GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Heidi Heiland of Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens and the new GrowHaus in Corcoran discusses the many benefits of native plants.

According to The United States Arboretum, a native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention and can be considered the flora present at the time Europeans arrived in North America as the species native to the eastern United States.

Native plants can help to:

• Conserve water
- Less water runoff
Native plantings slow the rate of flow of runoff water and redirecting it into the soil.
- Once established low maintenance is required
Normal rainfall is usually sufficient.

• Restore shoreline
- Creates buffer zone for erosion control from waves
- Creates buffer zone to catch and filter runoff from lawns and hard surfaces
- Deters geese from entering yards

• Provide wildlife habitat
- Native plants and beneficial insects are “made for each other." Research shows that native wildlife clearly prefers native plants.

• Control erosion
- Deep, fibrous and spreading roots lock soil in place.
- Established plant community slows the speed of water runoff.

• Detoxify chemicals in air and water
- Carbon sequestration
- Capture of water pollutants
Considering that native plants are adapted to local climate and soil conditions, they can be a great option to be introduced into a landscape for restoring ecological balance and to replenish genetic diversity lost to urban development.

Examples of Minnesota native plants:
- Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
- Eupatorium maculatum (Joe Pye Weed)
- Iris versicolor (Blue Flag Iris)
- Lobelia siphlitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
- Veronia fasciculata (Ironweed)
- Aster puniceus (Red-stemmed Aster)
- Rudbeckia laciniata (Wild Golden Glow)
- Vaccinium angustifolium (Blueberry)
- Salix discolor (Pussy Willow)
- Sambucus melanocarpa (Blackberry Elder)
- Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)