Virginia Tech Homepage

Jody's Notes

Best of the Best Plant List

List of Our Favorite Virginia Roadside/Open Meadow Plants

Roadside plants are successful open meadow plants; thus, they are suitable for home owners as well. These plants are adapted to full or partial sun, poor soil conditions (acid, low phosphorus, and high clay soils, and variable soil moisture conditions. For more information on each plant click "Plant References" button in table to the right.

Native plants are designated with "N" . Plants that prefer living in ditches but can survive in more dry areas are designated with "D". Plants underlined are our picj for the ten easiest to establish and grow.

If you would like to see photographs of these plants please go to this site: Gallery of Plants - For more information about each plant click on "Plant References" to the right of this panel.

  • Achillea spp. (yarrow) N
  • Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon)
  • Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine) N
  • Aruncus dioicus (goat's beard) N
  • Asclepias spp. (butterfly/milkweed) N
  • Aster ericoides (white heath aster) N
  • Aster dumosa (frost aster) N
  • Aster ptarmicoides (upland white aster) N
  • Bidens aristosa (tickseed sunflower) N/D
  • Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh) N
  • Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf coreopsis) N
  • Coreopsis tinctoria (prairie tickseed) N
  • Cosmos bipinnatus (garden cosmos)
  • Cosmos sulphureus (sulfur cosmos)
  • Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern) N
  • Digitalis spp.(foxglove)
  • Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) N
  • Eupatorium coelestinium (mist flower) N/D
  • Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe Pye weed) N/D
  • Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed) N/D
  • Helianthus angustifolius (narrow-leaf sunflower) N/D
  • Helianthus maximilianii (Maximilian sunflower) N
  • Helianthus mollis (downy sunflower) N
  • Heliopsis helianthoides (oxeye sunflower) N
  • Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
  • Liatris spicata (blazing star) N
  • Monarda citrodora (lemon mint) N/D
  • Narcissus spp. (daffodil)
  • Papaver rhoeas (corn poppy)
  • Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage)
  • Rudbeckia hirta (black eyed Susan) N
  • Rudbeckia triloba (brown eyed Susan) N
  • Ranunculus spp. (butter cup)
  • Ratibia columnaris (yellow prairie coneflower) N
  • Salvia spp. (sage)
  • Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant) N
  • Solidago spp. (goldenrods) N
  • Verbena hastata (blue vervain) N
  • Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed) N/D
  • Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root) N/D
  • Yucca filamentosa (common yucca) N
  • Zinnia spp. (zinnia)


List of Our Favorite Forest Edge Roadside/Shade Plants

  • Arisaema spp. (Jack-in-the-pulpit) N
  • Phlox divaricata (blue wood phlox)
  • Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple) N
  • Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) N/D


List of Our Favorite Roadside/Meadow Grasses

  • Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) N
  • Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) N/D
  • Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge) N
  • Danthonia spicata (poverty oatgrass) N
  • Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye) N/D
  • Panicum amarum (coastal panicgrass) N
  • Panicum virgatum (switch grass) N
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) N/D
  • Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) N
  • Tripsacum dactyloides (gamagrass) N

For more information on grasses please go to our native grass literature review Native Grasses for the Roadside of Virginia


Current Research
Research Reports
Jody's Notes
Plant References
Seed Sources
Equipment Sources
Management Sources
About Us