Although we have many species of native trees, shrubs, and perennials in our region, not all are suitable for home gardens and not all are available for purchase. Like any other plants in our gardens, natives have particular requirements for light, moisture, and soil characteristics. Fortunately, there is a great deal of information available to assist gardeners in choosing appropriate plants for their settings.
You will find that most guides use scientific names rather than more easily pronounced and remembered common names. This is not to make life difficult for the gardener, but rather to help assure that the plants you buy are the ones that you really want. Common names are variable and the same plant may be called different names by various suppliers.
When looking for plants either at a local nursery or on the internet, be persistent about finding out the scientific name of the plant to be sure you are getting what you need for your wildlife garden.
For Weaverville area:
- Native Plants for Landscaping in the Western NC -A brochure developed by Weaverville Wildlife Habitat provides a quick reference
- Invasive Exotic Plant Management Plan For The Town of Weaverville, NC.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Plants Database (plants.usda.gov/java/),
- University of North Carolina Herbarium (www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm),
- NC Native Plant Society (www.ncwildflower.org), and
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (www.wildflower.org/).
But perhaps one of the best ways to appreciate native plants growing in a natural situation is to visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Many classes and opportunities for learning are offered at the gardens and are open to the public.