The Native Plant Society of New Jersey's Annual Meeting

Recently became a member and went to the annual meeting of The Native Plant Society of New Jersey. Such a great day of talks about one of my favorite subjects - plants! Highlights:

Dr. Desiree Narango talking about her study ‘Gardening for Wildlife’, and how she came to the conclusion that nonnative plants reduce the population growth insect eating birds, like the chickadee.

Autumnal inflorescence of Panic Grass in New Jersey.  Photo by Kathleen Strakosch Walz.

Autumnal inflorescence of Panic Grass in New Jersey. Photo by Kathleen Strakosch Walz.

A round table discussion titled "How Native is Native and where do Humans fit into the Environment". The conversation was between some of the guest speakers as well as members from the NPSNJ’s advisory board. I loved hearing the differing opinions on which is the lesser of two evils: a non-native plant that’s potentially invasive, or a parking lot. President of the society John Black chose the parking lot, because it doesn’t spread. Sounds extreme but I would agree in the case of a highly invasive plant.

The announcement of the 2019 Plant of the Year: HIRST’S PANIC GRASS or Dichanthelium hirstii. I thought this was an interesting choice because this is a plant that I would thing normally goes unnoticed. Like most native plants, it plays an important role in the environment, and it’s beautiful when you stop to take a closer look…

Lastly, the announcement of the ‘Native Plant Garden Contest’ peaked my interest, prompting me to assess my own garden for the presence (or lack) of straight species native to NJ. More on this to come!