Personal tools
You are here: Home Conservation Native Plants and Habitat

Native Plants and Habitat

Red Flowering Currant by Sunny Walter
Red Flowering Currant by Sunny Walter

Native plants are those that evolved naturally in North America. More specifically, native plants in a particular area are those that were growing naturally in the area before humans introduced other plants.

On the right you can see some of the native plants currently being used in Puget Sound area restoration projects.

Eastside Audubon and Native Plants

  • Our members have indicated an interest in field trips where we enjoy or study the whole ecosystem rather than focusing just on birds or native plants. 
    Our native plant walks satisfy this interest.
  • As people have become more aware of the environment, they are flocking to remake their gardens into environmentally-friendly bird and wildlife sanctuaries. 
    Our native plant sales meet this desire.
  • We want to reward people for doing something significant with habitat restoration.
    Our habitat restoration grants serve this purpose.

Why Native Plants?

Native plants provide food, shelter and cover for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Many help to enrich the soil, as well as keep our waterways clean and healthy. Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff and the plants clean the water by filtering out sediment and pollutants before they reach streams and lakes. This improves our water quality and is of great benefit to fish.

Native plants typically grow in communities of plants, animals and microorganisms which are adapted to similar soil, moisture, and weather conditions.  The natural balance keeps each species in check, while allowing it to thrive in conditions where it is suited.  A site densely vegetated with a high diversity of native plants is also resistant to subsequent invasion by non-native species.

Many native plants are also of historical and cultural interest. Some plants played a significant role in Native American culture.  Many species have reported value as food or medicine.

Native Plants in Washington

According to the Washington Native Plant Society, we have more than 3,000 vascular plants native to our state, which “have adapted to live in places with less than 5 inches of rainfall to places with more than 200 inches of rain; from sea level to the alpine zones of our highest mountains.” For more information on the great diversity of habitats in our state, go to Ecosystems


For more information on habitat restoration projects, go to :

  • Starflower Foundation
Document Actions
The mission of Eastside Audubon is to protect, preserve and enhance natural ecosystems and our communities for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.