Denver Native Plants

By Idelle, July 24, 2020

Native Plants for Denver

If you live in the front range and Denver area of Colorado, it’s great to plant Native Plants for the birds, pollinators and other wildlife – especially if you’re in the city! By creating pockets of native plantings, you create a patchwork of wildlife areas and you’ll be immediately rewarded with more birds, bumblebees, butterflies, and other wildlife in your landscape. Check out this wonderful read, Nature’s Best Hope, by Douglas Tallamy, which talks about how we can all make a difference by planting natives in our urban landscapes.

Visit local garden centers and nurseries and ASK for native plants, make sure you’re specify that you are not interested in native “cultivars” but rather, the native variety (non-trademarked) to ensure you’re getting the maximum habitat potential with each plant. The more of us who ask for straight Native plants, the more nurseries will start to offer native plants.


Grow FREE NATIVE PLANTS at our local native plant swaps and seed swaps in Denver.

Learn more about 2022 Denver Native Plant Swaps at:—native-plant-swap-giveaway

For more ideas on the best Denver native plants to grow in your garden, download this PDF from the Colorado Native Plant Society:
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Front Range & Foothills

Below is a list from These are good Native Plants for Denver, while these aren’t all strictly native to Denver, they are native to Western North America, and they will thrive in our climate in Denver:

List of Denver Native Plants from

More native plants for the Denver area include:

  • Rocky Mountain Penstemon (shown above)
  • Canada Goldenrod
  • Giant Fringed Sage
  • Prairie Sage
  • Rocky Mountain Bee Plant
  • Harebells
  • Spreading Daisy
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Butterfly Milkweed
  • Showy Milkweed
  • Sulphur Flower
  • Bush Sunflower
  • Black-Eyed Susans
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Wine Cups
  • Coneflowers
  • Blue Flax
  • Common Yarrow
  • Scarlet Globemallow
  • Gayfeather
  • Chocolate Flower
  • Yellow Nipple Cactus
  • Pink Nipple Cactus
  • Prickly Pear
  • Plains Yucca
  • Indian Rice Grass
  • Side-Oats Grama Grass
  • Blue Grama Grass
  • Little Bluestem Grass
  • Serviceberry (shrub/small tree)
  • Silvery Leadplant (shrub)
  • Mountain Mahogany (shrub)
  • Rubber Rabbitbrush (shrub)

Here are a few reasons why native plants are a great idea:

  • Native plants thrive in our climate and they attract butterflies, birds and pollinators to your garden. That means less work for you, and more wildlife watching. 🙂
  • The newly arrived Japanese beetles don’t seem to like these native plants these that much if at all.
  • Low water – native plants, after established, need a lot less supplemental watering than exotic plants. Additional water is good to add during long hot, dry spells, but often native plants will thrive with little to no extra water. After all, they are used to this climate!
  • Perennial Native Plants come back Bigger and Better every year – many native plants get larger and more beautiful each year, and some of them spread nicely so you can fill areas of your garden. Goldenrod makes a perfect tall bed of glorious foliage all summer and glorious yellow florets of flowers in late summer and autumn.
Glorious Goldenrod is a huge draw for pollinators like native bees and butterflies, plus birds and other wildlife.

Here’s a good Colorado Native Plant PDF booklet
from the Colorado Native Plant Society:
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Front Range & Foothills