Native plants

Native Plants are uncultivated flora indigenous to geographic regions, which have adapted over time to various environmental and social influences such as soil types and hydrology, micro-climates and human influence. Because native species evolve for survival, they tend to be more naturally adapted to local growing conditions and often require less inputs for successful establishment and can reduce maintenance. Native plants play a very important role in our ecosystems. As ecologists, wildlife biologists and entomologist have shown, native plant species are more favorable for supporting pollinators and local wildlife, including insects such as bees, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Dont Remove Wildflowers from the Wild

Removing wildflowers from the wild is harmful for three reasons. First, you diminish the natural population and consequently reduce the diversity within that population. With less diversity, a plant population may be less capable of responding to environmental changes; it may perish if suddenly stressed by disease, insects, or sudden extremes in weather. Second, nature is likely to fill the vacuum you create when you dig up a wildflower with a plant of a different species, often an invasive weed. Finally, wild collected plants often perform poorly in the garden. Plants propagated in a nursery or grown from wild collected seed or cuttings, are much more likely to survive transplanting.

Where to buy Native Plants

Buy plants from a reputable nursery or grow them from seed yourself. You may be surprised to learn that some wildflowers are still taken from the wild to be sold at commercial nurseries, particularly the slow growing trilliums, orchids, and lilies. This practice has a negative impact on biodiversity and often the plants don't survive. When buying native plants make sure that the nursery propagates what it sells or buys from wholesalers who propagate plants from nursery grown stock plants. Fortunately, conservation-minded native plant nurseries that specialize in propagating and selling native plants have sprung up all over the country; your local native plant society may be able to recommend one to you. (National Arboretum information)

Native Plant Book Recommendation

Native Plants

In today's South, where fine gardening is a tradition, many homeowners and professional gardeners are discovering a vast new palette of plant materials—native plants. They are realizing that these native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, and grasses are far better suited, and therefore easier to grow and maintain, than most of the imported plants that populate traditional landscapes. Discover the Wasowskis' exciting vision of the many possibilities and advantages of going native.


Helpful Links

North Carolina Native Plant Society

Recommended Native Plants

Going Native

Design a Native Plant Landscape

Native Plants for Coastal North Carolina