Date of this Version
Great Plains Research, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2012, p. 208.
Native plants are important for maintaining biodiversity and supporting birds, mammals, and insects in a particular region. The interaction of plants with other organisms is what makes up food webs, and a shift in one will result in change in the other, change that is often detrimental to both. Invasive plant species, which include many nonnative types, can alter ecosystems with lasting effects on hydrology, nutrient cycling, and habitat. Similar to other regions, the Central Plains is increasingly threatened by the establishment of invasive plant species. The reintroduction of native plant species not only in large natural areas, but also in smaller settings such as home gardens, small pastures, and urban centers, will be critical in combating the advancement of invasive plant species. In The Midwestern Native Garden, Adelman and Schwartz set forth a simple and timely strategy for reducing invasive plant species: plant natives, thereby helping to restore critical ecosystem function in a range of settings. The book is ideal for plant enthusiasts, home gardeners, and anyone who manages landscapes in rural and urban areas of the Central Plains and neighboring regions. The authors have put together a list of nonnative and potentially invasive plants currently available at retail outlets and unknowingly used for display in private and public settings. For each nonnative plant, at least three to four native alternatives are suggested, along with written and pictorial information on plant characteristics and beneficial insects. Other key features that make the book especially useful are its notes, glossary, and bibliography sections, as well as a detailed index.