While a single answer may not exist, most use an assessment of geographic distance in determining whether a particular plant is native. For example, some may use the criteria that a plant is native if it occurs within a few miles of a project site while others consider a plant to be native if it occurs within the boundaries of their state, ecoregion, or country. If we know the original location of plant materials, we can determine whether they are appropriately "native" for use in a particular project site. We have structured our website so that you can search for seed by ecoregion, making it easier to find local material.
Industry, development, and natural and human-influenced disasters all take their toll on the landscape. That combined with an increased recognition of the value that native plants impart to the environment has significantly increased demand for native seed over the last 15 years. Large amounts of native seed are needed for: roadside revetgetation, habitat restoration, and fire rehabilitation.
The extensive network of American roadways crosses virtually every ecosystem in the country and has the potential to provide connectivity across an increasingly fragmented landscape. Roadside vegetation is often a maintenance liability and frequently serves as a pathway for exotic plant invasion. If we can replace invasive weeds with appropriate native plant species, then we can establish corridors for gene flow between isolated ecosystems and provide contiguous habitat for plants and wildlife. By selecting native plants with appropriate growth habits, we can reduce the maintenance requirements and provide an aesthetically pleasing flora that reflects the local character of the landscape.