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North Carolina Wildflower of the Year + How to Get Free Seeds

The Garden Club of North Carolina, in conjunction with the North Carolina Botanical Garden, picks a native perennial each year to showcase and give away free seeds.

For 2021, the perennial of the year is American Beautyberry. I’ve personally grown this native plant and can speak from experience that it is easy to grow and the birds love it!

Keep reading to see how anyone in the Southeast can get these free seeds!

North Carolina Wildflower of the Year

We found out about this excellent native gardening program during a 3 day weekend in Chapel Hill, where we visited the North Carolina Botanical Garden on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

While perusing some of the pamphlets that they were giving out, we came upon a pamphlet of the North Carolina Wildflower of the Year. We were even more surprised when we found free seeds inside!

2016 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year Northern Rattlesnake Master
2016 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year Northern Rattlesnake-Master

The Garden Club of North Carolina, along with the North Carolina Botanical Garden, promotes the use of native plantings in home gardens.

Native flowers and plants are adapted to the local region. So they require less water and fertilizer and using less pesticides. It’s a win-win for everyone.

They choose a flower based on its native characteristics – and also how viable it is to get thousands of seeds for distribution to the public.

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How to Get Free Seeds in North Carolina

You can pick up a free seed packet at the Allen Center at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

If you’re not visiting the North Carolina Botanical Garden, you can still get seeds via the mail. Send a SASE to the address listed on their website.

More Ways to Get Free Seeds

North Carolina’s Daniel Boone Native Gardens offers a seed swap box. 

Alt National Park Service gives away a free pack of either Black Eyed Susans or Butterfly Weed.

Native American communities in the Southwest can get packs of free seeds through Native Seeds Search.


If you’re looking for more than just a seed pack, consider buying native seeds in bulk. I recently found a seed pack with over 100,000 seeds for less than $10.

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