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Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

Task force threatens Natural Heritage Program 

When the Virginia General As¬ 
sembly was in session earlier this year, 
legislation was proposed that could 
have effectively disabled the state's 
most capable species protection arm, 
the Natural Heritage Program. A task 
force ordered by Governor George 
Allen had recommended that Heri 
tage, along with certain other 
key government functions in¬ 
volved with natural resources, 
be consolidated within the 
Department of Game and 
Inland Fisheries (DGIF). 

Such a transfer into a barely 
compatible department, to 
be made without funding, 
seemed a move calculated to 
cripple species protection in Vir¬ 
ginia. Conservation groups led by 
VNPS and The Nature Conservancy 

objected and prevailed. 

While the action was headed off, 
the flawed idea did not vanish. Over 
the past months, the Joint Legislative 
Audit Review Commission (JLARC), 

has complied with a request by the 
General Assembly to review once 
more the feasibility of consolidation. 
JLARC's draft recommendations 
were issued on October 16,1996. The 
recommendation that Heritage be re¬ 
moved from the Department of 
Conservation and Resources 
(DCR) and placed with 
DGIF has re-emerged 
as a key part of the re¬ 
port. Also, the Endan¬ 
gered Plant and In¬ 
sect Species Program, 
now falling under the 
Virginia Department of 
Agriculture and Con¬ 
sumer Services (VDACS) 
would be transferred. The 
entire restructured division 
(See Heritage , page 8) 

VNPS supports national strategy for invasive plant management 

The Virginia Native Plant Society 
became a cooperator with the Federal 
Native Plant Conservation Initiative 
in 1995. This federal group is an orga¬ 
nization of federal agencies actively 
supported by groups like VNPS, 
known as cooperators, who have a 
strong interest in native plants and 
protecting their habitats. 

Native plants are being threat- 
| ened by the rapid spread of many 
invasive plants in our croplands, for¬ 
ests, parks, prairies, wetlands and 
waterways. Invasives crowd out na¬ 
tive plants, disrupt ecosystem pro¬ 

cesses, alter wildlife habitats and cost 
industry millions annually. 

The Native Plant Conservation 
Initiative has developed a draft Na¬ 
tional Strategy for Invasive Plant 
Management.This draft has been devel¬ 
oped to serve as a focal point for every¬ 
one concerned about invasive plants. 

The Strategy's goals, objectives, 
and opportunities provide a frame¬ 
work of ideas and principles that, 
when implemented individually or 
cooperatively, will result in the resto¬ 
ration, preservation and enhancement 
of our nation's lands. 

The Strategy has three goals: pre¬ 
vention, control and restoration. Each 
goal has one or more objectives with 
exemplary action items. Three ap¬ 
proaches called partnerships, educa¬ 
tion and research are identified for 
each objective. 

The Virginia Native Plant Society, 
as a Native Plant Cooperator, supports 
this Strategy. We believe that it pro¬ 
vides the best approach to the prob¬ 
lems associated with invasive plants 
by unifying national resources to sup¬ 
port local actions. 

•. : Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society . 

From the President 

Happy New Year! As we begin a new calendar year let us all rededicate ourselves to our goals of preserving wildflowers 
and wild habitats. Our natural world is constantly being threatened by developers, unthinking resource extractors and, of 
course, ourselves. How easy it is to see someone else's abuse of the environment, but sometimes our very own lifestyle places 
stress on the environment, which in turn supports further thoughtless development or resource extraction. We need to con¬ 
stantly think about the things we do and the wildflowers we all love. 

I recently read a short piece by Kevin Connelly. It was taken from Gardener's Guide to California Wildflowers ,1991. 

Grozving wildflowers is reivarding if you learn to distinguish these small voices 
and listen. They zvhisper the history of where your house stands and ivhere your 
garden lies f a chronicle of rainy seasons and droughts, fires, and floods stretching 
hack centuries. Tune your senses to these voices, and they zvill tell you zvhat zvild- 
flowers to grozv, hozv and zvhen to plant them and, best of all, zvhy. 

This year, 1997, will mark the first year we have celebrated a native tree as our Wildflower of the Year. Fringe-tree (Chionanthus 
virginicus) should receive a lot of attention and will be readily available from most nurseries. The Winter Workshop will focus on trees. 
Read about it in this Bulletin and make plans to attend. There are lots of exciting things in the works for this year. Please get involved with 
your chapter and state-sponsored events. We hope to develop a Web Site on the Internet this year. We are in need of an experienced designer 
who would be willing to donate some time and effort to this project. Anyone willing to help with this should contact one of the following: 
Dr. Stanwyn Shetler Frank Coffey 

142 E. Meadowland Lane P.O. Box 137 

Sterling, VA 20164-1144 Concord, VA 24538-0137 

e-mail: e-mail: 

And finally, it was with great sadness that I learned of the sudden death of Loren Staunton, Nicky's husband. Not only did 
Loren and Nicky raise a family together, they were a team or as Nicky often put it "buddies." Loren was a regular participant in 
all of the Society activities that involved Nicky and was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone needing it. Loren and 
Nicky participated in two Bruce Peninsula trips and had planned to participate once again in ’97. 

/ guess Loren's participation really increased when he became a "First Husband" of the Society during Nicky's six-year 
tenure as president. He continued to make regular trips to the VNPS post office box right up to his untimely death. 

I will miss Loren's cheerfulness, sharp subtle wit and helping hands especially at Executive Committee and Board of Direc¬ 
tor meetings. Loren: thanks for all of your generosity and kindness. VNPS has truly lost a "Buddy." 

Your President, Frank Coffey 

members Wanted 

The Virginia Native Plant Society is trying 
to find new ways to increase its membership 
as well as its presence throughout the state. We 
want to let more people know about us and the 
wonderful things we can accomplish. The larger 
our membership, the better we can educate the 
public and carry out our conservation efforts. 

If you have any ideas about increasing our 
statewide, public exposure, such as through 
magazine advertisement, or any other ways to 
publicize our endeavors, please let us know. We 
are open to ideas and suggestions to help keep 
our organization growing and expanding. Call 
Alonso Abugattas, VNPS Public Relations 
Chair, at 703-358-6535 during the day or 703- 
528-8808 evenings, e-mail; fax 
703-845-2654 to let your ideas be heard. 

Page 2 : — . - - - ■ — 

Writers Wanted 

In order to bring Bulletin readers the full fla¬ 
vor of what our statewide society has to offer, the 
editor is inviting members to consider submitting 
an article for inclusion in the next, and all future, 
newsletter issues. 

Articles of particular interest would be places to 
visit-parks, preserves, forests—and enjoy Virginia's 
native plants. An overview of what might be found 
there as well as directions and times to visit should 
be included. There are hundreds of these places 
throughout the Old Dominion. Share your favorite 
native plant spot with other chapters. 

Other articles could include, but are not limited 
to, a book or video review, chapter news, or a focus 
on a specific plant or plant issue. If you have ideas 
or an article, please contact: Nancy Sorrells, Editor 
VNPS Bulletin, Rt. 2, Box 726, Greenville, VA 24440; or 
call 540-377-6390; or e-mail: 

January 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

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V This year's VNPS winter workshop will be held Saturday, March 22 at the • 

University of Richmond which is the same location as last year's workshop. 

Acommittee led by Education Chair Effie Fox with help from Botany Chair 
Stan Shetler, Conservation Chair Nicky Staunton, and Horticulture Chair Nancy 
Arrington are organizing the program and lining up speakers. Possible topics 
include an overview of Virginia's native trees, tree care and management, tree 
identification and preservation of trees with a look at trees in Natural 
Heritage's preserves. Nancy Hugo will present a session on Virginia's 
champion and historic trees. If you have an interesting tree story, photos 
of historic or champion trees, or know the location of such trees in the 
state, please let Nancy Hugo know at 804-798-6364. 

A brochure describing the workshop will be mailed to members in_ — 
February. Meanwhile, mark March 22 on your 1997 calendar and plan to 
be in Richmond. __^ 

’ /' 

Arlington House 
surroundings threatened 


Grant project proceeding on schedule 

The Defense Authorization Bill 
for Fiscal '97 allows the transfer of 
the last 24 acres of the once 1100-acre 
Arlington plantation back to the 
United States Army for additional 
grave sites at the National Cemetery 
in Arlington, Virginia. 

This threatens Arlington House: The 
Robert E. Lee Memorial with the destruc¬ 
tion of the last forested area sorrounding 
the historic home. Those 24 acres were 
to be "set aside in perpetuity" to preserve 
an appropriate setting for the mansion, 
home of George Washington's adopted 
son, George Washington Parke Custis, as 
well as that of his son-in-law, Gen. Robert 
E. Lee. 

All of this just to provide acreage for 
grave sites that will totally consume it 
in just five years. If you wish, you can 
express your feelings to Governor 
George Allen, 900 East Main Street, 14th 
Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219. 

Work continues on the project, 
partially funded by the National 
Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to cre¬ 
ate a master list of native plants for 
use in horticulture, landscaping or 
conservation activities. At a meeting 
held December 3 in Richmond at the 
Department of Conservation and 
Recreation (DCR), Division of Natu¬ 
ral Heritage, representatives from 
the following organizations met to 
review the list of plants compiled: 
Dept, of Agriculture and Conserva¬ 
tion Services; Department of For¬ 
estry; DCR-Division of Soil & Wa¬ 
ter Conservation; Department of 
Transportation; DCR-Division of 
Natural Heritage; Department of 
Horticulture, Virginia Tech; Virginia 
Nurserymen's Association; The Na¬ 

ture Conservancy; Lewis Ginter Bo¬ 
tanical Garden; Virginia Native 
Plant Society; and Virginia Chapter 
of the American Society of Land¬ 
scape Architects. 

The list being reviewed was 
comprised of some 350 plants, 
deemed much too many to be real¬ 
istic. Subcommittees were estab¬ 
lished to review and prune the list 
for the four categories: herbs, trees 
and shrubs, ferns and vines, grasses 
and sedges. This work is to be com¬ 
pleted by mid-February. 

Meanwhile, Natural Heritage 
and VNPS representatives will study 
how the information can best be or¬ 
ganized for effective presentation in 

January 1997 

Page 3 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

For the library 

"Rosie's Posies " sure to be a success with young gardeners 

Rosie's Posies by Marcy Dunn 
Ramsey; Tidewater Publishers; 
Centreville, Maryland; ISBN 
0-87033-472-7; $14.95 

Rosie is a little girl who has just 
moved to a new place. She has no 
friends and is lonely. Her mother 
suggests that they plant a garden. 

Rosie's mother orders the 
seeds, and when they come they be¬ 
gin to make their garden. 

When the seeds come up Rosie 
pretends that they're her babies and 
the garden is her kingdom. She 
learns their names and how to care 
for them.Rosie never feels lonely 
there, but will evil things threaten 
her kingdom? 

I think kindergartners to third 
graders would enjoy this book be¬ 
cause of the colorful pictures, the 
"How to Garden tips", and the 
flower seed packets enclosed on the 
back of the book. 

I liked the way the artist made 
the flowers come to life by putting 
faces on them. I also enjoyed the 
pictures and names of the things 
she found in her garden on the 
front and back cover and colorful 
pictures throughout the book. 
Some of these were aster, jewel- 
weed, chickadee, praying mantis, 
Solomon's seal, bee, slug, lacewing, 
sweet pea, and worm. 

With the garden season coming 

up, buy it for your favorite bud¬ 
ding gardener before it blossoms 
out of sight! 

Elizabeth Gatewood 
Beverley Manor Middle School 

Staunton, VA 
Editor's note: When information about 
this colorful 9-inch by 9-inch children's 
book arrived in the mail , I thought that 
the most appropriate place to seek a re¬ 
view was from someone closer in age to 
the book's targeted audience. Elizabeth 
Gatewood, whose father is VNPS pub¬ 
lications chair Mark Gatewood, often at¬ 
tends Shenandoah Chapter events and 
is quite knowledgeable about the out¬ 
door world. 

Center for Plant Conservation receives environmental excellence award 

ST. LOUIS - The Center for 
Plant Conservation (CPC) received 
the first Denver Botanic Gardens 
Medal at a ceremony hosted by the 
Denver Botanic Gardens on 
Wednesday, October 2. This award 
honors eminent contributions and 
leadership in the area of plant stew¬ 
ardship and the environment. "It is 
an honor to accept this wonderful 
award on behalf of CPC and to be 
seen as ’leaders' in conserving rare 
plants in our country," said Dr. 
Brien Meilleur, CPC President and 
Executive Director. 

The Center for Plant Conserva¬ 
tion is the only national organiza¬ 
tion in the United States dedicated 
exclusively to the conservation of 
U.S. native plants. It is unique 
among the world's conservation 
programs. Founded in 1984, CPC 
operates a national program of off¬ 
site (ex situ) plant conservation, re¬ 
search, and education through a 
national network of 28 leading bo¬ 
tanical gardens and arboreta. This 
consortium collects, grows and 
maintains the National Collection 
of Endangered Plants, a living col¬ 
lection of 500 of the nation's rarest 

plants. The seeds and cultivated 
plants which comprise this collec¬ 
tion are a source of genetic mate¬ 
rial for eventual reintroduction 
into the wild and are used in re¬ 
search, education and possible 
commercial development. 

The efforts of the 28 gardens 
are undertaken as complements to 
the preservation of the U.S. flora 
through habitat protection, man¬ 
agement and restoration. The CPC 
national office, headquartered at 
the Missouri Botanical Garden in 
St. Louis, provides coordination 
and support services while the gar¬ 
dens maintain the living plants or 
seeds and engage in conservation- 
related activities. The network's 
collective goal is to remove the 
rare plants of the U.S. from dan¬ 
ger and to restore them to secure 

One of CPC's unique strengths 
is working collectively with other 
non-governmental organizations, 
concerned citizens, and govern¬ 
ment agencies. The Center's collec¬ 
tion of nearly 500 species--a quar¬ 
ter of the plants identified as rare, 
threatened or endangered in the 

U.S.—is a measure of its success. 
More telling is CPC's overwhelm¬ 
ing acceptance by the world's con¬ 
servation experts, institutions, and 
media as the pre-eminent advocate 
for plant conservation. 

The CPC can be contacted at: 
Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. 
Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166- 
0299; phone: 314-577-9450 or 

Three new institutions 
join CPC network 

The Center for Plant Conserva¬ 
tion announced the selection of the 
Chicago Botanic Garden in 
Glencoe, Illinois; the Morton Ar¬ 
boretum in Lisle, Illinois; and 
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in 
Santa Barbara, California as new 
members into the CPC network. 

These three nationally promi¬ 
nent institutions were selected to 
become Participating Institutions 
during CPC's October board meet¬ 
ing. This brings the consortium to 
28 gardens and arboreta. 

Page 4 

January 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


1. Subject categories: 

A. VNPS Wildflower of 1998 (co\umbine;Aquilegia canadensis) - specimen; 
habitat-wild or garden 

B. Favorite native plant photograph - open to all vascular and non-vascular 
species; non-flowering (mushrooms); ferns; sea or land plants; wildflowers, 
shrubs, vines, trees, etc. 

2. Contestants: 

All contestants must be members of Virginia Na¬ 
tive Plant Society but there will be two categories 
of contestants: professional and non-professional. 

3. Entry fee: 

$1 per photograph. Entry of contest grants use of 
any winning photograph by VNPS in official 
publications, and the right to make a slide for 
such production. 

4. Format: 

8 x 10 inches mounted 

5. Information provided: 

Contestants should provide any technical data con¬ 
cerning the photo submitted including camera set¬ 
tings, lighting, etc. 

6. Deadline: 

Entry deadline is July 31, 1997. Entries must be 
submitted to: 

VNPS Photography Contest 
P.O. Box 844 
Annandale, VA 22003. 

7. Winners: 

Winners will be announced at the Annual Meet¬ 
ing. Ribbons and a grand prize of an engraved 
Jefferson Cup will be awarded. 

January 1997 

Page 5 

^==^===^ Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society — 

Chapter News . 

Plant garden, memorial tree, bio-inventory among Potowmack projects 

The Potowmack Chapter has been busy the last few 
months. It recently received a letter from the Bryant 
Adult Alternative High School in McLean, Virginia, 
thanking it for the plant donation and help received from 
Potowmack’s Propagation Chair Gerry Pratt. The school 
is starting a native plant garden for ornamental and edu¬ 
cation purposes. The aid received has given them a good 
start on the project and they have promised to keep the 
chapter informed of their progress. 

The chapter was also well represented at a special 
event called the Volunteer Festival at the Springfield Dis¬ 
trict Government Center on October 26. Kathleen Kust, 
Potowmack's conservation chair, was there to help the 
volunteers learn more about native plants while they 
help improve the appearance of their community. The 
Connection Newspaper reported a good turnout of high 
school students, scouts and adults who helped conduct 
resource management while learning about the flora 
around them. 

Other recent work includes the donation of a 6-foot 
Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) to 
Riverbend Park, a Fairfax County Park Authority site, 
in memory of beloved charter member Dorna Kreitz who 
served the Potowmack Chapter, the whole state and the 
cause of native plants with grace and dedication. 

Maymont garden show 

The Pocahontas Chapter will be 
participating in the Maymont 
Flower and Garden Show. This 
year's show will be held from Thurs¬ 
day, February 20 to Sunday, Febru¬ 
ary 23. The chapter will operate an 
education booth and use the new 
VNPS display during the event. Vis¬ 
iting members from other chapters 
are invited to stop by and say hello. 

The Pocahontas booth will be lo¬ 
cated on the mezzanine in the Rich¬ 
mond Centre in Richmond. 

Winter plants 

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gar¬ 
den in Richmond is sponsoring a 
slide presentation on winter interest 
plants on Thursday, January 30 from 
12:10 to 1 p.m.. For more informa¬ 
tion, call Pocahontas Chapter repre¬ 
sentative Betsy Ryland at 804-262- 

Old World plant sale 

The Virginia Historical Society's 
8th annual Old World Plant Sale will 

Page 6 _i 

Several members of both the Potowmack and Prince 
William chapters of the VNPS started conducting bio¬ 
inventories of the plants and animals found at the 
Lorton Reformatory. The VNPS is just one of several 
organizations helping to inventory the fauna and flora 
on the prison's extensive land holdings. Others include 
the Fairfax Audubon Society, The Washington Area But¬ 
terfly Club and some of the local universities. 

The Lorton staff is as eager as anyone to know what 
types of plants and animals are found on the tract and 
have been very helpful in arranging the surveys. It is 
hoped that the surveys will help in any decisions about 
what to do with the acreage, no matter who has pos¬ 
session of it. 

The area is divided into various sectors which will 
be periodically searched to get an idea of what is found 
there. The VNPS chapters plan on doing these surveys 
several more times throughout the next year. Those who 
went on the initial survey discovered many plants and 
animals. There are sizable woodlands, many fields, sev¬ 
eral ponds and a few nice wetland areas. The place is 
quite beautiful and promises to hold many interesting 
plant and animal discoveries. If you would like to help, 
contact Kathleen Kust, Potowmack Chapter Conserva¬ 
tion Chair, 703-836-5868. 

vation chair. 

Pocahontas garden 

The Pocahontas Chapter con¬ 
tinues to work on a native plant 
garden at the Parham Road Cam¬ 
pus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Com¬ 
munity College in Richmond. The 
garden site has been cleared of un¬ 
wanted plants and desired plants 
have been tagged. Member David 
Lane designed and drew a map of 
the proposed garden. 

Propagation workshop 

The John Clayton Chapter pre¬ 
sented a free workshop on propa¬ 
gation of native plants to members 
and guests. The three-hour session 
was held at the Virginia Living 
Museum in November. 

Classes on seed sowing, propa¬ 
gation by cuttings, and below the 
ground parts (roots, rhizomes, 
corms) were led by Janis Miller, 
horticulture curator at the mu¬ 
seum; George McLellan, landscape 
architect, and other members of 
the chapter. 

take place at Virginia House in Rich¬ 
mond on Saturday, April 12 from 9 
a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday April 13 
from 1 to 5 p.m. 

Plant lovers are invited to come 
celebrate the return of spring and 
stock up on the rarest and finest Old 
World plants from the Virginia 
House gardens as well as from the 
area's finest growers. New daylily 
varieties from the Richmond Area 
Daylily Society as well as shrubs, 
vines, groundcovers and perennials 
from around the world will be avail¬ 
able. Garden gifts from dirt to art¬ 
work will also be available. For more 
information, call 804-342-9665. 

New PWWS officers 

The Prince William Wildflower 
Society has two new chapter officers. 
Kim Hosen is the new education 
chair. She replaces Claudia Thomp- 
son-Deahl. Because of Nicky 
Staunton's election to the state con¬ 
servation chair, Gina Yurkonis has 
taken over as the chapter's conser- 

January 1997 

- .— --- Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society - - -. ■ - 

Expanded riparian buffer is goal of Bay Program 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Highlight¬ 
ing the important connection be¬ 
tween streamside forest buffers and 
good water quality in the Bay region, 
the Chesapeake Executive Council 
set a new streamside forest buffer 
goal of 2,010 miles by the year 2010 
at its annual meeting in Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania in October. 

The new goal calls on the Bay 
Program partners to "...increase the 
use of all riparian (streamside) buff¬ 
ers and restore riparian forests on 
2,010 miles of stream and shoreline. 

targeting efforts where they will be 
of greatest value to water quality 
and living resources." A recent study 
showed that approximately half of 
the 110,000 miles of shoreline along 
the Bay and rivers are currently buff¬ 

"Buffers are a common sense, 
cost-effective way to keep pollution 
out of the rivers that flow into the 
Bay," said U.S. Environmental Pro¬ 
tection Agency Administrator Carol 
M. Browner, the chair of the Execu¬ 
tive Council. The Executive Council 

is the policy-making body of the 
Chesapeake Bay Program. The coun¬ 
cil includes Ms. Browner, Virginia 
Governor George Allen, Maryland 
Governor Parris Glendening, Penn¬ 
sylvania Governor Thomas J. Ridge, 
District of Columbia Mayor Marion 
Barry and Chesapeake Bay Commis¬ 
sion Chair Senator Noah Wenger. 

In addition to signing the buffer 
goal, the Executive Council also 
adopted the Local Government Par¬ 
ticipation Action Plan; kicked off the 
new Chesapeake Bay Partner Com¬ 
munities program and the new Busi¬ 
nesses for the Bay program; accepted 
the Regional Action Plans for Toxics 
Control for three toxic hotspots in 
the Bay region (Baltimore harbor, the 
Elizabeth River in Virginia and 
Anacostia River in Washington, 
D.C.); adopted the Priorities for Ac¬ 
tion for Land, Growth and Steward¬ 
ship in the Chesapeake Bay Region; 
adopted the 1996 Information Access 
Strategy and adopted the 1996 
Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast 
Black Sea Bass Management Plan. 

For more information, write: 
Chesapeake Bay Program, 410 
Severn Ave., Suite 109, Annaplic, MD 
21403 or go to homepage: http:// 

Beware of problems with invasive honeysuckle 

Many types of bush or shrub hon¬ 
eysuckles (Lonicera spp.) have long 
been recommended for planting in 
people's yards. They are hardy, spread 
fast, are attractive and provide fruit for 
wildlife to eat. Unfortunately, most are 
not native and many of the reasons 
previously given for planting them 
also make them invasive. 

It doesn't help that some ani¬ 
mals, like white-tailed deer, seem to 
prefer native honeysuckles as forage 
and that deer populations are ex¬ 
ploding over most of the East. This 
reduces the natives even more. 
Meanwhile, those fruits that provide 
the food for wildlife are helping seed 

new plants in animal droppings all 
throughout the area. 

So how do you know if what 
you have is native or not? Most non¬ 
native bush honeysuckles have a 
hollow pith in their twigs. As a gen¬ 
eral rule, if you cut a young twig 
and it is hollow, it's alien. You will 
probably find that most of your hon¬ 
eysuckle shrubs are exotics. The 
large numbers you will probably 
find if you look closely in your 
nearby woods should also convince 
you that they are invasive and are 
best not planted. Controlling them 
once they are in your neighborhood 
is something else altogether. 


