Wednesday, January 13, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
We all cherish Virginia’s native plants. Ever wonder what is being done to protect them? Chris Ludwig will examine the mounting threats to our native flora and then look at work that is being done to mitigate these threats. This critical conservation work is shared among numerous government agencies, private, and non-profit organizations and individuals.
Chris Ludwig has explored the flora of Virginia for over 32 years. During his explorations, he has documented over 1,000 rare plant populations and has discovered or co-discovered 20 new plant species previously undocumented from the Commonwealth, two of which are new to science. Much of this work took place when Chris worked for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. There he served as Staff Botanist from 1988 to 1996 and Chief Biologist from 1997 until his retirement in 2019.
In 2000, Chris joined Marion Lobstein and Joslin Gallatin to form the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project and he worked over the next 12 years to produce the Flora of Virginia, a 1554-page illustrated manual that describes Virginia’s vascular plants with details on their taxonomy, morphology, ecology, biological status, and identification. Chris coauthored this work with Alan Weakley and Johnny Townsend. The volume was made available in Flora of Virginia app that is available on Android and iOS devices. The Flora app also enhances the original work with a graphic key that enables identification by less experienced naturalists. A major app update is scheduled in December of 2020.