The most fragrant native plants are just heavenly. Here’s what to plant now.
From the moment the first snow falls, green is as prized in our homes as it is in the outside world.
We plant things — the sweet-smelling lavender, the earthy rose, the bright-colored orchid — to enliven the home. But there are some plants that bring a very different fragrance to the front porch: the native, the rare, the native plant and the exotic.
Here’s a guide to the fragrant natives, as well as the “indigenous” species. And some of the exotic plants we like to bring inside too.
Native Plants: A Guide to Their Origins
What makes up a native plant is largely a matter of geography, climate and whether or not it was planted by someone who came from a culture that used them.
According to the Native Plant Society of North America, there are several characteristics that make some plants native, while others are introduced and not.
The first is a type of landscape or habitat — whether it’s the soil or the water — that the plant needs. Then comes a cultural or biological relationship with the place. Finally, the plant has adapted to the local climate and soil.
Most of these characteristics are determined by how the plant was brought to the place by humans over a long period of time. If someone planted it, the plant had a chance to adapt to the climate and soil, and perhaps to the culture.
Here’s a short list of native plants that were brought to the United States:
Native plants and habitats in and around the United States.
A native plant is any plant that was introduced to the U.S. through human activity or migration.
Here are some native and introduced plants in the U.S.
What’s important to know about plants is that there is not some absolute definition of a native plant. Some people classify all plants native or exotic, but these classifications are not absolute. And the classifications are based, among other things, on the plants’ origin.
For instance, we’ve mentioned that the lavender is the most fragrant plant cultivated for its flowers, but what about the lavender oil that you smoke from the plant?