Definition

Native species are plants, 🍄︎ fungi or 🐟︎ 🐢︎🐇︎ animals that:

To learn more about using native plants in landscaping


  1. See the video above or left, on creating the Forest Garden:  integrating local ecology, food production, and our desired lifestyle.  For full effect, display the video via icons ▶ Play, then fullscreen, captions, and × or Skip Ads ⏯.
  2. In 🇨🇦 Canada and 🇺🇸 USA, please see this list of native plant societies.
  3. In 🇺🇸 USA's center and east, attend educational programs and field trips of your local chapter of Wild Ones (a group of native plant enthusiasts) (Facebook).
  4. In 🇺🇸 USA's New England, attend educational programs and field trips of the New England Wild Flower Society.
  5. Watch video above or right, of talk 🔥︎💦︎🌱︎☀🌾︎🐛︎🐦︎ Plant Natives by Doug Tallamy in 2015.  For full effect, display the video via icons ▶ Play, then fullscreen, captions, and × or Skip Ads ⏯.
    Or read anything by Doug Tallamy, such as article Gardening for Life (.pdf pages 8 and 9) or book Bringing Nature Home:  How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants —explains why and how—🔥︎💦︎🌱︎☀🌾︎🐛︎🐦︎!
  6. Awesome Wild Ones handbook Landscaping with Native Plants (.pdf page 2).
  7. Look into film Hometown Habitat by Catherine Zimmerman—the best explanation I have seen!
    Trailer and 37-min interview with trailer at end.   For full effect, display the video via icons ▶ Play, then or fullscreen.
    Film review.   The film itself (check groups above for group showings).
  8. Listen to the native plant podcast.
  9. Listen to podcasts, view videos, or read articles at EcoBeneficial! with Kim Eierman.   Thanks for the tip, Amy!
  10. In 🇨🇦 Canada and 🇺🇸 USA, for recommendations on which species to plant, please see the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's special collections.
  11. Read about rain garden (rainscaping) (bioswale) and prairie site selection, design, 🚧 construction and management (.pdf).
  12. Read about Plant Hardiness Zones vs. Ecoregions and lots of other articles from Habitat Network/Yardmap/Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  13. Questions to ask—a Natural Areas Site Analysis Guide (.pdf).
  14. Learn more buttons at bottom of this page.


To learn about sustainable landscaping

view video Sustainable Landscape Design from Growing A Greener World

  1. See the video above or left, on sustainable landscape design, from Growing A Greener World.
    For full effect, display the video via icons ▶ Play, then fullscreen, captions, and × or Skip Ads ⏯.

To plan native landscaping in North America

Your jurisdiction may have rules about what kind of tree you may plant:

You may want to see your site's pre-settlement vegetation cover:

You may want to see your site's current land use:

Then investigate which plants are associated with these natural communities:

Now we know!

In North America, to help 🐝︎ pollinators, 🌳︎🐝︎ Trees for Bees recommends planting native big-leaf maple  Acer macrophyllum, hardy catalpa  Catalpa speciosa, eastern redbud  Cercis canadensis, flowering dogwood  Cornus florida, 🌷︎ tulip tree  Liriodendron tulipifera, southern crabapple  Malus angustifolia, staghorn sumac  Rhus typhina and black willow  Salix nigra.

Also in North America, the Pollinator Partnership offers recommendations for Selecting Plants for 🐝︎ Pollinators.

In 🇺🇸 USA, Audubon's recommendations of 🐦︎ bird-friendly butterfly-friendly native plants > your zipcode > button Search.
Michigan Native Plants for 🐦︎ Bird-Friendly Landscapes (.pdf).

Bloom dates for native perennial beneficial-insect-attracting plants (Michigan) (.pdf page 58) bloom dates by month (Missouri) (.pdf) bloom dates by plant name (Missouri) (.pdf).

In North America's Midwest, native examples of small trees forming the "middle story" of the woodland plant community include American hornbeam / ironwood  Carpinus caroliniana, dogwood  genus Cornus, American witch-hazel  Hamamelis virginiana and American hophornbeam / ironwood  Ostrya virginiana.

Kelly D. Norris recommends American smoketree  Cotinus obovatus.

The Right Native Plants in the Right Landscape Means Fewer Allergies (.pdf pages 1, 20, 21 and 23).

To buy or trade native plants or seeds

Sources of information, plants and seeds:


While selecting your plants and seeds, this author recommends you:

Nativars often do not share the same genetics, reproduction nor ecological functions/ecosystem services as their parent stock. [4] [5]

For example, if red maple  Acer rubrum is native to your region:

Wild Ones Guidelines for Selecting Native Plants:  The Importance of Local Ecotype (.pdf page 3).   Nativars: Where do they fit in? (.pdf pages 1,4,5).

🔊︎ "How effective are nativars?" interview with Doug Tallamy on radio show/podcast A Way to Garden.com of 2018-05-28.

This author also recommends you get plants and seeds that are not treated with neonicotinoid neonic insecticides.  I read that it could be months before your plants are visited by pollinators, or can provide food for your local birds.  Seeds from these plants are probably OK.

Summary:  When you buy,check the tag:


References

[4]  "Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum".  Xerces Society.  2017.   Accessed 2019-05-10.

[5]  Based on the above blog, this is now being studied by Nativars Research Project, by budburst, a project of botanic gardens in Chicago, Denver and San Diego.   To observe pollinators, they are seeking help from interested citizens scientists across the 🇺🇸 USA.

To buy or trade native plants or seeds in Michigan near Kent County and Grand Rapids

Year-round:  A grower in the Native Plant Guild NPG.

In-person native plant sales of which we are aware (please verify 📅︎ dates with applicable organization!):

Learn more about sustainable landscaping/​gardening with native plants

native gardening terminology

Discover Life Google Google images USFS Wikipedia