About Us

Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy.

Our Story

The North Carolina Native Plant Society began as the North Carolina Wild Flower Preservation Society in 1951 and was the brainchild of Mary Tate Graham of Ramseur, Director of the Sixth District of the Garden Club of North Carolina, and Conner Smith.

The Society was incorporated in 1956 as a nonprofit organization and the Articles of Incorporation were signed by H.L. Blomquist (Duke University Botany Department Chairman), Alfred Mordecai (medical doctor and horticulturalist), H.R. Totten (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Botany Professor), Lionel Melvin (North Carolina nurseryman and one of the first to recommend using native plants in the home landscape), and Herbert P. Smith (husband of Conner Smith, one of the founders).

The Society was initially very active in conservation efforts and native plant gardens across the state, including working to conserve habitat for Pyxie moss in the Sandhills and support for the Daniel Boone Botanical Garden in Boone.

By 2000, the Board recognized that its small numbers could not respond to the needs across the state and several chapters were formed, including the Charlotte (later Southern Piedmont), Triangle, and Triad chapters. In 2004, the Society’s name was changed to the North Carolina Native Plant Society, to show our interest in and commitment to all native plants, not just wildflowers.

There are 6 active chapters around the state: Blue Ridge (Boone area), Southern Piedmont (Charlotte area), Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point), Triangle (Raleigh/Durham area), Central Coastal Plain (New Bern area) and the SE Coast (Wilmington area). All the chapters provide members the opportunity to support the mission of education, cultivation, and advocacy of North Carolina’s native plants.

Here is link to the 2001 50th Anniversary Newsletter which contains more history of the Society. And a Link to 1976 25th Anniversary Newsletter with more history and remembrances of the early days of the Society.