Why Plant Natives?

Many of the invasive plant species found in natural areas are “escapees” from nearby landscapes. Commonly used exotic, ornamental, or non-native plants have a tendency to spread/escape into the wild.

Since these plants are not part of our existing landscape, they tend

not to have any form of natural control, thus taking over areas once occupied by native plants. This displaces wildlife and insects which once thrived on the existing plants.

The more non-native plants that move into a natural area, the more it hinders the function of the ecosystem.

MOST COMMON NATIVE ALTERNATIVES

Invasive Japanese Barberry

INVASIVE SPECIES: Japanese Barberry

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Ninebark

Native Ninebark

Physocarpus, commonly called ninebark, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rosaceae, native to North America. The leaves are palmate with 3 to 7 lobes and often toothed edges. Ninebark is a flowering shrub with four-season interest. This tough bush offers foliage in a variety of colors, as well as flowers that attract pollinators.

Native Ninebark
Invasive Bradford Pear

INVASIVE SPECIES: Bradford Pear

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Serviceberry

Native Serviceberry

Large shrub or small tree with beautiful fall colors. White spring flowers giving way to 1/4" fruit loved by birds. The downy serviceberry grows to a height of 15–25' and a spread of 15–25' at maturity. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Native Serviceberry
Invasive Day Lilly

INVASIVE SPECIES: Daylillies

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Spiderwort

Native Spiderwort

spiderwort is a large but dainty perennial to 3 ft. with long, bright-green, narrow leaves. The thick clump of slender, branched stalks are topped by groups of blue or purplish, three-petaled flowers up to 2 in. across. Spiderwort flowers close by mid-day and last only one day. Blue-violet (sometimes white) flowers with showy, yellow stamens in a terminal cluster above a pair of long, narrow, leaf-like bracts.

Native Spiderwort
Invasive Bittersweet

INVASIVE SPECIES: Bittersweet

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Trumpet Vine

Native Trumpet Vine

A high-climbing, aggressively colonizing woody vine to 35 ft., climbing or scrambling over everything in its path by aerial rootlets. Native to eastern North America as far north as Ohio and South Dakota, this vine is often cultivated for its attractive, reddish orange flowers.

Native Trumpet Vine
Invasive Buterflybush

INVASIVE SPECIES: Butterflybush

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Butterfly Weed

Native Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed is a member of the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). The genus name Asclepias is named after the Greek god of medicine Asklepios. The species name tuberose refers to the tuberous (knobby and with swellings) roots. Butterfly weed is commonly planted in formal garden borders and in meadow and prairie gardens.

Native Butterfly Weed
Invasive Paulowania Tree

INVASIVE SPECIES: Paulownia Tree

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Eastern Redbud

Native Eastern Redbud

Rosy pink flowers appear in April. Reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, then to yellow. Forms a spreading, graceful crown. Full sun or light shade. Partial shade preferred in windy, dry areas. Grows to 20' to 30', 30' spread. This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Native Eastern Redbud
Invasive Privet

INVASIVE SPECIES: Privet

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Black Chokeberry

Black chokeberry is an adaptable shrub with hardiness and wide tolerance to a variety of soil textures, densities, pH levels and moisture conditions. Black chokeberry can also be used as an edible fruit crop although the fruit is too astringent to eat raw. In spring, it has showy white flower clusters. In autumn, leaves change from green to vibrant tones of red, orange and purple.

Invasive Euonymus Alatus

INVASIVE SPECIES: Burning Bush

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Red Chokeberry

Native Red Oiser Dogwood

Red chokeberry is a tall, multi-stemmed native shrub with abundant white flowers, red glossy berries, and outstanding red fall color. Red chokeberry is a tough, dependable plant with three-season interest, useful for shady, wet sites. It works well in a naturalized landscape or garden.

Native Red Chokeberry
Invasive Honeysuckle

INVASIVE SPECIES: Honeysuckle

NATIVE ALTERNATIVE: Witch Hazel

Native Witch Hazel

A native small tree or large shrub with fantastic fall attributes. Yellow, fragrant flowers bloom from October through December. Attractive foliage in all growing seasons with leaves bright green in spring followed by yellow to yellowish-orange colors in fall. A great tree to plant as an understory or for a shrub border in large areas. Prefers moist soils, but is tolerant of a variety of conditions. Expose to full sun or partial shade. Grows 15' to 30' high with a similar spread.

Native Witch Hazel

DOWNLOADABLE NATIVE ALTERNATIVES GUIDE

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