Native Plants / Alaska
Alaska Native Plants
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.
Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow)
Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow) is a graceful perennial wildflower that produces an abundance of huge, flat clusters, 5 in. across (12 cm), packed with 20-25 creamy-white flowers.
Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)
Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag) is a spreading, marginal aquatic perennial forming a tuft of erect, sword-shaped, bright green leaves adorned with one slightly wavy edge and a prominent midrib. In late spring, this plant bears inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers in finger-like inflorescences, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), which give way to tiny, reddish berries. Both the crushed foliage and rootstocks have a pleasant aromatic fragrance. A great choice for naturalizing, Sweet Flag is quite versatile in the garden and makes a decorative foliage accent in water gardens and around ponds.
Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry)
Perfect for shade gardens, Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry) is herbaceous perennial forming bushy clumps of finely divided, bright green foliage, enhanced by clusters of small fluffy white flowers in late spring and early summer. Borne on conspicuous red stems which rise above the foliage, they give way to pea-sized glossy scarlet berries in summer.
Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern)
Incredibly attractive, Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen, perennial fern with graceful, bright green fronds which open like the fingers of a hand atop upright, shiny, purple-black wiry stems. Each finger is further divided into a series of triangular segments (pinnules).
Alnus rubra (Red Alder)
Fast-growing, Alnus rubra (Red Alder) is a medium-sized deciduous tree of graceful habit with a straight trunk and a pointed or rounded crown with rather pendulous branches. The thin bark is smooth, mottled, light gray to whitish, and often covered with green moss. The wood, when bruised, turns a rusty red color, which is how the tree gets its name. The foliage of ovate, dark green leaves is rust-colored and hairy beneath, with coarsely toothed margins that are rolled under.
Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry)
Domesticated for fruit production, Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry) is a deciduous, upright, suckering shrub with four seasons of interest. In mid-spring, compact clusters of fragrant, white flowers emerge just before the leaves.
Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
Ideal to complement colorful perennials in beds or borders, award-winner Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is a rewarding bushy perennial topped with bountiful clusters of long-lasting, buttonlike flowers which are perfect for dried floral arrangements.
Anemone multifida (Pacific Anemone)
Anemone multifida (Pacific Anemone) is a charming herbaceous perennial forming loose clumps of slender, silky stems clad with long-petioled, finely divided downy leaves. In late spring to late summer, solitary, silky, poppy-like flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), greenish, yellowish or purplish outside, yellowish-white inside, appear for several weeks atop the stems.
Anemone parviflora (Small-Flowered Anemone)
Anemone parviflora (Small-Flowered Anemone) is a charming herbaceous perennial boasting solitary, poppy-like flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), with a central boss of yellow stamens. White above, the blossoms are silky and tinged with blue below. Blooming in late spring to late summer, they are borne atop sturdy stems rising from a small clump of glossy, dark green, three-parted basal leaves.
Antennaria dioica (Pussy Toes)
Tough and well-behaved, Antennaria dioica (Pussy Toes) is a semi-evergreen perennial forming a beautiful carpet of small, spoon-shaped, silver-gray leaves with a blue cast, 1 in. long (2.5 cm), and white-hairy undersides.
Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine)
Native to Western North America, Aquilegia Formosa, commonly known as 'Western Columbine', features masses of pendant, glowing red and soft yellow flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with straight spurs and bushy golden stamens. They rise elegantly on long, thin stems above a lovely fern-like bluish-green foliage and bloom for weeks from late spring to early summer
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
Extremely winter hardy, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) is a slow-growing, creeping, evergreen shrub with trailing red stems studded with small, leathery, glossy, obovate, dark green leaves, up to 1 in. long (2.5 cm). The foliage turns red or purple in winter before becoming green again in spring. Pretty clusters of lantern-shaped, white-to-pink flowers hang gracefully from the short red stems in mid to late spring.
Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift)
Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift) is a compact, evergreen perennial boasting round clusters of pink to lavender (or sometimes white) flowers borne atop slender stalks that rise well above the foliage. Blooming profusely in mid to late spring, sporadic additional flowering may occur throughout the summer.
Artemisia frigida (Prairie Sagebrush)
Artemisia frigida (Prairie Sagebrush) is a low-growing, semi-evergreen, woody-based perennial forming a tuft of deeply-divided, soft, woolly, silver-white leaves. The fine-textured foliage is aromatic (camphor-scented). In summer, small, yellow flower heads are borne in nodding racemes or open panicles, but they are ornamentally insignificant and are best cut off to keep the foliage at its best.
Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort)
One of the finest miniature ferns, award-winning Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort) is an evergreen fern forming a pretty rosette of long, slender, tapering fronds adorned with glossy black stems boasting many small, rounded or oblong, bright green pinnae. It remains lush and fresh-looking throughout the year.