High 10 Vegetation Native to Idaho


white colored flowers on a plant

Born from and for the native local weather, Idaho’s native vegetation want as much as 90% much less water than turfgrass. To owners’ delight, in addition they don’t require mowing and barely ask for fertilizers and pesticides. 


You possibly can at all times rely on Idaho’s native species to take care of themselves, the land, and the precious native pollinators. Like Idahoans, these natives are all about group and serving to others. 

Listed here are ten of the most well-liked native vegetation you’ll be able to invite into your Idaho backyard in the present day. You’ll love the cheerful colours, distinctive textures, and scrumptious scents!


1. Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Arrowleaf balsamroot is well-liked alongside the paths of the Boise Foothills. It’s a showy plant that grows in mid to higher elevations in combined conifer forest openings with Douglas fir and pinyon-juniper close by. 

Biologists say its presence is an indication of appropriate habitats for the sage grouse, a wonderful fowl native to the western US that the Nationwide Audubon Society experiences is within the technique of dropping its pure habitats to growth, invasive grasses, and wildfire. 

Also called the Oregon sunflower, arrowleaf balsamroot is the right plant in your backyard’s arid areas and dry slopes. It develops deep, in depth taproots, stabilizing the soil, and has wonderful drought tolerance. 

All its elements are edible and have been used as meals and drugs for hundreds of years by Native People. 

Word: It’s a sluggish grower and blooms after 2-3 years from seeding. Be affected person. It’s price it!

Kind: Lengthy-lived perennial wildflower.

Dimension: 1 to 2 toes tall

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to eight.

Soil: It prefers dry to moist,  well-drained, silty to loamy soils, acidic to impartial (pH vary of 6.5 to eight.0).

Mild: Full solar, but additionally tolerates partial shade.

Drought tolerance: Excessive. 

Use in landscaping:

  • In flower beds or as a border.
  • Understory for taller shrubs and timber.
  • Wonderful for pollinator and butterfly gardens, cottage and wildflower gardens, and restoration initiatives.

Upkeep: Water it throughout dry spells to advertise blooming.

Store arrowleaf balsamroot seeds on-line:

2. Blue Flax (Linum lewisii

Blue flax is the right view to get up to in the event you’re grumpy within the morning. It’s a cheerful shrub coated in pleasant pale-blue flowers from Might to July. They bloom on delicate, skinny stalks that wave within the softest breeze, shine by the day, and fall off within the night. The subsequent morning, new buds divulge heart’s contents to say, “Hello!” 

Also called Lewis flax or wild blue flax, it’s a vigorous plant native to the foothills and mountain meadows of the Western U.S. It doesn’t want a lot pampering. Plant it in a nook with full solar, and bear in mind to water it throughout dry spells to maintain it in full bloom. However, it enjoys the cooler areas of the state and is likely to be much less appropriate for gardens in Bruneau and different southern Idaho cities.

Kind: Annual or perennial wildflower.

Dimension: 12 to 30 inches tall and eight to 18 inches broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 5 to 9.

Soil: It thrives in numerous soil circumstances.

Mild necessities: Full solar.

Drought tolerance: Reasonable.

Use in landscaping:

  • In flower beds, single, or in teams.
  • In mountain meadow landscapes.

Upkeep: In the reduction of flower stalks when the flowering interval ends.

Store blue flax seeds on-line:

3. Lewis’ Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii

This magnificence wins over all of the green-thumbed of us within the Gem State in a second. It’s no marvel it bears the title of Idaho’s state flower. The mock orange is roofed in showy, delicate snow-white flowers resembling orange and lemon blossoms from Might to June. 

Mock orange flowers unfold an intense, contemporary, citrus-like scent. Discover a place for them beneath your property home windows, close to a patio, or alongside walkways to get pleasure from its aroma. 

It’s additionally essential in sensory gardens, together with the bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) and nettleleaf large hyssop (Agastache urticifolia).

Kind: Deciduous shrub.

