Native Shrubs Grown from Local Island Seeds



To: Bluedot Living

From: Polly Hill Arboretum

Subject: MV Wildtype – Native Shrubs Grown from Local Island Seeds

Martha’s Vineyard hosts significant habitat that supports biodiversity. But our natural habitats are fragmented by development. Restoring habitat connections across the Island is critical for protecting its biodiversity. Your backyard can act as a stepping stone to help support wildlife.

Here are some native plants you could plant in your Island yard.

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Common Name: Sweet Pepperbush

bush with white flowers
Sweet Pepperbush. – Courtesy of Polly Hill Arboretum

Clethra alnifolia
Type: Deciduous Shrub
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 3 to 8 feet
Spread: 4 to 6 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, fragrant
Tolerates: Heavy shade, erosion, clay soil, wet soil 

Common Name: Swamp Azalea

close up of white flowers on a bush
Swamp Azalea. –Courtesy of Polly Hill Arboretum

Rhododendron viscosum
Type: Deciduous Shrub
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 3 to 5 feet
Spread: 3 to 5 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White to pale pink
Sun: Part shade
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, fragrant, good cut
Tolerates: Rabbit, wet soil 

Common Name: American Hazelnut 

closeup of american hazelnut bush with green leaves
American Hazelnut. – Courtesy of Polly Hill Arboretum

Corylus americana
Type: Deciduous Shrub
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 10 to 16 feet
Spread: 8 to 13 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Male plants are brown, and female plants are red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Tolerates: Clay soil, black walnut 

Common Name: Arrowwood Viburnum

close up of blue berry-shaped buds on a bush
Arrowwood Viburnum. – Courtesy of Polly Hill Arboretum

Viburnum dentatum
Type: Perennial 
Zone: 4 to 8 
Height: 1 to 2 feet 
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Purple, blue 
Sun: Sun, part sun, and part shade 
Water: Low
Suggested Use: Rock garden plant, deer resistance, drought tolerant, cut flowers 
Tolerates: Average soil, loam, sand, gravel/rock

Polly Hill’s Visitor Center and Plant Sales open for the season on Saturday, May 25. Check out their online plantfinder guide.

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