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Plant List

UPDATED December 09 2018

Reopening mid-May 2019. Please note that not all plants listed will be available that early - in fact some won't be ready till the end of June. We don't have heated greenhouses, we work on nature's timetable.

Meanwhile, our locally gathered seeds are available; check list

-Plant sales from the garden gate only - no shipping
(except for books and seeds).  
-Payment: E-transfer, cash, cheque or credit card.
-Location: Huronia, inland from Georgian Bay, north of Barrie, Ontario, east of Wasaga Beach.

Note: Do not use GPS to get to our nursery - it will mislead you. Follow directions on this MAP 

All plants are potted and hardy in the Huronia area. Most are grown from seed at the ROTN nursery, where no pesticides or chemicals are used; some are sourced from other Ontario native plant propagators. The height cited at the beginning of each entry is what it can grow to in Huronia, the plant's present height is at the end of the description. 'New' means new to this list this year, not a newly created introduction to the plant world as those are not on offer here. 

*Slideshow photographs by Anne McArthur

During the growing season, this list is updated daily with regard to availability.  CHECK BACK FOR CHANGES AND ADDITIONS - especially if you're coming from a distance. In fact, best to call 705-322-2545 before you set off.

Quantities may be limited. Prices subject to change. 

Services include:
  • Advice on creating an ornamental garden that works for you, your birds, your bees etc...
  • Advice on controlling invasives (See also, what not to plant)
  • Consultations: $100, 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). Mileage charge of 55c/km to go further afield
  • Speaker, $100, on topics related to native plants, pollinators, birds in your garden, the nature of soil, invasive species
  • Contract growing, contract potting
  • Find-a-plant. We are always interested in trying to track down a native plant if you have a specific request.

Annuals & Biennials

Cirsium discolor – Field Thistle
Up to 2 metres. Native thistles are becoming rare on our landscape. Large flowers and abundant nectar attract pollinators, the seed is enjoyed by birds. Purple flower heads consisting of many narrow tubeshaped flowers appear from July to September. A biennial or short-leaved perennial, self-seeds readily on open soil. A warning: From August onwards, this plant starts to look the worse for wear. The bees still love it! but it's not for the gardener with conventional aesthetic standards. Full sun, accommodates to a wide range of soil conditions. 10 cm $7

Echinocystis lobata - Wild Cucumber
Climbing vine. Not edible. Deeply lobed leaves, curly tendrils, 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 pull out where not wanted. Cold moist stratification.


Actaea pachypoda – White Baneberry 
Up to 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 gal pot $8 

Actaea racemosa - Black Cohosh
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 60 cm tall $12

Agastache foeniculum – Anise Hyssop
100 cm approx. Our all-round favourite pollinator plant! Recently 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. One of last plants to stay in flower in fall, providing sustenance for late pollinators. Sun. 8.5 cm pot $4, 60 cm tall in 1 gal pot $7 

Ageratina altissima - White Snakeroot
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. Spreads and self-seeds. 50 cm tall 1 gal $9 70 cm tall 1.5 gal $12

Allium cernuum - Wild Nodding Onion 
20-60 cm. A stand-out among members of the onion family that are grown for their decorative flowers. 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. 30 cm in 1/2 gal pot $5

Allium tricoccum – Wild Leek
30-45 cm Bulb-forming perennial. Also known as Ramps. A member of the onion family, one of the first plants to come up in Ontario’s deciduous woods, it’s a delicious early spring vegetable. Leaves die back by early summer, the creamy white flower appears on a long stem in July and sets seed. The plant then disappears, and remains dormant until the next spring. A clump will spread slowly over the years. If harvesting in the wild, take only the leaf. Needs an area that gets dappled sunlight in spring followed by shade, with moist soil enriched by surface leaf mould. 10 cm pot $6

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 pot $7

Angelica atropurpurea - Great Angelica
1 to 2.5 m. An imposing plant with pale to dark purple hollow stems, bold dissected leaves and greenish white to pale yellow umbels of flowers (this is a member of the carrot family). Attracts pollinators. Sun to partial shade, moist to wet soil which can be clay, loam or sand. Deep root - plant where you plan to keep it. 15 cm tall 1 gal pot $9 

