Return of the Native - About Us
BLOG

Latest Blog Posts

Get Blog Updates

What is 10 minus 5?
Name:
Email:

Books For Sale

Plant List

Updated 19 November 2019 

This is the 2020 plant list - what we expect to have, if Mother Nature permits. Watch out for additions in early spring. We open mid-May. 

Link here to the Seed List

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

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

- Plant sales from the garden gate only - no shipping (except for books and, from fall onwards, seeds). However, large deliveries can be arranged.
- Payment: E-transfer, cash or cheque. No credit or debit cards.
- About our plants: All plants are potted and hardy in the Huronia area. We use no pesticides or commercial fertilizers, to ensure that our plants are safe for pollinators and other insects and therefore safe up the ecosystem food chain. Most are grown from seed at the ROTN nursery. Some are sourced from other Ontario native plant propagators.
- About this nursery: It runs out of the garden of our family home. Think of it as a boutique operation, with a wide selection of perennial species, some not available elsewhere, but generally not in large numbers (eg more than 20) at any one time. Given notice, however, we can ramp up into 100+ and do quantity as well as quality!
- Please recycle: We are always happy to have our pots returned, especially the 1-gal and 1/2-gal sizes.
 
Quantities may be limited. Prices subject to change.
 
Useful reference for lakefront residents: Lake Huron Coastal Dune Plants Guide

*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)
  • 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 native plants, pollinators, birds in your garden, creating habitat, the nature of soil, invasive species and related topics
  • 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. 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. 1 gal pot $7

Echinocystis lobata - Wild Cucumber
Very attractive climbing vine. 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 pull out where not wanted. Cold moist stratification. 1 gal pot $7

Perennials

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. 1/2 gal pot $7

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. 1 gal pot $7

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. 1/2 gal pot $7

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 one leaf, from each plant. The taste is intense and has a different culinary function to the cultivated leek. Needs an area that gets dappled sunlight in spring followed by shade, with moist soil enriched by surface leaf mould. 10 cm pot $6

Amsonia ciliata - Fringed Bluestar
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 - as far north as North Carolina. USDA map It is perfectly hardy here in Huronia. Accommodates to a variety of soils. Sun with some shade. 1 gal $7

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  $7

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 and long-tongued bumble 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 pot $6

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 $7

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger
See under Groundcover

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 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 or part shade. 13 cm pot $6

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 $7

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. 13 cm pot $7

Caulophyllum thalictroides - Blue Cohosh 

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. 1/2 gallon pot $7

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. 1 gal pot $7

Conoclinium coelestinum - Blue Mistflower
70-90 cm Native to points south and west of the Great Lakes* - USDA map. Beautiful flat-top clusters of delicate powder-blue flowers that look like Ageratum. 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, can spread aggressively in moist, open ground. 1 gal pot $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. 20 cm height 1 gal pot $7

Coreopsos tripteris - Tall Coreopsis
A tall (2 metres plus), picturesque plant 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. 1 gal $7

Dicentra cucullaria - Dutchman's Breeches
20-30 cm A woodland spring ephemeral that flowers early before the leaf canopy grows and shades the forest floor - then disappears till next year. Delicate grey-green fronds of foliage, white hanging flowers shaped - they say - like an upside-down pair of breeches. 10 cm pot $6

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. 10 cm pot $6

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. 1 gal $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. 65 cm height in 1 gal pot $7

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 $7

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 $7 

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 (although not the shade ones that are 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. Sun, average soil. 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 pot $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. 1 gal pot $7

Filipendula rubra - Queen of the Prairie
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. 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. 1 gal $9

Fragaria virginica – Wild Strawberry
See under groundcovers

Geum rivale - Water Avens
25-50 cm. Nodding reddish purple flowers in June and July attract bees and other pollinators. A denizen of slow-draining or wet soils. Aromatic root, hairy stem, compound leaves. Rhizome spread forms slowly expanding clumps. Sun or part shade. 1 gal $7

