Native plants--Where to buy them

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Last Updated: 
October 11, 2004

CORVALLIS--Many plants native to the Pacific Northwest make delightful
and ecological additions to the home landscape.

Growing native plants can help save water and provide food and habitat
for local native wildlife. They often thrive on less water and fertilizer
than some of their more exotic horticultural cousins, explained Gail Gredler,
home horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Sometimes seed and plant sources for native vegetation can be difficult
to find. The following Pacific Northwest companies are among those that
offer plants or seed native to the region:

  • Bosky Dell Natives, 23311 S.W. Bosky Dell, West Linn, OR 97068;
  • Curry Native Plants, 92545 Silver Butte Road, Port Orford, OR 97465;
  • Forest Farm, 990 Tetherow Road, Williams, OR 97544-9599 (many native
    and exotic perennials);
  • Harold Miller Landscape Nursery, P.O. Box 379, Hubbard, OR 97032;
  • Northplan-Mountain Seed, P.O. Box 9107, Moscow, ID 83843-1607 (native
    tree, shrub, grass, sedge, rush and wildflower seed);
  • Russell Graham Nursery, 4030 Eagle Crest Road, Salem, OR 97304;
  • Seeds Trust - High Altitude Gardens, P.O. Box 4619, Ketchum, ID 83340
    (good for higher elevations);
  • Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery, 2825 Cummings Road, Medford, OR 97501
    (alpine, rock and dwarf plants, some uncommon Oregon natives)
  • Trillium Gardens, P.O. Box 803, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455;
  • Wallace Hansen Nursery, 2158 Bower Court, S.E., Salem, OR 97301.

Natives need to be planted in an environment similar to the one in which
they thrive in nature, explained Gredler.

"A plant that naturally exists in shady, moist conditions will only
thrive in a shady, moist spot in a yard," she said. "For example,
it is hard to get alpines to perform well in a yard, unless you construct
a rock garden similar to their native habitat. This is important, because
a lot of nurseries just label plants as native and don't elaborate on their
habitat needs.

"This can lead to disappointed gardeners, when they plant the right
plant in the wrong place," she added.

Never dig up native plants from the wild, advised Gredler, unless the
area is under certain threat of destruction, such as in road cuts or in
logged areas. It is illegal to collect in any state and national parks and
in other designated "natural areas." Permission or permits to
collect on public lands are often necessary, she said. Ecologists recommend
that home landscapers either grow native plants from seeds, cuttings or
layering, or purchase native plants from a reputable native plant nursery.

For information on native plants, how to use them, and where to purchase
them, Gredler recommends sending for "Hortus Northwest: A Pacific Northwest
Native Plant Directory and Journal," from Hortus Northwest, P.O. Box 955, Canby, OR 97013.

Native plant gardeners might also want to refer to the illustrated, comprehensive
book, "Gardening with Northwest Natives - An Illustrated Guide,"
by Arthur R. Kruckeberg, published by University of Washington Press.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Gail Gredler