Antennaria neglecta - Field Pussytoes
See under Groundcovers

Aquilegia canadensis - Wild Columbine
30-80 cm Flowers in May-June, 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. Pollinated by hummingbirds, long-tongued bees. Best in well-drained soil in partial shade but adaptable - grows in sun in dry rocky terrain and poor gravelly soil. Self-seeds. 10 cm 1/2 gal pot $5

Argentina anserina - Silverweed Cinquefoil
See under Groundcovers

Artemisia ludoviciana - White Sagebrush
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, 60 cm tall $7

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger
See under Groundcovers

Asclepias incarnata - Swamp Milkweed 
Up to 120 cm. Also known as Rose 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 like Common Milkweed and it's a very important plant to have, being a host to the Monarch butterfly. A wetland plant, it does require some moisture in the soil. Sun or part shade. 1 gal $8 

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 - in the right circumstances, but as is pointed out on the Monarch Watch website, being a good colonizer does not necessarily mean that a plant species is a good competitor for light, space and nutrients. In fact, Common Milkweed, by far the best colonizer among our milkweeds, tends to be out-competed and disappear as plant succession progresses. 1 gal $8

Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed 
40-80 cm. Brilliant orange flowers from June to September make this a most desirable garden plant. Clump-forming - doesn't send out underground runners, but does form a large taperoot, making transplanting difficult. Drought-tolerant. Late to break dormancy. Host to the Monarch butterfly. Sun or part-shade. 10 cm seedlings in 8.5 cm pot  $4

Chelone glabra - White Turtlehead
30-90 cm Spikes of white flowers in August- September, the distinctive shape of the flower gives the plant its common name. Narrow lance-shaped leaves. Larval host for the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. Full sun or part shade. Some moisture needed in the soil. 15 cm tall 1 gal, $7

Coreopsis grandiflora - Large-flowered Tickseed  
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. 15 cm in 1/2 gal pot $6 

Coreopsos tripteris - Tall Coreopsis 
A tall (2 metres plus), picturesque plant with long stems. Daisy like yellow flowers with maroon centres from July to September. Makes a nice clump that sways in the wind. Accommodates to most soils, good in sand. Sun. 1 gal $8

Dodecatheon meadia – Midland Shooting Star  
One of Ontario’s most beautiful ephemaral woodland flowers. Blooms in May and then goes dormant and disappears in summer, so mark the spot. White petals flare back, yellow stamens point forward, giving the flower a rocket or shooting star shape. An early gift to foraging bees. Shade, average to moist soil. 1 gal $6

Doellingeria umbellata - Flat-topped White Aster
1-1.5m An elegant tall aster with a flat-topped cluster of white flowers with pale yellow centres and a rigid, often, purplish stem. The lance-shaped leaves have prominent veins on the underside and feel smooth when stroked away from the stem, rough when stroked backwards. Attracts many pollinators. An older scientific name is Aster umbellatus. Full or part sun, moist to average soil (good for rain gardens). 70 cm tall 1 gal $7 Limited quantity

Echinacea purpurea – Purple Coneflower 
70 cm A classic: large pink daisy-like flowers with orange-bronze centres on erect stems. One of the joys of an Ontario summer.  A nectar plant that's visited by many pollinators, including hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies. Sun or light dappled shade. Average soil. 10 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

Eupatorium perfoliatum – Common Boneset

100-160 cm Showy clusters of white flowers really brighten up a shady spot. 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 August-October. Pollinator plant. Shade, part shade. 20 cm tall in 1 gal $7 10 cm tall in 10 cm pot $5

Eurybia divaricata - Wood Aster  
Approx 30 cm Also known as Heartleaf Aster. Blooms late summer and early fall in dry shade (few plants are this accommodating). Spreads into large clumps, useful as a groundcover. The clouds of white stars contrast sharply with its wiry black stems and show up well in shade. Shade, part shade. 1/2 gal pot $6 

Eurybia macrophylla - Large-leaved Aster
Approx 80 cm Large white flowers in flat-topped flower heads, mainly white, some with tinges of blue or lavender. Blooms in August-September. Shade or part shade. 1 gal $8 

