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 fullscreen via ▶ Play then broken-square icon.
  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). your local chapter of Wild Ones (a group of native plant enthusiasts).
  4. In 🇺🇸 USA's New England, attend educational programs and field trips of the New England Wild Flower Society.
  5. Read anything by Doug Tallamy, such as article Gardening for Life or book Bringing Nature Home:  How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (explains both why and how).  Video.
  6. Awesome Wild Ones handbook Landscaping with Native Plants (.pdf page 2).
  7. See film Hometown Habitat by Catherine Zimmerman ( trailer ) — best explanation I have seen.
  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 (and prairie) site selection, design, construction and maintenance (.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 plan native landscaping in North America

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 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.

In 🇺🇸 USA, Audubon's recommendations of 🐦︎ bird-friendly butterfly-friendly native plants > your zipcode > button Search.

Bloom dates for native perennial beneficial-insect-attracting plants (.pdf page 58).

Wisconsin's Best Native Plants for Attracting 🐦︎ Birds (.pdf).

The Right Native Plants in the Right Landscape Means Fewer Allergies (.pdf).

To buy or trade native plants or seeds

This author recommends you get plants and seeds that are truly native to your region / ecosystem / habitat, and avoid nativar cultivated varietiesNativars generally do not share the same genetics, reproduction nor ecological functions as their parent stock.

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).   Wild Ones Nativars Position Statement (.pdf).   Nativars: Where do they fit in? (.pdf) with references (.pdf). Guidelines and position paper from Wild Ones, with discussion of hardiness zones and ecoregions.

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.

When you buy, ☑ check the tag:

Sources of information, plants and seeds:

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.

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

Learn more about landscaping with native plants

native gardening terminology
Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Google Google images USFS Wikipedia