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Native Plants at Town Parks

The Town strives to increase the use of native plants in its landscapes due to their benefits for wildlife and the environment. Native plants are those that have historically occurred in our geographic area and therefore are adapted to our climate, soils and wildlife with minimal inputs. This page provides information on where you can find native plantings in Town parks as well as photos and details about these beneficial plants so you can locate them when you visit each site.  Please keep in mind that native plants are not exclusive to these areas and they are found in a variety of locations around the Town, however these locations showcase larger scale plantings. This information can also be used for inspiration to plant natives in your own landscape!  Please check back as we add more native planting locations and photos!

Visit NorthHempsteadNY.gov/Sustainability for the Town's pages on helping to conserve monarch butterflies and other pollinators and how you can help!

Click on the links below or scroll down to learn about each location:

Gerry Park

Clark Botanic Garden

Ridder's Park

Yes We Can Center

Martin 'Bunky' Reid Park

North Hempstead Beach Park

Manhasset Valley Park

Gerry Park


The Town has planted multiple native plant/pollinator gardens at Gerry Park including the over 3,000 square foot rock garden, center island garden, gazebo planting, the front of the park building, and around multiple memorials. These gardens have a multitude of plants that benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators as well as birds and other wildlife. These include:

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa): This short species of milkweed has beautiful orange blooms and bright green foliage.  Milkweeds are vital to monarch butterflies, which are in decline, since their larvae only feed on these plants that have been decimated due to habitat loss, development and pesticide use. Blooms May through September.

False indigo (Baptisia australis): This member of the pea family is popular in gardens due to its attractive foliage and showy purple flowers.  It has a shrub like appearance.  It is primarily pollinated by queen bumblebees, which feed on its nectar.  It is also a larval host for butterflies and moths.  Blooms April through June.

Carolina rose (Rosa carolina): This small shrub has pink flowers with 5 petals and a pleasant fragrance.  It also has smooth, dark green foliage and thorny stems.  It provides food for birds, butterflies, native bees and other pollinating insects in the form of nectar, pollen and rose hips. Blooms April through June.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus): This low growing shrub has small clusters of white flowers. Its leaves were dried and used to make a type of tea in the American Revolution. Butterflies and bees utilize its flowers for nectar and pollen. Birds eat its seeds and it is also a larval host for many butterfly species. Blooms May through July.

Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This member of the aster family has green, fern-like leaves and showy white blooms.  Many insects feed on the nectar, pollen and foliage of this plant, including flies, native bees, butterflies and moths.  Blooms April through September.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum): This native warm season, clump forming grass has a stiff, columnar form.  Its green leaves turn yellow in the fall.  Its seeds provide a good food source for birds in winter.  It also provides cover and nesting material for birds and mammals.  It is a larval host for skipper butterfly species. 

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium): This bunchgrass is one of the dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie that once made up a large portion of Long Island called the Hempstead Plains.  Little bluestem has skinny, flat, green leaves with a slight blue color at the base.  It features beautiful clusters of fluffy, silvery-white seed heads and bronze-orange foliage in the fall to winter.  Many insects feed on its foliage and these provide food to insectivorous birds.  Its fuzzy white seeds are a valuable food source to small birds and native bees use the stems for nesting.  It is also a larval host to many native butterflies.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): Although this species is not native to Long Island, it has become naturalized and provides great resources for native wildlife, while also adding a beautiful aesthetic.  They are often a popular plant in landscaping and have purple blooms that occur atop a single stem.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds as well as native bee species.  Blooms April through October.

New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis): This tall, upright plant features clusters of small, deep purple, composite flowers and lance-shaped leaves.  Its nectar is used by butterflies and moths as well as native bees and birds eat its seeds.  Blooms August through September.

Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis): Is a woodland wildflower with showy, drooping, bell-like flowers that are red and yellow.  It is used by hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and hawk moths for nectar and pollen.  Its seeds are consumed by finches and buntings.  Blooms April through July.

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum):  Has showy, pink, five-petaled flowers that occur at the top of a leafy stem.  Its seeds are eaten by birds and chipmunks. Nectar and pollen attracts bumblebees, mason bees and other native bees as well as flower flies, butterflies and skippers.  Blooms April through May.

