readily, squash-like seedlings are easy to spot in early spring and can be pull out where not wanted. 1 gal pot $6

Nicotiana rustica - Aztec Tobacco x
90 cm A handsome plant with broad leaves and a cluster of beautiful greenish-white flowers, one of the four medicine plants of indigenous cultures. Not native to Ontario, it originated in Andean South America and moved up the first peoples' trade routes to be naturalized across the continent. The seed is from plants grown at Return of the Native from seed that came a few years ago from Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds in BC. In 2003, Jason was given a few seeds that had been found in an urn from a burial site in the Great Lakes area, and were thought to be over 1,000 years old. He grew them on and some made their way back to Ontario. Here's a link to a Six Nations site for cultural information and to Richters for cultivation advice. 1/2 gal pot $6

Phaseolus coccineus - Scarlet Runner Bean x
The Phaseolus genus originated from the mountains of Central America and also travelled up the trade routes to be widely cultivated by indigenous people before the Europeans arrived. The Scarlet Runner is one of five main species that was domesticated in pre-Columbian times. It's an ornamental pole vine, with beautiful red flowers which attract humming birds. I grow it up through trees. Pick beans earlier than the size at which they are offered for sale at stores. That's when the pods are tender and delicious. 8.5 cm pot $4


Achillea millefolium - Common Yarrow
30-90 cm Delicate fern-like foliage, flat-topped clusters of white flowerheads from June to September. Its nectar and pollen attract a wide variety of pollinating insects. Native status, from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: A. millefolium is highly variable and has been treated both as a single species with varieties and as multiple distinct species. It is cosmopolitan throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, A. millefolium is a complex of both native and introduced plants and their hybrids. Full to part sun, average soil. 9 cm pot $6

Actaea pachypoda - White Baneberry not yet available
45-70 cm Also known as Doll’s Eyes, for the black-dotted white fruit on red stalks that appear in August. Lovely frothy white flowers in June. Finely dissected grey-green foliage. Deciduous shade (needs sun in spring). Accommodates to a variety of soil conditions. 1/2 gal pot $8

Actaea racemosa - Black Cohosh not yet available
1.5 m Formerly known as Cimicifuga racemosa. Other common names are Black Bugbane, Black Snakeroot and - the most descriptive of this plant that can light up a shady area - Fairy Candles. Dramatic arching spikes of fragrant cream flowers are among the last bloomers of fall - from September onwards - and are a magnet for butterflies and other pollinators. Beautiful dissected foliage. Larval host for the Spring Azure butterfly. Average soil, shade or partial shade 1 gal pot $15

Actea rubra - Red Baneberry ADDED
40-60 cm Fluffy clusters of delicate white flowers in spring, followed by wonderfully decorative brilliant red fruit in mid-to late summer, lasting into winter. Finely divided bright green foliage. This species is difficult to germinate, slow to grow, hard to find - and a striking and elegant addition to the woodland garden. Light to moderate shade, moist soil enriched with fallen leaf litter. Limit 1 per customer. 8.5 cm pot $15

Agastache foeniculum - Anise Hyssop
100 cm approx. Our all-round favourite pollinator plant! Highlighted as a top performer by the Xerces Society. Member of the mint family. Bees and butterflies are irresistibly drawn to these pretty blue-purple flower spikes with leaves that smell and taste of anise (delicious in teas, salads and cooking). Grows into effective clumps, not fussy, not aggressive, self-seeds readily. Flowers early and late, in fact it's one of the last plants to stay in flower in fall, providing sustenance for tardy pollinators. Sun, part shade. 8.5 cm pot $6

Agastache scrophulariifolia - Purple Giant Hyssop
1.8 m Strong square stems bear flower spikes that aren't purple but pale lavender to cream. The tubular flowers are nectar-rich and attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Blooms August-September. Seedheads offer winter interest and food for birds. Similar in form to the related Anise Hyssop but taller, with only a faint anise scent. 9.5 cm pot $8

Ageratina altissima - White Snakeroot not yet available
90 cm An older binomial name is Eupatorium rugosum. A star of the late summer / fall garden - brilliant white flowers in flat-topped clusters on slender, branching stems clothed in toothed leaves. Light up the shade garden at a time when there’s not much else. Often fragrant. Attracts pollinators. Habitat is woodland edge, so part sun part shade in moist soil is best, but this is a very adaptable plant and will tolerate a range of conditions. 8.5 cm pot $5

Allium cernuum - Wild Nodding Onion
20-60 cm. A stand-out among members of the onion family that are grown for their decorative value. Nodding white-pink flowers in July-August. A Carolinian plant that's now rare in the wild, found principally on the Lake Erie islands. Attracts butterflies, bees. Full sun, average soil conditions. 3 in 1/2 gal pot $7

Amsonia ciliata - Fringed Bluestar x not yet available
50-80 cm Clump-forming perennial with clusters of lovely star-like, pale blue flowers. Blooms in June. Attractive narrow leaves turn gold in fall. Not native to Ontario*, but further south on eastern North American continent. Accommodates to a variety of soils. Sun with some shade. 8.5 cm pot $5

Anaphalis margaritacea - Pearly Everlasting
See under Groundcovers

Anemone canadensis - Canada Anemone
See under Groundcovers

Anemone cylindrica - Thimbleweed
60 - 100 cm. Small white flowers in early summer, with long-lasting thimble-shaped seedheads in summer and fall that burst into fluffy cottony masses for winter interest, and wildlife food and nesting material. Pleasing deeply divided foliage. Does best in poor soil. Drought tolerant. Self-seeds readily. Sun or shade. 1 gal  $6

Antennaria neglecta - Field Pussytoes
See under Groundcovers

Aquilegia canadensis - Wild Columbine
30-80 cm Flowers in May-June, coinciding with the return of migrating hummingbirds, this is  one of the glories of Ontario's deciduous forests, more glorious also than any other aquilegia. Its delicate hanging flowers have tubular red and yellow petals, flat red sepals and long spurs with yellow anthers. Attractive green foliage. With nectar secreted in the spurs, hummingbirds and long-tongued bumble bees are required for pollination. Best in well-drained soil in partial shade but adaptable - grows in sun in dry rocky terrain and poor gravelly soil. Self-seeds. 8.5 cm pot $4

