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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Landscaping for Wildlife
Native Alaskan and Exotic Plants Used by Wildlife

photo of a hummingbird Use these tables to select plants for landscaping. In addition to their values to wildlife, these plants will add natural beauty to an area. Trees also provide shade in summer, and protection from winter winds, which can mean energy savings in heating and cooling your home. Real estate records show that landscaping with trees and shrubs often increases property values 10–20%.

Local Alaskan greenhouses carry seeds and seedlings of many species; other species can be obtained from mail-order greenhouses. The University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service publishes a list of plant sources for Alaska.

Plant species with low shade tolerance in sunny areas.
Do not apply lime to soil near plants with low or moderate acid tolerance.

Coniferous Trees

CONIFEROUS TREES Height Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
*White Spruce
  Picea glauca
40-115'   P P   x   high mod dry
*Black Spruce
  Picea mariana
15-60'   P P   x   high mod wet
Sitka Spruce
  Picea sitchensis
160-225'       x   x high mod moist
Mountain Hemlock
  Tsuga mertensia
50-100'       x P x mod high moist
Western Hemlock
  Tsuga heterophyla
100-150'       x P x mod high moist
Alaska Redcedar
  Chamaecyparis   nootkatensis
40-80'       P   x high mod wet
*Tamarack (Larch)
  Larix laricina
30-60'         x   high mod dry or
wet
*Siberian Larch
  Larix laricina
30-60'         E   high mod dry or
wet

Deciduous Trees

DECIDUOUS TREES Height Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
Balsam Poplar
  Populus balsamifera
30-50'  P P x P x P mod low moist
*Black Cottonwood
  Populus trichocarpa
80-100'       x P x mod low moist
*Quaking Aspen
  Populus tremuloides
20-80'       P x P mod low dry
*Birch
  Betula papyrifera
20-80'   P x x x x high low moist

Tall Shrubs

TALL SHRUBS Height Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
Feltleaf Willow
  Salix alaxensis
20-30' x x x x x x mod low moist to wet
Douglas Maple
  Acer glabrum
20-30'         E x mod mod moist
Sitka Alder
  Alnus sinuata
5-30'   P x x P x mod low dry to moist
Red Alder
  Alnus rubra
20-40'           x mod mod moist
Thinleaf Alder
  Alnus tenuifolia
15-30'     P x x P high low moist
American Green Alder
  Alnus crispus
3-13' P x P   x   high low dry to wet
Oregon Crabapple
  Malus diversifolia
25'       x   x mod mod wet
**Saskatoon  Serviceberry
  Amelanchier alnifolia
16'       P P P mod low dry
**Pacific  Serviceberry
  Amelanchier florida
16'     P P   P mod low dry to moist
Red-osier Dogwood
  Cornus stolonifera
3-12'         P x mod mod well- drained to wet
Pacific Red Elder
  Sambucus callicarpa
6-12'     x x   x mod mod well- drained to wet
*High Bush Cranberry
  Viburnum edule
2-12' P P P x x x mod mod dry
Early Blueberry
  Vaccinium ovalifolium
5'     x x P x high high wet or dry
*Siberian crabapple
  Malus spp.
20'       E E E mod mod wet
*Chokecherry
  Prunus virginiana
20'     E E E E mod mod moist
*Lilac
  Syringa spp.
6'       E E E mod mod moist

Low Shrubs

LOW SHRUBS Height Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
Willow
  Salix spp.
prostrate to 10' varies by species mod low moist to wet
x x x x x x
Dwarf Birch
  Betula nana
  Betula glandulosa
 
1-3'
1-5'
 
P
P
 
x
P
 
x
 
 
P
 
 
x
x
 
P
P
 
high
high
 
low
low
well- drained to wet
**Northern Black Current
  Ribes hudsonianum
3-6'     P P x   mod mod well- drained
**Wild Current
  Ribes triste
2-3' P P P x x P mod mod moist or well- drained
**Raspberry
  Rubus idaeus
2-4'     P P x P mod low dry
Salmonberry
  Rubus spectabilis
2-7'     x x x   mod low dry
Thimbleberry
  Rubus parviflorus
2-5'           x mod low moist
Wild Rose
  Rosa acicularis
1-4' P P P x x   high mod moist
Buffaloberry
  Shepherdia canadensis
2-6' P P     x P mod low dry
*Silverberry
  Eleagnus commutata
3-12'         P   mod low dry
*Common Juniper
  Juniperus communis
1-2' P P P P x x high low dry
Salal
  Gaultheria shallon
2-3'           P low low moist
Labrador Tea
  Ledum spp.
1-3' x x x x x x high high moist
*Bush Cinquefoil
  Potentilla fruticosa
1-5' P x P   x P mod high dry or moist
Lapland Rosebay
  Rhododendron lapponicum
1-2' P P     x   mod low dry or wet
*Sweetgale
  Myrica gale
1-4'   P P x P x high low wet

