Your Yard Wants to be a Forest

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Cullers Overlook at Shenandoah State Park - Photo by Richard Stromberg

Cullers Overlook at Shenandoah State Park - Photo by Richard Stromberg

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Eupatorium at Bull Run

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Photo by Brigitte Hartke

Winterberry at Shenandoah National Park

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) at Shenandoah National Park

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

• New in 2024: the VNPS Piedmont Chapter will award $5,000 for well-defined projects located in Fauquier County, Virginia, that address the VNPS Mission and Goals. View more information about the grant program. 1-13-2024

• 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. 4-5-2023

• View the Winter 2022 Leafletnews and photos from our Annual Meeting in October, Butterfly & Host Plant Walk at Blandy, Searching for the Hickory Horned Devil, upcoming events, and more. 11-21-2022

• Check out the Autumn 2022 Leaflet Newslettera garlic mustard pull at Thompson WMA, a new book on mosses, the conversion of a cow pasture to wildlife preserve, and more. 8-22-2022

• In the Summer 2022 Leaflet Newsletter: Read about our Walk at the State Arboretum and the Phelps Wildlife Management area, exploring regional grasslands, upcoming events, and more. 5-22-2022

• A Farewell to WoW! This is the last Wildflower of the Week in a series spanning two eventful years. This project has kept us grounded through the time when we could not gather in person to celebrate our love of plants.  View the answer to our final Wildflower #104. 4-16-2022

In the Spring 2022 Leaflet Newsletter: Read about our Appalachian Trail exploration, managing Blandy's meadow, skunk cabbage, how thorns protect plants, upcoming events, and more. 2-28-2022

• Wildflower of the Week #104: Clustered in rich limestone woods, this native plant is named for a president. Can you identify this plant from the photos? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #103: This little pink-white member of the mustards is scattered on the forest floor. Know what it is? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #102: Look carefully among fallen leaves for this diminutive plant. What is it? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #101: This ancient spore-bearing plant is full of silica. Do you know it? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #100: With this plant, clouds of yellow pollen drift along damp roads. Think you know what is is? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #99: This early blooming shrub is deliciously aromatic. Can you identify it from a couple of photos? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #98: This member of the buttercup family is a soft-haired surprise in the cold woods. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

• Did you miss Jack Monsted's presentation on "Old Growth in New Meadows?" on January 23? Watch the recorded talk on Vimeo. 1-24-2022

• Wildflower of the Week #97: Take a virtual plant walk with us! Can you name this plant? Clue: Find running water where you see this beacon shine. View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #96: Wear boots to look for these early risers - can you identify this "early" plant?  View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #95: In winter woods, look for a solitary leaf with a purple underside. Do you know this plant? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #94: A wavy outline—widening and narrowing—shows this plant's growing seasons. Know what it is? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #93: This plant with a wavy outline — widening and narrowing — shows this plant's growing seasons. Can you identify it? View photos and see last week's answer.

Winter 2021 Leaflet Newsletter: Read about recent walks at Jones Nature Preserve, the Blue Ridge Center, our 2021 Annual Meeting and election,  upcoming events, and more. 11-21-2021

• Wildflower of the Week #92: Do you know a delicious vine that hitchhikes on a tree? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #91: An aromatic evergreen grows in dense patches.  Check the photos to see if you can identify it and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #90: Clue: This little tree has dull green,  spiky leaves. View photos and last week's answer.

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

• Wildflower of the Week #88:  Do you know this plant with dense tussocks of shiny stems that tell you the soil is wet? View photos and last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #87:  Clue: This crooked tree is at home on a rocky precipice. Know what it is? View photos and last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #86: Easy to spot in winter, this subshrub’s leaf sports a white stripe. Can you identify it? View photos and last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #85: This evergreen pioneer has aromatic wood and berrylike cones. Know this tree? View photos and last week's answer.

• 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.

• Wildflower of the Week #83: What has sprightly narrow fronds and stands erect above ground-hugging fronds? View photos and last week's answer.