Arisaema triphyllum - Jack-in-the-Pulpit Not available
Sorry, I have to declare a crop failure on this one. Maybe they will recover, but right now, they look sad.
30-60 cm The fascinating inflorescence grows up inside a leaf-like structure that curls into a protective hood. Berries turn bright red in fall and are consumed by birds. This excellent woodland plant prefers dappled sunlight to light shade in spring, medium shade later in the year and moist soil with decaying leaf litter. First-year seedling. 8.5 cm pot $4

Argentina anserina - Silverweed Cinquefoil
See under Groundcovers

Artemisia ludoviciana - White Sage
60-80 cm Also known as Silver Wormwood and Western Mugwort. Aromatic pale grey foliage. Prefers poor soil and dry conditions. Can spread aggressively. One of the four medicine plants, used in purification ceremonies (smudging) 1 gal $7

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger
See under Groundcover

Asclepias incarnata - Swamp Milkweed
90-120 cm. Also known as Rose or Red Milkweed. One of several milkweeds native to Ontario, this one is particularly beautiful, with a round cluster of pale and dark pink blooms in June-July. Don't be put off by the "weed" part of its name - it's elegant, it doesn't spread with underground runners and it's a good plant to have, being a host to the Monarch butterfly (its caterpillars feed only on native Milkweed foliage). A wetland plant, it does require some moisture in the soil. Sun. 9 cm pot $7

Asclepias syriaca - Common Milkweed
80-100 cm. The perfect Monarch host, a beautiful plant with fragrant dusky pink flowers held in drooping globes from end of June to early August. Attracts a wide variety of pollinators. Dry to moist soil conditions, sun or shade. Spreads. There will be a network of underground roots but you can discourage it from popping up where you don't want it by yanking it out. 8.5 cm pot $5

Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed
40-80 cm. Brilliant orange flowers from June to September make this member of the Milkweed family, also a host to the Monarch butterfly, a most desirable garden plant. Clump-forming - doesn't send out underground runners, but does form a large taproot, making transplanting difficult. Drought-tolerant. Late to break dormancy. Sun or part-shade. 8.5 cm pot $5

Baptisia australis – Blue False Indigo x 
90-150 cm Also known as Blue Wild Indigo - long spikes of deep indigo-blue flowers, followed by attractive seedpods (loose seeds within hollow gourd can be used as rattles). Clover-like blue-green foliage looks good all season. A splendid and long-lived plant that is slow to mature. Drought-tolerant, once established. Full sun, average soil. Naturalized in Ontario, native to points south of the Great Lakes.* Full sun. These are first-year seedlings, won't flower this year. 8.5 cm pot $5

Callirhoe digitata - Fringed Poppy Mallow x
90 cm Also know as Standing Winecups for the chalice shape of the strikingly beautiful flower - magenta with a spot of white at the centre of the bloom. Hardy, but not native to Ontario,* the range of this species is from the southern shore of Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike other Poppy Mallows, this one stands tall, making it a good addition to a meadow planting. Blooms July-August. Full sun. 8.5 cm pot $5

Callirhoe involucrata - Purple Poppy Mallow x
30 cm Another Winecup - but this one's a sprawling, mat-forming groundcover that thrives in dry heat because of a deep taproot (which makes it difficult to move after a few years). Not native to Ontario* but to Indiana, Illinois and points south. Host and nectar plant of the Gray Hairstreak butterfly, native to our area. Drought-resistant, full sun to part shade. Blooms July-September. 8.5 cm pot $4

Caulophyllum thalictroides - Blue Cohosh
not available
30-60 cm Lovely purple blue foliage emerges in spring, turning blue green as the season progresses. Small yellowish flowers turn into bright blue berries. Slow to establish, will spread by underground rhizomes. Needs dappled sunlight or light shade in spring, and shade for the rest of the year as well as abundant organic matter from decaying leaves and other plant materials to create and maintain a rich, moist, welldrained soil. 1 gallon pot $15

Conoclinium coelestinum - Blue Mist x not yet available
70-90 cm Blooms in September, with beautiful flat-top clusters of delicate powder-blue flowers that look like Ageratum. Not native to Ontario,* but to points south and west of the Great Lakes. Closely related to the white-flowered Bonesets (Eupatorium spp.), and is sometimes referred to as Eupatorium coelestinum. Good cut flower, rain garden plant. Full sun to light shade - prefers moist conditions, is a bit of an aggressive spreader. 1 gal pot $7

Coreopsis grandiflora - Large-flowered Tickseed sold out, more likely to be available later
60 cm Showy yellow flowers from June to September (remove deadheads to prolong blooming), sun or part sun, likes good drainage in a variety of soils. Attracts pollinators. 1/2 gal $7

Coreopsos tripteris - Tall Coreopsis
2 metres plus  Tall, picturesque, clumping with long stems that sway in the wind. Daisy-like pale yellow flowers with maroon centres from July to September. Accommodates to most soils, good in sand. Sun. 8.5 cm $6

Delphinium exultatum - Tall Larkspur x
90-150 cm cm Deep violet to pale lavender blooms on tall stems bearing up to 30 tubular flowers, with pleasing palmate foliage. Attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators. An Eastern North American plant, its native range is to the south* but it is hardy to the Great Lakes area of Ontario. Best planted in groups. Blooms July-September. Full sun to part-shade, medium to medium dry soil. 8.5 cm pot $5

Echinacea pallida - Pale Purple Coneflower 

Up to 90 cm Slim pale petals, lavender to pink, droop from the orange-bronze centre. An early bloomer (June), providing welcome nectar for returning hummingbirds and butterflies. Goldfinches feed on the seed. Full to part sun. Average soil. 8.5 cm pot $5

Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower x
Up to 80 cm A classic: large pink daisy-like flowers with orange-bronze centres on erect stems. One of the joys of an Ontario summer, flowering July into August. A nectar plant that's visited by many pollinators, including hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies. Surprise: despite its iconic status, the USDA map has its native range starting south of the Great Lakes, showing it as naturalized in Ontario. (Explanation of naturalized.) Sun or light shade. Average soil, most conditions. 1 gal $8, 8.5 cm $5

Erigeron pulchellus - Robin’s Plantain
15-30 cm Daisy-like flowers with white to pink florets surrounding a yellow disk, from May to June. Spreads slowly through underground rhizomes, nice on a dappled bank. Sun, part sun in average to dry soil, but accommodating to most conditions. Nectar plant, attracts native bees and butterflies. 1/2 gal $7

