The Town of Westfield Green Team and the Westfield Memorial Library are pleased to announce the list of fall 2023 seeds available in the Westfield Native Seed Library. To celebrate the launch of the fall seeds, the library and Green Team will be hosting Elaine Silverman, Vice President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00pm. Elaine is certified in Sustainable Landscape Management by the New York Botanical Garden, and will teach attendees how to collect seeds and plant them for the spring using cold stratification techniques.
The selection of fall seeds will include:
Spotted Beebalm is an aromatic, erect perennial ranging from only 6 in. to almost 3 ft. tall.
Anise (Lavender) Hyssop is a 2-4 ft. perennial with dense, terminal spikes of small, tubular, bright blue flowers.
Prairie Dropseed is a fine-textured, distinctive bunchgrass with leaves that curve gracefully outward forming large, round tufts.
Little Bluestem is a very ornamental bunchgrass with fine-textured foliage that forms very dense mounds 18-24 inches tall.
Golden Alexanders is a short-lived perennial with branching, erect, reddish stems.
Zigzag Aster (also known as Crookedstem Aster) has zig-zagging stems and is adorned by flowers featuring 20-30 pale violet petals surrounding yellow centers.
Smooth Blue Aster is a smooth-leaved perennial bearing flower heads with many rich lavender-blue rays surrounding a yellow central disc; stem with a light grayish-white bloom.
Blue Stem Goldenrod is a shade-tolerant goldenrod with slender, purplish, branched or unbranched stems, and a 1-3 ft rise.
Browneyed Susan is a much-branched, hairy-stemmed, short-lived perennial, 2-5 ft. tall.
Orange Coneflower is a perennial coneflower with yellow-orange, slightly curved petals, each toothed at its apex.
Great Blue Lobelia is a showy perennial, usually unbranched but may exhibit some branching. The erect, 2-5 ft., stems produce lavender-blue, tubular flowers crowded together on the upper stem.
Marsh Blazing Star is an erect, slender perennial reaching a height of 2-6 ft. The linear, grass-like leaves are clumped toward the base of the plant, but extend up the stem to the showy flower cluster.
Purple Coneflower is a popular perennial with smooth, 2-4 ft. stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers.
Lanceleaf Coreopsis grows in small clumps but forms extensive colonies. It is 1-2 feet tall and has leaves 3-4 inches long, opposite, sometimes alternate near the top where the leaves are fewer.
Butterfly Milkweed is a bushy, 1 1/2-2 ft. perennial, prized for its large, flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers.
Swamp Milkweed is a tall, showy perennial made up of small, rose-purple flowers and large, bright, terminal blossoms.
Common Yarrow grows to 3 feet tall and has no branches except near the top. The leaves are alternate, 3-5 inches long, with many leaflets on each side of the midrib; and these are further divided into smaller leaflets, giving them a delicate, fernlike, lacy appearance.
The seeds will be available beginning October 4, and are packaged in small envelopes, organized by plant variety in small drawers. They are freely distributed to the entire community by way of Westfield’s Native Seed Library.
All seeds are from local sources and they are organized, labeled, and distributed to anyone who uses the library. Each seed packet will be labeled with brief facts and information that corresponds with each of the plants offered in the seed library.
Native plants can improve the biodiversity of our community by supporting the habitats of many species of native birds and insects. They can also slow the rate of climate change because they store greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, they require less fertilizers and insecticides, and they help conserve water.
The Native Seed Library is located in the Westfield Memorial Library (550 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090). This project is presented in partnership by the Town of Westfield Green Team and the Westfield Memorial Library, with generous funding from the Friends of the Westfield Memorial Library.
About the Native Seed Library
The Native Seed Library was created for the purpose of encouraging Westfield residents to practice more sustainable forms of gardening, while also bringing members of our community together through our workshops and lectures related to growing native plants.
Additionally, our Native Seed Library encourages members of the community do their part to combat climate change. One of our main goals is to improve the overall health of our community by decreasing the need for pesticides and herbicides, which can be harmful to local areas as they increase the amount of chemicals and runoff in an area.
We will also aim to combat climate change by encouraging gardeners to grow plants that more effectively store greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, along with choosing plants that conserve more water.
The Native Seed Library supports local wildlife by providing habitats and natural food supplies for the birds and mammals that depend on these plants to survive. It also provides nectar for important insects that pollinate our crops such as bees, butterflies, and moths. By proliferating the use of native seeds, we will help create a more sustainable town and encourage members of our community to take action against climate change in their very own gardens.