See the address label for your membership's expiration date. 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 




State Zip 


_Individual $15 

_Family $25 

_Student $10 

_Patron $50 _Sustaining $100 

Associate (group) $40; delegate 

_Life $400 

To give a gift membership or join additional chapters: Enclose dues, name, address, and 
chapter. (Non-voting memberships in any other than your primary chapter are $5). 

I wish to make an additional contribution to_VNPS_Chapter 

in the amount of_$10_$25_$50_$100_$_ 

_Check here if you do not wish your name _Check here if you do not wish 

to be exchanged with similar organizations. to be listed in a chapter directory. 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003 

* Membership dues are tax deductible in the amount they exceed $5 Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations ' 


The Bulletin 

is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 

(703) 368-9803 

Frank Coffey, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 
Barbara Stewart, Artist 
Original material contained in the Bulle¬ 
tin may be reprinted, provided credit is 
given to the author, if named. Readers 
are invited to send letters, news items, 
or original articles for the editor's con¬ 
sideration. Items should be typed or sent 
on 3.5"disk in Wordperfect or Microsoft 
Word to the Editor, Rt. 2, Box 726, Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440. 

The deadline for the next issue is Feb. 1 

Page 7 

January 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

• Heritage- 

(Continued from page 1) 

would be renamed, becoming the Divi¬ 
sion of Wildlife. Plants would be con¬ 
sidered "wildlife" under the somewhat 
bizarre designation, "non-cultivated 

The new recommendations for 
consolidation offer one measurable 
upgrade from that offered previously. 
The report recommends that, in the 
event of transfer of the various depart¬ 
ments, "positions and funding" should 
be transferred and then maintained as 
needed." In other words, some prom¬ 
ise of funding and staffing would be 
there for Heritage for the time being, 
although its future might still leave 
much to the discretion of DGIF. Un¬ 
der current structure, DGIF receives no 
general funds. Fees paid by hunters 

and fishermen provide most of the 
department's revenue. 

The functions of DCR's Heritage 
program and those of DGIF's various 
divisions might not combine as el¬ 
egantly as this report would seem to 
imply. Nationwide, 68 percent of state 
natural heritage programs are housed 
outside game and wildlife units, so 
the "natural" placement in DGIF is not 
the case in the majority of instances 
across the country. Virginia's Heritage 
Program plays a vital role in manag¬ 
ing the large number of sensitive re¬ 
sources on federal land, state parks 
and natural areas. Its capacity to per¬ 
form this vital function would prob¬ 
ably be diminished by reorganization. 

Consolidation of some of 
Virginia's natural resources depart¬ 
ments is not intrinsically a bad idea. 

For instance, the Endangered Plant 
and Insect Program now housed awk¬ 
wardly within the Virginia Depart¬ 
ment of Agriculture and Consumer 
Services (with a staff of one!), could 
become a more viable arm of plant 
protection if it were moved into DCR 
and allowed to operate with Heritage. 

Our Natural Heritage Program is 
absolutely central and essential to 
wild plant protection in Virginia, par¬ 
ticularly to those communities and 
species that are more vulnerable. It is 
time for native plant conservation to 
gain some priority in environmental 
consideration. High time. Any action 
by the upcoming General Assembly 
to implement JLARC's recommenda¬ 
tions should be a matter of great con¬ 
cern to VNPS members. 

Jocelyn Sladen 
Conservation co-chair 

Last opportunity for journey to "The Bruce" 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
members won't want to miss what 
may be the last chance to see "The 
Bruce” with veteran trip leader Ted 
Scott. Scott has been to this Canadian 
"plant paradise" on a number of oc¬ 
casions and knows the plants of the 
countryside as well as anybody. 

As the Bulletin heads to press, 
there are openings for three more per¬ 

sons for the trip in June of '97. The group 
arrival date in Canada is June 14 and 
departure for home is June 21. The to¬ 
tal charge for the trip is $450 which cov¬ 
ers lodging, all meals for the week and 
a boat trip to Flower Pot Island where 
some of the rarer plants grow. 

Anyone interested should contact 
Scott at 540-568-8679. The first three per¬ 
sons from whom we receive deposits 

of $50 each will have a place reserved 
for them for the trip. Any addditional 
ones will be placed on a waiting list to 
fill any vacancies that might occur 
later. Please make checks to Virginia 
Native Plant Society and mail to: Ted ^ 
Scott, 100 Sunnyside Drive Unit 32, 
Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

There are no plans at this time for 
future VNPS trips to the Bruce, so any¬ 
one interested should take advantage 
of this last scheduled opportunity. 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

P.O. Box 844 
Annandale, VA 22003 


J4fv 2 3 J997 


Non-Profit Organization 
U.S. Postage 


Springfield, VA 

/ / 

BRONX, NY 10458 

Please note the expiration 
date on your mailing label 
and renew accordingly. 

v Printed on recycled paper 




Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

VNPS helping with native plant trail at state arboretum 

Development of a new native 
plant trail at the State Arboretum 
of Virginia offers opportunities for 
stronger ties between the Virginia 
Native Plant Society and its chap¬ 
ters, and the Arboretum and the 
Foundation (until recently 
Friends) of the State Arboretum 
(FOSA). Working together on this 
project can serve these organiza¬ 
tions' shared goal of heightening 
public appreciation of Virginia's 
native flora, and can also broaden 
the outreach of each. 

When completed, the trail will 

invite a leisurely stroll through a 
woodland, a sunny field, and a 
wetland, each with naturalistic 
plantings of appropriate Virginia 
natives. It will enable visitors to 
experience in a concentrated, 
readily accessible area some of the 
plants of similar habitats across 
the state. It will also be a resource 
for classes and informal education 
about native plants. 

The woodland section, to be 
planted next fall and the following 
spring, is the first slated for devel¬ 
opment. Here, on a slope a short 

walk from the Quarters, the 
arboretum's main building, persis¬ 
tent work has freed handsome 
limestone outcrops of a dense 
tangle of the exotic vine Akebia 
quinata , and removal of other non¬ 
natives has given new prominence 
to existing natives, such as a mag¬ 
nificent hackberry, the state co¬ 
champion. The stone chimney of 
a 19th-century building and rem¬ 
nants of a stone wall stand as re¬ 
minders of an earlier era. 

Several trees and large shrubs 
(See Native plant trail on page 4) 

Parasitic plants well represented in Virginia 

With its leafy stem and large yel¬ 
low flowers, this new plant didn't look 
like a parasite. Keying it down in 
Gray's Manual, I found it was Gerar- 
dia grandifolia (now known as 
Aureolaria grandifolia). The manual, 
with typical Yankee understatement, 

Cuscuta gronovii, dodder 
Illustration by Nicky Staunton 

noted that my new found specimen 
was "often more or less root parasitic." 
Further research revealed that it was 
a parasite on the roots of oak trees. 
How could this be, I wondered, since 
the plant looked autotrophic? How 
can one plant invade another? 

This was my first encounter with 
a parasitic angiosperm. It spawned a 
lifelong interest in these bewitching 
creatures. In the more than three de¬ 
cades that have elapsed, I have stud¬ 
ied parasites on five continents. As a 
result, my fascination with these plant 
cannibals has only increased. 

The southeastern United States 
has a relatively rich flora of parasitic 
angiosperms. In fact, one group, the 
parasitic Scrophulariacae, reaches its 
greatest diversity here. Virginia has no 
paucity of parasites, either. More spe¬ 

cies of Santalaceae occur in Virginia and 
surrounding states than any other place 
on the continent. And we are privileged 
to have the world's largest populations 
of Buckleya distichophylla (Santalaceae). 

What are parasitic plants and how 
(See Parasites, page 3) 

Inside this issue 

• VNFS Endowment 2 

•Virginia Wildflower Celebration 
Calendar of Events...pages 5-6 

•Wildflower Gardening with 
the 9 

Mark your calendars! 

The Virginia Native 
Plant Society's Annual 
Meeting will be in 
Williamsburg this year, 
hosted by the John 
Clayton Chapter. The 
meeting will be held at 
Colonial Williamsburg's 
Woodlands hotel facilities. 
Be sure to mark September 
19-21 on your calendars. 

. -- I Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

From the President 

Now that spring is only days away , we will have the opportunity to 
plant the seeds for that "native plant" garden so vivid in our winter dreams. 

As work proceeds in our gardens, let us all be generous in our plans for 
contributing plants to chapter plant sales. 

It is through plant sales that most chapters are able to raise the funds 
necessary to carry out the work ofVNPS. Many chapters help establish 
native plant gardens and trails by donating plants left over from sales. 

One example is the newly established Native Plant Trail at Blandy. 

Please read about this exciting use of native plants in Mary Pockman's 
article in this Bulletin. 

In closing, I would like to thank all members who responded so gener¬ 
ously to our Year End Appeal. If you had planned to give, but did not get 
around to it, you may still respond. 

Your President, Frank Coffey 

P.S. Fix that Zip! Please note that the 1997 refrigerator magnet bearing the 
1997 Wildflower of the Year has the VNPS address printed with the wrong 
zip code. That zip should be 22003. 

VNPS establishes Endowment Fund 

The VNPS Board of Directors has 
combined several existing funds to 
establish the Virginia Native Plant 
Society Founder's Endowment Fund. 
The largest of the existing funds was 
the Founder's Fund, established to 
honor Mary Painter. 

Mary was the founder and first 
president of the Virginia Wildflower 
Preservation Society, the predecessor 
of the Virginia Native Plant Society. 

The Society plans to allow the En¬ 
dowment Fund to grow to the point 
that its earned interest could be used 

for a worthy project. Possible future 
projects include the publication of a 
Flora of Virginia, establishing a VNPS 
office, a Botanical Education Program, 
scholarships and grants, and estab¬ 
lishing display gardens that feature 
Virginia natives. 

The Endowment Fund currently 
stands at approximately $4,000 and 
gifts are always acceptable. A tax-de¬ 
ductible gift is a nice way to memori¬ 
alize a friend or relative and honor a 
special achievement or event. 

Illustration by 
Nicky Staunton 

Queen size quilt to 
be raffled at meeting 

Last year's quilted wall hanging 
was such a success that the VNPS 
Board of Directors voted to plan an¬ 
other raffle for 1997 and to increase the 
size of the raffled quilt to "queen size." 
This quilt, again quilted by Mrs. Lorene 
Edmunds, will be similar to last year's 
and will feature the 1998 VNPS Wild¬ 
flower of the Year, columbine. 

If you were one of the many at¬ 
tending the Annual Meeting in Sep¬ 
tember, you had the opportunity to see 
her marvelous work first hand. We 
are fortunate indeed to have her take 
on the "queen size" quilt project this 

A special thank you to Lib Kyger, 
Betty Rosson, Carroll Lisle, Polly Tay¬ 
lor, Teddy Maloney and other 
Shenandoah Chapter members for 
working with Mrs. Edmunds on the 
design and layout. 

Tickets for the drawing are $1 do¬ 
nation for a single ticket or $5 for a book 
of six. Chapter presidents will receive 
tickets to make available at chapter 
meetings and events. 



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Page 2 

March 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

• Parasites 

(Continued from page 1) 

is their behavior different from other 
plant interactions? The organ of para¬ 
sitism is the haustorium that forms the 
link between host and parasite. We 
may define a parasitic plant as a plant 
with a haustorium. By forming a haus¬ 
torium on the root of the host, the para¬ 
site seedling obtains a mature, func¬ 
tioning root system. 

Finding haustoria takes some 
work but is worth the effort for any¬ 
one interested in these underground 
agents. A good parasite to examine is 
Agalinis purpurea, a purple flowered 
annual often abundant in parts of Vir¬ 
ginia. It flowers in the fall in moist 
sunny areas. Simply grab the plant near 
its base and slowly pull it up. A close 
examination of the shallow root system 
will reveal tiny (up to 0.5 mm), white, 
knob-like ends of roots. With some luck, 
you will see the attachment to the host 
root. Often, the haustorium will termi¬ 
nate a short root of the parasite. 

Types of Parasitism 
We may classify parasites as 
holoparasites, hemiparasites, obligate 
parasites, and facultative parasites. 
The most abundant parasitic plants in 
Virginia are facultative parasites, like 
Agalinis. These are chlorophyll contain¬ 
ing plants that do not require a host 
for germination. Facultative parasites 
can be grown to maturity under high 
fertilization regimes without hosts. 
They favor open, sunny areas where 
competition is great. This may be due 
to their exceptionally strong transpi¬ 
ration necessary for movement of ma¬ 
terials from host to parasite. Obligate 
parasites, on the other hand, require a 
host to flower but not always for ger¬ 
mination. Overall, parasites with tiny 
("dust") seeds, i.e., less than 0.45 mm 
long, require a host stimulant to germi¬ 
nate while larger seeds do not. 
Holoparasites lack chlorophyll and re¬ 
quire a host and a germination stimu¬ 
lant. Hemiparasites contain chlorophyll 
when mature. 

Characteristics of Parasites 
In Virginia, the habit of these para¬ 
sites may be shrubs, vines, and annual 
or perennial herbs. In the stem para¬ 
site Cuscuta, the vegetative portion 

consists solely of a stem and scale 
leaves. Buckleya, Nestronia and 
Pyrularia (all members of the 
Santalaceae or sandalwood family) 
and the common mistletoe, 
Phoradendron leucarpum, are shrubs. 
All others are herbaceous root para¬ 
sites; that is, they produce haustoria 
solely from their roots and may be an¬ 
nuals, perennials or biennials. 

The seedling phase is the most 
vulnerable part of the life cycle be¬ 
cause at this stage the vital attach¬ 
ments to the host are made. In dust 
seeds with minuscule food reserves, 
this phase is especially critical as the 
seedling will die in a few days with¬ 
out a host. Parasites with larger seed 
reserves can survive longer. To ensure 
seedling success, parasites have a re¬ 
markable array of adaptive mecha¬ 
nisms to ensure a host connection. 

Much of this involves a finely- 
tuned system of chemical signals. 
These signals tell the parasite when 
the host is near, how near it is, and 
even help send the signal that tells the 
parasite to develop a haustorium and 
invade its host. 

Extraordinary breadth of host se¬ 
lection and specialization exists 
among parasites. Some species of 
Castilleja and Cuscuta can parasitize 
hundreds of different hosts in diverse 
families. At the other extreme is 
beechdrops, Epifagus virginiana in the 
Orobanchaceae. It occurs only on 
American beech. 

The terms "host range," "host 
specificity," "host preference," and 
"host selection" have different mean¬ 
ings. Host range is the total number 
of different plants that they can para¬ 
sitize. For example, Seymeria 
cassioides, a species of the 
Scrophulariaceae rare in Virginia, in¬ 
variably attacks pines in nature, but 
can parasitize many species of an- 
giosperms and gymnosperms. Host 
preference, i.e., choice of the most de¬ 
sirable host for optimal growth, is 
much narrower. Similarly, Cuscuta 
species, dodders, typically have ex¬ 
tremely broad host ranges and can 
even attach to many different hosts 
at once. Nevertheless, in nature, they 
are found regularly on few hosts. 

Illustration by 
Nicky Staunton 

Only 15 of the approximately 318 
families of dicots contain parasites (less 
than 5 percent). Only about half these 
15 families are holoparasites. Of the ap¬ 
proximately 165,000 species of dicots, 
about 1,800 are parasitic or just more than 
1 percent. Figures at the generic level are 
similar with approximately 135 of all 
13,500 (1 percent) being heterotrophic 
but this figure includes mycotrophs 

Upcoming issues will discuss the 
dodders and mistletoes, the intriguing san¬ 
dalwood family and the Scrophulariaceae 
(figworts and broomrapes). 

Lytton J. Musselman is a professor 
of biological sciences at Old Dominion 

Leesburg garden show 

On April 26 and 27, four city blocks 
of Historic Downtown Leesburg will 
be transformed into a botanical garden 
at the Seventh annual Leesburg Flower 
& Garden Show. 

Vendors will display a variety of 
gardening equipment, supplies, 
plants and flowers in addition to 
landscaped gardens. Gardening 
workshops, entertainment for all 
ages, and food are also scheduled 
throughout the weekend. 

The show is sponsored by 
Leesburg's Department of Parks and 
Recreation. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 
p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Sunday. An admission donation of $2 
for adults and $1 for children is re¬ 
quested. Historic Leesburg, founded 
in 1758, is located 35 miles northwest 
of Washington, D.C. For more infor¬ 
mation, call 703-777-1262. 

March 1997 

Page 3 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

A purple fringe-tree? Ask John Clayton 

About 10 years ago, I thought I had to have a fringe-tree, 
tagged Arbor floribus albis odoratis by 18th century scientist 
John Clayton, in my yard. Albis, of course, means white. It 
was Carolus Linnaeus who named it Chiona?ithus which trans¬ 
lates loosely to "wind-tossed blossoms." Therefore, the tree 
has white, wind-tossed blossoms. Mark Catesby and Petivar 
compared the flowers to the amethyst Italian starwort. Plunkett 
called its white blossoms "cowl-like." 

Clayton found the blossoms to be "thyme scented" and 
then used the word purpurascentibus to describe the fruit. As 
a scientist in the age of Enlightenment, Clayton had quite a 
following in Virginia, especially among younger, science- 
minded men who chose him, in 1773, as the first president of 
their Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge. Un¬ 
doubtedly young men visited his garden in Gloucester 
County and saw his beautiful fringe-tree in the spring cov¬ 
ered with white fringe. Later in the year they may also have 
seen it hung with purple fruit. 

On the first page of his second Flora Virginica, Clayton 
described the fringe-tree in 10 lines. In those lines, he used 
two words meaning purple to describe the fruit. Along the 
way, however, the word purple became erroneously linked 
with the name of the tree instead of a description of the fruit. 

(See purple fringe-tree, page 10) 




Pag. i 


O 400 ■®?4o O O W> O'M W>0 O <0?loO<s? J«» 

Cl ajfts I. 


m o N o g r N I A. 


* ALICORNIA articulis apice comprefjtt emarginatit bifiiis. Linn. fpec. 4. 
Salicornia caulium ramorumque articulii apice bicornibus. FI. virg. j 29. 
Salicornia erelta ramofa, caule ad imura nudo, plerumque rubente. Clayt. 
n. 571. £? 66y. 

D I 

Clajfis II. 

A N D R 

I A. 

MDNnnrNi a. 

HIONAUTHUS ptdunculit trifidit trifloris. Lino. fpec. 8* 

Cruonanthus. Linn. hort. cliff. 17. 

Amelanchier virginiana laurocerafi folio. Petiv.Jicc. 241. Catetb. car. i.t. 68. 

Arbor zeylanica , cocini foliis fubtui lanugine villofij; floribus albis cucu- 
li modo laciniatis. Pluckn. aim. 44. t. 241. f. 4. 

Thymelaeae aflinii arbor floribus albis odoratis, ad unguem in quatuor Ion- 
ga angufla Tegmenta divifis, racematim dispofitis, pendulis, afpedlu plu- 
mis fimilibus: foliis amplis oblongis fubtus quafi incanis; baccis roagnis 
purpurafcentibus OIcjc Hifpanictc fruflui fimilibus, ofHculum durum 
ftriatum continentibus. Fringe-tree. Clayt. n. 4<5. 

A C/A- 

Native plant trail 

The first page of 
John Clayton's 
18th century Flora 
Virginica featur¬ 
ing fringe-tree. 

(Continued from page 1) 

planted last fall will in time extend off to a strong start. Special credit 
the woodland canopy up the slope goes to Piedmont Chapter member 
and create a new edge habitat on Nancy Larrick Crosby, whose in- 

the lower, wetter 
side. After walk¬ 
ways and steps 
are finished this 
summer, wild- 
flowers and ferns, 
along with addi¬ 
tional woody 
plants, will be 
installed in se¬ 
lected areas. Fur¬ 
ther plantings 
will follow as 
more of the site 
becomes shaded. 

Many indi¬ 
viduals who are 
members of both 
have already 
helped the arbo¬ 
retum get the na¬ 
tive plant trail 

Can you donate plants? 

Providing plants for the 
arboretum's new trail is one way 
VNPS members can help. If 
you're interested, check the list 
of species chosen for the wood¬ 
land section, which includes a 
few not widely propagated by 
commercial nurseries. Offers of 
other species will be considered 
if they suit the design and the 
growing conditions of the areas to 
be planted. Plants must be na¬ 
tive to Virginia and obtained 
through nursery or garden propa¬ 
gation or authorized rescues. 

For the plant list or addi¬ 
tional information, please get in 
touch with Mary Pockman, at 
7301 Hooking Road, McLean VA 
22101; 703-356-7425; or 

Page 4 

terest and gener¬ 
osity have steadily 
progress. How 
VNPS might build 
on this beginning 
is on the agenda 
for the Society's 
March Board 
meeting, and 
chapter boards 
can follow up in¬ 
dividually as well. 

Mary Pockman 

The State Arbore¬ 
tum of Virginia, 
part of the Univer¬ 
sity of Virginia's 
Blandy Experimen¬ 
tal Farm, is located 
east of Winchester, 
in the northern 
Shenandoah Valley. 

Columbine has 
fascinating past 

Most people are probably famil¬ 
iar with the VNPS Wildflower of the 
Year for 1998—columbine (Acjuilegia 
canadensis). After all, columbines are 
very popular garden plants. But how 
much do you really know about these 
enchanting flowers? It might be inter¬ 
esting to find out about some of the 
little-known folklore surrounding these 
members of the buttercup family. 

For example, from where does the 
name come? Columbine is derived 
from the Latin word for "dove" be¬ 
cause to some the spurs look like dove 
heads in a circle. To others, they ap¬ 
pear to be human heads in a circle so 
another is "meeting house." This 
flower has several other common 
names: rock bells, rock lily, duckies, 
bells, honeysuckle. Jack-in-trousers, 
Granny's nightcap and culverwort. It 
is easy to understand why some of the 
names were used, while others are a 
little more difficult to comprehend. 
Culverwort, for instance, is from the 
Saxon words culfre meaning "pigeon" 
and wyrt meaning "plant" or "herb." 

Of course, the scientific name has 
a meaning as well. Aquilegia is from 
(See Columbine, page 8) 

March 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Virginia Wildflower Celebration 1997 

The nine chapters of the Virginia Native Plant Society celebrate the rich diversity of the native flora of the 
Commonwealth each year in April and May For the next two months. Society members will share their enthusiasm 
for wild plants and wild places on field trips and wildflower walks, and during garden tours, plant sales, and a 
variety of other programs throughout the state. 

You are cordially invited to any of the activities listed below; they are all open to the public. As some events 
require reservations, fees or additional instructions, use the telephone numbers provided to obtain further informa¬ 
tion. Plants propagated by members will be available at chapter plant sales. 

The 1997 Virginia Wildflower of the Year, fringe-tree, qualifies as one of North America's most beautiful small 
flowering trees. Its showy blooms reliably flower near Mother's Day in the northern part of Virginia. Chionanthus 
virginicus leaves an indelible impression on all who are fortunate to encounter this plant in its native environment. 
It most commonly grows along streams, small rivers, and in drier sites at higher elevations throughout the state. 

March 24, Monday, 7 p.m. 
"Spring in Bloom" meeting of the 
Blue Ridge Wildflower Society at 
Center in the Square in Roanoke. 
Presentation on spring flora. Karen 
Shepard (Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

March 27, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 
"Past and Present Herb Use" program 
by member of Board of the Herb Soci¬ 
ety of America. Potowmack monthly 
meeting. Green Spring Gardens Park. 

March 29, Saturday, 10 a.m. 
Arcadia field trip in search of spring 
ephemerals. Meet by Jennings Creek 
bridge on Route 614. Bring lunch. Karen 
Shepard (Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

April 12, Saturday, Blue Ridge 
Wildflower Society trip. Karen 
Shepard (Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

April 12, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Lake 
Moomaw trip. Leave from Bridgewater 
or meet at lake at 10:30. Bring lunch. 
Dwight Shull (Shenandoah) 540-828-3024. 

