Eastern Redbud Cercis candadensis

Eastern Redbud, Cercis candadensis, native to Eastern North America, is noted for its stunning pea-like rose-purple flowers which bloom profusely on bare branches in early spring before foliage emerges.

Step outside the Knippenberg Center and enjoy the new Native Plant Demonstration Garden. This horticultural feature provides landscaping for the center complex and opportunities for programs about New Jersey’s native plants and how homeowners can support the environment by their landscaping choices. This 6,000-square-foot garden features native plants and is designed to create habitats near the center. The garden includes some of the best native plants for home landscape use in our region. An interpretive sign and brochure direct visitors around the space, describing the plants, their value to the environment, and their role in the home landscape.

This unique garden was made possible by grants from the California-based Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and The Ira A. Roschellle, MD Family Foundation. Kathleen Salisbury, President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, developed the original concept design and plant list. Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director of Laurelwood Arboretum and former Rutgers University County Agricultural Assistant, finalized the design and plant selection and implemented the project.

Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum offers tours and educational programs for the Native Plant Demonstration Garden and has created an interpretive brochure for a self-guided tour.

What are Native Plants?

According to Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet entitled, “Incorporating Native Plants in Your Residential Landscape,” native plants are species that were present at the beginning of the European settlement of North America. These are plants that, over time, have evolved to grow in a specific region.


New Jersey Tea, Ceanthus americanus

New Jersey Tea, Ceanthus americanus, is a shrub native to North America. The name was coined during the American Revolution, because its leaves were used as a substitute for tea.

Celandine Poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum

Celandine Poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum is a herbaceous perennial native to moist woodlands in eastern North America, valued for its yellow flowers.


Click here to view a list of NJ native deer-resistant plants.