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What is a native plant?
A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem or habitat - and occurred prior to European contact.

Native plants can be mosses, ferns, grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, trees and more!

Native plants have co-evolved with animals, fungi, and microbes to form a complex network of relationships. These plants are the foundation of native ecosystems, or natural communities.

Why are native plants important?
They are the basis of our native ecosystems. All forms of native organisms depend on native plants - directly or indirectly.

Insects such as butterflies may use plants for food, shelter or as places to their eggs.

Birds may nest in their branches, eat their berries or hide from predators within them.

Mammals may den in them, eat their roots, shoots and leaves or use them as cover from the weather.

Even fish, amphibians and reptiles need plants!

Where can I see native plants in BC?
Native plants are all around you!

Some, you might already be familiar with - like western red cedar (Thuja plicata) or Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii).

Others you might have seen and not even realized that they're native - like tiger lilies (Lilium columbianum) and skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum).

There are more than 3,000 species of native plants in our province.

How can I find out more?
Check out our fact sheets
There are just a few to start with (on the right), but we'll keep adding more. If you'd like to help us build the database, send an email.

Check out our Facebook page
Either search for us or try this direct link

Check out the web
There are some terrific resources on the web to find out more about native plant species in BC. Click here to find out more.

There are some good books that will tell you more about native plant species. Click here to find some titles.

Lilium columbianum (Columbia lily)

Read more about Columbia lily


Past native plants of the month

Abies grandis (grand fir)
Acer circinatum (vine maple)
Collinsia parviflora (small-flowered blue-eyed Mary)
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut)
Mahonia nervosa (dull Oregon-grape)
Polypodium glycyrrhiza (licorice fern)

NPSBC Native Plant Society of British Columbia
Suite 195 -1917 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver BC V6J 1M7
T: 604.255.5719
Email us