The best plants for a rock garden

The top species that will thrive in rocky areas

By Lorraine JohnsonLorraine Johnson

Rock garden

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For sun and shade

• bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): 5–15 cm, evergreen, shiny leaves, pinkish-white urn-shaped flowers in late spring/early summer, red berries in late summer, full sun to part shade

• partridgeberry (Mitchella repens): 5 cm, evergreen, pink or white flowers in mid-summer, red berries, shade

• dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria): 8–15 cm, dangling white flowers with yellow tips in spring, shade, rich soil

• common hairgrass (Deschampsia flexuosa): 30–80 cm, forms dense clumps, prefers acidic soil, sun

Other plants for rock gardens, already described in the Meadow and Woodland sections:

• eastern columbine, common strawberry, Canada mayflower, foamflower, barren strawberry, pearly everlasting

For photos of these and other plants, refer to these websites:

Ontario Wildflowers

North American Native Plant Society

This article was originally published on May 14, 2003


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