STILLWATER, Okla. – Those who are interested in learning more about native plants will soon have an opportunity to do so.
Oklahoma State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is hosting the Native Plants Conference May 31 at the Wes Watkins Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The conference is geared toward anyone who is interested in native plants and especially those in the many different professions that deal with growing, maintaining and designing with plant material, said Cheryl Mihalko, assistant professor in the horticulture and landscape architecture department.
“The use of native plants is something many professions are discussing and there are varied opinions about growing, specifying cultivars and cultivating native plants,” Mihalko said. “Native plants are promoted to maintain site heritage and support pollinators and wildlife habitat.”
While some believe native plants are those occurring before European settlement, Mihalko said she hopes the conference will continue the discussion that expands ecosystems’ plant palettes to include nativars to facilitate regionally based design solutions; plants that are resilient in tolerating environmental conditions; meet aesthetics of a regional plant pallet; and are available in sufficient quality, quantity and size to satisfy green industry demands.
This conference will cover a wide variety of topics and feature both OSU and industry professionals. Some of the topics on the agenda include conifers, nativars for the landscape, gardening with natives, landscape design challenges using native plants and sowing seed, to name a few.
The $85 registration, due by May 19, includes lunch. The Botanic Garden/Friends of the Garden members, Master Gardeners, county Extension educators, Linnaeus Gardeners and students with student ID may register for $65.
Mike Schnelle, OSU Cooperative Extension floriculture specialist, said the conference will provide a forum for the landscape industry to discuss native plant availability and a path to support growers to participate with markets in the central plains and adjacent regions.
“This conference also will help set the groundwork for further assistance to the green industry profitability by expanding the plant palette inventory to meet the landscape architecture and horticulture demand,” Schnelle said.
The conference offers Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and landscape architects six continuing education units.
For more information, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404 or email at