Erythronium americanum - Trout Lily end of season, no more orders being taken
5-10 cm Also known as Dogtooth Violet and Adder's Tongue. The mottled green and brown leaves resemble the markings on a trout. You have to bend low to the ground to enjoy the beautiful yellow flower with stamens that are often tipped in red, blooming late April to May. It will gradually colonize a shaded area, acting as a wonderful ground cover for a few weeks in spring. It is a spring ephemeral, appearing early to enjoy the sun before trees have leafed out and going dormant once the canopy closes in and disappearing until next year. Dappled sun to medium shade, loamy soil with decaying leaf litter. 2 corms $3

Eryngium yuccifolium - Rattlesnake Master x 
1 to 1.5 m A striking plant much loved by pollinators. Sword-shaped leaves edged with prickles and greenish-white thistle-like flowers in late summer through fall, this plant looks like it belongs in a desert but it is hardy, enjoying hot and dry desert-like conditions - full sun, well-drained dry soil (or sand or gravel). A tall-grass prairie plant that’s not native to our area, its range starts south of the Great Lakes. The name’s derived from the fact that indigenous people used it in a tea as an antidote for a rattlesnake bite. 8.5 cm pot $7

Eupatorium perfoliatum - Common Boneset not yet available
100-160 cm Showy clusters of white flowers that are delightfully fragrant, plant near a path to enjoy the scent. Leaves are "perfoliated," meaning they clasp the stem. This made it a folk remedy, based on the idea that a poultice of this plant could help broken bones knit together. Blooms July-October. Excellent pollinator plant. Full sun to part shade. Said to prefer moisture but does well in dry conditions. 8.5 cm pot $5

Eurybia divaricata - Wood Aster
see under groundcovers

Eurybia macrophylla - Large-leaved Aster
15-80 cm Large daisy-like flowers, mainly white, some with tinges of blue or lavender. Blooms in August-September. Shade or part shade. Does best in moist soils but will survive as a ground cover in dry sandy shade. Host plant to Silvery Checkerspot and Pearl Crescent butterflies. 8.5 cm pot $4

Euthamia graminifolia – Flat-topped Goldenrod 
30-150 cm. Also known as Lance-leaved or Grass-leaved Goldenrod. In fact, in a different genus to other familiar Goldenrods that are in the Solidago genus (both are in the Asteraceae family). Pretty fragrant pale yellow flowers and a delicate form make this a desirable garden plant. Most Goldenrods do seed, spread and try to take over. While this is not the worst offender, it is a spreader, and - like the others - a gorgeous celebration of the end of summer and a key pollinator plant. Sun, average soil. 1 gal pot $7

Eutrochium maculatum - Spotted Joe Pye Weed not yet available
180 cm plus Formerly known as Eupatorium maculatum. One of the most glorious native plants in our area, Joe Pye grows six feet tall and is covered with a cloud of dusky pink flowers in July and August. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinators. Later, the fluffy seeds are much relished by white-crowned and white-throated sparrows as they pass through on their fall migration. A wetland plant that accommodates to a variety of soils. But leaves will scorch if conditions are too dry. Sun 1 gal pot $8

Eutrochium purpureum - Sweet Joe Pye Weed
120 cm A better Joe-Pye for many garden situations, because it is not as tall and - a woodland plant - it grows in drier conditions than Spotted Joe Pye. The flowers are pinker, the stem is purple, at the joints or all the way up. Similarly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators, with seeds also enjoyed by the white-crowned and white-throated sparrows. 8.5 cm pot $5

Filipendula rubra - Queen of the Prairie x
1 to 1.5 m Absolutely fabulous! 'cotton candy' panicles of fragrant pink buds and flowers (with pink petals, long white stamens and pink anthers). The large-lobed bright green leaves are also fragrant. A plant of moist meadows that will take to rich garden soils, important to provide extra watering in average moisture conditions. If happy, will spread by rhizomes, which will make you happy, so give this Queen her space. Not an Ontario native* although widely naturalized in this province, Queen of the Prairie comes to us from south and west of the Great Lakes. Full sun. Limited quantities, 2 per customer 1 gal $15

Fragaria virginiana - Wild Strawberry
See under groundcovers

Geum triflorum - Prairie Smoke (not available till June)
30-60 cm Pretty red flowers in May - June that turn into tufts of pink feathery seedheads, drying into grey smoke-like whisps. Good front-of-border plant for dry sandy soil in full sun. Dislikes competition, don't allow other plants to encroach! Pollinated by bumble bees. 8.5 cm pot $5

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium ADDED
30-60 cm - Large pink flowers make this wild member of the cranesbill family of geraniums a decorative rival to any garden variety. Not to be confused with the red and pink pelargoniums that are also called geraniums but are native to South Africa and other parts of the globe. Says Heather Holm in her book Pollinators of Native Plants: "An excellent plant to mass under trees, interplant with ferns or late-summer flowering woodland natives. The foliage typically turns bright red in fall for another season of interest." Attracts a variety of pollinating bees and other insects. Prefers moist soil enriched by fallen leaf litter, will tolerate average well-drained soil Shade to part shade. Limited quanitites, 2 per customer.  8.5 cm pot $9

Helenium autumnale - Helen’s Flower
Up to 1 m Also known as Sneezeweed (no, it won't make you sneeze). Yellow daisy-like flowers with pleasingly recurved petals in July-August, attracts bees and butterflies. Full sun, accommodates to a variety of soils. 1 gal $7

Helianthus divaricatus - Woodland Sunflower ADDED
Up to 1.5 metres Bright yellow daisy-like flowers, about 4 cm across, from July to September. Grows in dry shade and attracts a variety of pollinators, which makes it a useful plant for the woodland garden. Larval host for the Silvery Checkerspot, Gorgon Checkerspot and Painted Lady butterflies. Spreads by underground rhizomes, said to be aggressive (not my experience). Limited quantities, 1 per customer 1 gal pot $8

Helianthus giganteus - Giant Sunflower
2 m. A dramatic narrow-leaved perennial sunflower with numerous pale yellow flowers on reddish stems, July-October. Likes full sun, moist ground. Use in naturalizing, not in perennial beds, as it spreads and self-seeds aggressively. Like Jerusalem artichokes, produces edible tubers (but fewer and smaller). From Heather Holm’s Bees: 'Sunflowers have a high wildlife value as they support many species of specialist bees, several moth and butterfly species and produce seeds sought after by songbirds.' 1 gal pot $7

