Native species are defined as plants that occur naturally in our region – not necessarily just in Maryland or Virginia but in the mid-Atlantic, even throughout North America. They have evolved over time to not only survive but to flourish in our environment and they don’t need us to fuss over them; for the most part they do just fine left on their own.
Native plant regions are broken down by geographic area, not by state boundaries. Here in the mid-Atlantic we are primarily located within the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions.
Since native plants have been growing and evolving in an area for thousands of years, they have adapted to the local soils and climate and thrive with minimal care than non-natives.
Native plants have an important role in our local ecosystem. Other plants, animals and/or insects depend on many of them for habitat or food. As development continues to “pave over” natural areas, it gets harder for native species to survive on what is left. By using native plants we can help offset these losses. And, by using a greater variety of species, you will have more varied seasonal interest (flowers, berries, leaf colors, etc.) and you will encourage a more balanced population of beneficial insects that will help keep the harmful ones in check. You’ll also attract more pollinators, likes birds, bees and butterflies, to your yard.
In a world that is fast becoming homogenized, it’s nice to experience a place that is unique. By using native plants, especially those that only grow in this area, you help to foster that uniqueness.
OUR TOP TEN FAVORITES:
10) Fringe Tree
7) Black Gum
6) Sweet Spire
2) Cardinal flower
1) Butterfly Weed
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON NATIVE PLANTS: