Native Plants / United Kingdom
United Kingdom 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.
Alisma plantago-aquatica (European Water Plantain) is a robust aquatic perennial forming rosettes of long-stalked, lance-shaped, gray-green leaves to 12 in. in length (30 cm), often splashed with purple. In late spring and throughout the summer, very fragrant, forked, white to very pale pink flowers with rounded tips and smooth or jagged edges, are borne in tall panicles. There are arranged in whorls that form large conical-shaped clouds of white or pink. The long-lasting flowers provide a focal point that gives the pond depth and interest.
More tolerant of part shade conditions than most Aliums, Allium ursinum (Wild Garlic) is a vigorous, bulbous perennial with loose umbels, 2 in. across (5 cm), counting up to 20 star-shaped white flowers. The blossoms are borne on erect, leafless stems and rise above pairs of elliptic, linear, deep green basal leaves. If bruised or crushed, the foliage exudes a strong onion or garlic aroma.
Noted for its remarkable flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark, Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree) is a charming, broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree with four-season ornamental interest. From fall to midwinter, a profusion of drooping clusters of fragrant, bell-shaped, white flowers hang at the tip of the branches. Pollinated by bees, the round, 1 in. fruits (2.5 cm) appear in winter and gradually ripen to yellow to red in twelve months. They are often in color when the new attractive flowers begin to bloom in fall.
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.
Butomus umbellatus (Flowering Rush) is an herbaceous perennial with erect or floating, very long, grassy leaves, up to 3 ft. (90 cm) or more. In summer, large umbels of fragrant, rosy-pink flowers, 1 in. wide (2.5 cm), are borne on stiff stems. The delicate blossoms are pollinated by bees, flies, and lepidopterans. They are followed by beaked fruits which split at maturity to release the seeds.
Award-winning Buxus microphylla 'Faulkner' (Small-Leaved Boxwood) is a dense, compact, evergreen shrub with a lush foliage of small, rounded, dark bluish green, glossy leaves. The foliage retains its rich color most of the year, becoming bronze-tinged in cold winter weather.
Noted for its clouds of delicate flowers, Calamintha nepeta (Lesser Calaminth) is a compact, bushy, rhizomatous perennial with loose clusters of tiny, tubular, two-lipped white or pale lilac flowers. Flowering from late summer until frost, the luminous blossoms are borne on upright stems clad with aromatic, semi-evergreen, ovate gray-green leaves.
Named after the glimmering color of its new spring growth, Calluna vulgaris 'Spring Torch' (Heather) will offer you a fabulous color show all year round. First, its bright, mid-green spring leaves are profusely tipped with yellow, pink and dark red.
Award-winner Campanula glomerata 'Caroline' (Clustered Bellflower) is a spreading perennial with upward facing, bell-shaped, shell pink to lavender flowers held in dense clusters, 5 in. across (12 cm). Blooming mostly from late spring to early summer, the flowers are borne atop sturdy leafy stems above a slowly spreading rosette of heart-shaped soft green leaves.
Delicate and graceful, Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell) is an upright perennial with attractive, bell-shaped, nodding, blue-violet flowers that hang singly or in clusters at the tip of erect stems throughout summer. Slender, the flowering stems often become so weak that the entire plant bends over.