Heliopsis helianthoides - Sweet Oxeye
1 to 1.5 m Also known as False Sunflower. A striking yellow daisy on multiple branching stems, member of the Aster family, not to be confused with the invasive, non-native white oxeye daisy. Grows in most soils in sun or part shade. Long blooming period of July-September. Self-seeds enthusiastically. Attracts butterflies and pollinators. 1 gal $7, 1/2 gal $5

Hypericum ascyron - Giant St. John's Wort
70 cm Robust shrub-like perennial with large yellow flowers bearing many stamens that produce large quantities of pollen (no nectar); attracts bees and butterflies. Leafcutter bees cut pieces of leaf for lining and dividing brood cells. Part shade, moist soil. 1/2 gal pot $5

Iris versicolor - Northern Blue Flag Iris
See under Pond Plants

Liatris ligulistylis - Meadow Blazing Star x ADDED
90-120 cm Said to be unsurpassed for attracting Monarch as well as many other species of butterfly. Birds enjoy the seeds later in the year. Branched spikes of brilliant purple flowers from July to October. A North American native from the prairie provinces and south of the Great Lakes. Full sun. Well-drained moist to medium soil. 10-cm pot $6

Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower
60 cm Glorious spikes of scarlet flowers from July-September. The best red! Picky about where it will grow. Needs moisture and sun or part sun. Pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. 8.5 cm pot $5

Lobelia siphilitica - Great Blue Lobelia
Up to 90 cm Clump-forming perennial with dense spikes of clear blue tubular flowers from August-October. Attracts bees, hummingbirds, butterflies. Full sun, average well-drained soil. 8.5 cm pot $5

Lupinus perennis - Wild Lupine sold out
40-60 cm Lovely spikes of pastel through to dark blue (very occasionally white) flowers in June. This is the host plant for the caterpillars of the Karner Blue and the Dusky Wing, two butterflies that are extirpated in Ontario, as well as for the endangered Frosted Elfin. Happy on the beach, in full sun and sand, but tolerant of a wide range of soils. Good drainage a must, low-nutrient conditions best. In areas where the Karner Blue survives, the multi-coloured Russell hybrids present a danger as they readily hybridise with with this native species, contaminating the gene pool and making its foliage inedible to Karner Blue caterpillars. These are young seedlings, started late this season, because Lupines do not do well for us in pots. Will flower this year. Once planted, they will develop a deep taproot and will not respond well to transplanting. Limited quantities, two per customer. 8.5 cm pot $4

Mentha arvensis - Wild Mint
65 cm Aromatic foliage, fragrant mauve flowers that bloom July-September in whorls around the axils of the leaves. Attracts small bees, wasps, butterflies. Sun or part sun, moist to average soil. Can be used to make tea. 1 gal $8

Mertensia virginica - Virginia Bluebells
30 cm A magical woodland plant, producing dramatic blue bells in May, and then going dormant and disappearing until next year (so mark the spot). Shade. Adapts to a variety of soil conditions. Spreads through shade by self-seeding. 8.5 cm pot $4

Monarda didyma - Oswego Tea Beebalm

80-100 cm approx Also known as Crimson Beebalm or Red Bergamot. Striking red blooms on tall stalks, aromatic foliage, a great favourite with hummingbirds. Full sun, will tolerate some shade, average to moist soil. Spreads slowly. 1 gal pot $8

Monarda punctata - Dotted Beebalm
30-60 cm Also known as Spotted Horsemint. Delightful rosettes of creamy tubular flowers with maroon dots occur in whorls, forming a dense, elongated spike at the end of the stem or from leaf axils, each whorl resting on conspicuous leafy bracts (think poinsettia, only in light pink or lavender instead of red). Aromatic foliage can be used for tea. Ontario Wildflowers offers this advice: "A plant for really hot and dry areas. It requires open sandy soil to be happy and reseed, since it is short lived. Because it is rare (it is only found in two places in the wild in Ontario) it should not be planted in the wild." Drought-tolerant pollinator plant. The Great Golden Digger Wasp is one of its visitors. 8.5 cm pot $5

Monarda fistulosa - Wild Bergamot Beebalm
60-120 cm Soft mauve flowers, sweetly scented, attractive to pollinators - bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A Xerces Society favourite. Easy to grow, flowers all summer long, self-seeds nicely. 1 gal pot $8

Oenothera fruticosa - Narrow-leaved Sundrops
To 60 cm No-problem plant with bright yellow flowers that flourishes in poor soil. An Evening Primrose that blooms in daytime. Drought-tolerant. Spreads. Shallow-rooted so easily controlled. Blooms June-July. Visited by hummingbirds, butterflies and many insects (including its own bee - the native Lasioglossum oenotherae bee which is an Evening Primrose specialist and will collect pollen only from plants of this genus. No Oenothera, no bee). Songbirds visit for seeds. Sun or shade 1/2 gal pot $6

Opuntia humifusia - Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
Up to 25 cm  Ontario’s only native cactus. A low-spreading succulent, with dramatic large pale yellow flowers in June, followed by fruit that turn red in fall. Native populations are listed as endangered provincially and federally - only three exist in the wild in Canada: two in Point Pelee National Park and one in Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve on Pelee Island. Needs full sun, well-drained sand or gravel. Keep clear of weeds, handle with care or prickles will get you. These plants are grown from seed this year, 2.5 cm tall, in 8.5 cm pot. Limited quantities, two per customer) more will be available later, grown from cuttings). $5

Packera aurea - Golden Ragwort
15-60 cm Showy golden-yellow daisy-like flowers in flat-topped clusters. Blooms in spring and can spread into an effective ground cover for damp woodland. Full sun to light shade, moisture needed, accommodates to most soils. 1/2 gal pot $7

Packera paupercula - Balsam Ragwort
35 cm Bright yellow daisy-like flowers with recessed petals grow from a basal rosette. This is a plant found in the Carden Alvar in challenging conditions of little soil, intense drought and seasonal flooding. Also said to prefer moist sandy soil and full or partial sun. Also to be ideal for rock gardens and xeriscaping. 8.5'' pot $5

