Create Your Garden

Recommended Sun-Loving Native Annuals and Perennials for Virginia’s Northern Piedmont Region

About 25 percent of the plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.

Native Plants, Native Perennials, Native Annuals, Virginia Native Plant, Virginia Native Perennials, Virginia Native Annuals, Sun Perennials, Sun Annuals

Virginia is divided into seven main ecological regions: the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Southeastern Plains, the Piedmont, the Northern Piedmont, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Ridge and Valley, and the Appalachian Plateau. Unique in topography, soil depth, pH, elevation, light, and hydrology, each region provides a rich variety of ecological habitats, supporting many native plant species.

Virginia's Northern Piedmont Region encompasses a large portion of the Northern Piedmont as well as a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It includes the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Greene, Louisa, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Buckingham.

Piedmont is Virginia’s largest region. It is a region of low rounded hills, irregular plains, and open valleys. The region’s bedrock is composed of a variety of rocks covered by a thick blanket of deeply weathered rock that has been chemically changed by Piedmont’s humid climate. Northern Piedmont is a transitional region of low rounded hills, irregular plains, and open valleys in contrast to the low mountains of ecoregions to the north and west and the flat coastal plains of the ecoregion to the east.

The Blue Ridge Mountains extend from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia, varying from narrow ridges to hilly plateaus to more massive mountainous areas with high peaks. The mostly forested slopes, high-gradient, cool, clear streams, and rugged terrain occur on a mix of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary geology.

Virginia's Northern Piedmont Region is home to many species of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. It can also support many non-native species which are beginning to make their way across the landscape. Regrettably, some of these exotic immigrants are invasive and are threatening the native flora and ecology of the state.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. Invasive species compete directly with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and space. They displace and alter native plant communities, degrade wildlife habitat and water quality, and potentially lead to increased soil erosion.

The federal government has estimated that nearly 25 percent of the 20,000 plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction, many of these through habitat loss. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.

A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human introduction. There are many benefits to growing native plants.

  • First, these plants are better adapted to soils, moisture, and weather than exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world. They need fewer fertilizers, and pesticides or use less water.
  • Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitats.
  • Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.

Here is a list of sun-loving native annuals and perennials that are well-suited for plantings in gardens of Virginia's Northern Piedmont Region.

  • Never collect native plants from the wild as it will deplete natural ecosystems. 
  • When possible, plant species grown straight from local seed sources. These native originals are the best choice, as they co-evolved with specific wildlife, which supports migration, breeding, and other seasonal interdependencies.

 

Guide Information

Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Native Plants Southeast, United States, Virginia

Recommended Sun-Loving Native Annuals and Perennials for Virginia's Northern Piedmont Region

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea)
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower)
Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf Tickseed)
Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf Coreopsis)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Common Boneset)
Euthamia graminifolia (Grass-Leaved Goldenrod)
Eutrochium fistulosum (Joe-Pye Weed)
Eutrochium purpureum (Sweet-Scented Joe-Pye Weed)
Fragaria virginiana (Scarlet Strawberry)
Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower)
Hibiscus moscheutos (Hardy Hibiscus)
Iris versicolor (Blue Flag)
Iris virginica (Southern Blue Flag)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Bee Balm)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Monarda punctata (Spotted Bee Balm)
Oenothera fruticosa (Sundrops)
Orontium aquaticum (Golden Club)
Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort)
Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue)
Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox)
Pontederia cordata (Pickerel Weed)
Pycnanthemum incanum (Silverleaf Mountain Mint)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Narrowleaf Mountain Mint)
Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia Mountain Mint)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Sagittaria latifolia (American Arrowhead)
Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf Sage)
Solidago nemoralis (Gray Goldenrod)
Solidago odora (Sweet Goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (Rough Goldenrod)
Solidago speciosa (Showy Goldenrod)
Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Blue Aster)
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Aromatic Aster)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed)

Discover more beautiful Virginia native plants

Virginia native plants

Plant Finder

Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Middle South Upper South
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Native Plants Southeast, United States, Virginia
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Middle South Upper South

Related Items

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone