Throughout the walk you’ll encounter various Native plants that naturally occur in the region in which they evolved. While non-native plants might provide some benefits, native plants have many additional advantages. Because native plants are adapted to local soils and climate conditions, they generally require less watering and fertilizing than non-natives. Natives are often more resistant to insects and disease, and so are less likely to need pesticides. Wildlife evolved with plants; therefore, they use native plant communities for food, cover and rearing young. Using native plants helps preserve the balance and beauty of natural ecosystems.

Keep an eye out for the plants and species we’ve identified, and let us know what else you see!

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Keep an eye out for these plants throughout the entire walk! While more prominent at some stops, these plants will pop up in multiple locations, even outside of our native gardens (like in your own backyard!).

Hover over illustration for more details!

ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.

PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.

IRIS VERSICOLOR (BLUE FLAG IRIS)

  • Height: 2-2.5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. 30 inch stalks hold 3-5 bluish-purple flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: Blue Flag Iris may grow in 2-4″ of standing water, perfect for rain gardens! This species was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.

ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.

PACKERA AUREA (GOLDEN RAGWORT)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to full shade. Yellow flowers on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring, leaves last all season
  • Attracts: Attracts  little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and various Halictid bees, flies, and caterpillars of the gem moth
  • Fun Fact: Outcompetes most weeds; acts as a great ground cover

COMMON NATIVE PLANTS

Keep an eye out for these plants throughout the entire walk! While more prominent at some stops, these plants will pop up in multiple locations, even outside of our native gardens (like in your own backyard!).


ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.


IRIS VERSICOLOR (BLUE FLAG IRIS)

  • Height: 2-2.5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. 30 inch stalks hold 3-5 bluish-purple flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: Blue Flag Iris may grow in 2-4″ of standing water, perfect for rain gardens! This species was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.


ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.

PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.

RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.


PACKERA AUREA (GOLDEN RAGWORT)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to full shade. Yellow flowers on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring, leaves last all season
  • Attracts: Attracts  little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and various Halictid bees, flies, and caterpillars of the gem moth
  • Fun Fact: Outcompetes most weeds; acts as a great ground cover

WHAT DOES EACH PLANT ATTRACT?

Every plant is home to some kind of animal or pollinator. As you identify each plant at a stop, keep an eye out for whatever birds, bees, or other critters they attract!

Every plant is home to some kind of animal or pollinator. As you identify each plant at a stop, keep an eye out for whatever birds, bees, or other critters they attract!

BUTTERFLIES
BEES
BIRDS
MOTHS
HUMMINGBIRDS
CATERPILLARS
FLIES & INSECTS
CRABS
FISH
DUCKS

The Van Reiner Pollinator Garden, named after Maryland Science Center’s former president and CEO, can be found on the north side of the science center steps away from the Waterfront promenade. This garden is home to various native plants creating a habitat and food source for pollinators and other important species.

STOP 1: THE VAN REINER POLLINATOR GARDEN

The Van Reiner Pollinator Garden, named after Maryland Science Center’s former president and CEO, can be found on the north side of the science center steps away from the Waterfront promenade. This garden is home to various native plants creating a habitat and food source for pollinators and other important species.

ZIZIA AUREA (GOLDEN ALEXANDER)

  • Height: 1.5-3 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Yellow flat-topped clusters on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Hosts the Eastern Swallowtail butterfly and bees
  • Fun Fact: Also known as meadow parsnip and wild parsley. Golden Alexander is actually in the carrot family!

AMSONIA HUBRICHTII (BLUESTAR)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Feathery, soft-textured, needle-like leaves with powdery blue star-like flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Attracts: Smaller butterflies, skippers, flower flies, and bees
  • Fun Fact: The leaves provide spectacular fall color – the plant turns bright gold when flowers die back


ZIZIA AUREA (GOLDEN ALEXANDER)

  • Height: 1.5-3 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Yellow flat-topped clusters on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Hosts the Eastern Swallowtail butterfly and bees
  • Fun Fact: Also known as meadow parsnip and wild parsley. Golden Alexander is actually in the carrot family!

AMSONIA HUBRICHTII (BLUESTAR)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Feathery, soft-textured, needle-like leaves with powdery blue star-like flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Attracts: Smaller butterflies, skippers, flower flies, and bees
  • Fun Fact: The leaves provide spectacular fall color – the plant turns bright gold when flowers die back

Golden ragwort (also known as golden groundsel) is a native perennial that knows how to put on a show. Catch these beautiful plants when they bloom in early Spring and you’ll think you were transported to a local forest. Even when the flowers fade, the green leaves serve as an attractive ground cover throughout the growing season.

