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.
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.
- Native plant species require
- Native plants have a built-in
capacity to handle stress.
- Native plants meet the nutrient
requirements of native wildlife.
- By preserving our native plants,
we protect the geen pool and biodiversity necessary to sustain and protect
all plant and animal species.
- Many attractive native plants
exist that will meet your gardening and landscaping needs.
- Native landscaping is affordable.