Calendar of Events 

April 20, Sunday, 10 a.m.-12:30 
p.m. Great Falls Walk. Led by Marion 
Lobstein 703-536-7150. 

April 20, Sunday, 2 p.m. Bull Run 
/Fairfax Regional Park Bluebell 
Walk. (Potowmack & Prince William as¬ 
sisting). Nicky Staunton 703-368-9803. 

April 20, Sunday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. 
Balls Bluff Walk. Marion Lobstein 

April 24, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 
"Fairfax ReLeaf" program. 
Potowmack monthly meeting. Green 
Spring Gardens Park. 703-642-5173. 

April 24-27, Thursday-Sunday. 
28th Wildflower Pilgrimage, co-spon¬ 
sored Science Museum of Western Vir¬ 
ginia & Blue Ridge Wildflower Soci¬ 
ety. Keynote speaker Paul James. Karen 
Shepard (Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

April 26-27, Saturday,10 a.m.-5 
p.m.&Sunday,noon-5 p.m. Prince Wil¬ 
liam Wildflower Society Garden Tour. 
Helen Walter (PWWS) 703-330-9614. 

April 27, Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Shale 
Barrens field trip. Meet at Ramsey's 
Draft, Rt. 250 west of Staunton. Jay 
Shaner (Shenandoah) 540-886-5763. 

May 3, Saturday, noon. Tide 
Springs and wild roadside trip in 
Rockingham County. Milton Perlman 
(Shenandoah) 540-896-8396. 

May 3 & 4, Saturday and Sun¬ 
day, and May 10 & 11, Saturday and 
Sunday. Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 
Sundays noon-4 p.m. John Clayton 
Annual Native Plant Sale, co-spon¬ 
sored with the Virginia Living Mu¬ 
seum. Sale at the museum, 524 J. 
Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News. 
See many of the species being sold 
growing in the museum’s garden. 

May 4, Sunday, 7 p.m. 
Randolph-Macon Woman's College 
Botanic Garden Walk. Walk fol¬ 
lowed by a slide program in Martin 
Science Building, room 225. Karen 
Shepard (Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

VNPS members have opportunity to visit Mt. Cuba's native flora exhibits 

Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of 
Piedmont Flora, near Wilmington, 
Delaware, is recognized as one of the 
finest exhibits of native flora in this 
country. Mt. Cuba is the private home 
of Mrs. Lamont duPont Copeland, 
and it is through her generosity that 
we are able to visit the garden. 

Although Mt. Cuba is open to the 
public only one day per year, reserva¬ 
tions for groups such as native plant 
societies are accepted for the period 
April to September. I have had the 
privilege of visiting three times, and 
based on my experiences and those of 
28 VNPS members who visited in 1995, 
March 1997 

it is assumed that many other members 
would delight in seeing this garden. 

A tour for 25 to 30 VNPS members 
has been arranged for Friday, May 2 
at 1 p.m. when the garden is at its 
spring peak. The free tour will last 
approximately 2 hours. There are 
some transportation logistics to be 
worked out, as it will require approxi¬ 
mately 2.5 to 3 hours (from Manassas) 
to get there. Before much can be done 
to make arrangements, we must know 
who is interested, who is willing to 
drive, and how many riders can be ac¬ 
commodated. Those seriously in¬ 
tending to make the trip should regis¬ 

ter names, address, phone number and 
number of persons each is able to ac¬ 
commodate by April 4 to: Ted Scott, 100 
Sunnyside Drive Unit 32, Harrisonburg, 
VA 22801, 540-568-8679. It would be 
simpler if those going arranged their 
own transportation, but everyone go¬ 
ing must register. Please do not register 
if you are unsure, thereby denying 
someone else the opportunity. Addi¬ 
tional instructions will be sent at a later 
date. Anyone who went on the '95 trip 
may submit his name and will be as¬ 
signed to spaces not filled by first tim¬ 
ers on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Ted Scott 

Page 5 

-.. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Calendar of Events 

May 6, Tuesday, Trillium Walk 
at Linden. Anne Crocker 
(Potowmack) 703-437-0355. 

May 10, Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon. 
Prince William Wildflower Society 
Plant Sale. Bethel Lutheran Church 
in Manassas. Helen Walter (Prince 
William) 703-330-9614. 

May 10, Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
13th Annual Blue Ridge Wildflower 
Society Plant Sale. Community ar¬ 
boretum on Virginia Western Com¬ 
munity College campus. Members 
may begin purchasing at 9 a.m. 

May 10 & 11, Saturday and 
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., rain or 
shine. Garden Fair, State Arbore¬ 
tum of Virginia. Vendors of woody 
and herbaceous plants (many natives) 
and garden-related items; nonprofit 
exhibitors; children's activities. Lo¬ 
cated 10 miles east of Winchester on 
U.S. 50. Call 540- 837-1458. 

May 17, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Lady- 
Slipper Special. Meet at visitor center 
on Rt. 211 at top of Massanutten Moun¬ 
tain. Bring lunch. Jacob Kagey 
(Shenandoah) 540-828-3297. 

Webster Springs weekend 
celebrates 35 years 

For 35 years, wildflower enthusi¬ 
asts have been trekking to West Vir¬ 
ginia for the Webster Springs Garden 
Club's Spring Wildflower Weekend. 

This year's event, headquartered 
at a 4-H camp between Cowen and 
Webster Springs, will be Friday, May 
2 through Sunday, May 4. The cost, 
which includes five meals and two 
nights' lodging, is $58. Lodging is in 
the dormitory-style 4-H camp. 

Participants will be treated to four 
different tours this year including the 
Elk Mountain and Leatherwood trips. 
A variety of trips for people with dif¬ 
ferent interests and stamina levels are 

The tentative registration dead¬ 
line is April 21. Those needing more 
information can call Stella Riffle at 
304-847-2735. For more information or 
to register, write: Webster County 
Nature Tour, P.O. Box 43, Webster 
Springs, WV 26288. 

Page 6 

May 18, Sunday, 10 a.m.-12:30 
p.m. Great Falls Walk. Marion 
Lobstein 703-536-7150. 

May 24, Saturday, 8 a.m. for 
breakfast or 10 a.m. for walk. Lady- 
Slipper Walk. Breakfast at Peaks of 
Otter Restaurant; walk at Peaks of 
Otter visitors center. Karen Shepard 
(Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

May 17, Saturday. Potowmack 
Spring Plant Sale at Green Spring 
Gardens Park, 703-642-5173. 

May 22, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 
"Gardening to attract wildlife" pro¬ 
gram by author Sherry Mitchell ( Cre¬ 
ating Sanctuary). Potowmack meet¬ 
ing, Green Spring Gardens Park 703- 

June 7, Saturday, 10 a.m. Rhodo¬ 
dendron Day on the Blue Ridge Park¬ 
way. Meet at Peaks of Otter visitors 
center. Bring lunch. Karen Shephard 
(Blue Ridge) 540-772-2733. 

July 12, Saturday, 11 a.m. Big 
Meadows and Swamp Trail with Emily 
Baxter. Meet 9 a.m. Bridgewater or 11 
a.m. at Big Meadows Visitor Center. Lib 
Kyger (Shenandoah) 540-828-6252. 

Smoky Mountains Pilgrimage 

The 47th Spring Wildflower Pil¬ 
grimage will be held in the Great 
Smoky Mountains April 24-26. The 
three-day program of conducted na¬ 
ture walks, motorcades and photo¬ 
graphic tours is held in Great Smoky 
Mountains National Park. For more 
information or for a brochure, con¬ 
tact: Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, 
Great Smoky Mountains National 
Park, 107 Park Headquarters Road, 
Gatlinburg, TN 37738 or call 423- 

Suggested wildflower visit 

If pink lady-slippers are your 
desire, Jacob Kagey of the 
Shenandoah Chapter suggests the 
following trip anytime between May 
10 and May 15: 

Travel to the Massanutten 
Mountain visitor's center in the 
Shenandoah National Park. The 
visitor's center is off of Route 211. 
On the east side of the visitor's cen¬ 
ter, a trail leads down the mountain 
past 150 to 200 pink lady-slippers! 

Wintergreen symposium 
promises to be best yet 

The annual Spring Wildflower 
Symposium hosted by the Winter- 
green Nature Foundation has be¬ 
come a must-do spring event in 
Virginia. This year's 14th annual 
symposium includes some of the 
region's best instructors and an 
incredible variety of wildflower top¬ 
ics. Put May 9-11 (Friday evening to 
Sunday) on your calendar. 

This year's event features many 
new programs and field trips. In 
addition to guided outings in the 
spectacular trillium fields and lady- 
slipper coves of Wintergreen's for¬ 
est, there will be several hiking 
trips into wilderness area rock faces 
as well as car caravan trips to lime¬ 
stone cliffs and shale barrens. 

Participants who consider 
themselves beginners will be of¬ 
fered a hands-on workshop de¬ 
signed to share the secrets of wild¬ 
flower family identification. Fern 
identification will be offered in an¬ 
other session, and a special class on 
propagating ferns from spores will 
be offered. 

Workshops include wildflower 
sketching and photography. Other 
program titles are: alpine flora of 
the Appalachian highlands, the 
Shamokin Springs Nature Pre¬ 
serve, landscape restoration in a 
woodland garden, use of native 
plants by the Cherokee, the eastern 
bluebird, and wildflowers and 
their insect pollinators. 

In addition to workshops and 
field trips, slide lectures on a vari¬ 
ety of topics will be offered. One 
focus of this year's event is to in¬ 
troduce participants to as many 
different wildflower habitats as 
possible from tidal wetlands to 
rock faces. 

For a brochure on the sympo¬ 
sium and for more information, call 
804-325-8172 or e-mail at 

March 1997 

- - Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Chapter News. 

BRCC Arboretum receives donation of Tidewater plants 

Arranging for tours of Blue 
Ridge Community College's arbore¬ 
tum during the September annual 
meeting had positive results for the 
arboretum, which is supported by 
the Shenandoah Chapter. Paul 
Dennison, who works at the arbore¬ 
tum at the University of Delaware, 
was among those who toured the 
Weyers Cave arboretum. 

After gaining consent from John 
Frett, the director of the Arboretum 
at the University of Delaware, 
Dennison returned to Blue Ridge 
with 22 shrubs and vines typical of 
Virginia's Tidewater in the back of 
his pickup truck. Dennison provided 
door-to-door delivery from Delaware 
and then went on his way to hike a 

portion of the Appalachian Trail. 

The contribution enhances the 
portion of the arboretum dedicated to 
the Tidewater. The BRCC arboretum 
is designed to show plants indigenous 
to different biogeographic zones of 
Virginia and the Tidewater portion 
has been the most under represented. 

Among the new species brought 
from Delaware are: Hercules club 
(Aralia spinosa), cross-vine (cultivar) 
(Bignonia capreolata), beauty-berry 
(Callicarpa americana ), coastal 
pepperbush ( Clethra alnifolia), titi 
(Cyrilla racemiflora), climbing hy¬ 
drangea ( Decomeria barbara ), low 
gallberry holly ( Ilex glabra), coastal 
sweetbells ( Leucothoe axillaria), 
swamp sweetbells ( Leucothoe 

racemosa ), trumpet honeysuckle 
(Lonicera sempervirens 'John 
Clayton'), dwarf coastal azalea 
(Rhododendron atlanticum), swamp 
azalea ( Rhododendron viscosum 'Dela¬ 
ware Blue'), yellowroot ( Xanthorhiza 

The BRCC arboretum is also ac¬ 
cepting donations to the BRCC Ar¬ 
boretum Endowment Fund. Between 
now and May, contributions are eli¬ 
gible for matching funds through a 
grant to the college. This fund now 
contains $18,000 of money pledged 
by college personnel. Donations will 
ensure that this unique arboretum re¬ 
ceives steady financial assistance 
needed to survive and grow into its 
second decade. 

Teamwork makes northern Virginia plant rescue a success 

When development is imminent 
and the last of the plant save areas have 
been decided, the next step is to sched¬ 
ule a plant rescue. This last-ditch effort 
can provide a native plant seed bank 
that would otherwise be buried under 
buildings and asphalt. Such a plant res¬ 
cue happened in 1996, and its success 
was the result of cooperation between 
several groups and the developer. 

The rescue took place at a 12-acre 
Target store site containing one of the 
healthiest streams in Reston. The 
project began with Reston Association 
obtaining permission and getting li¬ 
ability releases from the Target na¬ 
tional headquarters in Minneapolis. 
This may seem like a small step, but 
often involves educating the property 
owner about site plants that they prob¬ 
ably were not aware existed. 

Internship available at Green 

An intern is needed for Green 
Spring Garden Park's 2-acre Virginia 
Native Plant Trail located in Fairfax 
County. The intern would work un¬ 
der the supervision of the park 
education coordinator and the 
Potowmack Chapter's education chair 
and develop a self-guided tour, bro¬ 
chures, labels and school programs to 
complement the native plant trail. 

As the scope of this project grew, 
so did the partnerships. Judy Okay, co¬ 
ordinator of the Difficult Run project for 
the Virginia Department of Forestry 
(VFD), and Barbara White, urban for¬ 
ester for VFD had already planned on 
implementing a $5,000 grant from 
Coastal Zone Management by creating 
a raingarden along a section of the 
Snakedon Branch. A raingarden, also 
known as bio-retention, is used to re¬ 
duce the flow and velocity of 
stormwater before it reaches streams, 
thereby reducing streambank erosion. 
The plan was to channel the stream 
and leave an available source of ri¬ 
parian plants. 

Meanwhile, Gary Gepford, the fac¬ 
ulty advisor for Students Against Glo¬ 
bal Abuse (SAGA), an environmental 
club in Herndon High School, was look- 

Spring Garden Park 

Preferred qualifications are: ba¬ 
sic knowledge of native plants, 
course work in botany, horticulture 
and/or education, and experience 
conducting tours. The intern would 
work 20 to 40 hours a week begin¬ 
ning after March 1. The stipend is 
$2,000. For more information and to 
apply, contact Nancy Luria 703-642- 
5173 (day) or 703-351-9723 (evening) 

ing for a student project involving an 
under-utilized school greenhouse. 
SAGA was awarded $1,500 from the 
Chesapeake Bay Foundation for green¬ 
house repair. Another environmental 
organization. Tree Action, teamed with 
a group of students from Herndon 
Middle School Science Club for the 
club’s Wild School Project. Others help¬ 
ing were Runnymeade Park members 
from the Maryland Native Plant Soci¬ 
ety and the National Park Service. The 
pieces came together when the Reston 
Association dug truckloads of plants 
from the Target development area and 
placed them in the school's greenhouse. 
(See Rescue, page 9) 

Gloucester site 
visited, inventoried 

An interesting piece of ground in 
Gloucester has been opened to visi¬ 
tors by John Clayton members Bobbi 
and Eddie Ray. It is mostly wet 
woods, in part a former nursery, and 
some of it will be developed. John 
Clayton members have started an 
inventory and rescue work, particu¬ 
larly of hybrid rhododendrons. Field 
trips, identifications and inventories 
to the site are all planned for the 
year. If you are interested in helping, 
call Mary Hyde Berg at 804-693-3568. 

March 1997 

Page 7 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

New book details Invasive Exotics 

The Society recently received in the 
mail a new book published by the 
Brooklyn Botanic Garden entitled 
Invasive Plants; Weeds of the Global Gar¬ 
den. Because it is probably the first book 
devoted solely to the subject, it was with 
considerable interest that I read it. 

More a handbook than a book, be¬ 
ing of modest size and perhaps a quar¬ 
ter-inch thick, it manages to devote a 
full page to each of 80 different plants 
that have arrived through horticultural 
channels and are now creating substan¬ 
tial problems in continental United 
States and Canada (Hawaii alone 
would require a book inches thick). The 
two editors, Janet Marinelli and John 
Randall, present brief sections covering 
the topics "Redefining the Weed" and 
"How Non-native Species Invade & 
Degrade Natural Areas." Two sections 
by other well-informed authors recom¬ 
mend tools useful in physically remov¬ 
ing plants and the use of herbicides. 

Following these introductory sec¬ 
tions is the "Encyclopedia of Invasive 
Plants"-- informative material on each of 

the specific plants covered including 
what each plant looks like, where it 
came from, where it has spread, what 
problems it causes and how it can be 

The material is well written, up- 
to-date, and informative. A color pho¬ 
tograph of each plant is displayed, 
most of excellent quality. It was excit¬ 
ing to see Virginia Native Plant Soci¬ 
ety listed as one of the 10 sources na¬ 
tionally for additional information. 

The only sense of disappointment 
experienced in reading the book was 
the fact that it only covered about 24 
of the plants we are concerned about 
in Virginia, two dozen out of more than 
one hundred. One can only hope that 
the acceptance of this first effort will 
be such that Brooklyn Botanic Garden 
will be encouraged to produce a sequel 
to cover the rest of the 300 plants cre¬ 
ating such devastation to our natural 
areas throughout the country. Anyone 
interested in the subject will find this 
$7.95 book a good investment. 

Ted Scott 

"Wild Beauty" highlights America's rare flora 

The Virginia Museum of Natural 
History in Martinsville will premier 
"Wild Beauty: America's Rare Flora" 
beginning in April at its Virginia Tech 
branch in Blacksburg. 

The exhibit has been developed in 
conjunction with a number of nation¬ 
ally renowned photographers and will 
feature over-sized vividly detailed 
color photographs of dozens of the 
nation's rare or threatened wildflowers. 

"Wild Beauty," which will tour for 
a 5-year period, will open with the work 
of Maryl Levine, whose photography 
has appeared in such publications as Na¬ 
tional Wildlife, Nature Conservancy and 
National Geographic. In 1998, her photo¬ 
graphs from this exhibit will be shown 
at the American Museum of Natural 
History in Washington, D.C. 

Maryl’s photographs will be fea¬ 
tured in the exhibit at the museum's 
Virginia Tech and University of Vir¬ 
ginia branches as w r ell as at the Vir¬ 
ginia Museum of Natural History 
headquarters in Martinsville. Then, 

the works of prominent wildflower 
photographers, writers and scientists 
such as Ken Stein, Marion Lobstein 
and Hal Horowitz will be showcased 
as the exhibit continues to travel to the 
museum’s affiliates in Winchester and 
Fredericksburg, other locations in 
Tidewater, and Northern Virginia, and 
to many of Virginia's state parks. 
When not traveling, the exhibit will be 
housed at VMNH in Martinsville. 

"Wild Beauty" has been designed 
with easy-to-read panels of informa¬ 
tion about the plants, their habitats, 
their unique characteristics and the 
major threats to their survival. The 
exhibit also will provide information 
about conservation issues to increase 
visitors' understanding of what makes 
these plants so special. 

Many of the species to be included 
live on the brink of extinction and ex¬ 
ist today in only a few places and in 
very small numbers. The initial 51 pho¬ 
tographs will focus on plants from 
around the nation, including 10 Virginia 
(See Wild Beauty, page 10) 


(Continued from page 4) 

Latin for "eagle" because the flower's 
spurs somewhat resemble an eagle’s 
talons. Canadensis is obviously from its 
range. The reference to the eagle as 
well as its presence in many coats-of- 
arms even won it favor to the small 
but vocal committee that wanted the 
columbine as the national flower. They 
failed in their attempts, so one species, 
A. caerulea, has to settle for being 
Colorado's state flower. 

It is probably just as well it is not 
our national flower since it has other 
symbolic meanings as well. Colum¬ 
bine is a symbol of cuckoldry and a 
deserted lover in the Victorian lan¬ 
guage of flowers. It was considered an 
insult to give it to a woman and bad 
luck to give it to a man. Others 
thought it bad luck to give to a woman 
and an insult to the man. Either way, 
it was not a proper gift. 

Columbines have been used me¬ 
dicinally in Europe for centuries to 
cure everything from headaches to 
smallpox. Many Native American 
tribes, like the Meskwaki, also used the 
smoked seed capsules as a love potion 
and the root to combat diarrhea. It can, 
however, be poisonous. The plant has 
astringent and diuretic properties, and 
its prussic acid has a narcotic effect on 
some people. 

The flowers of our native species are 
red and tubular-designed to attract and 
be pollinated by the long tongues of 
hummingbirds who prefer the color red. 
Red often appears black to bees who are 
usually too short of tongue to pollinate 
columbine. Some insects have learned 
to cheat, though, and eat a hole at the 
end of the spur to get at the nectar. 

There are many more things to be 
learned about these lovely and fasci¬ 
nating flowers with a long and some¬ 
times colorful history. For instance, 
leaf miner insects, Phytomyza 
aquilegiae, can only live on columbines. 
Enjoy them for their beauty, but re¬ 
member that there is a lot more to 
them than first meets the eye. Think 
about the way they were named, what 
they were used for in the past, and 
what animals depend on them. It is all 
these things together that make our 
native flowers all the more beautiful. 

Alonso Abugattas, Publicity Chair 
.. March 1997 

Page 8 

.— ■ — - : Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society == ^ == 

For Wildflower Gardeners: Fringe-tree and good garden companions 

Chionanthns virginicus, Fringe-tree, is 
so lovely that eminent plantsman 
Michael Dirr suggests it should be our 
national shrub because "...even dogwood 
does not carry itself with such refinement, 
dignity and class when in flower..." 
(Manual of Woody Landscape Plants). 

Chionanthus, a combination of the 
Greek word chion meaning snow and 
anthos for flower, refers to clusters of 
snow white, strap-like flowers that un¬ 
furl just as the tree begins to leaf out in 
early to mid-May. Dirr believes a corre¬ 
lation exists between petal and leaf 
widths--the wider the petal the wider the 
leaf and conversely. It appears that some 
of the flower clusters are fragrant which 
explains how you may detect no fra¬ 
grance when sniffing individual blos¬ 
soms up close though you will catch a 
whiff of sweetness at a distance. 

Just as it grows in habitats ranging 
from moist to dry and sunny to partially 
shady in the wild, fringe-tree thrives in 
a variety of garden sites. It can stand 
alone as a lawn or patio tree or be com¬ 
bined with other native shrubs and pe¬ 
rennials in a sunny mixed border or 
woodland edge. Early May is a time of 
such lush flowering in Virginia that 
many combinations are possible. 

Fringe-tree blooms best in full sun. 
Just be sure the soil stays slightly moist. 
Think about pairing its airy delicate blos¬ 
soms with plants that have a more solid 

and substantial feel such as the native 
blue flag irises (I. versicolor and I. 
virginica). Golden alexanders ( Zizia 
aurea) is a good leafy filler. 

At 4 feet tall, the yellow flowering 
Carolina bush pea ( Thermopsis villosa) is 
a good companion as is its shorter rela¬ 
tive, blue false indigo ( Baptisia australis). 
Blue star (Amsonia tabemaemcm tana) with 
pale steely blue flowers atop 3 to 4 inch 
leafy clumps blooms at the same time. 
Though you probably don't want it 
twining through your fringe-tree (give 
it a fence or trellis for support), native 
coral honeysuckle ( Lonicera sempervirens) 
is a great color combination. 

In a partially shaded setting, fringe- 
tree's flowers may be less spectacular. 

