Puzzled by Natives? Wonder No More
Emerald Coast Growers more than doubles Native WondersTM collection
Pensacola, Fla., September 29, 2010
– Responding to increased demand throughout North America, Emerald Coast Growers has expanded the scope of its Native WondersTM selection
for its 2010-2011 starter plant catalog. "The flora of North America is so diverse, the choices can be overwhelming," said Marketing Manager John Friel. "And the very word 'native' has unfortunately become something of a political football. With Native Wonders, one of our goals was to make it easy for growers to choose what native plants to offer."
Natives have emerged as a popular, fast-growing segment of the perennial market, Friel added, and "Native Wonders gives a grower a well-blazed trail into this niche. Some plants may be unfamiliar to a lot of growers, while with others, I hear people say, 'That's a native? I never knew that!' And that harks back to what a rich source this continent is."
The main goal, said Sales Manager and co-owner Cheri Markowitz, was "to offer plants with real ornamental value. Many natives are wonderful plants in their own right, but the trick is to focus on those that you'd want in your garden regardless of where they're from. It's great to feel good about planting natives. It's even better when they're also beautiful."
Friel pointed out that seven perennials in the Native Wonders list have also been selected as Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. "That carries a lot of credibility, and the fact that natives won back-to-back (Baptisia australis in 2010, Amsonia hubrichtii for 2011) really emphasizes how important this segment has become to growers."
For 2010-2011, the Native Wonders collection more than doubles—now consisting of 27 ornamental grasses and 41 perennials. "For growers looking to get into natives, or to increase the percentage of natives in their offering, all the ingredients are there," Friel said. "But most importantly, these plants really belong in the landscape – not just because they evolved here, but because they look terrific."
For more information on Native Wonders or Emerald Coast Growers, call 877-804-7277 or visit www.ecgrowers.com.