Potomac Overlook Garden Plant List

Latin nameCommon nameAttributes
Blooming Forbs
Actaea (Cimicifuga) racemosa Common Black Cohosh, BugbaneGraceful white wands in mid-summer
Allium cernuumNodding onionSummer-blooming nectar source; reseeds
Aquilegia Canadensis Wild or Eastern Red Columbine Attracts bees, butterflies, hawk moths
Arisaema triphyllumJack-in-the-pulpitStatuesque green, late spring bloomer
Asarum canadense Common Wild GingerColonizing shady groundcover
Asclepias incarnataSwamp milkweedHigh nectar and host plant value
Asclepias tuberosaButterfly-weedHigh nectar and host plant value
Baptisia australisBlue Wild IndigoPollinated by queen bumblebees
Chrysogonum virginianum Green and Gold Semi-evergreen groundcover
Dicentra cucullariaDutchman’s Breeches Charming spring ephemeral
Elephantopus carolinianus Elephant’s Foot Late summer, reseeding bloomer
Eurybia divaricataWhite Wood AsterAttracts butterflies with fall bloom
Euthamia graminifoliaGrass-leaved Goldenrod, Common Flat-topLate-season nectar & pollen source
Eutrochium speciesJoe Pye WeedShowy, fragrant, attractive to butterflies
Fragaria virginianaVirginia strawberryHigh nectar and host plant value
Geranium maculatum Wild or Spotted Geranium Special value to native bees
Helenium autumnaleAutumn SneezeweedLate summer nectar and host plant
Iris cristataDwarf Crested IrisDeer resistant; nectar & food source
Jeffersonia diphylla TwinleafUncommon native
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal flowerHummingbirds, late summer blooms
Lobelia siphiliticaGreat Blue LobeliaTolerates shade and moisture; nectar source
Mertensia virginica Virginia BluebellLovely reseeding spring ephemeral
Mitchella repensPartridgeberry Dainty, acid-loving groundcover
Monarda didymaScarlet Beebalm or Oswego TeaSummer-blooming mint; nectar source
Monarda fistulosa Wild BergamotLavender blooms for butterflies and hummingbirds
Monarda punctata Spotted Beebalm or HorsemintPopular for pollinators and predatory wasps
Packera aurea Golden or Heartleaf Ragwort Evergreen groundcover, March bloom
Penstemon digitalisFoxglove, Tall White BeardtongueLong bloom period; valuable nectar plant
Penstemon hirsutusHairy BeardtongueHigh nectar & host plant value
Phlox divaricata Wild Blue or Woodland PhloxAttracts hummingbirds and pollinators
Phlox stolonifera Creeping Phlox Evergreen groundcover, spring bloom
Podophyllum peltatum Mayapple Spring ephemeral, box turtle favorite
Polemonium reptans Spreading Jacobs Ladder Self-seeding spring bloomer
Pycnanthemum incanumHoary Mountain MintMint family; densely packed flowers
Pycnanthemum muticumClustered Mountain MintButterflies and bees love it
Pycnanthemum tenuifoliumNarrow Leaf Mountain MintNectar magnet, fragrant
Rudbeckia fulgidaOrange ConeflowerSummer-blooming; feeds a variety of wildlife
Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot Early spring ephemeral
Sedum ternatum Wild Stonecrop Spreading groundcover
Sisyrinchium angustifoliumBlue-eyed GrassSpring-blooming lily; nectar for native bees
Stylophorum diphyllum Celandine Poppy Yellow spring-bloomer for dense shade
Symphyotrichum novae-angliaeNew England AsterOutstanding fall nectar & pollen source
Thalictrum (Anemonella) thalictroides Rue-anemone Delicate low-growing reseeder
Thalictrum dioicum Early Meadow-rue Tall, delicate fern-like foliage
Tiarella cordifolia Foamflower Spring flowering groundcover
Trillium flexipes Nodding Wake Robin Spring-blooming sturdy perennial
Trillium sessile Toadshade, Sessile TrilliumSpring-blooming, clumping perennial
Waldsteinia [Geum] fragaroidesNorthern or Appalachian Barren StrawberryEvergreen mat-forming ground cover
Zizia aurea Golden AlexanderLarval host to Black Swallowtail
Ferns
Adiantum pedatum Northern Maidenhair FernDelicate texture, sturdy constitution
Diplazium pycnocarponGlade FernRhizomatous fern of rich forests/slopes
Dryopteris goldiana Goldie’s or Giant Wood FernThe giant of our native wood ferns
Dryopteris marginalis Marginal Wood FernSemi-evergreen woodland fern
Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive FernSpreads by rhizomes in deep shade
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum Cinnamon FernTall fern bears fertile fronds in spring
Phegopteris hexagonopteraBroad Beech FernDeciduous woodland fern forms colonies
Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas FernSemi-evergreen tough, adaptable fern
Woodwardia areolata Netted Chain FernDeciduous fern, spreads in moist sites
Grasses and sedges
Carex blandaEastern Woodland SedgeEvergreen clumping sedge; liriope alternative
Carex flaccosperma Thin-fruited or Blue Wood SedgeGood texture, alternative to liriope
Carex plantagineaPlantain-leaved or Seersucker SedgeGood texture, alternative to liriope
Carex roseaRosy SedgeHost plant for skippers & moths
Chasmanthium latifolium River Oats, Northern Oat GrassReseeds liberally; graceful habit
Elymus hystrix Bottlebrush GrassHosts over 30 species of lepidoptera
Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Love GrassClumping grass; hosts Zabulon skipper
Erigeron pulchellus Robin’s PlantainHigh wildlife value, late spring bloom
Panicum virgatum NorthwindSwitchgrass cultivar NorthWindSturdy, compact; hosts skippers & butterflies
Panicum virgatum Purple TearsSwitchgrass cultivar Purple TearsSturdy, compact; hosts skippers & butterflies
Woody plants (trees and shrubs)
Amelanchior canadensis Canada ServiceberryBrilliant fall color, edible fruit
Calycanthus floridusEastern Sweetshrub, Carolina AllspiceFragrant blooms
Catalpa species Catalpa or CatawbaHosts the Catalpa Sphinx moth
Cercis canadensis Eastern RedbudFast growing adaptable tree; spring buds
Cornus amomumSilky DogwoodNourishes bees, birds & butterflies; fragrant
Cornus floridaFlowering DogwoodNourishes bees, birds & butterflies
Hamamelis virginiana Witch HazelBrilliant fall color, late fall bloom
Ilex opaca American HollyUnderstory woodland tree
Itea Virginica Virginia SweetspireSpring bloom, good fall color
Lindera benzoin SpicebushHost for Spicebush & Tiger Swallowtails
Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay MagnoliaFragrant late-spring flowers
Morella cerifera Wax Myrtle, Southern BayberryAromatic foliage & blue berries
Viburnum acerifolium Maple-leaved ViburnumColorful in fall; birds feed on the drupes
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood ViburnumCreamy white flowers, blue-black fruit
Viburnum nudumSouthern Wild Raisin, Possumhaw, WitherodShowy, edible fruits, likes damp spots