STOP 2: GOLDEN RAGWORT FOREST

Golden ragwort (also known as golden groundsel) is a native perennial that knows how to put on a show. Catch these beautiful plants when they bloom in early Spring and you’ll think you were transported to a local forest. Even when the flowers fade, the green leaves serve as an attractive ground cover throughout the growing season.

PACKERA AUREA (GOLDEN RAGWORT)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to full shade. Yellow flowers on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring, leaves last all season
  • Attracts: Attracts  little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and various Halictid bees, flies, and caterpillars of the gem moth
  • Fun Fact: Outcompetes most weeds; acts as a great ground cover

MUHLENBERGIA CAPILLARIS (PINK MUHLY GRASS)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Thrives in full sun and dry soil.  In late summer, pink flower heads appear and last for six to eight weeks. As the seeds ripen, the plumes become tan-colored. Pink Muhly Grass adds texture, movement and mass to the landscape.
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer – Fall
  • Fun Fact: Pink Muhly Grass is listed as an endangered species in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, and New Jersey.


PACKERA AUREA (GOLDEN RAGWORT)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to full shade. Yellow flowers on tall stems.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring, leaves last all season
  • Attracts: Attracts  little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and various Halictid bees, flies, and caterpillars of the gem moth
  • Fun Fact: Outcompetes most weeds; acts as a great ground cover


MUHLENBERGIA CAPILLARIS (PINK MUHLY GRASS)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Thrives in full sun and dry soil.  In late summer, pink flower heads appear and last for six to eight weeks. As the seeds ripen, the plumes become tan-colored. Pink Muhly Grass adds texture, movement and mass to the landscape.
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer – Fall
  • Fun Fact: Pink Muhly Grass is listed as an endangered species in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, and New Jersey.

West Shore Park located on the West side of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is an attractive green space that hosts several events and activities year round. Look beyond the beautiful lawn and you’ll spot several native plants peppered around the park, providing habitat and food for many birds, bees, and butterflies.

STOP 3: WEST SHORE PARK

West Shore Park located on the West side of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is an attractive green space that hosts several events and activities year round. Look beyond the beautiful lawn and you’ll spot several native plants peppered around the park, providing habitat and food for many birds, bees, and butterflies.

HYDRANGEA PANICULATA (LITTLE LIME HYDRANGEA)

  • Height: 3-5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. Large, upright flower heads start out a soft lime green in the spring then fade to a pinkish white in the Fall.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies and bees
  • Fun Fact: This is a “native select” hybrid variety, not originally from North America but is suited to urban environments.

CATMINT NEPETA NEPETA X FAASSENII (WALKERS LOW)

  • Height: 2-2.5 ft
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. A low growing perennial with uprights stems of lavender blue flowers and gray-green hairy leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Fun Fact: When the stems are broken, they release an aroma that tends to attract cats, thus its name, Catmint.


HYDRANGEA PANICULATA (LITTLE LIME HYDRANGEA)

  • Height: 3-5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. Large, upright flower heads start out a soft lime green in the spring then fade to a pinkish white in the Fall.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies and bees
  • Fun Fact: This is a “native select” hybrid variety, not originally from North America but is suited to urban environments.

CATMINT NEPETA NEPETA X FAASSENII (WALKERS LOW)

  • Height: 2-2.5 ft
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. A low growing perennial with uprights stems of lavender blue flowers and gray-green hairy leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Fun Fact: When the stems are broken, they release an aroma that tends to attract cats, thus its name, Catmint.

William Donald Schaefer served as Baltimore Mayor from 1971-1987 and was the Governor of Maryland from 1987-1995. He presided over much of the Inner Harbor’s renaissance and was well known as a “man of the people.” The gardens around the statue host several native plants and welcome visitors, both human and animals, to the Inner Harbor.

STOP 4: SCHAEFER STATUE

William Donald Schaefer served as Baltimore Mayor from 1971-1987 and was the Governor of Maryland from 1987-1995. He presided over much of the Inner Harbor’s renaissance and was well known as a “man of the people.” The gardens around the statue host several native plants and welcome visitors, both human and animals, to the Inner Harbor.

CATMINT NEPETA NEPETA X FAASSENII (WALKERS LOW)

  • Height: 2-2.5 ft
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. A low growing perennial with uprights stems of lavender blue flowers and gray-green hairy leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Fun Fact: When the stems are broken, they release an aroma that tends to attract cats, thus its name, Catmint.

ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.

CATMINT NEPETA NEPETA X FAASSENII (WALKERS LOW)

  • Height: 2-2.5 ft
  • Description: Full sun to part sun. A low growing perennial with uprights stems of lavender blue flowers and gray-green hairy leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Fall
  • Attracts: Butterflies, bees, and birds
  • Fun Fact: When the stems are broken, they release an aroma that tends to attract cats, thus its name, Catmint.


ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.

Harborplace’s iconic pavilions at the Inner Harbor host many native pollinator patches attracting several species of birds, bees, and butterflies. How many pollinator patches can you find at the Light St. Pavilion?

STOP 5: HARBORPLACE PAVILION POLLINATOR PATCHES

Harborplace’s iconic pavilions at the Inner Harbor host many native pollinator patches attracting several species of birds, bees, and butterflies. How many pollinator patches can you find at the Light St. Pavilion?

RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.

PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.

ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.


RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.


PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.


ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.

Harborplace’s iconic pavilions at the Inner Harbor host many native pollinator patches attracting several species of birds, bees, and butterflies. How many pollinator patches can you find at the Pratt St. Pavilion?

STOP 6: HARBORPLACE PAVILION POLLINATOR PATCHES

Harborplace’s iconic pavilions at the Inner Harbor host many native pollinator patches attracting several species of birds, bees, and butterflies. How many pollinator patches can you find at the Light St. Pavilion?

ASTER NOVAE-ANGLIAE (NEW ENGLAND ASTER)

  • Height: 3-6 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Tall stems with many small daisy-like purple flowers (up to 1.5″ diameter) with yellow centers.
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterflies, other butterflies, skippers, bees, and caterpillars of several moths
  • Fun Fact: The flower heads consist of a ring of 40 or more florets that surround a central cluster of yellow disc florets.

PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.

RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.

ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.


ASTER NOVAE-ANGLIAE (NEW ENGLAND ASTER)

  • Height: 3-6 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Tall stems with many small daisy-like purple flowers (up to 1.5″ diameter) with yellow centers.
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterflies, other butterflies, skippers, bees, and caterpillars of several moths
  • Fun Fact: The flower heads consist of a ring of 40 or more florets that surround a central cluster of yellow disc florets.


PENSTEMON DIGITALIS (FOXGLOVE HAIRY BEARDTONGUE)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Tolerates dry soils and full sun. Small white bell flowers with dark reddish/purple leaves
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Long tongued bees, butterflies, sphinx moths and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: The term beardtongue comes from the hairy protrusion inside the flower.


RUDBECKIA VAR. FULGIDA (BLACK EYED SUSAN)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Maryland’s state flower! Tolerates full sun to part shade. Yellow daisy-like flowers with brown “eyes”
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: The dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds that are spread by wind and animals.


ECHINACEA PURPUREA (PURPLE CONEFLOWER)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (up to 5″ in diameter)
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Birds, butterflies and other insects
  • Fun Fact: The purple coneflower’s scientific name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog. This refers to the flower’s spiky, cone-shaped center.

The Kawasaki Stone Lantern is a gift donated to Baltimore City by its sister city of Kawasaki, Japan in June 1984. The Japanese styled plantings around the lantern, which include native Christmas ferns that provide year round interest and food for ground feeding birds, commemorate the special gift and relationship that is nearly 40 years strong.

Note: This Garden contains native Japanese plants that are not all native to our Waterfront in order to maintain authenticity.

STOP 7: KAWASAKI STONE LANTERN

The Kawasaki Stone Lantern is a gift donated to Baltimore City by its sister city of Kawasaki, Japan in June 1984. The Japanese styled plantings around the lantern, which include native Christmas ferns that provide year round interest and food for ground feeding birds, commemorate the special gift and relationship that is nearly 40 years strong.

Note: This Garden contains native Japanese plants that are not all native to our Waterfront in order to maintain authenticity

PRUNUS X YEDOENSIS (YOSHINO CHERRY)

  • Height: 30-40 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Ornamental flowering cherry tree with fragrant white and pink flowers  followed by small black cherries (not edible).
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts:  Small black cherries are a treat for birds
  • Fun Fact: Native to Japan, these are same species of trees planted in Washington D.C. as gifted by Japan in 1912.

