Grow Wildflowers - Grow Butterflies!
CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter is promoting biodiversiity by giving free wildflower seeds to new native plant gardeners in our chapter area (Santa Clara and San Mateo counties) to re-energize the ecosystem in their home gardens. Together, we can bring back butterflies, bees, and birds. Find us at events to receive free seeds.
Each seed packet you receive from us contains California native wildflowers in rich hues of gold, orange, pink, purple and blue that, depending on their mix, will cover an 80-130 square foot area if scattered thinly and allowed space to grow to their natural dimensions. The flowers will bloom in succession from early spring through late summer. You can disperse these seeds in an area planted with native grasses for a meadow effect.
Scattering a packet of native wildflower seeds is a joyful way to restore lost essential habitat while enhancing your gardening experience. We hope you revel in the beauty of the flowers, colorful caterpillars, variety of pollinators, baby birds, and the dance of life in your garden. We offer several varieties of seed packets containing mixes from Larner Seeds:
Click on the links above for detailed planting instructions and descriptions of the seed mixes. For more information, check out the instructions at the Larner Seeds website.
The beauty, color, and scent of flowers fill us with joy. Yet, very importantly, to the bees, butterflies and birds, flowers are an essential source of nourishment for their survival. The plants and flowers provide pollen for bees, nectar for butterflies and moths, and essential food for their young, the caterpillars. Butterflies drink nectar from many different types of flowers, but lay their eggs on just one or two types of host plants that will feed their offspring. The Variable Checkerspot, Silvery Blue, and other butterflies and moths rely on plants in these seed mixes as a caterpillar food source. The caterpillars, in turn, are essential for the survival of our local birds, since 96% of the birds that visit your yard depend on caterpillars to feed their young. Read New York Times Best Seller Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy or tune into the video. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors. Some neighborhoods are creating “butterfly corridors” with patches of wildflowers and native plants in each of their gardens. Enjoy!
Your Wildflower Ambassadors at CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Resources for Gardeners
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a science-based organization founded in 1965 with a mission to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. The Santa Clara Valley chapter covers Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo County. Check out the great resources on our website and the numerous talks on native plant gardening and native plant science on our YouTube channel. We also have chapter fieldtrips, online plant sales, and other exciting events like our annual Growing Natives Garden tour. The CNPS state website also has excellent resources and information to get you started with native plant science or gardening.
Want to find more California Native plants specific to your area, and the butterflies that use them as host plants? Then check out the wonderful CNPS Calscape website, which includes descriptions and planting information about every California native plant and links to native plant nurseries all over the state. For a user guide to using this amazing resource, watch this talk.
Discover flora and fauna in your region and across the globe, and even post your own observations on the iNaturalist app.
Seek answers to questions:
Why should we grow native plants to save birds and butterflies? Listen to Susan Karasoff here.
How can you restore nature in your garden? Dennis Mudd shares his insights
Where can you find more information about pollinator plants? Juanita Salisbury is an expert who talks about this.
When should you plant, water, prune, or leave things alone? Helen Popper shares a month-by-month guide for California gardeners.
What planting methods and soil will ensure success? Haven Kiers from UC Davis shares some research.
Looking for more native seeds? Check out the great selection at Larner's Seeds. Various mixes are also available from Pacific Coast Seeds. Also, Botanical Interests sells “California Color” and “Narrow Leaf Milkweed”.
Need Plants? Find nurseries and plant sales using our list.
Seeking a few more butterfly resources? The Xerces Society is a great resource as well as the Bay Area Wildlife resource website.
Looking for a list of great books for gardening with native plants and ifor wildlife? Go to our resource page for books.
Need help getting started with a native plant garden? Tips are available in this video
Want to see most of California’s native habitats in one location? Check out the Regional Botanic Garden in Tilden Park.
Here is a list of public gardens with native plants.
Field Trip! Chapter field trips are listed here or on our Meetup page.