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Native Plants

Oregon Native Plant Society -
Washington Native Plant Society -

Wisconsin Aquatic Plant Policy -
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Easy to Grow, Lincoln County Native Plants that attract birds and can be found in the nursery trade

Common Name and Botanical Name.
Thanks to Master Gardener Bruce Waugh for generously sharing this information!

Key: (A) aggressive, (D) dry, well drained soils, (L) landscape plants with particular value due to their beauty, an admittedly subjective opinion, (S) sun, (SH) shade, (T) thorned, (W) will take wet soils. REMEMBER TO PLANT HEDGEROWS TO ATTRACT AND PROTECT BIRDS that are attracted to each species. Not an exclusive list.

Evergreen trees/large shrubs:
Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga mensiesii: (S) Shade intolerant when young, good wind resistance. Pine siskins, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Creepers. Douglas Fir USDA
Shore Pine Pinus contorta: (S) Grosbeaks, Chickadees, Pigeons, Jays, Juncos, Nuthatches, Finches, Pine siskins, Bushtits, Kinglets, Woodpeckers. Shore Pine USDA
Western Yew Taxus brevifolia: (SH) Takes deep shade. Slow grower. Western Yew USDA
Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata: (W) Will tolerate wet soils, difficult to grow plants beneath. Grosbeaks, Sparrows, Waxwings, Nuthatches, Pine siskins. Western Red Cedar USDA
Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla: (SH) Takes deep shade. Juncos, Finches. Western Hemlock USDA
Wax Myrtle Myrica californica: Flickers, Chickadees, Waxwings, Warblers, Robins. Wax Myrtle USDA (Morella californica)

Large deciduous trees:

Alder Alnus rubra: (W) Fast growing, fixes nitrogen in soil. Ducks, Widgeons, Bushtits, Kinglets, Finches, Pine siskins, Vireos, Warblers, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Pigeons. Alder USDA
Big Leaf Maple Acer macrophyllum: (W) Difficult to grow plants beneath. Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Sparrows, Finches, Pine siskins, Warblers, Vireos. Big Leaf Maple USDA

Small deciduous trees/large deciduous shrubs:
Cascara Rhamnus purshiana: (L) Pretty patio tree. Don't plant over decks as fall fruits stain black. Waxwings, Pigeons, Robins, Thrushes, Finches, Jays. Cascara USDA (Frangula purshiana)
Crab Apple Malus fusca: (D) (S) Geese, Woodpeckers, Sapsuckers, Jays, Robins, Waxwings, Towhees, Finches, Sparrows, Hummingbirds. Crab Apple USDA
Coast Willow Salix hookeriana: (W) Birds attracted to insects on leaves. Coast Willow USDA
Creek Dogwood Cornus stolonifera: (L) (W) Striking red winter twig color on newer growth, Vireos, Warblers, Robins, Flickers, Flycatchers, Wood Ducks, Finches, Quail. Creek Dogwood USDA (Cornus sericea)
Hawthorn Crataegus douglasii: (T) Robins, Waxwings, Wood Ducks, Thrushes. Hawthorn USDA
Hazelnut Corylus cornuta: Jays. Hazelnut USDA
Indian Plum Oemleria cerasiformis: Very early flowering. Jays, Robins, Chickadees. Indian Plum USDA
Oceanspray Holodiscus discolor: (D) Chickadees, Bushtits. Oceanspray USDA
Pacific Ninebark Physocarpus capitatus: (S) Pretty winter bark. Pacific Ninebark USDA
Red Elderberry Sambucus racemosa pubens: (W) Fast growing tropical looking. Sparrows, Thrushes, Warblers, Jays, Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Sapsuckers, Woodpeckers. Red Elderberry USDA
Red Flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum: (D) (L) (S) Hummingbirds. Summer watering after the first year of transplanting may kill. Red Flowering Currant USDA
Salmonberry Rubus spectabilis: (A) (T) Best in middle of hedgerow. Chickadees, Grosbeaks, Jays, Sparrows, Tanagers, Towhees, Waxwings, Thrushes, Woodpeckers, Wrens, Hummingbirds. Swainson's thrush is known as the 'salmonberry bird' in native languages. Salmonberry USDA
Serviceberry Amelanchier alnifolia: (D) (L) (S) Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Thrushes, Towhees, Tanagers, Grosbeaks, Finches, Juncos, Waxwings. Serviceberry USDA
Twinberry Lonicera involucrata: (W) Grosbeaks, Juncos, Waxwings, Thrushes, Towhees, Flickers, Finches, Quail, Hummingbirds. Twinberry USDA
Thimbleberry Rubus parviflorus: (A) Our native raspberry, thornless, See Salmonberry. Thimbleberry USDA
Vine Maple Acer circinatum: (L) Very adaptable cousin to Japanese Maple. Grosbeaks, Vireos, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Finches, Quail. Vine Maple USDA

