Introducing the “Bringing Nature Home” Plant of the Year

This year we’re starting a “plant of the year” feature where we select one special Maine native plant to highlight for our season. We’re pleased to introduce Maine Audubon’s debut “Bringing Nature Home” Plant of the Year, Rudbeckia Laciniata. Also known as Cutleaf Coneflower, it is a stunning wildflower that is native to Maine. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and can be found in wetlands, along streams, and in open meadows. This plant is a great addition to any garden as it adds a pop of color and attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies. It is a host plant for Silvery Checkerspot larva and a favorite of bumblebees. 

Rudbeckia laciniata is a hardy plant that can grow up to six to eight feet tall in the right conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is also tolerant of drought and can handle a range of soil types. It is an ideal choice for rain gardens or back of the border plantings. 

Look for the “Bringing Nature Home” Plant of the Year to be featured on all of our Native Plants Festival and Sale material this summer, including a limited edition T-shirt which will be available for sale at the festival on June 17 at Gilsland Farm, at our nature stores, and online. The artwork is done by Brunswick, Maine, artist Claire Luce Baldwin. 

Upcoming Webinar on May 10: Supporting Early Pollinators

Fragaria virginiana (Wild Strawberry), photo by Dan Jaffe

One of the core components of creating successful pollinator habitat is to plant with bloom-time in mind! While flowers come and go, pollinators require food throughout the entire growing season. Please join us on May 10 from 6 – 7:30 pm for a virtual opportunity to learn about creating habitat for early pollinators in Maine. 

Register here for this free webinar > 

What’s happening now? Seed germination!
If the weather’s been getting you down, just remember, April showers bring native Maine flowers! These cool moist spring days have provided ideal conditions for seed germination. For those of us that sowed native seeds last fall and winter, this is the season of new life. While some warm season natives such as milkweeds have yet to emerge, many others have sprouted in the past few weeks. 

Stay tuned…

We’ve been working on a number of changes and updates to our Maine Native Plant Finder website, We’ve added a new category, soil conditions, to help you filter and refine your search. Next we’ll be adding a newer, faster design along with a number of new plant species and artwork. The updated site will ‘go live’ in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled! 

And in case you missed last month’s announcement, the 2023 Native Plant Festival and Sale will be happening at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth on Saturday, June 17, from 9 am – 3 pm! More than 75 native species will be available for purchase, and we’ll have food trucks, music, and local experts giving talks throughout the day. Don’t miss it!