Definitions of native plants abound. None is entirely satisfactory in all circumstances but each may serve a specific function. Some strive for scientific accuracy; others serve practical purposes….
Moreover, in some instances the nativity of a plant may not matter to the native-plant gardener. None of us is about to give up growing tomatoes regardless of their non-native status.
In North America, 1492 is commonly used as the cut-off date. It signals the arrival of Europeans on this continent and also the subsequent era of exploration of the entire planet. We may regard it as an arbitrary date; but it is one with practical usefulness as well as with historical significance. The numbers of introductions of non-native species and the distances to which they are transported started growing dramatically in 1492 and continue to grow at accelerated rates.