Native Shrubs, Subshrubs & Lianas of New Hampshire

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We list 235 species of native shrubs, subshrubs, and lianas known to occur in New Hampshire. The exact number is tricky to pin down because some shrub species can also occur in tree form. Others are subshrubs, dwarf shrubs or perennial plants that are woody only near the base, where new growth above the base dies back each year. Finally, lianas (woody vine-like plants) are also included in the list. Forty species are rare (state endangered or threatened), 14 are uncommon (state watch), and 19 are listed as indeterminate (see “Category Definitions” below). The following criteria were used to determine inclusion on this list:

  • Woody species (subshrubs to shrubs to lianas) native to at least part of New Hampshire.
  • Woody species that typically grow no more than 20 feet tall.
  • Woody species that commonly grow in a multi-stem form.

The list is split into conifers (gymnosperms) and flowering species (angiosperms). Within these two categories, the list is first arranged alphabetically by the generic common name of groups (i.e., dogwood, elderberry, false heather, etc.), then by the common name of the species. Scientific (Latin) names are also given (family name follow the genus name header). Both common and scientific names follow Arthur Haines’ Tracheophyte Checklist of New England (2016):

1 Superscript numbers by the name of a species indicate the following: 1 State endangered (N.H. Natural Heritage  Bureau 2013).
2 State threatened ((N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau 2013).
3 State watch ((N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau 2013)

4 State indeterminate ((N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau 2013).
5 Exists in the state in both shrub and tree form when mature.
6 Subshrub (dwarf shrub or perennial plant woody near the base). 7 Liana (vine-like woody plant).

The above categories are defined as:

Endangered: Native plant taxa vulnerable to extirpation based on having five or fewer natural occurrences in the state observed within the last 20 years, or taxa with more than five occurrences that are, in the judgment of experts, vulnerable to extirpation due to other important rarity and endangerment factors (population size and trends, area of occupancy, overall viability, geographic distribution, habitat rarity and integrity, and/or degree of protection). A rare native plant taxon that has not been observed in over 20 years is considered endangered unless there is credible evidence that all previously known occurrences of the taxon in the state have been extirpated.

Threatened: Native plant taxa vulnerable to becoming endangered based on having six to 20 natural occurrences in the state observed within the last 20 years, or taxa that are, in the judgment of experts, vulnerable to becoming endangered due to other important rarity and endangerment factors (population size and trends, area of occupancy, overall viability, geographic distribution, habitat rarity and integrity, and/or degree of protection).

Watch: Native plant taxa vulnerable to becoming threatened based on having 21 to 80 natural occurrences in the state observed within the last 20 years, or taxa that are, in the judgment of experts, vulnerable to becoming threatened due to other important rarity and endangerment factors (population size and trends, area of occupancy, overall viability, geographic distribution, habitat rarity and integrity, and/or degree of protection).

Indeterminate: Plant taxa under review for listing as endangered, threatened, or watch, but their rarity, nativity, taxonomy, and/or nomenclature are not clearly understood.

The N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau does not recommend using state endangered or threatened plant species in any plantings. Depending on their original source, rare plants from the horticultural trade that cross-pollinate with native populations can lead to genetic swamping, which is counterproductive to conserving rare species. Introduced plantings of rare native species can complicate our understanding of historical ranges and conservation statuses.

Gymnosperms (conifers)

Juniper: common juniper, creeping juniper1, eastern red cedar5

Juniperus (Cupressaceae): Juniperus communis var. depressa, Juniperus horizontalis1, Juniperus virginiana5

Yew: American yew

Taxus (Taxaceae): Taxus canadensis

Angiosperms (flowering plants)

Alder: green alder, smooth alder, speckled alder

Alnus (Betulaceae): Alnus alnobetula ssp. crispa ,Alnus serrulata, Alnus incana ssp. rugosa

Alpine-bearberry: alpine bearberry1, 6

Arctous (Ericaceae): Arctous alpina1, 6

Azalea: clammy azalea3,  early azalea3, giant rhododendron2 ,Labrador-tea, Lapland rosebay1 6, pink azalea1,

