Botany Without Boundaries at the Tri-State Conference

Dryopteris intermedia, triplodea, and carthusiana, respectively

The Tri-state Native Plant Society Conference at the National Conservation Training Center was a blast this year.  From the venue, to the nightly speakers, to the field trips, everything was incredible, which is why I’d like to first extend my gratitude to all those who contributed and worked so hard to make it happen.  This… [Read More]

VNPS 2016: Full Steam Ahead!

Field trips help us understand and expand!

We have a serious commitment to a lofty Mission Statement, we better be going full steam ahead! For those who would like a short version, our mission statement pretty much says we’re tryin’ to save the world. As in: protect and preserve native plants and their habitats discourage and combat practices that endanger or destroy… [Read More]

The Importance of Preserving Our Natural Areas

Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s.

This year members of the Virginia Native Plant Society will continue their support of natural area preservation throughout the state. These efforts take place at the local and regional level, and VNPS as a whole will focus on raising funds to support land acquisition to expand the Cedars Area Natural Area Preserve. The importance of… [Read More]

Hope and Reality for Urban Ecosystems

Matt

Years ago, I served on Maryland’s Plant Reintroduction Task Force, which was largely convened to address the merits, legal ramifications, and biological soundness of reintroducing rare taxa “recently lost from its historic range” or to enhance dwindling populations that remained in their historic natural settings (PRTF 1999). Specifically at the time, this involved a proposal… [Read More]

Landscapes of Memory

Imagine a whole "sea" of these Rose pogonias! (Pogonia ophioglossoides)

Venus Flytraps near my Grandparent’s home in coastal North Carolina were the first plants that caught my interest. Like many kids, I was fascinated by the idea of carnivorous plants, but until reading an article in National Geographic, I had no idea that they lived so close to a place I visited frequently. I begged my parents… [Read More]

Imperiled Plants and Missing Pieces

Parnassia grandifolia, large leaf-grass-of-Parnussus. Photo used with permission

Plants that on are imperiled lists today may become missing pieces tomorrow unless action is taken. Do we know which ones are imperiled? Will it make a difference if rare plants disappear? The Virginia Native Plant Society thinks it does, and has taken steps to help conserve some of the wildflowers in our state that… [Read More]

VNPS: What Do We DO?

L1100449

“A plant society? What is that? What kinds of things do you do?,”  asked a somewhat incredulous young man visiting a VNPS table recently. One of the things we do, of course, is to have educational display tables at all kinds of events, where people can ask questions like this one! To the inquirer, I… [Read More]

Natives Are Glamorous Plants!

Asclepias incarnata with Monarch butterfly

“Natives are the most glamorous things in the world,” says Randee Wilson, “It really gnaws on me to hear people refer to natives as weedy.” Randee shared his opinion recently with a group of people who are working on  a native plant marketing partnership. There may be some non-natives that are beautiful, too,” Randee said, … [Read More]

Spring Ephemerals: Catch ’em While You Can

Bluebells,
Mertensia virginica

April is perhaps the very best month in Virginia to catch a sight of these extraordinary flowers that grace the landscape for such a brief time. To be ephemeral is to be short-lived, fleeting, brief. Bluebells, merrybells, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, trilliums, lady slipper orchids, bloodroot, hepatica, trout lily, twinleaf and toothwort; even their names… [Read More]

Conservation Budget Not Approved

I am very sorry to report that despite a good effort on the part of the VNPS leadership and many of its members who wrote to their Delegates and Senators, the budget amendment to add $900,000 and seven full time staff for DCR’s Natural Heritage Program failed. There was no explicit vote, just an absence… [Read More]