Considering native plants for your indoor or outdoor space is not only smart, but crucial to the local ecosystem. These plants are proven to be hardy to your area, but they also can help prevent soil erosion and sustain local wildlife. Consider plants that are endangered in your specific area, and also those that are vital food sources for local birds, butterflies, and bees! It takes a bit of work to find out what works best in your specific area, but here are a few examples from areas across Zone 8:
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Aethiopicum): Like many ferns, the delicate fronds of the Maidenhair Fern prefer moist soil, low light, and high humidity. While that may make it sound like it isn’t hardy, it absolutely is! Handling temperatures down to -10 degrees, this fern doesn’t mind the colder months at all! This fern is seen in many areas, especially within Oregon and Portland.
Oregon Grape (Mahonia Aquifolium, Repens, and Nervosa): Coloring the Portland landscape with coppery-red and green leaves that change depending on the season, the Oregon Grape and its multiple varieties all are great native plants! The yellow flowers that pop up in early spring are loved by both people and pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. Once the bloom is done, blue berries appear that are edible (though quite tart)! Note that the Nervosa variety is considered a noxious weed in some places, beyond Oregon!
Texas Wisteria: Wisterias are often used as wedding flowers, and upon seeing one you will know why! The waterfalls of beautiful flowers are absolutely striking, and the plant climbs and grows extremely fast as well! The Texas Wisteria in particular has lavender flowers that will beautify any outdoor space, just be careful as it can choke other plants out due to its fast growth!
Texas Red Yucca: Technically a succulent, this plant is drought-tolerant and awe-inspiring! The plant has green leaves but tall columns of scarlet blooms that are unbelievable. The leaves are evergreen, and as a succulent it requires only a little water to survive, making it great for Austin and Dallas!
Serviceberry (Amelanchier): Part of the rose family, this plant got its name due to the fact that it usually flowers around Easter. The blooms on this tree are a vibrant white, and it can grow up to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide! The berries on this plant are edible, and the leaves can be dried for tea as well. It is a beautiful native plant to the Washington and Seattle area that can brighten up any outdoor area.