Eco-enhancing Garden and Landscaping Plants Native to North America
America Plants, a home grown Philadelphia nursery, provides the Philadelphia area with American plants, including many unique garden and meadow species not commonly available from other suppliers.
As the planet changes, so does its vegetation. We offer plants grown in Pennsylvania from seeds collected east of the Mississippi River and north of Mexico. Did you know that many of our mid-Atlantic garden favorites, such as Purple Coneflower, many Sunflowers, and Asters, were introduced from the South and West?
Today the definition of "native" broadens as climate change rearranges ecosystems, causing plant species to shift their range from warm to warmer and drier to moister. This also brings more native plants to your gardens, landscapes and restoration sites. For instance, there are three commonly sold native Blazing Star (Liatris) species out of eighteen available. America Plants offers some additional species of Liatris to the list.
But for now, we grow from seed on a small scale so our plants run out quickly. We keep the "availability list" as up to date as possible. So check it out below and call for inquiries.
Plants available year round.
Next Plant Sale June 2020
654 Summit Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Phone/Text: 347-819-3934 for availability
The following plants will be available for Spring 2020:
Shade tolerant plants are at the end of the list. If you get the America Plants e-mails you will be updated before the spring plant sale. If you want to be on the mailing list send that request to
Ozark Bluestar Amsonia illustris
Colorado Columbine Aquilegia caerulea
Tall Milkweed Asclepias exaltata
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata
Oval-leaf Milkweed Asclepias ovalifolia
Purple Milkweed Asclepias purpurascens
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
Whorled Milkweed Asclepias verticillata
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae
Pasture Thistle Cirsium discolor
Lance-leaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
Tall Larkspur Delphinium exaltatum
Prairie Larkspur Delphinium virescens
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpureum
Tall Sunflower Helianthus gigantea
Meadow Blazing Star Liatris ligulistylis
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya
Northern Blazing Star Liatris scariosa
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Foxglove Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis
Large Flower Beardtongue Penstemon grandiflorus
Wild Sweet William Phlox maculata
Western Ipecac Porteranthus stipulata
Slender Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
Virginia Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum virginianum
Long-headed Coneflower Ratibida columnifera
Green-headed Coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata
Sweet Coneflower Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Thin-leaf Coneflower Rudbeckia triloba
Prairie Ragwort Senecio plattensis
Royal Catchfly Silene regia
Starry Campion Silene stellata
Fire Pink Silene virginica
Rosinweed Silphium integrifolium
Wingstem Verbesenia alternifolia
Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima
Missouri Ironweed Vernonia missurica
Shade or Sun
Tall Thimbleweed Anemone virginiana
Heart-leaf Aster Aster cordifolius
Drummond Aster Aster drummondii
Tall Bellflower Campanula americana
Bottlebrush Sedge Carex retrorsa
Bottlebrush Grass Elymus hystrix
Fringed Loosestrife Lysimachia ciliata
Virginia Waterleaf Hydrophyllum virginianum
Jacob’s Ladder Polemonium reptans
Heart-leaf Skullcap Scutellaria ovata
Celandine Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum
Wretah Goldenrod Solidago caesia
Zigzag Goldenrod Solidago flexicaulis
Flower pick of the season
Not all species illustrated are available; and not all available species are illustrated. Check availability list above.
Amsonia illustris 2-3 ft.
A lovely addition to the commonly planted Blue-star (A. Tabernaemontana). It's species name meaning lustrous and its blue-tinged white flowers a more delicate treat. It is a cousin of the Milkweeds.
Aquilegia caerulea 2 ft.
This lovely state flower of Colorado grows naturally in higher elevations but will do fine in Philadelphia’s wide range of garden soils. The attractive bi-colored, blue and white flowers are a good selection for hummingbird gardens.
4 - 5 ft.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation recognizes Wingstem as having special value to pollinators because it supports a great diversity of bees and wasps, and is a host plant for Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot butterfly,) Celastrina neglecta (Summer Azure butterfly,) and Basilodes pepita(Gold Moth.)
Asclepias tuberosa 1 - 2 ft.
