Spring 2024 Sempervirens

In the Spring, 2024 Sempervirens

The 2024 Wildflower of the Year: White Turtlehead and its relationship with Bumblebees, results from our 2023 Natural Area Preserves Fundraiser, our Statement on Utility-Scale Solar, Virginia's 2024 legislative session, a visit to South Africa, and more! Read the latest Sempervirens online and also browse previous editions.
White Turtlehead T-Shirts & Apparel
White Turtlehead
T-Shirts & Apparel
 2024 Wildflower of the Year
Various Styles & Colors
VNPS Statement on Utility-Scale Solar
VNPS Statement on
Utility-Scale Solar

Utility-scale solar facilities in the right place are a necessary and important variable for Virginia to achieve a future with clean energy. Read about the risks and recommendations.

1.3MW Solar Array on Landfill in Rehoboth, MA. Photo by Lucas Faria, US Department of Energy

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Know someone who shares your love of native plants?
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Photo by Brigitte Hartke

In the Winter 2023 Sempervirens
In the Winter 2024
Sempervirens

News from our 2023 Annual Meeting in Gloucester, how we support the Virginia Natural Area Preserves, hybridization of White Turtlehead (2024 VNPS Wildflower of the Year), native plants of South Africa and much more!

Winter Scene Photo by Brigitte Hartke

VNPS Ballcaps Now On Sale
VNPS Logo Ballcaps
Are Now On Sale In
5 Vibrant Colors!
 
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News & Updates

• Our 2024 Wildflower of the Year T-Shirt Design Contest has ended. View the winners, voted on by VNPS members. The 1st place design by Nick Garnhart is featured on apparel and merchandise at our VNPS Bonfire.com Store. 4-4-2024

• Please join us in preserving Jocelyn Sladen’s legacy and in celebrating her life as a conservationist and a founder of VNPS. Donate now to help us save Torrey’s Mountain Mint. 4-4-2024

• The 2024 VNPS Wildflower of the Year is White Turtlehead. Read more about Chelone glabra, including its conservation status and where to see it. 3-1-2024

• Don't miss the Winter, 2024 SempervirensNews from our 2023 Annual Meeting in Gloucester, how we support the Virginia Natural Area Preserves, hybridization of White Turtlehead (2024 VNPS Wildflower of the Year), native plants of South Africa and much more! 1-9-2024

• The Fall Sempervirens is out! Learn about the 2023 Research Grant awards, Natural Heritage news, Joe Pye Weed floral nectar, Maypop pollination, the new leaders elected at our Annual Meeting, and more! 10-9-2023

• In the Spring Sempervirens: Volunteers put the brakes on Mile-a-minute, Ruth Douglas battles invasive plants, pollination biology of Joe-Pye-Weed, upcoming events, and much more. 7-5-2023

• View our newest brochure "Your Yard Wants to be a Forest". And see more information and resources for the brochure. For printed copies, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to VNPS Piedmont Chapter, PO Box 336, The Plains, VA 20198. 5-1-2023

• VNPS now offers Joe-Pye-Weed artwork on T-Shirts, Tote Bags, and Coffee Mugs. Visit our Online Store to order. 4-12-2023

• Recordings of presentations at our Annual Workshop Sessions March 7 & 14 are now available on our Vimeo site. 3-16-2023

• Thank you to all the artists who entered our 2023 Wildflower of the Year T-Shirt Design Contest! And congratulations to Tamurlaine Melby of Richmond who submitted the winning design. Watch for new T-Shirts featuring her design coming soon in the VNPS Store.  3-16-2023

• Last chance to purchase: Buttonbush and 40th Anniversary apparel sales end on Tuesday, February 28, 2023! Visit the VNPS Store now. 2-16-2023

• Generous donors contributed more than $50,000 in our Annual Fundraiser to help the Virginia Wilderness Committee protect Shenandoah Mountain. Thank you!! 2-12-2023

