What comes to mind when you think of ‘native plants’? Overgrown, messy-looking flowers that kind of look like weeds? While some native plantings do indeed look wild, that is not the case for most. There are many beautiful choices that help to support our environment and our shorelines.
With shoreline erosion becoming more and more prevalent in Northern Michigan, the buzz around native plants has grown. It is extremely important for our shorelines and our environment in general that we all have a good understanding of native plants and how they impact our area.
What does ‘native plant’ mean?
The word native, when referring to plants, is defined as of indigenous origin or growth. Native plants are not introduced into the environment by humankind and there is no direct or indirect human intervention to help the plant survive. They have evolved, adapted, and survived in a specific area. Native plants to the Northern Michigan area are catered to last through our tough winters, grow deep roots to help stabilize our shorelines, and allow for pollination to occur to support our environment. They don’t negatively impact soils or wildlife.
Native plantings are not only wildflowers. Shrubs, trees, grasses, and ground covers all have native varieties that can be added to your landscape. Some of our favorite native plantings are Black Eyed Susans, Bee Balm, Sunflowers, Serviceberry, Switch Grass, and Dogwood.