vancouveria

This woodland native is one of our favorites!

It is the Pacific NW version of Epimedium: Soft mound of leaves poised on upright wiry stems, the flowering stems rising above in late spring / early summer with their delicate sprays of flowers of recurved, blown back petals — hence the common name of Inside-Out flower - the stamens thrust forward into a pointed tip like a sharp pencil lead, very much like the native Dodecatheon (shooting star). The leaves are evergreen or deciduous, depending on species, and are uniquely tri-lobed, reminiscent of the duck’s foot that is its other common name.

Vancouveria is delicately showy, and is best suited for a semi-shady, dappled light setting, in humus-rich soil and with a moderate amount of water. Though it often can be found in moist forests in our region, one of its virtues is that it is one of those rare plants that can grow well in drier shady spots in the garden. Spreading by underground rhizomes, it will easily fill a space and is best used to fill between taller, larger plants. Keeping it on the drier side will slow the pace of its spreading.

Vancouveria is also virtually disease and pest-free. It is reliably low-maintenance, even by native plant standards. About all that will need to be done is to cut back and clean up the dead and winter-damaged leaves to make way for the new growth in spring.

There is one primary species of western Oregon, and two that come from the SW corner of the state:

vancouveria hexandra

Vancouveria hexandra: Inside-out flower

This is the Inside-out flower that is most common to our region, frequently spotted in low- to mid-elevation forests. Its leaves are deciduous, forming a mound usually eight to sixteen inches tall, the new leaves sometimes emerging tinged with deep brick red. The thin, leafless flowering stalks rise above like a mobile of tiny white inside-out umbrellas. It is a delicate looking but sturdy plant, undemanding in its care and undisturbed by bugs or disease.

vancouveria chrysantha

Vancouveria chrysantha: Golden Inside-out flower, Siskiyou inside-out flower

Not commonly found but what a treasure — an intensely yellow inside-out flower! Evergreen foliage! This little beauty lights up the shady woods in the Siskiyou mountains in the southwest corner of the state and into northern California. It spreads more slowly than V. hexandra and is a little harder to grow here in the Willamette Valley. Photo credit: Hartmut Wisch.

vancouveria planipetala

Vancouveria planipetala: Redwood inside-out flower

Also evergreen, this inside-out flower is essentially a diminutive version of V. hexandra. Not commonly found, it grows in drier woods and redwood forests in southern Oregon down along the California coast. You may find this online, but unfortunately, we have not been able to find a source for us. Check online for sources.

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