North American Native Plants are native to the U.S., Mexico or Canada. Since political boundries aren't natural, these plants can usually be found on both sides of the border.
Read More About North American Native Plants
Contrary to popular myth, American native plants are not automatically better adapted than exotic plants. If they were, we wouldn't have aggressive exotic plants choking out the natives. Most plants we consider American native plants today evolved over 100,000 years ago, when the climate was much different than it is today.
American native plants are also not necessarily better as a food source for native insects and animals. Foreign and native plants can be the preferred food source for native animals or can repel them. For instance, the Chinese native Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is a preferred food source for butterflies in the US and England and some butterflies would have trouble surviving without Buddleia. Butterfly conservationists (as well as Butterfly conversationalists) advocate planting Buddleia in the US and England in order to protect butterfly species.
The ethnic cleansing Eco-Nazis who promote the myths of native plant superiority are no different from the political populists of the past who preached genetic isolation and superiority. In a culture that supposedly embraces diversity, we find it bizarre that diversity among plants is promoted as evil. Perhaps these intellectually-challenged idealists will wake up one day and realize that nature is not static and that diversity in horticulture is a good thing and stop trying to promote the preservation of some mythical horticultural Camelot.
Don't get us wrong. There are some fabulous American native plants and it is our goal to introduce as many of them as possible to you. We love them as much as everyone else does. We just consider ourselves to be a contrarian native plant nursery that is not on the native plant superiority bandwagon. Our perennial garden plays host to native and exotic plants alike and we love them all.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' is an aroid relative and former member of the "family" before being ousted by the molecular taxonomy mob. Acorus calamus is now in the horticulture protection program disguised as a dramatic, upright deciduous iris. The vivid white and green banded, deer-resistant leaves of Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' make this one of the most strikingly beautiful vertical accent plants in the garden! Variegated sweet flag spreads slowly by means of a very thick above-ground rhizome. Sweet flag loves a moist spot such as a bog but will also grow in ordinary garden soils...a real easy-to-grow, carefree prize! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Actaea 'Misty Blue' is a fabulous Mt. Cuba selection of the native East Coast woodlander, Actaea pachypoda (no, we're not lumping them with cimicifuga, which we find ridiculous). Actaea 'Misty Blue' has glaucous, pewter colored, pinnate foliage compared to the typical green. The 18" tall clumps are topped in spring with short stalks of white flowers, followed by really cool ornamental white berries attached by bright red stems. You're going to love this amazing actaea selection...if you plant it in a light shade site with moist, but well-drained soil. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Although the name indicates this fern is from the Aleutian islands, Adiantum aleuticum is native throughout the western United States and into northern Mexico. Adiantum aleuticum can also be found in a few eastern US states (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). Adiantum aleuticum is similar in form to Adiantum pedatum with its fan-shaped, finger-like fronds atop a thin black stalk. The cultivar Adiantum aleuticum 'Imbricatum' is a dwarf form of this lovely clump-forming fern that matures at 10" tall, which is about half the height of the typical species. Like Michael Phelps, Adiantum aleuticum is much more robust in a moist environment with a few hours of morning sun. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka A1FL-113) This selection of the worldwide native Adiantum capillus-veneris comes from Washington Co., Florida, about an hour west of Tallahassee. Adiantum capillus-veneris 'Falling Waters' has made a splendid patch in our garden with frond pinnae (fern leaflets) that are slightly smaller and narrower than what we typically see in other regional southern maidenhair fern forms. Our five-year-old clumps have spread to 2' wide and so far have survived single digit temperatures with no problems. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Adiantum capillus-veneris A3T-022) We discovered this wonderfully cut leaf form of the southeastern native Adiantum capillus-veneris along Wasp Creek in Kendall County, Texas. Unlike most forms of southern maidenhair fern, the pinnae are shaped like narrow Japanese hand fans. For us, Adiantum 'Fan Dance' forms a tight 6" tall patch that expands to 2' wide in 5 years. We are pleased to finally be able to share this special form of southern maidenhair fern. Moist soils are best. