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Plant Edible Habitat and Conservation Cover with the State Forest Nursery's February Specialty Packet

  • 2/2/2016 7:03:00 AM
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DES MOINES – Create some habitat and conservation foodscapes, with the Wild Edibles Specialty Packet from Iowa’s State Forest Nursery.

“The packet consists of tree and shrub species selected for their potential to provide delicious berries and nuts to enhance your diet,” says Paul Tauke, state forester. “This packet is a great and affordable way to develop a wild garden on your acreage or in a large backyard.”

This Wild Edibles Packet is only available in February.  Cost for the 250 bare-root seedlings is $110 plus tax/shipping/handling, the same price as a regular 200-seedling packet. The Wild Edibles Packet includes 50 each of the following:

Wild Plum

Wild plum is great for making jams, jellies and puddings.  It is also very good nesting cover for birds and a good food source for butterflies and other pollinators. 

Aronia Berry

Aronia berries are a popular health food because of their antioxidant and vitamin content.  They can be used in a number of ways, including jams, jellies, pies and wine. They are also eaten fresh or dehydrated. Markets for these berries are also developing throughout the country. 


Elderberry fruit is used in jams and vitamin supplements.  It is notable for its antioxidant properties and has been used as folk remedy for various ailments for centuries. It is especially high in vitamin C.  Studies in Israel have linked elderberry to strengthening the human immune system.  Please note that eating uncooked elderberries will cause nausea, but once they are properly cooked they are a super food.


Shagbark hickory nuts are used for smoking meats and are sometimes consumed as snacks.  Hickory nuts are loaded with nutrients and healthy oils.


Hazelnuts are packed with folates, magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin B6. They are linked to improved muscle, skin and bone health.

The seedlings are between 8 and 24 inches, depending on the tree or shrub species. 

To take advantage of this offer, call the State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and mention the “Wild Edibles Packet.”  Landowners purchasing this packet will receive delivery in the spring.

Each month, the State Forest Nursery creates a different specialty packet with a unique mix of tree and shrub species. This month’s specialty packet is only available to order through Feb. 29, 2016. 

Anyone can purchase seedlings from the Iowa State Forest Nursery for CRP projects, to increase wildlife habitat, pollinator potential or to diversify backyard woodlands.  More than 40 species are available from the nursery. Seedling choices, including photos and descriptions, can be seen in the seedling catalog at

Any orders received by Feb. 17, 2016 4:30 p.m. will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card from Mills Fleet Farm. Go for contest rules.

For more information about this monthly special or other tree and shrub seedlings, contact the Iowa DNR State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477.