Chapel Hill – Fire-pink (Silene virginica), one of the most stunning native perennials of the eastern United States, has been named the 2015 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year by the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.
A member of the carnation, or “pink” family (Caryophyllaceae), fire-pink can be found throughout North Carolina and occurs in a variety of habitats from dry, open woods to streambanks to sunny roadsides. The name “pink” refers not to the color, but rather to the frilled edges of many flowers within this family (think of “pinking shears”). In mid-spring, fire-pink explodes with an abundance of brilliantly colored scarlet, star-shaped flowers that continue to provide a spectacular display through mid-summer.
For a Wildflower of the Year brochure and packet of fire-pink seeds, send a stamped, self- addressed, business envelope with attention to NCWFOY 2015 to North Carolina Botanical Garden, UNC–Chapel Hill, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.
The NCBG and the Garden Club of North Carolina work together to promote the use of native plants in home gardens. Each year since 1982, a showy, native perennial has been chosen and seeds of that wildflower are distributed to interested gardeners. To view a list of the past 33North Carolina Wildflowers of the Year, visit the Garden’s website: ncbg.unc.edu/north- carolina-wildflower-of-the-year
The NCBG, part of the University of North Carolina, is a 1,000-acre assemblage of display gardens and natural areas. It is nationally known as a center for the study, display, interpretation and conservation of plants. Through its educational, recreational, therapeutic horticulture and research programs, it extends opportunities for connection with nature to people of all abilities and backgrounds. The Garden is open seven days a week and admission is free. Information at http://ncbg.unc.edu.
The Garden Club of North Carolina includes approximately 265 garden clubs with over 6,500 individual members throughout North Carolina. As a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., this organization is active at national, state, and local levels in promoting gardening and horticulture, environmental improvements in urban areas, and protection of natural resources.