Ground Covers and Herbaceous Plants

GROUND COVERS &
HERBACEOUS PLANTS
Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
Dwarf Dogwood
  Cornus canadensis
  P x x x x mod high dry to moist
Cloudberry
  Rubus chamaemorus
x x x x x x mod mod moist to wet
Nagoonberry
  Rubus arcticus
  x     x   mod mod moist to wet
*Bearberry (Kinnikinnik)
  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
P   x   x P mod low dry
Alpine Bearberry
  Arctostaphylos alpina
x x x x x   mod low dry
Mountain Cranberry
  Vaccinium vitis-idaea
x x x x x x mod high dry to moist
Blueberry
  Vaccinium spp.

varies by species
mod high moist to wet
Crowberry
  Empetrum nigrum
P x x x x x high high moist to wet
Jacob's Ladder
  Polemonium acutiflorum
x x x x x x mod low moist to wet
Buttercup
  Ranunculus spp.
varies by species   low moist to wet
Goldenrod
  Solidago multiradiata
x x x x x x   low dry
*Aster
  Aster sibiricus
x x x x x x   low dry
*Mountain Avens
  Dryas octopetala
P x x   x P high mod well-drained or wet
Arnica
  Arnica frigida
P x P x x     low dry
Cinquefoil
  Potentilla spp.
    x x x x   varies dry to moist
*Geranium
  Geranium erianthum
    P x P x mod high moist
Lupine
  Lupinus nootkatensis
  Lupinus arcticus
 
 
x
 
 
x
 
x
 
 
x
 
 
 
x
 
x
 
  low dry to
moist
*Larkspur
  Delphinium spp.
P x x   x   mod low wet
*Columbine
  Aquilegia brevistyla
  Aquilegia formosa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
P
 
 
 
x
   
mod
mod
dry to
moist
Dock (Sorrel)
  Rumex spp.
x x x x x x mod low moist to wet
American Bistort
  Polygonum bistorta
x x P   x     mod moist to wet
Buckwheat
  Polygonum viviparum
x x x x x x   low dry
Artemisia
  Artemisia tilesii
x x x P x     low dry to
moist

Grasses and Sedges

GRASSES & SEDGES Height Alaska  Distribution Tolerance Soil
Moisture
No We Sw Sc Ce Se Acid Shade
Bluejoint Reedgrass
  Calamagrostis canadensis
3-6' P x x x x x mod mod moist
*Alyeska Polargrass
  Arctagrostis latifolia
3-5' x x x P x   mod mod moist
*Arctared Red Fescue
  Festuca rubra
  x x x x x x mod low moist
*Bluegrass
  Poa spp.
  varies by species mod low moist
Sedges
  Carex spp.
2-10"

varies by species
high low dry to wet

Aquatic Plants

AQUATIC PLANTS Height Alaska  Distribution
No We Sw Sc Ce Se
Duckweed
  Lemna spp.
floating   P       x
Spikerush
  Eleocharis spp.
2-7"     P x x x
*Pondweed
  Potamogeton spp.
submerged or floating P x x x x x
Wigeongrass
  Ruppia spiralis
submerged     x x   x
Water Milfoil
  Myriophyllum sibericum
submerged   P     x P
Smartweed
  Polygonum amphibium
submerged or floating       x P  
Buckbean
  Menyanthes trifoliata
floating P P x x x x
Cattail
  Typha latifolia
2-6'         P  
Bulrush
  Scirpus spp.
12-40"         P x
*Burreed
  Sparganium spp.
1-3' P x x x x x
Arrowgrass
  Triglochin spp.
30"   P x x P x
Pendant Grass
  Arctophia fulva
1-3' x x P x x P
Pond lily
  Nuphar polysepalum
floating   P x x x x
range map

x = present throughout most of the region
P = present in portions of the region
E = exotic species

 *Commercially available in Alaska.
**Nonnative, but similar species available commercially.

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