Alabama Wildflower Society to Hold 39th Annual Native Plant Sale April 7
On Saturday, April 7, the George Wood Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society is holding its 39th annual plant sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, in the Kentuck Center courtyard in downtown Northport. The sale features primarily native plants indigenous to the southeastern U.S. but also includes some non-invasive “passalong” plants that are well-adapted to our area.
For budding gardeners, it also offers a unique opportunity to meet local enthusiasts and add new plants to their gardens.
Items for sale are obtained from an out-of-state nursery specializing in native plants and from members of the Alabama Wildflower Society – who contribute plants from their own gardens and property.
“There are always some surprises among the plants we offer,” said Rosemary Blethen, who co-coordinates the sale with her husband Al Blethen. “Members will be delivering items from their gardens right up to opening time. I always take home one or two new plants I somehow never acquired before.”
Native plants offered will include many shrubs and trees, such as dogwoods, redbuds, pawpaw, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, sweet shrub, and several varieties of native azaleas, all with some of the lowest prices to be found in this area. Ferns, ground covers, and flowering vines and plants will also be offered. Wildflowers for sale typically include columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, spiderwort, trillium, bloodroot, various asters and mints, and native irises and violets. Passalongs contributed by members typically include shrubs, such as flowering quince, spirea, and kerria as well as daylilies and other plants from bulbs. Some houseplants are also usually available.
Plants which bloom at different times, spring through fall, will be available, so gardeners may select plants to support pollinators that visit their yards throughout the warmer months. Bright-blooming plants, which are excellent nectar sources for butterflies and other pollinators, will be clearly marked, to make plant identification easy for gardeners interested in supporting pollinators. Flowers that do well in summer or fall include sunflowers, bee balm, coreopsis, and asters.
Proceeds from the sale will help further education about, and preservation of, Alabama’s native plant life. Every year, proceeds contribute to college scholarships to botany majors in Alabama colleges and universities. Smaller amounts help support the Cahaba Lily Society and its annual Cahaba Lily Festival, as well as local projects, including support for the Wildflower Garden and rhododendron collection of the University of Alabama Arboretum.
“Come early for the best selection,” said Barbara Hollingsworth, the current president of the local AWS chapter. Hollingsworth also urged anyone interested to consider joining AWS. Membership information will be available on site.