(Continued from page 7) 

Tree and shrub seedlings rescued in¬ 
cluded pinxter azalea, serviceberry, 
sweet birch, deerberry, highbush and 
lowbush blueberry, spicebush, chinqua¬ 
pin, paw paw, maple-leaved possum- 
haw, blackhaw and arrow-wood vibur¬ 
num. Ferns removed were wood, grape, 
cinnamon, Christmas, sensitive and 
New York. Orchids recovered were 
cranefly, twayblade and rattlesnake 
plantain. Other plants included narrow¬ 
leaved mountain mint, hepatica, alum¬ 
root, gerardia, thin-leaved coneflower, 
gray goldenrod, mint, rush and aster 

but it will still be the focal point of a 
late spring woodland garden. Natives 
that bloom at the same time and share 
its requirement for slightly acid, humus- 
rich soil include white flowered 
Solomon's plume (Smilacina racemosa) 
that grows about a foot high. Slightly 
shorter eared coreopsis (C. auriculata) 
will add a splash or bright golden or¬ 
ange. Other possibilities include wood¬ 
land phlox (P. divaricata), wild bleeding 
heart (Dicentra eximia), and wild gera¬ 
nium (G. maculatum). Native ground- 
covers such as green and gold 
(Chrysogonum virginianum), foamflower 
(Tiarella cordifolia) and dwarf crested iris 
(I. cristata) can be added to woodland 
plantings. Even when it isn't blooming, 
(See Companions, page 10) 

species and water plantain. In addition, 
box turtles, salamanders, garter and 
black snakes were relocated. 

The rescuers kept in mind that it is 
always more important to save the habi¬ 
tat as a whole rather than rescue indi¬ 
viduals. This rescue's success was due 
to the involvement of so many dedi¬ 
cated people. Developers should be en¬ 
couraged to allow groups to remove 
native plants when they are threatened 
so that they can be saved and used to 
augment existing natural areas. 

Claudia Thompson-Deahl 
PWWS member 

The Bulletin 

is published five times a year 

(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 

(703) 368-9803 

Frank Coffey, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 
Barbara Stewart, Artist 

Original material contained in the Bulle¬ 
tin may be reprinted, provided credit is 
given to the author, if named. Readers 
are invited to send letters, news items, 
or original articles for the editor’s con¬ 
sideration. They should be typed 
(double-spaced, please) or sent as a 
Macintosh text file to the Editor at Rt. 2, 

Box 726, Greenville, VA 24440. 

The deadline for the next issue is April 1 


See the address label for your membership's expiration date. 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 




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March 1997 - ■ — ■ - - 


Page 9 

•Wild Beauty 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society ===== 
- •Companions 

(Continued from page 8) 
species. These species reflect biological 
and geological diversity and have been 
selected because of their beauty, inter¬ 
est and importance. Subsequent ver¬ 
sions of "Wild Beauty" will feature the 
work of other photographers and ex¬ 
amine additional species and themes. 

The exhibit will include a map of 
the United States to help teach about 
the plants in each state and to show 

• Purple fringe-tree — 

(Continued from page 4) 

In his highly-referenced biographical 
notes about Clayton, published in 
Philadelphia in 1805, the eminent Dr. 
B. S. Barton wrote of "Clayton’s 
purple fringe tree," and quoted Virgin¬ 
ians who had known Clayton. 

One of those quoted was Bishop 
James Madison, the head of the Prot¬ 
estant Episcopal Church in Virginia. 
Madison, who lived in Williamsburg, 
wrote of "Clayton's purple fringe tree," 
which was still thriving 30 years after 
Clayton's death, according to a 
friend who crossed the York River to 
visit the garden. 

There was no footnote explain¬ 
ing the use of the word "purple." 
Apparently Barton did not realize 
that Bishop Madison was known 

which species are candidates for offi¬ 
cial designation "threatened" or "en¬ 

Initial exhibit dates are: April-June 
VMNH at Virginia Tech; July-August, 
VMNH Martinsville; September-Octo- 
ber, VMNH University of Virginia. For 
information, visit the Virginia Museum 
of Natural History home page at: http: / 
vmnhmvl/vmnh.html or call the mu¬ 
seum at 540-666-8600. 

among friends for facetiousness, 
which his use of the word purple 
may have been. 

A Latin dictionary offers further 
insight as it gives a second meaning 
to purpura as "bright, gleaming, beau¬ 
tiful, royal." Among friends, Clayton 
might very well have called his favor¬ 
ite garden tree "royal." 

But Barton, botanizing in the Vir¬ 
ginia Blue Ridge mountains, appar¬ 
ently decided that Clayton had mis¬ 
taken the gray, mossy beards of the 
ash tree as a separate species. All of 
which raises many questions and still 
leads to confusion today. 

I went to a nursery and asked for 
a "purple fringe-tree." The nursery¬ 
man patiently explained that the trees 
always had white flowers. Apparently 
I had not been the only one asking for 

(Continued from page 9) 
fringe-tree's slightly glossy dark green 
foliage and rounded habit make it an 
attractive small tree or multi-trunked 
shrub for home landscapes. It has no 
serious pest or disease problems and 
should be considered for city street 
planting since it is tolerant of air pollu¬ 
tion. It has been cultivated in England 
since 1736 and received a Royal Horti¬ 
cultural Society Award of Merit in 1931. 

Nancy Arrington, Horticulture Chair 

purple. I wound up buying a male 
tree, the only choice, and its lovely 
white fringe swings in the breeze ev¬ 
ery spring. It is now about 18 feet tall. 
No purple fruit, which I have never 
seen, but which are said to resemble the 
Spanish olive. (See Nancy Arrington's 
article in the November 1996 Bulletin). 

I also have a Chinese fringe tree 
with whiter, larger blossoms, but, 
like Clayton, I most admire the white 
drapes of tiny blossoms of Arbor 
floribus albis odoratis— the Virginia 
Native Plant Society's 1997 Wild- 
flower of the Year. 

Harriet Frye, of the John Clayton 
Chapter, is also the author of a Clayton 
biography titled "The Great Forest, John 
Clayton and Flora." She believes Virgin¬ 
ians should be reminded that the Com¬ 
monwealth had a colonial scientist as well 
as great statesmen and generals. 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

P.O. Box 844 
Annandale, VA 22003 

Non-Profit Organization 
U.S. Postage 


Springfield, VA 


Please note the expiration 
date on your mailing label 
and renew accordingly. 

AUG 2 5 1998 



w Printed on recycled paper 

qz hS-$ 

Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

Good native plant info to be found on the "Net" 

The Internet has become very 
popular in the last year or two, and is 
supposed to be an unlimited source of 
useful information. There is, however, 
a lot of hype in this statement. First, 
the quality of information available can 
vary from excellent to nearly useless, 
and second, even when good informa¬ 
tion is available it can be hard to find. 
This does not mean that the Internet is 
not exceedingly useful. There is a lot 
of very good information and it is 

becoming much easier to obtain. 

In the old days (2-3 years ago for 
the Internet) information was much 
harder to find. It often was there, but 
the Internet was (and still is) notoriously 
unorganized, so finding specific infor¬ 
mation could be a problem. The anal¬ 
ogy of an enormous library without a 
cataloging system comes to mind. For¬ 
tunately things have improved. Now 
there are numerous commercial services 
which provide free searches of the Net. 

Just supply a word or phrase and they 
return a list of appropriate sites. A list 
of these search engines can be found at 
intemet-search.html/. The one I use a 
lot is Lycos at 
lycos-pro.html; others may be just as 
good or better. 

I started searching the Internet for 
native plant information last fall when I 
decided that I would like to get pictures 
(See Internet, page 2) 

Prescribed burns: Effective plant management tool 

The plant inventory of the antici¬ 
pated U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge in 
Woodbridge has grown to approxi¬ 
mately 600 species of plants during 
the past two years. But, without an¬ 
nual mowing, the fields of Eastern 
gamma grass and sweet gum trees 
have become overgrown due to prob¬ 
lems of insufficient personnel and 
funds at this northern Virginia site. 

During the U.S. Army use of the 
580 acres, annual mowing occurred 
and an astonishing variety of habi¬ 
tats and plants thrived. Using fire 
in small areas of the meadows on a 
rotational basis and at the correct 
time of year has been considered of¬ 
ten by Frederick Milton, U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Manager, but not yet tried in 
this extremely urban peninsula in the 
Belmont Bay and the Potomac. 

The plant inventory team has felt 
unsure about using burns, wonder¬ 
ing what the effect would be on the 

buttonbush and maleberry shrubs, 
spiranthes, meadow beauties and 
downy lobelia, as well as swamp 
milkweed, milkworts and various 
hawkweeds. No assurance came 
from knowing that controlled bums 
have been used by farmers in pre¬ 
paring fields for crops and for con¬ 
trol of roadside vegetation. Reports 
of Native American use of fire didn't 
seem to apply well to this site with 
dry upland meadows, low wet 
meadows, marshes, tidal areas, 
floodplain forests, shorelines. The 
successful use of fire by Caren 
Caljouw and the Virginia Depart¬ 
ment of Natural Heritage to re-estab¬ 
lish Peter's Mountain mallow is well 
documented and the recent article by 
Lytton Musselman about the neces¬ 
sity of fire for successful manage¬ 
ment of long-needle pines was also 
background information, but not re¬ 
ally applicable to the refuge. 

In March the Virginia Depart¬ 
ment of Game and Inland Fisheries 
announced a Prescribed Burn Work¬ 
shop in Culpeper at the Heartland 
Institute. Their goal, in addition to 
educating interested persons, was 
also to conduct a burn on one of the 
fields where the land manager plans 
to sow seed for songbirds and quail. 
The Woodbridge inventory team de¬ 
cided to attend the workshop to be¬ 
come better informed. In addition to 

(See Bums, page 9) 

Inside this issue 

•Annual meeting 
Info & registration, pages 5-6 
VNPS brochure, insert 
•VNPS photo contest 
rules, page 4 

^========^===== Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

From the President 

Hats off to the coordinators of the VNPS Winter Workshop! Effie Fox, Education Chair; Nancy Arrington, l 
Horticulture Chair; Stan Shetler, Botany Chair; and Nicky Staunton, Conservation Chair, all worked very hard to 
produce this year's workshop "The State of Virginia's Trees." Thanks to the University of Richmond Biology De¬ 
partment, John Hayden, VNPS Pocahontas Chapter and all of the presenters of programs, including VNPS Director 
at Large, Cris Fleming and Pocahontas Chapter Vice President, Nancy Hugo. The workshop was well attended and 
there were many favorable comments. 

I hope that as we focus on trees this year we will choose to plant long-lived, usually slow growing trees that will 
be beautiful and in their prime 50 to 100 years from now. This is very important for future generations. The white 
oak, Quercus alba, is one example that fills this bill nicely. 

I am happy to report that the Virginia Native Plant Society Founder's Fund is steadily growing. Each contribu¬ 
tion brings closer the day when this fund will provide enough income for VNPS long-range projects. 

Please remember to purchase Wildflower of the Year Quilt raffle tickets. Mrs. Edmunds is making good progress. 

1 hope to have photos of the quilt front available soon. Let's all work together to make this a really successful project! 

Your President, Frank Coffey 


(Continued from page 1) 
and information about some of the more 
interesting native plants in the woods 
back of my house. I began by searching 
for the word" Wildflowers" and got 1100 
sites-far too many Checking the first 
few, I found lots of people selling wild¬ 
flower seed, wildflower T-shirts and 
even wildflower wallpaper—not exactly 
what I wanted. 

Changing the search to "native 
plants" produced 308 entries many of 
which were closer to what I wanted. 
Some of these sites had nothing to do 
with Virginia native plants but were in¬ 
teresting anyway. For example check 
out The Society for Growing Austra¬ 
lian Native Plants at http:// Trying 
"plant images" I got 453 sites and nar¬ 
rowing to "native plant images" I got 96 
selections. Each of these searches pro¬ 
duced some useful sites. Trying "Vir¬ 
ginia native plant images" gave me 
seven hits with six concerning the Ply¬ 
mouth Colony in Massachusetts. Ap¬ 
parently the statement in the document 
"...a voyage to plant the first colony..." 
along with references to Native People 
and the Virginia Colony caused the in¬ 
clusion of these references. Search en¬ 
gines are not perfect yet! From these 
searches I found several sites with good 
images and native plant information 
and have downloaded about 70 pic¬ 
tures. Some of the sites that I have found 
useful are given below. Most of these 
sites have links to other native plant-re¬ 
lated sites, so often you can find lots of 
interesting facts just by picking a site 

Page 2 

and following the links. 

The Department of Botany at the 
University of Wisconsin at Madison has 
created a Virtual Foliage Home Page at 
http ://www/ 
virtual.html which, besides plant im¬ 
ages from various botany courses, has 
the images of the vascular flora of Wis¬ 
consin on-line. This site is a little diffi¬ 
cult to navigate because appropriate 
images are found only by moving 
through several menus. For example, to 
get a picture of a columbine, next year's 
plant of the year, you have to go through 
four sets of choices - flowering plants, 
dicots/monocots, ranunculaecae, aqui- 
legia. The pictures are, however, good 
and often there is more than one picture 
for each plant. Another source of images 
is at 
FLORA/gallery.htm. This site, pro¬ 
duced by Texas A & M University, has 
lots of images of Texas native plants. 

For methods of cultivation, propa¬ 
gation, and edible and medicinal uses 
of plants try The Plant Tracker at http:// 
Here there is an extensive database of 
plants prepared by Plants For A Future, 
a non-profit organization, located in 
Cornwall, UK. Searches can be made by 
scientific name, common name, family 
or by use of the plant, and optionally 
various criteria such as moisture level 
needed, type of soil, pH and sunlight 
requirements can be specified. The re¬ 
sults of your search give a description 
of the plant and various uses it has. For 
example fringe-tree fruit can be "used 
as a pickle like olives" and the root is 

supposedly a "most valuable remedy for 
disorders of the liver and gall bladder." 
The entry on pokeberry references a 
recipe for preparing pokeberry pie. (I 
have my doubts about the desirability 
of pokeberry pie.) 

To find plant distribution, visit the 
site created by the Biota of North 
America Program at http:// This j 
program of the North Carolina Botani¬ 
cal Garden has the distribution of all the 
known vascular plants in North 
America north of Mexico. You can type 
in either common or scientific names 
and get a distribution map. For the U.S., 
the distribution is shown at the state 
level by a map and a list of states. Try 
pine to find the only state in the conti¬ 
nental U.S. that has no pines. In the fu¬ 
ture this site will have distributions 
available by the county level which 
should make it very useful. 

The PLANTS National Database 
located at 
plants/ allows you to query a database 
of plants by scientific name, common 
name, family or genus and returns sci¬ 
entific name common name, synonyms 
and range by state. The threatened and 
endangered species of a selected state 
can be listed as well as wetland plants 
for a selected region. This site is in the 
process of adding photographs for each 
plant so that a picture and information 
will be returned. a 

The National Wildflower Research 
Center in Austin Texas at http:// maintains a data- 
(See Surfing, page 10) 

May 1997 

======== Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society =^^=^^= 

Virginia's parasitic plants: A look at mistletoes and dodders 

, There are two large families of 
mistletoes, the Loranthaceae with 
typically large showy flowers and the 
Viscaceae with small flowers. No spe¬ 
cies of Loranthaceae are recorded from 
North America. Most are tropical. 

One of the most common para¬ 
sitic plants in Virginia is the native 
Eastern mistletoe, Phoradendron 
leucarpum (=P. serotinum). This 
mistletoe can produce its own food 
through photosynthesis. However, it 
is dependent upon its host for water 
and materials carried in the water 
stream. Severe drought may cause 
the host tree to withdraw water from 
the parasite! 

Mistletoe is frequent in the 
southeastern part of our state. For 
example, it is conspicuous in the 
Great Dismal Swamp during winter 
months. In the city of Norfolk, 
mistletoe is a common sight on sev¬ 
eral species of trees. I have seen it 
on black gum, red maple, elm and 
no doubt others. Silver maple is par- 
\ ticularly susceptible. When I moved 
to my house in 1973, the silver maple 
in the adjoining yard had three 
mistletoe plants on it. In 1996, the 
tree was cut down, due in large part 
to the intolerable load of mistletoes 
that numbered in the scores if not 
hundreds of plants. On the campus of 
Old Dominion University they attack 
the thornless honey locust (Gleditsia 
triacanthos var. inermis) but the parasite 
does not seem to live for many years on 
this host. The campus joke is that at 
ODU, basketball players get athletes' 
foot and botanists get mistletoe. 

Mistletoe fruits are easy to ger¬ 
minate and make an easy and inter¬ 
esting class experiment. After har¬ 
vest, the fruits may be kept in a re¬ 
frigerator for several weeks. Place 
the "berries" on a filter paper or pa¬ 
per towel and water with two per¬ 
cent peroxide solution. This will 
keep fungal growth down. The 
radicles emerge from the seeds and 
I flatten against the paper. 
f In nature, if a suitable host is 
present, the tip of the seedling turns 
into a penetration tool. After enter¬ 

ing the host, it hooks up with the 
cambium. Each year as the cambium 
produces new growth, it stimulates 
the mistletoe which synchronizes its 
growth with the cambium. On occa¬ 
sion, the parasite sends sinkers 
deeper into the host. 

J 1 

Phoradendron leucarpum 
Eastern mistletoe 
Illustration by Nicky Staunton 

Of course, when we think of 
mistletoes we think of Christmas 
and the legends surrounding the 
purported amorous influences of 
mistletoe. These legends’ roots are 
as ancient as the Druids. They wor¬ 
shiped the European mistletoe, 
Viscum album, which superficially 
resembles our mistletoe. Green 
when its hosts were dormant, the 
mistletoe boded life and hope dur¬ 
ing the bleakness of a northern Eu¬ 
ropean winter. Consequently it was 
used in ceremonies marking the 
winter solstice. 

Eastern mistletoe plants are 
unisexual so each parasite pro¬ 
duces flowers of one sex. How¬ 
ever, don't expect to collect a bou¬ 
quet of the flowers to enhance the 
effects of the berries! The flowers 
are only a few millimeters long, 
among our smallest flowers. 

What pollinates these tiny flow¬ 
ers? More data is needed to deter¬ 
mine pollen vectors. Apiarists have 
told me that mistletoe flowers are an 
important source of nectar in mid¬ 
winter when little else is available. 

Cuscuta, dodder 

Cuscuta, dodder, species re¬ 
semble "parasitic spaghetti" because 
of their long, tangled stems. Dodders 
are, in fact, nothing but stems with 
haustoria and scales! They are so 
highly specialized that they lack any 
roots. Unlike almost any other genus 
of plants, all dodder species are to¬ 
tally devoid of hairs. All dodders are 
holoparasites although amounts of 
chlorophyll may be present in the 
developing fruits. 

We have the following species in 
our state: Cuscuta pentagona ( -C. 
campestris) our most widespread 
dodder, discussed below; C. 
compacta, a robust dodder chiefly of 
the eastern part of Virginia with 
dense, rope like coils about its 
woody hosts; C. gronovii, often abun¬ 
dant along streams on diverse hosts; 
C. indecora, native only in salt 
marshes along the coast and prob¬ 
ably introduced farther west; and C. 
rostrata, an Appalachian species with 
garlands of white flowers that re¬ 
mind one of stringed popcorn. Some 
authors recognize other species 
which may be best subvented under 
C. pentagona. 

When thinking of the Norfolk 
port, perhaps the first commodity 
that comes to mind is coal. Or, 
maybe numbers of the navy's som¬ 
bre grey ships. A little-known fact 
is that common field dodder, Cuscuta 
pentagona (also known as C. 
campestris) is Norfolk's most famous 
botanical export! This parasite was 
first described from Norfolk, Vir¬ 
ginia in 1842. It is not clear if it was 
native here or introduced to this port 
city because weed introductions 
around ports are well documented. 
The original description refers to the 
host plant as being a Euphorbia or 
Tragia. Both genera contain weedy 
species that could themselves have 
been introduced. 

Whether native or introduced 
we have spread this parasite to many 
parts of the world. I have personally 
encountered my compatriot in such 
(See Parasites, page 7 0) 

May 1997 

Page 3 

— Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society = 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

Photo Contest 


1. Open to VNPS members only (Members of VNPS Photo Committee ineligible to compete) 

2. Two categories of contestants: Professional (main livelihood) or amateur 

3. Each photographer may submit one photo per category of photograph. Photographs 
must be of Virginia native plants. There are four categories which are listed below. 

1998 Virginia Wildflower of the Year (Aquilegia canadensis , columbine) 

A. Plant Specimen: Photograph of one columbine specimen 

B. Habit: Columbine in a natural or cultivated habitat 
(These will be judged against each other as a group) 

Favorite Native Plant Photograph (any native flowering trees, shrubs, wildflowers) 

C. Plant Specimen: Photograph of one plant specimen 

D. Habit: Photograph of native plants in a natural or cultivated habitat 

4. Entries must be 8 x 10 inch prints (no slides) with stiff backing, no matting, no frames 

5. A fee of $1 per entry is to accompany each photograph to defray costs of contest 

6. Contestant name, address, phone number, and submitted category for the photo¬ 
graph as detailed in item 3 above should be placed on back of the photograph 

7. Color or black and white prints may be submitted, but will be judged together 

8. Deadline for entries: July 31,1997 postmark 

9. Mail entries to: VNPS Photo Contest 

PO. Box 844 
Annandale, VA 22003 

AWARDS: Each of the four categories will receive a first, second and third place award. An honorable mention 
may be awarded. There will be one grand prize winner who will receive VNPS designation as Best Virginia Wild¬ 
flower Photographer of 1997 and receive a Jefferson Cup. 

VNPS reserves the right to use winning photographs in an exhibition and possible use in production of the 1998 Vir¬ 
ginia Wildflower of the Year brochure. Winners will be expected to furnish the slide or negative for the winning prints. 



CATEGORIES ENTERED (circle) A B C D Fee enclosed_ 

Return coupon & photos to: VNPS Photo Contest, 8815 Fort Drive, Manassas, VA 20110 

Page 4 

May 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

Annual Meeting 
September 19-21, 1997 

Dear VNPS'er, 

Members are invited to a wonderful weekend in Virginia's historic Colonial 
Williamsburg. Much careful planning has gone into making this a worthwhile and 
memorable occasion. We invite you to join us. You will be glad you did! 

Gordon Chappeil, President, John Clayton Chapter 


Williamsburg Woodlands, Colonial Williamsburg 

Schedule of Events 

Friday, September 19 

2-8 p.m. Registration, Williamsburg Woodlands, Center Room 
2:30-4:30 p.m. Garden Tours of Colonial Williamsburg, meet at Center Room 
Dinner on your own 
8-9:30 p.m. Coffee and tea 

Welcome and program introduction 

Program: "Adventures on the Dragon" Teta Kane, slide/lecture 

9:30 p.m. Announcements 

Saturday, September 20 

Breakfast on your own 

8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. All-day field trips depart, includes box lunch, meet at Center Room 
9 a.m.-l p.m. Half-day field trips depart, includes box lunch, meet at Center Room 

2- 3 p.m. Afternoon speaker: Harriet Frye, author of John Clayton and Flora, Center Room 

3- 5 p.m. Garden tours of Colonial Williamsburg, meet at Center Room 
3-4:30 p.m. Silent Auction 

6:30-7:30 p.m. Social hour with cash bar, Cascades Conference Center-Terrace 
7:30-8:45 p.m Dinner, Cascades Room 
8:45-10 p.m. Event Program 

Remarks: Frank Coffey, VNPS President 

Evening speaker: Norman Beatty, Executive Director, Williamsburg Land Conservancy 
Sunday, September 21 

Breakfast on your own 

8:30-11:30 a.m. Half-day field trips depart 

8:30-11:30 a.m. VNPS Board Meeting, Center Room 


(Box lunch provided on full and half-day field trips) 

FULL DAY - 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. approximately 

1. Bethel Beach & Point Comfort, Mathews County 

2. Dragon Run Swamp, limited number, includes canoeing. Middle Peninsula 

3. Virginia Living Museum & Sandy Bottom, Newport News 

4. Zuni Pine Barrens, Southside Virginia 

May 1997 

Page 5 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


HALF DAY - 9 a.m.-l p.m. approximately 

5. Bassett Hall Woods 8c Trace, Williamsburg 

6. Chesapeake Nature Trail, West Point 

7. Greenspring Swamp, Williamsburg 

8. Jamestown Island, Jamestown 

9. William 8c Mary Campus, Williamsburg 

10. Garden Design Tours, Williamsburg 


(no lunch provided) 

11. George McLellan's Garden, Gloucester 

12. Haynes Pond, Gloucester 


A block of rooms has been reserved for VNPS members at Williamsburg Woodlands. 
For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY. 

