New Capital Region native plant guide now available

virginia deqThe Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, led by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, recently published Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region, a 72-page, full-color guide providing detailed information on 241 plants, shrubs, flowers and trees native to the Richmond area. The comprehensive resource provides guidance on native plants in the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, Powhatan, Goochland, Cumberland and Amelia.
“Native Plants for Virginia’s Capital Region” is the first product of the upcoming Plant RVA Natives spring campaign, which stresses the importance of using native plants in residential and otherwise built environments. Helpful information is also included on general landscaping, light and soil requirements, invasive plants, pollinators and rain gardens. Details are provided on the unique flowers and leaves, vibrant fall colors, diverse fruit and interesting bark textures that provide beauty year-round. An easy-to-use index includes both scientific and common names for quick reference.
Guides are also available for the Eastern Shore, Northern Virginia, Northern Neck, Hampton Roads, Piedmont and Central Rappahannock (Fredericksburg and surrounding counties). To learn how to get a free guide, or to download a copy, visitwww.PlantVirginiaNatives.org.
“As natural habitats decline, especially in our coastal areas, landscaping with native plants by home gardeners and businesses is vital to support local ecosystems and biodiversity,” said Virginia CZM Program Manager Laura McKay. “Native plants attract beneficial insects – essential pollinators – that are necessary for the survival of native plants, birds and animals.”
Virginia CZM led a team of 14 state agency and non-governmental partners to complete the guide, including the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage (DCR-NH) Program, which verified and recommended regional native plants for inclusion. A federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided funding to print 17,000 copies. Plant RVA Natives partners, including the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, James River Association, Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District, Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and Master Gardeners from Henrico and Hanover counties, also contributed funding.
“Native plants can match the showiest cultivated plants aesthetically, while often surpassing non-natives in tolerance and resistance to stresses like drought, insects and disease,” said DCR-NH Director Jason Bulluck. “The best way to protect habitat for Virginia’s pollinator species is through protection and management of intact natural communities.”

About the Virginia CZM Program

Established in 1986, the Virginia CZM Program is a network of local and state agencies and organizations that administer laws, regulations and policies to protect coastal resources and foster sustainable development. DEQ serves as lead agency of the network and houses the CZM office in Richmond. Visit www.DEQ.Virginia.gov/programs/coastalzonemanagement.aspx.


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