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Drought Tolerant Plants for the Landscape

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The plants listed below are among those that have been shown to be drought tolerant. However, any plant, regardless of how drought tolerant it may be, will require supplemental watering during its period of establishment in the landscape. Other factors that will impact success of establishment include: location, correct planting procedures, soil type and preparation.

Deciduous trees:
  • Acer griseum - Paperbark maple
  • Carpinus caroliniana - American hornbeam
  • Cornus kousa - Kousa dogwood
  • Cotinus obovatus - American smoketree
  • Crataegus phaenopyrum - Washington hawthorn
  • Ginkgo biloba - Ginkgo
  • Halesia tetraptera - Carolina silverbells
  • Koelreuteria paniculata – Goldenraintree
  • Liquidambar styraciflua - American sweetgum
  • Magnolia x loebneri - Loebner hybrid magnolia
  • Malus spp. - Crabapple
  • Platanus x acerifolia - London planetree
  • Quercus spp. -Oak, many species
  • Sophora japonica - Japanese pagodatree
  • Tilia spp. - Linden
  • Ulmus parvifolia - Lacebark elm
  • Zelkova serrata - Japanese zelkova
Shrubs:
  • Aesculus parvifolia - Bottlebrush buckeye
  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi - Bearberry
  • Aronia spp. - Chokeberry
  • Buddleia davidii - Butterfly bush
  • Calluna spp. - Heather
  • Chaenomeles x superba - Japanese flowering quince
  • Clethra alnifolia - Sweet pepperbush
  • Comptonia peregrina – Sweetfern
  • Cornus mas - Corneliancherry dogwood
  • Cotinus coggygria - Smokebush
  • Cotoneaster spp. - Cotoneaster
  • Erica spp. - Heath
  • Exochorda racemosa - Pearlbush
  • Forsythia sp. - Forsythia
  • Hydrangea paniculata - Panicle hydrangea
  • Hypericum prolificum - Shrubby St. John's wort
  • Itea virginica - Virginia sweetspire
  • Myrica pensylvanica - Bayberry
  • Philadelphus coronarius - Mockorange
  • Physocarpus opulfolius - Ninebark
  • Potentilla fruticosa - Bush cinquefoil
  • Rhus spp. (aromatica, copallina, typhus) - Ornamental sumac
  • Rosa rugosa - Saltspray rose
  • Rosa virginiana - Virginia rose
  • Spirea spp. - Spirea, many species
  • Syringa spp. - Lilac
  • Vaccinium angustifolium - Lowbush blueberry
  • Viburnum dentatum - Arrowwood
Needled Evergreens:
  • Abies concolor - White fir
  • Cedrus atlantica - Atlas cedar
  • Cephalotaxus harringtonia - Japanese plum yew
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera - Sawara false cypress
  • Juniperus spp. - Junipers, most species
  • Picea spp. - Spruce, most species
  • Pinus spp. - Pine, most species
  • Taxus spp. - Yew, most species
  • Thuja occidentalis - Eastern arborvitae
Broadleaf Evergreens
  • Ilex crenata - Japanese holly
  • Ilex glabra - Inkberry
  • Ilex x meserveae - Meserve holly
  • Ilex opaca - American holly
Vines
  • Aristolochia macrophylla (durior) – Dutchman's pipe
  • Campsis radicans - Trumpet creeper
  • Clematis montana - Anemone clematis
  • Lonicera sempervirons - Trumpet honeysuckle
  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia creeper
  • Wisteria frutescens - American wisteria
Perennials
  • Asclepias tuberosa - Butterflyweed
  • Agastache foeniculum - Anise hyssop
  • Amsonia spp. - Amsonia
  • Artemisia spp. - Artemisia
  • Aster spp. - Asters
  • Baptisia australis - False blue indigo
  • Centauria montana - Perennial bachelor's button
  • Coreopsis spp.- Coreopsis
  • Dianthus spp. - Pinks
  • Echinacea purpurea - Purple cone flower
  • Echinops ritro - Globe thistle
  • Erygium spp. - Sea holly
  • Euphorbia sp. - Spurge
  • Gaillardia spp. - Blanket flower
  • Geranium macchrorhizum - Bigroot geranium
  • Helleborus sp. – Hellebores
  • Hemerocallis spp. – Daylily
  • Hibiscus moscheutos - Common mallow
  • Hosta sp. - Hosta
  • Iris sibirica - Siberian iris
  • Lavendula angustifolia - Lavender
  • Liatris spp. - Gay feather
  • Nepeta spp. - Catmint
  • Paeonia sp. - Peony
  • Perovskia atriplicifolia - Russian sage
  • Phlox spp.- Phlox
  • Rudbeckia spp. - Black-eyed Susan
  • Salvia spp. - Sage
  • Sedum spp. - Sedum
  • Sempervirens tectorum - Hens and chicks
  • Stachys byzantina - Lamb's ears
  • Stokesia laevis - Stoke's aster
  • Thymus spp. - Thyme
  • Verbascum spp. - Mullein
  • Yucca spp. - Yucca
Annuals
  • Begonia semperflorens - Wax begonia
  • Calendula officinalis - Pot marigold
  • Canna x generalis - Canna
  • Capsicum spp. - Ornamental peppers
  • Celosia cristata - Cockscomb
  • Cleome - Spider plant
  • Cosmos - Cosmos
  • Digitalis purpurea - Foxglove
  • Eschscholzia californica - California poppy
  • Gazania rigens - Gazania
  • Helianthus sp. - Sunflowers
  • Helichrysum bracteatum - Strawflower
  • Lantana spp. - Lantana
  • Limonium spp. - Statice
  • Nicotiana alata - Flowering tobacco
  • Pelargonum x hortatum - Geranium
  • Petunia x hybrida - Petunia
  • Portulaca grandiflora - Moss rose
  • Rudbeckia hirta - Gloriosa daisy
  • Senecio cineraria - Dusty miller
  • Tagetes spp. - Marigolds
  • Verbena spp. - Verbena
Ornamental Grasses
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora - Feather reed grass
  • Festuca glauca - Blue fescue
  • Panicum virgatum - Switch grass
  • Schizachyrium scoparium - Little bluestem

Written by: Roberta Clark & Deborah Swanson
Revised: 09/2011

Topics: 
Commercial Horticulture
Commercial Horticulture topics: 
Plant Materials