“With so much under threat from a changing climate, invasive species, habitat loss and fragmentation, and declining numbers of birds and insects, planting natives in your garden shows that you are trying to make a difference.  Native plants have the power to heal our landscapes, welcome wildlife into our gardens, and inspire us”.  (The Northeast Native Plant Primer by Uri Lorimer)

Why plant Native Plants?

By definition, a native Pennsylvania plant is one that grew in Pennsylvania before the European settlers arrived, as opposed to exotic plants which came from other countries after that time period.  Natives have many advantages. Because they evolved here, they are well-adapted to our climate and are generally easy to care for once they are established.  Many native perennials like less fertile soil and require the addition of little or no fertilizer.  Perhaps the most compelling reason to choose natives is to preserved Pennsylvania’s biodiversity.  (Penn State Extension)

We have expanded a bit on the definition of “native” to include plants which are native to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  Scroll way down for the list of Native Plants found in the park as of 2022!

Books that might interest you:

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

by Douglas W. Tallamy

Weeds of the Northeast

by Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal, and Joseph M. DiTomaso

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

by Douglas W. Tallamy

The Edible Ecosystem Solution: Growing Biodiversity in Your Backyard and Beyond 

by Zach Loeks

Garden Revolution: How our Landscapes can be a Source of Environmental Change

by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

 A Gardener’s Guide to Native Plants of Northeastern Pennsylvania

by Geoffrey Mehl

Native Plants of the Northeast: a Guide for Gardening and Conservation 

by Donald J. Leopold

Native Perennials found in High School Park (as of 2022)

Anemone canadensis (Canada Anemone)

Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit)

Aruncus dioicus (Goat’s Beard)

Asarum canadense (Wild Ginger)                                              

Aster cordifolius (Blue Wood Aster)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)

Aster divaricatus (White Wood Aster)

Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)

Aster oblongifolius (Aromatic Aster)

Baptisia australis (Blue wild indigo)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea)

Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead)

Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ (Pink Turtlehead)

Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower)

Coreopsis verticillata (Tickseed)

Dicentra eximia (Wild Bleeding heart)

Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting Star)

Erythronium rostram (Yellow Trout Lily)

Gentiana andrewsii (Closed Bottle Gentian)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe-pye weed)

Geranium maculatum (Wild geranium)

Heliopsis helianthoides (Ox-eye sunflower)

Heuchera americana (Coral bells)

Hibiscus coccineus (Scarlet Rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutus (Swamp Rose Mallow)

Iris cristata (Dwarf crested iris)

Jeffersonia diphylla (Twinleaf)

Liatris spicata (Marsh blazing star)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort)

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny Spurge)

Penstemon digitalis (Tall White Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis (‘Husker Red’ Beardtongue)

Phlox paniculata (summer phlox)

Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ (Moss Phlox)

Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Pink’ (Moss Phlox)

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

Polemonium reptans (Jacob’s ladder)

Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon’s seal)

Pycanthemum tenuifolium (Slender mountain mint)

Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-eyed Susan)

Sedum ternatum ‘Larinem Park’ (Woodland Stonecrop)                  

Smilacina racemosa (False Solomon’s Seal)

Solidago speciosa (Goldenrod)

Solidago rigida (Stiff Goldenrod)

Tiarella cordifolia (Foam flower)

Vernonia noveboracensis (NY Ironweed)

Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver’s root)

Viola labradorica (Labrador Violet)

Zizia aurea (Golden Alexander)

Native Grasses/Sedges:

Andropogon gerardi (Big Bluestem)

Carex grayii (Gray’s sedge)

Carex pennsylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern Sea Oats)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)

Native Ferns:

Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern) 

Dryopteris marginalis (Marginal Wood Fern) 

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) 

Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)