The study of biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is crucial to understanding ecosystems, on both large and small scales. An expert on the subject, who recently visited Buffalo, shared his thoughts on biodiversity in the plant world with Buffalo Spree editor-in-chief and WBFO contributor Elizabeth Licata.
Great native plants for Western New York:
- Red maple (acer rubrum): This tree will stand up to a variety of conditions and is far preferable to the invasive Norway maple.
- Blackgum (nyssa sylvatica): This tree has beautiful fall color and thrives in a wide range of conditions.
- Joe Pye weed (eutrochium purpureum): Insects love these tall, vigorous plants, which stay in bloom through most of the summer. It thrives in moist or dry soils, thanks to its extensive root system.
- Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): These cheerful daisy-like plants are the poster plants for native gardening. Stick to the original species for the most reliable results.
- Bee balm (monarda): This reliable flower spreads well and is beloved by pollinators.
- Great native shrubs include Aronia (chokeberry), Amelanchier (serviceberry), Fothergilla, and Hamamelis (witch-hazel).