Fast Growing Native Plants

There are many fast-growing plants that are native to the United States. Some are perennials that will return year after year. Others are large shrubs or trees. Still others are annuals that will grow and spread quickly but will live for only one season. Which plants are best for you depends in large part on your particular climate. Still, many of these fast-growing native plants will thrive in a wide variety of locations.

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Cosmos are native to the southeastern part of the United States, according to Floridata. These bright, colorful flowers are exceptionally hardy and fast-growing. The blooms are red, pink or white with yellow centers and can be as large as 4 inches across, depending on the cultivar. The plant itself can grow up to 7 feet tall in one season, although most varieties average around 2 or 3 feet. Cosmos will grow even in poor soil as long as it is well-draining. Most need a support structure to stand upright. Cosmos will grow in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 5 through 10. In zones 9 and 10, the plant will even reseed itself and return year after year. In most other locations, however, it is grown as an annual.

Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

The tulip tree is a fast-growing tree native to the United States, according to the National Arboretum. This tree, which is the state tree of Kentucky, is often called the "tulip poplar," but it is actually in the magnolia family. Tulip trees are desirable for their hard wood, which is used to make furniture and cabinets, and for their ornamental value. The large flowers are shaped like tulips and are yellow with a splash of orange at the base. These trees grow best in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 and can be found stretching from Ontario to Florida. Tulip trees grow best in well-draining, slightly acidic soil and can reach heights upwards of 100 feet in the wild.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

This perennial flower is a favorite among home gardeners for its fast growth and showy flowers that come in shades of pink and purple. The flowers, which are related to and look like daisies, can be as large as 3 inches across, on 8-inch tall stems. The plant itself grows in clumps and reaches a maximum height and width of 3 feet. Echinacea purpurea is native to the United States and was one of the original prairie plants. This plant thrives in full sunlight and is drought-tolerant and relatively pest-free, according to Floridata. The purple coneflower grows best in USDA zones 3 through 9.

Keywords: fast growing plants, native plants, United States plants

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.