Parthenium integrifolium - Wild Quinine x
60-90 cm Stems bearing flat-headed clusters of small white flowerheads (can be used in dried flower arrangements) emerge from basal rosette of serrated blue-grey leaves. Featured by Xerxes as a 'weird and wonderful' pollinator plant for the variety of floral visitors it attracts. Blooms June to September. Native to Illinois and points south of the Great Lakes, naturalized in Ontario. Full sun, average soil. 8.5 cm pot $5

Penstemon digitalis - Foxglove Beardtongue not yet available
60-80 cm Penstemons are one of the most beautiful North American flowering species. This one is not a member of the foxglove family. Clusters of white bell-shaped flowers on tall erect stems. Clump-forming, drought-tolerant, sun or part sun/shade, average soils. 1 gal pot $8

Penstemon hirsutus - Hairy Beardtongue not yet available
40-60 cm Lavender bell-shaped flowers, gets its name from the hairs on the stem. A little shorter than the Foxglove Beardtongue, clump-forming, drought-tolerant, a pleasing front of border plant. Sun or part sun/shade, average soils. 1/2 gal pot $8

Physostegia virginiana - Obedient Plant
100-130 cm Mauve or white flower spikes. So named because the flowers can be bent into position and will stay that way for a while. Another name is False Dragonhead. An underrated plant that is very effective at the back of the border and is always buzzing with pollinators - hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc. Spreads but relatively easy to control as it is shallow-rooted. 1 gal pot $8

Phytolacca americana - American Pokeweed
120-200 cm Pokeweed has been called bold - it's a description that fits. Lovely racemes of small white flowers blooming July-August, followed by bunches of dark purple berries, stems red or tinged with red, huge oval leaves and a long taproot. Author Lorraine Johnson lists it as one of her favourites. The flowers are visited by a variety of pollinators, the berries are high value for birds and some mammals. Part sun, moist soil are best, but this tough plant flourishes in a variety of conditions. 8.5 cm pot $5

Podophyllum peltatum - Mayapple
30 to 45 cm Also known as Mandrake. Beautiful colonies of this plant spread along the end of woodlands. The large umbrella-like leaves come up in early May. You have to lean in to see the pretty white flower that then appears, dangling underneath the leaf. A large pale green fruit follows - reportedly edible if ripe but use caution and research well - all other parts of the plant are toxic, as is the unripe 'apple.' Partial sun, shade 1/2 gal $8

Pycnanthemum virginianum - Virginia Mountain Mint
">30 to 90 cm - Grown for its fragrance and culinary uses, it is also an excellent nectar plant, beloved by pollinators for its densely packed clusters of white flowers with purple dots and long bloom time (July-September). A spreader, not as aggressive as mint, but give it its own space, the bees and butterflies will be grateful. Full to partial sun, moist to average soil. 1 gal pot $8

Rudbeckia hirta - Black-eyed Susan
60-80 cm The cheerful face of summer in Ontario. Short-lived perennial. Self-seeds. Full sun to part shade, most soils. 1 gal $5

Rudbeckia triloba - Brown-eyed Susan x 
Up to 90 cm - Short-lived perennial with yellow rays, purplish-black raised disk that self-seeds readily - prepare for it to move around. Blooms August to October. Densely branched, taller than R. hirta with smaller but more profuse flowers. Attracts many nectar-seeking and pollen-seeking insects. Not native to Ontario but to points south of Great Lakes.* Tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soils. Full to partial sun. 9 cm pot $5

Rudbeckia lacinata - Green-headed Coneflower
90-150 cm Also known as Cutleaf Coneflower. The Cherokee call it Sochan and consider it an important medicine and a nutritious part of their diet. Tall, branched, liberally flowering July through September, and then the plant gets worked over by birds enjoying the seeds. It has unusual light green central cones with drooping bright yellow petals and smooth, deeply cut foliage. Its natural habitat is along stream banks and in moist forests, but it accommodates to drier soils. It does well in both sun or shade. 1 gal pot $8

Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot SOLD OUT
20 cm A little miracle of spring - each flower stalk emerges wrapped in a leaf; the striking white flowers bloom in May, and then the leaves unfurl, large deeply scalloped saucers, held about 25 cm off the ground. Then the show fades away to go dormant in summer – but below ground, the thick clump of rhizomatous roots (blood-coloured) is slowly spreading. Shade, average soil. Quantities limited 10 cm pot $7

Scrophularia marilandica - Eastern Figwort
60-150 cm Also known as Late Figwort or Carpenter’s Square (the latter name comes from its squared-off stem). Not a showy plant but its exceptionally abundant nectar makes it highly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, native bees and beneficial insects. In fact, Figworts are given a special rating by the Xerces Society because of their value to insects. Broad panicles of small dark red cup-like flowers that bloom from July through October. Sun or shade, accommodates to a range of soils, including sand. 1 gal pot $7

Silphium perfoliatum - Cup Plant
2 to 2.5 m One of the tallest native perennials.. Showy yellow daisy-type flowers from July-October. Drought-tolerant. Leaves clasp the stem to make a cup that holds rainwater for several days where it is used by songbirds, butterflies and other insects. Develops deep roots. Accommodates to a variety of soils. Sun. 1 gal $7

Sisyrinchium montanum - Blue-eyed Grass
30 cm Actually not a grass at all, but a miniature iris, a jewel of a plant with bright blue flowers in June-July. Sun to part shade. 8.5 cm pot $5

Solidago caesia - Blue-stemmed Goldenrod
30-90 cm One of two shade-loving Goldenrods on this list, an elegant plant, blooms September to end of season. Yellow flowers appear in clusters along the wiry, often blue-green, stalks. Attracts birds, butterflies, bees. Does not spread aggressively. Dry to average moisture in loamy soil (forest floor conditions). Shade or partial shade. 1/2 gal $7

Solidago canadensis - Canada Goldenrod
1.5 m Goldenrods are the number one herbaceous plant in terms of the number of pollinators they support - so finding the right spot for this species will enhance the ecological value of of your garden. Ragweed, a native that flowers at the same time, is the one responsible for people's allergies, although Goldenrod, being conspicuous, gets unfairly blamed. Canada Goldenrod has large branching heads of tiny yellow flowers. One of the most common Goldenrod species in Ontario, it spreads aggressively and creates a riot of colour in summer and fall. Great for naturalizing. Not advised for small gardens where plants are required to play nicely. 1 gal $7

