Category Archives: Native Plants

Is Your Native Plant Really What It Claims To Be?

The analysis revealed that 54 percent of the purchased plants labeled “American bittersweet” and/or “Celastrus scandens” were in fact oriental bittersweet. Seven of the 11 vendors tested were selling mislabeled plants. Four of these were located in Illinois, where it is illegal to sell oriental bittersweet. (Click on title for full story.)

Deer Alter Forest By Avoiding Bad-Tasting Invasive Plants

When rampant white-tailed deer graze in forests, they prefer to eat native plants over certain unpalatable invasive plants, such as garlic mustard and Japanese stiltgrass. These eating habits lower native plant diversity and abundance, while increasing the proportion of plant communities made up of non-native species, according to a new study. (Click on title for full story.)


Removing Exotic Plants From Natural Landscapes Benefits Native Wildlife

“Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. ” (Click on title for full story.)


Good Intentions Gone Bad: Pollinator Seed Mixes Spread Invasive Weeds

We don’t have any issues at all with the concept behind the pollinator habitat program; it’s a good program. But as a result of this program, we’ve now introduced Palmer amaranth to potentially thousands of acres of land, and we need to know what we are going to be allowed to do to try to stem the spread of it. And we need to do that quickly. (Click on title for full story.)


What Makes A Plant “Native” And Who Gets To Say?

For years, scientists have predicted that natives planted well north of their historic geographic limits inevitably would not only survive, but thrive and naturalize outside of horticulture in habitat made increasingly hospitable by global warming. (Click on title for full story.)


“Natural” Ecosystems Man-Made Centuries Ago

While I was doing field work in Southern Appalachia, I noticed that whenever I saw a honey locust, I could throw a rock and hit a Cherokee archeological site. I knew that, in the late Pleistocene era, the main source of dispersal for honey locusts was megafauna such as mastodons. But mastodons disappeared more than 10,000 years ago. You’d expect plant species that relied strictly on extinct megafauna for seed dispersal would only exist in small, remnant populations. (Click on title for full story.)


Cleansing With Fire May Invite Invasive Species

Fire is one of the best management tools that land managers have at their disposal so we can’t expect managers not to burn at all. Several rare native plant species thrive following controlled burning, which reduces dominant competitors. If we stop burning, those species may disappear. However, we need to be more cautious about when and where we use prescribed fire,


Weaponizing A Native Fungus To Kill An Invasive Tree

What we are experiencing is the rapid expansion of the tree of heaven replacing our native species. This might be our shot at overcoming its expansion.


Restoration Ecology: Are Natives The Only Answer Or Just The Answer We wish For?

Many ecosystems have been degraded or modified, and these are the sorts of systems you target for restoration. But when a system has been altered so much the original species might not be the best choice to bring it back to health.

Birds Choose Backyards With Native Plants

When nonnative plants replace natives, entire food webs are disrupted by the loss of specialized plant-eating insects—the most important food for animals ranging from other insects and spiders to reptiles and amphibians to mammals and birds.