Photo by Catherine Flanagan

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

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News & Updates

Please Note:  All John Clayton Chapter walks have been cancelled until further notice.

The John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society was chartered in June of 1984 and was named in honor of the colonial botanist, John Clayton. Our membership includes beginners as well as professional botanists, novice and experienced gardeners, and folks who just like to walk and see some wildflowers and trees.

We present educational programs at our meetings, as well as to schools and civic organizations, conduct fieldtrips and workshops, participate in plant rescue and relocation, work on conservation projects, publish a bi-monthly newsletter, and have displays for libraries, schools, and events. We hold a native plant sale in April every year.

The John Clayton Chapter includes Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, James City and York Counties, as well as the Cities of Williamsburg, Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson.

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Common Hackberry February 2021 Plant of the Month

By VNPS Communications | February 21, 2021

                                      By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter   The Common Hackberry is one of our most adaptable native shade trees and is also among the best trees to plant for wildlife. The trunk of hackberries has smooth…

American Beech January 2021 Plant of the Month

By VNPS Communications | February 21, 2021

         By Betsy Washington           Northern Neck Chapter, VNPS   American Beeches are one of our most magnificent native trees, beautiful in every season, especially winter. They are also one of the most easily recognized of our eastern deciduous trees, with their silvery gray bark that appears cast…

Skunk Cabbage December 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | December 30, 2020

                        By Betsy Washington Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society   As the winter solstice approaches, I am already anticipating the blooms of our earliest spring wildflower, Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus. The buds of this winter blooming wildflower begin to appear in our…

Joe pye weed September 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | September 13, 2020

By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter These tall, majestic plants are real butterfly magnets.  Blooming in late summer until frost, they range from 3 to 10 feet tall with dense heads of fluffy pinkish flowers that are usually covered with butterflies, bees, beetles and wasps, all feeding and pollinating.  When in flower, Joe-pye-weeds can be…

Mistflower August 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | August 3, 2020

MISTFLOWER and Monarch Butterflies Conoclinium coelestinum (formerly Eupatorium coelestinum) This is one of the native perennials highly regarded as nectar food for monarch butterflies. The typical life cycle of monarchs includes four flights each year, the third in July-August, and the last September-October that produces a different butterfly, capable of the long migration south. Monarchs…

Mountain mint July 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | August 3, 2020

Mountain-mint Pycnanthemum tenuifolium/muticum By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter, VNPS What’s not to like about a native perennial that is attractive to bees and butterflies, does not spread aggressively, and is deer-resistant?  Mountain-mints bloom from June through August, with small white flowers rich in nectar that is food for many kinds of insects – butterflies,…

Spiderwort June 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton A long-blooming native perennial like Spiderwort can fit into a lot of spaces in the home garden. Three-petaled flowers form a triangle – they are violet-blue with vivid yellow stamens growing in a 3’ tall clump. Each flower is open for only a day, in the morning, but they bloom in succession…

Red Columbine May 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton This is one of our loveliest early spring flowers, with hanging red flowers that have long spurs and yellow centers. The nectar at the base of the spurs attracts long-tongued insects and hummingbirds. The flowers are mature when migrating hummingbirds appear in our area, and are important food for these little birds,…

Golden Ragwort April 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton Golden Ragwort is a welcome sign of spring, covering swampy areas with bright yellow, from mid-March through early summer. The buds are purple, and open to display yellow disc and ray flowers, unusual for a member of the Aster Family — the rays are often white. This native perennial grows 1-3 feet…

Red Maple March 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

  By Helen Hamilton  One of the first signs of spring is the red haze over the bare limbs of our local maple trees. This would be the male and female flowers of Red Maple. Typical of many species, the male flowers appear first as a yellowish pink, closely followed by the darker pink blossoms…