Well-Behaved Non-Native (to Indiana) Companions

These plants from the eastern regions of the US and around the globe will co-mingle happily with native plants. They are showy but consistent with the look of native plant communities and will not invade your woodlands or gobble up everything in their path.

Follow the links to descriptions of specific cultivars from the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder or Wikipedia.

Groundcovers for Shade

Bishop’s hat Epimedium spp. 

Japanese painted fern Athyrium niponicum

Lenten rose Helleborus spp.

Lily turf Liriope muscari (caution: considered invasive in southern US)

Plantain lily Hosta spp. 

Tassel fern Polystichum polyblepharum

Ornamental  Shrubs

Beautyberry Callicarpa dichotoma

Beautybush Kolkwitzia amabilis

Carolina allspice Calycanthus floridus 

Cotoneaster Cotoneaster spp. 

Fothergilla cultivars Fothergilla 

Lilac cultivars  Syringa meyeri  Syringa pubescens 

Ninebark cultivars Physocarpus opulifolius  (the species is native to Indiana)

Rose Rosa floribunda  Knockout Series

Smokebush Cotinus coggygria  Cotinus obovatus

Virginia sweetspire cultivars Itea virginica  (the species is native to Indiana, but quite rare)

Weigela cultivars Weigela florida


Arborvitae Thuja spp.  (T. occidentalis is native to Indiana)

Boxwood Buxus spp. 

False cypress  Chamaecyparis

Yew Taxus spp.  (T. canadensis is native to Indiana)

Juniper Juniperus spp.  (J. communis and J. virginiana are  native to Indiana)

Small Trees

Fringe tree Chionanthus virginicus

Japanese lilac Syringa reticulata

Japaneses maple Acer palmatum spp.

Seven sons flower Heptacodium miconioides

Virginia sweetspire lends brilliant fall color