• The new Plant Ridge & Valley Natives Guide is available for pre-order. We expect to ship the guide to pre-order customers by May 1, 2023. 2-1-2023

• In the December Sempervirens: news from the 2022 Annual Meeting. highlights and accomplishments of 2022, rare plant communities and Buttonbush, restoring Piedmont's grassland wilderness, and more! 12-18-2022

• The VNPS Logo Ball Cap is now available in Pink! Limited quantities are available - Get yours now! 12-7-2022

• Protect Shenandoah Mountain: VNPS will partner with the Virginia Wilderness Committee (VWC) and the Friends of Shenandoah Mountain (FSM) to help protect and preserve four key wilderness areas in the proposed  Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area of Virginia. Learn more and donate now. 11-6-2022

• Our 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting was held on September 17 at Natural Bridge, VA. View more information.  7-14-2022

• Catch up on VNPS news and events in the new Summer Sempervirens. We welcome Melody Mobley as our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair, review new discoveries of Bittercress and Ozark Milkvetch, learn about Buttonbush and colleters, and much more. 7-1-2022

• Buttonbush, the 2022 Wildflower of the Year, is now available on VNPS T-Shirts and Tote Bags. Visit our Online Store to order. 3-15-2022

• Did you miss any of the Annual Workshop sessions on March 8 and 15? You can view all the presentations on Vimeo.

• Check out the Winter, 2022 Sempervirens: Learn more about Wisteria and Button Bush, Virginia's native plant guru Gary Fleming, confessions of a Poison Ivy enthusiast, upcoming events, and more!

View the Final Report of the Virginia State Working Group which explored options for phasing out the sale and use of invasive plants in Virginia’s horticultural industry, and to promote the sale and use of native plants. 1-19-2022

• The 2022 Research Grant Application Period is now open. Find out more about submitting research proposals until March 1, 2022. 1-1-2022

• Thanks to generous donors and bidders, VNPS raised more than $6,000 in our Online Auction to benefit the Natural Areas Preserves Fund. 12-7-2021

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #89:  This year-round fern is named for a winter holiday. View photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #84: Clues: In a wetland, what has cigar-shaped flower heads among tall leaves? View photos and last week's answer.

• Seven new educational videos about the Flora of Virginia are now available. Watch the videos on the VNPS Vimeo page.

• Did you miss our 2021 Annual Meeting on September 17-18? Watch the recorded videos including presentations by Nikki Rovner of the Nature Conservancy and Jason Bulluck and Rob Evans of Virginia's Natural Heritage Program.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #76: Do you know the flowering plant with tall golden plumes which fills a sunny meadow? View the photos and last week's answer.

• Be sure to read the Summer 2021 edition of Sempervirens : a new Natural Area Preserve at Difficult Creek, updates on Virginia's Invasive Plant Working Group, the species of Wisteria, a profile of botanist Tom Wieboldt, and more.

• Check the latest updates on Virginia's actions to phase out the sale and use of Invasive plants. View information about the Invasive Plant Working Group activities.

• Statement on Cultivars. Read the Statement recently adopted by the VNPS Board of Directors.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #75: A short wand shines paler than its sister species. View the photos of this plant and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #74: Can you identify this plant with odd purplish flowers which bloom on a tall candelabrum? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #72: This flower's purple-blue shimmer brightens the late-summer meadow. What is it?  See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #71: This "gentle giant" has huge leaves and umbels. Do you know it?  See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #70: This flower's wands of white flowers droop over a marsh. What do you think it is?  See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #69:  Gay yellow flowers give way to fat black pods. What do you think? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #68: Can you identify this small white flower which corkscrews up a slender wand?  See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #67: This deep-rooted sun-lover has brilliant orange-yellow flowers. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #66: This well-defended native has two quite different kinds of flowers. Know what it is? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #65: Tall, graceful tapers light up the shady woodland. Do you know it's name? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #64: This wetland shrub has a flamboyant, musky, five-petaled flower. Do you know it's name? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #63: A relative of coffee, this opposite-leaved shrub loves wet places. What is itSee photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #62: This delicious wildflower blooms on thorny pads. Do you know itSee photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #61: This littlest member of the bellflowers might grace your yard in early summer. Can you identify itSee photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflowers of the Week #58, #59, & #60: We provide the clues - can you identify the native plants? See all our weekly questions6-6-2021

