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Native Plants of the Southeast can help you bring wildflowers to your garden

Dr. Larry Mellichamp, professor of botany at University of North Carolina and director of UNCC's botanical gardens
Paula Gross

Have you ever wondered why some gardens seem to be havens for wild life, inviting birds, chipmunks, butterflies and native creatures? Chances are that the gardener has learned how to use native plants in their garden. Native plants not only add color and texture to your garden, they feed native wild life and provide shelter for their young.

Dr. Larry Mellichamp, author of Bizarre Botanicals, will release a new book in January about the use of natives plants in the garden. Native Plants of the Southeast shows how to use over 460 varieties of native trees, vines, shrubs, ferns, grasses and wildflowers in your garden, and has a special section on which native plants to use for difficult gardening situations.

Dr. M, as his students call him, has a passion for native plants which can be seen in the beautiful gardens at UNCC. Whether you are in the Susie Harwood Garden, or the Van Landingham Glen, you will find yourself surrounded by lush greenery, flowering beauty and lovely shaded forest. Each Spring and Fall, there is also a greenhouse sale at the McMillan Greenhouse featuring native plants that you can purchase for your yard.

The colorful photographs of native plants were taken by Will Stuart, who is a member of the North Carolina Native Plant Society and is a contributing author to WildlifeSouth.com.

Native Plants of the Southeast can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com. Visiting hours for the university gardens and the McMillan Greenhouse can be found at gardens.uncc.edu.