Foxglove Beardtongue ‘dark towers’ (Penstemon digitalis): This plant is not native to NY, but is naturalized, not-invasive and very beneficial to bees and hummingbirds. This cultivar has showy, light pink, tubular flowers that bloom early in the season.  Their leaves and stems have hairs and are a medium green color.  The tubular flowers attract long-tongued bees including honeybees and bumblebees, as well as mason bees and various other types.  Butterflies, moths and hummingbirds also drink its nectar.  Blooms April through July.

Rough goldenrod ‘fireworks’ (Solidago rugosa): This species has showy clusters of yellow flowers and rough, hairy stems.  All goldenrod species are an important source of nectar and pollen to bees, butterflies and other insects.  They are vital in the autumn as a late food source for migrating insects, especially butterflies like the monarch.  Some birds also eat their seeds.  Blooms September through October.


Smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve): This aster has beautiful flower heads, attractive foliage and erect stems that provide a color boost at the end of the growing season.  Nectar and pollen attract butterflies, moths and bees.  Like goldenrod species it is an important late season food source, especially to the migrating monarch butterfly.  Birds also eat their seeds.  It is also a larval host for the Pearl crescent butterfly.  Blooms August through October.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin): This shrub has small yellow flowers that bloom in the spring, which is helpful for early pollinators. It can grow to be 6 to 12 feet tall and its attractive dark green foliage provides cover and habitat for wildlife. It is also the larval host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly (see picture below of an early instar caterpillar at Gerry Park!). Blooms in March.

Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum): Has delicate fronds with dark shiny stems. Burgundy red fiddleheads appear in early spring.

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium): This wild blueberry shrub produces small dark purple berries for humans and wildlife to eat. It has small white bell shaped flowers in the spring and therefore provides an early source of nectar and pollen to bees and other pollinators. It is also the larval host to butterflies and its leaves turn a beautiful red color in autumn. Blooms May to June.

Common bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): This winter hardy, creeping, slow-growing woody shrub is low growing and widely spreading which makes it a suitable groundcover. It has dark evergreen leaves that are leathery and oval shaped, but which turn bronze in the winter. Its drooping flower clusters give rise to berry-like fruits that ripen in autumn. It provides early food for bees with its spring blooms and berries are eaten by birds and other animals. Blooms March to June.


Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa): This goldenrod species features bright yellow flower clusters in a compact, erect, pyramidal column.  It also has reddish stems and is one of the showiest species of goldenrod that occurs in the United States.  People often mistake goldenrod for causing hay fever which is really caused by windblown pollen of other plants like ragweed.  Blooms August through October.

Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria): This plant has the same appearance as false indigo except with yellow flowers.  It is of special value to native bumble bees, which feed on its nectar.  It is also a larval host for butterflies and moths.  Blooms April through June.

Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina): This small shrub has long, narrow, olive-green leaves that resemble a fern, hence its name. It produces a small nut.  The shrub is a member of the bayberry family and the leaves are very aromatic.  It attracts birds and butterflies and is a larval host to the Grey Hairstreak Butterfly.  Blooms April to May.


New England aster (Aster novi-angliae): This aster lives in prairies and meadows and has beautiful daisy-like purple rays with yellow centers.  Like the smooth blue aster it is an important late season food source for bees and butterflies, especially for migrating monarchs.  It is also a larval host for the pearl crescent and checkerspot butterflies.  Blooms August through October.

Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata zagreb): This plant has yellow, daisy-like flowers and typically grows in dense, bushy clumps.  It provides nectar and pollen for butterflies and other pollinators and its seeds are eaten by songbirds.  Blooms June through September.

Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis): This warm season bunch grass is small and has brilliant reddish-purple color in the fall. It provides nesting material and cover for birds and is a larval host to skipper butterflies.

Moss phlox (Phlox subulata): This low growing perennial plant spreads quickly and is a good groundcover. It has fragrant flowers with varieties that can be pink, purple or white. It stays semi-evergreen in the winter. Its early blooms are helpful to pollinators emerging in the spring. Blooms March to May.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata): This species of milkweed has beautiful purple/pink flowers and grows in clumps. It is also a host species for monarchs. Blooms June through August.

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis): This clump-forming perennial features erect, terminal spikes of large, cardinal red tubular flowers.  It grows in moist locations along streams, swamps and wooded areas.  Butterflies and hummingbirds use it as a nectar source.  Blooms July through September.

Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica): This lovely plant has showy blue blooms that are produced into the fall. It is a good shade plant and a heavy re-seeder that needs medium to moist soils. The blooms are used by long tongued bees, hummingbirds and some butterflies for nectar. Blooms July through September.

Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides): The semi-evergreen fern has leathery, lance-shaped leaves. It has beautiful foliage that grows in shady areas and can tolerate dry to medium soil moisture.

Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum): A beautiful mountain mint with aromatic leaves and white flowers that is loved by a variety of pollinators especially native bees. It also helps to attract predatory insects that prey upon pest insects. It can get aggressive so site accordingly. Blooms July through September.

Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'Raydon's favorite'): This aster only grows 1-3 feet tall, has purple flowers and provides nectar and pollen in the fall to a variety of pollinators. It gets its name from fragrant leaves. It is also a larval host for moth species. Blooms August through September.

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Clark Botanic Garden


Clark Botanic Garden boasts a pollinator garden, rain garden and lower pond planting all containing various native plants that provide nectar and pollen for pollinators. As part of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, the pollinator garden was certified as a Monarch Waystation, which means it has the essential resources needed for monarch butterflies like host plants, nectar sources, water and a place to rest. The rain garden was built in 2016 and absorbs stormwater from the Main House roof as well as the pathway. In 2019, the Town received funding from the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District to plant native plants to help prevent flooding and erosion in the lower pond area.  The Town used plants that can tolerate wet conditions and keep the soil in place, while also providing food and habitat for wildlife. Native plants found in these gardens include:

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

False indigo (Baptisia australis)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia fulgida): This species is not native to Long Island, but it has become naturalized and it is a popular plant used in landscaping.  It has a coneflower with yellow blooms and brownish-black centers.  It attracts birds and butterflies and is of special value to native bees.  It is also a larval host to the silvery checkerspot butterfly.  Blooms May through October.

Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium sp.): This tall plant has serrated, lance shaped, dark green leaves and vanilla scented, mauve colored clusters of flowers.  The flowers are very attractive, especially to butterflies.  Its nectar and pollen also attract native bees, flies, and moths.  It is also a larval host for many moth species.  Blooms July through September.

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca): This species of milkweed has beautiful mauve blooms and bright green broad, oval shaped leaves.  As a species of milkweed, it is a host plant for the monarch butterfly as well as the milkweed tussock moth. Blooms June through August.


Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata): This species of milkweed has beautiful purple/pink flowers and grows in clumps. It is also a host species for monarchs. Blooms June through August.

Ironweed (Vernonia sp.)

Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata): This upright perennial grows in clumps with pink-purple florets.  Provides nectar and pollen to bees, butterflies as well as hummingbirds.  It is a great butterfly attractant.  Blooms July through September.

Blazingstar (Liatris spicata): This plant in the aster family is upright, clump forming and has fluffy, thistle-like, purple flowers.  Its flowers provide food for bees and butterflies.  Blooms July through August.

Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginianum): Large, erect plant with lance-shaped leaves and a triangular shaped cluster of tube like white flowers.  Bees (sweat bees, carpenter bees, bumble bees) and butterflies utilize nectar and pollen.  Blooms June through August.

Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa): This popular herb in the mint family has clusters of showy lavender or pink tubular flowers that look like ragged pompoms. It is visited by many types of pollinators like bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds. Blooms June through September.

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

Wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis): This legume, has blue/purple pea-like, upright, elongated flower clusters.  Since it is a legume it enhances soil by fixing nitrogen.  Its flowers are cross-pollinated by honeybees, bumblebees, digger bees, mason bees and other long-tongued bees.  Its flowers do not contain nectar. The Karner Blue butterfly's (endangered in NY) larvae feed solely on this plant as well as the frosted elfin butterfly, which is a rare species and in decline.  Blooms April through July.

Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata zagreb)

Scarlet bee balm (Monarda didyma): This popular herb in the mint family has clusters of showy red tubular flowers that look like ragged pompoms.  Its nectar and pollen attract many native bees, butterflies and moths.  The ruby throated hummingbird also feeds on its nectar.  Blooms May through September.

Anise hyssop (Agastache 'blue fortune'): This upright, clump forming plant is in the mint family.  Its foliage is anise scented and it has lavender clusters of flowers in a vertical column.  It is a good nectar plant and will be utilized by bees, hummingbirds and many butterfly species.  Its pollen is also used by many types of bees.  Blooms June through September.

