Garden with Natives

Native Plant Gardening

Bird Friendly Flower of the Month

New Blog date: June 2015

New Blog Name: Quercus rubra Red oak

New Blog copy:

Plant a mighty red oak in your yard and you will benefit not only from the shade, but from the enhanced

wildlife opportunities as well. Red oaks provide nest sites and food for birds, mammals and caterpillars. As

a matter of fact, oaks in general host more than 500 different species of caterpillars, which are the main

food source for baby birds.

Red oak—food and shelter for birds

How important is a red oak to the bird community?

• Consider red oaks provide:

• Nuts for forage

• Nest sites in cavities of both live and dead red oaks

• Leading host plant of Lepidoptera (butterfly) species thus providing bird food

The red oak is moderately fast-growing, often reaching 90-100 ft. tall in moist, fertile sites. It can spread to

45 feet wide. Plant in an area with sun (you will get the benefit of shade later on). Acorns (3/4” -1” long)

planted in the fall will germinate the following spring.

How can I get a red oak seedling?

Look for and ask for red oak seedlings at your local nursery or garden center. You can also contact the

NC Forest Service ( or plant acorns. Red oak acorns may be difficult to find but

worth it. Take the time to plant a red oak tree instead of a non-native mimosa or Bradford pear, and your

bird friends will thank you.

Carolina Chickadee

*Source: D. Tallamy, NY Times 3/11/15.

Sections to come:

Participating retailers (link?)

Participating Gardens, Parks and Trails (links)?

UNCC Botanical Garden, Charlotte NC

Reedy Creek Nature Preserve, Charlotte NC


Copy to float at bottom of blog on webpage:

Find out More!

Bird Friendly Native Plant of the Month is a joint effort of the NC Native Plant Society

( and Audubon North Carolina


Note to Terry

Red Oak didn’t have an entry in the plant data base. But others will and that should be linked as

well right?

Winter Time


Winter can be a great time in the native plant world, even without the astonishing blooms we all love to see.  Joe, my husband, and I take walks and practice our winter tree id skills.  There’s a great little guide called, “winter Tree Finder” that we use and it we have really increased our observational skills and our repertoire of trees we can now id by their buds alone.  A hand lens and a small pocket knife are the only other tools you need and you don’t always need them.

Taking a class is another great winter activity.  The Botanical Garden at UNCC has classes as part of their Certificate in Native Plant Studies, which are taught year round.  In fact, yours truly, will be one of the instructors for “History of Botany in the Carolinas,” where I will be sharing some of the research I have done on women botanists in America.  The Botanical Garden at Chapel Hill also teaches classes in Native Plant Studies and in Botanical Illustration.

Check out this web site with designs for Native Plant Gardens, such as Bird, Dry Shage, Butterfly, and Moist Sun!
American Beauties Native Plants

Butterflies and Natives

NCNPS members, Jean Woods, recently worked with the College Walk Retirement Center to install a Monarch Way Station in a traffic circle on one of their streets.  The plants were paid for by College Walk and through a grant from the NCNPS.  The residents and the staff planted over 80 plants and shrubs and residents who were unable to help with the planting, came also and enjoyed the afternoon.  The traffic circle has a circumference of 110 ft. , so lots of plants for butterflies and other pollinators.  Nina Shippen, an NCNPS did the design using native plants and Dr. Mellichamp consulted on the plant selection.

Dr. Mellichamp, Jean Woods, and others are interested on working on a brochure for each of regions (coastal, Piedmont, and mountains) giving recommended plants, shrubs, and trees for nectar and as host plants.  If you would like to help with this, please contact, Jean Woods,

Found this interesting web site, which is for Va. Piedmont, which would probably work for NC.  Noticed the Section on “Nectar Flowers that Don’t work in this Region.”  Would be nice to get volunteers to do the observing and send in their results to create information like this for our regions.

Virginia Central Piedmont Natives for Butterflies

Fall is a Great Time to Plant


Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials..

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