Get back to basics with native plants and shrubs

Published 1:30 am Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mississippi’s early landscape was once a quilt-like mixture of grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, says Timothy Schauwecker, an associate professor of landscape architecture/landscape contracting at Mississippi State University.

The grassland and its soil resource was an important reason settlers were drawn to the state back in the early 1830s. Much of the prairie habitat and the native plants have been lost.

This is happening all across this country. Wildflowers, native trees and shrubs are threatened as a result of our ever-sprawling urban development. Also, invasive species are crowding out the native species, and climate change and other factors are making an impact, says the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, one of the leading research facilities on the subject. One in every three plant species in the United States and one in eight around the world are facing extinction, the center says.

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