Harvesting Native Plants
Unexpected Surprises

Again, NEVER harvest native plants on public property without permits. NEVER harvest native plants on private property without permission. NEVER harvest endangered species without proper permits and credentials.

Once you've cleared these hurdles here are some additional considerations -

  • Some native plants succeed in high competition environments. They may become noxious weeds in your yard.
  • Some native plants succeed because of a highly specialized adaptation to a particular environment. They may not last a week in your yard.
  • Beware of what comes along for the ride.

Below is a shovel full of forest soil extracted specifically for the yellow violets (Viola orbiculata). I certainly got more than I bargained for:

  1. Viola orbiculata (the intended target)
  2. Trientalis latifolia. - Star Flower - This is actually quite exciting! I've been wanting one of these!
  3. Symphoricarpos spp. - Snowberry - Fortunately this fits in the space and is a welcome 'tag-along'
  4. Acer circinatum - Vine Maple - That's not going to fit the space...
  5. Rhus diversiloba - POISON OAK - YIKES!!! This is NOT good.
  6. ??? - possibly a habenaria - If so, the prognosis is not good. It was attacked by a slug and the leaf nearly severed almost immediately after arriving in my garden.

In addition, while sorting through the duff in search of other 'treasures' I discovered a number of baby slugs that had been imported and were residing inside the ring of slug bait I had put out to protect the entire plot. I discovered a number of other small insects that may or may not be indiginous to my area. Even though this small shovel full of soil was transported less than a hundred miles, it came from a vastly different biome. It's entirely possible I could have imported some devastating plague into my environment, if for only one season.


Rhus diversiloba Viola orbiculata Trientalis latifolia Symphoricarpos spp. - Snowberry -