Native Plants

Restoring native plants ‘boosts pollination’, BBC, Jan 30, 2017Over an eight-month monitoring period, the removal of exotic plants appeared to improve pollination. In restored sites, plants produced more flowers and attracted more visits from pollinating animals, which was linked with the production of more fruit. Meanwhile, the number of pollinator species (including bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds and lizards) was higher in the cleared areas six to 14 months after exotic species had been removed.

Native plants are deer deterrents: ‘Keep wildlife in the wild’, OregonLive, Sept 17, 2016In the wild, deer and native plants evolved together, so plants developed defenses like waxy leaves or prickles that make them more adapted to surviving grazing. Even when they do get nibbled, natives are more likely to survive than the succulent plants in our gardens. Choosing native plants – or other plants less attractive to their palate – helps deter deer. Get ideas from an Extension publication of deer-resistant plants. The list was developed for central Oregon but the plants can be grown in other parts of the state as well.

Importance of Native Plants, Native Plant Society of NE OhioUnfortunately, native plants, a vital part of the natural web of life, are being lost at an alarming rate. Removing a certain native plant from the landscape will likely remove the insect that feeds on that plant, which in turn may eradicate the bird that feeds on that insect.

Why Native Plants Matter, AudobonNative plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including birds and people. Without them and the insects that co-evolved with them, local birds cannot survive. For example, research by the entomologist Doug Tallamy has shown that native oak trees support over 500 species of caterpillars whereas ginkgos, a commonly planted landscape tree from Asia, host only 5 species of caterpillars. When it takes over 6,000 caterpillars to raise one brood of chickadees, that is a significant difference.

Why native plants matter, City of MinnetonkaA staggering one-third of U.S. birds are in danger due to native habitat loss. Native bird populations and their habitat companions will continue to decline unless we restore the native plants they need for survival in our suburban ecosystems. It’s not too late, and fortunately, restoring native plants in a human landscape is easy to do.

Why are native plant communities important?, Minnesota DNRIn Minnesota, native plant communities provide habitat for several thousand plant and animal species. Many of these species are uncommon in the state and many of them—such as the western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) and the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis)—are almost completely dependent on native plant communities for their long-term survival and viability in Minnesota. Of such species, 440 are uncommon enough that they are listed under state or federal endangered species acts. In addition to relatively conspicuous plant and animal species, native plant communities also are likely to be reservoirs of other groups of species that have not been thoroughly surveyed or studied in Minnesota. These include microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria which often play important roles in uptake of nutrients by plants, and insects and other invertebrates (which can help to cycle nutrients in ecosystems or to pollinate plants).

Why Are Native Plants Important?Native plants are equipped to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. Plants and animals that have evolved together depend upon each other for survival. Native plants and animals form a complex network of relationships, an intricate web of life with each species’ life cycle highly dependent on the others, also known as an ecosystem. For example, native plants do a better job of providing food and shelter for native wild animals than do introduced plants. Native plants are the foundation of our natural ecosystems and protect biodiversity.

Why are Native Plants so Important?, National Wildlife Association Blog, May 14, 2012Milkweed plants produce alkaloids that are toxic to many creatures. Monarch butterflies have evolved to have an immunity to the toxins and, in fact, by ingesting them are less delectable and better able to ward off bird predation. The relationship is so interconnected that Monarchs can only feed on milkweed. Please, think about it for one minute: no milkweed, no more Monarchs. That is not an unusual story in the world of plants and animals.

Native Plant, Invasive Plant…What are the Differences? Why Does It Matter?, Ecological Landscape AllianceNative plants are a food sources for people, pollinators and wildlife alike.

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