Definitions and Context

Ecoregion: an area that is defined by the plants, animals and land that make it different
Context: Texas has ecoregions as varied as the Pineywoods with its forests and the Big Bend desert.

Exotic: a species that is not native to a certain region
Context: Poison ivy is native to Texas, but exotic to England.

Habitat: place where an animal or plant naturally lives or grows, eats, drinks, and finds the shelter it needs
Context: Prickly pear cactus offers habitat to the cactus wren -- a safe place to build a nest and plenty of insects living among the needles.

Invasive: a species that has the ability to significantly displace other species
Context: The hardiness that makes some landscaping plants desirable to nurseries also allows them to become invasive.

Landscape: the outdoor scenery that can be seen in a single view
Context: The landscape along the Coastal Prairies with the low flat beaches and grasses is very different than in the rough terrain and scraggly trees of the Hill Country.

Native: a species that originated in a certain region
Context: Bluebonnets are native to central Texas.

Naturalized: a species that has been brought in, but now lives as if it was native
Context: Some naturalized plants are so successful that many people think they are native.

Species: a population that is more or less alike, that is able to breed and produce fertile offspring under natural conditions
Context: Native species planted in your schoolyard garden will provide habitat for local wildlife.

Survive: stay alive
Context: Some plants such as the agave have special adaptations to help them survive in harsh climates.

Weed: a plant that is growing where we don't want it
Context: Catclaw sensitive briar may be a weed in your lawn, but it is a wildflower in my butterfly garden.

Wildlife: animals that are not tamed including insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and mammals.
Context: Native wildlife need native plants for food and shelter.