Native species are those that occur naturally in an area, having not been introduced by human action.
Over time, they have evolved with the physical and biological factors specific to their region, such as climate, soil, rainfall, and interactions with other plants, animals, and insects that live in the area.
Why Plant Natives?
Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions.. They are vigorous and hardy, so can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require no irrigation or fertilization. They are resistant to most pests and diseases. Thus, native plants suit today's interest in "low-maintenance" gardening and landscaping.
Native plants provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and other desirable wildlife. Many help to enrich the soil.
Native plants support biodiversity by providing food for native insects, that in turn are eaten by native birds–96% of birds eat insects. With few exceptions, native birds can only eat native insects and native insects are only attracted to native plants. Native insects provide the protein upon which our entire ecosystem is based.
Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. This improves water quality.