Many choices for crowd at last year’s plant sale. (Photo by Arnold Winkler)

Many choices for crowd at last year’s plant sale. (Photo by Arnold Winkler)

by Marie Mercaldo Ingegneri

Morris Arboretum will host its annual plant sale on Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10, at the Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm, across the street from the Arboretum’s public garden.

Friday is Members-Only Day, so now is a perfect time to become a Morris Arboretum member for first picks on great plants. Saturday the sale is open to the public.

The 2014 event will once again showcase an unusual and hard-to-find selection of plants, all grown by local nurseries familiar with the Philadelphia climate and soils so their selections are well suited to thrive in this area.

In annuals, some of the most reliable plants for attracting pollinators are being featured to combat the declining Monarch butterfly, honeybees and other native bee population.

Try some Salvia (garden sage) and Cuphea (Mexican heather) and you will likely see hummingbirds in your garden. And don’t forget the culinary herbs: basil, chives, mints, oregano, and thyme are all excellent pollinator plants. Also offered this year, will be a good selection of Heirloom and other tasty varieties of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

The sale is always full of interesting perennials and woody plants that are not widely available at most local retailers. In the spirit of ‘Our Feathered Friends’ theme for 2014 the perennials booth will be highlighting fabulous plants to enhance the habitat for these winged friends.

Looking for roses? An exceptional selection of award winning roses is offered this year. Many are international award winners coming from growers that specialize in hardy, disease-resistant roses.

Hours for the plant sale will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for members only on Friday, May 9. Members receive a 10 percent discount on purchases and a free dividend plant. Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to the public. Members of the Arboretum staff will be on hand to offer their expert advice.

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Ave. in Chestnut Hill.

For more information, visit

Marie Mercaldo Ingegneri is marketing project coordinator at Morris Arboretum.