On this page you will find plant lists for both freshwater and marine shorelines.
Native plants offer many advantages for green shorelines and residential landscaping in general. Because they are adapted to local conditions, they rarely require irrigation. They are surprisingly diverse, offering a wide palette of shapes, textures, and colors to work with. They can be attractively mixed with many non-native ornamental plants. Also importantly, they offer substantial habitat benefits for birds, beneficial insects, and fish. Finally, native plants do not need fertilizer and pesticide treatments that can put harmful chemicals in the water.
Many of the plants on this list, like Oregon grape and mock-orange, can be found at any nursery. Others will only be available through nurseries that specialize in native plants. For an up-to-date list of native plant retailers, please contact the Washington Native Plant Society.
Adams, M.A. 2002. Shoreline Structures Environmental Design: a Guide for Structures along estuaries and large rivers. Stewardship Series. www.stewardshipcentrebc.ca/bc-stewardship-series/ Contains a chapter on methods for successfully establishing vegetation and an illustrated Appendix of common riparian plants (mostly freshwater).
Washington State University Beach Watchers EZ-ID Guides – Shoreline Plants www.beachwatchers.wsu.edu/ezidweb/ Extensive and easy-to-use guide to marine shoreline plants.
Washington Native Plant Society www.wnps.org Information on where to purchase native plants in Washington State, plus so much more about using native plants at home.
BC Native Plant Society www.npsbc.ca/nativegardening.html Information on where to purchase native plants in British Columbia plus so much more about using native plants at home.
Washington State Department of Ecology. Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control – role of vegetation. www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/pubs/93-30/using01.html and Plant Selection Guide www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/pubs/93-30/table3.html. Guidance on plants particularly well suited to stabilizing shoreline banks and bluffs.