Texas Plant Information Database

Lantana photo

Appendix 2

Desirable Characteristics of Native Plants for Landscapes, Erosion Control, and Wildlife Use

  1. Native plants should possess as may of the following characteristics as possible.

  2. Thrive under specific climatic and soil conditions.

  3. Compete with other plant species occurring in these conditions.

  4. Cover as much area as possible. Desirable characteristics include spreading by stolons, runners, or rhizomes; forming thickets, mats, or coppices; rooting from decumbent or declining branches, or forming root shoots (suckers).

  5. Produce fertility-enriching litter with high water-hiding capacity.

  6. Inexpensive, readily available from local sites or nurseries, and easy to propagate and maintain.

  7. Rapid-growing and long-lived.

  8. Possess hardy characteristics such as resistance or adaptability to grazing or browsing, drought, fire, shade, insect damage, and diseases; and, grow rapidly on soils with a wide range of fertility and chemical characteristics.

  9. Produce dense foliage (deciduous and evergreen), stems, or thorns, preferably close to the ground.

  10. Produce seasonally abundant shoots, leaves, buds, and fruits that have high nutritive value for many species of wildlife.

  11. Produce annual, persistent fruits that have high seed germination ratios.

  12. For tall-growing plants, they should not produce inhibitors that prevent other plant species from growing beneath them.

  13. Preferably, non-poisonous to humans and livestock.