Festival puts native plants in spotlight

By: Chet Blackburn Special to Home &?Garden
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There will be a little something for everyone at the upcoming annual Native Plant Festival. Do you think you already know a lot about native plants? A new feature at the festival will be available to test your knowledge. Numerous interactive educational exhibits assembled by Sierra College students and members of the California Native Plant Society Redbud Chapter will be there to either inflate or deflate your ego while expanding your knowledge of native plants. Think you have a sensitive palate? There will be a tea-testing exhibit (while supplies last) with teas derived from three native plants. Think you can identify which plants they came from? These and other events are part of the Annual Native Plant Festival sponsored by the Redbud Chapter in association with the Sierra College Natural History Museum. The festival will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Sewell Hall and the adjacent parking lot at Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Road, in Rocklin. There is no admission charge. Other exhibits and events at the festival include a wildflower show featuring numerous blooming native species. The wildflower show is unique in that the plants are not the typical cut flowers in vases found at most wildflower shows, but instead are living plants grown in containers for the show. There will be a native plant sale with one of the largest selections of California native plants in Northern California, including plants from a dozen native plant nurseries, six of which will be on site. There will be a connoisseur?s corner where rare and difficult-to-find species will be available. The information center will be staffed with experienced growers to offer advice, and there will be seminars on native plants and native gardening as well. Books, posters, cards, T-shirts and other items relating to native plants will also be available for sale, as will food and refreshments. You can also accompany a botanist on a wildflower walk in the natural area of the campus.