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(coll. #A2T-034) This form of the wonderful southern maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris, comes from spores that we collected in 2000 in the Edwards Plateau region of Texas near the town of Rock Springs. Not that you are interested, but we were stopped three times by border patrol agents who searched our backpacks for illegal aliens...glad I carried a small backpack. Plantsman Scott Ogden showed us this population of southern maidenhair fern growing along a small creek in a very alkaline soil. Our 5-year-old clump is 1' tall x 2' wide and, as you can imagine, quite heat tolerant. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(coll. #A1HA-016) Rosy maidenhair fern is commonly grown as a houseplant but few gardeners realize its winter hardiness. Regular Adiantum hispidulum is easy to grow and reliable in warmer parts of Zone 8, but this rare form has been fine in our Zone 7b woodland garden since 2004. Adiantum hispidulum 'Mt Haleakala' makes an attractive 1' tall x 1' wide clump with fronds which emerge rosy red...hence, the common name. Our spores came from 5,000' near the top of Maui's famed Mt. Haleakala. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 4-18-2013Without a doubt, Adiantum pedatum is one of our most elegant North American native plants. The horizontal horseshoe-like wreath of foliage rests atop 18-24" tall, wiry black stems. Northern maidenhair fern thrives in moist, rich soil, but also grows well in all but the driest of woodland garden sites. The light, airy, fine texture of the Adiantum pedatum fronds serves as a perfect backdrop for hostas and other bold foliage plants. In early April, this deciduous native fern unfurls for a true Kodak moment. In 10 years, expect a 2' wide deer-resistant clump to develop. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
My first experience with the sterile Adiantum x mairisii was in 1993, thanks to a gift from the late fern collector, Nancy Swell of Virginia. Not to be confused with the Chinese Adiantum mariesii, this reported hybrid of Adiantum capillus-veneris and an unknown baby daddy was discovered around 1885 at the UK's Mairis & Co. Nursery and subsequently named by Chelsea Physic Garden curator and fern collector, Thomas Moore. Adiantum x mairisii performs like a vigorous clone of southern maidenhair fern, but with very good winter hardiness. For us, expect a 3' wide deer-resistant patch of 1' tall, lacy maidenhair foliage in 5 years. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This Terra Nova introduction is one of the first of the brightly-colored agastache hybrids to survive our NC summers. Agastache 'Cotton Candy' forms a 2' tall x 3' wide drought-tolerant clump of upright green stems, each clothed in small, but very minty-fragranced leaves. From spring through fall, the stems are topped with dense clusters of small pink flowers emerging from the dark pink-tipped calyces. Agastache 'Cotton Candy' is a magnet for attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds...we recommend a flight control tower within a 100' radius. Good drainage is essential for long-term survivability. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Agastache foeniculum 'Get Riehl' comes from an early 1990s trip when I visited Iowa City plantsman, Frank Riehl. Sharing a love of native habitats, Frank took me to a nearby prairie remnant where I first saw anise hyssop growing in the wild. Those cutting-grown plants have remained in our garden for over two decades, so we decided that it was time to share. The deciduous Agastache foeniculum 'Get Riehl' makes a wispy upright clump of angular branched stems, topped from early summer through September with 6" terminal soft lavender flowers. Agastache foeniculum is also grown for its wonderfully fragrant licorice-scented foliage. Anise hyssop has long been prized for its medicinal value to cure everything from coughs to diarrhea. Bees also use anise hyssop to make a lovely flavored honey. In the garden, good drainage seems to be the key to persistence. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We purchased this lovely form of Agave americana in 2005 from a grower in Thailand, but unfortunately it came without a valid cultivar name, so we've named it Agave americana 'Marshmallow Cream'. Agave 'Marshmallow Cream' has a much wider and shorter leaf than the typical Agave americana 'Marginata', which is more common in the trade. Agave americana 'Marshmallow Cream' also makes a much more elegant plant in the ground as well as in a container. Since it isn't winter hardy for us, we can only guess about a mature size, but we would expect 5' tall x 8' wide. Quantities are very limited. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This beautiful, but slowly offsetting selection of the Mexican Agave americana makes a 2' tall x 3' wide clump, with each wide blue leaf highlighted with a wide central stripe of white. Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba' is often used as a specimen container plant by gardeners in colder zones. Because of the leaf layer arrangement, Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba' is one of the few variegated agave that cannot be successfully tissue cultured. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
