by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) will host a native plant sale from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City. Visitors can peruse the plants that vendors bring, but they can also pre-order online or by phone from participating vendors and pick them up at the event.
Native wildflowers and grasses offer lovely blooms, colors, and textures in landscape garden plantings. Many will benefit from some tender care in the days after planting, such as watering and removing weed competition. Kansas City’s up and down weather can stress new plantings. But once established with deep roots systems, natives can often survive weather variances better than non-natives. Using a variety of plants can extend blooms in the garden from spring into autumn.
Another benefit from native plants, shrubs, and trees is that they benefit songbirds, butterflies, and other urban wildlife. Many non-natives do not host insects that are vital food for songbirds during spring nesting season. They also are not host plants for butterfly and moth larvae.
At the May 15 event, visitors can talk with MDC staff, MPF volunteers, and vendors about natives. Knowing what plants work best in soil and sunlight types can make a big difference in growing success. COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing and face masks will be followed.
The participating vendors and their contact information for preordering:
GALLENA'S GARDEN: View the plant list here and email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) by Thursday, May 13. After ordering, they will send an invoice for the purchase.
OZARK SOUL: Order via email or phone by noon on Friday, May 14: email@example.com(link sends e-mail); 816-809-4062, Please visit https://www.ozarksoul.com/availability.php for a current availability list. In your email or voicemail, please include your phone number and note the date and location. After your order has been placed, Ozark Soul will email you to give you the payment details.
MISSOURI WILDFLOWERS NURSERY: Order by calling 573-496-3492, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), or online here by Wednesday, May 12: https://mowildflowers.net/
ALLENDAN SEED COMPANY: Please email email@example.com(link sends e-mail) to request current prices and available mixes. https://www.allendanseed.com/.
COLONIAL GARDENS: More information coming soon. Visit https://colonialgardenskc.com/.
CITY ROOTS, LLC: Order online by Thursday, May 13: https://www.cityrootsnursery.com/plants-for-sale.
GREEN THUMB GARDENS: Order and pay online by Thursday, May 13: https://store.dtekc.com/.
To learn more about the Missouri Prairie Foundation, visit Home - Missouri Prairie Foundation (moprairie.org). For information about using native plants in landscaping, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zc8.