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February 2002 



Vol. 21, No. 1 
ISSN 1085-9632 


www.vnps.org 


A publication of the VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY 

Conserving wild flowers and wild places 



Trees! Trees! 

"I never before knew the full value of trees. 
Under them I breakfast, dine, write, read and 
receive my company. " Thomas Jefferson 

Editor's Note: Sometimes the Buffetin's theme is planned in advance; at other times there 
is no thread other than native plants that draws the issue together. And then there are 
instances, like this time, where there was no pre-planned focus, but when articles began to 
be gathered, a theme emerged. Trees — Virginia’s biggest plants — don’t always get the 
notice they deserve, but in this issue quite a few articles have direct tree connections. In 
addition, the Wildflower of the Year brochure, which comes to you as an insert in this 
Buffetin, features a small tree this year — witch-hazel. 


Appalachian chestnut forests are memories lost 


On Thursday, January 3, we 
awoke to a steady fall of snow in Cen¬ 
tral Virginia, and with the ground al¬ 
ready covered with a substantial 
blanket, most of Richmond shut 
down for the day. It was a welcomed 
surprise to have this post-holiday 
time off just to stay at home with noth¬ 
ing specific to do and nowhere spe¬ 
cific to be. My grandmother had been 
visiting us for the holidays and was 
due within the next day or so to go 
back to her home in Madison Heights 
outside of Lynchburg in Amherst 
County. I had wanted to talk with her 
about her childhood memories of 
growing up in Amherst at a time 
when chestnut trees were still to be 
found in the mountains of the 
Southern Appalachians. However, 
there was always something else to 
do, somewhere else to be, but today, 
as we sat watching the snow fall 


on this January morning, I felt the 
time was right. 

My grandmother, Nellie Dean 
Martin, born on September 5, 1916 
in the Forks of Buffalo region of 
Amherst County, was the third child 
of Henley Reed Martin and Florence 
Staton. Henley, a young man of 24, 
worked for the government as a fire 
spotter, maintaining firebreaks on 
Cole Mountain where he addition¬ 
ally did some farming, growing 
mostly feed corn for his horses and 
other livestock. It was on this land 
that my grandmother first remem¬ 
bers gathering chestnuts. Her 
mother took the young family up 
Cole Mountain, across from Chest¬ 
nut Ridge, to gather chestnuts in 
the fall of 1921. Unknown to them, 
it would be one of the last times 
they would collect them. 

Chestnut gathering occurred af¬ 


ter the first frost, usually in the sec¬ 
ond week of October. Locals would 
make for the mountain, particularly 
after a storm had come through, be¬ 
cause the forest floor would then be 
covered in chestnuts. What they did 
not know was that a fungus, 
Cryphonectria parasitica, previously 
known as Endothria parasitica, im¬ 
ported on nursery stock from Asia, 
was also rapidly making its way to 
the mountains of Virginia. An ar¬ 
borist first discovered the fungus in 
1904 on chestnut trees, Castanea 
dentata, growing in the Bronx Zoo. 
American chestnuts had no resis¬ 
tance to this Asian import, and a spe¬ 
cies that once comprised 20 percent 
of Appalachian forests would soon 
be a thing of the past. 

That year my grandmother said 
that they bought a saddle and bridle 
(See Chestnut memories, page 8) 















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


From the president 

The edges of nature are soft today in the gray- 
beige tones of January's sunless day. Seeking the 
promise of spring. I've turned to some poetry and 
to reviewing photographs of the past year. Per¬ 
haps you, too, can visit the dogwood buds and 
seek signs of spring. Little 
sparrows have been visiting 
the nesting pottery. Soon. 

Soon, they will bring twigs. 

However, the real sign of 
spring for me will be the red 
buds of a silver maple ( Acer 
saccharinum ) near my win¬ 
dow. This maple is my 
phenological tool. Remem¬ 
ber Jim Gilbert last June at 
the VNPS Annual Meeting 
telling of "signs" from 
nature of changing seasons? 

Change of seasons. 

Changes ... Goethe said, "Life belongs to the 
living, and he who lives must be prepared for 
changes." Changes come in plant communities, in 
biological diversity, changes in our habitats, the 
ones in which we live, work, play. Every spring 
when I return on pilgrimages to visit our native 
plant sites throughout Virginia, it is with trepida¬ 
tion, with anxiety about what plant treasure will 
be gone. Forever. 

In the past, when our directors have met with 
some leaders of plant trade associations they are 
asked, "Isn't the change from native to alien 
invasive plants "natural succession?" How could 
it be natural succession" when the countryside is 
assaulted and overcome in the blink of an eye, a 
day, even a week by human activities? Aggressive 
plants then are opportunistic and prevent the 
return of our native flora. "Why is diversity 
important?" is the second-most frequently an¬ 
swered question of our directors. 

Nearby Bull Run Mountain ridges are begin¬ 
ning to look like a patchy, bad haircut now that 
there are about eight "mansions" on the eastern 
ridge. Bull Run Mountain divides Prince William 
and Fauquier Counties and these buildings over¬ 
look the roof tops of hundreds of houses that now 
are built upon the land saved from Disney. On the 
mountain, they join modest-sized homes nestled 
under the forest trees. The change there has 
occurred during the past year. Two of these huge 


buildings went up in 2000, now six more in 2001. { 
Huge swaths of trees were removed to allow their 
construction. Hopefully, the land will be allowed to 
revegetate to hide this change. The cynic in me 
believes it is not likely to happen. More likely there 

will be lawns and more 
formal English-style landscap¬ 
ing will be on the mountain to 
match these formal edifices. 

Fortunately, a part of the 
mountain is protected by 
Friends of Bull Run Moun¬ 
tain at Thoroughfare Gap by 
1-66 and recently, 2,500 acres 
have come under the protec¬ 
tion of the Virginia Depart¬ 
ment of Conservation and 
Recreation-Natural Heritage 
Program after being trans¬ 
ferred from the Virginia 
Outdoors Foundation. The march of architecture 
that doesn't blend with the landscape continues 
and now residents look over planned communities 
and golf courses as they watch the sunrise advance, 
into the countryside. ^ 

To protect more natural areas of Virginia, I 
urge you to convince your Virginia Assembly 
representatives of the importance of funding 
Virginia agencies, such as the Virginia Outdoors 
Foundation, that acquire and manage protection 
of Virginia's regional flora and fauna. VOF needs 
your support. Other Virginia agencies that have 
suffered loss of funds during the past two years 
are Department of Conservation and Recreation's 
Division of Natural Heritage and the Department 
of Game and Inland Fisheries. All of Virginia's 
natural resource management agencies are under 
the stress of monetary cuts. 

