At Prickly Ed's we don't promote the importance of native plants because that's what we sell. We sell native plants because they are at the root of environmentally landscaping. Indeed native plants are at the very foundation of sustainable, resilient, life supporting gardens and landscapes. Despite this, horticultural surveys have shown that less than 15% of plants sold in traditional garden centers are Native Plants. The majority of them are actually imported exotic / ornamental plants. This leads to tremendous confusion about what a native plant actually is. Many people - entirely logically - assume that plants that are commonly seen in area landscapes or that are hardy in their "growing zone" are native plants. But native plants have a very specific definition and categorization. Native plants are sometimes referred to as "indigenous" since they are largely the plants that existed in our area all on their own before humans began introducing plants for gardening purposes. So essentially, plants defined as native occur naturally in the region in which they evolved. This is important because the insects, birds and other wildlife who co-evolved with these plants need them to survive. While pollinators, birds and other creatures may visit other plants, for example for nectar, it is native plants that support them throughout their entire lifecycle, allowing species to survive and thrive versus the rapid declines being observed today.
Ready to Get Inspired? Sit back and watch this wonderful presentation by Doug Tallamy, hosted by the National Wildlife Federation and learn more about how your own yard, filled with native plants, can be Nature's Best Hope.
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