OakFern_4.jpg
Credit: Stuart McCall

“Appraise your site and adapt to it; then you’re home free,” says Frank Skelton. He and wife Erin recommend the following natives for B.C. gardens:

(The following plants should be hardy to the zone number indicated. Frank Skelton cautions though that with regard to native plants, habitat is often more significant than temperature, and that the zones given are therefore only rough guidelines. Readers are encouraged to consult the recommended references.)

DRY SHADE

Acer circinatum (vine maple) – zone 6
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) – zone 2
Dicentra formosa (bleeding heart) – zone 4
Linnaea borealis (twinflower) – zone 2
Tsuga mertensiana (mountain hemlock) – zone 6
Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry) – zone 5
Vancouveria hexandra (inside-out flower) – zone 5

DAMP SHADE

Asarum caudatum (wild ginger) – zone 2
Cornus canadensis (bunchberry) – zone 2
Cornus stolonifera (red osier dogwood) – zone 2
Linnaea borealis (twinflower) – zone 2
Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian plum) – zone 6
Smilacina stellata (star-flowered false Solomon’s seal) – zone 3
Trillium ovatum (western trillium) – zone 5
Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry) – zone 5
Viola sempervirens (evergreen violet) – zone 3

DRY SUN

Acer glabrum (Douglas maple) – zone 4
Allium cernuum (nodding onion) – zone 4
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) – zone 2
Philadelphus lewisii (mock orange) – zone 5
Phlox diffusa (creeping phlox) – zone 2
Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant) – zone 6
Sedum oreganum (Oregon stonecrop) – zone 2
Sedum spathulifolium (broadleaf stonecrop) – zone 4
Symphoricarpos albus (snowberry) – zone 3
Tsuga mertensiana (mountain hemlock) – zone 6
Vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry) – zone 7

DAMP SUN

Acer circinatum (vine maple) – zone 6
Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary) – zone 2
Aquilegia formosa (western columbine) – zone 2
Cornus stolonifera (red osier dogwood) – zone 2
Dicentra formosa (bleeding heart) – zone 4
Ledum groenlandicum (Labrador tea) – zone 2 (Labrador tea has just been reclassified as Rhododendron groenlandicum, however all our resources listed and many nurseries still refer to it as Ledum.)
Mimulus guttatus (yellow monkey flower) – zone 6
Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian plum) – zone 6
Sisyrinchium californicum (yellow-eyed grass) – zone 8
Sisyrinchium littorale (shore blue-eyed grass) – zone 4
Vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry) – zone 7
Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry) – zone 2

FERNS - SUN

Cryptogramma crispa (parsley fern) – zone 2

FERNS - SHADE

Adiantum aleuticum (maidenhair fern) – zone 3 (Both western and southern maidenhair fern are better adapted to British Columbia than the east-coast native, Adiantum pedatum, which gradually fades out in our climate. Adiantum aleuticum was once grouped together with A. pedatum and is often still sold under that name, but most botanists recognize it as a different species. How to tell the difference? A. aleuticum has deep sinuses in the blade lobes, but A. pedatum does not.)
Adiantum capillis-veneris (southern maidenhair fern) – zone 8
Adiantum pedatum var. subpumilum (dwarf maidenhair fern) – zone 3
Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort) – zone 5
Blechnum spicant (deer fern) – zone 5
Dryopteris expansa (shield fern) – zone 5
Gymnocarpium dryopteris (oak fern) – zone 4
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern) – zone 3
Polypodium glycyrrhiza (licorice fern) – zone 4
Polystichum munitum (sword fern) – zone 6

OTHER PLANTS MENTIONED

Camassia cusickii (camas) – zone 3
Camassia leichtlinii – zone 4
Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew) – zone 3
Erythronium oregonum (white fawn lily) – zone 3
Erythronium revolutum (pink fawn lily) – zone 5
Holodiscus discolor (ocean spray) – zone 6
Penstemon fruticosus ‘Purple Haze’ (shrubby penstemon) – zone 4
Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant) – zone 6
Spiraea douglasii (hardhack) – zone 5