Shenandoah Chapter Fall Native Plant & Seed Swap & Sale

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Saturday, October 19, 2024
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Oakdale Park


Where? Oakdale Park (Bridgewater, VA), shelter #3

What do I need to do if I have plants I want to swap? Pot them up, and label them with the common and botanical names, if you can. (See below if you need help IDing your plant.) Please only bring plants free from diseases and invasive pests. Please also clearly label cultivars.*

What if I don’t have anything to swap? Can I still come? Yes! You don’t have to bring anything, or even take any plants home if you don’t want to. The chapter will have plants for sale and there are always extra plants that need a home!

I won’t have any plants but could bring seeds… but I’m not sure how to harvest them. Can you help? Yes! Check out this webinar by Issac Matlock on seed harvesting and storage.

What makes something a “native” plant? Native plants are trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses that grew in Virginia before Europeans arrived. They are adapted to local soil and climate, so they’re easy to grow and maintain, requiring little water after they are established, and no fertilizer.

Native plants provide a host for larva, pollen, nectar, seeds, and habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife. They support the full life cycle of many insects–for example, Monarch butterflies may flock to a butterfly bush (a non-native, invasive shrub) for its pollen, but Monarch caterpillars only recognize milkweed as food. Eighty percent of a hummingbird’s diet is insects and spiders. Chickadees will only eat caterpillars when breeding, so need extensive host plants around them to raise their young. It’s all connected.

My grandmother planted this beautiful groundcover I have–it’s native, right? It might be–or it might not. Many plants that are non-native have been in the U.S. much longer than we realize: Japanese honeysuckle was first planted this side of the Atlantic in 1806. English ivy was introduced in the early 1700s. Even apple trees aren’t native to the U.S.; they first arrived with French Jesuits in the 16th century.

Need some help IDing your plant? If you have an Android smartphone, Google Lens can identify plants. On your iPhone, take a picture and tap the info button at the bottom of the screen, then look for the leaf icon. Seek is another free plant ID app. On Facebook, the Virginia Native Plant Society Group helps with general plant IDs and determining native status.

*The Virginia Native Plant Society encourages wild-type, straight species plants wherever possible. Read their statement and find more resources on cultivars and the ecological benefits of cultivars vs. straight species here.