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Top 10 Native Plants & Shrubs

Spring blossoms at the Heritage Gardens in Price

Gardening with native plants is becoming more and more of a priority in Utah, primarily because of the watering conditions, but also because it ties people's gardens and years to a larger regional landscape and helps people feel connected to the place that is home.

And because natives are at home in the region and use resources efficiently, they require very little. Once established, most are long-lived and largely maintenance free. And natives are a natural choice for the waterwise landscaping style of the future, because they often look their best with little or no extra water. A garden with a diversity of native plants creates a year-round haven for wild creatures such as birds and butterflies. Most importantly, the wealth of color, texture, and form found in natives greatly surpasses that found at the traditional nursery. For a yard that looks beautiful and interesting in every season, a native landscape is an excellent choice.

A top 10 list of native plants for "wise water use" gardening:

1. Ornamental Grasses:

2. Basin Wildrye

3. Indian Ricegrass

4. Shrubs: Cliffrose and Apache Plume

5. Flowers: Desert Four O'Clock and Western Wallflower

6. Evening Primrose

7. Indian Paintbrush

8. Penstemon

9. Nakedstem Sunray

10. Utah Sweetvetch

How will a native landscape look? A beautiful native landscape can look as formal or informal as you like. One approach is to use traditional designs, but substitute drought-tolerant natives for water guzzling exotic plants. Substitute low-growing ground covers for typical bluegrass lawn, and use a variety of native trees, shrubs, and perennials to create your foundation plantings and flower beds. An alternative approach is to imitate the masterful gardening style of nature, with informal groupings of shrubs and trees, rock garden areas, and wildflower meadows. Focusing on structure and texture as well as seasonal color assures that the planting will look good year round.

People are encouraged to visit the Utah Native Plant Society website to find out more about these plants and sources where they can be purchased (

For pictures and more information about specific plants go into Programs, Utah Heritage Garden, Plants Data Base. Better yet, according to Mike Hubbord, active in the local Heritage Garden, encourages people to visit these and other native plants in person, at the Price City Heritage Garden. The local garden is located at 46 East 300 South in Price. Every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. a small group meet at the garden to maintain it and learn more about Utah's diverse native plants. Anyone is welcome to join the group.

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