What are Native Plants?
A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention. We consider the flora present at the time Europeans arrived in North America as the species native to the eastern United States. Native plants include all kinds of plants from mosses and ferns to wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
Why Plant Natives?
Because native plants are adapted to the growing conditions where you live, they are often easier to grow, require less maintenance such as watering, and are less susceptible to challenging conditions than non-native plants. Many Non-native plants are also invasive, and threaten to crowd out our native plant species. Incorporating native plants in your home landscape will encourage birds, pollinators, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Common in Pennsylvania and native over the entire Eastern US, Christmas fern is so named because it is evergreen (including the holidays); also a small lobe near the base of each leaflet gives it the shape of a little Santa bootie or stocking. They prefer good drainage and shade. The 1-3' long leathery, dark green fronds are comprised of 20-40 glossy leaflets. Fertile fronds narrow toward the tip, where shorter leaflets bear the sori (spore-producing bodies). Each plant consists of upright fertile fronds surrounded by a ring of lax sterile fronds; the fronds remain green, but lie flat in the winter. Rather than spreading across the forest floor like many other species, this fern tends to form clumps of two or three individuals, which may be used as cover by ground-nesting birds. The past sterile fronds accumulate to form a dense mass over the soil. Silvery, scaly fiddleheads emerge in the spring.
Let us know what your favorite plant is - email us at Info@panativeplantsociety.org
Picture courtesy of Stefan Bloodworth, Lady Bird Johnson Wldlife Center
March 22, 2014 - Native Plant Communities: Templates for Creating & Restoring Sustainable Landscapes presentation by Dr Donald Leopold, York, PA.
April 29, 2014 - Field Trip to Shenk's Ferry in Lancaster County.
April 5, 2014 - Pennsylvania Rare Plant Forum in State College.
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