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. Lights up difficult-to-plant dry shady beds and attracts a variety of pollinators, which makes it an excellent plant for the woodland garden. Larval host for the Silvery Checkerspot, Gorgon Checkerspot and Painted Lady butterflies. Spreads by underground rhizomes, is said to be aggressive, but I have found it a boon if grown in shade.  1 gal $7

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 $7

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 $7

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. 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. Full to part sun, average to moist soil. 30 cm height 1 gal pot $7

Lupinus perennis - Wild Lupine  
40-60 cm NOT one of the multi-coloured hybrids. Spikes of blue flowers, 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. Grows in dry sand, tolerant of a wide range of soils. Full sun. 10 cm pot $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 $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 through shade by self-seeding. 1/2 gal $7

Mimulus ringens - Monkey Flower

60-100 cm Bushy plant with pretty mauve flowers that bloom for about a month some time from late June to mid-August. Needs consistent moisture, good for a rain or bog garden. Sun 1 gal pot $7

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 humming birds. Full sun, will tolerate some shade, average to moist soil. Spreads slowly. 1 gal pot $7

Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergamot 
60-80 cm approx Also known as Bee Balm. Soft mauve flowers, sweetly scented, attractive to pollinators - bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A Xerces Society favourite. Flowers all summer long. 1 gal pot $7

Monarda punctata – Spotted Beebalm
30-60 cm Also known as Spotted or Dotted Horsemint. Whorls of cream, maroon-spotted, tubular flowers with showy light pink to lavender bracts. Aromatic foliage can be used for tea. Drought-tolerant pollinator plant. The Great Golden Digger Wasp is one of its visitors. 10 cm pot $6

Oenothera fruticosa – Narrow-leaved Sundrop
To 60 cm No-problem plant with bright yellow flowers that flourishes in poor soil. Member of the Evening Primrose family, but 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 family. No Oenothera, no bee). Songbirds visit for seeds. Sun or shade 1/2 gal $7

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. Natural populations are listed as endangered provincially and federally. Needs full sun, well-drained sand or gravel. Keep clear of weeds, handle with care or prickles will get you. 1/2 gal pot $10

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. 1/2 gal pot. $10 

Penstemon digitalis – Foxglove Beardtongue
80 cm approx Penstemons are one of the most beautiful North American flowering species. Clusters of white bell-shaped flowers on tall erect stems. It's not a member of the foxglove family. Clump-forming, drought-tolerant, sun or part sun/shade, average soils. 1 gal pot $7 

Penstemon hirsutus – Hairy Beardtongue
60 cm approx Lavender bell-shaped flowers, gets its name from the hairs on the stem. A little shorter than the Foxglove Beardtongue, clump-forming, drought-tolerant. Sun or part sun/shade, average soils. 1/2 gal pot $7

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 $5

Phytolacca americana - American Pokeweed
2 m plus - A striking plant that produces long racemes of white or pink flowers, arching over as it ages, followed by shiny dark purple berries. Pollinators come for nectar, songbirds and some mammals enjoy the berries, which are also used to make a dye or ink. A Lorraine Johnson favourite. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans if ingested. External contact is generally not harmful unless the person is especially sensitive. Large leaves, main stem often tinged with purple, deep taproot. Often seen in fences or growing along ditches. Shade or part sun, accommodates to a variety of soils including clay and gravel. 1 gal pot $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, shade 1/2 gal $7

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. 1/2 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. 1/2 gal $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. 1 gal  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 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

Ruellia humilis - Wild Petunia
45 cm Not a petunia. Gorgeous pale lilac petunia-shaped flowers from July to October make this plant a stand-out. Shape is a neat clump, leaves and stems are hairy. Self-seeds.  Native to points south of the Great Lakes* (USDA map). Full sun, flourishes in dry conditions in any type of soil. 1/2 gal $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. 10 cm pot $6

