Native Plants

Long-rooted native plants store and purify rainwater where it falls and allow it to soak into the ground. This helps prevent combined sewer systems from overflowing and polluting our waterways. Native plants also help conserve water and provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

You can plant native plants in containers, in your garden, or you can turn your lawn into a meadow of native wildflowers! Wildflower meadows are particularly suitable for steep slopes, where they help to prevent erosion. Benefits of native gardens and wildflower meadows include:

  • Reducing the maintenance needs of a large yard.
  • Managing and filtering stormwater, promoting groundwater infiltration and preventing flooding.
  • Minimizing the amount of fertilizers and chemicals used in lawn care.

Volunteers plant native plants in Clearview Community Park.

TTF planted a native garden in Cleaview Community Park in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Native Plant Resources:

Invasive Plants Atlas of the United States: Use this handy guide to choose native plants for your rain garden.

My Plant ID: Use this website to post photos of your unidentified plants or help others to identify theirs by location or plant name.

NativeBrowser: This website offers a free, web-based tool that lets you input key site conditions to create a customized list of native plant species suitable for the specified growing conditions.

Native Plant Society of New Jersey: Read for NPJNS events, news, and information.

Native Plants of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Parks and Recreation): View PDFs of the native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, grasses, sedges and rushes of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Native Plant Society: Click to browse the society’s news, information, and events or to become a member.

The PLANTS Database: Everything you ever wanted to know about plants in the United States.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: The web-version or PDF of the Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping brochure with additional links.

For an overview of everything residents can do to manage stormwater on their properties, visit the Philadelphia Water Department website or download the Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management.