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Aboretum plant sale supports local pollinators

The Crosby Arboretum will host a native plant sale Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Arboretum’s greenhouse area.

The sale will feature plants native to Pearl River County that will attract pollinators during the summer months and into the fall, said Senior Curator Jennifer Buchanan. Entry into the Arboretum will be free during the sale, Buchanan said, and plants will range in cost from $3 to $10, according to the Arboretum’s Facebook page.

“Our pollinators, which can be anything from insects to hummingbirds to even possums, utilize these flowers from these plants during their growing season,” Buchanan said.

Pollinators need pesticide free plants so they can forage for food and raise their young, Buchanan said. These animals and insects pollinate local crops, so they are important for the plants people eat, Buchanan said.

The sale will feature 16 plants, including milkweed, giant blue iris and scarlet sage, according to the Arboretum’s Facebook page. Milkweed is important to monarch butterflies, which use the nectar from the flowers, Buchanan said. All of the plants are outdoor plants that would do well in a garden or in containers on a patio, Buchanan said.

The Arboretum’s mission is to promote native plants and animals, Buchanan said, but the organization noticed a lack of suppliers for native plants.

“We are trying to fill a void and raise natives so people will have a nearby supply to get native plants from,” she said.

Proceeds from the plant sale are reinvested in the nursery and go toward raising and buying more plants for upcoming sales, Buchanan said.

Currently, the Arboretum hosts a plant sale every season, but plans to recruit more volunteers to make the plant sale a more regular event, Buchanan said.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own plastic bags and are welcome to bring their own wagons to carry plants, Buchanan said. Arboretum members can enter the sale at 9 a.m., she said.