Department of Horticulture

Hardy Plants for Waterwise Landscapes

Spring-flowering bulbs (© V.I. Lohr)


Many spring flowering bulbs grow actively when natural spring rainfalls keep soils moist. They stop active growth and go dormant in the summer when soils dry down. Most of these bulbs can be used in water-conserving landscapes. Species native to dry regions of the world can be used in even the driest parts of the garden.

Scientific name

Common name

Allium cernuum Nodding onion
Anemone blanda Grecian windflower
Camassia spp. Camas
Chionodoxa spp. @ Glory-of-the-snow
Crocus spp.
Fritillaria imperialis ●  Crown imperial
Galanthus nivalis  Common snowdrop
Hyacinthus orientalis Hyacinth
Iris reticulata  Netted iris
Lilium spp. Lily
Muscari spp. Grape hyacinth
Narcissus spp. Daffodil
Scilla spp. ●@ Squill
Tulipa spp. Tulip
Tulipa batalinii Species tulip


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Scientific and common names are listed for each plant.  Plants are listed in alphabetical order by scientific name.

If the scientific name has a link, it leads to a page with photos and cultural information. If the common name has a link, it leads to photos, but not to cultural information. 

Key to symbols

spp. = More than one species is water-conserving

● = Suitable for dry shade; amount of shade varies

N = Native to Washington or Idaho

@ = May reseed or spread

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Department of Horticulture, PO Box 646414, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6414, 509-335-9502, Contact Us