Annual native plant sale returning to Runge

Native plants are seen at a previous Grow Native! plant sale at Runge Nature Center. Growing plants native to the area reduce costs through reducing watering.

The perfect native plant for your landscaping or decor project might be found March 25 at the native plant sale at the Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City.

Visitors can expect to see native perennial wildflowers, grasses, sedges, vines, shrubs and trees at the sale, according to a news release published by Grow Native!, the organizer. The event is set to be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive. This year will be the 18th year Runge has held the sale.

Vendors are set to give 5 percent of their proceeds at the event to the Grow Native! program, spokesperson Hayley Howard said. Apart from promoting the growing of native plants, the program also provides conferences, masterclasses and a certification program to its 180 professional members on how to expand their reach.

One of the main benefits of growing native plants is that they support animals living in the region. For instance, animals like the caterpillars of monarch butterflies only feed on milkweed, a native plant.

"Native plants are a foundation of the native web of life," said Carol Davit, the nonprofit's executive director.

Moreover, many native plants have an extensive root system that can keep soil in place and protect water quality, Davit added.

Six native plant vendors from Missouri -- Gaylena's Garden, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Ozark Soul, Papillon Perennials, Prairie Hill Farm and SunRise Gardens -- will be at the event, selling plants such as yarrow, spider milkweed and shrubby St. John's wort.

Grow Native!, the marketing and education program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, will have a booth offering gardening books, garden signs and the program's apparel, Davit said.

Four vendors are accepting preorders and will have the plants ready for purchase at the event, according to the news release. The vendors are accepting preorders:

Gaylena's Garden: Accepting preorders until March 23; 573-694-3228, [email protected].

Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: Accepting preorders until March 21; 573-496-3492, [email protected] or online at

Papillon Perennials: 314-974-4921.

Ozark Soul: Accepting preorders until 5 p.m. March 22; 816-809-4062, [email protected] or online at