Native Plants with Marcie Mathews

Louisiana Native Plants

Marcie Mathews, Northeast Region Horticulture Group

aquatic milkweed

What is a native plant?

It is a species that occurs naturally in a particular region or area. What are the different types of native plants?

  • Wildflowers
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Vines
  • Aquatic
  • Grasses/sedges/rushes
  • Herbaceous plants that don’t fall into the above categories like weeds & wild edible plants

Why are native plants important?

  • Our native wildlife rely on them as a food source and shelter
  • They attract native wildlife to our landscapes.
  • Native plants are particularly suited to our climate, thus making them hardy and easy to grow. This makes native plants a welcomed addition to our gardens.

What are some popular Louisiana Native plants with ornamental appeal?

  • Passion vine (maypop)American groundnut
  • Black eyed susan
  • Coneflowers
  • Hibiscus
  • Iris
  • Asters
  • Ferns
  • Coral Honeysucklesensitive plant
  • Verbena
  • Milkweeds
  • Sunflowers
  • Spanish Moss
  • Beautyberry
  • Magnolia
  • Bald Cypress
  • Gaura
  • Clematis
  • Water lily

Native plants with ‘Louisiana’ in the common or scientific name:

  • Louisiana Cupgrassindian heliotrope
  • Louisiana bluestar
  • Louisiana goldenrod
  • Louisiana nerveray
  • Louisiana catchfly
  • Louisiana sedge
  • Louisiana flatsedge
  • Louisiana vetch
  • Louisiana quillowort
  • Louisiana wake robin

Louisiana Endangered Native Plants

  • Louisiana Quillwort
  • American Chaffseed

How do I go about starting a native plant collection?

There are many retailers that sell Louisiana native plants. You can also purchase seed online and grow at home. Get a start of one from a friend! Collect seed while on a nature hike. Leave specimens growing in the wild, do not attempt to harvest and transplant without special permission. Over harvesting disrupts the environment and can lead to endangerment. Native plants can be rather difficult to transplant, they usually end up dying because they are so acclimated to their growing conditions (light, soil, water, etc.) If you are attempting to transplant native plants from the wild into your garden be sure conditions are comparable. So if you don’t think it will make it in your yard, best to leave it where it is and enjoy it from afar. Native plants sold in nurseries and garden centers are better suited for our landscapes. Another way to collect is simply by viewing on hikes, trails and roadsides and taking pictures! Finding plants growing in their native habitats (especially rare or hard to find ones) is very rewarding & breath taking. We have so many beautiful species growing right in our own backyards. Get out and enjoy!


6/11/2020 7:07:37 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture