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Jack Holloway
An excellent article. I wish I could spread it around South Africa, where “indigenous plants” are easily planted from a sort of patriotic perspective of being native to the political boundaries, despite the fact that some of the most specialized biomes in the world exist within those boundaries. This article gets to the heart of listening to the voice of the garden.
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Heidi Presser

I grew up in South Carolina but now live in NY state. The plants are totally different. You don't have Forsythia in the south because it needs cold for the flowers to set. You don't see much Crepe Myrtle here because it needs heat. I wonder if poison ivy is a native here. It grows all over. We have wild turkeys. I read that wild turkeys eat poison ivy berries.


When I have time, I will post what books I have that say what plants are native to different areas of the US. Another way to find out what plants are native to your area is to get in touch with your local Cooperative Extension. At one time, the local one mailed me lists of native plants and invasive plants because I asked for the lists. I should look at the lists, again.

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celestina89

I know about poison ivy - I grew up in the NE and yeah, it's all over the place. However, one can find poison ivy (not the Coaster''s song!) in all states except parts of California, Alaska & Hawaii. It is most often seen and touched in the eastern & mid western states. It is considered native to eastern states of the US. It was originally called eastern poison ivy and is still referred as that.

We have it here in Texas but I haven't seen the abundance that I saw in the North. We usually have it grown as more or less a shrub, so it's easy to brush by them. LOL

It was first written about in the 1600s, a description by the former governor of Bermuda describing the appearance and irritations it causes.

You'll be delighted to know that Poison Ivy grows very nicely in North America. A close cousin is called the Chinese Lacquer Tree which gives the same fun itchy rash. The sticky sap produced is used to varnish wood in Korea & Japan as it has been for many centuries.

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