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There are many definitions of what constitutes a native plant, but generally in the United States native plants are considered those that were here prior to European contact. As Europeans settled in the New World, they brought many plants native to Europe and elsewhere with them. These plants would be considered introduced.
What is important about native plants is that they evolved locally, and therefore are part of local food webs. They have important relationships with insects, microbes, birds, mammals and other living things that are also native to the area. Because of this, native plants support native wildlife better than non native plants. Native plants are also perfectly adapted to our climate, including our sunlight, temperature, and precipitation patterns, as well as our soils.
For further information
New Mexico Native Plant Society. 2020. What is a native plant?
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2020. Native, Invasive, and Other Plant-Related Definitions.
Learn more about the origins of the Maricopa Native Seed Library, where the seed comes from, and seed collection.
Here are links to resources that provide information about the benefits of native plants.
If you'd like to go deeper, here are full length scholarly articles about native plants and their importance.