Native Pond Plants

The broad array of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants we can grow here includes a number of native plants. Naturally, these plants provide solutions for some tough stream side or wetland sites, but they can also be used in man-made ponds and bogs.

It is quite possible to develop an attractive water feature for the native landscape that uses only native flora; and even for the gardener that is not a native plant fanatic they offer great appeal on plants that are reliably hardy here.

Here are a few native plants to add interest and local flair to a bog, stream, pond, or other water feature:

Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) – moist soil at pond edge, or in stream.  About 2 ft. tall.  Prefers shade.

Allium validum (Swamp Onion) – moist soil, bog, in stream or very shallow water.  Pink flowers early summer, up to about 2 ft. tall. Likes sun.

Arnica amplexicaulis (Streambank arnica) – moist soil at pond edge.  Yellow flowers in summer, to 2-3 ft. tall.  Likes sun.

Darmera peltata (Indian Rhubarb) – bog, in stream, or shallow water.  Flowers before leaves emerge in spring, pink clusters up to 2-3 ft. tall; foliage is large and lush to about 4-5 ft.  Good fall color.  Likes sun or partial shade.  Spreading by rhizomes, may need to thin or divide every few years.

Mimulus (Monkey Flower) – Moist soil, bog, or in stream.  18″ tall but spreading plants bloom in summer: yellow flowers for Mimulus gutatus, pink for Mimulus lewisii.  Both are adaptable from full sun to substantial shade. May spread by both roots and seeds.

Sagittaria latifolia (Wapato, Broadleaf Arrowhead) – Moist soil, bog, or shallow water. White flowers on spikes 2-3 ft. tall in summer.  Arrowhead foliage up to 3-4 ft. tall.  Prefers sun, will tolerate some shade. Spreads by tubers.

Saxifraga oregana (Oregon saxifrage) – moist soil, bog, or in stream.  White spring flowers on a stalk 1-3 ft. above cluster of leaves at base.  Likes sun.

Sidalcea cusickii (Cusick’s Checkermallow) – moist soil at pond edge, or just barely in stream.  Dramatic pink flowers 3-4 ft. tall in late spring and early summer.  Large and lush foliage mass, also up to 4 ft. tall. Prefers full sun.

Sisyrinchium (Blue-eyed/Yellow-eyed Grass) – moist soil, bog, in stream, or very shallow water.  Several varieties native into our area: Sisyrinchium idahoense has bluish-purple flowers about a foot tall from mid-spring to early summer; Sisyrinchium bellum has the same form and color – they aren’t easily told apart.  Sisyrinchium californicum is similar, but flowers are bright yellow.  All have slender iris-like leaves, and may be evergreen in our mildest years.  All prefer full sun, but will tolerate a little shade.