Identify the habitat where you live
In his landmark book, Native Gardening in the South, Bill Fontenot identifies numerous Southern terrestrial plant communities, associations of trees, shrubs, and/or herbaceous species that are often found growing together in distinct habitat types created by particular combinations of topography, soil, water, and climate. Even if you live in an urban or suburban area, the older vegetation on your property may be a clue to its original habitat type, which in turn can guide your choice of site-appropriate natives to restore or add to a property.
Three plant communities common to Lafayette Parish, for example, are Coastal Tallgrass Prairie, Bottomland Hardwood Forest and Loess Slope (upland hardwood) Forest.
Coastal Tallgrass Prairie
Plant community includes Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, Lovegrasses, Switchgrass, Indian Grass, Dropseeds, Carex and Umbrella Sedges, Rattlesnake-master (shown), Indian Plantain, Sunflowers, Blazing Stars, Milkweeds, Rosin-weeds, False Indigos, Blue Star, Coneflowers, Brown-eyed and Black-eyed Susans, Wild Petunia, Primroses, Tickseeds, Goldenrods, False Foxgloves, Thoroughworts, Mints, Mountain Mints, and Poppy Mallow.
Bottomland Hardwood Forest – Live Oak type
Loess Slope Hardwood Forest
A Special Note on Prairie Indicator Plants