Euthamia graminifolia – Flat-topped Goldenrod
30-150 cm. Also known as Lance-leaved or Grass-leaved Goldenrod. Pretty fragrant pale yellow flowers, a delicate form. Most Goldenrods (although not the shade ones also listed here) 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. 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. Sun, average soil. 50 cm tall in 1 gal pot $7

Eutrochium maculatum – Spotted Joe Pye Weed
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, 65 cm tall $7  

Eutrochium purpureum – Sweet-scented 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. 40 cm tall in 1 gal pot $7

Filipendula rubra - Queen of the Prairie
1 to 1.5 m Totally 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. Needs space, this is a spreader - by rhizomes. Not an Ontario native although widel naturalized in this province, Queen of the Prairie comes to us from south and west of the Great Lakes (USDA map). Full sun. 15 cm tall 1 gal $9

Fragaria virginica – Wild Strawberry
A low-growing, spreading groundcover for sunny spots, the Wild Strawberry generally occurs in drier, more disturbed, and more open sunny sites than the Woodland Strawberry.. Accommodates to average soils, from sand to clay to loam. Good pollinator plant. Sun or shade. Produces tiny fragrant fruit in sun. 10 cm pot $3

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
90 cm plus 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, so can be aggressive, but less so if grown in shade. 1/2 gal $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 $8

Heliopsis helianthoides - Oxeye Sunflower
1 m approx Also known as Smooth Oxeye. A striking yellow daisy, member of the aster family, not to be confused with the invasive, non-native white oxeye daisy. Grows in dry soils in sun or part shade. Flowers June-September. Great meadow plant. Attracts butterflies and pollinators. Deer resistant, juglone (walnut) resistant. 1 gal $6

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 gal $7

Iris versicolor – Northern Blue Flag Iris
See under Pond Plants

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. 60 cm 1/2 gal $7

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. Part sun, average to moist soil. 60 cm 1 gal $7

Maianthemum stellatum - Starry False Solomon’s Seal
Up to 50 cm Delicate starry white flowers in late May, early June, berries that follow are green and black striped, then red. Spreads, will fill that annoying space on the north side of the cottage. This is a shade plant, does well in sand, adaptable to a variety of soil conditions. 1/2 gal $6

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 10-35 cm $7

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 by self-seeding. 10 cm pot $6 1/2 gal $7

Monarda didyma - Oswego Tea 
80-100 cm approx Also known as Crimson Beebalm or Red Bergamot –striking red blooms on tall stalks, aromatic foliage, a great favourite with humming birds. Full sun, will tolerate some shade, average to moist soil. It does spread - so give this striking plant some space to run or dig it back to its allotted space every spring. 35 cm 10 cm pot $6 1 gal pot $8 

Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergamot
60-80 cm approx Also known as Bee Balm. Similar in appearance to M. didyma, not quite as keen a spreader. Soft mauve flowers, sweetly scented, attractive to pollinators - bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A Xerces Society favourite. Flowers all summer long. 10 cm pot $6 1 gal $8

Oenothera fruticosa – Narrow-leaved Sundrop
To 60 cm No-problem plant with bright yellow flowers that flourishes in poor soil. Member of Evening Primrose family, but blooms in daytime. Drought-tolerant. Spreads. Shallow-rooted so easily controlled. Blooms June-July. Hummingbrds, butterflies and many insects visit for nectar, songbirds for seeds. Sun or shade 1/2 gal $5

Opuntia humifusia - Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
Ontario’s only native cactus. A low (up to 25 cm / 10 inches) spreading succulent, with dramatic large pale yellow flowers in June, followed by fruit that turn red in fall. Natural populations are listed as endangered provincially and federally. ROTN plants are grown from seed, the parent plant was purchased from a nursery. Needs full sun, well-drained sand or gravel. Keep clear of weeds. 10-15 cm tall 1 gal $8

