Our Native Plant Gardens
The native plant gardens offer a glimpse of the diversity and beauty of
plants naturally adapted to our local climate and soils. Our gardens were
established for meadow, sun garden and shade garden plants. The meadow features
wildflowers that provide a habitat for native insects and songbirds, and reduce
air and water pollution. The shade garden contains ferns, sedges, grasses,
wildflowers and shrubs that grow within forests. The sun garden displays
grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees that thrive with a minimum of supplemental
watering and fertilizers.
Why Native Plants at the University of Maryland?
The arboretum and botanical garden is an invaluable resource for Maryland's
flagship campus. The native plant gardens are used to document, understand and
teach about current and regionally important forces of nature and man. The
gardens also serve to increase public environmental literacy for a sustainable
future. The plants in our native plant gardens are grown from seeds collected
during plant explorations conducted throughout Maryland. The seeds provide a
"bank" of locally valuable Maryland plant species and wildflowers. The flowers
you see will produce seeds to be sown to restore our native plant populations.
Unlike lawns, native grasses and wildflowers can thrive without watering, mowing
or weed killers. They are locally adapted to provide food and shelter for
wildlife such as migratory birds, insect pollinators, frogs and turtles.