Small evergreen shrubs:
Evergreen Huckleberry Vaccinium ovatum: (L) Waxwings, Juncos, Jays, Chickadees. Evergreen Huckleberry USDA
Salal Gaultheria shallon: (A) Wrens, Thrushes, Juncos, Pigeons.
Tall Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium: (L) Robins, Finches, Towhees, Hummingbirds. Tall Oregon Grape USDA

Small deciduous shrubs:
Deciduous Huckleberry Vaccinium parvifolium: (L) Robins, Jays. Deciduous Huckleberry USDA
Devils Club Oplopanax horridus: (L) (SH) (T) (W) Bears like the berries too: Unique. Devils Club USDA
Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus: (A) Winter berries, Juncos, Chickadees, Thrushes. Snowberry USDA
Spirea Spiraea douglasii: (A) (S) (W) Pretty pink flowers, provides dense cover. Spirea USDA
Wild Roses Rosa spp.: (A) (S) (T) Hummingbirds, Juncos, Grosbeaks, Quail, Thrushes.

Perennials, Ground Covers, Grasses, and a Vine!
Bleeding Heart Dicentra formosa: (L) (SH) Flowers last longer than the ornamental variety. Bleeding Heart USDA
Bunchberry Cornus canadensis/unalaschkensis: (L) (SH) Needs humus rich soil. Bunchberry USDA
California Poppy Eschscholtzia californica: (A) (L) (S) Self seeds. California Poppy USDA
Coast Penstemon Penstemon serrulatus: (D) (L) (S) Coast Penstemon USDA
Columbine Aquilega formosa: (L) Short lived but can self seed. Hybridizes readily. Columbine USDA
Common Rush Juncus effusus: (A) (W) Common Rush USDA
Fringecup Tellima grandiflora: (A) (L) (SH) Fragrant, looks good year round. Fringecup USDA
Goat's Beard Aruncus sylvester: (L) (SH) (W) Tall, stable looking, herbaceous perennial. Goat's Beard USDA (Aruncus dioicus)
Honeysuckle Lonicera ciliosa: (L) (S) Our native vine with orange flowers. Honeysuckle USDA
Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: (L) (D) (S) Kinnikinnick USDA
Lupine Lupinus spp.: (L) Slugs love. Lupine USDA
Maybud Maianthemum dilatatum: (A) (SH) (W) Sitka spruce forest groundcover. Maybud USDA
Miner's Lettuce Claytonia sibirica: (A) Not only a seed source for birds but also a choice overwintering salad green for bi-pedal humanoids. Miner's Lettuce USDA
Slough Sedge Carex obnupta: (A) (W) Slough Sedge USDA
Strawberry Fragaria chiloensis: (A) Strawberry USDA
Tufted Hairgrass Deschampsia cespitosa: (S) Tufted Hairgrass USDA
Wood Sorrel Oxalis oregana: (A) (SH) Wood Sorrel USDA

Information sources Native Plant Society of Oregon. Bird lists per plant and also a good source for natives.
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast Pojar and Mackinnon, Best ethnobotanical field guide.
Field Guide to Western Birds Roger Tory Peterson
Naturescaping, A Place for Wildlife Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Native Plants in the Coastal Garden April Pettinger, Design ideas and companion plant lists.
Gardening With Native Plants Arthur Kruckeberg, The 'Bible' of NW native gardening.
Landscaping with Nature Jeff Cox, Excellent starter book. Companion plant lists.
Wetland Plants of Oregon/Washington Sara Cooke
Birds in Your Backyard Ted Pettit
The Birders Handbook Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye

Sources for buying native plants: cheap$, average$$, expensive$$$ Oregon native plant nursery master list. Bosky Dell Natives, great website! $$ (503) 683-5945 Willamette Gardens, Esther McEvoy $ (541) 754-0893 Wallace Hansen Nursery, Wally Hansen $$$ (503) 581-2638 Primarily wholesale, Cynthia Lafferty $ (541) 484-9207
Ferris Nursery Wholesale South Beach, Rennie Ferris $ (541) 265-5709

Most 'regular' nurseries now carry at least some natives.
The following usually have a variety of natives to choose from.

