Naturalized Plants of Garden Interest

The plants listed below are not native to this area, yet have sufficiently interesting blooms that many people want them in their gardens or fields. That may be why they are now “naturalized” here, that is, they have self-propagating populations “in the wild.” If something is already naturalized in your vicinity, letting some remain in your garden or natural area may not be a problem, so long as it is not truly invasive. You may not want to introduce even a non-invasive naturalizer where it is not already nearby. If you grow these, seriously consider removing seedheads from self-sowers and be careful where you toss weeded plants (seeds & roots/corms). Either completely compost or leave them to thoroughly dry & die on an asphalt drive or in a closed black garbage bag prior to tossing. And if you see a lovely invasive, be warned, and remove it at first sighting!

Herbaceous Plants - Annuals, Biennials, Perennials
Species Common Name(s) Native Region Notes
Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos
  • Spotted Knapweed
Europe Invasive. Very difficult to remove once it gets started. Seems to be OK then multiplies wildly. (Centaurea maculosa)
Cercis canadensis
  • Redbud
SE US, mid-Atlantic Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Probably OK to use if already present in the vicinity, but not near protected areas.
Chamaecrista fasciculata
  • prairie senna
  • sensitive plant
East US, Great Plains Not Invasive. Attracts butterflies. Annual, seeds eaten by birds, leaves fold when touched.
Chelidonium majus
  • Greater Celandine
Eurasia Invasive. Can be weedy. Orange sap stains & can be irritant
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
  • White (Oxeye) Daisy
Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Edible leaves, can be impossible to avoid
Coreopsis tinctoria
  • golden tickseed
Great Plains Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. A colorful annual included in many seed mixes. Good in sandy, rocky, poor soils.
Corydalis solida
  • fumewort
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Ephemeral. readily naturalizes but easy to remove
Dianthus armeria
  • Deptford pink
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. cute but aggressive, can bloom in mowed lawn!
Dipsacus fullonum
  • common teasel
  • fuller's teasel
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. 1-2 interesting plants can easily become a thorny thicket; used in textile processing
Dipsacus laciniatus
  • cutleaf teasel
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. 1-2 interesting plants can easily become a thorny thicket; used in textile processing
Echinacea purpurea
  • pink coneflower
Midwest US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. Not really naturalized in Finger Lakes yet, but spreads
Filipendula rubra
  • queen of the prairie
Great Plains Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. Large but good for meadows.
Hemerocallis fulva
  • daylily
  • tawny daylily
Asia Invasive. Can be weedy. Cultivars, hybrids, and other Hemerocallis spp. are less aggressive than H. fulva.
Hesperis matronalis
  • dame's rocket
Europe Invasive. Attracts butterflies. fragrant; can be invasive in wetlands; deadhead if you grow it
Iris pseudacorus
  • yellow flag iris
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Very pretty but seeds readily! Hard to eliminate in wet areas. Potentially invasive.
Leucanthemum vulgare
  • oxeye daisy
Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Edible leaves, can be impossible to avoid (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Lythrum salicaria
  • purple loosestrife
Europe Invasive. "Sterile" cultivars are fertile when wild plants are nearby.
Myosotis scorpioides
  • forget-me-not
Eurasia Invasive. Can be weedy. Difficult to impossible to eliminate in a garden setting. Prolific self seeding biennial.
Myosotis sylvatica
  • garden forget-me-not
Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Impossible to avoid in some areas. Deadhead if you can!
Ranunculus ficaria
  • lesser celandine
Asia, Europe Invasive. Groundcover. Ephemeral. Nice yellow flowers, but very agressive & hard to kill; be ruthless with first sighting
Rudbeckia fulgida
  • black-eyed susan
  • coneflower
Midwest US, SE US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. some cultivars, e.g. 'Goldsturm', can get too aggressive (syn. Rudbeckia speciosa)
Rudbeckia hirta
  • black-eyed susan
East US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. biennial widely naturalized in the Finger Lakes
Rudbeckia triloba
  • brown-eyed susan
East US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Attracts butterflies. widely naturalized, smaller flowers than other Rudbeckias, but lots of them
Saponaria officinalis
  • bouncing Bet
Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Groundcover. Attracts butterflies. can take drought, shallow, rocky soils. floppy in rich soils
Silene latifolia ssp. alba
  • bladder campion
Europe Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Pollinated by moths; invasive in many areas, not the Finger Lakes (yet); NOT recommended
Verbascum blattaria
  • moth mullein
Eurasia Not Invasive. more delicate than V thapsus
Verbascum thapsus
  • common mullien
Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. self-sows; very large
Viola odorata
  • English violet
  • sweet violet
Africa, Eurasia Not Invasive. Can be weedy. Well-drained. Attracts butterflies. lovely smell, variety of colors; hard to prevent, stoloniferous - spreads
Shrubs, Trees
Species Common Name(s) Native Region Notes
Daphne mezereum
  • February daphne
Eurasia Not Invasive. fragrant with very early flowers; white form in cultivation
Diospyros virginiana
  • american persimmon
East US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Showy fruit. Tasty fruit when fully ripe, but must have both male & female trees, so plant several.
Vines
Species Common Name(s) Native Region Notes
Hedera helix
  • English ivy
Europe, Africa Invasive. Can be weedy. Groundcover. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Discourage vertical growth (e.g. up tree trunks) as that encourages berries and consequent spread.
Lonicera japonica
  • Japanese honeysuckle
Asia Invasive. "Old fashioned" honeysuckle vine. Prohibited in NY as a serious invasive.
Lonicera sempervirens
  • trumpet honeysuckle
  • coral honeysuckle
East US Not Invasive. Recommended for gardening. Well-drained. Showy fruit. Used in traditional 19th century gardens. Native in SE NY state but naturalized in Finger Lakes; attracts hummingbirds