The Hunt Is On: Meet the Treasures!

Aeschymonene virginica
Photo credit: Virginia Department of Conservation and Rec.

The VNPS Fundraiser for 2014 is part two of the Natural Treasure Hunt, an effort to make funds available for researching, locating, and mapping some of Virginia’s floral treasures that are in need of help if we want to keep them around. On the homepage of Virginia’s Department of Natural Heritage , (DNH), our partners in the… [Read More]

Wavyleaf Basketgrass: Help Stop it Now!

Fraser Preserve

Driving into the Nature Conservancy’s Fraser Preserve on a warm July morning is like entering a sanctuary. The hustle and bustle of the Beltways is left behind as I head west on Georgetown Pike, watching the houses get further and further apart. A few more turns and dips and I start wondering if I’m lost…. [Read More]

Asclepias Tuberosa, the Butterfly Queen


How did such a lovely plant come by so many spurious common names? Poor Asclepias tuberosa. Known by many as butterfly weed, but some of its alternative common names are even worse than that. Pleurisy root, for example. Indigenous peoples once chewed its tough taproot to cure pulmonary ailments, presumably it had a more enticing… [Read More]

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia: Report from the Field

Photo by Carrie Blair

In a perfect combination rare plants and plant people came together on last month’s VNPS extended field trip to West Virginia. The “flower per hour” crowd enjoyed perfect weather and were very happy taking time to get to know the plants and watch for pollinators, reported Sally Anderson, who was on the trip, and has… [Read More]

A Boy Named Sue: When and Where to Use a Plant’s Scientific Name

Hypochaeris Radicata, hairy or cat's ears dandelion

Why is using a plant’s scientific name important? Especially when common (vernacular) plant names can give you so much more information about the thought process and cultural beliefs of the people that named the plants. The use of vernacular in plant naming is a time-honored tradition that should never be thrown out because of what… [Read More]