Fire Pinks have always been one of my favorite native wildflowers. I’m lucky enough to have a small patch spontaneously maintain itself on a sunny hill in my back yard. I don’t have to do anything but appreciate them every year when they bloom, which in my yard, is usually in late May. I wrote about my Fire Pinks in a post here a few years back.
I’m mentioning this lovely wildflower today — and yes, I know it’s red, not pink (see my earlier post for an explanation) — because it has just been named the 2015 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year. Here’s an excerpt from the news release I just received:
Chapel Hill – Fire-pink (Silene virginica), one of the most stunning native perennials of the eastern United States, has been named the 2015 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year by the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.
For a Wildflower of the Year brochure and packet of fire-pink seeds, send a stamped, self-addressed, business envelope with attention to NCWFOY 2015 to North Carolina Botanical Garden, UNC–Chapel Hill, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.
The NCBG and the Garden Club of North Carolina work together to promote the use of native plants in home gardens. Each year since 1982, a showy, native perennial has been chosen and seeds of that wildflower are distributed to interested gardeners. To view a list of the past 33 North Carolina Wildflowers of the Year, visit the Garden’s website: ncbg.unc.edu/north-carolina-wildflower-of-the-year
We’re talking free seeds, people. All you need to supply is a stamped, self-addressed business envelope. Once you’ve established this wildflower in your garden, I predict it will stay with you through the years without any additional work on your part. And, no, I’ve never noticed the deer eating it. There’s so much to eat during its bloom period, I doubt deer would ever bother with something so relatively small.
I think this is a wonderful way to expose more gardeners to some of our most lovely native wildflowers. Thanks to the NC Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina for keeping this successful program going for so many years!