Native Plants

Native plants are the corner stone of a healthy aquatic environment. Native plants improve water quality, provide habitat, reduce streambank erosion and can improve property values. Selecting the correct species and quantities for your site conditions can be challenging, but the resources below will help guide you in selecting the right native plants for your property. Additionally, contact your county Watershed Steward to get assistance in selecting plants and quantities.

Deer Fern

A Deer Fern plant

Vine Maple

A Vine Maple tree in red fall colors

Myrica/Sweet Gale

A Myrica/Sweet Gale plant

Skunk Cabbage

A patch of Skunk Cabbage


Two Snowberry plants in a landscaped area


A Kinnikinnick plant

Red Elderberry

A Red Elderberry branch

Pacific Bleeding Heart

A patch of Pacific Bleeding Heart

Plant Resources

  • King County Native Plant Guide
    King County’s Native Plant Guide offers a great list of common native trees, shrubs and groundcovers. The database categorizes plants by preferred site conditions (moisture, light exposure, etc.). Additionally, there are planting plan templates for different conditions on your property.
  • Washington Native Plant Society
    In addition to having great resources about native plant species, including descriptions and photos, the Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) website has a lot to offer. You can find information on restoration, ecosystems, conservation, and educational materials. The WNPS also offers field trips, educational programs, and plant sales related to native plants.
  • UW Herbarium
    The UW Herbarium manages a comprehensive list of plants native to Washington State. Their database contains over 57,000 photos of native plants. It’s a great resource to see what various native plants look like and how they will work on your property.
  • Native Plant Nursery List (PDF)
    List of nurseries in Snohomish County, as well as King and Skagit Counties that sell native plants. In some cases nursery staff are a great resource for help selecting plants for both restoration and landscaping.
  • "How to" Planting Guidance- Properly planting your native trees, shrubs and groundcovers is one of the most important things you can do for the health and vigor of your plants. The fact sheets below are intended to help provide guidance on proper planting techniques for the different types of plant material available.

Restoration Resources

  • Sound Native Plants
    The Sound Native Plants resources page covers several different topics such as project planning, site preparation, weed control, and soils. The site helps provide all the information you would need to help plan a restoration project.
  • Society of Ecological Restoration, NW Chapter
    The Society of Ecological Restoration promotes efforts to restore and sustain ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Snohomish Conservation District 
    The Snohomish Conservation District provides programs and technical assistance to help you manage your streams and wetlands.
  • Streamside Planting Guide (PDF)
    This guide provides guidance on how to best manage and restore streams on your property.