Detach here, or better yet, make a photocopy so you won't destroy this newsletter 


Name_ Telephone_ 

Address_ Chapter_ 

_ Number of persons. 

Saturday Field Trios 

Circle below the number of your field trip preference (See attached list). Also indicate 
a second choice in case your first choice is at capacity when your registration is re¬ 

123456789 10 

Sunday Field Trips : Circle here 11 12 

If you are registering for more than one person, fill in the trip preferences for the sec¬ 
ond person on a separate sheet of paper along with the name of the second person. 

Registration Fees 

$50 registration fee includes box lunch Saturday and dinner Saturday night 

Number of persons registered _ (number x $50) Amount_ 

Mail this form (with payment made payable to VNPS John Clayton Chapter) to: 

Gordon Chappell 
113 Pine Point Road 
Williamsburg, VA 23185 

Telephone: 757-220-0914 

~y J) 

Page 6 

May 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

For your bookshelf 

This book is big , it's beautiful , and it's all about natives! 

The Native Plant Primer: Trees, Shrubs , and Wild/low¬ 
ers for Natural Gardens (1995) Carole Ottesen. 354 pp. 
Harmony Books, New York, New York. 

The Native Plant Primer is the kind of big, glossy, book 
guaranteed to excite any gardener with its wealth of 
possibilities. For the native plant enthusiast, however, 
it also provides a much-needed reference. The author 
begins with a personal account of the epiphany which sent 
a dedicated proponent of the English garden style on a 
native plant quest across America. Unlike the author, how¬ 
ever, we will not need to travel to Sri Lanka to leam to 
appreciate native plants — we have only to open this book. 

The first half of the book is divided into regional sec¬ 
tions. Each section contains a regional description, a list 
of recommended plants and photos of gardens. Thank¬ 
fully, there is a Mid-Atlantic section. Far too many books 
lump the Mid-Atlantic into either the Northeast or South¬ 
east. In reality, this is a transition zone (both in terms of 
climate and plant communities) that cannot be equated 
with either New England or the Deep South. It's refresh¬ 
ing to find a reference that acknowledges this reality. 

The bulk of the book is devoted to plant descriptions 
arranged alphabetically by Latin name within the fol¬ 
lowing sections: perennials, annuals, grasses, ferns, 
water plants, vines, shrubs and trees. Each entry lists 

. Calendar 

June 3-July 30 - Wild Beauty: America’s Rare Flora 
at Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville. 
Photo exhibition of America's rare plants. 540-666-8600. 

June 7, Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m Spring Herb & Gar¬ 
den Festival, "Herbs and their Uses" Sponsored by the 
Herb & Botanical Alliance. Egg Harbor, N.J. Contact 
Anita Beckwith 609-965-0337. 

Natural History Museum produces wildflower magazine 

VNPS members should check out the exciting happen¬ 
ings at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, located in 
Martinsville with branches in Blacksburg and Charlottesville. 
A family membership with the museum comes with plenty 
of benefits, including a quarterly magazine, Virginia Explorer. 
The latest issue of this glossy, professionally-done journal is a 
must for native plant enthusiasts because the entire issue is 
dedicated to wildflowers. In this issue Maryl, a professional 
nature photographer, tells the full story of her efforts to pho¬ 
tograph threatened or endangered species of flowers (see in¬ 
formation above in calendar of events). 

This issue can be ordered for $3.50 at VMNH, Attn. Pub¬ 
lications Dept., 1001 Douglas Ave., Martinsville, VA 24112. 
Family membership is $35-call 540-666-8600. Membership 
- includes Virginia Explorer, a quarterly newsletter, reciprocal 
free admission to 200 science museums, a discount on books 
and gift shop items, notification of special events and discounts 
on field trips. You can also check out the museum on the 
Internet at: 

May 1997 --. - - . —■ = 

common names, family, origin, hardiness, height, 
adapted region(s), landscape use, culture, propagation 
method, and species / cultivars. There is a written de¬ 
scription and, in most cases, a photo of the plant. 
Sprinkled throughout are very useful charts which com¬ 
pare different members of a genus such as Aster or 
Helianthus. The book finishes with appendices listing 
nurseries, gardens and plants for special purposes. 

The sheer size and completeness of this book may 
prove daunting to the gardener with a casual interest 
in native plants or the wildflower lover who is new 
to gardening. This is definitely not the usual brief 
introduction to the concept of gardening with natives. 
Such books have really proliferated in recent years, 
and many have no more substance than a list of a 
dozen plants and a sample garden-plot design. In¬ 
stead, this is a book to help you decide which species 
of aster or alum root or whatever might work best in 
your landscape. The price ($50) will also be daunting 
to the casual user, but it would be a worthwhile addi¬ 
tion to any horticultural library. 

Carole Ann Barth is owner and principal of Heal Earth 
Gardens in Silver Spring, Maryland. Heal Earth Gardens 
provides environmental I garden consulting, writing and 
training services to individuals, groups and agencies. 

of Events .. 

June 29, Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Insects & Plants Nature 
Walk. VMNH naturalists walk through DuPont Preserve, 
Martinsville. Register by June 20. 540-666-8651. 

July 8, Tuesday, 6:30-7:15 Almost Immortal: The 
lives of clonal plants and animals. Dr. Judith Winston, 
Virginia Museum of Natural History Director of Re¬ 
search, talks about these little-known plants and animals. 
King's Grant Retirement Center, Martinsville. Register 
by July 7. 540-666-8651. 

July 12, Saturday, 11 .m. at Big Meadows Visitor Cen¬ 
ter, Skyline Drive (Bridgewater 9 a.m). Big Meadows and 
Swamp Trail. Emily Baxter (Shenandoah) 540-828-6252. 

August 2-September 29 - Wild Beauty: America's Rare 
Flora at VMNH in Charlottesville. 540-666-8600. 

September 25, Thursday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Hands-on dem¬ 
onstration of native, naturalized and invasive grasses. 
(Potowmack) Green Spring Gardens. 703-642-5173. 

Vist this site on the Parkway for summer blooms 

Jacob Kagey of the Shenandoah Chapter suggests this 
trip during the summer for wildflower viewing. Travel on 
the Blue Ridge Parkway just past milepost 17. In an open 
area on the east side of the drive is a large field. From about 
June 28 to July 4, check the area for Canada lilies. About a 
week after the Fourth of July, the field will be full of but¬ 
terfly-weed. On the west side of the drive, you can spot 
Turks cap lilies, whorled rosinweed and many others. 

Page 7 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

False nettle has a surprise attraction despite a "weedy" reputation 

grow stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), a 
plant painful to the touch, in order to at¬ 
tract red admiral butterflies. Luckily, this 
is not so. False nettle (Boehmeria 
cylindrica) is in a different genus, but is, 
indeed, a member of the nettle family 
and therefore every bit as attractive to 
nettle-eating caterpillars. The reason it 
is called "false" nettle is only because it 
lacks the stinging hairs characteristic of 
the Urtica genus. 

Unfortunately for butterfly garden¬ 
ers, nettles do not have showy flowers. 
For this reason, false nettle is not usu¬ 
ally stocked by nurseries nor even dis¬ 
cussed in wildflower gardening books. 
Yet, it is an attractive plant. It has sturdy 

stems that reach three feet in height 
when located in a good spot. The 
coarsely toothed, opposite leaves are its 
most noticeable feature. They are 1 to 3 
inches long, ovate and a pretty, light 
green. The flowers are easy to miss because 
they are tiny, greenish, and occur in little 
clusters along spikes in leaf axils. 

False nettle makes a nice border 
plant-mine grow along the west side of 
my greenhouse. Wildflower guides say 
that it is a plant of moist, shady places, 
but that has not been my experience. My 
plants receive hot, afternoon sun for at least 
half a day. I do not water these plants which 
are situated on well-drained sloping 
ground, but they thrive, living up to their 
reputation as "weedy" plants. 

Even though I landscape for wild¬ 
life, I did not plant the false nettle patch 
which now grows in my yard. A few 
plants came up on their own one year 
and, as is my custom, I let them grow 
because I did not immediately recognize 

Horticulture position open at Virginia Living Museum 

The Virginia Living Museum is a regional zoological park, botanical gar¬ 
den, aquarium, planetarium, and educational facility in southeastern Vir¬ 
ginia. This full-time, salaried position offers a unique opportunity to work 
with native plants and animals in naturalistic habitats. 

Responsibilities: Installation and maintenance of plants in indoor and 
outdoor exhibits; general lawn, landscape, greenhouse and nursery mainte¬ 
nance; supervision of volunteers and interaction with visitors. Some week¬ 
end work required. 

Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in horticulture or related field and 1-2 
years experience in a botanical/zoological park, nursery/landscaping op¬ 
eration, or similar facility. Requires experience in the use and maintenance 
of power equipment. Some knowledge of Virginia native flora preferred. 

To apply: Send resume by June 30, 1997 to Janis Miller - Horticulture 
Curator. Mailing address: Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris 
Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601 FAX:(757)599-4897 

E-mail: or 
Page 8 .'. . - -... 

them. The floral structure is the key to 
making an identification, but because 
the flowers are insignificant, I missed 
them that first year. However, I noticed 
that I seemed to have red admirals and 
eastern commas around more often than 
ever before and it seemed as if there was 
almost always a red admiral resting on 
those unidentified plants! This did not 
really sink in until the second year at 
which time I suspected that my patches 
must contain larval food plants. I 
checked that area every day until the 

Red admiral 
butterfly & 

plants flowered in July. I got out the 
wildflower guides to find that my mys¬ 
tery plants belonged to the nettle family. 
That explained the increased presence of 
the red admirals and eastern commas. 

During the first winter that I had 
false nettle in my yard, I discovered 
American goldfinches love nettle seeds. 
Many plants, including the relatively tall 
false nettle, remain standing above 
snow cover with fruits or seeds exposed. 

I have not found Boehmeria 
cylindrica to be invasive. Rather than 
large groups popping up in new spots, 
usually only one plant will appear here 
or there. The area covered by false nettle 
will increase somewhat each year, but 
control is easily accomplished by cut¬ 
ting or pulling unwanted plants. 

The genus name comes from 
George Rudolf Boehmer, an 18th cen¬ 
tury botany professor in Germany. The 
species name refers to the cylindrical leaf 
shape. So, the moral of this story is, let 
some of the "weeds" that appear unex¬ 
pectedly in your yard just 
might be thrilled that you did. 

Marlene A. Condon is a nature writerfphotogra- 
pher/gardener who has been fascinated by plants 
and animals all her life. This article first ran in the 
newsletter of the Butteifly Society of Virginia. 

- May 1997 

=============== Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society . = 

Seeing red brightens spring wildflower gardens 

The colors of a Virginia spring 
are predominately pale: pinks, lav¬ 
enders, blues, yellows and whites. 
The few bright red-flowered natives 
available to wildflower gardeners 
are wonderful accents to use among 
these paler colors or against a back¬ 
ground of ferns. Because the plants 
discussed here are woodland na¬ 
tives, perhaps they are red-flowered 
to lure hummingbirds into the shad¬ 
ows to pollinate their tubular flow¬ 
ers. Native companions that bloom 
at the same time and share cultural 
requirements include green and 

•Burns - 

gold ( Chrysogonum virginianum), 
foamflower ( Tiarella cordifolia ), sun- 
drops ( Oenothera spp.) end the white 
forms of Phlox divaricata and 

Tor WiCcCfCower (gardeners 
T>y Tfancy ‘Arrington 
vdfPS (hforticufture Cfiair 

stolonifera. Unless noted, the plants 
below are native to Virginia. 

Columbine ( Aquilegia canadensis) 
is the first red-flowered native to 
show up in gardens. Red and yellow 

pendant flowers hang on slender 
stems above light green compound 
foliage. Flowering begins in mid- 
April and continues through May. 
Rich soil and sun produce large ro¬ 
bust plants while plants grown in 
lean soil in part shade are delicate 
and airy. Good drainage is a must. 
Plants are short-lived but reseed 
freely. Columbine is our VNPS Wild¬ 
flower of the Year for 1998. 

Fire pink's ( Silene virginica) crim¬ 
son red, five-petaled tubular flowers 
are about an inch across and bloom 
(See Red flowers, page 10) 

(Continued from page 1) 

the required leather boots, gloves 
and cotton clothes, the team took 
open minds. Virginia DGIF mem¬ 
bers instructed on definition of a 
prescribed burn (David Sausville, 
Forest Stewardship Biologist); ben¬ 
efits of prescribed burning for wild¬ 
life (Dan Lovelace, District Wildlife 
Biologist); laws and liability (Larry 
Cochran, Emergency Field Coordi¬ 
nator); personal safety and physical 
fitness (Everette Kline, Area For¬ 
ester of Virginia Department of For¬ 
estry); weather and fire behavior 
(Fred Turck, Emergency Response 

Planner, Virginia Department of 
Forestry); firing methods (Steve 
Capel, Habitat Coordinator Biolo¬ 
gist); preparing a burn plan and 
post-burn (Dan Lovelace); and re¬ 
view equipment in the field, inspect 
area to be burned (Dan Lovelace, 
Burn Boss). The prescribed burn was 
scheduled for 4 p.m. with suppres¬ 
sion and mop-up to follow. 

The burn took place on sched¬ 
ule and in a very short time the acre¬ 
age was clear of winter's dead 
grasses. The dogbane stems did not 
burn entirely; spring field cress was 
not even singed; and the earth was 

still cool and moist following the 
bum. The day's efforts were well 

The new refuge just might ben¬ 
efit from a small burn next January 
or February when critters are still 
hibernating, no ground bird nests 
would be harmed and before the an¬ 
nual plants sprout. We request in¬ 
formation from any readers who 
might have knowledge and experi¬ 
ence regarding the effect of fire upon 
native plants. Please send to VNPS 
Attn: Nicky Staunton, P. O. Box 844, 
Annandale VA 22003. 

The Bulletin 

is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

PO. Box 844, Annandale, VA 

(703) 368-9803 

Frank Coffey, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 
Barbara Stewart, Artist 
Original material contained in the Bulle¬ 
tin may be reprinted, provided credit is 
given to the author, if named. Readers 
are invited to send letters, news items, 
or original articles for the editor's con¬ 
sideration. Items should be typed or sent 
on 3.5"disk in Wordperfect or Microsoft 
Word to the Editor, Rt. 2, Box 726, Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440. 

The deadline for the next issue is July 1 


See the address label for your membership's expiration date. 

! VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 




State Zip 


_Individual $15 

_Family $25 


Patron $50 _Sustaining $100 

Associate (group) $40; delegate 

_Life $400 

To give a gift membership or join additional chapters: Enclose dues, name, address, and 
chapter. (Non-voting memberships in any other than your primary chapter are $5). 

I wish to make an additional contribution to_VNPS_Chapter 

in the amount of_$10_$25_$50_$100 $ _ 

_Check here if you do not wish your name _Check here if you do not wish 

I to be exchanged with similar organizations. to be listed in a chapter directory. 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003 

Membership dues are tax deductible in the amount they exceed $5 Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulaboi 

May 1997 


Page 9 

•Red flowers 

(Continued from page 9) 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

in May on stems about a foot tall. It 
brightens a fairly shady spot with 
sparse blooming, but flowers better 
with a little morning sun. Give it 
neutral to slightly acid, well-drained 
soil. Rich soil causes weak steams. 
Plants are short-lived, but reseed 
fairly reliably. 

Coral honeysuckle ( Lonicera 
sempervirens) lacks the vigor and (re¬ 
grettably) the fragrance of the 
invasive Japanese honeysuckle 
though it will quickly cover a trellis 
or fence with handsome blue-green 
foliage. It begins flowering in early 
May and continues sporadically 
through much of the summer. Nar¬ 
row tubular rose-red flowers, about 
an inch long, flare open slightly at 
the tip. Plants grow well in sun in 
ordinary soil. At a VNPS annual 
meeting several years ago, John 
Clayton Chapter members donated 
a dark gold-flowered selection dis¬ 
covered in that area and named (ap- 
pr opriately) 'John Clayton.' 

Red buckeye ( Aesculus pavia), a 

prefers a rich, slightly moist soil and 
flowers in shade but grows more 
densely and flowers better in sun. It 
is not native to Virginia. 

Indian pink ( Spigelia marilandica) 
is an especially eye-catching south¬ 
eastern native. Mature plants are 12 
to 24 inches tall and wide. Stems are 
tipped with clusters of 1.5-inch long 
tubular flowers that are bright crim¬ 
son outside and green-tinged yellow 
inside. Each blossom is open at the 
tip and split or "pinked" into five 
sharp lobes. Indian pink prefers a 
rich, slightly moist soil and dappled 
shade. Strong sun may fade the blos¬ 
soms. This plant belongs to the 
mostly tropical logania family which 
contains well-known garden plants 
like Buddleia as well as some of the 
world's most toxic plants including 
strychnine and rotenone. 

•Parasites - 

•Surfing - 

(Continued from page 2) 
base of native American plants and the 
names and addresses of native plant or¬ 
ganizations in the U.S. It has links to na¬ 
tive plant organizations and gardens 
with web pages and a national list of 
gardens with displays of native plants. 

The Virginia Department of Con¬ 
servation and Recreation Natural Heri¬ 
tage site at 
vaher.html has the Invasive Alien Plant 
List and fact sheets co-developed by 
VNPS and DCR plus rare plant and ani¬ 
mal lists and maps along with informa¬ 
tion on natural areas and preserves in 

If you have Internet access try some 
of these sites and do some searches on 
your own. Information on the internet 
changes rapidly and more information 
becomes available each day. 

Richard Moss, Pocahontas Chapter 

(Continued from page 3) 

different areas as New Caledonia, 
Sudan and India. Closer to home, C. 
pentagona is a serious pathogen of 

contamination of commercial seed 
shipments. I regularly examine 
seeds of dodders intercepted by the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service of the U.S. Department of 

!!l n TJ 

nut t 



liage, grows 10-20 feet tall. Reddish 
rose upright flower panicles, 4-8 
inches long, begin blooming in late 
April and continue through May. It 

tomatoes in California. It is most fre- 

shrub or tree quently found on legumes, especially Agriculture. Invariably, the dodder 
A'biitlleyilfl)- 'P'lM^^ilAii^SiyspIdezar^ out to be the same one first 

Like most weeds, humans have 
affected the distribution of C. 
pentagona and other dodders. Recent 
introductions have occurred through 


described from Norfolk! 

This article is the second in a series by 
Lytton J. Musselman, a professor of biologi¬ 
cal sciences at Old Dominion University. 

Jodod pojofoaj uo paiuuj 

S9t0l AN ‘XNOaa 
30NVH3X3 $ siviaas-Aavaan 
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WAV 2 1 1997 

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VA 'P|ey6uuds 
ON lllNH3d 


a6ejsod ST1 
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Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

Greenstone Foundation 
awards grant to VNPS 

VNPS has just announced that 
it has been the fortunate recipient 
of a grant for $3,000 from the 
Greenstone Foundation. The grant 
was made to help complete the 
publication of fact sheets on a se¬ 
lected list of invasive alien plants. 

The Virginia Department of Con¬ 
servation and Recreation, Division 
of Natural Heritage, and Virginia 
Native Plant Society joined in a part¬ 
nership program five years ago to 
educate the public on the enormous 
harm done to the habitats of our na¬ 
tive plants by invasive alien plants. 

One phase of that effort has 
been the development of a list of 
invasive alien plants in Virginia 
and the publication of informative 
fact sheets on the most damaging 
of those plants. Eighteen fact 
sheets covering 22 plants have 
been published to date, the two 
most recent ones covering tall fes¬ 
cue, Festuca elatior and Chinese 
lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata. 

The funds from this grant, coupled 
with a grant received by the Department 
of Conservation and Recreation, will 
enable us to publish nine more fact 
sheets covering 13 more plants. Fund¬ 
ing is being sought to publish three 
more sheets on three plants in 1997. 

The key person most responsible 
for the publication of these sheets has 
been Caren Caljouw, Stewardship 
(See Grant , page 7) 

Annual Meeting Spotlight 

Virginia Living Museum offers 
something for everyone 

In southeastern Virginia there is 
a small museum that offers visitors 
a unique experience and is both fun 
and educational. The Virginia Liv¬ 
ing Museum, located in Newport 
News, is a combination of zoological 
park, botanical garden, aquarium. 





planetarium and environmental edu¬ 
cation center, and everything you see 
here is found in Virginia. 

The grounds and exhibits at the 
museum are planted exclusively 
with native species. As you ap¬ 
proach the entrance, you pass 
through a large wildflower garden 
containing native perennials and 
grasses, including wild columbine, 
fire pink, goldenrods, beard-tongue, 
seashore mallow, wild indigo, ata- 
masco lily, bluestar, asters, purple 
coneflower, black-eyed Susan and 
river oats. Surrounding and accent¬ 

ing the perennials are collections of 
native evergreens, flowering shrubs 
and small trees. Here you'll find a 
variety of native hollies, sweetbay 
magnolia, fringe-tree, sweet 
pepperbush, dusty zenobia, 
beautyberry, Virginia sweetspire, 
shrubby St. John's-wort, hawthorns, 
wax myrtle, dogwood and redbud. 
There's something in bloom or in fruit 

Inside the museum, you'll find 
aquariums, a large walk-through 
songbird aviary, and many small ani¬ 
mal exhibits. The James River exhib¬ 
its take you down the river from the 
mountains to the sea, showing you 
the plants and animals which inhabit 
the river banks and waters, while the 
World of Darkness takes you to the 
nocturnal realm of bats, flying squir¬ 
rels, owls and others. 

(See Living Museum, page 4) 

Annual Meeting 

VNPS Annual Meeting 
Sept. 19-21 

Call (757) 220-0914 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

From the President 

The VNPS Board of Directors met in June at the Peaks of Otter Lodge 
near Bedford. I want to thank all of the board members who were able to 
attend for an enjoyable and successful meeting. A special thank-you to Karen 
Shepard and the Blue Ridge Wildflower Society for making the arrangements 
and hosting the meeting. It is always wonderful to visit the Parkway. 

Phoebe White, membership chair, reported that for the first time, our 
membership has topped 1500! It is good to see our membership grow. Phoebe 
has a sizable supply of membership forms available, so contact her if you 
need them. This form may also be downloaded from our Web Site: 

If you have not visited our VNPS Web Site, please do so. It is really 
developing nicely and will be a great asset to the Society. Thanks to Dr. 
Stan Shetler, Dr. Bob Lyon and Richard Moss for sharing their expertise 
and providing space for our site. 

Our Wildflower of the Year queen size quilt is all finished! Mrs. Edmunds 
has done a fantastic job and she sent it to our June board meeting. It is 
simply beautiful! Remember tickets are a $5 donation for a book of 6 or $1 
for a single ticket. Photos have been sent to chapters but they only show 
what the top of the quilt looked like before the quilting was done. Contact 
John Fry (540-364-3046) if you need additional tickets. Let's really push 
the ticket sales so this will be a highly successful project. The John Clayton 
Chapter has the quilt now and will be displaying it right up to the drawing 
on Saturday night at the annual meeting. 

Gordon Chappell, John Clayton Chapter President, reports that plans 
are moving nicely for the Annual Meeting. I will look forward to seeing 
everyone in Williamsburg the weekend of September 19 & 20. 

Your President, Frank Coffey 


VNPS staff artist 
resigns after 16 years 

Barbara Stewart has resigned as 
artist for the Virginia Native Plant 
Society after serving over 16 years. 
During this time she has provided 
drawings for the Wildflower of the 
Year program and other requested 
art work. In her letter of resignation, 
she stated that she would be avail¬ 
able for special projects. Barbara’s ^ 
work has always been of the highest 
quality and it is certain that VNPS 
will want to call on her in the future. 