Summer 2021 Leaflet Newsletter: Read all about Cool Spring Ecological Communities, the Weston Wildlife Management area, upcoming events, and more. 5-28-2021

• Wildflower of the Week #82: From this plant's skinny pods, seeds will float on silken threads. View photos and last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #81: Flamboyant in the fall with dark blue berries, this vine helps migrating birds. View photos and last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #80: This crowd-surfer slings a tangled web from plant to plant. View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #79: Don’t confuse this native beauty with its tougher, spinier European cousin. What is it? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #78: Know what has small brown stalks which blend in with leaf letter? View photos and see last week's answer.

• Wildflower of the Week #77: This wildflower has a triangle of bracts holding a nosegay of little purple flowers. Know what it is? View the photos and last week's answer.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Wildflower of the Week #73: Half the story of this twining plant is hidden underground. Can you identify it? See photos and last week's answer.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Wildflower of the Week #65: Tall, graceful tapers light up the shady woodland. Can you identify this flower? See photos and last week's answer.

• 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.

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

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

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

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

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

• 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.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Now available: Dr. Emily Southgate's Zoom presentation on "Not Your Textbook Roots, Stems, and Leaves" on February 27. Watch the video recording now.

• Did you miss Dr. Emily Southgate's Zoom presentation on "Plants Beyond the Basics" January 30? Watch the video recording now.

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

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

• Wildflower of the Week #44: A solitary striped and pleatedleaf catches your eye. What is it? See photos and last week's answer.

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

• 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.

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.

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

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

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

• 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.

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White Turtlehead is a perennial herb rising from a rhizomatous rootstock. The smooth stems are only sparingly branched above and attain heights 0.5 to 2 m. Leaves are opposite, narrow, linear to lance-ovate, and up to 15 cm long, with prominently toothed margins. Flower spikes are 3-8 cm long and form at stem tips from…... Read more
February 12, 2024
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
The Virginia General Assembly convened January 10, 2024 and several bills were introduced in the Senate and House of Delegates that deal with native and invasive plants. The first step is to assign the bills to committees, then to subcommittees. Bills must pass the committee to be referred to the House or Senate for a…... Read more
January 18, 2024
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Native Plant Society Slender Flat-top Goldenrod (Euthamia caroliniana) is a beautiful deciduous, perennial closely related to goldenrods and is an underused but superior pollinator plant. Its nectar-rich flowers bloom over a long period from September into late fall, often lasting into November or even December. It is particularly important to…... Read more
December 20, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Fall is the time that our warm season grasses shine in the garden by adding movement, color, and drama to the landscape. Andropogon glomeratus, or Bushy Bluestem, also called Bushy Bluebeard, is a compact, beautiful native grass often reaching only 2 – 4’ high, with attractive foliage and distinctive…... Read more
September 17, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) is a standout in any garden pond, or freshwater coastal stream or river when its showy lavender-blue flowers are held above the foliage on tall stems. This perennial grows in shallow water where it tolerates up to 2’ of occasional flooding but prefers less than one…... Read more
August 12, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Virginia Sweetspire, Itea virginica, is a stunning deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub and the perfect choice for our May Plant of the Month as the long racemes of white flowers are just beginning to open on this first day of May. Typically growing from 3 – 5’ high and 4…... Read more
June 28, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Native Plant Society Chapter Carolina or Yellow Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is a stunning evergreen vine native to the southern United States and Mexico south to Guatemala. In Virginia, Carolina Jessamine is a coastal beauty, common along the southern and central Coastal Plain north to the counties of Lancaster and the…... Read more
May 9, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society
By Emily Byers, Jefferson Chapter I enjoy the surprise of blooms in my garden each year and always add new native species. Last Fall, I received two eastern prickly pears, Opuntia humifusa, from a fellow gardener. I planted both cacti in a “problem” area of my garden. The area is shaded, gritty stays dry, and reminds…... Read more
April 3, 2023
Source: Virginia Native Plant Society