When last checked, Virginia was near the 
very bottom of the list of states for expenditure 
on natural areas. This is not good when we 
continue to allow natural land with healthy 
communities of flora and fauna to go under the 
bulldozer. Where is our Virginia pride? 

When it all seems to be "too much," and you 
need a lift, head for a healing visit with nature: 
plants, birds, critters. Be renewed and come back 
ready to re-enter the struggle to protect Virginia's 1 
natural, diverse communities. 

Your president, Nicky 


Mayflowers to Mistletoe 

by Sarah J. Day 

The buttercups with shining face 
Smile brightly as I pass, 

They seem to lighten all the place 
Like sunshine in the grass. 

And though not glad nor gay was I 
When first they came in view, 
l find when I have passed them by 
That I am smiling too. 


Page 2 


February 2002 











Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


) 


VNPS Annual Symposium 2002 
"Restoring Virginia's roadsides, hills, yards" 

Focus on re-establishing nature on disturbed land in Virginia using native and non-native plants 
WHEN: Saturday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 

WHERE: University of Richmond - Gottwald Auditorium, Richmond, Virginia 
SPEAKERS: John Townsend, Virginia State Botanist, Virginia DCR-Natural Heritage Program 
Jody Booze-Daniels and Lee Daniels, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 
Deanne Eversmeyer, Landscape designer, VNPS Horticulture Chair 

A special first-class postcard mailing with complete information will reach you with registration and attendance details. 


Cooperation preserves glob ally-rare forest 


The Northern Virginia Conserva¬ 
tion Trust (NVCT), working with the 
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, 
the Fairfax County Park Authority, 
and the Department of Planning and 
Zoning, preserved a globally rare for¬ 
est in Centreville adjacent to 830 
acres of pre-existing parkland. NVCT 
won a grant from the Virginia Land 
i Conservation Foundation (VLCF) for 
$730,000, the largest grant ever 
awarded by the foundation, toward 
the purchase of the property. The 
Fairfax Board of Supervisors pro¬ 
vided the additional funds to save 
one of the largest forest communities 
of its kind in the Commonwealth. 

The property is now owned by 
the Fairfax County Park Authority. 
Permanent protection of the most en¬ 
vironmentally significant areas of the 
forest will be ensured through a con¬ 
servation easement to be held by 
NVCT and a Deed of Dedication to the 
Virginia Department of Conservation 
and Recreation (DCR) designating the 
area as a Natural Area Preserve. 

The forest was first visited by 
DCR Division of Natural Heritage 
Staff in October 1999 at the request of 
the Fairfax County Department of 
Planning and Zoning. Natural Heri¬ 
tage biologists found the largest re¬ 
maining occurrence in Fairfax 
County and one of the largest intact 
stands in Virginia of the state and 
globally rare Basic Oak-Hickory For¬ 
est, a community characterized by 

February 2002 ===^=^= 


Planning for 

Habitat 

^Conservation^ 

Editor's Note - This article marks the 
fourth of a five-part series organized by 
VNPS Conservation Chair Jessica 
Strother on the various ways to ensure 
and plan for habitat conservation. The 
series is intended to provide examples 
of successful and helpful ways taxpay¬ 
ers and professionals can purposefully 
plan for habitat conservation and bio¬ 
diversity. The information provided is 
only an overview of the issues. This 
article, zvritten by the Northern Vir¬ 
ginia Conservation Trust staff, is re¬ 
printed, with permission, from that 
organization's periodical. 


its restriction to circumneutral soils. 
Biologists also identified areas of the 
site containing the state and globally 
rare Piedmont/Mountain Basic 
Woodland community, characterized 
by an open, short-statured canopy and 
dense grass-dominated herb layer. 


Three rare plant species were iden¬ 
tified in the area as well. Torrey’s 
mountain mint ( Pycnanthemum torrei), 
a globally rare plant, and two state rare 
plants, white heath aster ( Symphyo- 
trichum ericoides) and grove sandwort 
(Moehringia lateriflora ) were found in 
1999, but biologists have not confirmed 
the presence of the plants since then. 

NVCT is now working with DCR 
and the park authority to designate 
the areas that will be protected as a 
preserve. The goal of the joint efforts 
is to allow the public to enjoy this 
land while protecting the significant 
biological resources as well. All the 
parties involved in the conservation 
deal are excited and relieved that the 
threat of imminent development of 
the area is over. 

Greg Evans of the VLCF Board of 
Trustees stated, "The Pleasant Valley 
Road acquisitions will put the finish¬ 
ing touches on a new park exceeding 
1,500 acres in one of the fastest grow¬ 
ing parts of the county. For me, it marks 
the successful end of a long road. Ob¬ 
taining more open space was a prior¬ 
ity for me as a park authority board 
chair. I was very happy to be able to 
support NVCT's grant request." 

"This project is another major 
step in the preservation of Virginia's 
rich natural heritage and a great ex¬ 
ample of what can be accomplished 
through private-local-state partner¬ 
ships," said David G. Brickley, Direc¬ 
tor of DCR. 

- Page 3 















h?gis]ative issues 


Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


What does it mean to have drastic funding cuts from an approved Vir¬ 
ginia budget? A look at the previous budgets reveal sad losses for Virginia. We 
have a reduced car tax and a budget that is in very poor shape as we begin 
2002. What agencies have been hurt? 

At DCR-Divison of Natural Heritage, eight positions were lost from Natural 
Heritage due to the budget impass during the 2000 General Assembly session. 
Both the House and Senate recommended that the staff and funds be restored, but 
because of the budget impass the restoration was not made. 

Reduction of the $250,000 general funds and staff resulted in four positions 
lost in the Division of Natural Heritage: Northern Mountain & Piedmont Re¬ 
gional Steward; Natural Areas Spatial Data Coordinator; Spatial Analysis Veg¬ 
etation Ecologist; and Southwestern Virginia Inventory Scientist. 

