The California native garden in the Demonstration Garden at the Patrick Ranch near Durham, California. (Laura Kling/Contributed)

Native vs. non-native plants | The Real Dirt

Sep 10, 2021 at 4:05pm

Grace Mahannah

“Native plants give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours. I want Texas to look like Texas and Vermont to look like Vermont,” said Lady Bird Johnson, who was the First Lady of the United States as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Plants define the landscape. In California, besieged by the twin threats of drought and wildfire, the choice to grow native versus non-native plants is attracting more attention than ever before. What exactly are the merits of native compared to non-native plants, and how do gardeners make the best choice about what to grow in a home garden?

Native plants occur naturally in the area where they originally evolved. These plants have coevolved with wildlife, fungi, and microbes, and their interdependent relationships form the foundation of our native ecosystems, according “Native and Naturalized Plants for the Home Garden in Northern California.”

Every place has its own native plants, but California is spectacular in that most of the state is comprised of the “California Floristic Province,” a biodiversity hotspot that contains over 5,000 native plant species, more than 60% of which are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world.

Continue reading the article from Chico Enterprise-Record here