Salt Tolerant Plants

Many garden and public space designers often look for “salt-tolerant” plants. I confess I think I am of the mind that – at the rate we apply salt to our roadways and sidewalks – it is difficult to find a plant that is truly salt tolerant. To complicate matters, road salts create two problems: soil salt and foliar spray.

The list included here of native forbs that are considered more salt tolerant has been assembled from several sources.

Botanical name  Common name Botanical name  Common name
Allium cernuum Nodding Wild Onion Oligoneuron rigidum Stiff Goldenrod
Amorpha canescens Lead Plant Parthenium integrifolium Wild Quinine
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine Penstemon digitalis Foxglove Beardtongue
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed  Pycnanthemum virginianum Mountain Mint
Baptisia australis Blue Wild Indigo Ratibida pinnata Gray-headed Coneflower
Baptisia leucophaea Cream Wild Indigo Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan
Coreopsis lanceolata Sand Coreopsis Sedum ternatum Wild Stonecrop
Dalea purpurea Purple Prairie Clover Silphium integrifolium Rosin Weed
Doellingeria umbellata Flat-top Aster Silphium laciniatum Compass Plant
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower Silphium perfoliatum Cup Plant
Eupatoriadelphus maculatus Spotted Joe Pye Weed Silphium terebinthinaceum Prairie Dock
Eupatorium perfoliatum Boneset Solidago speciosa Showy Goldenrod
Eurybia macrophylla Big-leaved Aster Spiraea alba Meadowsweet
Filipendula rubra Queen of the Prairie Spiraea tomentosa Steeplebush
Galium boreale Northern Bedstraw Symphotrichum ericoides Heath Aster
Helenium autumnale Sneezeweed Symphotrichum nova-angliae New England Aster
Helianthus mollis Downy Sunflower Symphyotrichum laeve Smooth Aster
Heuchera richardsonii Prairie Alumroot Symphyotrichum oblongifolium Aromatic Aster
Hibiscus moschutos Swamp Mallow Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis Sky-blue Aster
Juncus torreyi Torrey's Rush Symphyotrichum puniceum Shining Aster
Liatris aspera Rough Blazing Star Symphyotrichum shortii Short's Aster
Liatris pycnostachya Prairie Blazing Star Tradescantia ohiensis Ohio Spiderwort
Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot Verbena hastata Blue Vervain
Monarda punctata Horsemint Verbena stricta Hoary Vervain
Oligoneuron album Stiff Aster Zizea aurea Golden Alexanders