California Snowdrop (Styrax redivivus)-Pipevine Swallowtail Photo by Nancy Gilbert

Grass Valley, Calif. September 16, 2019 – Imagine life without butterflies. In 2018, the number of Western Monarch butterflies dropped by 85 percent, from about 192,000 in 2017 to about 28,400. Scientists are investigating the cause. It may be habitat loss—fewer native milkweeds means fewer host plants for Monarch caterpillars–or increased carbon dioxide from vehicle emissions. Similar population drops have occurred in other butterfly species. Did you know you can grow plants that may help reverse this trend?

Because of such threats to wildlife, beneficial insects, and native plants, the Redbud Chapter of California Native Plant Society chose the theme “Native Plants for Beauty and Biodiversity” for their annual Native Plant Sale on October 5. By offering a wide variety of native plants, and providing advice on how to grow them, they aim to enable people to foster biodiversity in their own yards.

What is biodiversity? Biodiversity is the variety of life in an ecosystem. Every species has a role to play in a natural ecosystem, forming a web of life in which everything connects with everything else. Native plants are at the core of this web. Leaves of different plants have different chemistry. Most insects, especially the caterpillars of butterflies and moths, can eat only the plants with which they co-evolved, a process that developed over millennia.

Native birds eat these insects. Almost all bird species feed insects to their young. Without insects, no birds. Native plants provide food for the insects, which feed the rest of the food chain. At Redbud’s Native Plant Sale, you’ll find many plants that foster these relationships.

What’s more, by planting natives you can add beauty and variety to your landscape in all seasons with brilliant flowers and foliage, with many choices of shape and size, with swaying grasses to replace ecologically useless lawns, and much more.

Available plants will include hand-selected, locally adapted, low-water California native trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses from native plant nurseries. In addition, Redbud members have been growing dozens of native plant species, including woodland plants such as Big Leaf Maple, Western Hazelnut, California Snowdrop Bush, Western Azalea, and Hartweg’s Ginger.

Throughout the sale, expert native-plant gardeners will provide advice on choosing plants for specific needs and locations, and highlight biodiversity-supportive, pollinator-friendly, drought-tolerant, fire-resistant, and lawn-alternative plants.

Featured at the sale will be Redbud’s two guides to local native plants: Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, California and Trees and Shrubs of Nevada and Placer Counties, California. Other plant books, Redbud T-shirts, and “Native Plants Live Here!” garden signs will also be available.

The 2019 Redbud Native Plant Sale will be at a new location, Banner Community Guild, 12629 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, 95949.

The sale is open to the public from 10:30 to 1:30. From 9:30 to 10:30 is member appreciation hour, open just to members of the California Native Plant Society. (You may join at the door.) Bring boxes, and/or a wagon to carry purchased plants to your vehicle, if you have one.

To volunteer, email Join Redbud in restoring nature, one garden at a time. For more information, please visit

About the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

The Redbud Chapter serves western Nevada and Placer Counties. They offer:

  • native plant sales
  • evening programs on native plant-related topics, alternating between Auburn and Nevada City
  • field trips to see wildflowers and unusual ecosystems
  • hands-on propagation group
  • grants to local schools and non-profits for education and restoration projects
  • a quarterly newsletter
  • ongoing advocacy and conservation projects

Most activities are free and open to the public. Your participation is welcome and encouraged. To become involved or join, email