An important aspect of the Reflection Riding Native Plant Sale is to help educate the public in the use of native flora in garden settings. All of the species available are nursery-propagated plants. Many are propagated from seeds gathered from native populations of wildflowers, woody shrubs, and trees growing on the slopes of Lookout Mountain and the surrounding parts of the Cumberland Plateau. Gathering seeds from local populations allows people to enjoy the advantage of the adaptive variation found in the local gene pools. Species evolve in relationship to the other organisms in their area, and these symbioses form an interconnected web of dependency.
Native trees, for example, not only provide the major structural component of the mature Appalachian forests, but also provide food in the form of nuts, fruits, leaves, and wood for a variety of animals, plants and fungi, forming the basis of the food chain. This balanced ecosystem of native plants can be upset by the introduction of non-natives, especially when our exotic domesticated plants escape into the wild and become invasive, displacing the native plants and the organisms that depend on them.
The 30th Annual Native Plant Sale will be on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Officials said, "We will have just the plants you need for a native natural garden propagated especially for this area. Purchase a plant from our Native Plant Sale on Friday or Saturday and receive free admission to the 317 acres of Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center."
On Thursday, April 20, Reflection Riding members will be able to purchase plants early during the Members Only Pre-Sale from 2-7 p.m. Become a member today and be among the first to purchase your plants.
This event is sponsored by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, EPB Fiber Optics and others.
For additional information or to volunteer or sponsor the 2017 Annual Spring Native Plant Sale call 423 821-1160 or email email@example.com.