Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Spring Blooming Native Plants of Philadelphia

Red Columbine
Red Columbine

This is a selected list of blooming plants indigenous to the City of Philadelphia. It is not a list of all plants native to the City, but plants that are readily available as plants or seeds for plant nurseries. There are other plants native to the surrounding area, that are fine to add to Philadelphia gardens. These plants are indigenous to the Atlantic Coastal Plain and smaller area of Piedmont Upland of the northwest section of the city.

 

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) blooms in the spring. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) blooms in the spring. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Botanical name – Common name – flower color – height – light- soil

Trees – tall canopy trees

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree), green with orange centers – height 100+ feet – sun – moist

Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust), white pea-like flowers – height to 75 feet – sun – moist

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Trees – small understory trees suitable to plant near houses and buildings

Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye) – red tubular flowers-sun/part sun-height 10′ – 25′- (native range south of Phila., but does well here)

Amelanchier canadensis (Downy Serviceberry or Shadbush) – white flowers-15-25′-full sun to part shade

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) – deep pink flowers – 25′ – sun to shade – moist soil

Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur Hawthorn) – white flowers – 30′ – sun – dry to moist soil – dry to moist

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) – white flowers – height varies – sun to light shade – moist

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) – large white flowers -10-20′ – sun to shade – moist soil

Malus spp. (Flowering Crabapple), color varies – height varies – light sun/part shade – moist

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry) – white flowers – 20′ – sun – moist to dry soil – dry to moist

Shrubs

Cephalanthus occendentalis (Buttonbush) – white – 9′- sun – moist

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) – deep pink – 25’ – sun to shade – moist

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood), white – 3′ – 10′ – sun/light shade – moist

Lindera benzoin (Spicebush) – yellow – 6-12’ – sun to shade – moist

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) white – 25’+ – sun/shade – moist

Rhododendron calendulaceum (Flame Azalea) – 10’ – sun/pt. shade – moist

Rhododendron periclymenoides (Pinxter Azalea) – 8’ – sun/pt. shade – dry/wet

Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood Virburnum), white – 6′ – 12′  – light shade/sun – dry/moist

Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberrybush)  white – 5′ – 15′ – sun, part sun – moist

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Photo by Donna L. Long.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Photo by Donna L. Long.

Flowers (Herbaceous)

Acontium uncinatum – (Eastern Monkshood) – blue – 36” – sun/pt. shade – moist

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern Columbine) – red/yellow – 10-24” – sun/part. shade – moist

Baptisa australis (Blue False Indigo) – violet/blue – 36-48” – sun/pt. shade – moist/dry

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches) – pink – 3-6” – shade/pt. sun – moist

Dicentra eximia (Fringed Bleeding Heart) – pink – 12” – shade to sun – moist

Dodecatheon media (Shooting Star) – white, pink, or lilac – 8-14” – shade – moist

Heuchera species (Coral Bells), red – 2′ – part sun/shade – moist

Iris versicolor (Blue Flag Iris) – blue-violet flowers – 1-3′ – full sun – moist soil

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) – red – 1-3′ – sun/part shade – moist

Lupine (Lupinus spp.), varies, sun, height varies

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) – pink to blue flowers – 1-2′ – part to full shade – moist soil

Oenothera fruticosa (Sundrops) – yellow flowers 1-2′ – full sun – moist/dry

Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardstongue) – white – 24-48″ – sun to partial shade – moist

Penstemon hirsute (Hairy Beardtongue) – purple-violet flowers – 24-48″ –  full sun/pt. shade – dry

Polemonium reptant (Jacob’s Ladder) – deep blue flowers 6-18″ – full to part shade; moist soil

Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s seal) – white-greenish -1-3′ – full to part shade – moist

Senecio aureus (Golden ragwort)  – yellow – 1-3′; shade to sun; moist soil

Silene virginica (Fire Pink), red, 1 – 2’  – sun/pt. shade – moist

Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon Seal) – white – 1 – 3’ – shade/pt. sun – moist

Spigela marilandica (Indian Pink), red – 2-18″ – part sun/light shade – moist

Tiarella cordifolia (Heart-leaf Foamflower) – white – 3-10” – sun/shade – moist

Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort) – 1-3′ – purple – pt./full shade – dry

Trillium spp. shade – moist soil

Zizia aura (Golden Alexander) – yellow flowers 1-3’ – sun/shade – moist

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). Photo by Donna L. Long.
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). Photo by Donna L. Long.

Ground Covers

Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry) – white flowers 4-10” – partial sun/shade – moist

Jeffersonia diphylla (Twinleaf) – white flowers – 12-18” – shade/pt. sun – moist soil

Mahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia) – yellow flowers – 2-3” – sun/shade –

Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox) – pink – 6-10” – pt.sun/shade – moist

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple) – white flowers 1-2’ – shade – moist

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot) – white flowers – 3-6″ – shade – moist

Sedum ternatum (Wild Stone Crop) – white flowers – 3-8″ – sun/pt. shade – moist

Viola blanda. (Sweet White Violet) – white flowers – to 1′ – sun/shade – moist

Viola, various species

Vines

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), orange-red – 4′ – 15′ – sun/partial sun – moist

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