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A recently hatched Monarch butterfly sits on a milkweed plant. Many species of milkweed, which promotes butterfly populations, are on the state's endangered list.

Q: Are there any plants native to Wisconsin that are now hard to find naturally?

A: Many native plants are threatened or even endangered in Wisconsin, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Plants like wild hyacinth, brook grass and ground plum are endangered in the state.

UW-Madison botany professor Joy Zedler said there are ways to prevent the decline of biodiversity and loss of native plant life in the area.

Non-government organizations like the Nature Conservancy work to protect animal and plant life across the country and the world.

Wisconsin residents can also promote biodiversity in their own gardens, Zedler said.

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“Residents can plant species for which seeds or nursery plants are available, but should not harvest from the wild,” Zedler said, adding that gardeners should insist on native species for their yards.

Native plants are also losing their foothold in the area because of invasive species, which should be avoided when planting a garden or landscaping.

Invasive plants encroach into forests, prairies and roadsides, according to the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin, which can destroy and replace native vegetation.

Plants like forget-me-nots, orange day lilies and Norway maples are listed as invasive by the IPAW.

-Shelley K. Mesch

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