The wild garden we call Louisiana is a beautiful and busy place in April: native iris, sage, and primrose in bloom; birds building nests in bald cypress, pine, magnolia, and oak trees; bees and butterflies visiting flowering shrubs and reminding us of the pollinators' role in the berries we'll enjoy this summer and fall. To celebrate this bounty and to promote the plants that make Louisiana unique, Gov. John Bel Edwards has proclaimed April 2023 as Native Plant Month in the state.
In December, garden clubs from throughout the state sent a letter to Governor Edwards in requesting the proclamation. The letter cited the 2,500 native plants of Louisiana, their importance in preserving the state's fragile ecosystems, and the need for native plants to be enjoyed, protected, and promoted. The Louisiana proclamation request is part of an effort by the Garden Club of America to promote native plants by establishing a Native Plant Month in all 50 states https://www.gcamerica.org/nnpmi
"Protecting native plants in the wild and incorporating them into our gardens is a win for everybody," said Blanche Dee McCloskey president of The New Orleans Town Gardeners https://www.notgclub.org. "They've evolved with our state's birds, bees, and butterflies for thousands of years so they're a crucial part of the ecosystem, and because they've adapted to our Louisiana climate and soils, native plants are usually easier to grow in our home gardens. Our local nurseries and garden centers are leading the way by growing native plants and trees and making it easier for Louisiana gardeners to find natives for their home gardens."
"Native plant advocates across Louisiana applaud the work of the state's garden clubs and of Gov. John Bel Edwards in proclaiming April as Native Plant Month," said Tammany Baumgarten, president of both the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans https://www.npi-gno.org and the Louisiana Native Plant Society https://www.lnps.org. "Whether native plants are growing in our gardens, along the roadside, or in parks and preserves, they make our lives more beautiful, our crops more productive, and our state more resilient."
Read the Proclamation here: PROCLAMATION-Native Plant Month 2023 (1)