by Mary Free and Christa Watters, Extension Master Gardeners
This post introduces the new word(s) added to our Illustrated Glossary. You may recognize some words as common gardening or botanical terms—although commonly used words are not necessarily commonly understood or their usage commonly agreed to. Other words may be more obscure, found mostly in flora guides and research papers. In any case we hope you find them interesting and even helpful in your gardening endeavors.
Left to right: Sterile cultivars Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ and Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe.’
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Native insects often need native plants to successfully complete their life cycle. One reason for the drastic decline in the number of insects is the loss of native plant habitat to agricultural practices and ever-increasing spread of the human built environment, including residential, commercial, and infrastructure such as roads and other paved areas. You can add a stepping stone to reverse that trend and help the native pollinator population by growing native plants in your gardens. However, home improvement stores and many nurseries tend to stock more cultivars, nativars, and hybrids than native species. Click on the link to learn how cultivars and nativars differ from native plants and the potential ecological impact you should consider before purchasing them.