Result #13 from dictionary.com after searching the word "native":
originating naturally in a particular country or region, as animals or plants.
The two pictures above are my two best-friends in my native plant adventure. They are tremendous resources!
Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy is a wonderful book. It has been described as a "call to arms" and that is exactly what I felt reading it. I first heard Tallamy during an interview on NPR - Science Friday, I think. He was articulate, passionate and chock full of important information.
Most importantly for me: Tallamy imparts the message that YOU can help fix this problem. By planting native plants in your own back yard, you can help restore so much of the ecosystem that we have destroyed. Destruction from lawns, foreign ornamentals, non-native species can be reversed - a yard at a time.
Check this book out - but I strongly suggest the new and expanded version. The new version includes lists of natives to your area that the older ones doesn't.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin is an amazing website. You can research and look up almost all native plants, no matter where you live. I found 99% of what the Oregon natives while on the site.
Plants can be searched by common and scientific names and the results provide a lot of info. Pictures, too!