|Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aguilegia caerulea). Native columbines make a beautiful addition to the native garden.
Photo credit: Susan Buffler
|The native mid-western drought tolerant grass Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) adds attractive fall color to the landscape.
Photo credit: Carolannie Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
|The shrub Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) in a native landscape.
Photo credit: Bryant Olsen Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
|Colorful Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) blooms in spring and is native to the Intermountain West region of the U.S.
Photo Credit: Susan Buffler
In the United States, native plants are generally defined as plant species that have existed in an area before European settlement.
Federal Register: "Native" plants are "all species of plants and animals naturally occurring, either presently or historically, in any ecosystem of the United States."
USDA Federal Executive Order 13112: "With respect to a particular ecosystem, a species that, other than as a result of an introduction, historically occurred or currently occurs in that ecosystem."
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: A species that historically occurred or currently occurs in that ecosystem.