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #57: A cloud of strappy petals haloes this member of the Olive family. What is itSee photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #56: White spots might spatter this plant's lobed leaves. What do you think it is? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #55: Hooded flowers form a sort of pinwheel over ferny leaves. Can you identify it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #54: This delicate white flower has curvaceous basal leaves. Can you identify it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #53: Gray-green leaves catch your eye before the little ruffled flowers bloom. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #52: This spicy beauty lies low on the forest floor. Do you know what it is? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #51: In the marsh, big yellow flowers glow above heart-shaped leaves. Do you know what it is? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #50: White flowers rise from a stone ledge in very early spring. Do you know what it is? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #49: You might mistake this woodland wildflower for a pine cone or an ear of corn. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #48: This low-lying plant in the Heath family is a promise of Spring. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Did you miss any of the 2021 VNPS Annual Workshop sessions on March 2 and March 9? Watch the recorded videos now. 3/10/2021

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #47: This plant's long golden catkins dangle at the water’s edge. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Did you miss the VNPS Annual Workshop Day 1 presentations on March 2? Watch the Workshop video recordings now at https://vimeo.com/vnps. 3/5/2021

Action Alert Update: House Joint Resolution (HJ 527) was approved by the Virginia House and Senate and is awaiting Governor Northam's signature. 2/17/2021

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #46: This small rock-loving fern has once-cut fronds. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #45: Corky ridges and warts cover the trunk. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #44: This shrub or small tree in the Rose family has unbranched spines. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #43: This shrub or small tree in the Rose family has unbranched spines. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #42: This lover of wet ground shows very different fronds in summer and winter. See photos and last week's answer.

Action Alert Update: House Joint Resolution (HJ 527) was approved by the House and will go to the Senate for a vote. View VNPS President Nancy Vehrs testimony before the Studies Subcommittee of the House Rules Committee and skip forward to about 08:28 AM.  1/26/2021

What's being done to protect Virginia's plants? In his video presentation on January 13, Chris Ludwig examined the mounting threats to our native flora and show what’s being done to mitigate these risks. 1/1/2021

• Cathy Mayes Memorial Fund: The Piedmont Chapter has formed a partnership with the Clifton Institute near Warrenton to honor the memory of Cathy Mayes. See more about the Memorial Fund and how to donate in Cathy's memory. 12/20/2020

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #41: This twining vine has distinctive three-bladed capsules. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #39: This little evergreen vine in the Madder family brightens the winter woods. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #38: Brilliant, densely packed red berries stand out dramatically on bare branches. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #37: In an old field or in your living room at Christmas, this familiar tree has much to give. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #35: Don’t sample this alluring yellow fruit in the Nightshade family. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #34: Look upward to find this native shrub clasping its host tree. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #33: This widespread low tree or tall shrub in the Cashew family comes into its own in the fall. What is it? See photos and last week's answer. 11/28/202

Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #32: A member of the Evening primrose family holds seeds in marvelous capsules. What is it? See photos and last week's answer. 11/22/2020

Read about Red Chokeberry that shines in all seasons in Betsy Washington's latest blog post. 11/9/2020

• A study funded by a VNPS Research Grant to Dr. Andrea Weeks at George Mason University aims to restore and recover native plant diversity at Gilbert's Corner in Loudoun County. Register for Dr. Weeks' Zoom presentation on her project on November 15. 11/6/2020

Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #30: In November, this plant's berries seem to stare back at you. Handle with care! See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #29: This shrubby tree has flowers with four strappy yellow petals. Look for them around Halloween. See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #28: These small yellow flowers shine on shallow river shorelines - what are they? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #27: Show-stopper in the fall, with scarlet leaves and dark blue fruit? See photos and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #26: This mint family member has tiny bluish flowers and a sharp aroma. See photos and last week's answer. 10/10/2020

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #25: Graceful white sprays of these odd flowers appear above a whorl of three leaves. See a photo and last week's answer.

