What is a Native Plant? A Legal and an Ecological View
“A native plant species is one that occurs naturally in a particular habitat, ecosystem, or region of the United States and it’s Territories or Possessions, without direct of indirect human actions.”
-Bureau of Land Management, Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee
A native plant is “a plant that has evolved in a given place over a period of time sufficient to develop complex and essential relationships with the physical environment and other organisms in a given ecological community.”
-Doug Tallany, Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware
For more information on definitions of Native, Non-native, Invasive, Weed, Noxious Weed and more, visit US Dept of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Benefits of Planting Natives
- Low-maintenance – Native plants are adapted to Colorado soils and do not require soil amendments and fertilizers. They are also adapted to Colorado weather.
- Low-water – They are typically low-water plants, having adapted to the arid climate of Colorado. Once established, native plants require little supplemental irrigation.
- Ecologically valuable – Native plants provide food, shelter, and nesting areas for native bees, birds, butterflies, and other insects that are important for our food chain.
Learn More with These Resources
NATIVE PLANT LISTS
for EL PASO COUNTY:
OTHER RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED:
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
- Native Shrubs for Colorado Landscapes
- Native Trees for Colorado Landscapes
- Native Herbaceous Perennials for Colorado Landscapes
- Planting Guides created in collaboration with native plant organizations listed here ->
- Front Range (Print Version) – for western El Paso County
- Mountains (Print Version) – for far west edge of El Paso County and Teller County
- Prairie (Print Version) – for eastern El Paso County