Rudbeckia triloba, or the Brown-eyed Susan, is a biennial (short-lived perennial) plant that grows best in full sun and moist soil. This hardy, long-blooming plant tolerates a range of growing conditions and supports a variety of wildlife.
This large pink flower has a long bloom time, May-October, and attracts many pollinators including bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Large clusters of orange-red tubular-shaped flowers bloom June-August, offering stunning color all summer long.
American Beachgrass is an evergreen grass, ubiquitous to the northeastern seaside landscape. Yellow, inconspicuous flowers bloom on spikes, May-September. It is commonly used as a dune stabilizer along the east coast. Rhizomes (underground stems) travel vertically and horizontally for up to 20 feet, creating a “net,” which holds the sand in place. As sand builds up around the plant, the vertical stems grow higher; this continuous process builds the dune. American Beachgrass is best planted during its dormancy period, October-March.
Coastal Panicgrass is a clump-forming, warm season, perennial grass that supports wildlife throughout the year.
Saltmeadow Cordgrass is a warm-season perennial grass. The slender, wiry plants grow in thick mats. The action of wind and water can bend the stems, giving a whorled appearance to this hay-like grass. Purplish, wind-pollinated flowers appear on spikelets, June-August. This plant grows on salty, brackish, and freshwater marshes, tidal flats, and dunes. It tolerates flooding, and spreads aggressively through rhizomes (underground stems). Although it is native to salty areas, it grows larger in fresh water habitats. Saltmeadow Cordgrass is highly adaptable to a range of soil conditions. It provides food and cover for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. You can use Saltmeadow Cordgrass as shoreline protection to control erosion, for dune stabilization, and tidal marsh restoration. There are many cultivars available commercially to suit your needs and preferences.
Moundlily Yucca, or Spanish Dagger, is an evergreen shrub with a unique form similar to Yucca filamentosa. It features creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers, which bloom on an erect 5- to 8-foot panicle, July-August. The dried fruits persist atop the panicles. The leaves are thick and have sharp, dagger-like tips, hence its common name. Spanish Dagger is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Cofaqui Giant Skipper (Megathymus cofaqui) and Yucca Giant Skipper (Megathymus yuccae). Its drought- and salt-tolerance make it a good choice for coastal gardens. Plant it as a specimen, in groups, in borders, or for accents around your yard.
Adam’s Needle, or simply Yucca, is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with a unique form. It features yellowish-white flowers, which bloom in clusters on 3- to 6-foot panicles reaching above the foliage, May-July. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. The leaves are thick, fibrous blades, which extend both vertically and horizontally from the center of the basal stem, terminating in a sharp point — like a needle. Adam’s Needle is a host plant for butterfly and moth larvae (caterpillars), including Yucca Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae) and Cofaqui Giant-Skipper (Megathymus cofaqui). Yucca perfers dry, sandy soil and is drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for New Jersey yards. Plant Adam’s Needle in groups as accents, around foundations or borders, or as stand-alone specimens in your yard.
Arrowwood is a wildlife-friendly deciduous shrub featuring white flowers with yellow stamens, which bloom May-July. The flowers provide a nectar source for native bees and butterflies. Blue-black berries follow the flowers, and offer a valued food source for birds and wildlife. Fall foliage can be yellow, glossy red, or reddish-purple. Arrowwood is a host plant for Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) butterfly larvae. Use this durable plant in massed plantings, shrub borders, and in shrub hedges.
Cranberry is a low-growing, woody vine with small, white-pink flowers, which bloom in abundance, May-July. The flower nectar offers a valuable food source for native bees. The edible, tart fruit, which ripens in September-October, is used in pies, muffins, sauces, and other dishes. The small green leaves turn bright red in fall. Cranberry grows in wet, boggy areas in the wild. It can be used as an evergreen groundcover in moist areas of your yard, or grow it as a specimen plant in your small garden. It is typically grown in a mass for commerical production.