As a designer and landscape maintenance professional, I observe over and over again poor choices of plant selection for a property or a place in a yard. Either the plants are chosen because the owner happens to like that particular plant for this or that location or a developer uses the plants because of cost and availability reasons. Both of these are extremely important reasons, however, I am taking a larger world-view perspective on this issue.
Consideration needs to be given to the plant's preferred growing conditions, mature size, and it's adaptability to the particular environment to avoid overcrowding, disease and infestation, structural damage to home or sidewalks, transfer of pests to home (ants walking from leaves to home) and the inevitable comment, Why did they put that there?
Growing Conditions - Each plant evolved in a particular soil type, climate (sun exposure, water demands, seasonal change), terrain, and community of plants. I have done design work in intermountain environments (Sierra Nevada), Mediterranean climate (Bay Area) and I now interact with plants in a tropical environment (Hawaii). This will impact your placement of the plant for sun exposure, how much water you need to deliver, and nutrients you need to provide.
Nutrients - Given the above growing conditions, including the geology of the place it came from, the plant has specific nutritive needs. Some plants are more sensitive and fussy about this than others. This is particularly true when you are designing or planting with native plants. If you are planting native plants and you work with a community of plants, you will find that they support each other's health, and you may find suddenly that other plant will just appear by association because these plants evolved with one another.
Plant Size - A plant will only reach a certain height and girth before it reaches the end of its life cycle. Sometimes this is on the magnitude of 20 feet, 50 feet or over 100 feet. This impacts where you place such plants for the long term, or whether on not you even use them. If you choose larger plants for a location that you prefer a smaller height and girth, the plant may work, however, you will be spending more time pruning.