Plants Commonly Found on Puget Sound Shoreland Sites

The following list illustrates the great diversity of plants found growing on Puget Sound bluff sites. There are many others that you may be familiar with that are not listed here. The influences of the Sound's intricate waterways and the surrounding mountains foster a multitude of species in the area. Some are found only in long-protected spots while others are seen almost everywhere.

Representative trees, shrubs, and herbaceous growth have been included to furnish readers with information on the plants that may be encountered on their property. The sprouting, rooting, and erosion control information is the result of observations by the author, verified through research and technical material where possible. The age and height listed for shrub and tree species are from varies sources. They are furnished to indicate general longevity and approximate size at maturity. Remember that many climatic and site factors can influence plant characteristics. Heights may vary considerably.

The plants listed here are not necessarily the most valuable species possible for erosion control, wildlife, or aesthetics. They are simply common throughout the area. Some of the most common shrubs are invasive, non-native plants that are becoming widespread problems. These are indicated by an asterisk (*). They should never be planted and should be discouraged where possible.

Readers who are interested in more detailed information on Northwest and Puget Sound flora can refer to Recommended Reading and Web Links. There are several excellent field guides available as well.

Herbaceous Plants

Common Name

Botanical Name Native/
Non-
native
Deciduous/ Evergreen Rooting Habitat** Erosion Control Ground Cover Quality
Sword Fern Polystichum munitum Native Evergreen Shallow Fair Good
*English Ivy Hedra helix Non Evergreen Shallow-moderate Poor Good
Honeysuckle Lonicera spp. Native Deciduous Shallow-moderate Fair Fair
Nettle Urtica spp. Native Deciduous Wide, very shallow Poor Poor
Foxglove igitalis purpurea Non Deciduous Very shallow Poor Poor
Perennial pea Lathyrus spp. Non Deciduous Shallow-moderate Fair Fair
Bracken Fern Pteridium aquilimum Native Deciduous Shallow Fair Poor
*Horsetail Equisetum spp. Mostly non Deciduous Wide, shallow Poor Fair
*Grasses Various Mostly non Evergreen Shallow-moderate Fair Excellent (low)


Shrubs & Small Trees

Common Name Botanical Name Native/ Non-native Deciduous/ Evergreen Rooting Habitat** Erosion Control Ground Cover Quality Capa-city to Sprout Mature Height (ft)
Trailing Blackberry Rubus ursinus Native Semi-deciduous Shallow Fair Good Yes Vine
*Himalaya Blackberry Rubus discolor Non Semi-Evergreen Moderate Poor Good Yes Vine-cane
Vine Maple Acer circinatum Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Fair Yes 10+
Ocean-spray Holodiscus discolor Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Good Yes 10+
*Scot's Broom Cytisus scoparius Non Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Good Yes To 8
Willow Salix spp. Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Fair/Good Yes 10+
Snowberry Symphori-carposalbus Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Excellent Yes 3+
Rose Rosa spp. Native Deciduous Shallow-moderate Good Good Yes 2-10
Elderberry Sambucus spp. Native Deciduous Moderate Fair Poor Yes To 15
Salmon-berry Rubus spectabilis Native Deciduous Moderate Good Fair Yes To 12
Salal Gaultheria shallon Native Evergreen Shallow-moderate, dense Good Excellent Minor To 4
Oregon Grape Mahonia spp. Native Evergreen Shallow-moderate Good Good Minor To 6
Butterfly Bush Buddleia spp. Non Deciduous Moderate Fair Fair Yes 6
Red Huckle-berrry Vaccinium parvifolium Native Deciduous Moderate, wide Good Fair Yes To 12
Evergreen Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum Native Evergreen Moderate, wide Excellent Good Minor To 8
Devil's Club Oplopanax horridum Native Deciduous Wide, shallow Fair Good Yes To 12
Serviceberry Amelan-chier alnifolia Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Fair Yes 12+


Trees

Common Name Botanical Name Native/
Non-native
Deciduous/ Evergreen Rooting Habitat** Erosion Control Quality Cap-acity to Sprout Mature Height (ft) Long-evity (years)
Oregon White Oak Quercus garryana Native Deciduous Deep, sparse Good Minor 60 200+
Grand Fir Abies grandis Native Evergreen/ Conifer Moderate Good No 200+ 300+
Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii Native Evergreen/ Conifer Deep Good No 200+ 300+
Bigleaf Maple Acer macrophyllum Native Deciduous Deep, wide Excellent Yes 60 200+
Red Alder Alnus rubra Native Deciduous Shallow-moderate
Tolerates wet sites
Fair Yes 50-100 65
Bitter Cherry Prunus emarginata Native Deciduous Shallow-moderate Fair No 50 50
Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla Native Evergreen/ Conifer Shallow-moderate Good No 150 300+
Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis Native Evergreen/ Conifer Shallow-moderate
Tolerates wet sites
Good No 100+ 300+
Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata Native Evergreen/ Conifer Moderate, wide
Tolerates wet sites
Good Yes 100+ 350+
Pacific Madrone Arbutus menziesii Native Evergreen/ Broad-leaved Deep, wide, tenacious Excellent Minor 70+ 200+
Pacific Yew Taxus brevifolia Native Evergreen/ Conifer Deep, wide Excellent Minor 30+ 250+
Willow Salix spp. Native Deciduous Moderate, wide
Tolerates wet sites
Excellent Yes 50+ 60
Black Cottonwood Populus trichocarpa Native Deciduous Wide
Wet sites
Fair Yes 140 200
Shore Pine Pinus contorta Native Evergreen/ Conifer Deep, wide Good No 30+ 200
Western White Pine Pinus monticola Native Evergreen/ Conifer Deep, wide Good No 150+ 250+
English Holly Ilex aquifolium Non Evergreen/ Broad-leaved Moderate Good Minor 40 150
 

*Invasive, do not plant.
**Please note that the depth and character of the roots are determined more by soil conditions than species characteristics.

Previous page > Next page

 

Back to top