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis): This tree is multi-trunked with white flowers that give way to summer berries that are edible for humans and wildlife.  Green summer leaves turn orange or red in the fall.  The fruit is popular with birds and mammals and the flowers also provide nectar and pollen for pollinators.  It is of special value to native bees.  Blooms in April.

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa): This deciduous shrub offers four season interest with its spring/summer white flowers, purple/black berries in fall, brilliant red leaves in late autumn and red bark in winter. Its berries provide food for birds and foliage provides cover for birds and other wildlife.  Blooms in May.

Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis): Is a clump-forming, warm season, grass that naturally occurs in prairies.  It has fine-textured, hair-like, medium green leaves that turn golden with orange hues in fall and light bronze in winter.  Their name comes from the tiny, rounded seeds that drop to the ground in the fall.  Many types of birds eat its seeds and its foliage provides cover for wildlife.

Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia): This multi-stemmed shrub is evergreen, with dark green foliage all year round and showy pink flowers. It provides winter cover for wildlife and nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies as well as pollen for bees. It blooms in May through July.

Turtle head (Chelone glabra): This erect, clump-forming perennial has flowers that resemble turtle heads.  Bumblebees use it for pollen and nectar and it sometimes attracts ruby throated hummingbirds. It is also a larval host for the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly. Blooms August to October.

River birch (Betula nigra): This deciduous tree has catkins that provide seeds to a wide range of songbirds and it is a larval host for mourning cloak and tiger swallowtail butterfliesBlooms April through May.

Button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis): This deciduous shrub is erosion tolerant and grows well in wet soils including standing water.  Its white clusters of flowers are very attractive to bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and moths and many species of birds consume its seeds.  Blooms June through August.

Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum): This medium-sized shrub is found in wetlands, streams and moist areas.  Its twigs and leaf undersides have silky hairs.  Butterflies use its flowers for nectar and it is an important food source for mining bee species.  Its fruits are eaten by songbirds and mammals and it is a larval host to spring and summer azure butterflies.  Blooms May through June.

Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia): This deciduous shrub has many of the same features as black chokeberry, but with red berries.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia): This deciduous shrub is also called coastal sweet-pepper.  It is branched and leafy with multiple stems and green leaves, which turn dull yellow to orange in the fall.  Its fragrant flowers are white and yield brown fruiting capsules that persist through winter.  Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds use its flowers for pollen and nectar and many birds and mammals eat its fruit.  Blooms July through August.

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis): This clump-forming perennial features erect, terminal spikes of large, cardinal red tubular flowers.  It grows in moist locations along streams, swamps and wooded areas.  Butterflies and hummingbirds use it as a nectar source.  Blooms July through September.


Royal fern (Osmunda regalis): This fern has attractive foliage and fiddleheads and thrives in moist soils.  It provides shelter for toads and other wildlife.

Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum)

Cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum): Has loose rosette of leaves that ascend to be nearly erect. Fertile fronds are produced during the spring and summer and fiddleheads emerge at the base of the plant.  Cinnamon colored fibers are found near the frond bases.  Foliage provides food to moth larvae.

Turtle head (Chelone glabra) 'Hot lips': This variety is similar to the original plant, but with a richer pink color of the blooms.

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Ridder’s Park

In 2020, Town staff planted two pollinator gardens with funding provided by the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District. These gardens contain a variety of plants that provide nectar and pollen to bees, butterflies and various other pollinators, as well as seeds and berries for birds. In addition to these gardens, multiple native trees and shrubs were planted around the pond that will also benefit wildlife. Plants included are:

Common bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Leadplant (Amorpha canescens): This small deciduous shrub in the pea/bean family has dense spike-like clusters of purple flowers. It has interesting foliage with leaves and branches that have white/gray hairs. Its blooms are very attractive to pollinators, especially bees. Blooms July to September.

Garden phlox ‘Franz Shubert’ (Phlox paniculata): This variety of phlox has similar characteristics as the wild type plant.

Purple coneflower ‘Starlight’ (Echinacea purpurea): This variety of purple coneflower has bright purple blooms. Its characteristics are similar to the wild purple coneflower described previously.

