Rose, Rugosa

Scientific Name: Rosa rugosa

Family: Rosaceae

Height: 4-6 ft

Spread: 4-6 ft

Bloom Time: June-July

Native Range: China, Japan, Korea, and southeastern Siberia

Ecological Value: Cover. Nectar source.

Human Value: Petals are edible and may be distilled for rose water. Rose hips, with seeds removed, may be made into jams or dried and used in teas. The fruit is high in Vitamin C and fatty acids. The seeds are high in Vitamin E.


Rose “Knockout”

Scientific Name: Rosa var. “Knock out”

Family: Rosaceae

Height: 3-4 ft

Spread: 3-4 ft

Bloom Time: June – October

Native Range: None. Garden hybrid.

Ecological Value: Cover

Human Value: Ornamental


Azalea, Asian Hybrid

Scientific Name Rhododendron sp.

Height: 3 – 4 ft.

Spread: 4 – 5 ft.

Bloom Time: May

Native Range: East Asia

Ecological Value: None

Human Value: Ornamental


Azalea, Flame

Scientific Name: Rhododendron calendulaceum

Family: Ericaceae

Height: 6-12 ft

Spread: 6-12 ft

Bloom Time: May-June

Native Range: East Coast from New York to Georgia, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Nectar for bees.

Human Value: The plant is toxic. Honey made with large amounts of nectar from it may be toxic as well.


Winterberry Holly

Scientific Name: Ilex vericillata

Height: 3-12 ft

Spread: 3-12 ft

Bloom Time: June-July

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Larval host. Berries for birds.

Human Value: Winterberry is poisonous. It is used for winter interest.


Burning Bush

Scientific Name: Euonymus alatus

Height: 9-11 ft

Spread: 9-11 ft

Bloom Time: May-June

Native Range: China, Japan, and Korea

Ecological Value: INVASIVE. Summer nesting sites and cover for birds.

Human Value: Planted as an ornamental.


Dogwood, Red Osier

Scientific Name: Cornus sericea

Height: 4-5 ft

Spread: 4-5 ft spread by suckering and layering

Bloom Time: May-June

Native Range: Northern North America, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Larval host. Berries for birds and small animals late summer, fall and into the early winter. Wildlife browse the leaves, shoots and twigs. It also provides cover.

Human Value: Native Americans used the Red Osier for a variety of medicines. Stems may be used for basket weaving. Ojibwe and Chippawa used the bark for dye.


Beautyberry, American

Scientific Name: Callicarpa americana

Height: 3-6 ft

Spread: 3-6 ft

Bloom Time: June-August

Native Range: Southeastern United States

Ecological Value: Deer and birds eat the fruit.

Human Value: Native Americans used roots, leaves and branches to treat malarial fevers and rheumatism. Roots and berries were boiled to make tea for colic. Berries can be made into jam.


Butterfly Bush

Scientific Name: Buddleia sp.

Height: 6 – 12 ft.

Spread: 4 -15 ft.

Bloom Time: June – October

Native Range: China, Japan

Ecological Value: Provides nectar to pollinators. Potentially INVASIVE

Human Value: Buddleia cultivars have been developed that do not produce seeds. I received this plant from a fellow gardener whose garden had become too shady for it. I have never noticed that it self-seeded so it may be a non-fertile cultivar.

Buddleia blooms on new wood each year. The old wood tends to become leggy and less productive over time so I cut this plant back almost to the ground ever spring or every other spring. It produces blooms earlier on years when I don’t cut it back, but it also grows taller and larger.



Scientific Name: Tilia americana

Height: 50-80 ft

Spread: 30-50 ft

Bloom Time: June

Crown Density: Dense

Native Range: Eastern United States, Pennsylvania

Ecological Value: Flowers provide nectar and pollen for insects, especially bees. It is a larval host plant for over 150 caterpillars including tiger swallowtail butterflies. Squirrels and other small animals enjoy its seeds.

Human Value: Use young leaves like salad in lettuce. Young leaves may also be cooked. The flowers can eaten fresh or cooked or made into tea. Traditionally, fibers from the inner bark were used for cords. Seeds can be eaten from the hand, chewing and spitting out the shells. Trunks can be coppiced to provide an ongoing crop of new leaves throughout the summer.

So far in 2020, our basswood seems to be the tree most attractive to spotted lanternflies. I have not seen enough of an infestation to warrant the collateral damage of using insect tape on tree trunks, but it may become necessary as the autumn approaches.