This past Saturday I went to the Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale, a nice event that wasn’t full of people running around like crazy (though there were plenty of crazy plant people), and plenty of vendors, too. And I’m happy to report that many more vendors are selling retail these days, though most require an appointment. Here’s a partial list. All of these places had a good selection of interesting plants that appeared to be in good health (otherwise I wouldn’t be listing them).
Chesapeake Natives, Inc. “Promoting, Protecting, and Propagating Plants Native to the Chesapeake Region” – the tag line pretty much says it all. Straight species is all they sell (no cultivars).
Go Native Tree Farm “Dedicated to the understanding, preservation, and recovery of the Eastern American forest.”
Hill House Farm and Nursery This place did have some cultivars among the species.
Kollar Nursery “Kollar Nursery specializes in plants native to the eastern United States…we propagate most of what we grow.”
Putnam Hill Nursery seemed to have less emphasis on “straight species” but still had plenty of interesting ones.
The sale organizer’s webpage seems to be down until next month, so the link may not work, but for reference: http://home.earthlink.net/-sknudsen/id3.html. And here’s the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NorthernAlexandriaNativePlantSale
Most of these places were only selling what’s “in season” – flowering, that is (trees and shrubs excepted). If you’re looking for spring and early summer blooming plants, try again in those seasons. Spring ephemerals are a tough sell out of season – look, a pot of dirt! – but when the season comes ’round they are in high demand.
A word of warning: while researching I stumbled upon a list of “some of the many [nurseries] nationwide that specialize in native plants” published by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Office. At first I was thrilled, but when skimming it realized that it isn’t accurate. Some of the nurseries listed are large operations that I know from experience may carry native plants, but do not specialize in them. I include it for the sake of information, but do sift through it. Caveat emptor.
If you have a favorite native plant nursery, especially one that eschews cultivars, please leave a comment!