We host events periodically throughout the year. Our events are announced at least 2 weeks in advance to our email list subscribers, and posted here on our Chapter webpage. To join our email list, please contact [email protected].
Our activities are open to Chapter members as well as the general public, unless stated otherwise. If you’re interested in becoming a Chapter member, please view the Membership page. Yearly membership is just $30 for individuals, $15 for students, and $35 for families.
View the AZNPS Events Calendar to learn about upcoming events hosted by other Chapters throughout the state. Also, recordings of many presentations are available to watch on the AZNPS YouTube page.
If you would like to learn which plants are native to our area, we invite you to view our Chapter’s List of Recommended Native Landscaping Plants (draft version). It highlights plants that are: 1) native to the Phoenix metro area, 2) beneficial to wildlife, 3) low-water-use, 4) relatively easy to care for, and 5) generally available at local nurseries or seed suppliers.
We’ve compiled a list of metro Phoenix nurseries that generally offer a selection of native plants. Some have more variety than others, and inventory changes frequently or may be seasonal. So, it is best to inquire with a few nurseries by phone or email to determine which one suits your needs.
In addition, several organizations hold desert plant sale fundraisers in the Spring and Fall. We’ll update this announcement if/when additional local native plant sales are scheduled.
Monsoon season and fall are terrific times to add wildflower seeds to your landscape, assuming it rains! For a wide variety of Arizona native plant seeds, we recommend the following sources:
Maricopa Native Seed Library – This new local project offers native seeds for free! Similar in format to other seed libraries, the public may obtain up to 3 seed packets per month. Available at several Maricopa Community Colleges libraries.
If you feel there’s a local nursery, native plant fundraiser, or seed supplier we should add to our list, please let us know!
Additional Chapter Announcements
Invasive Species Alert: Fountain Grass
Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) is a popular landscaping plant, but a dangerous invasive weed. Its seeds easily spread and invade roadsides, washes, and natural areas. As a result, Fountain grass pushes out native plants and wildlife, disrupts water flow and availability, and increases the risk and severity of wildfires. Therefore, it was listed as an Arizona noxious weed in early 2020 and is no longer sold by the nursery trade.
The Arizona Native Plant Society, along with several partners, created an informational pamphlet to help the community learn how to identify and control Fountain grass. Please download, read, and share this important information with others!
Does “flattop buckwheat” summon visions of stacks of pancakes dripping in delicious honey? If so, your mouthwatering vision is partially correct.Flattop buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium), also known as Eastern Mojave buckwheat, is a low, rounded, fast-growing shrub not to be confused with common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), a domestic crop cultivated for edible seeds.
Across the entire Southwest over 355 members of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), often difficult to distinguish structurally, find their home in sunny coarse and well drained soils along washes and rocky slopes. In the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, E. fasciculatum is the most common buckwheat.
Although lots of Flattop buckwheat decorate the desert, this miniature evergreen fully grown is usually only 1 foot tall by 2 feet wide with typical desert gray-green foliage. Arriving in late spring, clusters of flat-topped white flowers gradually turn pink in summer, then rust colored in fall.
The ‘B’ in buckwheat is for butterflies, bees, and birds. The slightly fragrant flowers are a wildly popular lure for several butterflies, most notably the Mormon metalmark (Apodemia mormo), the Rocky Mountain dotted-blue (Euphilotes ancilla) and the Lupine blue (Icaricia lupini). These butterflies also use Flattop buckwheat as a host plant for their caterpillars.
A favorite of bees, native and nonnative, this pollinator plant provides a good source of nectar. Luckily for humans, bees use these plants predominantly as a basis for tasty honey. Not only is this honey healthy for our diets, but also for the economy. E. fasciculatumis the principal honey-producing plant in southern California. When other flowers have long gone to seed, flattop buckwheat still supplies food for hungry birds due to its extensive growing season.
In fact, some farmers use buckwheat for a dual purpose, making honey and as a form of integrated pest management. When planted next to crops or in cultivated gardens, their nectar attracts beneficial insects that in turn reduce pests. Pest reduction means less need for chemicals in our flower beds and vegetables. Flattop buckwheat can also serve as a ground cover crop, helping to improve soil health plus providing crops protection from soilborne pathogens.
Wild E. fasciculatum is a low-profile desert plant, often overlooked and underappreciated. If you want to enhance and create an almost year-round pollinator garden, raise Flattop buckwheat… a low maintenance, easy-to-grow plant that sweetens the pot for butterflies, bees, birds, and possibly your buckwheat pancakes.