Native vs Nativars: What plants are best in your garden?

Wed, Feb 9th

All Day

February 2022


Wood River Chapter of Idaho Native Plant Society

Dr. Stephen Love will speak on the topic of “Native vs Nativars: What plants are best in your garden?” on February 9 at 7 pm via Zoom. This free presentation is sponsored by The Wood River Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society.

Dr. Love “would like to see native plants dominate every urban landscape”. Among the topics he will cover in his talk are: When is a plant truly “native”? What is a “nativar”? Are
natives better than nativars? How is this innate genetic variability altered in cultivation?
Love will consider some advantages to using native plants in your landscape, including landscape sustainability resulting from drought tolerance and local adaptation; prevention of exotic species introductions that increase potential for invasiveness; and support of specialist pollinators and other small animals that depend on native plants. He feels that utilization of both garden-worthy native plants and nativars, though not truly “wild”, are critical to backyard habitat creation. Nativars are far superior to exotics, which are often the fallback option when we cannot find the native species we truly desire.

Dr. Stephen Love is a University of Idaho Extension consumer horticulture specialist stationed at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture at Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. in horticulture and plant physiology at Clemson University. After coordinating the Tri-State Potato Variety Development program for 20 years, he redirected his considerable plant-breeding skills towards developing native plants for use in home and commercial landscapes. Dr. Love has collected, grown, and/or evaluated over 1,200 species of Intermountain native wildflowers and shrubs and released over 100 native plant products into the landscape nursery industry.

For a link to join the Zoom presentation, please email [email protected] The Idaho Native Plant Society is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting interest in native plants and plant communities, and collecting and sharing information on all phases of the botany of native plants in Idaho. We seek to foster an understanding and appreciation of our native flora and to preserve this rich heritage for future generations. For more information please visit

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