Southwest Virginia has been identified as one of the six most biologically 
diverse regions in the United States, yet Southwest Virginia inventory staff was 
eliminated, opportunities to find and conserve natural areas are being lost, and 
nature tourism economic development opportunities are not being realized. 

Rural land conversion is occurring at the rate of 93,000 acres/year. Never¬ 
theless, GIS staff needed to facilitate safe growth planning was eliminated. 
GIS staff could have expedited rare species, community and natural area iden¬ 
tification, helped ensure that sound information is supplied to Virginia lo¬ 
calities and growth planners, and facilitated open space land conservation. 

Natural Area stewardship staff was lost and as a result the 
Commonwealth's investment in the growing natural area preserve system 
will go unmanaged and unprotected, rare species and communities may be 
lost, and public use and nature tourism opportunities will be lost. 

The further reductions coming to the Natural Heritage Program mean 
fewer funds to manage invasive species, conduct controlled burns, and locate 
new populations of rare plant and animal species and exemplary natural 
communities. No funds currently exist to purchase new natural areas. 

Some financial help was offered to the Division of Natural Heritage in 2001 
by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act, Section 6. A Coopera¬ 
tive Endangered Species Conservation Fund Grant of $554,847 was offered to 
DCR-DNH and was required to be sent to a fellow Virginia agency, VDACS (Vir¬ 
ginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) for signature. Though 
given advance notice, VDACS staff felt they did not have adequate time to process 
and forward the proposals. As a result, the grant was voided. 

Another tragic financial situation exists for the Virginia Department of 
Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) which is facing a substantial reduction! 
Visit the VDGIF webpage for details of scheduled cuts. Look for information 
about the Virginia Birding Trails that are being developed for passive recre¬ 
ation. One of the most promising industries in Virginia is that of ecotourism. We 
have a magnificient state and invite visitors to enjoy our mountains, piedmont 
and coastal regions. With proper and adequate funding, more land can be pro¬ 
tected to bring revenues to Virginia and the very best result will be that future 
Virginians will receive from our generation land protected from sprawl, heavy 
traffic, polluted air and water. Now, that is a true gift for the next generation! 

Virginia is in the bottom of the list of states for appropriations for natural 
lands and the management of natural resources. The fact that the DCR Vir¬ 
ginia State Parks has been rated first in the country for work in the state park 
system does not mean that other land does not need to be set aside for protec¬ 
tion. The state park system is organized for recreational use by Virginians 
with camping and some trails, but has much more dense and intense land use 
than the other areas that are home for our plants and for the mammals, in¬ 
sects, birds and other wildlife. 

Your last Bulletin listed information about who represents you in the Virginia 
Assembly and how to reach them. Speak out on behalf of Virginia's natural areas 
and those who acquire and manage them so well ... when properly funded . 


Virginia Senate 
considers "Tree Bill" 

The General Assembly will soon 
be considering an amendment to State 
Code 15.2-961. Senate Bill 484 would 
enable some jurisdictions to require 
the preservation of some native for¬ 
est cover during the land develop¬ 
ment process, and to also allow 
localities the authority to regulate the 
use of some planted native and desir¬ 
able trees during the development pro¬ 
cess. Several jurisdictions statewide 
have presented proposals for the bill. 

A summary of Bill 484 is as fol¬ 
lows: conservation of trees during lo¬ 
calities' development; increases cur¬ 
rent 20-year tree canopy requirements 
for certain localities adopting local 
tree conservation and replacement 
ordinances from 15 to 20 percent tree 
canopy for residential sites zoned be¬ 
tween 10 and 20 units per acre, and 
from 20 to 30 percent for residential 
sites zoned for 10 or fewer sites per 
acre. Permits localities to include tree 
conservation provisions in their or¬ 
dinance and sets forth requirements 
for such provisions. Such tree conser¬ 
vation ordinances may include pro¬ 
visions for the reduction of tree 
canopy requirements or the granting 
of tree cover credit in consideration 
for the preservation of certain trees. 
They shall provide for exceptions to 
and deviations from tree preservation 
requirements where the locality de¬ 
termines the requirements would pre¬ 
clude or significantly hinder uses 
otherwise allowed by the localities to 
meet minimum tree canopy require¬ 
ments. The bill provides that the new 
law does not invalidate 10-year mini¬ 
mum tree cover standards adopted by 
cities established before 1780, or 20- 
year minimum tree cover replacement 
standards adopted by localities after 
July 1, 1990. 

To track progress of this bill, go to 
http://legis.state.va.us/ and type in 
SB484 in the section "Bills and Resolu¬ 
tions" and enter a bill number. Con¬ 
tact your state representatives and let 
them know you support increased pro¬ 
tection for trees. For more information, 
go to www.pwen.org/html/tree- 
preservation.php. 


Page 4 


February 2002 









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

Virginia Wildflower Celebration 2002 


Study of witch-hazel 
(Hamamelis virginiana) 
by Nicky Staunton 


The 10 chapters of the Virginia Native Plant Society celebrate 
the rich diversity of the native flora of the Commonwealth each 
spring. 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 be¬ 
low; they are all open to the public. As some events require 
reservations, fees or additional instructions, use the contact in¬ 
formation provided to obtain further information. Plants propa¬ 
gated by members will be available at chapter plant sales. 

The 2002 Virginia Wildflower of the Year, witch-hazel, Hamamelis 
virginiana, is a deciduous shrub or small tree for all seasons. In spring it 
bursts forth in a new robe of greenery, while in summer its thick, dis¬ 
tinctively scalloped leaves with a matte finish form a dense cloak of 
dark green in the woodland understory. Autumn is when it shines. The 
leaves turn a rich buttery color, and last year's popping pods loudly 
announce its presence, as the spidery, lemon-yellow flowers burst forth 
on the suddenly leafless branchlets. Even in winter it's a standout with its 
zig-zag, naked twigs, bearing the squat, light brown, two-beaked capsules, both 
old and new. It is especially appropriate as a Wildflower of the Year because it 
was first discovered in Virginia, hence its specific scientific name, virginiana. 





