Northwest Native Shrubs Blooming Now!

I have a few different sorts of Northwest native deciduous shrubs that are currently in bloom.  These would include Indian Plum, or Oemleria cerasiformis; Red Elderberry, Sambucus racemosa; and Red-Flowering Currant, or Ribes sanguineum.  Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium, has been blooming for quite a while now.

I like all of these plants for several reasons.  They are native to this area, and thus require no fertilizers and, once established, need no water other than rainfall.  They produce spring flowers and their leaves in the fall are outstanding.  They, except for the Oregon Grape, will reach around 12-15 feet tall, and thus make a good natural shrub screen to hide ugly views.  Finally, they produce flowers and fruits that the birds love–they will attract hummingbirds in the spring, and other birds in the fall when the Indian Plum produces fruit (non-edible for humans, though.)  And, the shrubs, when they are in bloom, can also be paired with spring-blooming bulbs that flower around the same time, such as narcissus and hyacinth.

Here is a picture of one of my Red-Flowering Currants:

(Ignore the giant dandelion in the corner there, or think of it as an insect feeder, which it is.)  The Red-Flowering Currant lights up this spot in the garden, and notice how it is nicely set off by the evergreen arborvitae next to it–the solid dark green helps to show off the pink flowers.    The nice thing about planting spring bulbs around these northwest native shrubs is that both of them benefit from having a dry summer, so they prosper under the same growing conditions–this helps to make them good partners, plus they bloom at the same time.

Leave a comment, if you will, and let me know how you use Northwest Native plants in your landscape.

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