As development progresses across once undisturbed land, native plants are being bulldozed and destroyed. Combined with the introduction of invasive plant species in many regions, this can have a devastating effect on the environment. Not only is the appearance of these natural areas degraded, but this has a detrimental effect on birds, bees, butterflies, other wildlife, and ultimately human beings.
Since indigenous insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plant species, their populations dwindle. As this integral food source for native birds and other animals disappears, the gaps in the food chain can become significant enough to lead to the extinction of various species.
So, what can the average American do? Incorporate native plants into your backyard gardens. These plants and flowers provide a necessary link in the web of life. Another bonus is that they are typically easy to grow, drought-tolerant, and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes that is sure to add beauty to any landscape.
Learn more with “Bringing Nature Home, How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants” by Douglas W. Tallamy. Another great resource is the revised and updated “Field Guide to Wild Flowers”, a Main Street book, based on the “Field Book of American Wild Flowers” by F. Schuyler Matthews.
The above picture of Showy Beardtongue and Missouri Primrose is courtesy of easywildflowers.com, an online retailer where you can learn more about seed planting, native perennials, invasive plants, and order from an amazing array of wildflowers.