Blake's Nursery Gleneden Beach $$ (541) 764-5140
Garland Nursery Corvallis $$ (541) 753-6601
Greer Gardens Eugene $$$ (800) 548-0111
Bloomers Nursery Eugene $ (541) 687-5919
Russell Graham Salem $ (503) 362-1135
Trillium Gardens Pleasant Hill $$ (541) 937-3073

For those who like to grow their own, many natives are easy to propagate.
Grow Your Own Native Landscape, Michael Leigh
Propagation of Pacific Northwest Natives, Rose Chaculski and Haase

At the request of PADL, the above information was first presented on International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 13, 2006 by Master Gardener Bruce Waugh - who has been gardening on the Oregon Coast for over 25 years - former native plant gardener at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and a member of the Lincoln County Mycological Society, Oregon Native Plant Society and The Nature Conservancy. Oregon State University Extension Service manages the Master Gardener program.

Added note about huckleberries for Native Americans:

The Huckleberry Story: A Bridge Between Culture and Science - Oregon State University Extension

Photo: Evergreen Huckleberry (Washington State education)


Publications about plants
GardenSmart Oregon a guide to non-invasive plants
   The publication is a project of the Stop the Invasion campaign: Oregonians taking action to protect our state from invasive species. Available as a downloadable file:

Landscaping to Protect Devils Lake Oregon
   Oregon State University Extension Service and the Devils Lake Water Improvement District
   Information includes Shoreline Structures, Plants, Plants suggested for use in Devils Lake Landscapes - Trees, Ground Covers, Shrubs, Additional shrubs and shrub-trees, Are Lawns and Lakes Compatible? Fertilizer
A little outdated as recommends English holly - which is considered an invasive.
Available at the DLWID office

Plant Materials for Landscaping - A List of Plants for the Pacific Northwest
   A Pacific Northwest Cooperative Extension Publication - Oregon • Washington • Idaho
Classified by: plant height, manner of growth, common name, botanical name, flowering habits, heardiness zones
Prepared by Donald J. Mariel, chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture, retired, and George N. Fredeen, formerly associate professor of landscape architecture, Oregon State University. It is co-published by the Extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho.
Available at the DLWID office


Vegetation of Devils Lake by Bob Storer, former Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) manager.

Aquatic plants are a natural element of lake ecosystems and serve many important functions, including:
1) providing oxygen;
2) stabilizing shorelines and bottom sediments;
3) providing habitat for fish, amphibians, invertebrates, birds, and mammals;
4) reducing nutrients through uptake; and preventing algal blooms.

Devils Lake has a long history of aquatic plant problems. Macrophytes (large vascular aquatic plants) obtain their nutrients from bottom sediments. Aquatic plants will always be a management issue for Devils Lake due to the fact that the lake is very shallow and has an abundance of rich nutrients in the bottom sediments. Devils Lake has also been plagued over the years with several invasive or non-native plant species. Invasive nonnative weeds are plants that have been introduced to this region through human activities, and due to aggressive growth patterns and lack of natural enemies in this region, spread rapidly into native plant habitats. This can reduce habitat diversity, food, and shelter for many fish and wildlife species, and the ability of the natural environment to perform a wide variety of important ecological functions.

Two of the most aggressive nonnative aquatic plant species that have been present in Devils Lake include: Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Brazilian elodea (Egeria densa). Eurasian watermilfoil reproduces vegetatively. Its invasiveness stems from its ability to regrow from tiny fragments. This exotic species has been known to grow up to 20 feet in length! In the years following the introduction of grass carp there was a drastic change in plant community composition in Devils Lake. Brazilian elodea invaded the lake and completely displaced Eurasian watermilfoil.

It is interesting to note that Devils Lake has had native varieties of both of these species. The native species typically are not as aggressive as non-natives and are known for remaining in a relatively balanced setting. Other native species known to have recently inhabited the lake include: Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), Waterweed or common elodea (Elodea canadensis), Water celery (Vallisneria americana), and several species of pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.).

