Phytoremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil involves plants and their associated microorganisms. However, few cold-tolerant plants have been identified for reclamation in the native grasslands and woodlands of Canada. We assessed 35 native grasses, legumes and forbs, and seven exotic grasses and legumes for their ability to germinate and survive in crude oil contaminated soil. Based on germination, survival, growth rate, and above and below ground biomass five native (Artemisia frigida, Bromus ciliatus, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, Potentilla pensylvanica, and Psoralea esculenta) and three exotic (Medicago sativa, Melilotus officinalis and Trifolium repens) plants exhibited phytoremediation potential. The ability of these species to degrade specific hydrocarbons and mixtures of hydrocarbons is currently being assessed.