Montane Garden Area

IN THE WILD– Fairly high elevation at or below the alpine treeline  about 1950’ to 3250’ above sea level( 600 to 1000 meters).  Montane areas are mostly forested with species similar to lower elevations (Douglas Fir, western hemlock and western red cedar) with silver fir and grand fir more common at the lower elevation. The understory includes huckleberry, rhododendron, salal and paxistima. Open areas and wetlands provide habitat for heather and low growing huckleberries, Pipsissiwa and several varieties of wintergreen occur on the forest floor. Moist seeps in forest openings may have glacier lilies or avalanche lilies and open, wet meadows filled with sedges, wood rushes, elephant head and other herbaceous species. Boulder outcrops in thin soils often present heathers, crowberry, partridgefoot and lousewort.

Scroll down for plant list.

IN YOUR GARDEN-Make use of a gentle hillside or create a fairly large mound of soil, placing boulders partly buried in the soil. Plant smaller evergreen trees such as Mountain hemlock in the top third of the area. Then add Mountain huckleberry, paxistima and other herbaceous plants.

Create a narrow curved stream bed of rocks and plant clusters of species at the edges. Use a drought tolerant species such as luzula if the area is naturally dry or plant sedges and direct water to the area from your roof, if possible (a rain garden, of sorts).

Learn more about the plant species in the list below by reading about them or observing them in person at Kul Kah Han Gardens and then try them in your own garden.

Montane Native Plants

(Click on plant names to view photos and descriptions)

Paxistima myrsinites – Oregon Boxwood
Quercus vaccinifolia – Huckleberry Oak
Tsuga mertensiana – Mountain Hemlock

Lonicera involucrata – Black Twinberry
Phylodoce empetriformis – Red Mt Heather
Vaccinium deliciosum – Cascade Huckleberry
Vaccinium membranaceum – Mountain Huckleberry

Campanula rotundifolia – Bluebell
Circaea alpina-Enchanter’s Nightshade.
Chimaphila umbellata- Prince’s Pine

Dodecatheon hendersonii – Broad Leafed Shooting Star
Hydrophyllum fendleri – Fendler’s Waterleaf
Mitella caulescens – Creeping Mitrewort
Mitella pentandra – Five Stemmed Mitrewort
Penstemon newberryi – Mountain Pride
Penstemon procerus – Small-Flowered Penstemon
Penstemon serrulatus – Coast Penstemon
Sisyrinchium idahoense – Blue Eyed Grass
Streptopus amplexifolius- Clasping Twistedstalk

Xerophyllum tenax – Bear Grass


Arctostaphylos X media – Kinnickinik
Sedum stenopetalum – Wormleaf Stonecrop

Luzula parviflora – Small-Flowered Wood Rush
Carex deweyana – Deweys Sedge

Damp ForestDry ForestEdgelandMeadowMontaneSubalpineWetland.