Habits and Habitats of Mammals 
Large and Small Saturday, February 
16, 9:30 a.m. - noon, Dr. Bill McShea 
from the Conservation and Research 
Center to speak on deer. Dr. Michael 
Bowers to speak on squirrels and chip¬ 
munks. State Arboretum of Virginia, 
FOSA members $15, non-members $18, 
540-837-1758 x 23 to register. 

Planning, Designing and Caring 
for Water Gardens, Saturday, March 
2,9:30 a.m. - noon, Charles Thomas re¬ 
tired founder of Lilypons will explain 
the basics. State Arboretum of Virginia, 
FOSA members $15, non-members $18. 
540-837-1758 x23 to register. 

First Saturday Walk at Blandy, 
"Blandy's Beginnings, Hear the In¬ 
side Story of the Arboretum," March 
2,10 a.m. - noon, leader: Bill Koehler, 
Saturday, State Arboretum of Vir¬ 
ginia, FOSA members $4, non-mem¬ 
bers $6. Children free. 

Native Perennials with Panache: 
Choice Plants for American Gardens 
Lecture, Tuesday, March 12, 9 a.m. - 2 
p.m. at 10 a.m. with C. Colston Burrell, 
then lunch at Millwood Country Club. 
February 2002 ======== 


State Arboretum of Virginia, FOSA 
members $55, non-members $66. 

Advanced Sketching Workshop, 
Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 12, 
14, 19 and 21, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., 
explore graphite and colored pencil 
with instructor, Merri Nelson, State 
Arboretum of Virginia, $150 FOSA 
members, $180 non-members. 540-837- 
1758 x23 before March 4 to register. 

Great Falls Park Wildflower Walk 

- Sunday, March 17,10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Led by Marion Lobstein. 
(mblobst@mnsinc.com or 703-257- 
6643 NVCC for reservations) 

First Saturday Walk at Blandy, 
"Stirrings of Spring, See the Sleep¬ 
ing Arboretum Awaken," Saturday, 
April 6,10 a.m. - noon, leader: Car¬ 
rie Blair, State Arboretum of Vir¬ 
ginia, FOSA members $4, non-mem¬ 
bers $6. Children free. 

Balls Bluff Wildflower Walk 

- Sunday, April 14, 2:30-4:30 p.m. 
Led by Marion Lobstein 
(mblobst@mnsinc.com or 703-257- 
6643 NVCC for reservations) 

Great Falls Park Wildflower 


Walk - Sunday, April 21,10 a.m.-12:30 
p.m. Led by Marion Lobstein. 
(mblobst@mnsinc.com or 703-257-6643 
NVCC for reservations) 

Prince William Wildflower Soci¬ 
ety Wildflower Garden Tours, Sun¬ 
day, April 28, Contact Nancy Vehrs, 
703-368-2898, nvehrs@attglobal.net, 
for a brochure and map. 

First Saturday Walk at Blandy, "A 
Mantle of Flowers, Come Enjoy the 
Vibrant Colors," Saturday, May 4, 10 
a.m. - noon, leader: Howard Slothower, 
State Arboretum of Virginia, FOSA 
members $4, non-members $6. Chil¬ 
dren free. 

Prince William Wildflower Society 
Wildflower Plant Sale, Saturday, May 
11, 9 a.m. - 12 noon. Bethel Lutheran 
Church, Manassas. Contact Nancy 
Arrington at 703-368-8431. 

Botanical Watercolor, Tuesdays 
and Thursdays, May 14, 16, 21, and 
23, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., instructor 
Merri Nelson. $150 FOSA members, 
$180 non-members. 540-837-1758 x 23 
before May 7 to register. 

(More events, page 6) 

-== Page 5 















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


VNPS trip to New Jersey Pine Barrens 

VNPS will be sponsoring a trip to the New Jersey Pine Barrens on Satur¬ 
day, June 8. Karl Anderson, botanist and birder, of the New Jersey Audubon 
Society has invited 20 members of VNPS to join him for a day in the savannahs 
and pine forests near Batsto, a restored 19th-century ironmaster's town in 
New Jersey's Wharton State Forest. Plant species that could be in bloom in¬ 
clude rose pogonia ( Pogonia ophioglossoides), grass-pink orchid ( Calopogon 
tuberosus ), turkeybeard ( Xerophyllum asphodeloides ), Nuttall's lobelia ( Lobelia 
nuttallli), lance-leaved sabatia ( Sabatia difformis), pine barrens sandwort 
(Arenaria caroliniana ), orange milkwort ( Polygala lutea ), and others. Also to be 
seen are three species of sundews (Drosera spp.), two or three species of blad- 
derworts ( Utricularia spp.), pitcher plant ( Sarracenia purpurea), and goldcrest 
(Lophiola aurea). Ferns and "fern allies" include curly-grass fern ( Schizaea 
pusilla ) and three species of clubmosses including Carolina clubmoss 
(Lycopodiella caroliniana). 

More information will be in the next issue of the VNPS Bulletin. If you have 
questions or would like to sign up, please contact Nicky Staunton (703-368- 
9803 or e-mail: nstaunton@earthlink.net). 

Bruce Peninsula 2002 trip is on track 

Enough wildflower enthusiast have registered for the June 15-22 trip to 
Canada's Bruce Peninsula that the trip is a go. Space remains for eight more 
participants to join the three leaders: Dr. Stanwyn Shetler, Botanist Emeritus 
of the Smithsonian and his wife, Elaine Shetler, and Nicky Staunton (VNPS 
President). The cost is $550 for lodging, meals and the boat ride to Flowerpot 
Island. Reserve space by sending $100, payable to VNPS and mail to Nicky 
Staunton, 8815 Fort Drive, Manassas, VA 20110 as soon as possible. Details 
are in the November 2001 Bulletin or you can find them on the VNPS website: 
www.vnps.org. If you have questions. Call Nicky at 703-368-9803 or e-mail: 
nstaunton@earthlink.net. Flartstongue fern, calypso orchid, ramshead orchid, 
birds, the Niagara Escarpment, alvars and Lake Huron are just a tiny sample 
of the natural world and beauty that you will see at this UNESCO biosphere 
classed with the Galapagos and Everglades. It is a rare opportunity. 