To The Board of Directors of the Virginia Native Plant Society: I have audited the accompanying fund balance of the Virginia Native Plant 
Society as of October 31,1996, and the related statement of income for the year then ended. These financial statements are the responsibility of 
the organization's management. My responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on my audit. 

I conducted my audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. In my opinion, the financial statements referred to at right 
present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Virginia Native Plant Society as of October 31, 1996, and the results of its 
operations for the year then ended in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. 

June 7,1997, Robert K. Hersh, C.P.A., 3213 N. John Marshall Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22207 

VNPS Fiscal Year 1996 
Summary Income Statement 



Common Stocks 



For the period ending Oct. 31, 1996 


Other job related expenses 








Other earned income 




Education expenses 







Accounts payable 










Office Exp./Business 





Other long-term Labilities 








Other income/business 








Unclassified liabilities 



Unclassified income 







Checking accounts 





Savings accounts 







Page 2 .. = August 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Wildflower Clippings: A look across the country 

T he National Wildlife Fed¬ 
eration recently reported 
in one of its magazines 
about a cooperative study that was 
done by ecologists from the Universi¬ 
ties of Toronto and Minnesota on the 
effects of pollution on native grasses. 
The 12-year-study simulated nitrogen 
emission levels from cars and power 
plants in the Northeast. Their results: 
native grasses, which frequently oc¬ 
cur in nitrogen poor areas, had im¬ 
paired growth. Non-native grasses, 
especially from Europe, were im¬ 
ported for agricultural development 
and thrive on large doses of nitrogen. 
Thus, roadsides have thriving non¬ 
native grasses stimulated by emis¬ 
sions that out-compete natives and 
species diversity declines. 

A n article in the May 25th 
issue of the Arlington 
Journal Newspaper had 
an excellent article on native plants 
by Helene Hollander Lepkowski. 
"Growing Native" mentions the 
many benefits of growing native 
plants while not ignoring the real 
importance of habitat conservation. 
Ms. Lepkowski really did her re¬ 
search and not only quoted 
Potowmack Chapter members (she 
attended the chapter sale at Green 
Spring) but also representatives of 
many like-minded organizations 
such as the Maryland Native Plant 
Society and Fairfax Releaf. She 
stressed the importance of not plant¬ 
ing invasive species while focusing 
on all the unique virtues of our 
Northern Virginia natives. 

J ust about every issue of 
American Butterflies , a pub¬ 
lication of the North Ameri¬ 
can Butterfly Association, 
contains articles on the associations 
between native plants and the but¬ 
terflies that depend on them as cat¬ 
erpillar hosts or nectar sources. Re¬ 
cent examples: "The Brilliance of 
Asters (Part 1, The East)" that fo¬ 
cuses on native asters and their use 
by butterflies to obtain nectar or pro¬ 
vide caterpillar food (for pearl cres¬ 
cent butterflies in Northern Vir¬ 

ginia); "The Gaea Gardener: False 
Nettles" which talks about this plant 
and its use by red admiral and east¬ 
ern comma butterfly larvae (also see 
the May 1997 issue of the VNPS Bul¬ 
letin)-, and "Native Eupatoriums for 
the Butterfly Garden." The articles 
are interesting and often have local 
application to Virginians. 

T he New Columbia 
Audubon Society of 
Washington, D.C. and 
the Washington Area Butterfly Club 
have initiated attempts to establish 
stands of white turtlehead ( Chelone 
glabra) at Kenilworth Aquatic Gar¬ 
dens. They are hoping that if they 
succeed in getting large stands of 
turtlehead established, they can 
then attempt to introduce Baltimore 
checkerspot butterflies. Baltimore 
checkerspots are very uncommon in 
the Northern Virginia area and 
white turtlehead is one of the pri¬ 
mary host plants for caterpillars of 
this species. Because there does not 
appear to be any nearby colonies of 
the butterfly, it is unlikely they 
would find the plant for themselves. 
Once the checkerspots are estab¬ 
lished, however, they could spread 
to other nearby areas having suit¬ 
able habitats. Anyone who would 
like to donate plants can contact 
Alonso Abugattas at (703) 358-6535 
during the day or (703) 528-8808 in 
the evenings. 

T he Maryland Native Plant 
Society recently reported 
in its newsletter about a 
study indicating that half of the 
major wetland weeds were intro¬ 
duced for horticultural use. The re¬ 
sults are taken from a Brooklyn 
Botanic Garden book, Invasive 
Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden, 
which covers 82 invasive plant spe¬ 
cies in depth. The study makes use 
of the two most comprehensive 
natural area lists, one by the Nature 
Conservancy and the other by the 
National Pest Plant Councils. Many 
of the plants listed are still being 
sold commercially. This just goes to 
prove that gardeners need to be 

careful about what plants they 
choose to use in their gardens. Re¬ 
searchers are reported to be looking 
into reliable methods of predicting 
which species can become problems so 
new infestations can be prevented. 

N ational Wildlife Federa¬ 
tion had an article in its 
January issue of National 
Wildlife Magazine about the disap¬ 
pearance of the native plants in the 
United States. Using data provided 
by the Nature Conservancy, the 
magazine reports that nearly 10 per¬ 
cent of the native plants in the United 
States may have disappeared from at 
least one of their former home states. 
Hawaii and the Northeast suffered the 
most losses, particularly in wetland 
species. Delaware recorded the high¬ 
est percentage of lost species (over 12 
percent) but the real surprise is who 
else made the top five—our neighbor 
Maryland with six percent lost. 

M any organizations are 
becoming more and 
more aware of the 
problems caused by invasive plants. 
Take, for example, an article in the 
June issue of Turkey Call, a publica¬ 
tion of the National Wild Turkey Fed¬ 
eration. In this hunting magazine, 
one author, Dr. James Kennamer, 
clearly states his position: "In my 
mind there is no question—we must 
avoid bringing non-native species 
into new ecosystems without careful 
consideration..." He goes on to give 
many examples of invasive plants 
and animals with their consequences. 
He tempers his statements with 
thoughts on how non-natives should 
not be removed from consideration 
outright, but used with much cau¬ 
tion. Not all non-natives are bad and 
some natives can be helped to expand 
their ranges (such as he believes tur¬ 
keys should be). But the article sug¬ 
gests extreme caution. "The real chal¬ 
lenge is to make the right choices." This 
organization is taking steps in the right 
direction as are many other individu¬ 
als and organizations. 

This article was compiled by VNPS 
Public Relations Chair Alonso Abugattas. 

August 1997 

Page 3 

... .-.. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society = 

Living Museum offers variety from nature 

(Continued from page 1) 

The Touch Tank and Discovery 
Center offer up-close, hands-on en¬ 
counters with wild creatures and ar¬ 
tifacts, and throughout the day there 
is a variety of live animal programs 
presented by museum interpreters. 
There's also a planetarium which of¬ 
fers everything from sky interpreta¬ 
tion programs to laser light shows, 
and an observatory for solar viewing 
during the day and night sky view¬ 
ing during evening hours. In addi¬ 
tion, the changing exhibit gallery 
brings new feature exhibits to the 
museum every few months. 

Outdoors, a quarter-mile nature 
trail winds through upland and low¬ 
land habitats alongside a small lake, 
passing large naturally-vegetated 
enclosures housing raccoons, bea¬ 
vers, bobcats, red foxes, river otters, 
wild turkey, white tail deer, skunks, 
opossums and bald eagles. In and 
among the exhibits you'll find a vari¬ 
ety of woodland plants. Ephemeral 
spring wildflowers like bloodroot, 
spring beauty, Virginia bluebells and 
trout lily are followed by ferns and 
flowering shrubs, like mountain lau¬ 
rel, native azaleas, sweetshrub, vibur¬ 
nums and sweet pepperbush. From 
the boardwalk along the edge of the 
lake you can view wetland plants like 
rose mallow, scouring rush, pickerel 
weed, blue flag iris, and an assortment 
of wild turtles, ducks and wading 
birds. Plus you can step inside the 
wetland aviary and see wetland 
plants and animals up close from an 
observation deck. 

Also incorporated into the 
grounds are several display gardens. 
The Butterfly Garden contains native 
perennials, shrubs and trees which 
provide nectar for adult butterflies, 
and food for various caterpillars. The 

plants include milkweeds, asters, 
Joe-Pye weed, blazing star, cardinal 
flower, sassafras, buttonbush, and 
many others. This exhibit also pro¬ 
vides information on common Virginia 
butterflies, the plants which attract 
them, and the basic ingredients needed 
to create your own butterfly garden. 

The Backyard Habitat display 
garden shows how you can make 
your own yard a habitat for wildlife. 
In a typical backyard setting, you'll 
see examples of ways to provide 
food, water, shelter, and nesting sites 
for a variety of animals. This in¬ 
cludes water sources like a backyard 
pond and various types of birdbaths, 
and assorted feeders and nesting 
boxes, such as bluebird houses and 
even bat boxes. Plantings include 
fruiting shrubs which supply food and 
shelter, like hollies, blueberries and 
viburnums, and nectar plants for 
hummingbirds,such as bee balm, coral 
honeysuckle and trumpet creeper. 

The horticulture staff, with the as¬ 
sistance of many dedicated volunteers, 
maintains the grounds and exhibits 
and provides plant material for use in 
educational programs. Most of the pe¬ 
rennials and some trees and shrubs 
seen at the museum were grown in our 
own greenhouse and nursery. In ad¬ 
dition, each year we grow thousands 

of native perennials for our spring and 
fall wildflower sales, which are major 
museum fund-raisers. 

The museum's education staff 
offers a wide variety of classes and 
guided field trips for children, 
adults, groups and families. Day- 
trips might take you canoeing in a 
cypress swamp or caving in the 
mountains, while longer safaris go 
whale-watching in New England, or 
further afield to Alaska or Belize 
with trained naturalists as your 
guides. In addition, the horticulture 
staff provides programs on such top¬ 
ics as native plant identification and 
propagation, butterfly gardening, and 
backyard habitat development. 

During this year's VNPS annual 
meeting, hosted by the John Clayton 
Chapter and held in nearby 
Williamsburg, the Virginia Living 
Museum will be one of Saturday’s field 
trip destinations. I hope to see many 
VNPS members then, but if you 
choose to take one of the other won¬ 
derful field trips (and there are LOTS 
to choose from), I hope you'll use the 
attached coupon to visit us another 
time. For more information, you can 
phone the museum at (757) 595-1900, 
or reach me at if 
you have access to e-mail. 

Janis Miller, VLM Horticulture Curator 

Buy one regular admission to the Virginia Living Museum 
& get one of equal or lesser value FREE with this coupon! 

4 / 




Good for up to two free admissions (four people). 

Not good for special exhibits, classes or laser shows. 


Directions: Route 1-64, exit 258A. Museum is two miles ahead on the left. 

Call 757-595-1900 for hours. 

Valid through July 31, 1998 

Fall workdays set for native plant trail at State Arboretum 

Fall workdays will give VNPS 
members a chance to help plant ferns, 
wildflowers, shrubs, and trees in the 
State Arboretum's new Virginia Na¬ 
tive Plant Trail (See March 1997 Bulle¬ 
tin). These workdays will be from 10 
a.m. to about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 

Oct.l, Saturday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, 
Nov. 8 , rain or shine. In case of very 
severe weather, check (540) 837-1758, 
ext. 22, before 10 a.m. All are welcome, 
for the whole day or any part of it. 

Beverages and snacks will be pro¬ 
vided; bring your own lunch. Tools 

will be available, but bring yours if 
you like, as well as gloves and any¬ 
thing else to work comfortably. For 
more information or to let planners 
know you are coming, call (540) 837- 
1758, ext. 26. The arboretum is on U.S. 
Rt. 50 about 9 miles east of Winchester. 

Page 4 

August 1997 

■ .—.... Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society -. ■ 

Virginia's parasitic plants provide mystery and intrigue 

parasitic behavior of sandalwood 
(Santalum album) was reported in the 
early part of this century! Like other 
members of the Santalaceae, sandal¬ 
wood is green. Seeds germinate 
readily and will establish seedlings in 
pots without hosts. Yet, in nature 
members of this family are invariably 
parasitic on a diversity of hosts. 

The Santalaceae is especially well 
represented in Virginia. We have one 
of the richest assemblages of this fam¬ 
ily in North America. This does not 
mean that there are scores or even 
dozens of species, however. Four spe¬ 
cies are native in our state. 

The most widespread and the only 
herbaceous member is Comandra 
umbellata. In fact, this species is one 
of the most widespread herbaceous 
plants in North America, occurring in 
most of the lower 48 states. Its closest 
relative is found in the Balkans. Few 
plant families have a distribution like 
the Santalaceae. 

The greenish white flowers appear 
in the spring and develop into a 
drupe-like fruit. My enthusiasm for 
common names knows bounds and 
this family is especially aggravating. 
The "common" name of C. umbellata 
is the sesquipedalian bastard toad flax. 
Few modern nature lovers have any 
idea what toad flax is, much less the 
biological significance of a bastard. 
Why not simply call this inhabitant of 
open sunny areas "Comandra”? It is 
certainly simpler. In addition, the 
name is descriptive of the tuft of hairs 
associated with the anthers. 

Unlike Comandra, the other three 
species are shrubs. All are unisexual. 
Most widespread is the Appalachian 
Pyrularia pubera, oilnut or buffalo nut. 
The first common name refers to the 
oil found in the large seed. Like all 
members of the family, the host range 
of oilnut is broad. Recently, we have 
documented it as a serious problem in 
a Christmas tree plantation in south¬ 
ern West Virginia. Oilnut bears small 
greenish flowers in the early spring. 
Fruits are unique and have been de¬ 
scribed as drupes. However, they are 
actually schizocarps. As the fruit ma¬ 
tures, the outer fleshy portion splits 
and drops the large, round seed. 
Oilnut shares with buckleya an Appa¬ 
lachian-Far Eastern distribution. 

Nestronia umbellula is known from 
about five counties in the state. 
Nestronia occurs in the Carolinas, 
Georgia, Tennessee and has recently 
been found in eastern Kentucky. The 
genus is monospecific. 

It is a nondescript shrub that I often 
confuse with blueberries or huckleber¬ 
ries. My students call it "blah bush," a 
descriptive appellation. The court's 
ruling against all male colonies doesn't 
apply to Nestronia —only staminate 
plants are known in our state! One of 
its common names, and perhaps the 
oldest, is conjurer's nut. No known 
extant populations of female plants nor 
any pistillate specimens exist in all of 
Virginia. Can we conjure up any ideas 
to address this mystery? 

Several theories have been posited. 
One intriguing idea is that the intro¬ 
duced Japanese honeysuckle, which 
has a fragrance very similar to that of 
conjurer's nut has lured away potential 

pollinators. The fragrances are remark¬ 
ably similar. Who is conjuring who? 

I believe the decline of this shrub 
may be attributed to the lack of fire. 
The largest populations are in areas 
that are disturbed, like the population 
along the Bannister River in 
Pittsylvania County; or along the mar¬ 
gins of granite outcrops farther south. 
Evidence from earlier literature and 
herbarium labels shows that large 
populations developed in recently 
burned areas. This still does not ad¬ 
dress the peculiar problem of a single 
sex state, however. 

Without doubt the most interesting, 
best known, and unfortunately often 
heavily collected of our Santalaceae is 
Buckleya distichcrphylla. Asa Gray re¬ 
portedly called this the "rarest shrub 
in North America." Unlikely, but its 
distribution is limited. And, if bota¬ 
nists continue to insist that every her¬ 
barium have a sheet of Virginia 
buckleya. Gray may be right. It is 
strictly a southern Appalachian en¬ 
demic with its closest relative in east¬ 
ern China! Again, I deplore the appar¬ 
ently recently invented common 

(See Parasites, page 8) 

August 1997 

Page 5 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Search for sweetbay turns up unique swale 

In 1990 and 1991, I was inten¬ 
sively involved with searching the cen¬ 
tral Virginia piedmont for populations 
of sweetbay magnolia ( Magnolia 
virginiana). In May 1990,1 found an in¬ 
teresting seepage swamp at the 
headwaters of Horsepen Creek at a 
point about a mile-and-a-half north¬ 
west of Oilville in Goochland County. 
Turning into the Sleepy Hollow sub¬ 
division off Long Drive, I discovered 
a small, but noticeable swale domi¬ 
nated by black gum and red maples 
and surrounded by brand new houses. 
According to my maps, this sphag- 
nous seep was situated at the very 
upper end of Horsepen Creek. Poking 
into a shrub thicket consisting of 
fetterbush ( Leucothoe racemosa), de¬ 
ciduous holly ( Ilex decidua ) and arrow- 
wood ( Viburnum dentatum), the first 
interesting oddity was a large, 23-inch 
sweetbay magnolia. Next to it was a 
handsome chokeberry ( Aronia 
arbutifolia), and turning, I saw poison 
sumac (Rhus vemix). 

Hummocks supported cinna¬ 
mon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea ), net¬ 
ted chain fern ( Woodwardia aceolata ), 
and dense cover of marsh fern 
(Thelypteris palustris ). Standing water 
between hummocks had Turk's cap 
lily ( Lilium superbum), some of which 
were eight feet tall! Other interesting 
plants were little green orchids 
(Habenaria clavellata), including about 
50 in a space of five square feet! I also 
saw the largest single population. 

about 300, of fancy fern (Dryopteris 
intermedia) I have ever encountered. 

I checked on this area again re¬ 
cently, and miraculously it is still in¬ 
tact. Despite the presence of interest¬ 
ing wetlands, the site is not protected 
because of regulatory allowance for 

areas in headwater landscape posi¬ 
tions. Herbarium specimens were ob¬ 
tained for documentation and are at 
Virginia Commonwealth University. 
Thanks go to Pocahontas Chapter mem¬ 
ber Robert Wright for sharing his visit to 
the headwaters of Horsepen Creek with us. 

by Nicky 

VNPS group again experiences memorable Bruce expedition 

Calypso orchids, moonworts, heav¬ 
enly food and a dawn birding expedi¬ 
tion were part of the excitement experi¬ 
enced by 20 VNPSers who trekked to 
Canada's Bruce Peninsula in June. 

We met at Wildwood Lodge in 
Mar, Ontario for a week of wildflow- 
ers. Ted Scott directed trips. Mother 
Nature cooperated and Canada's pres¬ 
ervation of its unique habitats enabled 
us to enjoy about 95 percent of the flora 
we anticipated. The lake iris, ramshead 
orchids and butterwort of Dorcas Bay 
were prolific and fresh. The wall of ferns 
and nodding trillium of Crane River; 
Robert's oak fern at Dyers Bay Cross¬ 
roads; sundews, arrowgrass and false 

Page 6 

asphodel at Oliphant Fen; yellow 
ladyslippers, Indian paintbrush, 
starry false Solomon's seal and 
gaywings mixed profusely along the 
roads all added to a wonderful journey. 

On the shore of Lake Huron, Wild¬ 
wood Lodge hosts Vic and Shirley Tho¬ 
mas served baked white fish for a break¬ 
fast and a memorable Dorcas Bay 
fieldtrip picnic; breakfasts included 
heavenly sticky buns. Red River cereal 
and crunch special pancakes. 

Bob and Jody Lyons invited us to 
celebrate their 50th wedding anniver¬ 
sary and our days concluded around 
their hospitable campfires. Rob Lyons, 
their son, started the evening fires and 

we drifted to the glow, just as moths 
would. Jean Worthley aided our birding 
expeditions (30 species in 1 1 /2 hours 
prior to breakfast) and helped give 
names to mystery plants. 

Flowerpot Island yielded the fes¬ 
tive glory of a nine-member family of 
Calypso orchids. Moonwort was wait¬ 
ing demurely on the appointed sand 
dune for our tryst...Frances Newcomb 
located several more nearby. Sharp 
eyes of Karen Shepard, Elaine Smith, 
Butch and Betty Kelly, Joe Howard, 
Vilja Lewis, Milton and Jean Leroy, Ed 
and Dot Fererro, Bud Gregory, Jean 
Solomon added to the trip's success. The 
(See Bruce, page 7) 

August 1997 

--- ■ ■ — Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

The Naturalist's Library 

Book on West Virginia forests is useful guide to mountain state 

Upland Forests of West Virginia Ed- 
ited by Stephen L. Stephenson. 
McClain Printing Co., Parsons, WV 
1993. $28.50. 

The rugged terrain and relative high 
elevation of West Virginia's mountains 
have long drawn naturalists and 
recreationists from the Mid-Atlantic 
region. Upland Forests of West Virginia 
is an outgrowth of a 1989 symposium 
by the West Virginia Academy of Sci¬ 
ence and brings together the work of 
over 20 authorities on the biota and 
ecology of the West Virginia forest as 
it occurs above 3,000 feet. 

It might be hard for the casual visi¬ 
tor, driving through the dense forest 
lining the Mountain State's roads, to 
realize that what he is seeing bears 
little resemblance to the original for¬ 
est cover of the state. Logging and 
fires, destroying both trees and deep 
humus soil, had virtually eliminated 
the original forest cover by 1920. The 
remnants we enjoy today are second- 
or third-growth northern hardwoods. 
Several chapters mention the extensive 
red spruce forests which once covered 
much of the high mountain country. 
One author claims that the original red 
spruce forest of the Canaan Valley 
probably represented one of the finest 

examples of its type in the eastern 
United States if not the entire world. 

Following an introduction to the 
upland forest and its history, the book 
launches into chapters covering indi¬ 
vidual elements of the biota. Bryo- 
phytes, lichens and fungi each have 
their chapters, with a well-taken plea 
by the respective authors not to ignore 
these less spectacular members of the 
plant communities in favor of more 
showy plant groups. Our readers will 
appreciate the chapter on rare plants 
by Brian R. McDonald of the West Vir¬ 
ginia Natural Heritage Program. In¬ 
sects and spiders, reptiles and amphib¬ 
ians, birds, wildlife and prehistoric hu¬ 
man occupants each have their turn. 

I'd consider it a poor natural history 
book that didn't provide one good 
"gee whiz" fact and Upland Forests 
provided this: there is a plant bug (Or¬ 
der Hemiptera) which looks like an 
ant and lives with ants on the beaked 
sedge surrounding the boardwalk at 
Cranberry Glades. The benefits of this 
relationship to either insect are not 
known. The plant bug may gain pro¬ 
tection from predators by mimicking 
ants which are known to be unpalatable. 

Anyone who travels to the moun¬ 
tains of West Virginia to camp, hike 
and botanize will find Upland Forests 

of West Virginia to be useful for refer¬ 
ence and background. It is a worthy 
companion to Flora of West Virginia and 
Earl Core's Vegetation of West Virginia 
as guides to the natural history of this 
fascinating region. 

Mark Gatewood, Publication Chair 

•Grant - 

(Continued from page 1) 

Director, Department of Conservation 
and Recreation, Division of Natural 
Heritage. Sadly for us, Caren and her 
family are returning to Massachusetts 
by the end of August. We will miss 
working with her and will miss her on 
the VNPS Board of Directors where 
her input has always been valuable. 

Ted Scott, 1st Vice-President 

•Bruce - 

(Continued from page 6) 
final day, our showy ladyslipper was in 
her regal, rosy glory. Neighboring plants 
had buds which opened the next week. 
None of us would have enjoyed the trip 
as much had Ted not pushed himself, 
despite his broken ankle, to be with us. 
It was a pleasure to be the substitute 
leader under his guidance. There could 
be a 1998 Bruce Peninsula trip. If so, co¬ 
leaders and dates will be announced in 
the next Bulletin. 

Nicky Staunton, Conservation Chair 

The Bulletin 

is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 

(703) 368-9803 

Frank Coffey, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulle¬ 
tin may be reprinted, provided credit is 
given to the author, if named. Readers 
are invited to send letters, news items, 
or original articles for the editor's con¬ 
sideration. Items should be typed or sent 
on 3.5"disk in Wordperfect or Microsoft 
Word to the Editor, Rt. 2, Box 726, Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440. 

