Through at least Spring 2021, all Chapter activities will continue to take place virtually via Zoom. Our virtual events will be announced at least two weeks in advance to our email list subscribers. To join our email list, please contact email@example.com.
Budding Botanist Training – February 17 – 19th from 5:30 – 8:30 PM
The Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) is offering a virtual Budding Botanist Training course to AZNPS Chapters and other organizations. Registration information is available on the DBG website. The course fee is $40. Spaces are limited and it will likely reach capacity. We will be sure to let you know if another virtual or in-person Budding Botanist Training takes place in the future.
Phoenix Chapter Book Discussion – March 2021 (Date TBD)
Our events 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.
Follow the AZNPS Phoenix Chapter’s Facebook page for more information about local native plants news and events!
We also invite you to follow our Chapter on Instagram and use the hashtag #aznativeplants to help us raise awareness of Arizona’s amazing native plants!
Seeking native plants to use in landscaping?
Native Landscaping Plants
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 with a nice selection of native plants. Due to precautionary measures currently in place, please contact a nursery directly to determine if they have special operating hours or procedures.
In addition, many local organizations hold plant sale fundraisers in the Spring and Fall because those are ideals times for planting. We’ll provide an update if/when any local plant sales take place.
Monsoon season and fall are terrific times to add wildflower seeds to your landscape, assuming it rains! For a wide variety of 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. A variety of seeds are available at several Maricopa Community Colleges libraries and select farmer’s markets. Also, Maricopa county residents may request seed packets by mail (with $1 postage).
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
The Arizona Office of Tourism’s website provides information about responsible recreation, including leave no trace principles, safety precautions, and the current status of public lands in Arizona.
If you opt to explore our beautiful desert parks and public lands that are open, please do so safely, plan ahead, and have a back-up plan in case your chosen location is crowded or closed.
To help prevent wildfires in our public lands, do not drive over dry grass, do not smoke in vegetated areas, and do use fireworks. Also, take extra care to obey additional fire restrictions that may be in place.
Image credit: Bureau of Land Management – Arizona.
Want to get involved? We've got just the thing!
Volunteer activities are currently limited due to COVID-19 precautions. We recommend the following community / citizen science projects that you can safely participate in on your own while social distancing at home or taking a walk in your neighborhood.
An iNaturalist project focused on plants found in urban environments. There are also monthly EcoQuest challenges that focus on certain species. Add your photo observations to the project. Or, if plant identification is your superpower, help to ID what others saw!
We also invite you to view the Phoenix 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.
Hopefully the webinar and plant list will inspire to you to add more native plants to your own landscaping!
If you have any questions or are interested in participating in the Phoenix Chapter’s Native Plant List working group or focus group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall for Wildflower Seeds!
Posted on Nov 15, 2020
Fall is the perfect time to plant spring wildflower seeds. The cooler temperatures and seasonal rains (or supplemental watering) provide these seeds with the conditions they need to germinate in time for a beautiful and colorful spring display!
In fact, some landscaping plants (such as annuals, biennials, and perennials) may only be available as seeds. While this requires patience to wait for things to grow, it is an easy and affordable way to add a variety of native plants to your yard.
See the recommended seed suppliers listed below for options to purchase native seeds by mail or receive wildflower seeds for free.
Maricopa Native Seed Library – This new local project offers native seeds for free, currently at Gateway Community College library and select farmer’s markets.
If you feel there’s a local seed supplier we should add to our list, please let us know!
Seed Ball Project – Fall Update
Posted on Nov 01, 2020
In June 2020, the Phoenix chapter began a pilot project in collaboration with the Maricopa Native Seed Library to study the success of using seeds balls as a method to add native plants to home landscapes. Seed balls are widely used, but there are few published studies about them. So we’ve teamed up to study their germination success in various residential locations throughout the Valley.
The seed balls contain a mix of 13 native species. Thirty participants “planted” two seeds balls at their home in July 2020. Since then, we are following up with them monthly to monitor any germination that appears to be the result of the seed balls. The poor monsoon season this year got the project off to a slow start, as the seed balls require several heavy rainfalls (or regular supplemental watering) to fully disintegrate into the soil.
As of October 2020, three participants have observed seedlings in the area where they planted their seed balls. We will continue to check in with participants over the coming months to track germination success. Hopefully we’ll have some good fall and winter rainstorms to help the seeds germinate in time for spring!
A sideoats gramma (Bouteloua curtipendula) grass seedling spouting from a partially disintegrated seed ball. The seed balls were handmade by the Maricopa Native Seed Library for this collaborative project. Photo credit: Laurie Nessel