HAKONECHLOA MACRA AUREOLA (JAPANESE FOREST GRASS)

  • Height: 1-1.5 feet
  • Description: Part sun to part shade. Graceful ground cover with slender arching leaves give the effect of tiny bamboo. Foliage gets pink-tinged as the weather cools in autumn.
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Attracts: Birds, bees, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Arching leaves are reminiscent of a cascading waterfall.

POLYSTICHUM ACROSTICHOIDES (CHRISTMAS FERN)

  • Height: 1-2 feet
  • Description: Shade to full shade. Evergreen plant with short, scaly wood at the base and green on the top. Develops around 20 leaves better known as “fronds.”
  • Bloom Time: Always in season
  • Attracts: Ground feeding birds
  • Fun Fact: This is a hardy evergreen native fern that gets its name because it’s still green at Christmas time.

PRUNUS X YEDOENSIS (YOSHINO CHERRY)

  • Height: 30-40 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Ornamental flowering cherry tree with fragrant white and pink flowers  followed by small black cherries (not edible).
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts:  Small black cherries are a treat for birds
  • Fun Fact: Native to Japan, these are same species of trees planted in Washington D.C. as gifted by Japan in 1912.


HAKONECHLOA MACRA AUREOLA (JAPANESE FOREST GRASS)

  • Height: 1-1.5 feet
  • Description: Part sun to part shade. Graceful ground cover with slender arching leaves give the effect of tiny bamboo. Foliage gets pink-tinged as the weather cools in autumn.
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Attracts: Birds, bees, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Arching leaves are reminiscent of a cascading waterfall.


POLYSTICHUM ACROSTICHOIDES (CHRISTMAS FERN)

  • Height: 1-2 feet
  • Description: Shade to full shade. Evergreen plant with short, scaly wood at the base and green on the top. Develops around 20 leaves better known as “fronds.”
  • Bloom Time: Always in season
  • Attracts: Ground feeding birds
  • Fun Fact: This is a hardy evergreen native fern that gets its name because it’s still green at Christmas time.

The term “Area 10” conjures up ideas of alien landing sites or top-secret government zones, but this stop is actually on the contrary! Area 10 is a large grassy gateway from Baltimore’s busy Pratt St. to the Inner Harbor. This stop hosts the spectacular sculpture, Under Sky / One Family, designed by Mark di Suvero, as well as many interesting native grasses.

STOP 8: AREA 10

The term “Area 10” conjures up ideas of alien landing sites or top-secret government zones, but this stop is actually on the contrary! Area 10 is a large grassy gateway from Baltimore’s busy Pratt St. to the Inner Harbor. This stop hosts the spectacular sculpture, Under Sky / One Family, designed by Mark di Suvero, as well as many interesting native grasses.

DESCHAMPSIA CESPITOSA (TUFTED HAIR GRASS)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to part shade. Clump forming, fine textured ornamental grass
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Birds
  • Fun Fact: The grass emerges green and turns gold late in the season.  The golden panicles refract the late afternoon light producing a cloud of subtle colors hovering above the foliage.


DESCHAMPSIA CESPITOSA (TUFTED HAIR GRASS)

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Description: Part sun to part shade. Clump forming, fine textured ornamental grass
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Birds
  • Fun Fact: The grass emerges green and turns gold late in the season.  The golden panicles refract the late afternoon light producing a cloud of subtle colors hovering above the foliage.

The campus in front of the National Aquarium has an abundant display of Maryland native gardens but did you know this is the only place around the Waterfront where you’ll spot a waterfall? Find the Maryland Mountain Stream (just in front of the Members Entrance) and you’ll be entranced by the calming water and peaceful forest sounds.

STOP 9: MARYLAND MOUNTAIN STREAM

The campus in front of the National Aquarium has an abundant display of Maryland native gardens but did you know this is the only place around the Waterfront where you’ll spot a waterfall? Find the Maryland Mountain Stream (just in front of the Members Entrance) and you’ll be entranced by the calming water and peaceful forest sounds.

RHODODENDRON MAXIMUM (ROSEBAY RHODODENDRON)

  • Height: 10-15 feet
  • Description: This is a common, understory evergreen shrub with showy white, pink, to purple flowers
  • Bloom Time: June
  • Attracts: Numerous wildlife species,  important food source for bumblebees and other pollinators.
  • Fun Fact: When winter temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, the leaves curl up to retain moisture and unfurl when warmer temperatures return.

SASSAFRAS ALBIDUM (SASSAFRAS TREE)

  • Height: up to 50 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Deciduous tree with bright green leaves often with multiple shaped leaves.
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Songbirds and small animals
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans utilized all parts of the sassafras tree for medicinal purposes. Roots have been used to make homemade root beer and leaves have been used to make sassafras tea or to flavor food.