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. 1/2 gal pot $7

Parnassia glauca – Fen Grass-of-Parnassus
20-40 cm Single brilliant white flowers on stems that rise above a basal rosette. Grows in bogs, fens, wet meadows, dune systems (including Wasaga Beach, in the wet, ungroomed areas). Waxy white petals delicately traced with pale green veins that act as a visual cue to guide bees and other pollinators to the nectar. One of the bees, Andrena parnassiae, is a specialist pollinator of this plant -which is not a grass. The name comes from a member of the same family (Saxifrage) that grows on Mount Parnassus. This is a little gem for a rain garden or other wet habitat. Needs full sun, consistently moist soil containing some gravel or sand, and protection from competition. 30 cm tall in ½ gal pot. Limited quantity $10

Penstemon digitalis – Foxglove Beardtongue
Penstemons are one of the most beautiful North American flowering species. This one grows up to 3 feet, with clusters of white bell-shaped flowers. It's not a member of the foxglove family. Clump-forming, drought tolerant, sun or part sun/shade, average soils. 1 gal $7

Phlox divaricata – Woodland Phlox
20 cm Delicate p ale blue flowers in May, one of the best blues, packing a great impact for a small plant. A good ground cover (great native alternative to the invasive periwinkle/Vinca). Spreads slowly. Adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, shade or sun. 1/2 gal $6

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. 55 cm 1 gal $7

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, shade1/2 gal $8

Polygonatum biflorum - Great Solomon's Seal
45 cm approx. So beautiful in spring, when the double white bells hang down from the elegant arch of the stem. Later, a dark blue berry forms, to be enjoyed by birds. The perfect shade plant. Adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions. 1 gal $7

Polygonum pennsylvanicum - Pennsylvania Smartweed
Attractive pink bottle-brush shaped flowers in June. The large seeds are an important food source for birds. This plant is said to be invasive, but I find it's easily controlled if planted in hot dry sun; it's a wetland plant, so the dry conditions keep it in check. Of course, if you have a wetland, let 'er rip. $7

Pycnanthemum virginianum - Virginia Mountain Mint
30 to 90 cm - Grown for its wonderful fragrance, medicinal and culinary uses, but most of all because it is an amazing 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. 13.5 cm pot $7

Ratibida pinnata - Grey-headed Coneflower
50-150 cm A tall plant of South-western Ontario’s tall grass prairie. Blooms June-September. Showy flower - with a prominent central disk, which is initially light green or gray and later turns dark brown, and extremely reflexed yellow petals. Attracts birds, butterflies, bees. Thrives in dry soil, excellent for xeriscaping. Sun or part shade. 1 gal $7

Rudbeckia spp - Black-eyed Susan
60-80 cm The cheerful face of summer in Ontario. Short-lived perennial. Self-seeds. Assortment of varieties. Full sun to part shade, most soils. 30-40 cm 1 gal $6

Ruellia humilis - Wild Petunia
30 to 50 cm Pale lilac petunia-shaped flowers from May to October make this plant a stand-out. Leaves and stems are hairy. Native to points south of the Great Lakes (USDA map). Full sun to part shade, Flourishes in dry conditions, adaptable to any type of soil. 10 cm tall ½ gal pot $7

Sanguinaria canadensis – Bloodroot
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. 1/2 gal $7

Sanguisorba officinalis - Great Burnet
60-120 cm Graceful spikes of burgundy-red flowers on long stalks float above attractive compound foliage. Pollinator plant. Full sun and some moisture. 55 cm 1/2 gal $7

Silphium perfoliatum - Cup Plant
One of the tallest native perennials – 2 to 2.5 metres. 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. 60 cm 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. 10 cm pot $6

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 gal $8

Solidago flexicaulis - Zigzag Goldenrod
45-90 cm Yellow flowers on a zig-zag stem in September-October. Moist soils from sand to loam - forest floor conditions. Important source of nectar for many insects. Very shade-tolerant. Spreads by underground rhizomes, forming a mass in the woodland garden. 1 gal $7

Solidago graminifolia – Flat-topped Goldenrod
See Euthamia graminifolia.