-Wildflower Events - 


Great Falls Park Wildflower Walk 

- Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Led by Marion Lobstein. 
(mblobst@mnsinc.com or 703-257- 
6643 NVCC for reservations) 

Wintergreen Wildflower 
Symposium 

The Wintergreen Nature Found¬ 
ation's 19th Annual Spring Wildflower 
Symposium will be May 10-12 at Tril¬ 
lium House, Wintergreen Resort, in 
Central Virginia. This is an opportu¬ 
nity for beginner and expert botanists 
to learn more about the spectacular 
flora of central Virginia's Blue Ridge. 
From identification to propagation and 
wildflower gardening, the guided 
hikes, lectures and workshops are excel¬ 
lent opportunities to meet some of 
Virginia's top botanists. (Info@twnf.org, 
www.twnf.org, 434-325-7451) 

Page 6 


Smithsonian Associates 

During the spring, Marion 
Lobstein will be conducting the follow¬ 
ing Smithsonian Associates tours: the 
C&O Canal (Carterock area) April 
20,10 a.m. - noon and 1-3 p.m.; U.S. Na¬ 
tional Arboretum April 28, 9:30 a.m. - 
2:30 p.m. On May 11, Cris Fleming will 
conduct tours of the C&O Canal 
(Carterock area), 10 a.m. - noon and 1- 
3 p.m. For information: 202-357-3030 
or www.residentassociates.org/rap. 
Fairfax Audubon Society 

Marion Lobstein will conduct a 
Spring Wildflower Workshop for the 
Fairfax Audubon Society. Includes 
two lectures April 3 and April 10,6:30 
- 9:30 p.m. and fieldtrip April 13 from 
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ball's Bluff Re¬ 
gional Park, Leesburg. Call the FAS 
office at 703-256-6895. 


Flora of Virginia 
Project update 

The Foundation of the Flora of 
Virginia Project, Inc. is now the Vir¬ 
ginia non-stock corporation that will 
carry out the work of producing the 
Flora of Virginia. This is the first step 
toward achieving federal 501 (c)3, 
non-profit status for the project. For 
details on the makeup of the board 
of directors of the foundation and 
background on the first meeting of 
the board, see the last Bidletin. 

A second board of directors' 
meeting of the foundation was held 
on Nov. 30,2001. The strategic plan, 
fundraising plan, budget and other 
aspects of organization and devel¬ 
opment to support the project were 
major points of discussion. The Flora 
Advisory Committee, comprised of 
top botanists from around Virginia 
including significant VNPS repre¬ 
sentation, met on January 19 to dis¬ 
cuss the content and format for the 
Flora of Virginia. 

A Memorandum of Agreement 
between the Virginia Department of 
Conservation and Recreation's Di¬ 
vision of Natural Heritage (DCR- 
DNH) and the Foundation of the 
Flora of Virginia, Inc. has been for¬ 
malized that will enable Chris 
Ludwig to stay at the Division of 
Natural Heritage and serve as Ex¬ 
ecutive Director of the project. This 
agreement also provides resources 
from DCR-DNH for the project in¬ 
cluding supplies, equipment, office 
space and travel expenses. 

Donations to the Flora of Virginia 
Project may be made through a spe¬ 
cial account of the Virginia Academy 
of Science's Flora Committee. Checks 
should be made to The Foundation 
of the Flora of Virginia Project, Inc. 
and should be sent to: The Flora of 
Virginia Project, c/o UVA-Wise Foun¬ 
dation, 1 College Avenue, Wise VA 
24293. As fundraising efforts seek 
support from individuals, organiza¬ 
tions and agencies to produce our 
Flora of Virginia, VNPS support is 
paramount. With VNPS support, the 
Flora of Virginia Project has already 
gone from dream to reality. 


February 2002 













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

A meadow grows in the suburbs 


When I purchased my little house 
in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, 
Dad thought he'd found a home for a 
lawn mower that he no longer needed. 
He seemed a bit perplexed when I 
declined his offer and explained that 
instead of a front lawn, I would have 
a meadow of grasses and wildflow- 
ers. And when I told the neighbors 
that I was replacing the lawn, they 
were a bit dismayed that the horti¬ 
culturist for an established country 
club was not planting a putting 
green. But four years later, I think that 
the neighbors and Dad have come to 
accept my meadow, and even appre¬ 
ciate it for its year-round beauty and 
low maintenance. 

I live in a rather free-thinking 
neighborhood just inside the Capitol 
Beltway. The houses, built 50 years 
ago, are far from fancy, but the lots 
are roomy — about a quarter acre in 
size. The transformation began with 
the removal of a 40-year-old red 
maple ( Acer rubrum) and the killing 
of the lawn with Roundup. A small 
mountain of wood chips, the remains 
of the maple, were spread over the 
dead lawn. By not disturbing the turf 
layer, dormant seeds were not given 
a chance to see light and sprout, and 
the organic matter in that top layer 
was left to enhance the soil. Unfortu¬ 
nately, I did this site preparation in 
the fall of the year and did not know 
until spring that the lawn was home 
to healthy populations of then-dor¬ 
mant buttercups and violets. Apply¬ 
ing another round of herbicide in 
April would have eliminated these. 

Since the meadow area is not very 
large, about 1,000 square feet, I decided 
to plant it with plugs instead of seed¬ 
ing it. Deep plugs performed best; 
planted through the mulch layer, their 
longer roots ensured good contact with 
the clay beneath. Once planted, regu¬ 
lar watering for the first summer was 
all that was needed. The meadow has 
never been fertilized or raked out. In 
late winter the dried remains are cut 
down with hedge shears and a weed- 
eater. A light surface raking removes 


the bigger remnants to the compost 
pile. The smaller bits filter down to 
mulch and feed the soil. 