One of the most notable orange blossoms in nature. Butterfly Weed thrives in drier, well-drained meadows. Its long tap root extends a foot or more protecting it from drought. They can be transplanted if dug carefully during dormancy but if enough root material is left behind they will regrow.
A fantastic Milkweed for sunny, dry open sites they can grow up to 20 stems two feet high. A must have plant for every pollinator garden.
Asclepias incarnata 3 - 5 ft.
Prefers moist but will do well in any fertile soil. This is the local Monarch butterfly favorite in this region. It is not too fussy about where it grows. As with many wetland plants it will tolerate diverse soil types, but not too dry.
Asclepias exaltata 3-5ft.
Grows best in dappled or indirect sunlight in medium dry soil. It’s white flowers and tall stature make it a unique woodland wildflower with all the benefits of other milkweeds.
Asclepias ovalifolia 2 ft.
A petite, unique and rare plant, prefers dry soil in sun or partial shade. The whitish green blossoms attract milkweed pollinators. Works well with Coreopsis and Anemone.
Asclepias speciosa 2-4 ft,
Looks similar to Common Milkweed (A. syriaca) but not as aggressive. Grows with a tap root rather than rhizomes. The flowers have longer petals this more showy than A. syriaca.
Asclepias purpurascens 3 ft.
Looks similar to Common Milkweed but is not aggressive, and the blossoms make it a much sought-after plant. A riot of color and texture when massed. Attracts a variety of pollinators large and small.
Asclepias verticillata 2 ft.
If a plant can be called handsome, this is it. Interesting white flowers with whorled thin leaves. Unique in itself, Monarchs and other pollinators use it.
Coreopsis lanceolata 2 ft.
An attractive and tough meadow plant often included in meadow seed mixes. It's 2" blossoms make it a popular garden plant for late spring. It is historically native farther west but now common throughout.
Cirsium discolor 4 ft.
One of the few native thistles too often mistaken for the invasive Bull Thistle and Canada Thistle. A boon to bees, moths, butterflies, hummingbirds that adds texture and soft color to open areas. Less prickly than the weedy, non-native thistles.
Delphinium exaltatum 3-4 ft.
Full sun in medium soil, it blooms later than other Delphiniums. Its blossoms range from purple, to violet, to lavender and for that reason it is excellent in a mass planting. Attracts hummingbirds and bumblebees.
Delphinium virescens 3-4 ft.
The showy white flowers offer a unique value to this plant and are attractive to bumblebees. Prefers dry soil in full sun. Perfect for rock gardens and dry meadows.
Echinacea purpureum 3-5 ft.
Arguably the most recognized and most used wildflower in the trade, and why not? Its attractive blossoms come in many shades from purple to red to pink. Pollinators love it. A winner all around and every garden should have some in our opinion. Historically native farther west.
Helianthus giganteus 3-8 ft
This plant buzzes in late summer into early fall. In full sun its height and spread make a great border or barrier, but can be aggressive. Blossoms look similar to Woodland Sunflower but distinguished by the leaf patterns.
Heliopsis helianthoides 2-3ft
Common in the wild but underused in gardens. Shown here with a Monarch Butterfly and Royal Catchfly (Silene regia) in the background.
Blooms from early to late summer. A showy flower on delicate stems, even massed it doesn’t interfere with other summer blooms. Popular in European gardens where many large-flowered cultivars have been developed.
Prairie Blazing Star
Liatris pycnostachya 1-4ft
Prairie Blazing Star grows to 4' in damp to medium soil. It will also grow in poorer, undrained soils. It's best in full sun, blooming July through September. Like many Liatris species, it blooms from the top down. Pollinators and hummingbirds visit it all summer. This plant prefers moister soil where it will be prominent in early summer. But does well in any wildflower garden.
Liatris scariosa 2-3ft
Another Blazingstar winner. A rare late summer native for medium to dry soil with sandy, rocky components. Can grow to three feet in moister soils. Its one inch wide flowers particularly attractive to many bees and butterflies. A great addition to native gardens.
