Georgia’s Native Plants
WHAT IS A NATIVE PLANT?
The generally accepted principle is that native plants are those plants which have inhabited a particular region for thousands of years arguably plants that and were present in a particular area prior to European settlement.
Other references go beyond this basic definition to say a native plant is one that has grown naturally in a particular region without direct or indirect human intervention and place a historical time-line on native plants. Even The federal government has published an “official” definition in the Federal Register, defining native plants as those which are “naturally occurring, either presently or historically, in any ecosystem of the United States.”
Today, there is a growing interest in preserving native landscapes as “Green Space” in residential communities, giving them a park-like ambiance, but also providing space for birds and other wildlife. A casual stroll through a woodland setting, teeming with ever-changing flora and fauna, is a relaxing and peaceful diversion from our daily lives. Native plants support native insects like butterflies, moths, and bees in ways that non-native plants cannot – through the food chain. Native insects, in turn, help bring in more native birds, lizards, toads and turtles.
A native plant community in a residential landscape will likely be composed of some existing plants, such as already-present native canopy trees, and will need to be managed for invasive plants that come in via wind and wildlife. To enhance the diversity stripped away by development, add regionally appropriate native plants like shrubs and perennials.
Whether you are designing a new landscape or renovating your existing landscape, there is a wide array of native plants for every location and each landscape situation. By planting native plants, you not only will be perpetuating ecological diversity and providing wildlife habitat, you will be leaving a living legacy to your children and future generations.
Here we present a collection of resources to help you research plants to use or to help you identify plants that you might have found. Feel free to reach out to us with questions that you may have on your quest to use and enjoy Georgia’s native plants.
If you’re looking for places to buy native plants, please visit our Sources page.