Rough goldenrod ‘fireworks’ (Solidago rugosa)

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Threadleaf Coreopsis ‘zagreb’ (Coreopsis verticillata)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Anise hyssop (Agastache 'blue fortune')

Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis): This understory tree has very similar characteristics to Amelanchier canadensis which was described above.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida): This small tree is considered to be one of the most beautiful eastern North American trees. It has showy blooms, red fruit and red foliage in the fall. It provides fruit for birds and its flowers attract butterflies and native bees. It is also a larval host to the spring azure butterfly. Blooms April to May.

Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): This small tree or tall shrub usually grows to 10 to 15 feet, but can reach 35 ft. It has large, crooked spreading branches and vibrant, fragrant yellow flowers  in the fall (as shown in photo below).  Green leaves turn a brilliant gold color in autumn. The extract of leaves, twigs and bark is often used in medicines, lotions and other personal care products. Blooms October to December.

Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)

Prairie dropseed (Sprobolus heterolepis)

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica): This dense, branching, dioecious shrub (have separate male and female plants) has tiny, grayish-white fruits in the summer through winter. It provides good cover and food for birds and small mammals. Blooms April to May.

Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum): This deciduous shrub has reddish-green spring leaves which turn blue-green in the summer and red, orange and purple in the fall. It produces white or pink bell-shaped flowers followed by edible, blue fruit. The flowers are an important early food source for pollinators and its tasty berries can be eaten by humans and wildlife. It is also the larval host plant for multiple butterflies. Blooms May to June.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius): This shrub has maple tree shaped green leaves in the summer which turn yellow in the fall. It provides winter interest with bark that peels away to reveal layers of reddish to light brown inner bark. It also has attractive small clusters of pink flowers that are a good nectar source for butterflies and bees. Birds eat seeds formed in reddish drooping fruit clusters. Blooms May to June.

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Yes We Can Center


In fall 2020 multiple pollinator gardens were planted in front of the Yes We Can Community Center. These plants will supply local wildlife with resources, provide a beautiful aesthetic for visitors, as well as become an educational opportunity for programming where children and adults can learn about pollinators, native plants and gardening. Plants include the following:

Joe pye weed (Eupatorium dubium ‘little joe’): This plant is an herbaceous perennial with small disk flowers (rays absent) in clusters ranging in color from pale pink to dark purple. The ‘little joe’ variety is slightly smaller than the natural species and more compact. Its flowers provide nectar and pollen for a variety of pollinators including bees, butterflies and flower flies. It is also the larval host for many moth species and birds eat it seeds. Blooms July to September.

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium ‘sunny seductions’): This variety is very similar to the natural Achillea millefolium except it has bright lemon-yellow flowers.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

False indigo (Baptisia australis)

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Pink threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis rosea ‘American dream’): This species is very similar in appearance and form to Coreopsis verticillata except it has light pink flowers. Its flowers provide nectar and pollen for pollinators all summer and birds eat it seeds. Blooms June to September.

Blazing star (Liatris spicata)

Anise hyssop (Agastache ‘blue fortune’)

Rough goldenrod (Solidago rugosa fireworks)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘little goldstar’): This variety is very similar to the natural form of black-eyed Susan, but it is more compact in size.

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

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Fuschillo Park

A pollinator garden was planted at Fuschillo park in spring 2021 to beautify the area in back of the main building and provide for pollinators and other wildlife.

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'raspberry glow')

New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Anise Hyssop (Agastache 'blue fortune')

Moss phlox (Phlox subulata)

Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblogifolius 'Raydon's favorite')

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby star')

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Martin 'Bunky' Reid Park

Two pollinator gardens were planted at Bunky Reid Park in New Cassel in spring of 2021 with native plants including:

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans): This is a tall, bunch grass with golden-brown seed heads and deep orange to purple foliage in the fall. It provides cover, nesting sites and seeds for many species of birds, bees and other insects and is also a host plant for skipper butterfly species. It can be an aggressive grower so site accordingly.

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius): This native sunflower is tall with beautiful yellow flowers and rich green needle-like leathery foliage. It lives in a wide range of soil moisture conditions and blooms into late autumn. It is used for nectar and pollen by bees and other pollinators.

Anise Hyssop (Agastache 'blue fortune')

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Maryland golden aster (Chrysopsis mariana): This upright, short aster has attractive, bright yellow flowers that bloom in the late summer and autumn. Established plants have drought tolerance. It is an important late season food source for bees and butterflies, especially migrating monarch butterflies, which are in decline.

