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Native species are a crucial part of creating the ecosystems that exist today.  It is biodiversity and the numerous connections amongst species that builds ecological integrity, function, and sustainability.

Native Plants Can:

  • Create a food web that increases wildlife
  • Cool local climate through transpiration
  • Deflect weeds and invasive plants
  • Conserve water
  • Increase success of hardwood plantings
  • Provide ecological services such as crop pollination, pest control, water filtering, and water conservation
  • Prevent run off, pollution, and erosion
  • Provide pleasing low-maintenance surroundings

Are You Buying a Truly Native Product?

  • Is the product grown in Ontario?
  • Can your supplier identify the seed source of their product?
  • Does the species belong in the Ontario ecosystem and your region?
  • Is this product suitable for your application?

Seed ZonesSeedZoneMap

Numerous factors determine biological diversity, such as climate, soil chemistry, soil composition, and geology.  Together, such factors define complex natural patterns called seed zones.  Species that are native to a particular seed zone are adapted to that area’s specific conditions.  While a given species may be represented in many seed zones, the species’ make-up vary among seed zones.

Genotype Verification

To further determine if a plant species is native to a region, the plant’s genotype can be verified.  Different regions and climates alter the dormancy, bloom times, and hardiness of the plant species.  These slight differences can affect a plant’s relationship with pollinators and its ability to reproduce and survive.

St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre tracks the genotype of each plant to the parent collection site, to confirm that the plant is native to the particular regions.  If genotype is important for your restoration project, we can make the appropriate recommendations and assist with regulatory compliance.