Dimension: 8 to 12 toes tall and 5 to eight toes broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to eight.

Soil: It tolerates a variety of soils if drainage is sweet.

Mild necessities: Full solar and half shade.

Drought tolerance: Reasonable.

Use in landscaping: 

  • Accent plant or specimen in flower mattress or border.
  • Privateness display screen.
  • Close to shrubs or small timber.
  • Near dwelling or leisure areas the place you’ll be able to benefit from the perfume.
  • Finest in much less formal landscaping

Upkeep: Prune this flowering shrub periodically to create a rounded crown. 

Store mock orange (also called Western Syringa) on-line:

4. Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa)

Have an arid, sizzling, naked spot in your yard? We guess the rabbitbrush could make it work! Its sleek silver leaves and fluffy flowers make it look delicate and fragile, nevertheless it’s one of the crucial hardy and drought-resistant native plant species in Idaho. 

Rubber rabbitbrush is a treasure for the native ecosystem. Its tiny vibrant yellow flowers blooming in ball-like clusters are treasured for native pollinators. Typically, lots of of tiny bugs fly off it. When this occurs, it appears like your complete flower takes flight.

Kind: Upright woody shrub.

Dimension: 3 to five toes tall and broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to 9.

Soil: It thrives in well-drained, shallow, poor, or normal backyard soil.

Mild necessities: Full solar.

Drought tolerance: Excessive.

Use in landscaping:

  • Good for xeriscaping gardens and dry spots in your backyard, uncovered to warmth and full solar.
  • Plant it in pollinator gardens combined with beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) with putting blue, lavender, and purple flowers, hummingbird mint (Agastache cana), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), beebalm (Monarda didyma), and Utah serviceberry (Amelanchier utahensis).

Upkeep: Reduce it again to 6-12 inches in early spring to maintain it compact and neat.

5. Redtwig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

This dogwood retains a low profile throughout spring and summer time and solely takes the stage within the fall. However, oh, boy! When it does, it’s all fireworks! The leaves flip a firey crimson throughout its cover as if the phoenix rose from its ashes and made a nest in your yard. You possibly can’t take your eyes off it! 

Then the leaves fall. Its crimson branches stay in full view, making for an ideal winter accent plant. Your backyard won’t ever appear naked within the chilly season once more. Whereas it’s a celebrity, it doesn’t thoughts staying within the shade. It’s prime of the record for understory choices that look nice beneath your backyard’s shade timber.

Redtwig dogwood can also be a useful help for native wildlife. It provides dense shelter and edible berries as meals. Plant it in a low spot in your yard or as a part of a rain backyard. 

Kind: Deciduous shrub.

Dimension at maturity: 6 to eight toes tall, over 12 toes broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 2 to 7.

Soil: Thrives in heavier soils with excessive water holding capability.

Drought tolerance: Reasonable. It grows greatest in persistently damp or frequently irrigated places however also can tolerate drought with some minimal watering.

Mild: Full solar to reasonably heavy shade.

Use in landscaping: 

  • Privateness display screen or low layer in windbreaks.
  • Specimen plant.
  • Understory for tall timber.
  • It’s a worthwhile addition to wildlife habitats, providing dense cowl and edible berries for birds and small mammals.


  • Water each 10 to 14 days throughout sizzling summer time months.
  • Trim outdated branches sometimes.
  • Prune within the spring to the specified dimension and form (if you need a neat look).

The place to purchase redtwig dogwood seeds and cuttings on-line:

6. Rocky Mountain Maple (Acer glabrum)

Additionally identified by the frequent names of Douglas maple and rock maple, this shrub isn’t an enormous presence however is undoubtedly a giant head-turner. 

The rocky mountain maple has spectacular colours. It sprouts all crimson within the spring and hides beneath comfortable, inexperienced foliage in summer time. In Autumn, its leaves flip an uncommon vibrant yellow to darkish pink-golden shade. 