I was fortunate to see this amazing, un-agave-looking agave in the wild near Monterrey, Mexico, where it precariously hangs off lightly shaded, high cliffs. Eventually spreading to 2' wide, the easy-to-grow, user-friendly Agave bracteosa resembles large, gray-green spiders with NO spines. We recommend that Agave bracteosa be planted on a slight slope to duplicate the great drainage they receive in the wild. After 2-4 years, Agave bracteosa will begin to form offsets and, when they mature, each clump will produce an amazing 5-7' tall flower spike that resembles a giant yellow bottlebrush! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
It was lust at first sight when I saw Agave bracteosa 'Monterrey Frost' in California's San Diego Botanic Garden. This rare form of the northern Mexican Agave bracteosa has been passed along in California collectors' circles for more than a decade, but is rarely available to the general public. The frozen squid-like architectural rosette of sandpapery green foliage is edged with a perfect creamy-white margin, eventually producing a 1' tall x 18" wide variegated specimen that will offset sporadically after it matures. Agave bracteosa actually enjoys part shade, which also keeps the white edge from scorching. The white edge reduces its winter-hardiness, so where this isn't reliably hardy, Agave 'Monterrey Frost' makes a stunning unarmed container specimen. With great age, your Agave 'Monterrey Frost' will flower with lovely fragrant yellow blooms that attract hummingbirds. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We haven't been able to track down the origin of this splendid hardy century plant, but we now feel confident that it is a hybrid with Agave salmiana. Our seven-year-old patch has produced 2' tall x 3.5' wide rosettes that offset quite fast. The 9" wide, flat, blue-green, deeply-lobed leaves are particularly architectural. Because of the somewhat scabrous leaf back, we wonder if Agave scabra might be the baby daddy, but then Agave cupreata looks like a candidate also. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Agave flexispina is a rarely grown agave, related to Agave palmeri and Agave shrevei, that struck my fancy when visiting the Ruth Bancroft Garden in California. Hailing from 4,500' to 7,500' in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Durango and Zacatecas, Agave flexispina has shown great winter hardiness in our trials. The powder blue leaves with long red spines form rosettes that are often solitary but will offset occasionally once established. In cultivation, expect the clumps to reach 18" tall x 3' wide. Carl Schoenfeld tells us that in west Texas, Agave flexispina was unblemished down to 0 degrees F, so we think this gem holds great promise for garden use in warm temperate climates. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Agave lophantha 'Marginata') We originally acquired this rare selection from Thailand as an Agave lophantha, which it is obviously not...we're betting on Agave funkiana. The 18" long x 1" wide, upright, shallowly grooved leaves are dark green and edged with a dramatic wide white border. The few scattered teeth along the leaf edges turn papery and fall away as the leaves age. Agave 'Hakuro Shiro Fukurin' (translated as "frosty white margin") makes a stunning 18" tall x 3' wide clump. These are slow growers in containers. Agave flowers attract hummingbirds. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Agave gentryi 'Jaws' is a stunning Yucca Do selection, from 8,000' on the south side of La Peña Nevada in the Nuevo León Province of northern Mexico. The offsetting, glossy, dark green, 4' tall x 8' wide rosette of Agave gentryi 'Jaws' is composed of long leaves with exceptionally deep sinuses between the short red teeth, resembling a shark's mouth...a maxillofacial delight! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Agave guiengola 'Marginata') We are pleased to make available this elegant collector plant, whose parent originated in the Guiengola limestone cliffs of Oaxaca (pronounced "Wahaka"), Mexico. Since the name 'Marginata' has been invalid on plants named after 1959, we chose a new name, Agave 'Creme Brulee'. This soft-leaf agave is simply elegant with wide, medium green leaves surrounded by a 1" border of creamy white. While Agave guiengola can reach 3' tall x 4' wide, the variegation should slow it down considerably...we're guessing about 25 percent. Agave 'Creme Brulee' was discovered by California agave specialist, Kelly Griffin. Agave flowers attract hummingbirds. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)