Rhododendron (Ericaceae): Rhododendron viscosum3, Rhododendron prinophyllum3, Rhododendron maximum2, Rhododendron groenlandicum, Rhododendron lapponicum1 6, Rhododendron periclymenoides1, Rhododendron canadense

Bastard-toadflax: bastard-toadflax6

Bayberry: small bayberry

Bearberry: red bearberry6

Birch: bog birch1, dwarf birch2 6 ,glandular birch2 6

Bittersweet: American bittersweet4 7

Blackberry: arching blackberry7, baked-apple-berry2 6, black raspberry bristly blackberry7, common blackberry, Enslen’s blackberry7, flowering raspberry, leafy-flowered blackberry, northeastern blackberry, northern blackberry7, Pennsylvania blackberry, red raspberry, sand blackberry1, sandy field blackberry7, setose blackberry, showy blackberry, Smith’s blackberry7, smooth blackberry, Vermont blackberry

Bladdernut: American bladdernut2

Blueberry: alpine blueberry3 6, black highbush, blueberry4, dwarf blueberry2 6, highbush blueberry, hillside blueberry6, large cranberry6, lowbush blueberry6, mountain cranberry6, New Jersey highbush blueberry4 northern blueberry6, small cranberry6, velvet-leaved blueberry6

Bog-rosemary: bog rosemary

Buckthorn: alder-leaved buckthorn3

Bunchberry: bunchberry6

Bush-honeysuckle: bush-honeysuckle

Buttonbush: common buttonbush

Camphorweed:1, 6 sweet-scented camphorweed

Cherry: American plum4 5, Appalachian sand plum3, beach plum3, black cherry5, choke cherry5, dwarf sand, plum3 pin cherry5

Comandra (Comandraceae): Comandra umbellata6

Chokeberry: black chokeberry, purple chokeberry

Coneflower: green-headed coneflower

Crowberry: black crowberry3 6, red crowberry3, 6

Cushion-plant: cushion-plant2 6

Dogwood: alternate- leaved dogwood, gray dogwood, red- oiser dogwood, round- leaved dogwood, silky dogwood, silky dogwood

Elderberry: common elderberry, red elderberry

False heather: pine-barren false heather1 6, sand false heather2 6,

Figwort: eastern figwort6

Flowering dogwood: flowering dogwood5

Frostweed: Canada frostweed6, hoary frostweed 6

Glasswort: perennial glasswort1 6

Goat's-rue: wild goat’s-rue1, 6

Gooseberry: bristly swamp currant, eastern black currant, eastern prickly gooseberry, hairy-stemmed gooseberry, skunk currant, swamp red currant

Grape: fox grape7, river grape7, summer grape7

Greenbrier: common greenbrier7

Hackberry: common hackberry5

Hawthorn: 5 Biltmore hawthorn, dotted hawthorn5, entangled hawthorn4 5 , Faxon's hawthorn1 5, fireberry hawthorn5, frosted hawthorn4 5, Gray’s hawthorn4 5 , Gray’s hawthorn5, Holmes’ hawthorn5, Keep’s hawthorn4 5, large-seeded hawthorn5, long-thorned hawthorn5, northern hawthorn5, Oakes’ hawthorn1 5, poplar hawthorn1 5, Pringle’s hawthorn5, Quebec hawthorn5, river hawthorn4 5, royal hawthorn4 5, scabrous hawthorn4 5, yellow hawthorn4, 5

Hazelnut: American hazelnut beaked hazelnut

Holly: common winterberry, evergreen winterberry1, mountain holly, smooth winterberry

Honeysuckle: American honeysuckle, mountain honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle4 7, wild honeysuckle3 7

