Why Native Plants?

Instinct (Photo credit: nosha)

Because central New Jersey’s native plants and wildlife evolved together, they are highly adapted to and dependent upon each other. Native plant nutrition is especially critical for wildlife at energy-intensive times of the year, such as spring and fall migration, and during courtship and breeding. In turn, native plants rely upon wildlife for pollination and seed dispersion. Whereas indigenous plants support diversity and disease-resistance, invasive species form powerful monocultures that outcompete other plants, including trees. Replacing them with native species, which co-exist, creates a complex, vibrant ecosystem vital to both plants and animals.

Here is your chance to purchase native plants.

WHAT: D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Spring Native Plant Sale.

WHEN: Friday, May 16th, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, May 17th: 9:00 a.m. to noon.

WHERE: D&R Greenway Native Plant Nursery at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton, off Rosedale Road. 609-924-4646; www.drgreenway.org

Native plants are adapted to central New Jersey’s weather conditions, making them more drought-resistant than most exotic plants, and also provide essential food for wildlife. Of particular concern are native pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which depend on native plant species to survive. A famous example is the monarch butterfly, which is dependent on the milkweed plant for its life cycle. Milkweed is in decline across the United States, largely because of agricultural herbicides, and the monarch population has also taken a negative turn. Gardeners can help by planting milkweed on their property! Several varieties of milkweed are available in D&R Greenway’s nursery.

D&R Greenway’s plants are grown from genetically local seeds gathered on their preserves and tended in the nursery by staff and skilled volunteers. Plants grown from locally sourced plugs will also be available for purchase.

Plants are available in quart and gallon-sized pots from $5 to $12. A full catalog is available online at www.drgreenway.org/PlantCatalog.html. Please contact Emily Blackman, Nursery Manager, to check species availability at (609) 924-4646, or eblackman@drgreenway.org.




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