Penstemon cobea 2 ft
This one lives up to its showy name. Beautiful purple blossoms in May - early July. Fantastic plant for dry-mesic to dry conditions. Every garden should have some.
Penstemon digitalis 1-3ft
A delicate little thing that would work well with the Dalea and Liatris. The flowers are light violet with turned down lobes, creating tubes that invite bumble bees and other bees to pollinate. The name Slender is for the leaves, toothed and more narrow than the other Penstemons. A benefit of this pollinator-friendly plant is its drought tolerance.
Meadow Blazing Star
Liatris liguilistylis 2 - 4 ft
As with most Liatris species, they are deer-tolerant and rabbit-resistant.
And though they look similar, side-by-side they can be striking.
L. liguilistyis is considered THE butterfly magnet. The beautiful blossoms attracting Monarchs and other butterflies in late July throughAugust as Monarchs are migrating.
It can reach 5' in fertile soils such as most garden. Blossoms bloom along the stems well into late summer. Birds find the seeds appealing later in the year. Great for dry, sandy, subsoil in open areas as well.
Bottlebrush Blazing Star
Limited for 2020. Inquire.
Liatris mucronata 2 - 2.5 ft
Bottlebrush Blazing Star is native to the South Central states. It grows from 12 to 30 inches, and 18 inches wide. It has densely-congested, lavender-pink flowers on a long, thick stem. If not picked the seeds provide food for migrants, and resident birds over winter. They flower into early fall months. Best in full sun in dry, sandy soil.
Most Liatris will form deep roots, and become drought-tolerant.
Penstemon grandiflorus 2-3 ft
Grandiflorus meaning grand flowers, and they don't disappoint. It prefers full sun in mesic to dry soil, as well as poor soil containing rocky material or sand. It grows to 2', with large, tubular pinkish to light purple flowers in May or June.
This plant is endangered in some states and rare in the wild. Bees and hummingbirds often visit this Penstemon.
Phlox maculata 2-3ft
A lovely long-time summer bloomer as are all the Phloxes. Enjoyed by butterflies for the narrow corolla tube where they insert their proboscis. Pennsylvania has seven native Phlox species. This is one of the showier species.
Narrowleaf Mountain Mint
Pycanthemum tenuifolium 2-3ft
Moist old fields, stream banks, and floodplains. Subtle plants with very narrow leaves in the mint family. It spreads slowly by rhizomes but is not a weedy plant. On the contrary the Mountain Mints add a welcome delicacy to gardens and meadows.
Hairy Mountain Mint
Pycanthemum pilosum 3-3.5ft
Abandoned fields, swampy meadows, woods. Dense flower heads and pubescent leaves and soft color stand out next to other summer blooms.
It spreads by rhizomes so put it where it has room in average soils and full sun. The white to lavender flowers attract bees, wasps, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies. It indeed is one of THE natives to have to attract pollinators.
Virginia Mountain Mint
Pycanthemum virginianum 2.5-3ft
Boggy meadows and moist thickets woods. The plant becomes covered with small, white flowers, with touches of purple that sparkle in dappled shade. Pycnanthemum means “densely packed flowers." Honeybees, a variety of native bees, other insects, and Pearl Cresecent butterflies visit this plant for its nectar.
Despite its name, it is not restricted to mountains. The plant grows in moist soils and meadows. An excellent plant for rain gardens, and other moist areas.
This plant is deer proof. It's also a mint and has a strong scent when crushed.
Sweet Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 3- 4 ft
All the summer shimmer of biennial Black-eyed Susan but is a long-lived perennial and taller. Sweet Black Eyed Susan is deep rooted and forms large clumps with strong stems branching at the top forming an impressive fixture in the garden or meadow. The flowers are larger than other Rudbeckias and last throughout summer. It get its name from the pleasant fragrance which also attracts many pollinators.
It does best in a medium, part clay soil, in full sun and will bloom less robustly in partial shade. Plants can be divided to spread in the garden.
Senecio (Packera) plattensis 2ft
Medium to dry meadows. A low, multi-stem beauty more orange than most Ragworts and Rudbeckias. Pollinators love its bloom from May through July.
