Annual native plant sale slated for Sept. 8

A monarch butterfly lands on a fall-blooming smooth aster with a yellow coreopsis in the background. Photo by Betsy Washington 

The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society (NNNPS) will hold its annual native plant sale from 9 a.m.-noon September 8 at Wicomico Parish Church, 5191 Jessie Ball duPont Memorial Highway, Wicomico Church.

“Native plants are not only much better adapted to our local area but they are absolutely necessary for all our wildlife,” said president Kevin Howe. “When planted properly, native plants require no fertilizer, less water, no pesticides. By creating food and habitat for native butterflies, other insects, birds, mammals, etc., they are integral hubs in the web of life. And I cannot leave out how beautiful many are.”

The sale will feature over 70 varieties of flowers, ferns, grasses, trees, vines and shrubs that are native to the Virginia Coastal Plain. Featured plants will include American beauty-berry, New Jersey tea, two coastal azaleas, Eastern redbud, lyre-leaf sage, seashore mallow, great blue lobelia and milkweed. All plants at the sale are native to the Eastern U.S., with many occurring naturally in the Northern Neck; the others are adaptable to our area, but often hard to find.

“Chapter members can help you pick out plants for your specific needs or desires or with the names of native plants,” said Howe. “Some of us can demonstrate how to use the mobile application ‘Flora of Virginia’ to identify all of our state’s native plants. It is available for $20 in the Android or iPhone app stores and is fabulous.”

The Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck will provide assistance with moving and loading plants. There will be a 10% discount on plants for any new members joining the Virginia Native Plant Society on plant sale day.

The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society is one of 11 chapters in the state. It is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats, in order to sustain for generations to come the integrity of the Commonwealth’s rich natural heritage of ecosystems and biodiversity for purposes of enjoyment, enlightenment, sustainable use and our own very survival.

Presentations are held at noon on third Thursdays at Wicomico Parish Church. Field trips are held throughout the year to natural areas, roadsides and native plant gardens. All activities are free and are supported by the annual plant sale.