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 $5

Scrophularia marilandica - Carpenter’s Square  
60-150 cm The name comes from its squared-off stem. Also known as Eastern or Late Figwort. 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 part shade, accommodates to a range of soils, including sand, does need some moisture. 9 cm pot $6

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. 10 cm pot $6

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 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. 1/2 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. A lovely purple to offset the yellows of many fall-flowering plants. Accommodates to a variety of soils. 1 gal $7

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

Tiarella cordifolia – 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, 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. Self-seeds. 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. 1 gal pot $7

Trillium grandiflorum - White Trillium ADDED
20-45 cm Ontario's provincial flower - beautifully charismatic. Single large white three-petalled flower above a whorl of three leaves. A plant of deciduous woodlands, it needs dappled sunlight or light shade in spring, and shade for the rest of the year. A surface layer of leaves and other decaying organic material is desirable. Picking the flower can seriously injure or kill the plant. 10 cm pot $7

Verbena hastata – Blue Vervain
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 $7

Vernonia gigantea - Tall Ironweed
160 cm plus or minus. An impressive addition to the fall garden -totally eye-catchingl and wonderfully rich in colour. Clusters of small fluffy, deep purple, composite flowers attract pollinators from August to October. 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 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. 1/2 gal pot. $7

Grasses & Sedges

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. 1 gal $7

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 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 pot $5

Chasmanthium latifolium - Northern Sea Oats
60-150 cm 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 spreads vigorously by underground rhizomes. Prefers partial shade, moist conditions.10 cm pot $7

Elymus canadensis – Canada Wild Rye
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 $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 pot $6

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). 1/2 gal $6 

Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass 
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. Delicate  airy panicles turn bronze in fall. 1 gal $7

Sisyrinchium montanum – Blue-eyed Grass
See under perennials

Schizachyrium scoparium - Little Bluestem
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. 1/2 gal pot $7

Sorghastrum nutans – Indian Grass
100-140 cm A dramatically beautiful tallgrass prairie plant that comes into its own in late August, when tiny golden flowers form on bronze spikelets. 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 $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

Carex muskingumensis - Muskingum Sedge
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

Ferns

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

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 $7 

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 $7  

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. 1.5 gal pot $10 

Groundcovers

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. Spreads aggressively - don't plant unless you can give it space to run, or can contain it, like mint. Medium to moist soil, sun or 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 $4

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. 1/2 gal pot $7

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 $5

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 vesca – Wild Strawberry
A low-growing, spreading groundcover. 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 $5

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. 10 cm pot $6

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 $7

Vines

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. 1/2 gal $7

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 $7

Shrubs

Note: Shrub and tree inventory and quantities are limited as the focus of this nursery shifts towards a specialization in perennials.

Aronia melanocarpa - Black Chokeberry
1-2 m Multi- stemmed shrub, good hedging material, salt tolerant. White flowers tinged with pink in June, glossy green foliage turning deep red in fall, with dark blue berries for which many claims are made regarding health-promoting properties. Good for wildlife. Prefers moist conditions, adaptable to most soils. 60 cm 1 gallon $9

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

Cornus sericea - Red Osier Dogwood
1m 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

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 $7 

Spirea tomentosa – Steeplebush
60-120 cm Showy clusters of pink flowers from July-September attract pollinators. Like other late bloomers, it's of great value to butterflies and other pollinators. Full sun, wet or moist conditions, acidic sandy soil. 1 gal $7

Small Trees

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. 20 cm 1 gal  $7

Prunus virginiana - Chokecherry
8 m Fast-growing suckering tree or shrub with great wildlife value. Pretty white blossoms in spring, purple fruit in fall that is edible but very tart - leave it for the birds! 20 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 if ingested to humans and other mammals. Moist, humusy soil in sun or part shade. 1 gal $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. $9


*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 exclusonary view of natives that may need to move northwards but be unable to keep pace with the accelerating manmade disaster that is climate change. More details on the theory of assisted migration. 

Conifers