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 in 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 less fertilizers, pesticides or use less water. Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitat. Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.
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.
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).
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.
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
Extremely winter hardy, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) is a slow-growing, creeping, evergreen shrub with trailing red stems studded with small, leathery, shiny, obovate, dark green leaves, up to 1 in. long (2.5 cm). The foliage turns red or purplish 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) 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.
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.
Noted for its vigor and superb elegance, Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern) is a lovely deciduous fern forming a large rosette of upright to arching, lacy, lance-shaped, fresh-green fronds. The stems are generally green, but sometimes display a very interesting red hue.
Very showy when in flower or bearing its fruit, Calla palustris (Water Arum) is a rhizomatous aquatic perennial boasting broadly heart-shaped, lustrous leaves, 6 in. long (15 cm), adorned with pointed tips. The glossy leaves are borne atop floating stems arising from shallow creeping rhizomes.