Native Plants: What Are They?
What are native plants? How can you differentiate a native species versus an introduced species? What designates a plant as invasive? Can a native plant be invasive?
We consider a plant native to a region if it existed there already before the explorers (like Henry Hudson and Christopher Columbus) arrived. The evolution cycle for flora and insect fauna is long. It can take a while, like longer than centuries to sort out insects and host plant relationships. This is how respectful natural history is developed. Importantly, this is the process that keeps our ecosystems alive and healthy. Insects’ relationships with their host plants is a keystone health indicator.
Determining if a plant is native or not is a research project. Discover the plant’s Latin nomenclature. Then, look it up! Ladybird Johnson’s wildflower.org is our favorite native plant database search engine.
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