Bluebells, lilies, poppies, and more: These are the native wildflowers blooming near you
The perfect yard with a green lawn and manicured garden is as American as baseball and apple pie—but that doesn't mean it's good for the land.
Lawns and gardens featuring non-native plants, flowers, and grasses require a great deal of water and fertilizer for maintenance. In drier areas of the country, lawn maintenance can drink up three-quarters of a household's annual water usage, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as much as half of all water used outdoors for activities like lawn care is wasted due to evaporation and runoff. Meanwhile, fertilizers and weed killers used to maintain non-native turf may contain harmful chemicals that run off into larger bodies of water and contaminate local ecosystems and drinking water.
Many gardeners have turned to native gardening, a technique incorporating plant species that occur naturally within an ecosystem, for a more eco-friendly take on the American lawn and garden. These plants then provide food for local wildlife, including butterflies, birds, and other animals native to a region. Pollinating insects, bees, and butterflies help the plants we eat bear fruit and vegetables, further providing a benefit to humans.
Native gardening reduces the need for fertilizer and pesticides, requires less water, and promotes biodiversity. For states that regularly experience moderate to severe drought, in particular, reining in water by gardening with native plants can more easily promote a healthier environment. Native gardening requires less maintenance, too: Homeowners don't have to spend as much time or money on mowing, weeding, fertilizing, watering, and maintaining lawn equipment.
For those interested in incorporating native grasses and plants into their yards, Texas Real Estate Source compiled a list of wildflowers native to various U.S. regions from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. All flowers on this list have bloom times between August and December and are native to one of these six regions of the U.S.: Central Texas, Eastern Woodland, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwestern Desert, and Tallgrass Prairie. The flowers are grouped together by region, and the regions are shown in alphabetical order.
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