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Natural Awakenings Coastal Carolinas

Sixth Annual Native Plant Festival in Wilmington

Sep 02, 2021 03:18PM ● By Jaya Kandasamy

Leafcutter bees are attracted to Asclepias tuberosa, the kind of milkweed most common in the Cape Fear area.

Visit the New Hanover County Arboretum to view educational presentations by community experts and join in family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 18 in 
Wilmington. Hourly gardening presentations will be offered in the Arboretum’s Education Center. Speakers include Jess Jarvis, Amy Long, Amanda Chapman, Jess Roach and Andy Wood. Bring  friends and family to learn all about carnivorous plants, ferns and protected species, the native flora of Carolina Beach State Park, mycorrhizal fungus and restoring our ecosystem using native plants.

Without North Carolina’s native milkweed, Monarch butterflies would not exist. Milkweed, the sole diet for Monarch caterpillars, is one of the stars of Native Plant Alliance’s 2021 Native Plant Festival. Milkweed varieties and other native plants are essential for the prosperity of North Carolina’s biodiversity. Not only are native plants beautiful examples of natural symbiosis, but they provide food and shelter for precious pollinators, promote soil health, regulate microclimates and contribute to the overall well-being of the Earth.

Our smart phones can be utilized in an interactive Native Plant BioBlitz Scavenger Hunt on the iNaturalist app. Use iNaturalist to identify, document and contribute to native plant research. Participants can submit their best “in-the-wild” shots through iNaturalist September 11 through 19 as part of the scavenger hunt and potentially win prizes.

Consider visiting community farms and find beautiful native plants to attract pollinators to gardens. Enjoy a self-guided nursery tour and plant sale at one’s own pace, featuring Five Oaks Nursery & Tree Farm, Going Native Gardens, Grizz’s Nursery, Lloyd’s Nursery, Lumber River Native Plants, Shelton Herb Farm, Sorrell’s Nursery, Wild Bird & Garden and Wild Meadow Farm.

Free admission to NHC Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. Free parking on site. For
more information, call 910-547-4390 or visit Arboretum.nhcgov.com. Visit Bit.ly/3wVSMR3 to
receive iNaturalist BioBlitz updates.

A recent transplant from Brooklyn, Jaya Kandasamy studied neuropsychology and adolescent
mental health at New York University. She is interested in sustainability and permaculture.