Get unusual plants from collection at Botanical Gardens; sale opens Saturday to public

false eranthemum from Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens
False eranthemum is one of the plants propagated from the collection of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens that will be offered in the Great Plant Sale. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Some unusual plants from the collection of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will be included in the Great Plant Sale, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17 in the Administration Building, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

Admission is free.

The quantity of each variety is limited. A plant that you really want may sell out, so aim to get there early for the best selection. You can see a partial list here.

Note: If you’re a volunteer or member of the Botanical Gardens, you can attend a day earlier than the general public, from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 15. (Take your membership card.) That’s a great perk. Find out how to become a volunteer or become a member.

One of the unusual plants that will be offered is a tropical plant called false eranthemum, said Jeff Thompson, director of horticulture. It has variegated leaves of purple, pink, green and white. You can use it in your landscape during the summer and bring it inside in the fall, or use it year-round inside as a houseplant.

Other tropical plants that will be offered include banana plants, bougainvillea, anthurium and peace lilies.

While the number of plants of each particular variety is limited, overall the number of plants offered at the sale will be large because renovations and upgrades at the Botanical Gardens have created a large surplus of plants.

The entrance gardens will be transformed; that area has been designated a Proven Winners Signature Garden. The new plan means that some of the old plants won’t remain, Thompson said, and there aren’t places elsewhere on the property to plant them all. Hundreds of daylilies were removed and will be offered at bargain prices. Bulbs from that area will be available, too.

Extensive renovations are under way now to restore House 3 to its original beauty. While that work is being done, Houses 2 and 3 are closed. The plants had to be moved and, again, there wasn’t room elsewhere for all of them.

Plants from the Botanical Gardens’ exhibit at Plantasia, including crab apple trees in containers that are 10 or 12 feet tall, will also be offered for sale. Other plants include spirea, vibernum, magnolia, hydrangeas and ornamental grasses.

In addition, the staff grew plants from seed for the Healing Garden, and the surplus will be offered at the sale.

Other items include hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, shrubs, Japanese maples, coleus, vines and native plants. See a partial list here.

Everything is hardened off, Thompson said. You can put the plants in the ground now.

Bonus tip: There are many plant sales and plant exchanges scheduled by garden clubs and other groups  in Western New York at this time of year.  Did you know you can find them more easily by viewing our Events page by category?

Go to the black bar at the top of the page. Allow your cursor to hover over the word Events (don’t click). A drop-down menu will appear. Now click on Categories. You’ll see a list that includes Plant Exchanges and Sales. Click on a category to see all of the upcoming events in that category.

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