Public spaces and residential neighborhoods are usually designed with a very limited palette of plant species, mostly from far-away lands in Europe and Asia. Native insect species—like butterflies—can eat only very specific plants in their larval stages, and are starved out when they encounter only exotic vegetation. Those native insect species serve as the main food source for all small mammals and amphibians—no native flora means no native insects, and that means no wildlife.
We need native plants, and lots of kinds of them, to build an effective food web, sustaining life in our ecosystem. Biodiversity has been nature’s way of ensuring the survival of species. We need to bring back the variety of native plants that has sustained life for millions of years!