Native plants are those species that have evolved over thousands of years in this region through a process of natural selection, rather than through human interference.
They co-evolved here with the native insects, birds, and mammals, which have synchronized their behaviors and habits to match the seasonal flowers and fruit of trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses.
They are neither cultivars nor “nativars” that are bred for particular characteristics that do not benefit the wildlife that depend on them.
“Native plants have been associated with native insect communities over thousands… millions of years. They have had plenty of time to develop specialized relationships. Non-native plants are new comers to our ecosystems. There’s been no time for evolutionary interactions to occur. So the specialization, that really is nature, hasn’t occurred.”
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home