Solidago rigida - Stiff Goldenrod
90-150 cm Recently reassigned from the Solidago genus to the Oligoneuron genus, so properly known as O. rigidum. Bright yellow flat-topped flowers from July to October provide abundant nectar for many pollinators and a reliable late-summer source for migrating butterflies like Monarchs. Seeds are consumed by birds. The plant’s deep fibrous root system doesn’t spread rapidly like some of the other rhizomatous goldenrods; it does self-seed. Full sun, dry conditions. Adaptable to a wide variety of soils - clay, loam, sand. 8.5 cm pot $6

Solidago graminifolia - Flat-topped Goldenrod
See Euthamia graminifolia

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae - New England Aster
90-150 cm Also known as Michaelmas Daisy - the essential fall flower, much loved by pollinators feeding up before winter. Drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant. Blooms from September to October. Sun or shade. A lovely purple to offset the yellows of many fall-flowering plants. Accommodates to a variety of soils. 1 gal $7

Tiarella cordifolia - Heartleaf Foamflower 
See under groundcovers

Tradescantia ohiensis - Ohio Spiderwort 
120 cm Very attractive to bees and other pollinators. Lovely blue three-petalled flowers with showy yellow stamens open early morning, closed by afternoon. Lance-like foliage. At its best in June and early July, but continues flowering through summer and into fall, albeit less intensely. Caution: Develops a spreading fibrous root system that is hard to dig up - so plant it where it is to stay; it also self-seeds and spreads vigorously. Good for a prairie planting, erosion control and bank stabilization. Most at home in full sun and well-drained  sandy soil, but adapts easily to part shade and a full range of soil conditions. 10 cm pot $7

Verbena hastata - Blue Vervain not yet available
60-180 cm Candelabra-like inflorescences of slender spikes of purple-blue flowers, often seen in ditches. Short-lived perennial, will self-seed. Attracts butterflies and bees. Larval host for the Common Buckeye Butterfly. Sun, average to poor soil, needs some moisture. 1 gal pot $8

Veronicastrum virginicum - Culver's Root not yet available
70-160 cm Beautiful accent plant, showing best in a cluster of three. Tall unbranched stems bearing white candelabra-like flower spikes from mid-summer to fall. Leaves arranged in whorls around the stem. Shade or part-sun, part-shade, moist to average soil. 1 gal $7

Zizia aurea - Golden Alexanders
50-100 cm. Brilliant yellow flower umbels in May and June resemble Queen Anne's Lace. Attracts pollinators, including the Black Swallowtail. Drought tolerant. Sun or part shade, grows in a wide range of soils. 8.5 cm pot $5

Grasses & Sedges

Andropogon gerardii - Big Bluestem not yet available
140-180 m. One of the dominant species of the North American tallgrass prairie prior to settlement. Highly ornamental with grey-green foliage turning bronze-red in autumn. Appearing in August, the inflorescences consist of three-pronged purplish spikelets from which depend pretty contrasting yellow anthers and resemble (some say) a turkey’s foot, giving it one of its alternative names, Turkeyfoot. Deeply rooted, forms a dense clump. A high-protein forage species, also being considered as potential feedstock for ethanol production. Songbirds eat the seeds, grasshopppers, katydids and other insects eat the foliage. Drought-tolerant. Full sun to part shade, accommodates to a wide variety of soils. 8.5 cm pot $5

Bouteloua curtipendula - Side Oats Grama not yet available
40 - 75 cm Arching narrow blue-green leaves turn bronze in fall. Spaced out floral spikes hang from one side of the stems, turning from pale green to purplish red to light tan. Found in mixed grass prairies. Fed on by grasshoppers and various bugs, seeds consumed by birds. In areas with little competition, can form a dense sod. Full sun, various soils including gravel. Drought tolerant. 1 gal pot $8

Carex hystericina - Porcupine Sedge
100 cm An attractive sedge of marshes and wet meadows with a bristly flower spike, provides food for many species of wetland birds. Will grow in average dry soil. Full sun. 1 gal $8

Carex muskingumensis - Muskingum Sedge
40-100 cm. Also known as Palm Sedge. Native to the Great Lakes region. Beautiful form and lovely glossy green foliage which branches out from the main stem, resembling palm fronds. Native to wooded lowlands. Prefers moist soil and will grow in shallow water. Full sun sun to part shade. Spreads. 1 gal $8

Chasmanthium latifolium - Northern Sea Oats x 
60-150 cm Also called Uniola latifolia or River Oats. Not native to Ontario but to points south of the Great Lakes." A lovely grass with arching panicles of flat drooping spikelets in late summer that start a light green and turn a purplish bronze in fall. Great in dried flower arrangements. Leave foliage in place over winter to add interest and protect crowns from cold. Self-seeds and can spread vigorously by underground rhizomes, which makes it useful to stabilize banks and prevent soil erosion. Host plant of the Pepper and Salt Skipper butterfly. Prefers partial shade, moist conditions. 8.5 cm pot $5

Elymus hystrix - Eastern Bottlebrush Grass

60 to 120 cm Sometimes called (erroneously) Hystrix patula. A clump-forming woodland native that looks great in the shade garden. Attractive seedheads resembling bottlebrushes appear from July onwards, Can be used in dried arrangements. Medium to loam soil. Part to full shade. 10 cm pot $7

Elymus canadensis - Canada Wild Rye not yet available
1.2 m A native grass that grows in riparian woodlands, many types of forest, lakeside sand dunes, and tallgrass prairie. Arching stems are weighted by the nodding, whiskery inflorescences that appear in August. Can be used for stabilizing eroded areas. Seeds feed birds. Full to part sun. Accommodates to a variety of soil conditions. 1 gal $8

Hierochloe odorata - Sweetgrass
Aromatic grass, grows to about 20 cm (8 inches), spreads vigorously through underground rhizomes. One of the four medicine plants, used in North American indigenous purification ceremonies (smudging).8.5 cm pot $5

Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass not available till June
70 cm A plant of the tallgrass prairie in Ontario, adaptable to many soil types and conditions, used for sand dune stabilization, soil erosion control and wildlife habitat. Medium height, delicate airy panicles turn bronze in fall, very attractive in a continuous flow along a path or other edge. 8.5 cm pot $5

Schizachyrium scoparium - Little Bluestem not yet available
70 cm Another of the dominant species of the tallgrass prairie. Finely textured clumping grass with a blue-green summer colour. Purple-bronze flowers in August. In fall through winter, fluffy silvery seed heads on grass that turns a rosy rust colour. Adapts to most soils, except for wet or highly fertile ones. Full sun. Drought tolerant. Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring. 8.5 cm pot $5

