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Fitting into the Local Ecosystem


Herndon Friends are working to make our property as welcoming to the local birds and butterflies as it is to people. Steps we have taken so far include:

  • Discontinued monthly pesticide applications

  • Discontinued chemical applications to the lawn

  • Planted native plants

  • Watched a segment of the movie Hometown Habitat and hosted a showing for neighboring faith communities.

  • Converted lawn to conservation landscaping

  • Made a one-minute movie about the wildlife on our property

Only by using our own properties to support wildlife can we hope to reverse the declining numbers of songbirds and other species in Northern Virginia. Native plants are the basis of the whole ecosystem upon which all other species depend.


Click here to see lots of photos and the history of our landscaping and gardening projects as well as our Audubon-at-Home certification.


Here is a partial list of the native plants we have installed so far.

On the west side of the building:

  • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Little Henry')

  • Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina)

  • Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis)

  • Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra)

Next to the Spring Street sidewalk:

  • Fragrant Sumac 'Grow Low' (Rhus aromatica)

  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

  • Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa)

  • Canada Red Chokeberry (Prunus virginiana 'Canada Red')

Along the south edge of the property by the holly tree:

  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy' and 'Red Sprite'_

  • Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba)

  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Along the south-facing wall behind the kitchen:

  • Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)

  • New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)

  • Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Along the south-facing wall futher west:

  • Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks')

  • Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenberia caprillaris)

  • Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Cape Breeze' and 'Shenandoah')

  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Chameleon')

  • Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

  • Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

  • Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Darts Gold' and 'Little Devil')

In the circle in the parking lot

  • Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

  • Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera)

  • White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

Along the east facing wall

  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

  • Southern Magnolia

  • Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

On the north facing wall

  • Hairy alumroot (Heuchera villosa)

  • Smooth Hydrangea (Heuchera villosa)

  • Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)

  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Traveller')

  • Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana 'Little Suzie')

  • Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

  • 'Blue Arrow' Juniper

  • Marginal Shield Fern (Dryopteris marginalis)

  • Christmas Fern (Polistichum acrostichoides)

  • Blue Wood Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium)

  • Carolina Buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)

On the Locust Street embankment:

  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) (Native to the prairies, not Virginia)

  • Pink Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

  • Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) 'Lil Henry'

  • Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)

  • Moss phlox (Phlox subulata)

  • Blue mist flower (Conoclinium coelstinium)

  • Virginia spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

  • Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginium)

  • Shrubby St. John’s Wort (Hypericum prolificum)

  • Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosum)

  • Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

  • Bluestem goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)

  • Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)

  • Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

  • Wild pink (Silene caroliniana)

  • Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)

  • Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)

  • Blue wood aster (Symphyotricum cordifolia)

  • Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)

Under the flowering dogwood tree (itself a native, of course!) on the corner:

  • Moss phlox (Phlox subulata)

  • Eastern red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

In the back pollinator garden:

  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) (Native to the prairies, not Virginia)

  • Maryland senna (Senna marilandica)

  • New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii)

  • Wild blue indigo (Baptisia australis)

  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

  • Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)

  • Short goldenrod (Solidago stricta)

  • Yellow wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria)

  • Coreopsis verticillata

  • Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

  • Beardtongue (Penstemom digitalis)

  • Shaggy blazing star (Liatris pilosa)

  • Lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata)

  • Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)

  • Hoary mountain mint (Pycnanthemum incanum)

  • Phlox paniculata (summer phlox - pink cultivar)

At the back of the parking lot

  • Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

In the pots by the shed

  • Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

  • Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Across the parking lot by the electrical box

  • Common milkweed (Ascelpias syriaca)

  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

  • Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa)

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