As stewards of the land, we are passionate about preserving and restoring the wonderfully unique ecosystems here at Willowsford. One part of this work includes focusing the biodiversity of our land through native plants! Virginia is home to an abundance of native plants that are not only beautiful, but provide important ecosystem services for people and wildlife.

Why plant native?

  • Because they evolved in the region, native plants are well adapted to the specific climate and soils of the area. They are more resilient and require significantly less maintenance than introduced non native species. By planting native, you’ll save time and money by watering and fertilizing less frequently.
  • Native plants provide essential habitat for our local wildlife. Mammals, birds, insects, and more depend on native plants for shelter and food.
  • Some animal species require specific plants in order to reproduce and survive. One example is the monarch butterfly and its host plant, milkweed. Monarch caterpillars exclusively feed on milkweed leaves.
  • Native plants help combat climate change by sequestering carbon. Native trees like oaks and hickories do a great job storing away carbon, but did you know that native grasses are also an amazing “carbon sink”? The root system of native grasses can grow many feet below the soil surface and hold significantly more carbon mass than what we see above the surface.

Native Plants for Sale

In 2023 our Land Stewardship team began growing a selection of native plants in our very own greenhouse that are available for purchase. Currently our selection consists mainly of flowering perennials, grasses, and shrubs. Some species we have this year include:

  • Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis)
  • Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
  • Purple Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)
  • Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
  • Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)
  • Wild Bergamont (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Spotted Bee Balm (Monarda punctata)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
  • Calico Beardtongue (Penstemon calycosus)
  • Northern Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
  • Eastern bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
  • Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
  • Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)

Our native plants will be for sale at the Farm Stand in the Grange on the following days:

  • Saturday, September 16th 2023, 9am-12pm
  • Thursday, September 21st 2023, 4-7pm
  • Thursday, October 5th 2023, 4-7pm
  • Saturday, October 14th 2023, 9am-12pm
  • Thursday, October 19th 2023, 4-7pm

Get Involved!

Want to learn more about the ecosystems in your backyard? Consider attending one of our educational programs or volunteer training events! To see what we’ve got coming up, click here.