The Nativar Conundrum – New Research on Natives vs. Native Cultivars with Dr. Doug Tallamy

Native Plant or Nativar?

Thanks to EcoBeneficial website for posting a recent podcast interview with Dr Doug Tallamy, noted entomologist from the University of Delaware and author of the revelatory book, Bringing Nature Home.  

Dr. Tallamy sat down with Kim Eierman of EcoBeneficial to discuss his research and the preliminary results.

“Planting trees or shrubs this fall? How will you go about making your plant selection? Hopefully you have been inspired to choose native plants. Beyond that, your choices might be more complicated – should you choose plants that are native to your immediate area or native to your region? Locally sourced or not? Organically grown or conventionally grown?

A choice that we rarely even contemplate is “native plant or native cultivar?” Often we have no choice at all – we simply buy what is available at a local nursery – and frequently that means a “nativar”- a cultivar, or selection, of a native plant. There can be significant ecological implications to this choice.”

Click the EcoBeneficial website link at the beginning of this post to read the printed version of the interview or click here for the Podcast.

Check here for links to native plant databases and local nurseries and growers

contributed by Linda Armstrong, London Middlesex Master Gardeners