VNPS Home

Early Explorations of
Elephant Ears
(Magnolia macrophylla)

Early Explorations of
Elephant Ears
(Magnolia macrophylla)

Early Explorations of
Elephant Ears
(Magnolia macrophylla)

A Personal Note

A Personal Note

A Personal Note

2020 Wildflower of the Year: Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

2020 Wildflower of the Year: Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

2020 Wildflower of the Year: Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Photo by W. John Hayden

Photo by W. John Hayden

Photo by W. John Hayden

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Mountains with Flame Azaleas

Mountains with Flame Azaleas

Mountains with Flame Azaleas

Photo by Nancy Vehrs

Photo by Nancy Vehrs

Photo by Nancy Vehrs

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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

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project has been canceled. See more about opposition to the project and the VNPS Resolution opposing the project. 7-5-2020

• VNPS Guidance for Walks/Events during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The health and safety of our members is very important to us. Time out-of-doors is part of a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally. However, during this COVID-19 pandemic, we must be mindful of the importance of social distancing to minimize the spread of the disease. For example, during regular guided native plant or botanical walks, participants often gather around a specific plant as the leader discusses it. Therefore, we recommend erring on the side of caution and suspending guided group walks until health conditions in your area permit such gatherings. Please follow the recommendations of the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.

While we will leave the decision to chapter leaders about holding walks, the VNPS suggests virtual or self-guided walks and events in the interim. For example, some chapters have flagged walks, virtual walks, Zoom presentations, flower of the week emails, and more to engage the public. 6-10-20

The Summer 2020 edition of Sempervirens is now online. Read about the pandemic's challenges and changes for the Natural Heritage Program and for VNPS events and activities, and how nature offers solace for us all. Meet our Conservation Chair Alex Fisher and learn about the autecology of Wild Geranium by Botany Chair John Hayden. 5-22-20

• The First 10 Years of VNPS: How We Began. This account of VNPS and Potowmack Chapter beginnings shows that volunteers can make a difference with knowledgeable leaders, willing associates and continuity of purpose. 5-12-20

Pinxterblooms: Performing Now! Read Betsy Washington's latest blog post. 4-23-20

25 Years of the VNPS Bulletin Are Now Online. We just added almost all issues of the Bulletin from 1989 to 2009 thanks to the Internet Archive. Be sure to browse our updated Bulletin Archive. 4-18-20

• Due to CDC recommendations and other ongoing closures related to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have cancelled the March 14, 2020 event ‘Earth’s Climate: Present, Past & Future'.  We regret having to make this decision, and hope to be able to offer this program at another time. We will refund registration fees. [More information] 3-11-20

• The Spring 2020 edition of Sempervirens is now available. Read about our upcoming Annual Meeting in Abingdon, the VNPS Mission, and more. 3-3-2020

• An updated version of the popular Wildflowers for Butterfly Gardens brochure is now available to download. 2-19-20

• VNPS Funded Research Reveals Which Trees are Dying and Why. 12-29-19

• Piedmont Chapter Curlyheads Flower T-Shirts are now available for sale! These are beautiful shirts though in limited quantities. 10-24-19

• VNPS Member Harry Glasgow Honored by Prince William Conservation Alliance.

• The VNPS mourns the loss of its founder, Mary Painter, on October 6 2019. View more information and Mary's obituary.

• Support our Annual Fundraiser: Plant Virginia Natives!

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Imperiled Plants and Missing Pieces

By VNPS Communications | August 24, 2014

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]

Unwanted and Unloved: Porcelain-berry!

By VNPS Communications | August 12, 2014

This is the time of year when it becomes apparent that porcelain-berry is making a bold attempt at taking over the world. Or at least vast swathes of Virginia’s forests, especially those near urban areas. Suddenly those white flowers and multi-colored berries are appearing on what seemed yesterday to be innocent green vines…in fact, didn’t… [Read More]

Seeds of a New Chapter?

By VNPS Communications | August 3, 2014

Virginia’s Eastern Shore: it’s that part of the state that is separated from the rest of the Commonwealth, attached by land to Maryland and connected to the rest of Virginia only by the 17.6-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, an engineering marvel. All too often the ES is omitted from simple maps of the state, and residents… [Read More]

The Hunt Is On: Meet the Treasures!

By VNPS Communications | July 28, 2014

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!

By VNPS Communications | July 20, 2014

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

By VNPS Communications | July 15, 2014

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

By VNPS Communications | July 7, 2014

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

By VNPS Communications | July 1, 2014

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]

Fracking in Virginia: Report from Conservation Chair

By VNPS Communications | June 26, 2014

VNPS Conservation Chair, Marcia Mabee Bell, attended a workshop on June 24, 2014 presented jointly by the Virginia Conservation Network and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. Fracking represents huge changes to our state, its economy, and its environmental health; all of Virginia’s citizens need to become informed about this issue. Here is Marcia’s report:… [Read More]

Matelea obliqua: Climbing Milkweed

By VNPS Communications | June 23, 2014

Did you know that monarchs are not the only caterpillars that feed exclusively on milkweeds?  From our guest blogger and photographer, Fritz Flohr Reynolds: Matelea obliqua, climbing or oblique milkweed, is a perennial herbaceous vine native to the eastern United States. Its range includes Washington D.C., as well as parts of Maryland and Virginia, including… [Read More]