Hop-hornbeam: hop-hornbeam5

Hornbeam: 5 American hornbeam

Huckleberry: black huckleberry, blue huckleberry dwarf huckleberry1 6

Knotweed: coastal jointed knotweed6

Laurel: alpine- azalea 2 6, bog laurel, mountain laurel, sheep laurel

Leatherleaf: leatherleaf

Leatherwood: eastern leatherwood3

Loosestrife: winged loosestrife4, 6

Lousewort: Canadian lousewort3, 6

Maleberry: maleberry

Maple: mountain maple5, striped maple5

Marsh-elder: maritime marsh-elder2

Meadowsweet: rosy meadowsweet, white meadowsweet

Mistletoe: dwarf mistletoe

Moss-plant: moss-plant1 6

Morella (Myricaceae): Morella caroliniensis

Arctostaphylos (Ericaceae): Arctostaphylos uva-ursi6

Betula (Betulaceae): Betula pumila1, Betula minor2 6, Betula glandulosa2 6

Celastrus (Celastraceae): Celastrus scandens4 7

Rubus(Rosaceae): Rubus recurvicaulis7, Rubus chamaemorus2 6, Rubus occidentalis, Rubus hispidus7,  Rubus allegheniensis, Rubus enslenii7, Rubus odoratus, Rubus frondosus, Rubus semisetosus, Rubus flagellaris7, Rubus pensilvanicus, Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus, Rubus cuneifolius1, Rubus arenicola7, Rubus setosus, Rubus elegantulus, Rubus jaysmithii7, Rubus canadensis, Rubus vermontanus

Staphylea (Staphyleaceae): Staphylea trifolia2

Vaccinium (Ericaceae): Vaccinium uliginosum3 6, Vaccinium fuscatum4, Vaccinium cespitosum2 6, Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium pallidum6. Vaccinium macrocarpon6, Vaccinium angustifolium6 ,Vaccinium vitis-idaea ssp. minus6, Vaccinium caesariense4, Vaccinium boreale6, Vaccinium oxycoccos6, Vaccinium myrtilloides6

Andromeda (Ericaceae): Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla

Rhamnus (Rhamnaceae): Rhamnus alnifolia3

Chamaepericlymenum (Cornaceae): Chamaepericlymenum canadense6

Diervilla (Caprifoliaceae): Diervilla lonicera

Cephalanthus (Rubiaceae): Cephalanthus occidentalis

Pluchea (Asteraceae): Pluchea odorata var. succulenta

Prunus (Rosaceae): Prunus americana4 5, Prunus susquehanae3, Prunus maritima3, Prunus serotina5, Prunus virginiana5, Prunus pumila var. depressa3, Prunus pensylvanica5

Aronia (Rosaceae): Aronia melanocarpa, Aronia floribunda

Rudbeckia (Asteraceae): 6 Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata

Empetrum (Ericaceae): Empetrum nigrum3 6 ,Empetrum atropurpureum3 6

Diapensia (Diapensiaceae): Diapensia lapponica2 6

Swida (Cornaceae):Swida alternifolia, Swida racemosa, Swida sericea, Swida rugosa, Swida amomum var. schuetzeana, Swida amomum var. amomum

Sambucus (Adoxaceae): Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, Sambucus racemosa

Hudsonia (Cistaceae): Hudsonia ericoides1 6, Hudsonia tomentosa2 6

Scrophularia (Scrophulariaceae): Scrophularia marilandica6

Benthamidia (Cornaceae): Benthamidia florida5

Crocanthemum (Cistaceae): Crocanthemum canadense6, Crocanthemum bicknellii6

Salicornia (Amaranthaceae): Salicornia ambigua1 6

Tephrosia (Fabaceae): Tephrosia virginiana1 6

Ribes (Grossulariaceae): Ribes lacustre, Ribes americanum, Ribes cynosbati, Ribes hirtellum, Ribes glandulosum, Ribes triste

