Native Plant Sources for Western North Carolina Gardeners:
Through my work at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, I’ve learned about the following first-rate sources for native plants and native plant seeds. Two of the sources below include online nurseries that we use at the Botanical Gardens. Whatever you do, please don’t remove plants from the wild unless you have permission and you know what you’re doing. Only buy from credible sources.
The Botanical Gardens at Asheville — This scrappy, amazing 10-acre native plant sanctuary near downtown Asheville hosts two native plant sales a year (spring and fall); members get a 10% discount on plants raised by the Botanical Gardens and located under and next to the gazebo. I’ve included an asterisk (*) next to the native plant vendors who generally attend the BGA’s plant sales.
Carolina Native Nursery * — Located in Burnsville, NC, Carolina Native Nursery specializes in native shrubs and perennials.
Elk Mountain Nursery — This Alexander, NC, retail grower offers a wide variety of of perennials, shrubs and trees native to the Eastern states. They only sell at their nursery or at regional plant sales.
Gardens of the Blue Ridge — This Newland, NC, nursery specializes in wildflowers, ferns, native orchids, trees and shrubs.
Natural Selections Nursery * — My friend Pat Sommers specializes in herbaceous perennials and ferns of the Southern Appalachians that she raises from seed, spore, cutting or division.
Prairie Moon Nursery (online vendor) — This Minnesota nursery sells native plants and seeds for restoration and gardening. Their catalog is gorgeous and packed with great information. Online, they provide a range map to tell you if the plant you want to buy is native to your area.
Prairie Nursery (online vendor) — Located in Westfield, WI, this mail order company offers a first-rate selection of native plants and seeds. They also have a range map to tell you if the plant you want is native to your area. They also have pre-planned gardens on order — for instance, they will sell you all the plants you need to start a garden to attract Monarchs.
Red Roots Native Nursery * — This is a wholesale nursery located in north Buncombe. I’ve included Red Roots on this list in case you are a retailer looking for a native plant source.
Sandy Mush Herb Nursery * — Located in Leicester, NC, the good folks at Sandy Mush offer all kinds of plants and have quite a few native plants among the mix.
Sow True Seed — This Asheville-based seed company sells open-pollinated, non-hybrid, gmo-free seeds featuring heirloom, organic, and traditional varieties. This link will take you to their milkweed seeds.
Mountain Mist Nursery * — “The deciduous native azaleas or wild azaleas that we grow are native to the East Coast of the United States. Our goal is to produce plants as they reproduce in nature, from seed, some are by cuttings, from those that will root.”