The meadow starts off slowly with 
early summer's purple coneflower 
(Echinacea purpurea), sunny false sun¬ 
flower ( Heliopsis helianthoides ) and 
true-orange butterfly weed ( Asclepias 
tuberosa) amongst tufts of new green 
grasses. Mexican feather grass ( Stipa 
tenuissima ), a Southwest native, adds 
to the opening act with soft, sun- 
bleached, ponytail plumes. By mid- 
July the meadow is at its riotous peak 
when black-eyed Susans ( Rudbeckia 
'Goldsturm', R. subtomentosa and R. 
triloba) and blazing star ( Liatris 
spicata) join in the eruption of color. 
To allow access into the meadow, I 
laid out a loop path carpeted with 
pine needles. Between the far edge of 
the yard and the loop, taller grasses 
and wildflowers create a screen from 
summer through late winter. A gang 
of seven-foot-tall cup plants 
(Silphium perfoliatum) crown them¬ 
selves with bouquets of sunny yellow 
daisies. These prairie natives collect 
rain in cups formed by the bases of 
their paired leaves; days after a 
shower, small birds will quench their 
thirst at these giants. Later, shattered 
seedheads attest to the plant's popu¬ 
larity with hungry finches. Hovering 
just below the cup plant are the royal 
purple ironweeds ( Vernonia spp.) and 
the mauve-pink Joe-Pye weed ( Eupa- 
torium maculatum), always alive with 
swallowtail and monarch butterflies. 
The button-heads of black-eyed 
Susans and purple coneflowers, as 
well as the gaudy purple wands of 
blazing star, are also butterfly and 
finch magnets. By summer's end the 
horizontal sprays of goldenrod ( Sol- 
idago rugosa 'Fireworks') are turning 
yellow, just in time to provide a back¬ 
drop for purple New England aster 
(Aster novae-angliae) and self-sown, 
white heath aster ( Aster ericoides). 

Although the matrix of grasses 
takes a back seat to the wildflowers 
during summer's show, it plays the 
vital role of tying the various compo¬ 


nents together. Our native little 
bluestem ( Schizachyrium scoparium) at 
two to three feet and the taller Indian 
grass ( Sorghastrum nutans), along with 
the summer-blooming, non-native 
dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum 
alopecuroides 'Hameln'), make up 
most of the meadow. The fountain 
grass is especially useful as a neat, 
tight border at the sidewalk. Switch 
grass ( Panicwn virgatum), purple top 
(Tridens flavus) and side oats grama 
(Bouteloua curtipendula) are sprinkled 
throughout. Once the floral fireworks 
die down, the grasses claim the spot¬ 
light. The Indian grass sends its feath¬ 
ery seedheads up on wands of five 
feet or so, while the foliage goes from 
a lovely, light blue-green to the color 
of pale parchment. The fountain grass 
morphs into straw-yellow mops of 
hair which contrast wonderfully all 
winter with the rich russet sheaths of 
the little bluestem. 

The meadow is left through the 
short days of winter, taking on a qui¬ 
eter beauty. The stark spikes left by 
the blazing stars contrast with the soft 
fog of the goldenrod thickets. The 
thousands of black eyes, all that re¬ 
main of the Susans, form reverse con¬ 
stellations against a background of 
bleached grasses. The empty pods of 
the butterfly weed, bent backwards 
from the effort of dispersing silky 
parachuted seeds, wave in the cold 
wind. And wintry precipitation be¬ 
comes a treat when ice and snow 
transform the meadow into a crystal¬ 
line wonderland. 

In four years of its existence I have 
had only one person complain about 
my meadow; he was told by the lady 
across the street to go home and leave 
"us" alone! Butterfly weed, golden¬ 
rod and little bluestem are popping 
up in neighboring gardens as visitors 
to the meadow are sent home with the 
excess. And while the rest of the 
neighbors spend their weekends mak¬ 
ing noise and polluting the air with 
their lawn mowers, I enjoy the play of 
butterflies jockeying for position on 

(See Meadow, page 9) 

— - ■ ■ — Page 7 


February 2002 








Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Chestnut memories 


Threats to biodiversity are everywhere 


(Continued from page 1) 

for her father for Christmas with the 
money made from selling chestnuts. 
They were gathered by people in the 
region and sold by the bushel basket 
to the local grocer as a cash crop. In 
her case, my grandmother remem¬ 
bers taking the chestnuts to Davis' 
Store near Buena Vista to sell. Chest¬ 
nut wood, straight and rot resistant, 
was also used to make Virginia split- 
rail fences. The bark and hulls of the 
chestnut were used as a leather 
dye. The trees supported local 
economies throughout the Appa¬ 
lachians, but this was all about 
to change. 

Soon after 1921, the blight 
overtook the Amherst forests, 
and within two years, most of 
the chestnut trees were dead. My 
grandmother told me that soon after 
the trees died, the bark would peel off 
revealing a pale gray wood beneath. 
The mountain was covered in tall, 
ghostly, dead chestnut trees, which the 
government came in to try and harvest. 
Prevention efforts had failed; the best 
that could be done was to claim what 
timber they could from the disaster. 

With the loss of the chestnuts, the 
region's economy was permanently 
altered, and people began to move off 
of the mountains, my grandmother's 


family included. It is the speed at 
which this all happened that I find 
so amazing. My grandmother said 
that the next year she started school 
at Forks of Buffalo, but before the year 
ended, the family moved away from 
Cole Mountain to the 
Allwood section 
of the county 


because 
life at 



Illustration by 
Nicky Staunton 


mountain had changed. 

The story makes me wonder what 
else might be out there waiting for 
us—something brought in carelessly, 
unknowingly or perhaps illegally as 
a new plant to introduce to the Ameri¬ 
can market. What new assault is 
waiting to be unleashed on Ameri¬ 
can forests already decimated by the 
chestnut blight, the woolly adelgid 
and the butternut canker? The list 
goes on. I have never known the chest- 


make a conscious effort to educate our¬ 
selves about the risks of introducing 
non-native plants into our environ¬ 
ment, who knows what Pandora's Box 
the next international cargo ship or 
transcontinental flight might bring to 
our shores, physically changing the 
environment and life as we know it? 
Michael Andrew Sawyer, VNPS 1st vice-president 



Oak pathogen could unleash incredible damage 


Illustration by 
Nicky Staunton 


Please consider acting to help 
protect native plants from another ex¬ 
otic scourge: "sudden oak death." 
Help persuade the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture's Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to 
adopt regulations restricting move¬ 
ment of material potentially infested 
with the sudden oak death pathogen 
(Phytophthora ramorum) through ei¬ 
ther interstate commerce or imports 
of horticultural stock from Europe. 
Ask your representative and senator 
to urge USDA to prevent the spread 
of sudden oak death (SOD). 

