Natives Are Glamorous Plants!

“Natives are the most glamorous things in the world,” says Randee Wilson, “It really gnaws on me to hear people refer to natives as weedy.” Randee shared his opinion recently with a group of people who are working on  a native plant marketing partnership.

Asclepias incarnata with Monarch butterfly

Asclepias incarnata with Monarch butterfly

There may be some non-natives that are beautiful, too,” Randee said,  “but beauty doesn’t stop with a visual image.   Beauty is in the totality.  So the beauty of Asclepias incarnata includes the beauty of a Monarch butterfly.  Not just a snapshot of a Monarch, but a living, moving Monarch.  Now under that definition of beauty,  I defy anyone to come up with any non-native that is more beautiful than Asclepias incarnata. ”

Now add in  the child factor.  Is there anything more beautiful than a child witnessing the transformation of the entire butterfly cycle.  Is that not part of beauty?  We even display a sign at shows saying “Please feed the babies”, which of course is very effective in education.

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At our nursery natives are the most beautiful things in the world even if some are at a weedy stage.  Non-natives can be pretty, but they are really only snapshots, nothing really alive, just stagnant pieces of furniture, just like a bench or a chair.

Natives create life and life is not stagnant.

 Gulf fritillary caterpillar feeds on Passiflora inacarntata

Gulf fritillary caterpillar feeds on Passiflora inacarntata


 
 

Life is always in transformation.

 
 
I hope this campaign does not concede the beauty issue to the non-natives.  If so, I think it will fail.  We just need to change the definition of beauty from a still snapshot to a never ending stream of living, constantly changing series of snapshots.

That is just my opinion of course, but it is a very very strong one, and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

Thanks for giving us permission to share this, Randee, no one could have said it better!

Asclepias tuberosa, butterflyweed. It's not a weed.

Asclepias tuberosa, butterflyweed. It’s not a weed.

Randee Wilson
Nature by Design
Alexandria, VA

Nature by Design will have plants for sale at the big
Parkfairfax Sale on April 28, 2014