Colorado Native Perennials

Colorado Native Trees, Shrubs & Grasses

Why Go Native?

Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous, hardy and survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, native plants grow well and require little care when grown on proper soils and under the right environmental conditions. They are resistant to nearly all pests and diseases. As a result, native plants suit today's interest in "low-maintenance" gardening and landscaping.

Each native plant species is a member of a community that includes other plants, animals and microorganisms. The natural balance keeps each species in check, allowing it to thrive in conditions where it is suited, but preventing it from running rampant. Therefore, native species rarely become invasive, as plants introduced from other areas can.

Native plants provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and other desirable wildlife. Many help to enrich the soil. Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. This improves water quality.

The diversity of native plants includes interesting flowers and foliage. Native shrubs and trees provide a variety of heights, shapes and textures in the landscape. Many provide winter interest through their bark or seed pods.

Another dimension of native plants is their historical and cultural interest. Some plants played a significant role in Native American culture, or in the European exploration and settlement. Many species have reported value as food or medicine. Others have been used for cordage, textiles, dyes or similar domestic purposes. Native plants can provide children and adults with a tangible link to the past.

For more information visit Colorado Native Plant Society.