Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia by Susan Harris

Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only regionally native (to me in Maryland), but share two other traits I wish were more common among native plants – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden.


First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked like recently in a neighbor’s wooded garden, blooming with fern leaf phacelia. Unlike that other commonly attempted native evergreen groundcover for shade – Pachysandra procumbens, which I’m told barely spreads at all, ever – this one spreads like crazy, so my neighbor gave me a few.


And sure enough, the following spring it bloomed profusely in its new spot in my garden – among the azaleas.  Which I honestly thought looked garish – and aren’t azaleas already either bordering on or definitely achieving garishness?


So of course I moved the stuff and this year they bloomed all by themselves nowhere near the azaleas, and there they’ll stay and quickly cover all bare ground. And notice how pretty the foliage is?


For sunnier spots, another native that’s evergreen and crazy-vigorous is Bignonia capreolata or Crossvine, shown here in its second full season.


The view from inside my porch, with companions Sedum takesimense and Aucuba ‘Picturata.’


Here’s one more Bignonia, the variety ‘Tangerine Beauty,’ which I planted just last year. It’ll be competing on this privacy screen with another gorgeous native vine – Lornicera sempervirens – and my bet’s on the Bignonia.

Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 29, 2015.


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