• Goldenrod Glows in the Fall: Read our latest blog post about this Fall beauty.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #24: This super-strong member of the daisy family holds its clusters of brilliant magenta or purple flowers as much as ten feet high. See a photo and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Chapter Wildflower of the Week #23: What is a leathery evergreen fern with spores in tan globes? See a photo and last week's answer.

VNPS Guidance for Walks and In-Person Events during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

• Wildflower of the Week #22: In the Mint family with squarish heads of packed purple flowers? See a photo and last week's answer.

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #21: Can you identify a member of the Bellflower family with thick spires of violet-blue? See a photo and last week's answer.

Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #19: What wispy grass lends a purple haze to a whole field when blooming? See a photo and last week's answer. 8/21/2020

The (Northern) Piedmont Native Plants guide is back in stock. Check out all the regional native plant guides available for download and print copy purchase. 8/17/2020

• Piedmont Wildflower of the Week #18: A yellow flower in the bean family, tall patches in meadows, pods turn black in fall. Do you know the name?  8/15/2020

Piedmont Chapter Wildflower of the Week #17: Evergreen leaves, silvery veins, tiny hairs cover the flowers. What is it? 8/9/2020

• Passionflower Pops in Summer: Read Betsy Washington's new blog post from the Northern Neck. 7/30/2020

• Piedmont Wildflower of the WeekWhat is this fragrant member of the Onograceae family that shines best at sunset? 7/25/2020

• New Video: Marion Lobstein and Sally Anderson present an Overview and How To on the Flora of Virginia Mobile App. 7/13/2020

• 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. 6/10/2020

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. 5/22/2020

• 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] 3/11/2020

• 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. 2/19/2020

• VNPS Funded Research Reveals Which Trees are Dying and Why. 12/29/2019

• Piedmont Chapter Curlyheads Flower T-Shirts are now available for sale! These are beautiful shirts though in limited quantities. 10/24/2019

• 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.

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Seeds of a New Chapter?

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…

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The Hunt Is On: Meet the Treasures!

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…

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Wavyleaf Basketgrass: Help Stop it Now!

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.…

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Asclepias Tuberosa, the Butterfly Queen

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…

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Wild and Wonderful West Virginia: Report from the Field

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…

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

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…

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Fracking in Virginia: Report from Conservation Chair

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:…

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Matelea obliqua: Climbing Milkweed

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…

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Native Plants for Pollinators: An App

June 16, 2014 |

It’s National Pollinator Week, and now we can all Bee smart, because there’s an app for that! Yes, really. The next time you are shopping for plants, you will be able have help in figuring out the plants you can use in your very own garden to help pollinators the most. Available on both Android…

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VNPS Writes Proclamation for Pollinator Week

June 4, 2014 |

The VNPS takes an active role in legislative issues, keeping members informed of important ideas and laws that are being considered by lawmakers in Virginia. We also coordinate with other groups to put forward actions that work toward our goal of conservation. Recently the Pollinator Partnership put out a call for national recognition of a…

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Three Cheers for Ninebark: Physocarpus opulifolius

May 29, 2014 |

Ninebark, a native shrub with  an intriguing name, is a plant worth getting to know. Its many attributes include an abundant flowering habit which is currently being exhibited in Virginia. The city of Alexandria put some native plantings in new park at the base of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge three springs ago. Last week a…

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Dr. Tallamy’s Reply to “What’s all the fuss about native plants?”

May 19, 2014 |

Our blog this week is a letter written by Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and author of Bringing Nature Home. Written to the New York Times last week: Subject: Misinterpretation/factual errors in article on Gardening for Climate Change Dear Editor: I am…

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