Native species are a crucial part of today’s natural ecosystems. Biodiversity and the numerous connections between species build the ecological integrity, function, and sustainability of our natural environment.
What are the benefits of native plants?
Native plants improve surrounding natural environments by helping to:
- 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
What is a truly native product?
Good questions to ask your stock supplier include:
- Was the product grown locally in-province?
- Is the product’s seed source identifiable?
- Does the species belong in the intended planting ecosystem and region?
- Is the product suitable for the intended landscaping use or application?
What are seed zones?
Numerous environmental factors determine biological diversity, such as climate, soil chemistry, soil composition, and geology. Together, these combined factors define complex natural patterns called seed zones. Species native to a particular seed zone are most well-adapted to the area’s specific conditions. While a given species may be represented in many seed zones, the species’ make-up vary among seed zones.
What is genotype verification?
Plant genotype can be verified to determine if a plant species is native to a region. Different regions and climates alter dormancy, bloom times, and hardiness of a plant species. These slight differences can affect a plant relationships with pollinators, reproduction, and ultimately survival.
At St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre, we can trace each plant genotype to a parent collection site to confirm the best-suited regions for planting. If genotype is important for your restoration project, we can make the appropriate recommendations and assist with regulatory compliance.