Text by Paula Dittrick, TMNCPC blogmaster. Photos by Dittrick and from Texas Master Naturalist Coastal Prairie Chapter archives
April 2021 was designated National Native Plant Month under a resolution that the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent without amendment on March 25.
Senate Resolution 109 notes how native plants are indigenous species that occur naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, and habitat.
“It’s great news for all of our conservation partners and life-saving news to all the undervalued pollinators,” responded Shannon Westveer, TMNCPC vice-president. “Move over caladiums, petunias, and impatiens—natives feed the community while also conserving water and beautifying our landscapes.”
The U.S. has more than 17,000 native plant species, including trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and wildflowers. Native plants help prevent flooding, drought, and erosion while helping restore damaged ecosystems in a way that non-natives cannot, the resolution said.
Butterflies, insects, and birds use native plants for shelter and nectar, notes the resolution, co-sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Sen. Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii.