A native plant is one that occurs naturally without any evidence of having been introduced (brought in) inadvertently or deliberately by human activity. As such, native plants are very well adapted to the climate and soil in which they live, and they are intricately interrelated with the environment in which they exist. Native plants in Montana are those plants that were here prior to Euro-American exploration and settlement about 300 years ago.What is a native plant community?
A community consists of all the plants, animals, and microbes that live in an area and depend either directly of indirectly upon each other In a native plant community the plants are native plants. All of the organisms in a native plant community have "grown up" together over hundreds of years.Why is it important to protect and preserve native plant communities?
Since early EuroAmerican explorers first came to this country, we have destroyed many native plant communities. Native plant communities have been replaced by cities, housing developments, farm land, roads, parking lots, and plants that were introduced from other locales (either by accident or by plan). We lost those native plant communities before we knew what they contained cr what they did or could do for us. Only recently have we begun to realize the value of native plant communities.Some of the "services" provided by native plant communities include:
In return for these services, native plants and native plant communities ask for very little. Basically, they take care of themselves requiring little or no management, such as scheduled watering, fertilizing, and pesticide application. They just want to be left alone!
Natives am Nice Background Information Funding: Montana Native Plant Society & Lewis & Clark
Author: Susie Palermo, Clancy MT