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Native Plant Recommendations

Native Plant Recommendations

Most Reston residents have shady yards. Here is a list of species that thrive in the shade:

Ground covers

Golden ragwort (Packera aurea)
White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)
Common Blue Wood Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium)
Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Wreath (Bluestem) Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
Flat-topped Goldenrod (S. graminifolia)
Zig-Zag Goldenrod (S. flexicaulis)
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Bottle Gentian (Gentiana clausa)
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrosticoides)
Eastern Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix)
Blue Mist Flower (Conoclinium coelestinum)
Blue Wood Sedge (Carex flaccosperma)
Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

The understory of the forest is made up of low-growing trees and shrubs, which provides food and cover for many species. Below is a list of native shrubs that do well in shady areas.

Native Shrubs

Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
American Hazelnut (Corylus Americana)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)
Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
High Bush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Examples of Alternative Plant Choices

Invasive Exotic

Non-Invasive Alternative

English Ivy

Ginger, Christmas Fern, Creeping phlox, foam flower, woodfern

Norway Maple

Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Blackgum, White Oak, Red Oak, willow oak, American Beech


American Holly, Rhodedendron, Mountain Laurel, Indian Grass

Chinese Wisteria Virginsbower, Leather Flower, Trumpet Creeper, Coral Honey Suckle, Pipevine

Looking for other plant choices?

Check out the Plant NoVA natives booklet. Click the following link to download the booklet for free: The Plant NoVA Natives campaign features plants that have appealing foliage, berries and flowers that can make your landscape unique, attractive and welcoming not only for people, but also for local wildlife. Because they are naturally adapted to our local soils and climate, these native plants are also easy to maintain when given the appropriate growing conditions.

Call us at 703-437-7658 for assistance in finding an attractive, easy-to-care for alternatives to any of the plants on our invasive plants list.