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Maricopa Native Seed Library: About Native Plants

What are native plants

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.


Native plant infographic bw by Danielle Carlock

Interview with the Maricopa Native Seed Library founder

Learn more about the origins of the Maricopa Native Seed Library, where the seed comes from, and seed collection.



General Resources

Here are links to resources that provide information about the benefits of native plants.