SOD is one of the most damaging 


< 


nut forests of my grandmother's time; 
other trees have filled in the gaps left 
by those magnificent trees. My grand¬ 
mother told me that when her father 
died in the 1970s, he still had the 
saddle and bridle they purchased for 
him with chestnuts that Christ¬ 
mas of 1921. Without hearing 
these kinds of stories I never would 
have known what was lost or how 
the world had been forever altered. 

We are witnessing the erosion 
of biodiversity on our planet at an 
alarming rate. This is what I see as 
the great danger: as a new genera¬ 
tion comes of age, perspective is lost; 
they inherit a world made poorer, yet 
they don't know it. Losses occur in 
their time as well, whether due to im¬ 
ported pathogens or just plain urban 
sprawl, and yet another generation in¬ 
herits a world a little bit poorer still. 
Perhaps the next time it will be a world 
without hemlock forests. Unless we ^ 


plant pathogens now in North 
America. It attacks a wide variety of 
plants, including several oak species, 
rhododendrons, madrone, evergreen 
huckleberry, and California buckeye. 

To date, no cure has been found. Since 
the disease was discovered in 1995, it 
has killed more than 100,000 tanoaks, 
coast live oaks, California black oaks 
and Shreve's oaks along the California 
coast. In California, SOD is now found 
in seven counties. (For more about SOD, 
see http://camfer.cnr.berkeley.edu/ ^ 
oaks/) The disease is also killing trees 
in southwest Oregon. 

(See Sudden Oak Death, page 9) 


Page 8 


February 2002 














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

•Sudden Oak Death 


(Continued from page 8) 

Sudden oak death threatens for¬ 
ests across America. Tests have shown 
that seedling northern red and pin oaks 
are also killed; scientists believe that 
mature trees in these species would 
probably also be affected. Red and pin 
oaks dominate forests covering a com¬ 
bined range from northeastern Texas 
to Nova Scotia. 

While no one yet knows where 
the sudden oak death pathogen origi¬ 
nated, it appears likely that it was in¬ 
troduced to the United States on rhodo¬ 
dendrons imported from Europe. Like 
several other pathogens in the 
Phytophthora genus, Phytophthora 
ramorum is easily transported in soil 
or on plants, stems or leaves. Unfor¬ 
tunately, huge quantities of poten¬ 
tially infested material are shipped 
from affected regions of northern Cali¬ 
fornia and southwestern Oregon. For 
example, in 2000, more than 177 tons 
of foliage, including tanoak, huckle¬ 
berry and madrone branches, were put 
into the interstate floral trade. Rhodo¬ 
dendrons and azaleas are also 
shipped across the country from 
nurseries in the region. 

If the disease does spread to the 
East, there is great potential for eco¬ 
system havoc because of the impor¬ 
tant role oaks play in wildlife food 


webs according to Dr. Steve Zack, a 
wildlife ecologist with the Wildlife 
Conservation Society. 

Despite the danger, the U.S. De¬ 
partment of Agriculture's Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service 
has taken no action to minimize the 
likelihood that SOD will spread. 
APHIS has ignored pleas for action 
by the USDA Forest Service, National 
Association of State Foresters, mem¬ 
bers of the National Plant Board, and 
officials at the American Nursery 
and Landscape Association. 

However, APHIS pays attention 
to Congress. Please contact your rep¬ 
resentative and senators. Ask them 
to urge APHIS to immediately adopt 
regulations that would: 1) prohibit 
interstate movement of potentially in¬ 
fested material from affected parts of 
California and Oregon and 2) pro¬ 
hibit imports of rhododendrons, aza¬ 
leas and other potentially infested 
plants from Europe. 

Because of the anthrax contami¬ 
nation of U.S. mail. Congress is not 
receiving letters at present. If you 
know your members' telephone, fax 
number, or e-mail, use that. Or call 
the Capitol switchboard at 202-224- 
3121 and ask for your representative 
and senators by name. 

Faith Thompson Campbell, VNPS Director at Large 


Virtual forest CD available 

The Virginia Department of For¬ 
estry has produced The Virtual Tour of 
the Forest CD as an educational tool. 
The CD uses narration, video and 
360-degree virtual reality to allow 
students to take a virtual walk in the 
woods. The conservation messages 
are middle school level and 13 differ¬ 
ent forest stand sections can be ex¬ 
plored. Additional sections feature 
riparian forests, forest products, ur¬ 
ban forestry, water quality and fire. 
The topics correlate with Virginia's 
Standards of Learning. The CD is $5 
and comes with a teacher's guide on 
the disk. For the CD and the teacher's 
guide in book form, the cost is $10. The 
Virtual Tour of the Forest can be ordered 
on-line from the Virginia Department 
of Forestry at www.dof.state.va.us/. 

•Meadow- 

(Continued from page 7) 
the Joe-Pye weed and the full-throated 
call of the song sparrow who has 
claimed my meadow as his and the 
bright yellow flash of the goldfinches 
alighting on the pink-purple wands 
of blazing star. Who needs a lawn 
when you can have all of that? 

Deanne M. Eversmeyer, Potowmack Chapter 


The Bulletin 

ISSN 1085-9632 
is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 
(540)837-1600 

vnpsofc@shentel.net 

www.vnps.org 

Nicky Staunton, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulletin 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 consider¬ 
ation. Items should be typed, on disk in Microsoft Woid 
ore-mailed to: Editor,3419ColdSpringsRd.,Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440, or lotswife@rica.net 

The deadline for the next issue is March 1 

- — ... . ...z zz: Page 9 


See the address label for your membership expiration date 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 

Name(s)_ 

Address_ 

City_State_Zip_ 

_Individual $20 

_Family $30 _Student $15 

_Patron $50 _Associate (groups) $40* 

_Sustaining $100 _Life $500 

*Please designate one person as delegate for Associate membership 
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 or_Chapter in the 

amount of _ $10 _$25_ $50 _ $100 _$(Other)_ 

_Check if you do not wish your name to be listed to be exchanged with similar 

organizations in a chapter directory 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2, 
Boyce, VA 22620 

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

February 2002 ■■ — 































Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 



Fall Flora on the Richmond Fall Line 



Come see Richmond where the Piedmont meets the Coastal Plain. 
This year the Virginia Native Plant Society's Annual Meeting is in our 
State Capital, and the Pocahontas Chapter is pleased to invite you to a 
weekend of fun and beauty in our wonderful city. Come listen to some of 
the top botanists and horticulturists in the area. And, finally, don't miss 
the opportunity to share your own stories of the year at the banquet with 
old friends while making new ones. Mark the dates on your calendar 
now: Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15. 


