As earth stewards of our amazing planet, we can appreciate the potential importance of all species to the continued existence of a complex ecosystem. But there are some that stand out and do the heavy lifting. When it comes to their ability to host the larvae of moths and butterflies, not all native plants are created equal. According to research led by Douglas Tallamy, just 5% of our native plant genera host roughly 75% of our caterpillar species— insects that play a critical role in sustaining ecosystems, particularly bird populations. Called keystone species, these organisms support an entire ecosystem and stabilize complex, highly connected food webs.
These super host plants are keystone species, which have an out-size impact on the health and biodiversity of their ecosystems. Join Claire to learn about the top keystone trees, shrubs, and perennials of the mid-Atlantic region. Highlighting the best species for a variety of landscape conditions, with tips on establishing and managing these plants, Claire will help define the ecological value of the places you steward.