North American Native Plants are native to the U.S., Mexico or Canada. Since political boundaries aren't natural, these plants can usually be found on both sides of the border.
More Information About North American Native Plants
North American native plants are native to the U.S., Mexico, or Canada. Since political boundaries aren't natural (nor are fences), native plants can usually be found on both sides of the border.
Contrary to popular myth, American native plants are not automatically better adapted than exotic plants. If they were, we wouldn't have aggressive exotic plants choking out the natives. Most plants we consider American native plants today evolved over 100,000 years ago, when the climate was much different than it is today.
American native plants are also not necessarily better as a food source for native insects and animals. Foreign and native plants can be the preferred food source for native animals or can repel them. For instance, the Chinese native Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is a preferred food source for butterflies in the US and England and some butterflies would have trouble surviving without Buddleia. Butterfly conservationists advocate planting Buddleia in the US and England in order to protect butterfly species.
Nature is not Static
The well-meaning but misinformed people who promote the myths of native plant superiority are no different from the political populists of the past who preached genetic isolation and superiority. In a culture that supposedly embraces diversity, we find it bizarre that diversity among plants is promoted as evil. Perhaps these intellectually-challenged idealists will wake up one day and realize that nature is not static and that diversity in horticulture is a good thing and stop trying to promote the preservation of some mythical horticultural Camelot.
Don't get us wrong. There are some fabulous American native plants and it is our goal to introduce as many of them as possible to you. We love them as much as everyone else does. We just consider ourselves to be a contrarian native plant nursery that is not on the native plant superiority bandwagon. Our perennial garden plays host to native and exotic plants alike and we love them all.
In Search of Overlooked and Exceptional Native Plants
This video was recorded on April 29th, 2013 at JC Raulston Arboretum.