Native plants are plants that belong here. They grow naturally in our region and haven't been brought from elsewhere. The benefits of growing natives are many: They're part of the food chain so they help our wildlife, they don't need supplemental irrigation once established and they don't become invasive.

Oftentimes, it's hard to tells which plants are natives at the garden center because they aren't usually labeled as such. But the Long Island Native Grass Initiative is having a plant sale over the next two weekends, and you can be sure any plants offered up there will mind their manners at home here on Long Island.

The sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 4, 5, 11 and 12 at the Suffolk County Community College eastern campus greenhouse in Riverhead.

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Shrubs, grasses and perennials -- all grown from seeds collected from native plant populations across Long Island and Staten Island -- will be available in flats of cellpacks and four-inch pots.

For  information or to reserve plant material, call the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District at 631-727-2315 extension 3,  or email