A common tall prairie plants, it prefers dry soils and can bloom May – July. All seven native Packera species used to be listed in the genus Senecio. It is an attractive short lived perennial that self-seeds where happy.
Ratibida columnifera 2-3 ft.
A must-have in East Coast gardens. Also called Mexican Hat for its unique long-blooming blossoms that resemble a slender sombrero. Its attractive pinnate (feathery) leaves compliment the plant’s appeal. Drought tolerant once established.
Silene regia 2-3.5ft
Long flowering in woods, openings and meadows. Versatile royal red beauty. Hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies love this flower, growing to 4' in well-drained, sandy, even gravelly soil.
Catchfly is from the sticky glands covering the plant where small insects can become trapped.
Royal Catchfly is endangered in some states but because it's easy to grow a concerted campaign to spread it would be worth the effort as an excellent garden and meadow that blooms from June-August.
Silene stellata 3ft
Woods, edges, open ground. Versatile plant as with Royal Catchfly for summer subtlety and attractiveness. Common names are for "campion: Old French related to a champions garland" and "catchfly: because some species have sticky stems that catch insects."
The Silene genus is related to carnations with five flower petals enclosed by a bell-shaped calyx toothed along the upper rim.
The flowers are pollinated by moths. It's a drought-tolerant, self-seeding (though not aggressive) plant, sometimes with multiple stems (thus more flowers) from its deep taproot.
Silphium integrifolium 3-5 ft
Dry or sandy meadows. Blooms mid through late summer. Flowers attractive to all landscapes. Seeds attractive to many birds. Rosin Weed resembles a Sunflower but blooms earlier in the season. It's shorter than the other Siphiums and matures faster, with a strong stem to support it. But it is aggressive and should be appropriately placed.
Rosin Weed attracts a variety of pollinators but it is especially relished by some of our smaller solitary bees. The plant gets its common name from the sticky rosin it produces, which was used as a chewing gum by the Native Americans. Rosin weed is quick to mature once germinated, reaching flowering size surprisingly fast.
Silphium laciniatum 4 - 10 ft
Open meadows and fields. The tall Silphiums have become popular in gardens and parks. This one is less common in the east but a lovely plant whose flowers tend to face north and south.
This can be a very long-lived plant. In ideal soil and light, an individual plant could to live to a 100 years.
Solidago caesia 2 ft
A good fit in shaded areas, this plant grows in partial sun as well and compliments the woodland asters. Very attractive in late summer-early fall with wands of light yellow
Actinomeris (Verbesina) alternifolia 3 - 6 ft
Rich thickets and borders of woods. Sometimes listed as Genus Verbesina. This is another attractive tall sunflower-like plant with character.
It is native to the Ozark Region, and has high ecological value for pollinators. Wingstem was once marketed as "Golden Honey Plant," for its attractiveness to bees.
The Xerces Society lists Wingstem for its value to pollinators, supporting a diversity of insects, and host plant for Silvery Checkerspot, and Summer Azure butterflies, and the Gold Moth. This is a unique plant with great ecological value.
Porteranthus (Gillenia) stipulata 2 ft
Sometimes we all need a break from big, showy blooms in favor of more subtle beauty. Western Ipecac is one answer to remedy such a situation. Native to much of the Midwest and eastern US, this is is a sun loving perennial that will make most people take a second look at your garden. Blooming from May until June, the white blossoms are reminiscent of apple blossoms, which are a distant relative. Attractive to pollinators, this slender wild flower is a great choice for a native sun garden.
Vernonia altissima 3 - 6
Prefers damp, rich soils. Blooms August through October. This Ironweed is similar to our local New York Ironweed (V. noveboracensis) but blooms earlier. A tough plant rightly called a butterfly magnet.
Vernonia missurica 3 - 5 ft
The showiest, longest blooming of the Vernonias, it flowers July through October. Does well in most gardens on low ground and meadows. Provides an opportunity for longer blooms and more butterflies. Will tolerate some shade with dappled sun.
Shade or Sun
Anemone virginiana 2 ft
Great woodland plant. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates full shade. Prefers moist, sandy-humusy soils, but does well in average garden soils. Not as aggressive as most other anemone species.