The deadline for the next issue is Oct. 1 

See the address label for your membership's expiration date. 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 





. Z 'P. 

_Individual $15 _Family $25 

_Patron $50 _Sustaining $100 

_Associate (group) $40; delegate_ 

_Student $10 
Life $400 

To give a gift membership or join additional chapters: Enclose dues, name, address, and 
chapter. (Non-voting memberships in any other than your primary chapter are $5). 

I wish to make an additional contribution to _ 

in the amount of_$10_$25_$50 

_Check here if you do not wish your name 

to be exchanged with similar organizations. 




_Check here if you do not wish 

to be listed in a chapter directory. 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003 

Membership dues are tax deductible in the amount they exceed $5 Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. 

August 1997 

Page 7 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

•Parasites - 

(Continued from page 5) 

name of "pirate bush." Why not just 
call it buckleya ? 

Spectacular stands of buckleya can 
be found in Roanoke County at the 
Poor Mountain preserve. Other popu¬ 
lations that I have studied for 25 years 
are declining at a rapid rate, largely 
through the kind of fragmentation of the 
landscape that occurs through urban¬ 
ization. There are records of buckleya 
from fewer than 10 counties in Virginia. 
I was alarmed to learn that some well 
meaning naturalist planted some fruits 
along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Buckleya is easy to grow from the 
peculiar green fruits produced in the 
fall. Despite a long tradition of asso¬ 
ciation, hemlock is not a requirement 
for the growth of buckleya. In fact, at 
the Poor Mountain site some of the larg¬ 
est shrubs are nowhere near hemlock. 

Figworts and Broomrapes 
This is the largest group of parasitic 
plants in the southeastern United 
States and well represented in Vir¬ 
ginia. Traditionally, the parasitic fig- 
worts have been placed in a subfam¬ 
ily of the Scrophulariaceae. The other 
subfamily of the Scrophulariaceae, 
with such familiar plants as foxglove, 
snapdragon, and mullein, contains au¬ 
totrophic species. All species without 
chlorophyll were placed in the 
Orobanchaceae, the broomrape family. 
Recent molecular systematics has 

shown what botanists have postulated 
for many years. Relationship between 
the parasitic subfamily of the 
Scrophulariacae and the Orobanchaceae 
is close. 

Green, autotrophic genera include 
Agalinis (with eight species, including 
one that occurs in saltmarshes), 
Aureolaria (our largest and showiest 
members of this group); Buchnera 
(abundant farther south but rarely 
seen in Virginia); Castilleja coccinea (In¬ 
dian paintbrush, restricted to a few 
sites in Virginia); Melampyrum lineare, 
a small annual plant most abundant 
in the Appalachians in Virginia; 
Pedicularis; P. canadensis is widespread 
in the state; Schwalbea americana, now 
a federally endangered species almost 
certainly extirpated from Virginia; and 
Tomanthera auriculata, extremely rare 
and known from only one site in the 
state. Holoparasitic members, those 
formerly included in the 
Orobanchaceae are Conopholis 
americana , widespread and often abun¬ 
dant; Epifagus virginiana, a peculiar 
annual common throughout the state; 
Orobanche ludovicianana, likely extir¬ 
pated from Virginia; and Orobanche 
uniflora, probably more common than 
realized due to its early flowering and 
its habitat under leaf litter. Orobanche mi¬ 
nor has been introduced from Europe. 

I have grown most of the autotrophic 
species. They are easy to cultivate in pots 
with a diversity of hosts. Unfortunately, 

few are used in the wildflower trade 
except Castilleja. The commercially 
available species of Indian paintbrush 
is not native to Virginia. 

The genus Aureolaria is my favorite 
among the autotrophic members of 
this group. Four species are found in 
the Old Dominion. They are often 
known by the common name of false 
foxglove because the shape of the co¬ 
rolla resembles that of the cultivated 
foxglove. The corollas last only one 
day and then fall from the plant. 

Aureolaria pedicularia is the only an¬ 
nual/biennial. It produces large, 
bright yellow flowers in late summer 
and fall. This species is always associ¬ 
ated with red oaks, which it parasit¬ 
izes. It may attack other species but 
A. pedicularia will always be found at¬ 
tached to a red or black oak. On the 
other hand, the other species are pe¬ 
rennials and parasitize white oaks. 

Tallest of all our herbaceous para¬ 
sites, A. flava is most common in the 
mountains and flowers in mid to late 
summer. Aureolaria laevigata is an Ap¬ 
palachian endemic. This species is 
most conspicuous at the margin of dry 
forests on south facing slopes. Only 
one member of the genus flowers in 
the spring, A. virginica. It often forms 
attractive stands along roads and at 
the margins of woods. 


This article is the third in a series by 
Lytton J. Musselman, a professor of biologi¬ 
cal sciences at Old Dominion University. 

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Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

Williamsburg meeting 
a wonderful success 

For Wildflower Gardeners 

Witch hazel adds to fall gardens 

John Clayton would have been 
proud! His namesake VNPS Chap¬ 
ter hosted a wonderful Williamsburg 
weekend of wildflowers. One hun¬ 
dred and fourteen members of VNPS 
gathered in Colonial Williamsburg, 
Virginia, to elect a president, Marie 
Minor of the Pocahontas Chapter, 
who will see us into the new 
millenniun. Many thanks to mem¬ 
bers who mailed in their ballots: it 
was a record return of 313! Our 
weekend began with an elegant Fri¬ 
day evening meal at Christiana 
Campbell's followed by an evening 
program of Teta Kain's stunning 
photographs of Dragon Run, a Sat¬ 
urday field trip. 

Members who had missed visit¬ 
ing the Zuni Pine Barrens eight years 
ago finally saw the long-needle pine 
in its habitat with fellow flora. Dr. 
Lytton Musselman’s Bulletin articles 
about the pine barrens prepared us 
for the visit. The first plant to greet 
(See Beautiful setting, page 9) 

Our native witch hazel 
(Hamamelis virginiana ) is a wonderful 
plant for ending the gardening year. 
In addition to its lovely fall foliage and 
flowers, and adaptability to a wide 
range of growing conditions, it has a 
rich history of various uses. 

Hamamelis virginiana , witch hazel 
Illustration by Nicky Staunton 

Witch hazel grows as an under¬ 
story tree in dry or moist woods from 
Canada to Florida and Texas, and is 
found in most Virginia counties. An¬ 
other East Coast species, H. vemalis, 
blooms in late winter and early spring 
as do the Asian species and cultivars. 

Linnaeus established the family, 
Hamamelidaceae, in 1742 based on 
specimens and descriptions he re¬ 
ceived from John Banister, a British 
missionary living in Virginia. The ge¬ 
nus name Hamamelis, meaning "to¬ 
gether with fruit," describes the pres¬ 
ence of last year's seed pods along 
with the current year's flowers. 

Grown as a multi-stemmed shrub 
or single-trunked tree, witch hazel will 
slowly reach a height and spread of 15 
to 20 feet. Dark, green alternate leaves, 
3 to 5 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide 
with irregularly scalloped edges, are 
arranged in a slightly zig-zag pattern. 
As they turn yellow and begin to fall in 
late October, clusters of tiny round buds 
along the stems begin to unfurl their 
small yellow, spidery flowers. Each 
bloom consists of four strap-like 
(See Witch hazel, page 8) 

Native plant fact sheets become reality 

The fruits of our effort to com¬ 
pile a list of native plants of Virginia 
suitable for conservation, restoration 
and landscaping went to the printer 
on September 29. Plant descriptions 
include native regions for each 
(coastal, piedmont or mountain); 
suitability for wildlife enhancement, 
horticulture and landscaping, con¬ 

servation and restoration, or domes¬ 
tic animal forage; and most suitable 
light (of three) and moisture (also 
of three) levels. 

An article about this project ap¬ 
peared in the Bulletin exactly one 
year ago, in the November 1996 is¬ 
sue. This has been a cooperative 
(See Native plants, page 9) 

| Inside this issue ■■ 

•VNPS 3 
•Plant 4 
•Parasitic 8 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society ■ = 

From the President New VNPS Board 

Hello Members! I have humbly accepted the honor of assuming the position of 
the Virginia Native Plant Society President. I hope that I will be able to fill the 
position as capably as Frank Coffey. 1 will be in a learning mode for a while; how¬ 
ever, there is a notion which I would like for the society members to consider. While 
we are pursuing our interests through legislation, we should, at the same time, be 
increasing our efforts to promote our society's goals to the public. Legislators will 
only support amendments favored by their constituents. By making the public aware 
of our organization using any opportunity for promotion, we are building grassroots 
sympathy for our interests and our organization. This makes it easier for legisla¬ 
tors to support the amendments we favor, and the two-pronged approach will pro¬ 
vide a solid base of support in our causes of conservation, preservation, and the use 
of native plants in our environments. 

As the new president, I am eager to hear your voices. If you have any ideas or 
thoughts that you wish to share with me, please contact me at 804-443-5950 or I will be happy to hear from you. 

Your president, Marie F. Minor 

From the former President 

I want to thank all VNPS members, officers and board members who helped 
make my tenure as VNPS President an enjoyable adventure. I will always remem¬ 
ber our experiences together. 

I hope everyone will give our new president, Marie Minor, and the new VNPS 
Board of Directors all the support they need to continue the important work of our 
Virginia Native Plant Society. 

Your former president, Frank Coffey 

President Marie Minor 804-443-5950 
1st VP Ted Scott 540-568-8679 
2nd VP John Fry 540-364-3046 

Treasurer John White 540-364-3066 
Secretary, C. Elaine Smith 703-432-6833 
Secretary, R. Aileen Smith 403-481-5527 
Botany Stanwyn Shetler 202-786-2996 
Conservation Nicky Staunton 703-368-9803 
Education Effie Fox 540-347-4090 

Fund Raising Open 

Horticulture Nancy Arrington 703-368-8431 

Membership Phoebe White 540-364-3066 
Publication Open 
Publicity/PR Nancy Hugo 804 

Registry Boleyn Dale 804 

D-A-L Pat Baldwin 804 

Pam Weiringo 540 

Allen Belden 804 

Cris Fleming 301 - 

Jim Bruce 804 






Faith Campbell 703- 
Blue Ridge Karen Shepard 540- 










Jefferson Pat Willis 540-967-1776 
J.Clayton Gordon Chappell 804-220-0914 
Piedmont John Fry 540-364-3046 
Pocahontas Richard Moss 804-748-2940 
Potomack Norma Vermillion 703-451-0572 

Prince William Helen Walter 703-330-9614 
Shenandoah Bonnie Hohn 540-885-2393 
S. Hampton Rd. Holly Cruser 757-481-2285 

Aulakh's cardinal flower selected top wildflower photograph 

Lobelia cardinalis reigns supreme 
as the "Best" winning photograph of 
the 1997 VNPS competition. Bob 
Lyons of VPI Department of Horti¬ 
culture chose the intense scarlet car¬ 
dinal flower photo by Elizabeth 
Aulakh of the Potomack Chapter re¬ 
sulting in her being named as the 
best wildflower photographer for 
this year. The engraved pewter 
Jefferson Cup was announced as her 
award during the program at the 
Annual Meeting in Williamsburg. 

Below is the list of winners: 

In the category of the 1998 Vir¬ 
ginia Wildflower of the Year 
(Acjuilegia canadensis) 

A. Plant Specimen: Photo of one 
columbine specimen 

1st Carolyn Bates, BRWS 
2nd Teta Kain, John Clayton 
3rd Dorothy Bliss, BRWS 

B. Habitat: Columbine in a natural 
or cultivated habitat. 

1st Carolyn Bates, BRWS 
2nd Jan Gates 
3rd None 

Favorite Native Plant Photograph 

C. Plant Specimen 

1st Elizabeth Aulakh - Best overall 
2nd Carolyn Bates 
3rd Nancy Sorrells 

D. Habitat 

1st Martha Shelkey 
2nd Carolyn Bates 
3rd Dorothy Bliss 

Watch for the announcement of 
the 1998 VNPS Photography 
Con test...and, be using your tripod 
to photograph the 1998 Columbine 
and....the VNPS choice Virginia 
Wildflower of the Year 1999: 
twinleaf. (Check the Atlas of Virginia 
Flora to locate counties in Virginia 
which have natural stands of 
twinleaf and be ready for this sel¬ 
dom-seen spring wildflower.) Rules 
will specify how to enter slides in 
the next contest. We appreciate the 
11 contestants submitting 25 8 x 10 
mounted prints which were dis¬ 
played at the Annual VNPS Meet¬ 
ing in Williamsburg. 

Page 2 

November 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Check out the VNPS home page at: 

The Virginia Native 
Plant Society 

Conserving Wild Flowers and Wild Places 

Education Research Advocacy Protection Rescue Propagation 

L"..c.v....":.c^:. ~ ”:.....c..c .:...:. 1 v. . 1 . . i 

Some Virginia Native Plants in Summer 

Bluets (Hedyotis caerulea) 

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia Jewel Weed (Impatiens Bee Balm 
canadensis) capensis) (Monarda didyma) 

The Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) was founded in 1982 as The Virginia Wildflower Preservation 
Society. It is a statewide organization with approximately 1500 members supported primarily by dues and 
contributions. Membership is open to anyone, amateur or professional. Its purpose is to further 
appreciation and conservation of Virginia's native plants and habitats. Incorporated in Virginia as a 
not-for-profit, publicly supported organization, it is tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. 
The Society's work and activities are carried out by volunteers. 

The Society's programs emphasize public education, protection of endangered species, habitat 
preservation, and encouragement of appropriate landscape use of native plants. These programs include: 

□ An Alien Invasive Plant Project . 

□ Selection of a Native Plant of the Year . 

□ A Registry Natural Areas in Virginia with rare or interesting Native Plants. 

□ Preparation of a List of nurseries which supply Native Plants. 

□ Sponsorship of Seminars. Workshops. Field Trips, and through many local chapters, Plant Sales . 

□ An Annual Meeting in September. (The Program for last year's Meeting may be seen here.) 

The VNPS is governed by a Board of Directors , and has nine local chapters located throughout the 
Commonwealth. Members are encouraged to participate in the work and activities of the Society at the 
local level, through the chapters, as well as at the state level. The society publishes a Bulletin five times a 
year in January, March, May, August, and November. 

To request more information about the VNPS. 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
P.O. Box 844 
Annandale, VA 22003 

If you haven't surfed the Internet looking for the Virginia Native Plant Society homepage, now's your chance. Go to the address 
listed above for information about nurseries, native plants of the year, alien invasive information, and much, much more. 

November 1997 

Page 3 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Winter Workshop round-up 

Propagating broadleaf evergreens from cuttings 

In March of 1996 the VNPS Win¬ 
ter Workshop featured various methods 
of propagating plants. Now the thought 
has occurred to some that this might be 
a subject of interest to our members who 
could not attend that workshop. This is 
the first in a series of articles on several 
of the more common ways of propagat¬ 
ing plants. Because this is still the sea¬ 
son when one can propagate some of our 
woody plants from cuttings , this first 
article will address the steps necessary 
to be successful in that endeavor. 

This article will focus primarily 
on the propagation of broadleaf ev¬ 
ergreen plants such as azaleas, 
rhododendrons, hollies, kalmia and 
leucothoe. The first important step is 
to take the cuttings from the best 
type of growth and at the best time 
of the year. Deciduous woody plants 
will be covered in a later article. Cut¬ 
tings from young plants root more 
readily than cuttings from more ma¬ 
ture plants. Cuttings should be taken 
when the new stem wood has 
reached a proper level of hardness as 
indicated in the box below. 

One of the first questions to ad¬ 
dress is what kind of propagator you 
wish to make or purchase. I have 
used wooden grape shipping boxes 
and wine boxes to root hundreds of 
plants. They will rot out after one or 
two seasons but the price is right. 
They should be about five inches 
deep, have holes in the bottom for 
drainage and a method of providing 
a fairly airtight, transparent to very 
translucent plastic cover without the 
cuttings touching the cover. I use two 

four-foot cool white florescent tubes 
with a reflector over a homemade 
propagator with an area 42 inches 
by 30 inches or over two smaller 
purchased propagators. 

The lights should be only eight 
to ten inches above the plants, but I 
have been successful at 15 inches. 
Prior to taking the cuttings one 
should prepare the rooting medium 
at least a day or two before using it. 
Make up a mix of half Canadian peat 
moss and half horticultural grade 
ADVISED. Rubber or latex gloves are 
also highly advisable because peat 
moss can carry a fungus which, if it 
gets into a cut or open sore, can cause 
very serious blood poisoning—rare 
but not worth taking a chance. (The 
gloves will also help protect from the 
Captan and hormone referred to later, 
both of which can be carcinogenic.) 

Mix the medium thoroughly, 
moistening it as you do it. At first 
you can apply a fair amount of wa¬ 
ter, but as it gets wetter, be more cau¬ 
tious, because as it gets wetter it 
won't take much water to make it 
too wet. The proper level of moist¬ 
ness is important. You are aiming for 
a condition in which the medium 
forms a ball that will stay together 
after squeezing it. The ball should 
hold together with handling. If more 
than one or two drops of water drips 
out when squeezed as hard as you 
can, it is too wet. It's better to stay 
on the dry side. Store the moistened 

medium in a closed plastic bag or 
covered container at a temperature 
of about 70 degrees F until ready for 
use. This will help the moisture level 
in the medium to become more uni¬ 
form throughout. (For boxwood use 
damp builders sand.) 

Instructions will usually say to 
take the cuttings when the plants are 
"turgid." This means a time when the 
water pressure in the vascular sys¬ 
tem of the plant is highest, usually 
early in the cool of the morning be¬ 
fore the sun hits the plant. A cool, 
cloudy day is ideal. Before every cut, 
sterilize by dipping in alcohol either 
a sharp knife or a pair of pruning 
shears which have the correct type of 
anvil so that they cut in a manner simi¬ 
lar to scissors. (A flat anvil will cause 
damage to both the plant and the cut¬ 
ting.) Immediately place the cutting(s) 
in a plastic bag accompanied by an 
identifying label and tie the bag shut. 

Keep in a cool place and in the 
shade until through collecting. The 
cuttings may then be stored for up 
to 10-14 days in a sealed plastic bag 
(do not add water) in a refrigerator at 
40 degrees F or immediately prepared 
for sticking in the rooting medium. 

From this point, one will in time 
discover that every individual does 
something perhaps a little differ¬ 
ently, sometimes drastically so, from 
some of the details I specify below. 
They do what they have found in 
their experience works best for their 
conditions. You will in time no doubt 
change some of the details I outline. 
On the other hand, you should re¬ 
member that I have had great suc¬ 
cess over an 18-year-period with the 
methods I describe. 

When ready to stick the cuttings 
in the rooting medium, wash the cut¬ 
tings in a solution of Captan (three 
tablespoons to a gallon) or similar fun¬ 
gicide. Shake off excess. REMEMBER 
GLOVES. Dip all cutting tools in al¬ 
cohol to sterilize them and permit to 
dry. Cleanliness is most important 
(See Propagation, page 5) 

- ■ == November 1997 

When to take plant cuttings 

Evergreen azaleas 

Late July -December, earlier the better 


Late August to February 


September to December 


September to December 


Late September (Virginia) 


Early June to October (difficult) 

Page 4 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Plant Time Required To Root 

Evergreen azaleas 

Four to eight weeks 


Eight to ten weeks 


Four to six weeks 


Eight to twelve week 


Five to six months 


(Continued from page 4) 

from this point. Continue to work 
with the gloves on until all cuttings 
have been stuck.. 

1. Pinch out any blossom bud 
present. (It is better to avoid the use 
of cuttings with apparent blossom 
buds if possible). Do not remove veg¬ 
etative end buds. 

2. Trim the base of the cuttings 
to a total length of two inches for ev¬ 
ergreen azaleas, three to four inches 
for the others. 

3. Remove all but the top three 
or four leaves and on large leaf plants 
such as rhododendrons reduce the 
length of the remaining leaves by half. 

At this point evergreen azalea 
cuttings are ready to be stuck in the 
rooting medium with perhaps two 
inches between each cutting. Rooting 
hormone is not necessary. 

4. For cuttings other than ever¬ 
green azalea, use a very sharp knife 
to make two parallel cuts on oppo¬ 
site sides of the stem for about 1-1 
1/2 inches at the bottom of the cut¬ 
ting. Cut deeply enough, but no 
deeper, to just take a very thin sliver 
off the hard wood of the cutting be¬ 
neath the bark. 

5. Dip in a rooting hormone pow¬ 
der containing 0.8 percent of indole- 
3-butyric acid such as Hormex or 
Hormodin (get the proper percent¬ 
age) so as to cover all the cut sur¬ 
faces. Knock off the excess. A mask 
should be worn anytime there is a 
chance of hormone dust being in the 
air. The hormone to be used should 
be removed from its container into a 
conveniently shaped vessel and the 
container resealed immediately and re¬ 

turned to the refrigerator for storage. 
When you are through treating the 
cuttings, all excess hormone should be 
ber, you are still working with gloves 
on. The rooting hormone is fairly ex¬ 
pensive. The smallest can available at 
most garden supply houses costs 
around $15 and is enough to root a few 
thousand cuttings. 

It, therefore, is a good idea to 
work with a friend so that you can 
share the powder and the expense. 
Besides, it is more fun that way. If 
the powder is stored in a refrigerator 
in a tightly closed can, it will retain its 
strength for at least two years. 

6. With a dibble about the size 
of the stems of the cuttings, make a 
hole in the rooting medium to the 
depth the cutting will be stuck. Stick 
the cutting into the rooting medium 
as deep as you can without the leaves 
touching the medium. Water in the 
cutting with a squirt of water to bring 
the medium in good contact with the 
stem. Use as little water as possible so 
the medium doesn't get too wet. 

7. When all cuttings have been 
stuck, mist the foliage until damp 
with as little runoff as possible. 

8. Cover propagator with an air¬ 
tight cover and place under lights 
about 8-10 inches above cuttings for 
16 hours per day. I use cool white 
florescent lights and get good results. 
Maintain a temperature as close to 70 
degrees F as you can in the propagator. 

9. Mist the cuttings at least twice 
daily for the first week with as little 
runoff as possible. After that you can 
determine that you have high hu¬ 
midity if droplets of moisture con¬ 
tinue to form on the propagator 

cover. Mist as needed to maintain 
that high humidity. If in a large en¬ 
closure, probably daily; if in a pot 
in a plastic bag, possibly once a 
week. Open enclosure for a few min¬ 
utes once a week at least for an ex¬ 
change of air. The objective is to keep 
the leaves moist in a high humidity 
atmosphere at a temperature of 70-75 
degrees F. Bottom heat is very help¬ 
ful or even necessary for the plants 
more difficult to root, especially in a 
space cooler than 70 degrees. In that 
situation I bury a thermostatically 
controlled heating cable in a bed of 
moist sand under my rooting vessels 
or I use an old electric blanket under 
a sheet of 6 mil plastic to protect the 

Near the end of the appropriate 
time period, test the cuttings by very 
gently tugging on them to see if 
there is resistance. A well-rooted 
plant will not give at all. If ready, pot 
up in an appropriately sized pot, 5 
inches is about right, with the fol¬ 
lowing mix: 2 parts milled (fine) 
pine bark; 2 parts Canadian peat; 1 
part builders sand; 1 part perlite. 

Moisten this mix with water 
treated with a wetting agent such as 
AQUA-GRO, following instructions 
on the container and repeat about 
every 10 weeks. If you have diffi¬ 
culty finding milled pine bark (your 
friendly nurseryman is the most 
likely source), you might use Pro- 
Mix, available from garden supply 
dealers. In that case do not add a 
wetting agent; it is already included. 