Vitis (Vitaceae): Vitis labrusca7, Vitis riparia7, Vitis aestivalis7

Smilax (Smilacaceae): Smilax rotundifolia7

Celtis (Cannabaceae): Celtis occidentalis5

Crataegus (Rosaceae): 5 Crataegus biltmoreana, Crataegus punctata5, Crataegus intricata4, 5 Crataegus faxonii1, 5, Crataegus chrysocarpa5, Crataegus pruinosa4 5, Crataegus flabellata var. grayana4 5, Crataegus flabellata var. flabellata5, Crataegus holmesiana5, Crataegus keepii4 5, Crataegus macrosperma5, Crataegus macracantha5, Crataegus dissona5, Crataegus oakesiana1 5, Crataegus populnea1 5, Crataegus pringlei5, Crataegus submollis5, Crataegus fluviatilis4 5, Crataegus schuettei var. basilica4 5, Crataegus scabrida4 5, Crataegus flavida4 5

Corylus (Betulaceae): Corylus americana, Corylus cornuta

Ilex (Aquifoliaceae): Ilex verticillata, Ilex glabra1, Ilex mucronata, Ilex laevigata

Lonicera (Caprifoliaceae): Lonicera canadensis, Lonicera villosa, Lonicera sempervirens4 7, Lonicera dioica3 7

Ostrya (Betulaceae): Ostrya virginiana5

Carpinus (Betulaceae): 5 Carpinus caroliniana ssp. virginiana

Gaylussacia (Ericaceae): Gaylussacia baccata, Gaylussacia frondosa, Gaylussacia bigeloviana1 6

Polygonum (Polygonaceae): Polygonum articulatum6

Kalmia (Ericaceae): 2, 6 Kalmia procumbens, Kalmia polifolia Kalmia latifolia, Kalmia angustifolia

Chamaedaphne (Ericaceae): Chamaedaphne calyculata

Dirca (Thymelaeaceae): Dirca palustris3

Lythrum (Lythraceae): Lythrum alatum4 6

Pedicularis (Orobanchaceae): Pedicularis canadensis3 6

Lyonia (Ericaceae): Lyonia ligustrina

Acer (Aceraceae): Acer spicatum5, Acer pensylvanicum5

Iva (Asteraceae): Iva frutescens2

Spiraea (Rosaceae): Spiraea tomentosa Spiraea alba var. latifolia

Arceuthobium (Viscaceae): Arceuthobium pusillum

Harrimanella (Ericaceae): Harrimanella hypnoides1 6

Mountain-ash: American mountain-ash 5, showy mountain-ash5

Mountain-heath: purple mountain-heath2 6

Oak: 1 5 burr oak, dwarf chestnut oak3, scrub oak

One-sided-shinleaf: one-sided-shinleaf6

Partridge-berry: partridge-berry6

Pepperbush: coastal sweet-pepperbush

Pinweed: beach pinweed6

Poison-ivy: poison-ivy7, poison-sumac, western poison-ivy

Prickly-ash: 1 common prickly-ash

Prince's-pine: 6 noble prince's-pine spotted prince's-pine6

Redroot: New Jersey redroot, New Jersey tea

Rose: 1 bristly rose, Carolina rose, shining rose, smooth rose, swamp rose, Virginia rose

Rose-mallow: swamp rose-mallow1 6

Sarsaparilla: bristly sarsaparilla6, wild sarsaparilla6

Sorbus (Rosaceae): Sorbus americana5, Sorbus decora5

Phyllodoce (Ericaceae): Phyllodoce caerulea2 6

Quercus (Fagaceae): 1 5 Quercus macrocarpa, Quercus prinoides3 ,Quercus ilicifolia

Orthilia (Ericaceae): Orthilia secunda6

Mitchella (Rubiaceae): Mitchella repens6

Clethra (Clethraceae): Clethra alnifolia

Lechea (Cistaceae): Lechea maritima6

Toxicodendron (Anacardiaceae): Toxicodendron radicans7, Toxicodendron vernix, Toxicodendron rydbergii

Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae): 1 Zanthoxylum americanum

Chimaphila (Ericaceae): 6 Chimaphila umbellata ssp. cisatlantica, Chimaphila maculata6

Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae): Ceanothus americanus

Rosa (Rosaceae): 1 Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi, Rosa carolina, Rosa nitida, Rosa blanda, Rosa palustris, Rosa virginiana

