Year One of Native Plant Materials Development


In 2019, the North Carolina Botanical Garden initiated a Native Plant Materials Development (NPMD) project designed to provide ourselves and others seeds and/or plugs for natural area restoration primarily in the Piedmont ecoregion. In its first year, NPMD collected 1.8 million seeds representing 120 species from the Piedmont, Sandhills and barrier islands. Currently, we have 10 species installed as seed increase plots and are growing 40 additional species in plug trays.  The majority of these (32 species) will be used to create additional seed increase plots in the coming months.  We have leveraged NPMD to support a grant with NC Sea Grant and the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to grow the other 8 species (1500 plugs) to restore barrier island habitat on Emerald Isle benefitting a narrow endemic butterfly, the crystal skipper.  Other related projects to date include the sale of wild collected seeds (31 species) to TNC for restoration in the Sandhills and to RAFI to promote propagation of local ecotypes through the Farmers of Color Network.