Native Plants

Why use natives?
Excerpted from "Native Plants in the Creation of Backyard, Schoolyard and Park Habitat Areas" by Marci Mowery, published by the Audobon Council of Pennsylvania.
Native plants are defined as plants that existed in Pennsylvania prior to European settlement. Don't confuse native plants with naturalized plants. Naturalized plants are introduced species which have adapted to living conditions in the state and have become established. Queen Anne's Lace and yarrow are two examples of naturalized plant species.

 The emphasis is on Pennsylvania-native plants, not plants native to the United States. A plant originating in California would not be considered a native plant for a garden in Pennsylvania. Be wary of nurseries who evade or water down this issue.

 Some may argue, "Why use natives, when so many other species of plants exist?" Arguments for using native plant species are many.


  1. Native plant species require less maintenance.
  2. Native plants have a built-in capacity to handle stress.
  3. Native plants meet the nutrient requirements of native wildlife.
  4. By preserving our native plants, we protect the geen pool and biodiversity necessary to sustain and protect all plant and animal species.
  5. Many attractive native plants exist that will meet your gardening and landscaping needs.
  6. Native landscaping is affordable.
Do not remove plants from the wild, as this is contrary to the purpose of developing native plant gardens. If you are patient, native seeds will arrive for you.