Hibiscus (Malvaceae): Hibiscus moscheutos1 6

Aralia (Apiaceae): Aralia hispida6, Aralia nudicaulis6

Shadbush: downy shadbush5, dwarf shadbush, eastern shadbush5, intermediate shadbush4 5, low shadbush,

mountain shadbush5, Nantucket shadbush4, round-leaved shadbush, smooth shadbush5

Shinleaf: American shinleaf6, elliptic-leaved shinleaf6, green-flowered shinleaf6, little shinleaf3 6, pink shinleaf1 6

Shrubby-cinquefoil: shrubby-cinquefoil

Sibbaldia: Sibbaldia1 6

Spicebush: northern spicebush

Spicy-wintergreen: creeping spicy-wintergreen6, eastern spicy-wintergreen6

Sumac: smooth sumac, staghorn sumac, winged sumac

Swamp-loosestrife: swamp-loosestrife

Sweet-fern: sweet-fern

Sweetgale: sweetgale

Three-toothed-cinquefoil: three-toothed-cinquefoil 6

Amelanchier (Rosaceae): Amelanchier arborea5, Amelanchier spicata, Amelanchier canadensis5, Amelanchier intermedia4 5, Amelanchier humilis, Amelanchier bartramiana5, Amelanchier nantucketensis4, Amelanchier sanguinea, Amelanchier laevis5

Pyrola (Ericaceae): Pyrola americana6, Pyrola elliptica6, Pyrola chlorantha6, Pyrola minor3 6, Pyrola asarifolia1 6

Dasiphora (Rosaceae): Dasiphora floribunda

Sibbaldia (Rosaceae): Sibbaldia procumbens1 6

Lindera (Lauraceae): Lindera benzoin

Gaultheria (Ericaceae): Gaultheria hispidula6, Gaultheria procumbens6

Rhus (Anacardiaceae): Rhus glabra, Rhus hirta, Rhus copallinum var. latifolia

Decodon (Lythraceae): Decodon verticillatus

Comptonia (Myricaceae): Comptonia peregrina

Myrica (Myricaceae): Myrica gale

Sibbaldiopsis (Rosaceae): Sibbaldiopsis tridentata6

Epigaea (Ericaceae): Epigaea repens6

Linnaea (Caprifoliaceae): 6 Linnaea borealis ssp. americana

Trailing-arbutus: trailing-arbutus6

Twinflower: American twinflower 6

Viburnum: 1 downy arrowwood, highbush-cranberry, hobblebush, maple-leaved viburnum, nannyberry, smooth arrowwood, squashberry4 withe-rod

Virginia-creeper: thicket-creeper7, Virginia-creeper 7

Willow: balsam willow, bearberry willow2 6, bog willow, dwarf prairie willow4 6, heart-leaved willow, Labrador willow1 6, long-beaked willow, meadow willow, prairie willow, pussy willow, sandbar willow1, satiny willow1, shining willow, silky willow, snow-bed willow1 6, tea-leaved willow2

Witch-hazel: American witch-hazel

Wood-beauty: tall wood-beauty4

Viburnum (Adoxaceae): 1 Viburnum rafinesquianum, Viburnum opulus ssp. trilobum, Viburnum lantanoides, Viburnum acerifolium, Viburnum lentago, Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum, Viburnum edule4, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides

Parthenocissus (Vitaceae): Parthenocissus inserta7, Parthenocissus quinquefolia7

Salix (Salicaceae): Salix pyrifolia, Salix uva-ursi2 6, Salix pedicellaris, Salix occidentalis4 6, Salix eriocephala, Salix argyrocarpa1 6, Salix bebbiana, Salix petiolaris, Salix humilis, Salix discolor, Salix exigua ssp. interior1, Salix pellita1, Salix lucida, Salix sericea, Salix herbacea1 6, Salix planifolia2

Hamamelis (Hamamelidaceae): Hamamelis virginiana

Drymocallis (Rosaceae): Drymocallis arguta4


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Extension State Specialist, Forest Resources
Full State Specialist/Professor, Natural Resources
Phone: (603) 862-4861
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824