Native Plants

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Opuntia sp. growing in a garden on the Hogback just west of Metro Denver, CO

What makes a plant “native”?

Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke define a native plant in their book The Living Landscape as: “a plant or animal that has evolved in a given place over a period of time sufficient to develop complex and essential relationships with the physical environment and other organisms in a given ecological community.”

Native Landscaping

Please visit our Downloads Page for more information on the following Wild Ones PDFs!
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Front Range & Foothills
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Prairie & Plains

Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Mountains 7500′ & Above
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Western Slope – Below 7000′
Low-Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens: Southeastern Colorado
Edible Landscaping Plant List Handout
20 Natives For Your Garden
Gardening for Life by Doug Tallamy

Colorado Native Plant Society
Gardening With Native Plants Includes resources on introductions to native plants, native plants specific to certain counties in Colorado, information on the Garden Smart program, suggested native plants, plants to avoid, low water plants for Colorado gardens, low water plants for pollinators, native plant vendors, using native plants in restoration, and much more!

Colorado State University (CSU) Extension
Native Plant Fact Sheets:
Native Trees for Colorado Landscapes – 7.421
Native Shrubs for Colorado Landscapes – 7.422
Native Herbaceous Perennials for Colorado Landscapes – 7.242
Ornamental Grasses – 7.232 (lists both native and non-native grasses)
High Altitude Native Grasses
Sources of Native Plants (prepared by CSU Extension in Clear Creek County, 05/2018)
Colorado Plant Database From the website: “The Colorado Plant Database provides researched-based information on the identification, ecology and human connections for more than 1,000 Colorado native plants as well as non-native invasive weeds.”
Colorado Native Plant Master Program provides opportunities to  learn about native plants, sustainable landscaping and invasive weeds.
Colorado State University Extension Woody Plant App – Google Play StoreAppStore
Xerces Society
Fact Sheets Information on the Xerces Society, pollinator plant lists, native bee/bumble bee/butterfly/pollinator conservation, and seed mixes.
Plant Lists Pollinator-friendly native plant lists by region.
Audubon Rockies
Resources include how to make a Habitat Hero native plant garden, recommended native plants for birds, native plant database, local resources for native plants, how to make seed balls, and more!
Native Plants Database Enter your 5-digit zip code to use Audubon’s native plants database and explore the best plants for birds in your area, as well as local resources and links to more information.
Native Plants for Birds
National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder allows you to search by zip code to find plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths to feed birds and other wildlife where you live.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) — Colorado
Jefferson Conservation District
Colorado Wildflowers
Click here to go the website Privately managed site on the many wildflowers of Colorado. Database to search for a particular plant as well as many images available.