A pollinator visiting Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

There are no daffodils or tulips in the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. The plants are exclusively native species of the Acadian Forest Region that pre-existed European settlement, constituting a living gene bank supporting the conservation and recovery of common and endangered plant species.

Native plants have evolved slowly over time in response to biotic and physical processes unique to our region. Not only are native plants beautiful and characteristic of the region, but they also require less water, fertilizer, and pest control than common horticultural plants, and they provide nectar, pollen, and seeds for native pollinators and wildlife. Similarly, the pollinators that these plants require for fertility are present, having adapted to local climatic conditions and environmental factors as well as the soils and habitats of the Acadian Forest Region. Our gardens also attract butterflies and birds to the area and provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species.

Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) in early spring

For more information on gardening with native plants, visit Canadian Wildlife Federation.