"Even when the economy is good, the best way to feed wildlife is the same way that nature does: with native plants. Plants provide seeds, berries, nuts and nectar for songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds. Natives also support insects, which are important wildlife in and of themselves, but are also a key food source for birds...." via the Daily Press
Podophyllum pelatum, Mayapple, or "American Mandrake" is NOT a Mandrake and cannot be substituted for true Mandragora for any purpose except carving toys from the roots. An extract from the roots can however be used to treat cancer.
Natives are great for many reasons. But to give them a great start, they need to be planted in the proper environment. Whether you have shade, part shade to sun, moisture or a dry landscape, there is a group of plants that would be perfect for that site. If you have a shady area, consider planting in layers. Woodland plants are suited for shade or part sun for the edges of the woods. Via Plant More Plants (Beth Hellmer) Ascelpias tuberosa, or butterflyweed. Photo by Irvine Wilson
Burgundy Fireworks Coneflower, This unique coneflower is the culmination of five generations of breeding over ten years and combines three different coneflower species: Echinacea laevigata, E. purpurea, and E. tennesseensis. ‘Burgundy Fireworks’ has the vigor and stout stems of Echinacea purpurea, but at less than 18" tall by wide, it is more compact than many selections currently in the marketplace. The stems remain sturdy even on pot-grown plants.
Native US plant called Paw paw. Here are some of the plant's uses: 1) Eat raw or use in cooking. Sometimes called a Kentucky Banana. Has a slightly tropical/banana flavor. Very nutritious. 2) Rub leaves on skin as insect repellant. 3) Dry leaves and make powder that kills lice. Lots of great info and recipes at this link: http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/pawpaw/cooking.htm