Acer glabrum naturally grows in wetlands and stream banks and wishes additional water throughout dry spells. It’s additionally a wonderful choice for shaded gardens.

Kind: Deciduous shrub or small tree.

Dimension at maturity: 15 to 30 toes tall and eight to fifteen toes broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to eight.

Soil: Prefers deep, loamy, barely acidic soil however tolerates alkaline. 

Mild: Grows in reasonably deep shade to full solar. It thrives in reasonably dry, shady websites.

Drought tolerance: Reasonable to excessive.

Use in landscaping:

  • Specimen tree.
  • Understory for taller, bigger timber.


  • Prune the younger tree till you get the specified form.
  • Guarantee some further watering throughout drought.

7. Massive Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

When you stroll by a backyard with massive sagebrush throughout summer time, you’ll catch a whiff of a clear, sharp winter odor that surprises you. It’s let out by the small silvery leaves rising on the shrub’s twisted branches. Some say it smells like Christmas with a twist of camphor.

Also called the desert sagebrush, this shrub or small tree is native to the Nice Basin area. Its attraction and wonder are all in its foliage, making it a really perfect backdrop for extra showy vegetation.  With wonderful drought tolerance, it’s additionally excellent for xeriscaping and arid slopes. As soon as established, it thrives on rainfall alone. 

Kind: Evergreen shrub or small tree.

Dimension: 3 to fifteen toes tall and three to 10 toes broad.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to 9.

Soil: It thrives in well-drained, dry, sandy, loamy, or rocky soils.

Mild: Full solar (very low shade tolerance).

Drought tolerance: Excessive. 

Use in landscaping:

  • Plant as hedge, display screen, or floor cowl.
  • In xeriscaping gardens, arid areas, and on slopes for soil stabilization.


  • Prune periodically to develop denser shrubs.
  • After it establishes, you don’t have to irrigate it throughout summer time. Moist soil exposes it to root rot.

Store massive sagebrush (dessert sagebrush) on-line:

8. Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Acquired a candy spot in your yard? Plant serviceberry! It’s a little-known technique to get a great deal of wholesome and yummy fruits for your loved ones. It produces gentle crimson to darkish purple or blue pomes, that are like tiny apples (they’re not actual berries, regardless of the shrub’s title). 

While you munch on them, it’s like a cherry and blueberry combine with a shock marzipan twist from the seeds! You possibly can get pleasure from its contemporary fruits or use them in mouth-watering jams, pies, jellies, and different desserts. 

The serviceberry can also be a showy shrub. From April to Might, it’s coated in sensible white flowers. When fall rolls in, its leaves remodel into a stunning show of oranges and reds. 

Kind: Deciduous shrub.

Dimension at maturity: 3 to fifteen toes.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to 7.

Soil: Tolerates numerous soil circumstances, together with alkalinity. It’s much less tolerant to salty and moist terrains.

Mild: Full solar, however tolerates partial shade.

Use in landscaping: 

  • In privateness screens, borders.
  • In combined beds or open areas.
  • To fill areas round deciduous and evergreen timber.


  • Reasonably drought tolerant. It wants some water throughout the summer time to make sure high-quality fruits.
  • Prune to maintain the specified kind and dimension.

Store serviceberry seeds and timber on-line:

9. Frequent Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Frequent yarrow has upright, sturdy stems coated in lots of of small, feathery leaves. The flat-topped, dome-like flowers are manufactured from dozens of daisy-like florets. Their colours range from white and pink to deep crimson shades. 

When bruised, the leaves and flowers launch a spicy scent. It appears like an Italian cooking herb combine with notes of oregano and basil. Yarrow can also be a magnet for useful bugs, very best for wildlife habitats and butterfly gardens. 

Kind: Perennial herb.

Dimension: 3 toes tall.

USDA hardiness zone: 4 to six

Soil: It prefers loamy, well-drained, barely acidic soil.

Mild: Full solar. In partial solar tends to get leggy.

Drought tolerance: Excessive.

Use in landscaping:

  • As floor cowl and various to turfgrass in dry areas.
  • A part of pollinator and butterfly gardens and meadows.
  • Plant in outside containers.


  • Water solely till it establishes.
  • Fertilization isn’t wanted and might do extra hurt than good.
  • Take away lifeless stems within the heart of the clump within the spring.
  • Divide the plant each 3 to five years to make sure wholesome development.

The place to purchase yarrow seeds on-line: 

10. Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)

Bluebunch wheatgrass is a treasured meals supply for native wildlife. With roots digging as much as 6 toes into the soil, this native grass retains inexperienced and feeds hungry animals throughout droughts.

It’s a gracious inexperienced clumping grass that grows as much as 4 toes tall and provides shade to arid areas in your yard. Contemplate it for a xeriscape, desert, or rock backyard. 

Wheatgrass can also be a superb resolution for any dry zone in your yard the place you’ll be able to’t develop the well-liked Idaho turfgrasses.

Kind: Perennial cool-season native grass.

Dimension: 1.6 to 4 toes tall.

USDA hardiness zone: 3 to 7.

Soil: It thrives in well-drained soils.

Mild: Full solar to partial shade.

Drought tolerance: Excessive.

Use in landscaping:

  • Floor cowl with different slow-growing vegetation like bug sagebrush, Idaho fescue, and ponderosa pine.
  • Set up it on sloped areas for soil stabilization.

Upkeep: It’s a slow-growing grass, much less capable of hold weeds away whereas rising. You’ll want to make sure they don’t overwhelm it.

Store bluebunch wheatgrass seed on-line:

Advantages of Native Vegetation

Including native species to your panorama brings distinctive and worthwhile advantages starting from aesthetics and native pleasure to environmental and monetary concerns. Listed here are the primary advantages of together with native vegetation in your panorama

  • With the correct vegetation, you’ll be able to have a surprising, unique-looking backyard. 
  • Decrease water payments. Vegetation native to the Intermountain West area use much less water than imported ones. Some natives thrive with solely 3 to five waterings a 12 months.
  • You spend much less time, cash, and power on yard upkeep. Natives want much less to no fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides. 
  • The backyard turns into a worthwhile pillar of environmental safety. Native vegetation feed and shelter pollinators, that are important for the native ecosystem.
  • Utilizing native vegetation as an alternative of imported ones prevents the introduction of invasive vegetation. Imported species don’t assist the native wildlife a lot and infrequently show troublesome to regulate. They will additionally overpower native vegetation, probably destroying ecosystems. 
  • They convert the yard right into a pleasant wildlife habitat for bugs, birds, and small animals that hold away pests. 
  • You get to be part of preserving Idaho’s exceptional pure heritage.

The place to Plant Natives in Your Idaho Yard

The key to integrating natives into your backyard is to take it one step at a time. Have a look at your outside area and discover appropriate locations to create wild corners. Listed here are just a few choices you may determine:

Open Areas That Can Use Some Colour, Texture, and Shade

The fundamental instance is a yard coated totally with turfgrass. It’s the right place so as to add timber and shrubs. 

Some native vegetation you should utilize are rocky mountain juniper (for dry areas), water birch (for dry and moist soils), pinyon pine, and limber pine.

Shaded Areas Below Timber and Close to the Home

Most turfgrasses and exotics don’t achieve this nicely within the shade. However there are some lovely native floor covers and shrubs you should utilize to fill the areas beneath and round timber. 

Some good examples are the next:

  • Bellflower (Campanula rotundifolia)
  • Golden currant (Ribes aureum)
  • Creeping Oregon grape (Mahonia repens)
  • Pinewoods geranium (Geranium caespitosum)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
  • Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum
  • Whipple’s penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus)

Dry Corners or Edges

All of us have some dry corners or edges the place the sprinklers received’t attain and the grass received’t keep inexperienced. Including native wildflowers, shrubs, and timber is a superb technique to make these sparse areas look lovely whereas reducing water payments.

Some drought-tolerant native vegetation for Idaho are:

  • Bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata)
  • Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus)
  • Oak-leaf sumac (Rhus trilobata)
  • Colorado aster (Aster coloradoensis)
  • Desert 4 o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora)
  • Arrowleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum compositum)

Steep Slopes

Steep areas make it troublesome to irrigate the soil correctly and are sometimes uncovered to erosion. In case you have a steep slope in your yard, take into account planting drought-tolerant natives and changing it right into a rock backyard

Listed here are just a few Idaho native wildflowers and grasses that look gorgeous amongst stones: 

  • Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) 
  • Cutleaf daisy (Erigeron compositus)
  • Cushion phlox (Phlox kelseyi
  • Blue fescue (Festuca idahoensis)

Roadside Strips

Planter strips are among the most troublesome areas to maintain inexperienced with basic turfgrass. The small dimension makes them laborious to mow and irrigate, and the excessive warmth makes the grass susceptible to pests. 

For profitable planting on roadside strips, you’ll want native vegetation which can be resilient to warmth, full solar, and drought, reminiscent of:

  • Desert fernbush (Chamaebatiaria millefolium)
  • Lacy buckwheat (Eriogonum corymbosum)
  • Dwarf yucca (Yucca nana)
  • Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus)
  • Desert zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora)

FAQ About Idaho Native Vegetation 

What Vegetation Develop Finest in Northern Idaho?

Some lovely native species that develop up in north Idaho are the Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, ponderosa pine, western crimson cedar, crimson elderberry, ninebark, and serviceberry.

Is Sagebrush Native to Idaho?

Sure, sagebrush is native to the Gem State. It’s a standard view within the Snake River Airplane in Southern Idaho.

Can You Plant Native Vegetation from Seed?

Sure, plenty of native species will be propagated utilizing their seeds. However, some have to be handled by stratification or scarification to germinate correctly. 

Fill Your Yard with Native Gems Immediately!

With gorgeous colours, shapes, and textures, Idaho’s native vegetation make gardens look extra lovely than ever. They’re additionally low-maintenance, good for the soil, and a blessing for native pollinators. Select yours in the present day! 

Contact a landscaping firm in Idaho to get assist filling your yard with native gems! LawnStarter can put you in contact with the perfect specialists in Boise, Rexburg, Couer d’Alene, and all around the state.

Most important Picture Credit score: A. Barra / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon

Sinziana Spiridon is a content material author with a background in training and drugs, keen about sustainable gardening, renewable power, and wholesome cooking. She spends her free time swimming, studying, caring for her backyard, and testing new recipes.

Welcome to the lush world of gardens and nature with Katia, your dedicated guide on With a profound love for the natural world and a deep-rooted connection to all things green, Katia is your trusted companion in unraveling the beauty, science, and serenity that encompass gardens, plants, trees, and the great outdoors. Katia's journey is one of exploration and environmental appreciation, driven by a genuine fascination with the intricate ecosystems that thrive around us. Her articles are a harmonious blend of informative insights and heartfelt storytelling, capturing the essence of the botanical wonders that shape our surroundings. Drawing from a rich tapestry of horticultural knowledge and a desire to inspire environmental stewardship, Katia's writing takes you on an immersive journey through gardens of all sizes, plant species, and the delicate balance of nature. Whether she's delving into gardening tips and techniques, unveiling the unique qualities of different plants and trees, or celebrating the restorative power of nature, Katia's words paint a vivid portrait of the world outside our windows. Beyond being a dedicated chronicler of nature's splendor, Katia is a community builder. She recognizes the importance of creating a space where fellow nature enthusiasts can come together to share experiences, exchange gardening wisdom, and collectively celebrate the beauty of the outdoors. Join Katia in exploring the enchanting world of gardens, plants, trees, and nature's wonders on Embark on a journey that celebrates the intricate connections that sustain life on Earth, and let Katia's passion ignite your own appreciation for the verdant tapestry that surrounds us.

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