When designing a new landscape for a client or sharing ideas about updating a backyard, what plant types do you suggest to clients? Do you suggest installing native plants? Using native plants in a landscape design makes them more tolerant and adaptable to thrive in the local climate. Sustainability and low-maintenance landscapes are top priorities today in landscape design. Here, we review six plants native to the state of Ohio.

1. White trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

White Trillium

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Typically found in wooded areas, trillium blooms in April. It was named the official Ohio wildflower in 1987 and grows in all 88 counties. It can live up to 25 years. Trillium leaves are nontoxic, but North Carolina State University Extension reports that the roots and berries are mildly toxic.

2. Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Wild geranium

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A late spring woodland wildflower, wild geranium blooms from April to June. It blooms in colors of pale pink, deep pink and lilac and attracts birds and butterflies. Native Americans used the plant’s ground up roots to slow blood flow from wounds and cure sore throats.

3. Goldenrod (Solidago)


Photo: iStock

Great for a flower border, goldenrod doesn’t spread aggressively. It blooms in the fall and is best planted in the spring. They are fairly pest and drought tolerant. It can reach heights of 4 feet tall.

4. Trout lily (Erythronium americanum)

Trout lily

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Signaling that winter is over, this perennial’s golden blossoms show up in early April. It ranges from 6-10 inches tall and is sometimes called dog’s-tooth violet, although not a true violet.

5. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly weed

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Not only does this plant attract butterflies, but also hummingbirds and pollinators. It is a drought-tolerant plant that blooms in mid- to late-summer with little maintenance required. It has orange flower clusters to brighten any Ohio landscape.

6. Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black eyed susan

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This native perennial wildflower is easy to grow and blooms throughout the summer. It tolerates drought conditions and almost any soil. The golden, daisy-like flowers have black centers and attract birds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects.

Read more: Landscape Design Goes Native