synthyris

Six of twenty-one species of Synthyris are native to Oregon, though some are uncommon to rare; in fact Synthyris reniformis is the only commonly familiar species in Oregon.

It may be a little misleading to make it the January plant pick, but it is one of the very first flowers to appear in the native shade garden, in mild winters yes, as early as January! Okay, though it more usually appears during the late-February through April start on the season, it is still one of the earliest flowers to appear and what gives it its common names of Spring Queen and Snow Queen.

synthyris reniformis - Spring Queen, Snow Queen

Synthyris reniformis: Spring Queen, Snow Queen

First named by Lewis and Clark near what is today Cascade Locks, S.reniformis the most widespread and commonly found Synthyris in Oregon, and is really the only one commonly available in nurseries. It makes its home in woodland settings at low elevations.

Its diminutive size and liking for wooded, duff-covered settings makes it somewhat invisible; but look closely in the late winter /early spring and you will be rewarded with the view of the persistent delicacy of the perennial Spring Queen’s lovely little blue-to-blue-violet flowers in the otherwise quiet wasteland of the winter garden, a true herald of spring!

And, as one of the first to bloom in spring, it is also a valuable nectar source for the earliest of the season’s garden pollinators, an added plus….Spring is just around the corner!

Find Natives for your garden

We offer a great selection of Northwest Natives from spring through fall. The plants featured are highlighted favorites, but they do not represent ALL of the plants we carry. For a more complete list, see our Northwest Native Plant List.

Natives

Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Acer Circinatum: Vine Maple

Natives

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Arbutus: Pacific Madrone

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Natives

Attracting Butterflies

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Natives

Ceanothus: Wild Lilac

Natives

Cornus sericea

Red Twig Dogwood
Natives

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut
Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Natives

Edible Fruits

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

Natives

Native Ferns

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Natives

Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Natives

Holodiscus: Oceanspray

Natives

Attracting Hummingbirds

Natives

Native Iris

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Natives

Mahonia: Oregon Grape

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Natives

Osmaronia: Indian Plum

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Natives

Philadelphus: Mock Orange

Natives

Physocarpus

Western Ninebark
Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Natives

Rhamnus: Cascara

Natives

Ribes: Wild Currant

Natives

Rosa: Wild Rose

Natives

Rubus: Salmonberry

Natives

Sambucus: Elderberry

Natives

Sedum: Stonecrop

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Symphoricarpos: Snowberry

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Natives

Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

Natives

Viburnum trilobum

Cranberrybush
Natives

Viola: Violet

Natives

Winter Interest