Sisyrinchium montanum - Blue-eyed Grass
See under perennials

Sorghastrum nutans - Indian Grass
100-140 cm A dramatically beautiful tallgrass prairie plant, with bronze spikelets in June from which tiny golden flowers depend. Deep-rooted, clump-forming, great fall colour and continuing winter interest. Major wildlife value - various species of grasshopper (an important food for many songbirds) feed on the foliage. Birds consume the seeds and use the foliage for nesting material and cover. Host plant to the Pepper and Salt Skipper butterfly. Sun. Accommodates to a variety of soils. 8.5 cm pot $5

Pond Plants

Acorus americanus - Sweetflag 
30-90 cm A pond plant with a curious pale yellow flower. The straplike leaves are aromatic, the root is favoured by muskrats. Part shade, moist to wet soil. 1 gal pot $8

Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold
60 cm One of the first wildflowers to bloom in spring, a conspicuous and showy yellow. Not a true marigold, which is related to the Aster family, but a member of the ranunculus spp (buttercups). Full sun to shade, moist soil or even shallow standing water. 8.5 cm pot $4

Iris versicolor - Northern Blue Flag Iris 
60-90 cm Also known as Harlequin Blue Flag Iris. A plant for the edge of the pond, it will stretch out into the water. Strappy foliage, elegant blue flowers with a yellow highlight, blooms from May to August. Attracts bees, hummingbirds. 1/2 gal $7


Athyrium filix-femina - Lady Fern now available
30-90 cm With arching, deep-cut, light green fronds, this is an elegant fern that gradually spreads into colonies if it's in the right location. More tolerant of dry soils than many other ferns. Full to part shade preferred, but can take full sun if soil is kept reliably moist. Accommodates to a range of soils, from sand to clay. 10 cm pot $12

Cystopteris bulbifera - Bulblet Fern

60 cm Graceful rock-loving fern that will also grow in average soil in part sun / part shade. Round bulblets form on the light green fronds and can fall to grow into a new plant. 10 cm pot $7

Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Wood Fern now available
30-90 cm Also known as Marginal Shield Fern. A vase-shaped form, with fronds of dark blue-green leaves that are evergreen, lasting through winter. This is a non-aggressive, non-colonizing fern, its natural habitat is rocky hardwood forest. Shade to part shade, average moisture, average soil. 10 cm pot $12

Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ostrich Fern now available
75-125 cm A tall, striking fern that works well in formal gardens. Moist shade, but adaptable to many conditions. A vigorous spreader - don't plant unless you can give it space to run. Coiled spring shoots are edible (remove bronze-coloured sheath and boil in 3 waters). Sun, shade or part shade. 1 gal $14

Onoclea sensibilis - Sensitive Fern now available
Up to 50 cm Named for its sensitivity is to frost - its fronds will wither at the first touch - but the plant is hardy and will be back in spring. Moist shade or part shade. Slowly spreads. 10 cm pot $11


Anaphalis margaritacea - Pearly Everlasting
Soft grey foliage offers spring-fall interest, pretty white flowers bloom in August and make a great dried flower. Host plant for the caterpillars of the American Painted Lady butterfly. Shade. 1/2 gal pot $6

Anemone canadensis - Canada Anemone
30-60 cm Charming white flowers, good foliage with deeply cut sharply toothed leaves, blooms from late May through to July. Spreads aggressively! don't plant unless you can give it space to run, or can contain it, like mint. Average soil, sun or shade. 8.5 cm pot $4

Antennaria neglecta - Field Pussytoes
15-30 cm Low growing spreader has white flowers resembling a cat’s paw and grey foliage. Blooms from late April to early June and attracts many pollinators. Host plant for the American Lady butterfly. Prefers full sun, sand or average dry soils. 8.5 cm pot $6

Argentina anserina - Silverweed Cinquefoil
25 cm Previously known as Potentilla argentina. Low-growing, attractive compound foliage with silvery hairy underside, spreads aggressively with red runners, yellow flowers from June to September. Attracts bees. This is a pioneer plant species that helps stabilize wetlands, dunes, and beaches. So, preference is for sandy or gravelly soil, but will accommodate to average conditions. Salt tolerant. Leaves and roots are said to be edible. 8.5 cm pot $5

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger
30 CM Beautiful rounded leaf with a satin sheen, this is an excellent groundcover for shade. You have to lift the foliage to find the intriguing tricorn maroon flowers that appear in April, lying close to the ground. Ants disperse the seed. Flourishes in moist conditions but will do fine in dry ground. Shade. 1/2 gal $7

Eurybia divaricata - Wood Aster
Also known as Heartleaf Aster. Blooms late summer and early fall in dry shade - few plants are this accommodating. Spreads into large clumps. The clouds of white stars contrast sharply with its wiry black stems and show up well in shade. Shade, part shade. 1/2 gal $7

Fragaria virginiana - Wild Strawberry 
5-10 cm A low-growing, spreading groundcover. Accommodates to average soils, from sand to clay to loam. Good pollinator plant, flowers April-June. Sun or shade. Produces tiny fragrant fruit if grown in full sun. Host to the Grizzled Skipper butterfly.  8.5 cm pot $4

Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreennot yet available
10-15 cm Low-growing evergreen semi-woody shrub with dark green shiny leaves that, when crushed, release a familiar aroma - oil of wintergreen is used to flavour chewing gum, dental hygiene products and more. White nodding bell-shaped blossoms in July, followed by bright red berries in fall that are consumed by Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey and other birds and mammals (including bears). Foliage turns purple in fall. 1/2 gal pot $13

Hydrophyllum virginianum - Virginia Waterleaf 
20-50 cm A low-growing woodland plant with clusters of pretty blue (sometimes white) flowers in May and June, deeply divided foliage. Shade or part shade, some moisture preferred. Leaves are said to be edible, raw or cooked, best when picked young. Spreads readily by seed and rhizome. 8.5 cm pot $5

