Paw Paws And The Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

By Mary Lee Epps Pawpaws have a great deal to offer—handsome flowers in the spring, delicious and highly nutritious fruit in the early fall, plus they are the only host plant of one of our most beautiful butterflies, the zebra swallowtail. Our pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is the northernmost member of the mostly tropical Annonaceae (or… [Read More]

Save Plants, Save The Planet, Save Ourselves — Native Plants and Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change And Other Threats to Humanity

By Emily B. Roberson and Doug Tallamy for the Native Plant Conservation Campaign Sea level rise, record breaking heat waves, floods, pollution, mass extinction — 2019 is frightening! What if there were one simple thing individuals, businesses and communities could do to address these problems? There is! Plant native plants! Native wildflowers and trees are… [Read More]

‘Spirit of Inquiry’ drove Chris Ludwig

Chris Ludwig, botanist, zoologist, and general all-arounder with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, is off to greener pastures after 30 very busy years in the conservation community. And I do mean actual pastures right now since, as I write, Chris and his wife, Jolie, are staring out across the Serengeti as wildebeest swarm and flocks… [Read More]

Jack-in-the-Pulpit Preaches Preservation

Unlike many wildflowers that make a beautiful but brief spring appearance, the perennial Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) appears later in April and continues to add interest to moist woodlands until late fall. The hooded inflorescence which resembles a pulpit (a spathe) has a “Jack” (a spadix) standing in the center as if delivering a sermon. Perhaps… [Read More]

VNPS Member Catherine Ledec Named Fairfax County Citizen of the Year

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a banquet where VNPS member Cathy Ledec was honored as Fairfax County’s 2018 Citizen of the Year. How gratifying it is to see someone recognized for efforts in preserving our natural environment! This prestigious award has been presented for the past 69 years by the Fairfax County Federation… [Read More]

2019 Wildflower of the Year: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

New Jersey Tea is a low shrub, generally less than 1 m tall and often profusely branched. Stems are finely hairy, but may become smooth with age. Vegetative stems are perennial, but flowering stems persist for just a single year. Leaves are mostly 5 to 10 cm long; leaf shape varies from narrowly to widely… [Read More]

New and “Resurrected” Endemic Plants of Virginia’s Shale Region

Back in 2014, John Townsend, VNPS Director at Large and Staff Botanist for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, wrote about A Tale of Shale: Virginia’s New Violet describing unique plant populations in north central Virginia. In this new report, John provides an update on the Viola and the discovery of two new potential taxa… [Read More]

VNPS Grows Two Virginia Natural Area Preserves

Mount Joy Pond Natural Area Preserve Update: January 24, 2019. Several VNPS members visited our newly-acquired site and the adjacent DCR property. Check out the photo album on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to see what it looks like in the spring. The Virginia Native Plant Society has become a landowner! On October 23, 2018… [Read More]

VNPS Members Honored by Prince William Conservation Alliance

The Prince William Conservation Alliance recently honored two long-time members of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Nancy Vehrs and Jim Waggener, for their service, contributions, and advocacy for conservation. The Alliance works to explore, enjoy and protect our natural areas, and increase community involvement in stewardship opportunities. Nancy Vehrs received the 2018 Heart of Gold Award…. [Read More]

If You Plant It, They Will Come

“If you plant it they will come,” to paraphrase a line from the iconic Kevin Costner film, “Field of Dreams.” That was the hope of John Magee,  former Horticulture Chair of the Virginia Native Plant Society. John’s firm, Magee Design, partnered with Ashburn Village in Loudoun County in an effort to revitalize Tippecanoe Lake, one of 8… [Read More]