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Wild Seed Project: Returning native plants to the Maine landscape

Native Plants and Design 

Which plants attract pollinators?
All native species support butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects. Many pollinators need the foliage, stems or flowers of native plants for nectar and pollen. Cultivars of native species with double flowers or other distortions do not support pollinators, as they usually have no nectar or pollen.

It doesn’t take a large plot of land to help the pollinator population. Planting patches of native species in urban and suburban areas along sidewalks, parking lots, and roadways creates an important connective corridor for pollinators.

For more information please refer to the following:

Which plants are edible or medicinal?
There are many native species that are edible or medicinal. Here are a few that are easy to grow and make great landscape and garden plants:

Large-leaved wood aster, boneset, bunchberry, ostrich fern, milkweed, nodding onion, ramps, wild strawberry, blueberry, black elderberry, purple flowering raspberry, hazelnut, shadbush, spicebush, witch-hazel, butternut, oak, hickory, maple, wild cherry.

How do I choose native plants for my growing conditions?
Our website offers great resources for picking species to suit your site:

Which wildflowers can be naturalized in existing meadows, roadsides and orchards?
In Maine, Eurasian grasses often dominate meadows, especially if mowing has been frequent. These exotic grasses grow differently than our native species – exotic grasses spread from their roots to make tight mats whereas native species form in clumps, leaving room for wildflowers in the spaces between. The mat-forming habit of Eurasian grasses makes it difficult for native wildflowers to fit in. Therefore it is important to choose the tougher native wildflowers to reestablish in these areas. Here are some species to try:

Black-eyed coneflower, blue vervain, tall white aster, New England aster, smooth blue aster, foxglove beardtongue, milkweeds, mountain-mint, ironweed, goldenrods, wild strawberry.

These species can be planted into the existing meadow as small plants, or may be successfully established by seed if an abundance of seed is sown.

For detailed information, view the following resources:

Where can I buy native plants?
For detailed information, visit our Native Plant Blog titled Navigating the Nurseries.