Native Plants

What is a native plant?

A plant native to a geographical region is a plant that was growing in that region before European settlement began, around 1600.

Native plants have evolved over thousands of years in communities with insects and animal populations that feed and reproduce on them. They have adapted to regional climate and soil conditions. Native plants include flowers (forbs), grasses, trees, shrubs, vines, mosses, ferns, sedges, rushes, and other plants.

Where do native plants grow?

In meadows, prairies, woodland, edge of the woods, woods, ponds and pond edges, wetlands, rocky areas, roadsides, and gardens.

What are wildflowers?

Wildflowers are plants that grow in the wild on their own. This includes non--native plants as well as native plants. Native plants are wildflowers but not all wildflowers are native plants.

Why are native plants essential? Vital for insect life by providing food, shelter, and a place to reproduce. Most insects eat only native plants. Create and sustain diverse communities of healthy, balanced ecosystems. They serve as the basis of biodiversity. Vital for birds, insects, bees, butterflies, other wildlife.

What are the advantages of native plants?

Once established, they have low resource requirements for water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Plants flower over many months providing nectar and pollen. Help reduce air pollution, improve water quality, and reduce erosion. Can tolerate wet springs and dry summers. Generally free of and resistant to most pests and diseases. Large variety of colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and foliage.

How is a native plant identified?

A native plant species’ name has two parts, the genus name and the species name = scientific name - Echinacea purpurea. A cultivar or cultivated variety is reproduced by propagation. It could be a hybrid or a wild plant that has superior characteristics. The name behind the scientific name will be in single quotes - Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’. A nativar is a plant that looks like a native plant but is slightly different. Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’. 



Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod
Solidago caesia