Choose species that occur naturally in the local area when you plant. This protects the integrity of local biodiversity, and these species are easier to care for because they are better adapted to local conditions.
When you choose eco-sourced species you…
- protect local genetic material.
- avoid the risk of species from other parts of New Zealand becoming weeds.
- maintain the distinctiveness of local flora.
If plants cannot be eco-sourced from Wellington Ecological District they should be collected from as nearby as possible, preferably in seed form.
Seeds instead of cuttings
Grown from seed, plants are slightly different from their parent and from each other, providing genetic diversity and robust populations. A plant grown from a cutting is exactly the same as its parent plant; in other words, it is a clone. When a population of plants has low genetic diversity it is more exposed to the spread of disease and becomes unable to adapt/evolve over time.
How to eco-source native seeds and plants
Buying eco-sourced plants can sometimes require patience and research. Ask about eco-sourced plants with staff at Miramar's garden markets – the more demand they receive the more supply they’ll offer.
WCC holds an annual open day at their nursery in Berhampore. Most native plants are eco-sourced and are available to purchase. Talks, demonstrations and free advice are also on offer. Also watch out for “weed swapping” days, where you can trade an environmental pest weed from your garden for a native, eco-sourced plant.
Each year you can apply for free eco-sourced plants from WCC between January and March to plant on road reserves and reserves next to private property. More information.
To collect fruit and seeds from parks or reserves you’ll need an approved seed-collecting permit from Wellington City Council (WCC). If the land is private, always ask the landowner.
We at Te Motu Kairangi always use eco-sourced material when planting around Miramar Peninsula so we run regular seed-collecting trips within Wellington’s ecological boundaries. If you’d like to join us please contact us - we are happy to help you identify species and can offer planting advice in return for some help gathering seeds.