Plant Natives to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

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We at Friends of Harbors, Beaches & Parks (FHBP) believe Every Day is Earth Day!

Hedge Nettle is an aromatic herb native to Southern California

Why Eliminate Non-Natives?
We often hear the questions as to why non-native species are bad and why planting natives is good for the ecosystem. For example many people often think the “insidious and taunting” mustard is beautiful and they enjoy the color splashes they add to our hillsides. The answers are complicated however, here are a few important facts to about non-natives:
  • Non-natives out-compete or smother native plants. They can do this because their natural environment, weather, pests, and diseases are absent that keep them in check.
  • Non- natives species disrupt the natural balance.
  • Non-natives provide little food and shelter for native wildlife.
  • Some non- natives have faster growth rates or efficient seed dispersal mechanisms.
  • Some non-native plants have the ability to reproduce at rates so large the native plants don’t have a chance- Artichoke Thistle for example can produce 180-800 seeds and each plant may have 3-5 heads and in some years as any as 12!
  • Native plants and animals may either die or leave. Animals may depend on native plants as food, shelter or water, and native plants may literally be “choked” out by the other exotics.
  • Declining numbers of wildlife as well as native plants effects the entire ecosystem.