How to make your garden bloom

The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers

23 knock-out native plants

Incorporating plants native to your climate means less water, less maintenance, and more wildlife. Here are our top picks around the West

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Vine maple
yaquina on Flickr Creative Commons

Vine maple

(Acer circinatum)

Native to: Northwest

In the forest shade, plant is crooked, sprawling, and vine-like, with many stems from the base. In the open, it becomes a nearly symmetrical small tree 5–35 ft. high, with one or several trunks. Leaves nearly circular, to 6 in. across, with 5–11 lobes; red tinted when new, light green as they mature, then orange, scarlet, or yellow in fall. Tiny reddish purple spring flowers are followed by winged red seeds. Let it go untrimmed to make natural bowers, ideal setting for ferns and woodland flowers. Use under a canopy of tall conifers where its blazing fall color offers brilliant contrast. Can be espaliered against shady side of a wall. Its contorted leafless branches to make an intricate pattern in winter.

More: All about vine maple


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