RHODODENDRON MAXIMUM (ROSEBAY RHODODENDRON)

  • Height: 10-15 feet
  • Description: This is a common, understory evergreen shrub with showy white, pink, to purple flowers
  • Bloom Time: June
  • Attracts: Numerous wildlife species,  important food source for bumblebees and other pollinators.
  • Fun Fact: When winter temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, the leaves curl up to retain moisture and unfurl when warmer temperatures return.

SASSAFRAS ALBIDUM (SASSAFRAS TREE)

  • Height: up to 50 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Deciduous tree with bright green leaves often with multiple shaped leaves.
  • Bloom Time: Spring – Summer
  • Attracts: Songbirds and small animals
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans utilized all parts of the sassafras tree for medicinal purposes. Roots have been used to make homemade root beer and leaves have been used to make sassafras tea or to flavor food.

The Waterfront is home to many native plants, both in and out of the water. As you cross the suspension bridge between Piers 3 & 4, stop and check out the floating wetland island maintained by the National Aquarium. This floating island is home to many plants and animals (aquatic ones too!). You may spot a duck family, or even crabs or fish all benefitting from this small but very important island.

STOP 10: FLOATING WETLANDS

The Waterfront is home to many native plants, both in and out of the water. As you cross the suspension bridge between Piers 3 & 4, stop and check out the floating wetland island maintained by the National Aquarium. This floating island is home to many plants and animals (aquatic ones too!). You may spot a duck family, or even crabs or fish all benefitting from this small but very important island.

SPARTINA ALTERNIFLORA (SMOOTH CORDGRASS)

  • Height: Up to 4-6 feet tall
  • Description: Native marsh grass often used in wetland restoration due to its durability in buffering shoreline erosion.
  • Attracts: Host to many juvenile marsh fauna including blue crabs, killifish, and other nursery aquatic fish. Canada geese are often observed grazing on this popular wetland grass.

PLUCHEA ODORATE (SALTMARSH FLEABANE)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Tall stems with oval leaves support a large flower cluster of bright pinkish-purple or magenta flowers
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Caterpillars, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: This was a plant that voluntarily appeared on the wetland (it was not planted). This plant has been consumed in parts of the Caribbean as medicinal herbal tea.

SPARTINA ALTERNIFLORA (SMOOTH CORDGRASS)

  • Height: Up to 4-6 feet tall
  • Description: Native marsh grass often used in wetland restoration due to its durability in buffering shoreline erosion.
  • Attracts: Host to many juvenile marsh fauna including blue crabs, killifish, and other nursery aquatic fish. Canada geese are often observed grazing on this popular wetland grass.

PLUCHEA ODORATE (SALTMARSH FLEABANE)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Tall stems with oval leaves support a large flower cluster of bright pinkish-purple or magenta flowers
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Caterpillars, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: This was a plant that voluntarily appeared on the wetland (it was not planted). This plant has been consumed in parts of the Caribbean as medicinal herbal tea.

Pierce’s Park is a unique play park for kids and adults. Its iconic horn sculpture, music fence, and willow tunnel are just a few amenities that invite you in for play. Take a closer look and you’ll find another reason to spend a little more time here. Loaded with native plants, the rain gardens are always in bloom, but more importantly, the plants act as nature’s purifier, absorbing and filtering rainwater before it empties into the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.

STOP 11: PIERCE'S PARK RAIN GARDEN

Pierce’s Park is a unique play park for kids and adults. Its iconic horn sculpture, music fence, and willow tunnel are just a few amenities that invite you in for play. Take a closer look and you’ll find another reason to spend a little more time here. Loaded with native plants, the rain gardens are always in bloom, but more importantly, the plants act as nature’s purifier, absorbing and filtering rainwater before it empties into the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.

EUPATORIUM FISTULOSUM (JOE PYE WEED)

  • Height: 4-7 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Late season blooms culminating in 10 inch-wide, nectar and pollen-rich flower clusters in the Fall
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and humming birds
  • Fun Fact: Many people perceive Joe Pye weed to be nothing more than a roadside weed and have never seriously considered its outstanding ornamental attributes.

ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.

