Categories: Environmental
October 30, 2018
| On 7 months ago

Why Are Indigenous Plants Important?

Indigenous plants are equipped to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. Plants and animals that have evolved together and depend upon each other for survival. Indigenous plants and animals form a complex network of relationships.

It is an intricate web of life with each species’ life cycle highly dependent on the others, also known as an ecosystem. For example, Indigenous plants do a better job of providing food and shelter for Indigenous wild animals, birds and insects than do introduced plants. Indigenous plants are the foundation of our natural ecosystems and protect biodiversity.

Because life is fueled by the energy captured from the sun by plants, it will be the plants that we use in our gardens that determine what nature will be like 10, 20 and 50 years from now.

Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s | Bringing Nature Home.

  • Indigenous plants are used in the development of new foods, medicines and industrial products.
  • Indigenous plants have developed their own natural defenses against many pests and diseases, requiring less pesticide use. Reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides keeps these toxins out of our watersheds.
  • Indigenous plant communities provide opportunities for people to experience and appreciate South Africa’s rich natural heritage. They are what make different regions unique.

Buchu a great way of adding some indigenous flavour to sauces.

Tulbaghia violacea garnish for savoury biscuits with cream cheese

Indigenous plants help connect people to nature.

Indigenous plants balance Life:

  • Indigenous insects need native plants to survive.
  • Indigenous birds and mammals need native insects (as well as native plants) to survive.
  • No Indigenous insects, no higher forms of life.

Worldwide, 37% of animal species are herbivorous insects. These species are collectively very good at converting plant tissue of all types to insect tissue, and as a consequence they also excel at providing food – in the form of themselves – for other species. In fact, a large percentage of the world’s fauna depends entirely on insects to access the energy stored in plants….[for example,] if you count all of the terrestrial bird species in North America that rely on insects … to feed their young, you would find that figure to be about 96%.”
Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s | Bringing Nature Home.

South Africa has a rich and varied source of indigenous trees and plants as we have a large country with varied climates. Your local nursery can assist you with sourcing the correct plants for your area. Not only that but we have a huge variety of indigenous plants for medicinal purposes. Use the internet to find some excellent remedies and how to find these plants in the wild.