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)

New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Rough goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'fireworks')

New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

False indigo (Baptisia australis)

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera): A fast growing tree with bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers and turn gold in the fall. They also have beautiful yellow and orange spring blooms that provide nectar for hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators. Its seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. The foliage is a larval host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

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North Hempstead Beach Park

This park’s promenade along the waterfront boasts raised planting beds with a variety of native plants including the following:

Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata): This low growing perennial plant spreads quickly and is a good groundcover. It has fragrant flowers with varieties that can be pink, purple or white. It stays semi-evergreen in the winter. Its early blooms are helpful to pollinators emerging in the spring. Blooms March to May.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Blazingstar (Liatris spicata)

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Threadleaf Coreopsis ‘zagreb’ and ‘moonbeam(Coreopsis verticillata): The moonbeam variety  (pictured below) is similar to zagreb except its flowers are a paler yellow and the plant grows slightly smaller in height.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

River birch (Betula nigra)

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Manhasset Valley Park

The edge of Whitney Creek was planted with many native perennials that help pollinators by the Port Washington Monarch Alliance. It also has many types of native trees and shrubs. In fall 2020 the Town added many new native trees and shrubs with funding from the Department of Environmental Conservation's Trees for Tribs grant. Staff also cleared out much invasive and aggressive vegetation to make way for the new plantings. Plants include:

False sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides): This plant has beautiful yellow daisy-like flowers that looks like sunflowers, but they are not in the same genus as sunflowers (Helianthus). This is why they are called ‘false’ sunflower. Flower have nectar and pollen that attract many species of bees, butterflies and other insects.  It is also a larval host for many species of butterflies and moths. The seeds are a food source for a variety of birds and small mammals. The foliage of these plants provide good cover for many forms of wildlife. Blooms June to August.

NY ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp.)

Beebalm (Monarda fistulosa)

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)

Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis): This multi-trunked understory tree has a rounded crown. Its beautiful pea-like rose-purple colored flowers give way to bean-like dry seedpods that mature and brown in summer. Their early blooms provide for pollinators and seeds are eaten by songbirds. Blooms March to May.

Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

American Holly (Ilex opaca): This evergreen tree has stout, stiff branches and is pyramidal in shape. Its leaves are dark green, non-glossy and spine-tipped.  It is dioecious (has separate male and female plants) and the female trees produce bright red berries that are eaten by local wildlife, but are somewhat toxic to humans. Blooms March to June.

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana): This tree has dark green leaves with a silver underside and creamy white flowers. The flowers produce bright red fruit that ripens in the late summer to attract many birds. Blooms May to June.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Inkberry (Ilex glabra): This evergreen shrub is part of the holly family. It has smooth ovate green leaves and separate male and female plants. The female plants produce small, black fruits in the fall. It provides nectar and pollen for pollinators and fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals. Blooms June to September.

Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum): A shrub with multiple, erect-arching stems in a loose, round habit. Its white flowers are followed by dark blue berries which are cherished by wildlife. Dark-green foliage turns yellow to wine-red in fall and winter. Many butterflies and moths use it as a larval host and bees use it for gaining nectar and pollen. It also attracts predatory insects that prey upon pest insects. Blooms May to June.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

Northern bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera): This shrub is small and mound-shaped with dark green leaves that change from yellow to red in autumn. It has yellow, tubular flowers that are used by hummingbirds and butterflies for nectar. It should not be confused with Lonicera japonica, which is a highly invasive species. Hummingbirds and butterflies will use this plant for nectar. Blooms June to August.

Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregirina)

Winterbery (Ilex verticillata): A deciduous holly with an upright-rounded habit. It has elliptic, toothed, dark green leaves and separate male and female plants. Female plants (if pollinated) will produce beautiful bright red berries in the fall that persist into the winter and are a good food source for birds. Flowers are small and white, but do provide a good nectar and pollen source for small bee species. Blooms March to June.

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris): This deciduous shrubs has upright, arching branches and is native to swamps, marshes and stream banks. Its pink, fragrant, flowers turn into pea-sized red hips and its leaves turn shades of red in fall. This shrub’s flowers provide pollen for bees and beetles. Blooms June to July.

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Mayors' Monarch Pledge Page

Protecting Pollinators Page

Native Plants for LI Landscapes