Submerged and floating-leaved plants are rooted in the lake bed with their foliage either suspended below the surface, floating upon it, or both. Pondweeds are a large, variable genera composed of primarily submergent and floating-leaved plants. The stems arise from fibrous roots and are flexible. Pondweeds will often have radically different submergent and floating leaves on the same plant. Underwater leaves are thin and delicate, and floating leaves are tough, leathery, and oval in shape. The flowers are usually in oblong or ball-like species that may be above or just below the water's surface. The habitats of various species of pondweeds vary, but typically pondweeds are found in lakes to a depth of 12 to 15 feet. Pondweeds are an important food source for many waterfowl species. They may also pose a nuisance by forming dense growth, curtailing the recreational uses of lakes.

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) contracted with researchers from Portland State University during 1995-1996 to conduct a revegetation and water quality study. This revegetation study was conducted to determine whether a revegetated lakebed is more resistant to invasion and establishment of Brazilian elodea than an unvegetated lake bed. Grass carp exclosures were established in the northwest arm of the lake in May 1995.
Four planting treatments were applied to the exclosures:
1) Sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus)
2) Water celery (Vallisneria americana)
3) Sago pondweed plus water celery, and
4) a control with no planting

The revegetation study indicated that the lake bed will become quickly revegetated if grass carp are removed from the lake. A number of native species colonized the grass carp exclosures. Planting the exclosures did not result in establishment of the planted species. Rather, "volunteer" species dominated the exclosures. Brazilian elodea, when introduced into the exclosures, did not become established. Eurasian watermilfoil did establish in one exclosure as a volunteer species.

A stand of low-growing waterwort (Elatine sp.) was present within the exclosures in 1995. Waterwort was even found outside the exclosures, suggesting that it is relatively unpalatable for grass carp. Other species commonly found in the exclosures included: Najas spp., Nitella spp., and Calitriche spp.

Year-to-year changes in the composition of the macrophyte community in the exclosures indicated that plant community composition is highly dynamic in the short-term, and that development of a stable plant community after grass carp removal may require several years. We do know now that too many grass carp were introduced into Devils Lake. As a result, the complete eradication of all the submersed aquatic plants has occurred. This has subsequently led to the drastic decline in the warmwater fishery and the drastic increase in the frequency and severity of algal blooms. So where do we go from here? The lake is out of balance once again, and I believe we need to re-establish a balanced population of native aquatic plants. This in terms of lake and watershed management techniques is easier said than done. We also need to develop and permanently install warning signs at all public boat launch areas around the lake. These signs would help to educate and alert boaters about the problems associated with nonnative aquatic plant species. For example, Eurasian watermilfoil is commonly spread by careless boaters who do not remove milfoil fragments from their boat or trailer when leaving an infested lake. Aquatic plant management should be approached in an integrated manner to ensure balance of uses and protection of natural resources - there are no quick fixes.

There are four types of aquatic plant control techniques: physical, chemical, mechanical, and biological. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages. The most effective long-term control of aquatic plants assesses a variety of control measures in combination with source controls of sediment and nutrients. Controlling watershed sources through the use of best management practices (BMPs) is essential to the long-term health and sustainability of a lake ecosystem.

A lake cannot be all things to all people. Dependent upon where you live and how you use the lake may very well determine how you will view and accept or tolerate certain types of plants in various locations throughout the lake. A bass fisher welcomes a diverse plant community to provide structure and habitat for the fishery. A water-skier or sailboat owner may not. There are some aquatic plants and emergent species that only grow in the nearshore areas such as pondlilies and yellow iris and several submergent species that typically grow relatively low in relation to the bottom. These include: waterweed or elodea, bushy pondweed or naiad, and nitella spp. These species might be ideally suited in Devils Lake. They have the potential to provide the plant benefit without significantly impacting the recreational uses of the lake. Only time may perhaps tell what will become of the aquatic plant community composition in Devils Lake. I believe we must continue to educate, monitor, and evaluate.

In some respects, the future aquatic plant composition will not be up to us. On the other hand, we contribute to the problem and we must begin to change our behaviors. Simple things we all can do:
• maintain your on-site septic system
• cover up exposed soil areas
• reduce the amount of fertilizer use on lawns and gardens and
• maintain or replant a native vegetative buffer along the lake shoreline.


Blue Green Thumb Watershed Education Program -
A program of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
Copyright © 2003-2010 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367