Rain Gardens on the BC Sunshine Coast

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Rain Gardens – Native Plant List – Part 5



This native plant species page lists trees suited to Rain Gardens. The trees listed are divided into Evergreen (with the sole entry, Pacific Wax Myrtle) and Deciduous categories.  There are eleven varieties of Deciduous Trees. They are arranged by height. All are coastal SW British Columbia natives.



Native Plants – Large Shrubs to Small Trees

Evergreen Tree – The Pacific Wax Myrtle

Pacific Wax Myrtle (M. californica): Zones 1, 2 & 3
Myrica californica: Full sun/partial sun exposure
- 2.4-5.5 m (8-18') high, 2.4-6.0 m (10-20') wide
- Myrica californica blooms in May and June
- Good for larger areas or control with regular pruning
 Pacific Wax Myrtle provides good habitat for wildlife

Deciduous Trees – Large Shrubs to Full-Sized Trees

Oso Berry (Oemleria cerasiformis): Zones 2 and 3
Oemleria cerasiformis: Partial sun/shade
- 1.5-4.8 m (5-16') high, 1.5-3.6 m (5-12') wide
- Oemleria cerasiformis blooms February-to-April
- Spring berries peach-like; Summer berries plum-like
 First native to bloom in Spring; aka 'Indian Plum'

Black Twinberry (L. involucrata): Zones 1, 2 and 3
Lonicera involucrata: Partial sun/shade
- 1.8-2.8 m (6-9') high, 2.4-3.0 m (8-10') wide
- Blooms in Summer; yellow flowers; red bracts*
- Black berries; flowers attractive to hummingbirds
 *Bracts are colourful leaves, here surrounding flowers

Pacific Ninebark (P. capitatus): Zones 1, 2 and 3
Physocarpus capitatus: Full sun/partial sun/shade*
- 2.4-4 m (8-13') high, 1.8-4.6 m (6-15') wide
- Physocarpus capitatus blooms in May and June
- White flowers; multi-coloured peeling bark
 *Physocarpus capitatus does best in partial shade

Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor): Zone 3
Holodiscus discolor: Full sun/partial sun exposure
- 2.4-4.5 m (8-15') high, 1.8-4.5 m (6-15') wide
- Blooms June-July; large white flower clusters
- Flowers attract butterflies, Winter seeds feed birds
 Oceanspray makes for a good soil binder in Zone 3

Western Serviceberry (A. alnifolia): Zones 2 & 3
Amelanchier alnifolia: Full sun/partial sun exposure
- 2.4-6.0 m (8-20') high, 1.5-3.0 m (5-10') wide
- Blooms April-May; large white-pink flower clusters
- Purple to blue-black berries will attract native birds
  A. alnifolia is the BC variety of the Saskatoon berry

Warning: The fruit of Western Serviceberry are edible only after cooking or drying (processes which destroys the cyanide-like toxins in the berry's pit).

Blue Elderberry (Sambucus caerulea): Zones 2 & 3
Sambucus caerulea: Full sun/partial sun exposure
- 2.4-6.0 m (10-20') high, 2.4-3.7 m (8-12') wide
- Blooms in May to June; creamy-white flower clusters
- Edible blue Elderberry fruit appears in mid-Summer
 Large, fast-growing shrub; berries attract native birds

Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta): Zones 2 and 3
Corylus cornuta: Full sun/partial sun/shade
- 3.0-6.0 m (10-20') high, 2.4-4.5 m (8-15') wide
- Blooms March to May with tiny red female flowers
- Small, dangling male catkins appear in the Winter
 Best-suited to larger rain gardens; attractive to wildlife

Note: Beaked Hazelnut is the only native nut-producing shrub. The large round Corylus cornuta nuts are edible when roasted or ground into nut-flour

Pacific Crabapple (Malus fusca): Zones 1, 2 and 3
Malus fusca: Full sun/partial sun exposure
- 3.0-9.0 m (10-30') high, 3.0-9.0 m (10-30') wide
- Blooms in April-May; white to pink blossom clusters
- Yellowish-red crabapple clusters; nice Fall colours
 Best-suited to larger rain gardens; attractive to wildlife

Cascara (Frangula purshiana): Zones 2 and 3
Frangula purshiana: Full sun/partial sun/shade
- 4.5-6.0 m (15-20') high, 1.5-3.0 m (5-10') wide
- Blooms in April-May; purple to blue-black berries
- Glossy foliage turns orange to yellow in the Autumn
 Narrow form is well-suited to smaller, tighter spaces

Vine Maple (Acer circinatum): Zones 2 and 3
Acer circinatum: Partial sun/shade
- 4.5-6.0 m (15-20') high, 4.5-6.0 m (15-20') wide
- Blooms in early Spring; white flowers; scarlet samara
- Multi-stemmed; brilliant red-orange Autumn colours
 Acer circinatum is an excellent soil binder

Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera): Zone 3
Betula papyrifera: Full sun (not shade tolerant)
- 15-30 m (50-90') high, 8-15 m (25-45') wide
- Blooms mid-April to June; greenish female flowers
- When mature, dramatic creamy-white peeling bark
 Produces brown male catkins, then female flowers

In the wild, Paper Birch is associated with Beaked Hazelnut, Kinnikinnick, Raspberries, Blackberries, and Elderberries. Best suits larger Rain Gardens.


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