April is Native Plant Month in Wyoming

“We tend to focus on our spectacular wildlife that’s so visible, and forgetting that all of this wonderful wildlife that we have relies totally on the vegetation of our state… This is especially important when we think of smaller organisms, insects and other invertebrates, [which] are often specialized on plants or a few kinds of plants,” said Tuthill. “And so replacing these native plants with introduced species just doesn’t meet the needs of the insects. And losing insects, of course, is a serious problem.”


April is Native Plant Month in Wyoming

Cascade Mountain Ash

As April comes to close we reflect that Governor Gordon proclaimed that April is now Native Plant Month in Wyoming.

Native plants are more than just beautiful.  When you choose to plant an invasive plant (or non-native species) over a native plant you change the ecosystem of the insect and bird population. For example, chickadees need caterpillars to feed their young. Over time, consider removing invasive species in your yard and replacing them with native plants. Native plants boost our ecosystem and bring the native birds back that left the area because of a reduction in native plant growth. Natives not only supply pollen which feeds insects and eventually our birds, natives also have so many other benefits for our birds. Consider the Cascade Mountain Ash. It produces green leaves and clusters of white flowers followed by orange-red berries that persist throughout fall and winter. Its growth encourages caterpillars, butterflies and supplies chickadees with food throughout the winter and summer months. The Cascade Mountain-Ash prefers moist, rich soils, and can withstand full sun to shade. It was meant to be grown here in our climate.

Plant Invasive Plants and Save our Birds

While there are birds that live among us year round needing food and shelter, the migrating birds are returning from their southern winter homes. Did you know  nesting birds rely on insects to feed their young? As the migratory birds are heading north to find their mate and nest, native plants play host to a large population of insects to feed young fledglings. Fledgings need a large volume of protein to live. Even the all important spider is a great source of protein for birds, so don’t spray or kill them and their cobwebs, make them available for our birds.

Growing native plants encourages longevity and beautification of our landscape

Consider this, Wyoming has nearly 3,000 species of vascular plants that support perhaps five times as many animal species as non-native plants, 90% of which are insects according to the Biodiversity Institute with the University of Wyoming. There is a symbiotic relationship between plants and insects. Insects feed upon plants, and plants need pollination. Growing native plants encourages longevity and beautification of our landscape but also keeps in check the insect, bird and mammal population essential to the ecosystem in Wyoming.

For more information check out https://www.savingbirds.org,