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New This Week

April 9, 2024

Natives at Painters

We are a Certified Native-Friendly Supplier

It's national Native Plant Month!!

At Painters we are proud to promote native plants and foster our collective native ecosystems here in Western North Carolina. A native plant is a plant that grows naturally in a place rather than having been introduced by humans. Unlike many cultivated ornamental plants, native plants have evolved with the local climate and wildlife and provide important food sources and habitats for native animals. When you plant a native plant, you support an entire community of native organisms–birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, fish and other animals that are dependent on native plants for food and shelter. Native plant loss due to the spread of invasive non-native plants poses a serious disruption to ecosystems here in WNC and everywhere.

Interest in preserving and supporting our native habitats has become increasingly important to many of our customers and is often the reason new customers seek us out - for our wide range of native plants. But did you know that we are one of very few greenhouses in WNC certified to be on the NC Native Plant Society’s list of native-friendly suppliers, and that we have likely the most diverse selection of natives available to retail customers? (Some of which are supplied by our friends at Carolina Natives Nursery - check out their amazing website, newsletter, and visit their Bee Native Shop if you haven't already!)

So what does that mean? Nurseries on the NC Native Plant Society’s list only sell nursery propagated plants, and do not sell any plants listed as Rank 1 or Rank 2 on the NC invasive exotic plants lists. Rank 1 and 2 plants are those that present the most severe threat to native ecosystems. Plants that are not native to our region and that have become aggressive invaders of natural areas pose a serious threat to biological diversity. Also, when we garden with native plants grown in nurseries–rather than collecting wild specimens–it preserves those important wild populations. (And for straight species, using plants grown from seed over clonal material when possible preserves genetic diversity--Painters has greatly increased their native selection grown from seed just this year.) These shared values make Painters an important collaborator with organizations like the NC Native Plant Society and Bee City USA/Xerces Society as we all do our part to be stewards of our natural heritage.

These lists are by no means static or complete, so as they are updated, Painters is committed to reviewing our program to stay abreast of changes in our WNC ecosystem. As a result of recent updates to these invasive lists, we are no longer growing:

Lysimachia nummularia - Golden Moneywort (Creeping Jenny)

Myriophyllum aquaticum - Parrot's Feather

Pontedaria crassipes [formerly Eichhornia crassipes] - Water Hyacinth

Pistia stratiotes - Water lettuce

Vinca minor - Ralph Shugert (while a less aggressive cultivar, we now carry no vinca)

We will always do our best to help our customers find native and non-invasive substitutes wherever possible. 

And start your research here! We’ve got a lot of great links on our website including:

Native Plants at Painters Greenhouse

North Carolina Native Plant Society Resources:

NC Natives by Season and Color

Native Groundcovers of NC

Favorite Native Ferns for NC Gardens

Native Wildflowers of NC

39 Harmful Ornamental Plants Still Sold in NC and Suggested Alternatives

A phenomenal Native Plants Database where you can search for 25,198 native plants by scientific or common name or choose a particular family of plants:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Native Plants Database

North Carolina Botanical Garden Resources:

Native Trees and Shrubs for Your Garden*

Native Wildflowers for Your Garden*

Creating Your Pollinator Garden

And More:

Nesting & Overwintering Habitat for Pollinators & Other Beneficial Insects

Plants for Birds | Audubon North Carolina

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