One screenshot to change the way you think about native plants

Autumnal oak tree branches against blue sky

The glorious oak tree, home and food to many

Do you know how many bugs the Common Oak supports? This screenshot from the ‘Database of Insects and their Food Plants’ took my breath away

The Database of Insects and their Food Plants is a fantastic resource created by the Biological Records Centre that lists native plants and which inverterbrates they are hosts for.

The reason to use native plants in a garden is because they have co-evolved with local fauna and so are better for wildlife. To illustrate this, the Common Oak is host to 274 species of inverterbrate. That is a huge number. Here is a screenshot of the list (rotated to fit it on the page):

Screenshot of host inverterbrates for Common Oak

The 274 species of inverterbrate that call the Common Oak home

See the Quercus Robur entry for the full list.

This is the reason we should be using native plants in our gardens wherever possible, because we need to start thinking about species other than ourselves. In a time of Climate Emergency and Mass Extinction, by providing habitat and food for our native wildlife, we increase its resilience. It also extends our thoughts beyond the confines of our gardens and into the wider landscape.