Stylophorum diphyllum - Wood Poppy
Up to 40 cm Attractive deeply lobed leaves, lovely intense yellow flowers that bloom in May and June. The foliage exudes a yellow-orange sap. Sometimes called the Celandine Poppy, not to be confused with the look-alike Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus), an invasive alien. The native species is endangered in the wild in Ontario, where there are only three known wild populations, in Middlesex County. Shade to part shade, some moisture. 20 cm tall ½ gal pot $7

Symphyotrichum novae angliae - New England Aster
85 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, part shade. Pink or purple. Accommodates to a variety of soils. 1 gal $7 1.5 gal $9

Symphyotrichum urophyllum - Arrow-leaved Aster
30-90 cm Small white flowers (occasionally pale blue to lilac) in dense clusters, yellow discs turn purple. Blooms August-October. Great pollinator plant. Partial sun. Variety of soils. 1 gal $7

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, but continues flowering through summer and into fall, albeit less intensely. Develops a spreading fibrous root system that is hard to dig up - so plant it where it is to stay. 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. $6

Verbena hastata – Blue Vervain
60-180 cm Candelabra-like inflorescences of slender spikes of purple-blue flowers, often seen in ditches. Will self-seed. Attracts butterflies and bees. Larval host for the Common Buckeye Butterfly. Sun, moist soil. 13.5 cm pot $7

Veronicastrum virginicum - Culver's Root
70-160 cm Beautiful accent plant. 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

Vernonia gigantea- Tall Ironweed
160 cm plus or minus. An impressive addition to the fall garden. Clusters of small fluffy, deep purple, composite flowers – August to October - attract pollinators. Tall stems bearing attractive tawny-golden seedheads remain standing all winter and are a resource for birds. Grows in damp in the wild but still flourishes in dry soil. Pamper it with a mulch of rotted leaf litter. 1.5 gal $9

Zizia aurea – Golden Alexanders
Up to 75 cm. Brilliant yellow flower umbels in May and June resemble Queen Anne's Lace (both are members of the carrot family and like others in the family are a host plant for the Black Swallowtail butterfly). Attracts pollinators. Drought tolerant. Sun or part shade, grows in a wide range of soils. 1 gal pot. $7

Grasses & Sedges

Bouteloua curtipendula - Side Oats Grama
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. 10 cm in 10 cm pot $7

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. 1/2 gal $7

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  8.5 cm $4

Eleocharis palustris - Marsh Spike-rush

Grows in thick mats into the water providing erosion control and habitat for fish and frogs. Attracts dragonflies and damsonflies. 10 cm pot. $4

Elymus canadensis – Canada Wild Rye
120 cm 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 $7

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 tall in 10 cm pots $5

Hierochloe odorata - Sweet Grass
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). 1 gal 30 cm in height $6 

Sisyrinchium montanum – Blue-eyed Grass
See under perennials

Andropogon gerardii - Big Bluestem
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. 10 cm pot, 10 cm in height, will flower this year 1 gal $7

Schizachyrium scoparium - Little Bluestem
70 cm Another of the dominant species of the North American 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. 1/2 gal pot, 10 cm in height, will flower this year $7

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. Sun. Accommodates to a variety of soils. 1 gal $7

Spartina pectinata - Prairie Cord Grass
1.2-2.1 m A dominant grass of the wet prairies. Dramatically tall wth gracefully arching foliage. Spreads rapidly by rhizomes, making it useful for wetland restoration and erosion control. Provides valuable cover and sometimes food for gamebirds, songbirds and small mammals. Interesting fall colour. Showy seedheads attract birds. Pioneers and aboriginal peoples used it for thatching their dwellings and making rope and cord. 13.5 cm pot 50 cm in height $7

Pond Plants

Acorus americanus - Sweet Flag 
30-90 cm A pond plant with a curious pale yellow flower. The straplike leaves are aromatic, the root is favoured by muskrats. Sun to part shade, moist to wet soil. 1 gal pot $7

Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold

30-60 cm Bright yellow flowers April-June, attractive glossy foliage. Not a true marigold, which is part of the Aster family, but closely related to Buttercup (Ranunculus) species. Moist soil or standing water. Full to part sun. 1/2 gal $5

Carex muskingumensis - Muskingum Sedge
See under Grasses and Sedges

Eleocharis palustris - Marsh Spike-rush
See under Grasses and Sedges

Iris versicolor – Northern Blue Flag Iris 
60-90 cm A plant for the edge of the pond, strappy foliage, elegant blue flowers with a yellow highlight, blooms from May to August. Attracts bees, hummingbirds. 1 gal $6 

