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Drought Tolerant Perennials

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The following is a list of herbaceous plants that are drought tolerant, once established. Some of those listed may not look "pretty" in a severe drought, but usually survive. Those marked with (*) are native to North America.

Perennials
  • Achillea sp. - Yarrow
  • Agastache foeniculum - Anise Hyssop*
  • Arabis procurrens - Rock Cress
  • Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed*
  • Amsonia sp. - Blue Star Flower*
  • Artemisia ludoviciana - Wormwood*
  • Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed*
  • Aster divaricatus - White Wood Aster*
  • Aster ericoides - Heath Aster*
  • Aster laevis - Smooth Aster*
  • Aster lateriflorus - Calico Aster*
  • Aster novae-angliae - New England Aster*
  • Aster novi-belgii - New York Aster*
  • Aurinia saxatile - Basket of Gold
  • Baptisia australis - False Blue Indigo*
  • Boltonia asteroides - Boltonia*
  • Calamintha nepeta - Savory Catmint
  • Centaurea montana - Mountain Bluet
  • Centranthus ruber - Red Valerian
  • Chrysanthemum nipponicum - Nippon or Montauk Daisy
  • Coreopsis tripteris - Tall Coreopsis*
  • Coreopsis verticillata - Threadleaf Coreopsis*
  • Dianthus sp .- Pinks, Carnations
  • Dictamnus albus - Gas Plant
  • Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower*
  • Echinops ritro - Globe Thistle
  • Epimedium sp. - Barrenwort
  • Eryngium sp. - Sea Holly
  • Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Rubra'
  • Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon'
  • Euphorbia polychroma - Cushion Spurge
  • Gaura lindheimeri - White Gaura*
  • Gallardia x grandiflora - Blanket Flower
  • Geranium macrorrhizum - Bigroot Geranium
  • Helleborus foetidus - Bearsfoot Hellebore
  • Helleborus niger - Christmas Rose
  • Helleborus orientalis hybrids - Lenten Rose
  • Hemerocallis - Daylily
  • Hibiscus moscheutos - Common Mallow *
  • Hosta sp.- Hosta
  • Hypericum androsaemum - St. John's Wort
  • Lavandula sp. - Lavender
  • Liatris aspera - Rough Blazing Star*
  • Liatris spicata - Spike Gayfeather*
  • Liriope spicata; L. muscari - Lily-Turf
  • Nepeta sp. - Catnip
  • Origanum vulgare - Oregano
  • Penstemon digitalis - Smooth White Penstemon*
  • Perovskia atriplicifolia - Russian Sage
  • Phlox subulata - Moss Phlox*
  • Phlox stolonifera - Creeping Phlox*
  • Polygonatum commutatum - Great Solomon's Seal*
  • Rudbeckia fulgida - Black Eyed Susan*
  • Rudbeckia laciniata - Cutleaf Coneflower*
  • Salvia x sylvestris (superba, nemorsa) - Salvia
  • Sedum sp. - Sedum
  • Sempervivum sp.- Hens and Chicks
  • Stachys byzantina - Lamb's Ears
  • Stokesia laevis - Stokes' Aster*
  • Thymus sp. -Thyme
  • Verbascum sp.- Mullein
  • Yucca filamentosa - Adam's Needle*
Ornamental Grasses
  • Andropogon geradii - Big Bluestem
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' - Feather Reed Grass
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam'
  • Carex morrowii 'Ice Dance' ; C. 'Variegata' - Sedge
  • Carex 'Evergold' - Sedge
  • Carex pensylvanica - Sedge*
  • Chasmanthium latifolium - Northern Sea Oats*
  • Eragrastis spectabilis - Purple Love Grass*
  • Festuca glauca - Blue Fescue
  • Panicum virgatum - Switch Grass*
  • Schizachyrium scoparium - Little Bluestem*
  • Sorghastrum nutans - Indian Grass*
  • Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed*
Ferns
  • Dennstaedtia punctilobula - Hay-scented Fern
  • Dryopteris marginalis - Wood Fern

Written by: Deborah Swanson
Revised: 09/2011

Topics: 
Commercial Horticulture
Commercial Horticulture topics: 
Plant Materials