The plants should be fertilized 
about bi-weekly with an acid fertil¬ 
izer such as Miracid at half the 
strength recommended for house 
plants. After several weeks this can 
then be strengthened to the full 
strength for house plants. Keep a 
close eye on the condition of the 
plants after each change in their en¬ 
vironment. If they appear to be un¬ 
happy, adjust by changing back a 
little toward their previous environ¬ 
ment. This might mean less fertil¬ 
izer, more or less moisture, more or 
less warmth. Do not let plants be¬ 
come dry when fertilizer is being 
used, but also remember that a too 

(See Cuttings, page 10) 

Page 5 

November 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

"Morden Gleam is a purple loosestrife hybrid produced by crossing Morden 
Pink with Lythrum alatum, a rare native in Virginia but more abundant else¬ 
where. While the nursery trade has for years said that Morden Gleam (and 
the other horticultural cultivars of purple loosestrife) is sterile, we now know 
as a result of extensive research at the University of Minnesota that it is both 
male and female fertile. A copy of the research paper by Asher and Ander¬ 
son is being sent by priority mail. Two native species of Lythrum , L. alatum 
var. lanceolatum and L. lineare, whose ranges in Virginia are restricted to 
your area of the state, will in time likely be threatened by planting Mordem 
Gleam in the area. 

If this plan becomes a reality, it will be the worst possible eventuality 
for the freshwater marshes in your part of Virginia and our waterfowl that 
depend on those marshes for food and cover." 

By early Monday morning our state office had alerted the Division of 
Natural Heritage, The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Department of Game 
and Inland Fisheries, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Con¬ 
sumer Services, all of which have specific interests that would be detrimen¬ 
tally affected by the planned project. Each of those organizations immedi¬ 
ately sent a message of alarm to the city government. 

On Tuesday evening, September 30, the state office received the follow¬ 
ing e-mail message: 

"--We have apparently been successful in showing our concern, as it has 
been decided to avoid the use of any type of Lythrum. I have notified our 
landscape department that I will provide them with the research article for 
city study and to be used as a guide for future planning." 

We heaved a big sign or relief and a giant "THANK YOU” to a quick¬ 
acting member. How important is a member? Each of us can be that member 
just by keeping our eyes and ears open. 

Potowmack Chapter holds successful sale, annual meeting 

meeting was held on Sunday, October 
5 at Woodlawn Plantation in Alexan¬ 
dria. Among the events were: talks by 
Woodlawn director Susan Olsen and 
Marion Lobstein, a discussion of en¬ 
vironmental concerns by Congress¬ 
man Jim Moran and Senator Joe 
Gartlan, recognition of VNPS charter 
members, elections, business meeting, 
a seed exchange and a tour of Frank 
Lloyd Wright's Pope Leighey House. 

The Potowmack Chapter has had 
a very busy year. The fall plant sale, 
for example, was very successful, sell¬ 
ing 25 percent more plants than last 
year's sale. More than 1,300 plants 
were bought by the general public. 
Almost all of the shade and woody 
plants were purchased. 

The Potowmack Chapter has now 
grown to 445 members. Its annual 

VNPS members to the rescue! 

Quick work foils purple loosestrife plantings 

As we follow our daily routines of working, playing, socializing, and 
whatever we do in our spare moments, few of us think seriously about how 
important members are to VNPS. A drama that played out during the last 
few days of September served as a sudden, stark reminder of what impor¬ 
tant roles individual members play in the success of VNPS as an organization. 

During the last weekend of September, a VNPS state officer received an 
e-mail message from a member in one of our largest cities: "Stop the presses! 

Help! The city is planning to order quantities of 'Morden Gleam’ [purple 
loosestrife] for a beautification project. Please send me information about 
the sterility of 'Morden Gleam."' Our state office responded: 







John Clayton Chapter 
saves York plants 

Smoke billows up from a pile of 
burning trees, the flames shooting 
two stories into the air. What was 
once a rich forest is now exposed red 
earth, laid bare by roving bulldoz¬ 
ers. Sound familiar? Images of the 
Brazilian rainforest and the central 
plateau of Madagascar come to 
mind, but, no, this is Virginia, not 
two miles, as the crow flies, from the 
historic district of Colonial 
Williamsburg in York County. 

This is the increasing scenario in 
the Williamsburg area as more and 
more people move into the commu¬ 
nity. Williamsburg continues to at¬ 
tract people, mostly from points 
north, who are looking for a quiet, 
attractive and cultural place to re¬ 
tire. They come here from the Wash¬ 
ington area and the Northeast cor¬ 
ridor looking for relief from the 
crime, traffic and general congestion 
of the cities they left behind; not re¬ 
alizing that their increasing pres¬ 
ence is transforming this commu¬ 
nity into the very thing they thought 
they were leaving. As if that were 
not enough, people are starting to 
move in from points west as well. 
Williamsburg has become an attrac¬ 
tive bedroom community for metro¬ 
politan Richmond. This leaves 
members of the John Clayton Chap¬ 
ter of VNPS literally on the front line 
as more and more woodland falls to 

Through a haze of smoke and 
(See Plant rescue, page 10) 

Page 6 

November 1997 

■ ■ _ Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society ■■ 

Twenty diverse habitats need protection at refuge 

The Occoquan Bay National Wild¬ 
life Refuge (a.k.a. Harry Diamond Labs, 
Woodbridge Research Facility, Mason 
Neck National Refuge-Woodbridge 
Unit) is your newest national wildlife 
refuge. It is a place of 580 besieged acres 
in Northern Virginia including dry up¬ 
land meadows and sea level wetlands, 
20 plant communities where bald eagles 
visit daily, and communities of insects, 
mollusks, fish, reptiles and mammals 
yet to be inventoried. 

In 1994 Congress designated the 
U.S. Army Woodbridge Research Facil- 
ity-Harry Diamond Laboratory as a 
closed military base and transferred it 
to the United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service. Forty years of benign land man¬ 
agement, mostly yearly mowing, under 
the army produced high biodiversity. 

The intensely diverse plant commu¬ 
nities at the refuge offer shelter, food and 
breeding grounds for a variety of wild¬ 
life. The plant communities are among 
the refuge's most valuable natural fea¬ 
ture. Wetlands are legally protected; 
however, the dry upland meadows are 
not. Consequently, the military land has 
been thus-far unsuccessfully coveted as 
useful Northern Virginia real estate. 

Unfortunately, USFWS planners 
from Hadley, Massachusetts, envision 
severe land alteration in their compre¬ 

hensive management plan. Ironically, 
the CMP team includes a real estate ac¬ 
quisition specialist, a geographic asso¬ 
ciate (fisheries), an engineer, a landscape 
architect and a general biologist, but no 
botanist or land management/ecology 
specialist. Such an advocate is needed 
to protect the viability of the plant com¬ 
munities and their habitats. Healthy, 
ordinary flora is becoming too rare in 
this area. Protecting plant communities 
before they become rare is as important 
as protecting the plants after they have 
become endangered. 

The USFWS plan is to remove the 
sturdy and usable structures on the site 
at the cost of $2 million and allow the 
12-acre compound area to return to 
grasslands. In addition, the plan calls for 
the construction of a $5 million visitor 
center which will become an interpre¬ 
tative showcase, hosting 30,000 to 
100,000 visitors annually. Under this 
plan, the new visitor center site is near 
the wet forest above a fox community 
and will offer fishing activity under the 
bald eagle tree perches. This area, as well 
as 75 acres of the upland meadows, will 
then experience "heavy use" and trails 
will intersect meadows where the north¬ 
ern harrier and other raptors currently 
hunt mice, voles and rabbits which live 
in the eastern gama grass and along tree 

rows harboring owls. 

The CMP ignores the fact that the 
existing natural resources demand 
preservation and sensitive land man¬ 
agement in order to survive. There is 
no acknowledgment in the plan that 
such habitats are the basis for visitors 
- both wildlife and human - to the site. 
The USFWS planning team appears to 
see its newest refuge as a prime piece 
of land near the nation's capital to be 

With a VNPS mission to "Conserve 
Wild Howers and Wild Places," we need 
to insist that USFWS slow its plans for 
altering the refuge and add a qualified 
specialist in ecologically-oriented land 
management to the planning team. 
Someone is needed to project the effects 
of proposed changes upon the natural 
resources of this miniature replica of 
coastal, piedmont and deciduous for¬ 
ested hills of Virginia. USFWS should 
be urged to use existing buildings until 
impact assessments are complete. Opin¬ 
ions may be expressed to USFWS, Jeff 
Underwood, 300 Westgate Center Drive, 
Hadley, MA 01035, 413-253-8408, or to 
representatives instrumental in having 
the land transferred to USFWS: Senators 
Chuck Robb and John Warner and Con¬ 
gressmen Tom Davis and Jim Moran. 

Nicky Staunton , Conservation Chair 

VNPS expedition will return to Canada's Bruce Peninsula 


Entering Canada by crossing the 
Niagara escarpment and moving to¬ 
ward the Bruce Peninsula between 
the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, 
the first-time visitor begins to notice 
different architecture and natural 
features. My mind's eye recalls the 
scenes clearly and anticipates the 
VNPS 1998 trip to "the Bruce." 

Members of VNPS - and persons 
who would join VNPS to go-are in¬ 
vited the week of June 13-20 to Wild¬ 
wood Lodge on the beach of Red Bay 
for an intense week of botanizing. 
Wonderful birding opportunities 
abound, also. Add a boat trip to 
Flowerpot Island to look for the 
fairy slipper orchid; a sand dune 
visit to see Moonwort - a tiny 1 1 /2- 
2-inch fern - the delicious meals of 
Wildwood Lodge hosts, the 
Thomases, and you have the hint 

Illustration by 

of an exciting week's adventure. 

Cris Fleming, VNPS Director-at- 
Large, field botanist for Maryland 
Natural Heritage Program and bo¬ 
tanical instructor for the United 
States Department of Agriculture 

and field trip leader for Audubon 
Naturalist Society, assures trip mem¬ 
bers of exciting botanical excursions. 
If you are interested in being on the 
list of 18 for the '98 trip, send your 
$50 deposit (part of the total fee) to: 
VNPS Bruce Trip, P.O. Box 844, 
Annandale, VA 22003. If you have 
questions, call: Nicky Staunton at 
703-368-9803 or e-mail: Staunton The final fee is to be an¬ 
nounced, but should not exceed $500 
for the week's lodging and meals at 
Wildwood Lodge and cost of the 
boat trip. We will carpool while on 
the Bruce. Transportation to the 
Bruce and home will be "on your 
own." It is about 800 miles from 
Northern Virginia, so one night mo¬ 
tel cost will also be extra. 

Nicky Staunton, Bruce trip co-leader 

November 1997 

Page 7 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Beechdrops, squaw-root provide interesting parasitic studies 

This article is the fourth and final 
article in a series by Lytton /. 
Musselman, a professor of biological sci¬ 
ences at Old Dominion University. 

In examining the great diver¬ 
sity of parasitic plants in Virginia, 
we come, finally, to the 
holoparasitic species. Of these, 
one of the most intriguing because 
of host selection and floral biology 
is the widespread beechdrops 
(Epifagus virginiana). This is an ap¬ 
propriate common name as this 
stiffly erect fall-flowering species 
is always associated with beech. 
However, not all beech trees have 
beechdrops associated with them. 

Few native species have such an 
interesting floral syndrome as 
beechdrops. They produce two 
kinds of flowers. The relative 
abundance of these flowers varies 
among individuals. Generally, ev¬ 
ery plant has at least a few 
chasmogamous (open, typical) 
flowers and several cleistogamous 
(lacking typical parts) flowers. 
Chasmogamous flowers have a 
narrow, tube shaped corolla. On 
the other hand, the cleistogamous 
flowers are greatly reduced. 

I have not studied the floral 
visitors nor do I know if the cleis¬ 
togamous flowers are self fertile. 

Of course, the cleistogamous flow¬ 
ers can pollinate themselves so most 
of them produce seed. 

The capsules rupture late in the 
fall, exposing the hundreds if not 
thousands of tiny seeds to rain 
drops. It opens in such a way as to 
form a splash cup that uses fall rains 
to disperse the seeds. 

Like other aspects of the plant, 
the seed germination remains a 
mystery. We simply do not under¬ 
stand how they germinate! Obvi¬ 
ously, some germinate every year 
because it is possible to find the yel¬ 
lowish tuber-like seedlings under 
the leaf litter early in the summer. I 
have traced seedling development 
back to nubbins only a few millime¬ 
ters wide. Earlier stages remain to 
be discovered. 

More conspicuous than beech 
drops is Conopholis americana, 
squaw-root. This perennial forms a 
cone-like fruit, giving the genus its 
name. Flowers are produced early 
in the spring. While the individual 
flowers are small, they are borne on 
a fleshy axis in large numbers. 
Squaw-root often forms noticeable 
clumps at oak tree bases. Oaks are 
the favored host; I have not found 
them on any other host. 

They produce new shoots each 
year from an underground tuber¬ 
like structure. These underground 
parts of the plant can often grow 
to several inches in circumference. 

Squaw-root produces its seeds 
in a fleshy capsule in the summer. 
At this stage the parasite is an im¬ 
portant food for black bears in the 
Smoky Mountains. 

Suggested parasitic plant readings 

If you have enjoyed this series 
on parasitic plants and would like 
to learn more, the classic reference 
on parasitic flowering plants is 
Biology of Parasitic Flowering Plants 
by Job Kuijt, published in 1968 by 
the University of California Press. 
Publication of this volume 
launched modern studies of para¬ 
sitic plants. For color pictures of 
most of the species occurring in 
the Southeastern United States see 
"Root Parasites of Southern For¬ 
ests" by Lytton J. Musselman and 
William F. Mann, 1976. A recent 
review of all parasitic plants in the 
American South is, "Parasitic 
Weeds in the Southern United 
States" by Lytton Musselman. It 
was published in 1996 in Castanea 
61(3): 271-292. Copies of the 1976 
and 1996 articles are available 
from Lytton Musselman. 

•Witch hazel - 

(Continued from page 1) 

twisted petals an inch long that curl 
up to avoid the ravages of cold, rainy 
weather. This allows them to stay at¬ 
tractive for three to four weeks. The 
flowers have an elusive sweet fra¬ 
grance that fills the air but is hard to 
detect by close-up sniffing. 

Witch hazel is easy to grow in al¬ 
most any garden situation from full 
shade to full sun and in soil ranging 
from moist to dry. Plants grown in 
rich, moist soil in full sun to part shade 
will attain a dense, vase-like shape 
and will flower better than those 
growing in a dry, shady spot. 

This native is excellent for fall¬ 
blooming gardens with features such 
as asters, especially the very-late 
climbing aster (A carolinianus), gold- 

Page 8 ~ 

enrods, gentians, native grasses, and 
the Christmas fern. Fall companion 
shrubs include beautyberry ( Callicarpa 
americana), winterberry (Ilex 
verticillata ) and strawberry bush ( Eu - 
onymus americanus). 

Although it has no serious pest or 
disease problems, witch hazel is host 
to some interesting insects. The spring 
witch hazel gall, a small pineapple¬ 
shaped growth attached to twigs, con¬ 
tains eggs of an aphid that attacks the 
flower buds. Another aphid chews on 
leaf undersides causing a cone- 
shaped gall resembling a witch's hat 
to form on leaf surfaces. Two moth 
species feed inside the rolled leaves. 

The authors of Native Shrubs and 
Woody Vines of the Southeast say that 
witch hazels are pollinated by noctur¬ 
nal winter moths that fly at air tem¬ 

peratures as low as freezing and feast 
on the flowers. The seed pod devel¬ 
ops over the following year, and, at 
maturity, splits with a noticeable pop 
to eject the small black seeds up to 40 
feet from the parent plant. 

American Indians made bows 
from witch hazel's pliable wood and 
used preparations of the stems, leaves, 
bark and roots to treat ailments. 
Forked branches of this tree have long 
been used for "witching" or divining 
rods to dowse for water, salt and ores. 

Although Hamamelis virginiana is 
difficult to propagate, several native 
plant nurseries offer it. For a list of 
nursery sources, check the VNPS web | 
site (see page 3) or write: VNPS, PO. 
Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003. 

Nancy Arrington, Horticulture Chair 

November 1997 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

New York Botanical Garden Library 

3 51 


0345 5597 

Beautiful setting, field trips highlight weekend 

•Native plants 

(Continued from page 1) 

project executed by a partnership 
between the Virginia Native Plant 
Society and the Virginia Department 
of Conservation and Recreation's 
Division of Natural Heritage. It was 
made possible by a grant from the 
National Fish and Wildlife Founda¬ 
tion and with matching funds from 
the Virginia Nurserymen's Associa¬ 
tion, the Lewis Ginter Botanical 
Garden and the Virginia Chapter of 
the American Society of Landscape 
Architects in addition to funding 
from VNPS and the Division of 
Natural Heritage. 

Copies of the master list of some 
300 Virginia natives and three re¬ 
gional brochures listing plants 
growing in the Coastal, Piedmont, 
or Mountain zones will be made 
available to members through their 
local chapters. We hope you will find 
the material informative and useful. 

Ted Scott, 1st Vice-President 

(Continued from page 1) 

us at the head of the trail was sheep 
laurel...with a modest, but open, 
blossom and several buds. Later we 
saw some of the other endemic 
plants, pixie moss was one; and vis¬ 
ited the Blackwater River where 
galax leaves were profuse on the 
hillside. George McClellan, our 
leader, identified the unusual 
plants, explained "controlled burn" 
and we even saw a fence lizard and 
a summer tanager. (I must confess 
to taking something with me from 
the Zuni...chigger bites on one 
"unsulfured" ankle. The scars are 
still evident!) The canoe field trip 
on the Dragon was more than an¬ 
ticipated - two canoes tipped over- 
but there was little water. Those 
visiting the Williamsburg colonial 
gardens were inspired. 

We agree with our host, Gordon 
Chappell, President of the John 

Clayton Chapter, that the weekend 
was like having friends get together. 
We had a fabulous weekend in the 
beautiful setting of the Woodlands of 
Colonial Williamsburg and thank 
Gordon and Sherry Chappell for the 
arrangements and the members of 
John Clayton Chapter for their de¬ 
tailed plans and efforts to make our 
stay positively unforgettable. We 
even dropped in on some friends 
who lived nearby: the shadow witch 
orchid colony, Ponthieva racemosa. 
We first met them during a fieldtrip 
with Pat Baldwin at our last Clayton- 
hosted annual meeting. The shadow 
witches have stood their ground and 
were in fresh bloom! 

The weekend was a blend of rec¬ 
ognizing fellow VNPS members and 
visiting with them and enjoying the 
native plants of the Williamsburg 
area. We are grateful! 

Nicky Staunton, Conservation Chair 

Lecture, trip focus on rare plants at Percival's Island in the James River 

Dr. Gwynn Ramsey, curator of the 
herbarium and retired professor of 
biology at Lynchburg College, will 
present a slide lecture on "Rare Plants 
at Your Backdoor: The Plant Diversity 
of Percival's Island" at 7:30 p.m. on 
Thursday, November 20 in the theater 
of Dillard Fine Arts Center at 

Lynchburg College. The event, co¬ 
sponsored by Lynchburg College and 
the City of Lynchburg Department of 
Parks and Recreation, is free and open 
to the public. On Saturday, Novem¬ 
ber 22, Ramsey will lead a trip to 
Percival's Island to identify rare plants 
discovered through his research. 

As professor of biology at 
Lynchburg College for 32 years, 
Ramsey is well-known for his research 
on the flora of the river gorge water¬ 
sheds in the central Blue Ridge Moun¬ 
tains. For two years from 1995 to 1997 

(See Percival's Island , page 10) 

The Bulletin 

is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 

(703) 368-9803 

Marie F. Minor, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulle¬ 
tin may be reprinted, provided credit is 
given to the author, if named. Readers 
are invited to send letters, news items, 
or original articles for the editor's consid¬ 
eration. Items should be typed or sent on 
3.5"disk in Wordperfect or Microsoft Word 
to the Editor, Rt. 2, Box 726, Greenville, 

VA 24440. e-mail: 

The deadline for the next issue is Dec. 1 

See the address label for your membership's expiration date. 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 




Z 'P_ 

Jndrvidual $15 _Family $25 

_Patron $50 _Sustaining $100 

Associate (group) $40; delegate_ 

_Student $10 
Life $400 

To give a gift membership or join additional chapters: Enclose dues, name, address, and 
chapter. (Non-voting memberships in any other than your primary chapter are $5). 

I wish to make an additional contribution to _ 

in the amount of_$10_$25_$50 

_Check here if you do not wish your name 

to be exchanged with similar organizations. 




_Check here if you do not wish 

to be listed in a chapter directory. 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, P.O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003 

Membership dues are tax deductible in the amount they exceed $5 Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations 

November 1997 - - __ .. .. — 

Page 9 

Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

•Plant rescue - 


(Continued from page 5) 
wet condition kills more plants than 
almost any other condition. Remember, 
adjust plants to new environments cau¬ 
tiously. When watering, use water as 
warm as the plants and medium. Rain 
water is better than chlorinated water. 

Plants can be moved outdoors 
in early May but must be hardened 
off gradually. My best location has 
been the north (shady side) of the 
house. Move to permanent location 
or growing bed in partial to full 
shade (high shade is best). 

Though you will likely be sur¬ 
prised, be prepared for disappointment 
at first, BUT don't give up. You will 
learn by doing each time you try, and 
in fact, probably more from the failures 
than the successes. Good luck, and call 
me if you really get discouraged. 


Plant Propagation, Philip McMillan 
Browse, Simon and Schuster, 
Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the 
Americas, New York, NY 10020 
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant 
Propagation, Michael A. Dirr and Charles 
W. Heuser, Jr., Varsity Press Inc., P.O. 
Box 6301, Athens, GA 30604 
Growing & Propagating Showy Native Woody 
Plants, Richard E. Bir, The University of 
North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1992. 
Propagator source: Walt Nicke Co., P.O. Box 
433, Topsfield, MA 01983. 

Ted Scott , 1st Vice-President 

(Continued from page 6) 

surrounded by bulldozers, Ingrid 
Jahn and Michael Sawyer quickly 
and systematically dug Sanguinaria 
canadensis from an island of vegeta¬ 
tion destined to be cleared. The de¬ 
veloper had elected to leave this par¬ 
ticular stand of trees as a bit of green 
space in his new subdivision, but 
plans to clear all the undergrowth 
and then, presumably, plant grass. 
Time is of the essence and other 
woodland plants are passed over in 
order to remove the colony of bloo- 
droot which has miraculously sur¬ 
vived. Next to the Sanguinaria are at 
least four different species of fern, 
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pul- 
pit), reaching two feet high; Mitchella 
repens (partridge-berry); Prenanthes 
altissima (gall of the earth) and 
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's 
seal), but these have to wait because 
the bulldozers are at hand. 

This is not the first sortie into the 
site. For the past month-and-a-half, 
alerted by chapter conservation 
chair Mary Hyde Berg, various 
members of the John Clayton Chap¬ 
ter have made visits to remove other 
plants in harm's way. Large stands 
of Orchis spectabilis (showy orchis) 
have already been removed from 

what will become phase two of this 
new housing development. Numer- { 
ous ferns have also been removed, 
among the six identified are: 
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake- 
fern) and Ophioglossum vulgatum 
(adder’s-tongue fern). Still, many 
woodland plants remain despite 
those that were destroyed. Plans are 
being made for future rescues. Most 
of the plants removed from the site 
are distributed by members to end 
up in wildflower gardens through¬ 
out the community. Some will be 
planted in the wildflower reserve at 
the College of Wiliam and Mary, and 
others will be relocated to the Virginia 
Living Museum in Newport News. 

Michael Sawyer, John Clayton Chapter 

•Percival's Island- 

(Continued from page 9) 

he and a group of Lynchburg College 
students also collected specimens of 
plant life on Percival's Island. As a re¬ 
sult of his research on the island, 
Ramsey discovered numerous plants | 
infrequently found in this area in¬ 
cluding clammy-weed, a state-listed 
rare plant. 

For more information, call Bob 
Eubank, Lynchburg Department of 
Parks and Recreation, 804-847-1640. 

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