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Lee Elder and Robert Gorman

About 333 people in the Anchorage area are involved in landscaping and landscape architecture, while about 18% of all farms in Alaska are considered greenhouse and nursery farms. These greenhouse and nursery farms account for $12.7 million in annual sales and comprise 28% of total Alaska agricultural sales. Alaskan horticulture producers have little industry knowledge of landscapers' and landscape architects' demand for Alaska native plants. This survey attempted to uncover the amounts of specific native Alaska varieties of shrubs, trees, herbaceous plants, and ferns that landscapers and landscape architects used in 2004, while also asking what types of plants they would like to use if a consistent supply was established. Landscapers' and landscape architects' business activities and perceptions are also evaluated. Surveys were distributed electronically as well as by standard mail to 165 landscapers and landscape architects in the Anchorage area. An overall 12% response rate provided insight into the commercial demand for Alaska native plant varieties.

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Robert F. Gorman and Julie Roller

Ten plant species native to southeast Alaska and surrounding regions were selected based on their value as ornamentals, food crops, disturbed site revegetation, and traditional Native American uses. Between 2003–05, seeds, cuttings, rhizomes, and bulbs from the 10 native plant species were collected in Sitka, Alaska, and propagated according to existing plant propagation protocol for each species. The most successful propagation method for each species was determined from field trials. This information was provided through workshops and Extension publications to gardeners in southeast Alaska and other parts of Alaska. The purpose of this project was to enhance growing local native plants as ornamentals, food crops, in disturbed site revegetation and for traditional Native American uses, particularly among native elders unable to collect these plants in the wild. A secondary purpose was to create a market for native plants in southeast Alaska and spawn a cadre of local cottage market gardeners to grow native plants for existing small nurseries. The 10 species selected included: Cornus canadensis, C. stolonifera, Empetrum nigrum, Fritillaria camschatcensis, Linnaea borealis, Oplopanax horridus, Rubus chamaemorus, Vaccinium parvifolium, Vaccinium ovalifolium, and Viburnum edule.