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Gardening with Native Plants


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Gardening with Native Plants

There are many reasons to garden with native plants. Living in the Tri Lakes area, we can all appreciate the natural beauty of the Colorado landscape. Gardening with natives embraces Colorado’s natural beauty and supports our environment and the many creatures that call it home.
Why Garden with Natives?
• Native plants attract wildlife. By adding natives, your garden will also be attracting native birds, butterflies, bees and more.
• Our native wildlife depends on native plants. Native plants support native animals, insects, and fungi. Animals such as birds, fish, mammals, and pollinators all have specific needs our native plants provide. They depend on the bloom time, fruiting time, when the plant goes to seed, and the nutritional content that only natives have.
o One example of this is that Colorado’s many native bees require a particular native plant or native plant family to make their only food source.
o Another example is that the larvae of many Colorado butterflies need particular native plants to eat in order to survive.
o Many small and large mammals depend on the timing of certain native fruit to supply food.
o In addition, native plants help manage rainwater runoff, and maintain healthy soil. Which in turn, helps protect habitats for people and animals alike.
• Native plants create a low-maintenance garden. Colorado natives have thrived here for thousands of years and have become perfectly adapted to Colorado’s climate, soil, pests, and water. Because of this they require less watering, fertilizing, pruning, and general care.
• Native plants can be good for the environment. Less need for fertilizing and spraying for pests means less chemicals going into the environment. And since natives are adapted to Colorado’s water, or lack thereof, they save water too!
• Native plants have evolved to work together. Over the course of many years native plants have learned to send signals to each other to warn and defend against potential harm. What’s even more amazing is that research has shown that only native plants have this ability. Native plants are amazing!
• Native plants are beautiful. Another great reason to plant natives is that they are truly beautiful and a great representation of the natural beauty that is Colorado.

By using native plants in our gardens, we are helping our local wildlife while creating beautiful, sustainable, and low-maintenance gardens. For more information go to Native Plants – Colorado Master Gardener (

List of Native Plants commonly found at McCord’s Garden Center:
Scientific Name Common Name Exposure Elevation

Antennaria parvifolia Pussytoes Sun to part shade To 11,000′
Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi Kinnikinnick Part shade to shade To 10,000′
Berberis repens (Mahonia repens) Creeping Mahonia (shrub) Sun to part shade To 9,500′
Callirhoe involucrate Wine Cups Sun To 7,500
Rhus trilobata ‘Gro-Low’ Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac (shrub) Sun To 9,000′

Aquilegia caerulea Rocky Mountain Columbine Part Shade To 11,000′
Aquilegia chrysantha Denver Gold Columbine Sun to part shade To 11,000′
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed Sun To 7,500′
Berlandiera lyrate Chocolate Flower Sun To 8,000′
Gaillardia aristate Blanketflower Sun To 9000′
Geum triflorum Prairie Smoke Sun to part shade To 10,000′
Linum lewisii Blue Flax Sun to part shade To 9,500′
Penstemon barbatus Scarlet Buglar Penstemon Sun To 9,000′
Penstemon caespitosus Mat Penstemon Sun To 9,000′
Penstemon strictus Rocky Mountain Penstemon Sun to part shade To 10,000′
Polemonium caeruleum Jacob’s Ladder Part Shade To 9,000′
Pulsatilla patens Pasque Flower Sun To 9,000′
Ratibida columnifera Prairie Coneflower, Mexican Hat Sun To 7,500′
Tradescantia occidentalis Spiderwort Sun to part shade To 8,000′

Bouteloua gracilis Blue Grama Sun To 9,500′
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass Sun To 7,500′
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem Sun To 8,000′

Acer glabrum Rocky Mountain maple Sun To 10,500’
Amelanchier alnifolia Serviceberry Sun to part shade To 10,000’
Amorpha canescens Leadplant Sun To 8,000′
Arctostaphylos patula Manzanita, bearberry Sun to part shade To 9,000′
Cercocarpus ledifolius Curl-Leaf Mountain Mahogany Sun To 9,000’
Cercocarpus montanus Mountain Mahogany Sun To 8,500’
Chrysothamnus nauseosus Rabbitbrush Sun To 10,000’
Cornus sericea Red Twig Dogwood Sun to part shade To 10,000’
Fallugia paradoxa Apache Plume Sun To 8,500′
Forestiera neomexicana New Mexico privet Sun To 7,500′
Philadelphus microphyllus Littleleaf Mock-Orange Sun To 8,000′
Physocarpus monogynus Mountain Ninebark Sun To 10,000′
Potentilla fruticosa Shrubby Cinquefoil Sun To 11,000′
Prunus besseyi Western Sand Cherry Sun To 9,000′
Prunus virginiana melanocarpa Western Chokecherry Sun to part shade To 8,500′
Rhus glabra Smooth Sumac Sun To 8,500′
Rhus trilobata Three-Leaf Sumac Sun To 9,000′
Ribes aureum Golden Currant Sun to part shade To 10,000′
Ribes odoratum Crandall’s Clove Current Sun to part shade To 10,000′
Rosa Woodsii Western Wild Rose (Woods Rose) Sun to part shade To 10,000’
Rubus deliciosus Boulder Raspberry Sun to part shade To 9,000′
Sambucus racemosa Red-Berried Elderberry Sun to part shade To 10,000′
Shepherdia argentea Silver Buffaloberry Sun To 8,500′
Symphoricarpos albus White Snowberry Sun to part shade To 8,500′
Symphoricarpos occidentalis Western Snowberry Sun to part shade To 8,500′

Picea pungens Colorado Blue Spruce Sun to Filtered Shade To 10,000′
Populus tremuloides Quaking Aspen Sun To 10,000′
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas-fir Sun to Filtered Shade To 11,000′
Quercus gambelii Gambel’s Oak Sun to Filtered Shade To 9,000′

Click to View Printable PDF file: Gardening with Native Plants

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McCord's Garden Center

McCord’s Garden Center and Landscaping is a locally-owned and operated family business located in Monument, CO. We provide year round landscaping design and installation services. Our Garden Center is open seasonally.

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