Help Protect Shenandoah Mountain

Help VNPS Protect Shenandoah Mountain for Future Generations

 
Photo by Lynn Cameron

In the Fall 2022 Sempervirens
In the Fall 2022 Sempervirens
VNPS 40th Anniversary
1982-2022

 
Remembering the Early Days of Excitement & Discovery

Virginia Witmer

VNPS 40th Anniversary Apparel
VNPS 40th Anniversary
1982 - 2022
T-Shirts & Sweatshirts

Various Colors and Sizes

In the Summer, 2022 Sempervirens

In the Summer Sempervirens

Melody Mobley: new Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion Chair; Our Annual Meeting returns
in-person in September(!) ; visits to two
Natural Area Preserves, and much more...

Photo by Jay Westcott

VNPS Ballcaps
VNPS Ballcaps
Now on Sale
Buttonbush 2022 Wildflower of the Year

Buttonbush

Wildflower of the Year
2022

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News & Updates

• 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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Iris and Iridaceae Taxonomy Overview in Flora of Virginia

May 24, 2017 |

Worldwide, Iridaceae, the Iris Family comprises 65 genera and approximately 6700-7170 species. The growth forms of this family range from herbs to shrubs with all of our species being herbaceous. The Iris Family or Iridaceae was named by A.L. de Jussieu in 1789. This family was first recognized by John Ray in 1703 as a separate…

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The Lycophytes

March 5, 2017 |

While I was writing about ferns and mosses, I became aware of other plants that could not be ignored, since some are very common here, such as Ground-pine and Running-cedar. These plants are Lycophytes, which happen to be the first entry of Taxonomic Treatments in the Flora of Virginia, on page 137. Lycophytes are followed by…

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Evergreen and Creepy: It’s Winter Creeper!

January 5, 2017 |

Winter Creeper, (Euonymus fortunei), with its glossy evergreen leaves, is easy to spot in the woods right now. This member of the Bittersweet family, (Celastraceae), is native to China, Japan and Korea. Introduced here as an ornamental plant, Winter Creeper, also known as Creeping Euonymus, has escaped cultivation, according to the National Park Service, and…

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Old-Age Forest at Chapman State Park

November 20, 2016 |

The old-age forest section of Chapman State Park is a fascinating and regionally unique meeting ground for plants with a primary range in the inner Piedmont and mountains and those of the Coastal Plain. This section extends from the low river terrace and extensive Water-willow Shrublands along the Potomac River to the marl cliffs and…

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Morella on the Barrier Islands

November 4, 2016 |

The barrier islands are one of Virginia’s last great wilderness areas, virtually uninhabited by humans. They have one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the eastern seaboard, and the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier islands in the global temperate zone. The roughly 23 islands that make up this group are owned by The Nature…

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The Preservation of Remnant Native Oaks in Urban and Suburban Areas

September 25, 2016 |

I and others have recently received inquiries regarding cases of oak decline and death throughout Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, Virginia – oak species (Quercus spp.) being the dominant and characteristic trees of the upland landscape in both jurisdictions. In all cases over the years, I have not seen any evidence of disease…

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Lovin’ the Lichens!

September 13, 2016 |

The 2016 VNPS Annual Meeting was a lot of fun; full of laughter and mingling with old friends as well as making many new ones. The highlight of the weekend for me was a Lichen Walk at Wildwood Park. To our delight only four of us joined Gary Cote for the walk, and we were…

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Pollinator Week: Something to Celebrate!

June 19, 2016 |

The fascinating process of pollination, and the beautiful creatures who perform it, these are indeed wonderful things to celebrate. Pollinator Week 2016, June 20 – 26, comes at a good time for us to focus on something we can all appreciate, understand, and support. Certainly there is more to know, but what fun would it…

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The Bug Guy Talks Zika

May 30, 2016 |

The hot topic of mosquitoes and the potential for spread of the dreaded Zika virus created quite a buzz at the May 12 chapter meeting of Potowmack chapter. Michael Raupp, Ph.D., Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland, was scheduled to speak on the topic “Bugs Make the World Go Round,” but the recent news…

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Best Management Practices for Lawn Care

May 1, 2016 |

Important decisions about how to maintain a lawn area have received a lot of press as ideas  change about the ways we use, and treat, this part of the landscape. Rod Simmons spoke on the subject recently, and has kindly agreed to share answers to some of the follow-up questions from his presentation at the…

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A Suburban Mushroom

April 24, 2016 |

Just a few weeks after learning about mushrooms at the VNPS Workshop, Plants and Their Friends: Exploring Partnerships Above and Below Ground, I got out of my car, wandered across to see what was blooming in the front yard. There, in bloom, was a wood poppy that a friend had given us a few years…

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Imperiled Purple Milkweed at Huntley Meadows Park

April 10, 2016 |

Huntley Meadows probably has the largest population of purple milkweed in the state according to Gary Fleming, Vegetation Ecologist for Virginia’s Natural Heritage Program. For a number of years, through efforts begun by its Past President, Marianne Mooney, the Potowmack Chapter has been providing support to Huntley. When recent water control efforts caused major disruption…

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