Mitchella repens - Partridgeberry not yet available
5 cm Trailing evergreen woodland shrub with glossy oval leaves that have a pronounced pale centre vein, this is a good groundcover for a shady undisturbed location - whether under hardwood, pine or mixed forest. It's common in Huronia, but can be hard to establish under cultivation as it is sensitive to disturbance as well as to competition from other plants. Needs moisture: water if it starts to wilt under drought stress. Four-petalled white blossoms appear in June, with bright red (but tasteless) berries following in late summer, to be consumed by Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey and other birds and mammals. Best in rich well-drained soil in part to full shade. 1/2 gal pot $18

Phlox divaricata – Woodland Phlox ADDED SOLD OUT
20 cm Also known as Wild Blue Phlox. Delicate pale blue flowers in May, one of the best blues, packing a great impact for a small plant. Plant this beauty instead of the invasive periwinkle (Vinca). Spreads slowly over time. Adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, belongs in dappled shade but will tolerate full sun. Limited quantities, two per customer. 9 cm pot $8

Tiarella cordifolia - Heartleaf Foamflower 
15 cm (5 inches). An attractive woodland groundcover that spreads by runners. White or pale pink flower spikes create a soft cloud-like effect mid-May to early June. Charming maple-shaped leaves offer continuing interest into fall. Shade or part shade. Average soil (prefers moisture but does fine in dry shade). 8.5 cm pot $5


Clematis virginiana - Virgin’s Bower
Up to 6 m Woody vine with clusters of pretty white flowers from June to September and fluffy seedheads that persist to provide winter interest. Full sun or part shade. 1/2 gal $7

Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia Creeper
Beautiful five-lobed leaves that turn brilliant red in fall. Virginia Creeper is not destructive of masonry and adds a level of cooling insulation in summer. It's good nesting habitat and the berries are a high-quality food for birds. A vigorous grower that does have invasive tendencies – but easy to pull out where not wanted. 1 gal $7


Cornus alternifolia - Pagoda Dogwood
See under Small Trees

Cornus racemosa - Gray Dogwood
1.8 m Dome-shaped panicles of white flowers in June turn into white berries in late summer. Spreads by suckering, which makes it a good naturalizer or screen. Wild life food source, habitat. Shade or part sun. Prefers some moisture, accommodates to a variety of soil conditions. 80 cm in 1 1/2 gal pots. $9

Cornus sericea - Red Osier Dogwood
1m to 2m Noted for red stems that look great in winter against snow. Clusters of white flowers in spring. White berries. Wildlife value. Excellent for erosion control. Sun. 1 gal $7

Diervilla lonicera - Bush Honeysuckle
30-60 cm Low, arching form. Delicate pale yellow flowers in June-July and occasionally through the season. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. Drought tolerant, adaptable and vigorous – it suckers, so good for naturalizing but not necessarily what's wanted in a small garden. But, quoting Bill Moses of Inglis Falls Arboretum: “A low-maintenance alternative for difficult situations, it can be used to stabilize a slope or for mass plantings… It’s a good pioneer species that can outcompete weedy grasses, thus making it easier for trees and shrubs to become established… It might even be able to supplant invasive aliens such as Goutweed (Alliaria petiolata) and Periwinkle (Vinca minor).” All soils, full sun to partial shade. 30 cm $8

Hypericum prolificum - Shrubby St. John’s-wort SOLD OUT
90 cm approx Small, mound-shaped, deciduous shrub, with large yellow flowers in July and August. The abundant stamens are rich in pollen (no nectar) and are cross-pollinated primarily by bumblebees. Narrow fine-textured leaves, red to purple bark. Adaptable to most soils, moisture conditions, sun or shade. 1 gal pot $8

Rubus occidentalis - Black Raspberry not yet available
90-120 cm - Also known as Thimbleberry. White flowers in June followed by edible berries that start out red and turn a dark purple-black. They are sweeter than those of the Common Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis), which is a more aggressive spreader. The Black Raspberry is distinguishable from the Common Blackberry by a whitish bloom on the rounded stem and a white underside to the leaf. The Common Blackberry has a stem with coarse ridges. Black Raspberry forms colonies that make for good wildlife habitat because of the thorns; berries enjoyed by birds. Thrives in any sunny or partly sunny location. 1.5 gal pot $19

Rhus aromatica - Fragrant Sumac SOLD OUT
1 m to 2 m No, it doesn't spread - this is the only non-colonizing sumac in our area. It doesn't grow too tall either, making it useful in situations where a view needs to be preserved. Clusters of yellow flowers. Lovely trilobed leaves that give off a citrus fragrance when crushed. Great colour - a crimson red - in fall. Adaptable to part shade, but best in sun on dry sandy, rocky or clay sites.  60 cm 1 gal $9

Rubus odoratus - Purple-flowering Raspberry
1 m An excellent shrub with large well-shaped aromatic foliage, fragrant deep pink flowers from June to September. Edible berries (not as sweet as cultivated varieties, but enjoyed by birds). Spreads vigorously, good for naturalizing a weedy space. Sun, some shade. 1 gal $8

Small Trees

Cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood
About 6 m Just a joy - an elegant small tree that arranges its branches in layers – like a pagoda. It can also grow as a shrub. White flowers in spring, blue-black berries in July-August that are devoured by birds. Fast-growing. Shade or part shade. 24-44 cm tall in 1 gal pot $7 2 gal $9

Maclura pomifera - Osage Orange x
7-15 m (height may be less in Ontario). Also known as Hedge Apple, for its large knobbly fruit. Grows as a tree or multi-stem shrub, prized by indigenous people for wood that was hard and rot-resistant (used for making bows, which led to its being named bois d’arc by French trappers). The same characteristics – along with ferocious thorns – led to its adoption by settlers as a vigorous hedging plant for confining livestock. It is dioecious, which means male and female trees are needed for fruit to develop seed. This is listed as native south of the Great Lakes* although there is debate, previously discussed. Full sun preferred, average but not acidic soil. 1 gal $7

Shade Trees

Juglans nigra - Black Walnut 

30 m A majestic fast-growing tree that will provide you with your own nuts. Valuable timber tree. Grow in full sun and rich, moist soil. Some plants will not grow near it but the list of those that are juglone-tolerant is long and varied and includes most natives. 30-50 cm $7-10



x *Note: I am a supporter of assisted migration - which means I favour including plants that are native to further south on the Eastern North American continent. We still need to intensify our efforts to restore the plants that belong in our ecosystems here and now, but we should not take an exclusionary view of natives that may need to move northwards because of changing conditions but be unable to keep pace with the accelerating manmade disaster that is climate change. More details on the theory of assisted migration.