Sagittaria latifolia - Common Arrowhead
30-80 cm Creamy-white flowers with three white petals and three green sepals appear in whorls of three on tall stalks. Pleasing arrow-shaped leaves. Edible tubers that are enjoyed by waterfowl and aquatic mammals. Mud or standing water. Full sun. $5


Saururus cernuus - Lizard’s Tail  
60-100 cm. The name comes from the shape of the pretty drooping cluster of tiny white flowers in July and August. Flowers are fragrant and so is the foliage, when crushed. Spreads through rhizomes, can form colonies which provide cover for fish and other aquatic life. Light shade to part sun, wet mucky soil or shallow water. 40 cm 1 gal $7  


Matteuccia struthiopteris – Ostrich Fern
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 $5 

Onoclea sensibilis – Sensitive Fern 
Up to 50 cm 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. Spreads. 1/2 gal $5  

Osmunda regalis spectabilis - Royal Fern
1-2 m The name is an indication of the stately beauty of this fern with broad, twice divided fronds. Will take more light than other ferns, but absolutely requires consistent moisture. Part sun to part shade, variety of moist soils, including sand. 55 cm tall in 1.5 gal pot Limited quantity


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 $5

Anemone canadensis - Canada Anemone 

30-60 cm Charming white flowers, good foliage with deeply cut sharply toothed leaves, blooms from late May to early July. A vigorous spreader - don't plant unless you can give it space to run. Dry to moist soil, shade or part shade. 1/2 gal $5

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 Painted Lady butterfly. Prefers full sun, sand or average dry soils but accommodates to a variety of conditions. Works in rock gardens, xeriscapes, can thrive in lawns (delay mowing until caterpillar development is complete). 10 cm pot $6

Argentina anserina - Silverweed Cinquefoil
25 cm Previously known as Potentilla argentina. Low-growing, attractive compound foliage with silvery hairy underside, spreads 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. 1/2 gal 25 cm tall $6

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger
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
Blooms late summer and early fall in dry shade – few plants are this accommodating. Spreads into large clumps, useful as a groundcover in shade. The clouds of white stars contrast sharply to its wiry black stems and show up well in shade. Also known as Heartleaf Aster. Shade, part shade. 1/2 gal $6

Fragaria vesca – Wild Strawberry
A low-growing, spreading groundcover for sunny spots. Accommodates to most soils, from sand to clay to loam. Good pollinator plant. 10 cm $4 

Hydrophyllum virginianum - Virginia Waterleaf
20-50 cm A low-growing woodland plant with pretty blue (sometimes white) flowers in May and June. Requires shade or part shade, moist soil, forest-floor conditions (mulch with leaf mould if you don't have a forest floor). Leaves are edible, raw or cooked, best when picked young. Self-seeds profusely, a feature that makes it a good ground-cover. 10 cm $4

Tiarella cordifolia – Foamflower  
15 cm (5 inches). An attractive woodland groundcover that spreads slowly 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). 1/2 gal $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. Prefers moist soil in sun or part shade. 1 gal $7 1/2 gal $6 

Echinocystis lobata - Wild Cucumber
See under Annuals

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 $6


As of 2018, the inventory of shrubs is being reduced, as the emphasis at this nursery shifts to perennials, grasses and vines. 

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 fall. Good naturalizer. Wild life food source, habitat. Full to part sun. Prefers some moisture, tolerates a variety of soil conditions. 80 cm in 1 1/2 gal pots. $7

Lonicera canadensis - American Fly Honeysuckle

Up to 1 m The words 'delicate', 'elegant' and 'lovely' conjure up the modest beauty of this small native shrub that you could easily pass by without a second glance on a walk through the woods. You have to bend close to see the pale yellow double bells that dangle unobtrusively under the leaves from mid- to late May. Later, they turn into paired bright red fruits. Prefers cool woods and moist soils but will grow in light shade in average soil. 1 gal 30 cm $9