IRIS VERSICOLOR (BLUE FLAG IRIS)

  • Height: 2-2.5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. 30 inch stalks hold 3-5 bluish-purple flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: Blue Flag Iris may grow in 2-4″ of standing water, perfect for rain gardens! This species was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

EUPATORIUM FISTULOSUM (JOE PYE WEED)

  • Height: 4-7 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Late season blooms culminating in 10 inch-wide, nectar and pollen-rich flower clusters in the Fall
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and humming birds
  • Fun Fact: Many people perceive Joe Pye weed to be nothing more than a roadside weed and have never seriously considered its outstanding ornamental attributes.

ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.


IRIS VERSICOLOR (BLUE FLAG IRIS)

  • Height: 2-2.5 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. 30 inch stalks hold 3-5 bluish-purple flowers.
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
  • Fun Fact: Blue Flag Iris may grow in 2-4″ of standing water, perfect for rain gardens! This species was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

Butterfly waystations are large patches or gardens of native plants that are used specifically to attract and host butterflies through all stages of life. Host plants invite butterflies to lay their eggs and also act as a food sources for caterpillars, while nectar plants provide food for butterflies. Waystations contain annual and perennial plants with staggered bloom times to support and attract butterflies all-season.

STOP 12: LANCASTER ST. BUTTERFLY WAYSTATION

Butterfly waystations are large patches or gardens of native plants that are used specifically to attract and host butterflies through all stages of life. Host plants invite butterflies to lay their eggs and also act as a food sources for caterpillars, while nectar plants provide food for butterflies. Waystations contain annual and perennial plants with staggered bloom times to support and attract butterflies all-season.

MONARDA DIDYMA (BEE BALM)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Showy, ragged, bright red pom-pom flowers. The leaves emit a minty fragrance when bruised or crushed.
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Bee balm may soothe bee stings and the leaves may be used to make mint tea.

LIATRIS SPICATA (BLAZING STAR)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Narrow, grass-like leaves and tall spikes of vibrant purple bottlebrush flowers. Mini florets bloom from top to bottom and cover about the top third of each flower stalk.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Honey bees, songbirds, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Look for these to start blooming around July 4th!

EUPATORIUM FISTULOSUM (JOE PYE WEED)

  • Height: 4-7 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Late season blooms culminating in 10 inch-wide, nectar and pollen-rich flower clusters in the Fall
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and humming birds
  • Fun Fact: Many people perceive Joe Pye weed to be nothing more than a roadside weed and have never seriously considered its outstanding ornamental attributes.

ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.

EUPATORIUM FISTULOSUM (JOE PYE WEED)

  • Height: 4-7 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Late season blooms culminating in 10 inch-wide, nectar and pollen-rich flower clusters in the Fall
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Early Fall
  • Attracts: Bees, butterflies, and humming birds
  • Fun Fact: Many people perceive Joe Pye weed to be nothing more than a roadside weed and have never seriously considered its outstanding ornamental attributes.

ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA (BUTTERFLY MILKWEED)

  • Height: 1-3 feet
  • Description: Likes full sun. Showy wildflower with long bloom time.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Monarch butterfly, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Native Americans used butterfly weed for fiber to make rope and cloth, as well as for medicinal purposes.

MONARDA DIDYMA (BEE BALM)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Full sun to part shade. Showy, ragged, bright red pom-pom flowers. The leaves emit a minty fragrance when bruised or crushed.
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Bee balm may soothe bee stings and the leaves may be used to make mint tea.

LIATRIS SPICATA (BLAZING STAR)

  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Description: Full sun. Narrow, grass-like leaves and tall spikes of vibrant purple bottlebrush flowers. Mini florets bloom from top to bottom and cover about the top third of each flower stalk.
  • Bloom Time: Summer – Fall
  • Attracts: Honey bees, songbirds, butterflies
  • Fun Fact: Look for these to start blooming around July 4th!

Although not specifically a native plant site, we couldn’t resist adding a stop where you are almost guaranteed to spot a turtle or two. Look to the floating orange booms in the canal and you’ll spot turtles popping up and down and swimming around. The most commonly sighted species include: red eared slider, common sliders, and common snapping turtles.

STOP 13: TURTLE COVE

Although not specifically a native plant site, we couldn’t resist adding a stop where you are almost guaranteed to spot a turtle or two. Look to the floating orange booms in the canal and you’ll spot turtles popping up and down and swimming around. The most commonly sighted species include: red eared slider, common sliders, and common snapping turtles.

TURTLE COVE

  • Turtles love to sunbathe here where the water meets the shore in shallow water.
  • Most common species are the red eared slider, common sliders and common snapping turtle.

  • Turtles love to sunbathe here where the water meets the shore in shallow water.
  • Most common species are the red eared slider, common sliders and common snapping turtle.