Southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape & Islands

The following resources and information are particularly focused on southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. More general information should still be accessed on the Resources portion of our website, with its pages on Gardening and Ecology, Native Plants, Invasive Plants, Nurseries, and more.

Essential Resources for Landscaping with Native Plants in this Region

  • Cape Cod Wildflowers, A Vanishing Heritage
    By Mario J. DiGregorio and Jeff Wallner. University Press of New England, 2003.
    This is the only comprehensive book on the Cape's wildflowers, and is a great one for learning much more about the wonderful perennials of the region. Full of color illustrations, it organizes the species by habitat. Both novice gardeners and experienced botanists should find it useful.
  • Martha's Vineyard Plant Selection Database
    This interactive database developed by the Polly Hill Arboretum is useful for choosing native plants appropriate to conditions throughout southeastern Massachusetts. It includes trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses, and perennials. The large number of selection criteria make it especially helpful.´╗┐
  • Association to Preserve Cape Cod
    This organization offers comprehesive information about managing the ecological challenges facing the Cape, including the native plants appropriate to the region.

Useful Information from Local Conservation Commissions or Natural Resource Departments

The following links offer additional information about native plant landscaping on the Cape and Islands.

News & Notices

Large Gray Willow (Salix atrocinerea) has recently been determined to have significant impact on the Cape as an invaisve plant, with efforts to assess its spread and contain its expansion underway by USDA Forest Service botanists and state ecologists. More information on this issue will be posted soon.

Regional Organizations of Importance

  • Polly Hill Arboretum: MV Wildtype Program
    In 2006, the Arboretum introduced this program to help preserve the flora indigenous to Martha's Vineyard. Using wild collected seed procured around the Island within conservation guidelines that protect local plant populations, the Arboretum is propagating native plants with true local genotypes. These plants are used for both habitat restoration and landscape gardening, in an effort to help preserve the genetic heritage of the Vineyard's flora-- a notable goal since it has taken evolutionary processes a very long time to develop plants that are so readily suited to the Island's unique environments.