I’m continuing the series of posts of native plant lists that Sue Sweeney started for Southern New England. This list is for the Upper Midwest region.
Links to Sue’s Posts:
Native Shrubs for Southern New England
Native Trees for Southern New England
Many of the following shrubs overlap in range and I’ve indicated those as follows:
SNE = Also native to Southern New England
Lead Plant ~ Amorpha canescens
A native of dry to mesic prairies.
Flowers from late June into August.
Height: 2-5 ft
A good candidate for any dry, sandy to loamy soil in full sun.
Nice grey foliage comprised of many small leaflets.
Native to the Dakotas south to the Texas border and eastwards to Missouri and Indiana.
Found in open mesic to dry prairies in moister locations than Lead Plant.
Flowers in late May to the end of June.
Height: 3 ft
Harder to find for sale, Lead Plant is more readily available.
Native to western Minnesota and Iowa and the Dakotas.
Flowers from early May through end of June.
Very showy clusters of 5 parted flowers.
Foliage is dark green and glossy.
Height: 4-7 ft
Pendulous fruit (pome) in late summer. Native to acidic wetlands with sandy soils.
This is often confused with invasive European Buckthorn.
Native to eastern North America, from Minnesota south to Tennessee and eastwards.
Another prairie native of open, dry or sandy sites.
Flowers from July to August.
Height: 3-5 ft
Slow growing and is browsed by rabbits.
I have it growing on my dry, sunny gravel hillside where it does really well.
Native to eastern North America from Minnesota south to Texas and eastwards.
Native to sunny riparian areas with seasonal flooding.
It therefore likes moist soils. Spreads by layering.
Height: 6-15 ft
Flowers from late June until August.
Beautiful round white flower clusters that look like exploding stars.
Native to eastern North America, Texas and Mexico.
A native of dry sandy sites. Spreads by rhizomes.
Flowers from early May to end of July.
The foliage is extremely fragrant and attractive resembling fern fronds.
Height: 1-3 ft
Native to northeastern North America from Minnesota and Wisconsin east to Nova Scotia and south to Virginia.
Flowers from June until late July.
Easy to propagate from softwood cuttings.
Native to eastern North America from Minnesota south to Oklahoma and eastwards.
Found at the edges of woodlands in partial shade. Often colonizes disturbed sites by clonal suckering.
Tolerant of dry to moist sites so very adaptable.
Height: 6-15 ft
Flowers in early June through July. White fruit form in late August.
Native to eastern North America from the Dakotas and Minnesota south to eastern Texas and eastwards.
A locally common native shrub here in the Twin Cities.
Found in woodland understories in medium to dry soils.
Flowers from June until the end of July.
Multi-stemmed plant with a more open, somewhat horizontal branching habit.
Native to northeastern North America from Minnesota south to Iowa and eastwards.
One of my favorites. American Hazelnut flowers before leaf set in early spring. The bright yellow, pollen-filled male catkins hang from the bare branches and dangle in the wind. The tiny female flowers are harder to spot, look for the bright red stigmas.
Flowers from early April to May. Height: 6-15 ft
A native shrub of woodland understories, in medium to dry sites. Spreads by rhizomes forming a suckering multi-stemmed cluster. Edible hazelnuts develop in late August and are sought out by many mammals. Native to eastern North America from the Dakotas south to Arkansas and eastwards.
Found in open, sunny prairies or on the edges of woodlands.
Dry to mesic soils.
Flowers from June to the beginning of August.
Height: 1-3 ft
Spreads by rhizomes forming small colonies. Birds love the rose hips.
Native to central North America from Alberta east to Michigan and southwards.
A native of moist sites on the edges of wetlands and riparian areas in full to partial sun.
Flowers from July to August, large, flat white flower clusters.
Birds love the large purple fruit.
Height: 6-12 ft.
Native to all of eastern US and southern part of eastern Canadian provinces.
Red Elderberry ~ Sambucus racemosa
Red Elderberry flowers much earlier than the American, in April through May. One of the first native shrubs to leaf out in the spring.
The white flowers are conical in shape, and the resulting fruit is bright red forming by early August.
Unlike the American Elderberry, Red Elderberry is an understory native of woodlands, liking medium to dry sites.
Native to western North America from Alaska south to northern California and in the midwest from Minnesota east to Newfoundland and south to Virginia.
A native of woodland understories in sandy to loamy soils.
Tolerant of a lot of shade, it also occurs on the edges of woodlands.
Beautiful bright red to maroon fall foliage color.
Flowers in late May to July. Similar to the eastern V. dentatum in appearance.
Height: 2-8 ft
Native to the upper midwest from Saskatchewan south to Missouri and eastwards.
OTHER NATIVE SHRUBS
Red Osier Dogwood ~ Cornus sericea
American High Bush Cranberry ~ Viburnum trilobum SNE
Snowberry ~ Symphoricarpos albus
Silver Buffaloberry ~ Shepherdia argentea
Winterberry ~ Ilex verticillata SNE
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