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:…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

VNPS: What Do We DO?

May 8, 2014

“A plant society? What is that? What kinds of things do you do?,”  asked a somewhat incredulous young man visiting a VNPS table recently. One of the things we do, of course, is to have educational display tables at all kinds of events, where people can ask questions like this one! To the inquirer, I…

The Plantwhacker Wins!

May 1, 2014

For years, while mercilessly killing non-native invasive plants at Long Branch Nature Center, I have harbored the admitted fantasy that the invasives’ removal will magically reveal some cool, unexpected native plants. And to be sure, I have seen some nice native plants and have been able to track how many of them respond positively to…

Natives Are Glamorous Plants!

April 14, 2014

“Natives are the most glamorous things in the world,” says Randee Wilson, “It really gnaws on me to hear people refer to natives as weedy.” Randee shared his opinion recently with a group of people who are working on  a native plant marketing partnership. There may be some non-natives that are beautiful, too,” Randee said, …

Spring Ephemerals: Catch ’em While You Can

April 7, 2014

April is perhaps the very best month in Virginia to catch a sight of these extraordinary flowers that grace the landscape for such a brief time. To be ephemeral is to be short-lived, fleeting, brief. Bluebells, merrybells, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, trilliums, lady slipper orchids, bloodroot, hepatica, trout lily, twinleaf and toothwort; even their names…