Rosa palustris - Swamp Rose
1 m. A mid-sized shrub rose with arching wood stems. Fragrant pink blooms in June and July. Red hips for birds or rosehip jelly. Full sun, prefers moist, acidic soil. Useful for erosion control, bank stabilization. 40-75 cm 1 gallon $7

Rosa virginiana – Virginia Rose
1 m A wild shrub rose that adds grace to any garden. Pink single flowers over a long period of summer have a delicate fragrance and produce bright red hips enjoyed by birds in fall. Foliage turns yellow and red in fall. Not bothered by pests. Spreads, suitable for a low hedge, erosion control, bank stabilization. Full or part sun. 50 cm 1 gal $7

Rhus aromatica – Fragrant Sumac
1 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 fall colour. Adaptable to part shade, but best in sun on dry sandy, rocky or clay sites. 60 cm 1.5 gal $14

Rhus typhina - Staghorn Sumac
1 m and up. Yes, it does spread. Unrivalled for its fall colour, this is one of our most striking native shrubs. Feathery cream flower panicles in summer, deep red fruiting clusters in fall. Needs control in smaller gardens. Good privacy barrier, windscreen, erosion control, wildlife habitat. The astringent fruit make a delicious pink lemonade. Full sun or part shade, some moisture needed. 50-75 cm 1 gallon $8

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. Spreads. Sun, some shade. 1 gal $7

Salix bebbiana – Bebb’s Willow
2-4 m Also known as Beaked Willow or Diamond Willow, the latter name due to a fungus that creates diamond-shaped patterns in the wood which is then prized for canes and other ornamental craftwork. Silvery grey foliage, fast–growing. Larval host for Mourning Cloak and Viceroy butterflies. Sun or part sun, most soils, moist or wet. 1 gal 40-60 cm $7   

Salix discolor - Pussy Willow  
2 m plus A denizen of ditches and moist soils, the soft grey "fur" of the male catkins is one of the first signs of spring in Ontario. Of great value to wildlife as habitat and food. Full sun, moist soil. 125 cm 2 gallon $10

Sambucus pubens - Red-berried Elderberry 
1 to 3 m Bushy multi-stemmed shrub with graceful arching branches. Flowers open mid-May and are insect-pollinated. Colourful berry crop ripens in July and early August and is among the first fruit available to birds. Inedible and possibly toxic to humans. Accommodates to variety of soils. An understory or edge of forest shrub that takes some deciduous shade. $9

Spirea alba – Meadowsweet
1.5m Multi- stemmed marshland shrub with fluffy white flowers in August-September. Like other late bloomers, it's of great value to butterflies and other pollinators. Tolerates range of conditions from moist to swamp. Host plant for the spring azure butterfly. Full or partial sun. 25 cm $6

Spirea tomentosa – Steeplebush
60-120 cm Showy clusters of pink flowers from July-September attract pollinators. Full sun, wet or moist conditions, acidic sandy soil. 10cm. $6

Symphoricarpos albus – Snowberry
120cm This is a shrub that does well in dry shade so can be used in hard-to-fill spots like the north side of a house. The white berries (enjoyed by birds) show up well in the grey days of winter. 1 gal 25-35 cm $6

Small Trees

As of 2018, the inventory of trees is being reduced, as the emphasis at this nursery shifts to perennials, grasses and vines. 

Cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood
About 7 m Just a joy - an elegant small tree that arranges its branches in layers – like a pagoda. It can 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. 35-55 cm 1 gal  $7

Shade Trees

Aescula Glabra – Ohio Buckeye
9-12 m Showy yellow flowers in May-June are pollinated by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and various long-tongued bees. Attractive compound leaves and shiny brown ‘conker’ nuts in prickly husks. This is the North American cousin of the European Horse Chestnut and, as with that tree, all parts are toxic to humans and other mammals. Moist, humusy soil in sun or part shade. First-year seedings. 1 gal 20 cm $7

Celtis occidentalis – Common Hackberry
10-15 m. Similar to elm in shape and size, but often considered superior. Withstands heat and drought. Yellow in fall. Interestingly ridged gray bark. Good for wildlife – the red-orange berries are said to be the favourite food of wild turkeys. Only host for the Hackberry Emperor butterfly. 50 cm $9