JARS v54n2 - Herbaceous Native Companion Plants of Eastern and Midwestern United States

Herbaceous Native Companion Plants of Eastern and Midwestern United States
William Dennis
Malvern, Pennsylvania

Natives of Pennsylvania
Pink lady slipper, pink moccasin flower ( Cypripedium acaule ) is one of the most attractive native orchids with a single magnificent pink and brown flower in late May or early June. It is native to dry but rich woodlands.

Canada or wild ginger, Indian ginger root ( Asarum canadense ) is a matted ground cover with red-brown blossoms beneath the leaves in April and May.

White trillium, large-flowered wake robin ( Trillium grandiflorum ) blooms for a full month in late May or early June and is the easiest trillium to grow.

Painted trillium ( Trillium undulatum ) is a desirable but difficult-to-grow species with white flowers in July or August and likes a fairly sunny setting.

Partridgeberry, twinberry ( Mitchella repens ) is a creeper with prominently veined leaves and has fragrant blossoms from April to June and minty berries in September. It spreads by runners.

Purple trillium, red trillium, wake robin, birthroot ( Trillium erectum ) is relatively easy to maintain in the wild garden in moderate to full shade.

Closed gentian, bottle gentian, Andrews gentian ( Centiana andrewsii ) has dark blue flowers in late August or early September. It is a long-lived perennial in almost any type of soil and sun or light shade.

Sharp-lobed hepatica ( Hepatica acutiloba ) is a handsome little perennial that is one of the first to bloom with dainty blue, pink, or white flowers.

Maidenhair fern ( Adiantum pedatum ) is a distinctive and graceful native fern.

Birdseye, C. and E. 1951. Growing Woodland Plants , New York: Dover Publications.
Steffek, E. F. 1973. Wild Flowers and How to Grow Them . New York: Crown Publications, Inc.
Taylor, K. S., and Hamblin, S. F. 1963. Handbook of Wild Flower Cultivation . New York: Macmillan.

Natives of the High Appalachian Area
Yellow lady's slipper ( Cypripedium calceolus ) in swamps, wet grasslands in moderately acid soil.

Early wood betony ( Pedicularis canadensis ) in clearings, damp meadows, moderately acid soil.

Toad trillium ( Trillium sessile ) in open, rich woods.

Painted trillium ( Trillium undulatum ) in woods and swamps in acid soil.

Natives of the Great Lakes Area
Showy lady's-slipper ( Cypripedium reginae ) in wet woods, bogs.

Leafy white orchid ( Habenaria dilatata ) in cold swamps, bogs, grasslands.

Hooker's orchid ( Habenaria hookerf ) in bogs.

Blunt-leaf orchid ( Habenaria obusata ) in bogs.

Heart-leaf, twayblade ( Listera cordata ) bogs and mossy woods.

Bog Solomon's-plumes ( Smilacina trífolia ) in bogs with acid, peaty soil.

Natives of the New England Area
Swamp pink, dragon orchid ( Arethusa bulbosa ) in sphagnum bogs, swamps, in strongly acid soil.

Fairy-slipper orchid ( Calypso bulbosa ) in damp, acid woods with soil high in organic matter.

Goldthread ( Coptis trifolia ) in damp woods, bog, acid soil.

Bunchberry ( Cornus canadensis ) in swamps, deep woods, acid, organic soil.

Cut-leaved toothwort ( Dentaria laciniata ) in woods, slopes on acid soil, moist conditions.

Thin-leaved pyrola, shinleaf ( Pyrala elliptica ) in woods, moderately acid, organic soil.

Natives of the Appalachian Oak Forest Area
Wild ginger, snakeroot ( Asarum canadense ) on slopes, rocky or loamy soils.

Turkey corn, wild bleeding-heart ( Dicentra eximia ) in rocky wood, slopes.

Rock geranium (Heuchera americana ) open woods, rocky slopes.

Natives of the Oak-Hickory Forest Area
Woodland jack-in-the pulpit, Indian turnip ( Arisaema triphyllum ), in woods and swamps of the Piedmont.

Round-leaved hepatica, liverleaf ( Hepatica americana ) well-drained wooded slopes in acid soil.

Mayapple, mandrake ( Podophyllum peltatum ) open, damp woods, in neutral, acid soils.

White wake-robin ( Trillium grandiflorum ) swamps and woodlands in Piedmont uplands.

Natives of the Coastal Plain Region
Jack-in-the-pulpit ( Arisaema triphyllum ) moist areas, swamp, bog margins.

Slender blue iris ( Iris prismatica ) bogs, in strong acid, sandy soil.

Natives of Southeastern Mixed Forest Region
White baneberry ( Actaea pachypoda ) in rich woods.

Heart-leaf ( Asarum virginica ) in moist or dry woods.

Indian pink ( Spigelia marilandica ) in rich woods.

Hamel, John, Design with Plants .