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Native Plants

Native plants are cool
Plant roots take up water from the pore spaces in soil in much the same way we drink through a straw. Water is then transported throughout the plant to help nourish and cool it. As water reaches the leaves, water vapor is released into the atmosphere. This process is called transpiration. Combined with evaporation from the wet plant and soil surfaces, the total water loss to the atmosphere from plants is called evapotranspiration.
Native plants help keep a watershed healthy because they are adapted to local conditions. Their leaves, stems and root systems minimize evapotranspiration through adaptations such as waxy and reflective coatings, needle-like shapes and high water storage capability. This helps them survive the drought and extremes of temperature common in the Southwest. Local wildlife needs and prefers native vegetation for food and shelter. The shade from native trees cools soil and air temperatures. Trees, shrubs and grasses also provide wind protection. Bare soil is a watershed’s worse nightmare!
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