Aster cordifolium 3 ft
Its light blue flowers prefer medium to medium-dry soil conditions, and bloom approximately from September to October. Heart-leaved Aster grows best in partial shade but will tolerate nearly full shade and nearly full sun. The wonderful array of blue flowers attracts butterflies and bees, and also makes an excellent cut flower. Sun or shade.
Aster drummondii 2-3 ft.
Its stems and foliar undersides are covered by fine hairs. The leaves extend on wing-like stems and are lance-like or oval with heart-shaped bases. The white blossoms become tinged with blue-purple as they age. Sun or shade.
Campanula ametricana 3-4 ft
Its blue-violet blooms providing a bright late-summer accent to savanna or woodland plantings. Plants prefer cool summer climates where they will tolerate full sun, but they prefer part shade (particularly afternoon shade). Plants are annual or biennial, but will easily remain in a garden by self-seeding. Mass or large groups are best.
Lysimachia ciliata 2 ft
Some of the perks of Fringed Loosestrife are its cold tolerance, and its tolerance of seasonal flooding. A recommended use for this plant would be as a shady groundcover as the yellow flowers would add nice appeal to the shaded area. Fringed Loosestrife is also important to native bee populations for nectar.
Geranium maculatum 1 - 1.5 ft
Wild Geranium is native to much of eastern North America. As as a spring bloom it never disappoints. It has lovely dissected leaves, beautiful pinkish-purple flowers, and it readily spreads, forming stunning patches that everything from bees to butterflies can't resist. Mostly found in woodlands in the wild, it does just as well in full sun.
This item is among the best selling products we supply at America Plants and is a real customer favorite. We suggest you check out our inventory to see if this product is available, or contact one of our representatives to make an order. We guarantee you won’t be able to find better quality elsewhere.
Polemonium reptans 1 ft
Like many spring blooming natives, the bloom time on Jacob's Ladder is short but sweet. The few short weeks in April or May that the flowers appear, the plant will be covered in blooms that range from shades of pink to blue. Jacob's Ladder will grow in full sun if it has adequate moisture, but it prefers woodlands (almost full shade) and woodland edges (partial shade.) A mature plant will only reach heights of 1' and is deer resistant. Excellent ground cover
Solidago flexicaulis 1-3 ft.
A shade tolerant, attractive plant that literally zigzags through the woods. A woodland favorite that will grow in sun as well. It’s distinguished by its zigzag stems. Flowers in clusters along the stems blooming from mid-summer to fall attracting bees and butterflies. Tolerates many conditions.
Scutellaria ovata 2 ft
Grow in dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates drought. Spreads by rhizomes. A pubescent mint family member that features snapdragon-like, tubular, two-lipped, blue-purple flowers (with whitish lower lips) that bloom from May to September. Plants typically grow from 16-24” tall. This skullcap is native from Maryland to Kansas south to Tennessee, Texas and Mexico. In Missouri, it is primarily found in rocky open woods, glades, rocky ledges.
Stylophorum diphyllum 1 ft
Impressive spring blossoms. Commonly called celandine poppy, it occurs most often in moist woodlands and along streambanks. 4-petaled, yellow flowers bloom in spring in small clusters atop stems typically growing 12-18" tall. Blue-green, lobed foliage is silvery below. Stems contain a bright yellow sap which was formerly used as a dye by Native Americans.
Solidago caesia 1-3 ft
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. A woodland species that tolerates poor, dry soils and light shade, but performs best in full sun. This species is primarily clump-forming and does not spread aggressively as do some of the other goldenrod species and hybrids.
Occurs in rural and urban woods.
Spring 2020 Availability/Pricing
Potted Plants $5.00 - $8.00 ea.
Email or text for quantities:
Get to know America Plants. The selections are unique. We are a budding retailer, literally a back yard operation, so we sell out fast. But our ambitions are great and we hope to have more available each growing season.
Contact: Dennis Burton
Business hours are flexible
but after 9:00am and before 5:00pm M-F are best.