Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 05, 2013

From: Castle Rock, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Plant Lists
Title: Native Plants for Colorado
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Please advise me where I can find a list of native plants for the Castle Rock, Colorado area. This is for a home garden landscaping initiative.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants for your home garden landscape is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: Colorado, All habits (or just search for trees, shrubs, etc.), and Duration – Annual, Biennial or Perennial. You can narrow down this search further by indicating light requirement, blooming time, soil moisture, and height specifics. The full list of Colorado natives totals 1,847 plant species so you will need to narrow your search.

Follow each plant link to our webpage for that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each plant webpage, under Additional Resources, there is a link to the USDA webpage for that plant. Take a look there for more specific details about suitability before you put them on your final planting list. Think about including plants that have interest during a variety of seasons and that have more than one attractive feature (flower, fruit, foliage, bark, etc.) so you can get more benefits out of fewer plants.

To further narrow your list of potential plants, you will have to consider plant hardiness. Castle Rock, south of Denver is in USDA Plant hardiness zone 5b (-15 to -10 F).   Just enter your zip code on the webpage and your hardiness zone will be identified. You can also get a more detailed hardiness map of Colorado by clicking on your state.

Think of your space as three layers – the upper tree canopy, the middle shrub or small tree section and the lower section that has groundcovers, perennials and biennials. Your plan can include native plants for all three of these layers. You can also have several different plants in the middle and lower layers that have attractive flowering, foliage or fruiting features during different times of the year.

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Hairy clematis
Clematis hirsutissima

Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Scarlet gilia
Ipomopsis aggregata

More Plant Lists Questions

Native Groundcovers for Spartanburg, SC
November 23, 2013 - I need suggestions for native groundcovers for Spartanburg, SC. The area to be covered is a fairly steep slope, with a lot of afternoon sun. In the morning, some areas remain shaded until noon whil...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pollinators in Brown County, Texas
July 23, 2013 - I am attempting to plant on our family property a wide range of native plants for the central Texas area (May, TX). The flowers, bushes and trees that rely on pollinators, in particular bees, in order...
view the full question and answer

Plants for mountainous regions
April 04, 2007 - I am writing a novel which is set in a mountainous un-named region. Are there any plants,trees & shrubs that are common sights in a number of regions. I don't want anyone to be able to specifically ...
view the full question and answer

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for hill with erosion in San Carlos, CA
September 22, 2012 - What wildflowers would you suggest for our hills that have erosion, low ground cover in San Carlos, California?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.

Bibliography

Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope (2001) Weber, W.A.; R. C. Wittmann

Rare Plants of Colorado (1997) Colorado Native Plant Society

Rocky Mountain Flora: A Colorado Mountain Club Field Guide (2006) Ells, J.

Trees and Shrubs of Colorado (1995) Carter, J.L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography