Our Native Plant Gardens
The native plant gardens offer a glimpse of the diversity and beauty of plants naturally adapted to our local climate and soils. Our gardens were established for meadow, sun garden and shade garden plants. The meadow features wildflowers that provide a habitat for native insects and songbirds, and reduce air and water pollution. The shade garden contains ferns, sedges, grasses, wildflowers and shrubs that grow within forests. The sun garden displays grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees that thrive with a minimum of supplemental watering and fertilizers.
Why Native Plants at the University of Maryland?
The arboretum and botanical garden is an invaluable resource for Maryland's flagship campus. The native plant gardens are used to document, understand and teach about current and regionally important forces of nature and man. The gardens also serve to increase public environmental literacy for a sustainable future. The plants in our native plant gardens are grown from seeds collected during plant explorations conducted throughout Maryland. The seeds provide a "bank" of locally valuable Maryland plant species and wildflowers. The flowers you see will produce seeds to be sown to restore our native plant populations. Unlike lawns, native grasses and wildflowers can thrive without watering, mowing or weed killers. They are locally adapted to provide food and shelter for wildlife such as migratory birds, insect pollinators, frogs and turtles.
Virginia bluebell - Mertensia virginica at Edward St. John, planted fall 2019, with dwarf fothergilla - Fothergilla gardenia blooming in the background, photo by Michael Ellis
Red columbine - Aquilegia canadensis, planted fall 2019 at the Maryland Natives Shade Garden, on McKeldin Mall between Woods and Francis Scott Key Hall, photo by Michael Ellis
Blue-eyed grass - Sisyrinchium angustifolium, planted fall 2019 at the Maryland Natives Shade Garden, on McKeldin Mall between Woods and Francis Scott Key Hall. Foam flower - Tiarella cordifolia and Red columbine - Aquilegia canadensis blooming in background, photo by Michael Ellis
Wild geranium - Geranium maculatum at the Maryland Natives Shade Garden, on McKeldin Mall between Woods and Francis Scott Key Hall, photo by Michael Ellis
Wild blue phlox - Phlox divaricata, and foam flower - Tiarella cordifolia in front of Mckeldin library, photo by Michael Ellis
White fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus in front of Tydings Hall, facing Mckeldin library, photo by Michael Ellis
Mountain laurel - Kalmia latifolia forma rubra at the Garden of Reflection & Remembrance, Memorial Chapel, photo by Michael Ellis
Northern blue flag iris - Iris versicolor at A. James Clark Hall, photo by Michael Ellis