Creating habitat in North Carolina
The state bird, a cardinal, eating native winterberries
The rest of this website (in the menu above) has general information on creating habitat, earth-friendly gardening, plants, various creatures, and ways to take action in and beyond your garden, but this page provides some North Carolina-specific information.
I've also listed birds we've seen here in NC as well as NC bird resources on our NC bird page.
Creating habitat for North Carolina creatures
The zebra swallowtail's host plant is paw paw
The NC Cooperative Extension Service has published some excellent materials on urban wildlife.
You can download beautiful full-color booklets as free .pdf files on:
We've listed the birds we've seen in NC, such as this beautiful towhee
Other NC Cooperative Extension web resources include:
- Going Native - Urban Landscaping for wildlife with native plants
- Pollinator Conservation Guide page.
Audubon of North Carolina has a list of nurseries selling native plants as well as region-specific native plant guides.
Protecting our water
Swamp milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly
Rain gardens protect our water by allowing it to slowly seep into the soil rather than running off into the sewers. But they also provide yet another opportunity to plant native plants for wildlife, including host plants for butterflies.
The North Carolina Extension service has some good resources on creating backyard rain gardens.
North Carolina native plants
One of the many kinds of NC pines
Habitat in North Carolina as everywhere else begins with native plants. They provide the best food, cover, and places to raise young.
The North Carolina Native Plant Society has many resources, as well as an opportunity to certify your native plant garden.
Wax myrtle: the Southeastern counterpart of our own Northern bayberry
We've discovered some good resources on plants native to North Carolina.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, besides the garden itself, has a lot of information on their website, including:
The book Native Plants of the Southeast: A comprehensive guide to the best 460 species for the Garden by Larry Mellichamp is a useful resource, though I would have preferred a greater focus on usefulness to wildlife rather than the book's relatively greater focus on ornamental value.
Plants invading North Carolina
English ivy attacking a tree
Like every other state, North Carolina is being invaded by non-native, invasive plants that impoverish habitat and diminish biodiversity.
In addition to the general resources on the rest of the website, some NC-specific resources include:
- NC Native Plant Society: Invasive exotic species list
- NC Culture: Piedmont invasive plants
- Going Native: Invasive Species
There's more info on invasive plants in this section of this website.