What I’m Listening To: Native Plant Podcast

By Dawn Weber
Board Member-at-Large, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Admittedly I am not much of a podcast listener, which is surprising (even to me) given my love of the internet, but I’ve found one that may change all of that: the Native Plant Podcast.


Photos courtesy of Native Plant Podcast

Launched in January of 2016, the Native Plant Podcast is regularly hosted by (pictured left to right): Mike Berkley and John Magee, with Jesse Turner making some appearances and handling things behind the scenes.

From their webpage:

“Growing from a friendship forged at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference many moons ago, this rock star trio has brought podcasting to a whole new level. I’m not saying that’s a high level, just a new level. :)”

In addition to the hosts, guests such as authors, nursery owners, horticulturists, and naturalists join in to discuss in-depth topics such as internet shopping for natives, conservation, streambank restoration, and invasive species. You might think this would make for a “stuffy” program, but no way, they are keeping the discussions very easy to relate to and having a lot of fun along the way.

My recent favorite is the episode with Catherine Zimmerman, talking about:

  • The Meadow Project, where the mission is to educate and raise awareness about sustainable, native, healthy, easy, and affordable land-care practices that support wildlife and human life, and
  • Hometown Habitat, a documentary that focuses on Doug Tallamy’s research and insights and expands to profile other individuals and organizations who are working to create diverse, native habitats and change the unproductive culture of lawn-based thinking

The hosts are primarily focused on plants from the Eastern United States, but don’t let that keep you from listening. Many of the topics are more universal, and Missouri shares plenty of native plants with these areas. Magee said, “We do look at native plant issues as being global and plan on having experts from around the US and even other parts of the world, but being based in the East, we’ve started more with the people we have close to us.” Magee serves on the national board of Wild Ones.


Logo graphic courtesy of Native Plant Podcast

When they’re discussing a plant that might not be native to our area, I try to think of a similar plant from Missouri, which adds an additional challenge!

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, listen online, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes for Apple devices or Player.FM for Android.

Share your favorite topic or guest in the comments below. I would love to hear what appeals to you!