Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod Lights Up Woodlands

October 21, 2022

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter At our recent fall native plant sale a number of shoppers requested shade tolerant perennials that bloom in shady woodland gardens in late summer and fall, long after spring bloomers have faded. The October Plant of the Month, Blue-stemmed Goldenrod, Solidago caesia, fits the bill beautifully and like other…

Enchanting Blue Vervain

August 28, 2022

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) enhances any landscape in which it grows. It is one of my favorite mid to late summer native perennials for any number of reasons. The beautiful purplish blue flowers atop tall stems provide a striking vertical accent contrasting with more typical mounded plants and flower…

Turk’s-Cap Lily Stuns in Summer

July 20, 2022

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Turk’s-cap Lily (Lilium superbum) is one of our most spectacular wildflowers in eastern North America. Its stunning flowers bloom right now in July and August. Native to wet meadows and rich moist cove forests and bogs from New Hampshire south to Georgia and Alabama, it is found in most…

The Curious Pawpaw

May 29, 2022

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter The Pawpaw, Asimina triloba, is a handsome small tree that is as fascinating as it is curious. Pawpaw is a member of the Custard-Apple Family, the Annonaceae, a large family of tropical and subtropical species. Ranging from Florida and Texas north to New York and Southern Ontario, Pawpaw is…

The Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly, Its Host Plants, and the New Threat They Face

April 29, 2022

By Mary Lee Epps A new non-native fungus and the beetle that carries it may soon severely impact sassafras, spicebush, and most other members of the Laurel family in the United States. Sadly, since these are the main host plants of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, which is now common throughout most of the Eastern U.S.,…

Magical Mexican Dogwoods: What Should We Call Them?

March 29, 2022

By W. John Hayden, Botany Chair Who knew? Cornus florida, the 2018 VNPS Wildflower of the Year and State Tree of Virginia, has a cousin living in the mountains of eastern Mexico! Mexican Dogwoods have been found in the states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. They are, manifestly, close relatives of the familiar Flowering…

Partridge-berry Is Bright All Year

February 17, 2022

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Partridge-berry (Mitchella repens) is a handsome evergreen vine that creeps along the ground reaching only 2” high. Its long trailing stems can reach 12” long but it develops roots at nodes along the stem wherever it touches the ground, creating large dense colonies. Widespread across eastern North America, it…

Native and Invasive Plant Legislation in the 2022 General Assembly

January 17, 2022

The Virginia General Assembly convened January 12, 2022 and three bills were introduced in the 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 for a full vote. View the Virginia…

Wildflower of the Year 2022 Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

January 1, 2022

VNPS is excited to offer beautiful Buttonbush artwork on T-Shirts and Tote Bags.  Visit our Online Store to order. Buttonbush is a shrub or small tree commonly attaining heights up to about 6 m, occasionally twice that size. Leaves are opposite or whorled, elliptic to ovate, 2-8 cm wide, and 6-15 cm long; margins are…

Baldcypress: Towering Virginia Icon

November 21, 2021

By Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter Baldcypress, Taxodium distichum, our November Plant of the Month, is an unforgettable sight all year. But in late fall when its soft foliage turns vibrant shades of copper-orange, it lights up the entire landscape. These trees are called “bald” because, unlike most other conifers, they are deciduous and lose…