Native Plants of Pennsylvania

Native plants of Pennsylvania graced the state's forest landscape for countless of years before Europeans settled in the area. Native plants include trees, shrubs, flowering plants, grasses and ground covers and to date, Pennsylvania has more than 2,000 known native plant species. Native plants balance the environment, playing important roles in their ecosystems and in improving overall air quality. Preserving the natural habitat of native plants and re-establishing them in their native soil will help to prevent the further loss of Pennsylvania's natural landscape.

Fragile Fern

Also known as northern fragile fern and brittle bladder fern, fragile fern (Cystopteris fragilis) is native to Pennsylvania and most of North American, excluding some midwestern and southeastern states. It is a perennial fern belonging to the Dryopteridaceae family. Fragile fern grows in wooded areas.

Common Evening Primrose

Native to Pennsylvania and most of North America, common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a biennial of the Onagraceae family that grows from spring to fall. It grows to 5 feet in height, produces soft yellow flowers and green foliage and is propagated by seed. Common evening primrose thrives well in moderately moist soil and full sun. It is also known as bastard evening primrose.

Black-Eyed Susan

Depending on the variety and soil conditions, black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are native annuals, biennials or perennials of the Asteraceae family of coneflowers. Black-eyed Susans bloom in the summer from June through October and are propagated by seed. Its bold yellow flowers bloom atop long, slender stems that grow to 1 to 3 feet in height. They thrive in partial or full sun and dry to moist soil conditions.

Wild Garlic

A member of the Liliaceae family, wild garlic (Allium canadense) is a flowering perennial also known as wild onion and meadow garlic. It is naturally distributed throughout the mid- and eastern regions of North America. It grows up to 2 feet in height and has a distinct onion scent. Its pink or white flowers bloom in the spring and summer, and it thrives in dry to moist soil and full sun to partial shade.

Butterfly Weed

A member of the Asclepiadaceae family, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a perennial that blooms yellow to orange flowering clusters in midsummer. Butterfly weed is native to Pennsylvania and is distributed throughout most of the United States except for the northwestern states. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet in height and is propagated by seed. Butterfly weed is drought-tolerant, thriving well in dry to moderately moist soil and full sun.

Keywords: native plant species, native to Pennsylvania, full sun

About this Author

Naima Manal has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994. Since beginning her professional writing career in 2007, Manal writes about heath, diet and nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, home and garden and home improvement.