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


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.


Become a Member:
Support Our Mission.


Support VNPS with
your donation today.

Upcoming Events

Find Field Trips, Meetings, Programs and Plant Sales.

Find a Chapter

Get involved in your
local VNPS chapter.

Behind the Scenes….

By Catherine | April 9, 2019

  The John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society is a nonprofit committed to educating the public about the value of native plants. Our big event of the year, the plant sale, is an ongoing effort. Beginning the year before the sale, we dig, purchase, propagate, and nurture a large number and variety…

Pears and Cherries March 2019 Wildflowers of the Month

By VNPS Communications | March 16, 2019

Soon spring will come with flowering fruit trees—serviceberry, pears, apples, cherries—all members of the Rose family, so the flowers look quite similar, with 5 white or pink petals and many stamens in the center. First to bloom is serviceberry, a somewhat crooked small tree or shrub with slender flower petals. When flowering begins, the leaves…

Think Spring!

By PHILLIP MERRITT | February 16, 2019

This year’s theme is Native Plants for Butterflies and other Pollinators. Our native insects need your help. Please put Saturday, April 20 on your calendar and make some room in your garden for plants that support them.   Doors will open at 9:45 am. Thank you!!

British Soldier Lichen February 2019 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | February 16, 2019

A bright spot in the woods and meadows in winter is this little lichen with the red caps, named for the red uniforms of the British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The surrounding material is gray-green, a color characteristic of lichens, reflecting their dual lifestyle. A green alga Trebouxia erici supplies nourishment by its photosynthesis…

Poison Ivy- January 2019 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | January 2, 2019

POISON IVY (Toxicodendron radicans) “Leaflets 3, let it be!” Few plants carry 3-parted compound leaves, and this is an easy way to recognize a very irritating plant. Some bean vines have 3-parted leaves, but poison ivy is woody, and attaches with aerial roots. Not related to invasive English ivy, poison ivy can grow as an…

Southern magnolia – December 2018 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | December 2, 2018

Wildflower of the Month – December 2018 John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society by Helen Hamilton SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA Magnolia grandiflora Southern Magnolia is a magnificent tree of the South, densely covered with leathery, dark green, evergreen leaves. They are shiny on top and velvety brown underneath, much used in December for holiday decorations. Very…

Common hackberry – November 2018 Wildflower of the month

By VNPS Communications | November 8, 2018

Wildflower of the Month – November 2018 By Helen Hamilton COMMON HACKBERRY (Celtis occidentalis)  Distinctive warty, cork-like ridges cover the smooth gray to light brown bark of Hackberry. The form is that of a shrub, with several woody stems growing from the base; the crown is rounded, and the branches spread and droop slightly. The…

Ferns & Mosses Field Trip Annual Meeting October 7 2018

By VNPS Communications | November 2, 2018

  Janis Stone (Prince William Wildflower Society chapter) I became fascinated by bryophytes (liverworts, mosses and hornworts) several years ago, so when the VNPS conference offered a field trip on Ferns and Mosses at Freedom Park, I jumped at the chance.  I had already met two of the attendees online (as members of the Facebook…

New Quarter Park Plant Walk – Annual Meeting Oct 7 2018

By PHILLIP MERRITT | November 1, 2018

Doug DeBerry’s walk in New Quarter Park for the Annual Meeting was an outstanding learning experience, great fun, and very productive. For several hours we were asked to look closely and try to identify most every fern, forb, grass, shrub, or tree we saw in an effort to create a list of species –ours totaled…

Native Plants in Downtown Williamsburg Annual Meeting Oct 6 2018

By PHILLIP MERRITT | October 24, 2018

Click photo to enlarge A few photos from the “Native Plants in Downtown Williamsburg” walk which was part of the line-up of field trips and walks for the 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference It was led by Phillip Merritt, landscape architect and past-president of the John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society Pictured…