Native Plants

About the Native Plant Nursery

The Native Plant Nursery at Oxbow.

Oxbow’s Native Plant Nursery (NPN) supports the conservation and restoration of the region’s native plants while inspiring appreciation for their value, beauty, and the habitats that they depend on. We do this by producing high quality, locally adapted, and genetically diverse native plants and by sharing information that assists growers and encourages widespread use of natives in our region. The NPN grows approximately 160 ecologically important species for habitat restoration, urban landscaping, and retail nurseries.


Growing for biodiversity

Approximately 95% of our plants are grown from seed, much of which is collected locally in the Snoqualmie Valley. As each seed contains a unique genetic makeup, our plants are genetically different and also representative of the biodiversity and adaptations of our local landscape, offering resilience in changing future conditions.

Growing responsibly

Native plants heal our landscape, but we also strive to use growing practices that ensure the health of the land where the plants are grown. We are continually working towards refining our practices to be more ecologically sound, including: testing organic fertilizers that perform well in container nurseries; reliance on beneficial insects and biocontrols for pest-management; and reduction of plastic waste and re-use of nursery containers.

Root system of a plant

Growing for resilience

While all customers want aesthetically pleasing plants, we know that healthy, vigorous root systems are vital to a plant’s growing success – we consider ourselves primarily growers of root systems! We propagate our plants using long, open-bottomed containers that allow for air-pruning and encourage secondary root growth. Our practices of root pruning, avoiding overwatering, and using beneficial microorganisms help us produce healthy roots that are ready to support the plant once it is installed.

Research & Outreach

We conduct applied research focused on the topics of native seed germination and organic nursery practices. With a significant lack of available information in both of these realms, we actively work to refine our practices and share our findings with other growers, students, and the public to make growing natives easier and more sustainable for all. Oxbow’s nursery provides educational tours, workshops, and materials that help our community understand the value of natives. We inspire others to plant, interact with, and propagate natives at home, advocate for their use in public spaces, and protect the habitats that native plants depend upon.


The Burke Museum Project

NEW BURKE
View of the New Burke from the UW Campus. (Courtesy of the Burke Museum/Olson Kundig/Stephanie Bower Architectural Illustration.)

Oxbow is proud to be producing 70,000 native plants for the landscape of the New Burke Museum, on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle. The grounds feature two of Washington’s most iconic and beautiful ecosystems: the Douglas fir forest and the Puget Sound camas prairie. The New Burke opens to the public October 12th, 2019!

>> Learn more about Oxbow’s contributions to the Burke Project


Resources

Purchase Native Plants
NPN Newsletter Archive
Growing Natives from Seed: A series on simple seed propagation methods for native plants [Coming soon!]


Contact

Bridget McNassar, Native Plant Program Manager
Phone: 425-788-1134 ext. 4
Email: bridget@oxbow.org


Donate to Oxbow and help us carry out our mission!

Oxbow is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, and we can’t do this work without your help! We’re grateful for your contributions.

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