Are Nativars Beneficial or Harmful? It's Complicated...

Registration Eligibility
Registration is open to the public - INASLA members can register and attend approved courses for LA CES Credits.
Start Date
End Date
Nativars are selections of native species with desirable traits such as reduced stature, showier or different colored flowers, or improved foliage. They are usually clones and therefore lack the genetic diversity of wild populations. Nativars may persuade people to include or convert to native species in their gardens, and they often but not always have similar ecological values. However, they may also cross pollinate with local wild populations to alter their genetics or naturalize where they are not locally native. We will discuss the potential benefits and problems with nativars through an interactive panel discussion led by author and horticulturalist Hilary Cox and ecologist Kevin Tungesvick.

Kevin has had a lifelong interest in nature. He earned a degree in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University in 1990. He was employed as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Cincinnati Ohio area from 1991 until 1994. His experience with the nursery business where he was employed during college led him back to plant propagation where he initiated native plant and seed production at Spence Restoration Nursery in 1995 and continued to manage it through 2017. In 2018 he accepted his current position as Senior Ecologist at Eco Logic LLC headquartered in Bloomington Indiana where he performs invasive and rare plant surveys, GIS invasive plant mapping, and floral inventories. He also designs and consults on installation of native plant communities in restorations and landscaping.

Hilary Cox is a horticulturist, garden designer, botanist, and photographer. She was the owner and landscape designer of Leescapes Garden Design for over twenty years and has previously held positions as a designated collector of prairie and woodland seeds for the joint projects of the Millennium Seedbank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Seeds of Success USA, which was coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Bloomington, IN
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Horticulture / Plants
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Participants will learn 1) the difference between a pure native plant and a native cultivar, 2) what environmental benefits native plants provide and how nativars lack in some of these benefits and 3) how to properly mix pure natives and nativars for optimal ecological benefit in your home landscape.
Hillary Cox and Kevin Tungesvick
Course Codes
Indiana Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects

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