Home is Where the Grassland Is with Chris Ludwig [via Zoom]

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Thursday, May 9, 2024
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Chris will talk about the oak savanna he has been working to restore on his 10-acre plot in Hanover County Virginia. His efforts began in 1991. He will talk about his use of fire and mechanical clearing, his refusal to plant anything, his battles with invasive plants, and his patience in waiting for the native understory flora to develop. “Build it and they will come” – so true but it can take a while.

Chris Ludwig at Mt. Mansfield, VT

Chris Ludwig has explored the flora of Virginia for over 32 years. During his explorations, he has documented over 1,000 rare plant populations and has discovered or co-discovered 20 new plant species previously undocumented from the Commonwealth, two of which are new to science. Much of this work took place when Chris worked for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. There he served as Staff Botanist from 1988 to 1996 and Chief Biologist from 1997 until his retirement in 2019.

In 2000, Chris joined Marion Lobstein and Joslin Gallatin to form the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project and he worked over the next 12 years to produce the Flora of Virginia, a 1554-page illustrated manual that describes Virginia’s vascular plants with details on their taxonomy, morphology, ecology, biological status, and identification. Chris coauthored this work with Alan Weakley and Johnny Townsend. The volume was made available in the Flora of Virginia app that is available on Android and iOS devices. The Flora app also enhances the original work with a graphic key that enables identification by less experienced naturalists.