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The Polly Hill Arboretum


MV CommissionThe Polly Hill Arboretum (PHA), with the support of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC), developed this plant selection guide to navigate landscape plant choices on Martha’s Vineyard. PHA’s research and observations form the basis for the plants included. This guide aims to facilitate the challenging balance of respecting our natural landscape while managing human impact. Our goal is to increase biodiversity, promote ecological integrity, and preserve the unique ecosystems of Martha’s Vineyard through providing a resource to support well-informed plant choices.

The intent of this website is to guide municipalities, landscape architects, landscapers, and gardeners in plant selection for restoration plantings, landscapes, and gardens. Plants have been chosen for their horticultural, ecological, and adaptive characteristics, and are recommended for use on Martha’s Vineyard. Also, the MVC may use this resource in reviewing Developments of Regional Impact (DRI). The MVC Site Design and Landscape Policy provides useful advice in project planning.

NOTE: Plants found in the Martha’s Vineyard Plant Designation category designated “not recommended” are included in the search results as they may be widely planted, readily available landscape plants that are not well suited for the Island.


Additional support was provided by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (District Local Technical Assistance Program).


Visit Martha's Vineyard Plant Select Guide >


Bassuk, N., et al. 2009. Recommended Urban Trees: Site and Tree Assessment for Stress Tolerance. Urban Horticulture Institute, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. Published on the Internet;http://www.hort.cornell.edu/uhi/outreach/recurbtree/pdfs/~recurbtrees.pdf.(accessed Fall 2013).

Dirr, M. A. 1997. Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs. Timber Press. Portland, Oregon.
Haines, A. 2011. Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England. Yale University Press. New Haven, Connecticut.

Missouri Botanic Garden. Plant Finder. Published on the Internet; http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plantfinder/plantfindersearch.aspx (accessed Spring 2014).

North Creek Nursery. Our Plants. Published on the Internet; http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.main/index.htm (accessed Spring 2014).

O’Sullivan, P. 2007. The Homeowner’s Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook. Storey Publishing. North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed Spring 2014).



To help further development of this resource, please consider a donation or membership to the Arboretum.