W alk into history and view the premiere estate gardens of Richmond 
Hike among wildflowers of the Fall Line 
Sit and meditate in the Italian and Japanese gardens of Maymont 
View seas of yellow tickseed sunflowers and habitat for the federally 
listed sensitive joint-vetch on our freshwater tidal rivers 
Stroll along the James River and enjoy the James River Park System with 
its plethora of great blue herons and expert class whitewater 
Enjoy the horticultural splendors of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 
Visit the Science Museum of Virginia & the Virginia Museum of Fine Art 

___ J 


Thanks to VNPS supporters for "Birthday Gift" 


The immediate and generous re¬ 
sponse from VNPS friends and mem¬ 
bers to the society's recent fund rais¬ 
ing letter is appreciated tremen¬ 


dously. VNPS has been ably. to.pJO-. : 
duce so many ffibbs ciehipive pio^ranksi 
and to reach goals more quickly be¬ 
cause of your "birthday gift!" One ex¬ 
ample is the upgraded computer sys¬ 


tem in the office at Blandy. It is a real¬ 
ity because of you. Thank you. 

If you haven't had the opportu¬ 
nity to send a gift yet, please do it to- 
:d&Yi Wfif*gift is most v^.eicoiSiiid'* ^ 

a Ad Will liMp us move to the next 
project at a faster pace. 

Nicky Staunton, VNPS President 
(on behalf of the VNPS Board of Directors) 


A VNPS farewell 
and a welcome 

Although she asked that we not 
pay her tribute in any detail, VNPS 
hereby salutes Ellie Leonard who has 
completed her officer term as VNPS 
treasurer. Ellie has also generously 
served on the Piedmont Chapter 
Board of Directors for many years. 
Over this organization's history, 
scores of members have been grate¬ 
ful for the countless VNPS gatherings 
enjoyed in Ellie and Jim's gracious 
home. Thank you, Ellie. 

During its December 2001 meet¬ 
ing, the VNPS Board of Directors 
unanimously approved the appoint¬ 
ment of the very capable Roma Barker 
Sherman as the new VNPS treasurer. 
English by birth, Roma worked for 
IBM in London as a programmer and 
trainer. Before moving to Virginia, she 
served as an account executive for a 
leading Washington-based advertis¬ 
ing agency. She and husband John 
have owned the Ashby Inn in Paris, 
Virginia, since 1984. During the 
Bosnian war, Roma led a number of 
surgical teams with medical supplies 
ip^feg^ajajevo. On the more local front, 
she has been actively involved with 
many various campaigns and volun¬ 
teer concerns. We are very pleased to 
extend welcome to Roma. 

Mary Painter, Nominating Committee Chair 


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A publication of the VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY 

Conserving wild flowers and wild places 

www.vnps.org ° J > 


Mark your calendars for 
the Annual Meeting 


St. Louis Declaration results in 
agreement about invasive plants 


Remember the Virginia Native 
Plant Society Annual Meeting is 
September 13-15 at the Glen Allen 
Cultural Arts Center (near Rich¬ 
mond). Plans are coming together 
for our weekend of fall field trips, 
speakers and a banquet. VNPS 
Pocahontas Chapter President Rich¬ 
ard Moss has invited us to come to 
enjoy the flora communities, gar¬ 
dens and other attractions of the 
Richmond area. The elegant and in¬ 
teresting Cultural Arts Center at 
Glen Allen, Henrico County, just 
northwest of Richmond, will be the 
home base for our weekend. 

Full plans will be in the next Bul¬ 
letin, but meanwhile, block off those 
three days in September to celebrate 
both natural areas and gardens in 
Richmond along Virginia's fall line. 


In December of 2001, a diverse 
group representing distinct horticul¬ 
tural interests convened in St. Louis 
for intensive discussions on the sub¬ 
ject of "Linking Ecology and Horticul¬ 
ture to Prevent Plant Invasions." 
Jointly sponsored by the Missouri Bo¬ 
tanical Garden, the Royal Botanic Gar¬ 
den, Kew and the American Associa¬ 
tion of Botanical Gardens and Arbo¬ 
reta, the purpose of this important 
workshop was to explore and develop 
workable, voluntary approaches for 
reducing the introduction and spread 
of non-native invasive plants. The in¬ 
vited participants were key stakehold¬ 
ers: landscape designers, profession¬ 
als from the nursery industry, repre¬ 
sentatives of botanical gardens, gov¬ 


ernment agency officials, and represen¬ 
tatives of the gardening public . 

For many of those present, new 
plant introductions were the 'bread and 
butter' of their businesses and profes¬ 
sions. Nonetheless, none were there to 
deny the existence of a real problem or 
the absolute need to work in concert to¬ 
ward solutions. Dr. Peter Raven, Direc¬ 
tor of the Missouri Botanical Garden and 
one of the world's most highly respected 
botanists and conservationists, offered a 
keynote speech and was a guiding pres¬ 
ence throughout the workshops. 

Some difficult questions challenged 
all groups. Should a grower in one re¬ 
gion voluntarily refrain from selling a 
plant that could be invasive in a differ¬ 
ent part of the country? Can invasive 
plant characteristics be reliably pre¬ 
dicted? At what point should govern¬ 
ment regulation override self-regula¬ 
tion? After three work days, the partici¬ 
pating groups succeeded in reaching 
consensus, first separately and then as 
a whole, on a set of "Overarching Prin¬ 
ciples" and then voluntary "Codes of 
Conduct" for the respective groups. 

The Declaration's Codes of Con¬ 
duct are still considered subject to re¬ 
finement by the key groups. The pro¬ 
cess of refinement and the extent of 
changes that will be acceptable are not 
clear. The St. Louis working group 
plans a second workshop, tentatively 
(See St. Louis, page 10) 


VNPS Symposium: What a day! 


One of the VNPS-sponsored events 
that my wife, Linda, and I always look 
forward to, and always enjoy, is the 
annual Symposium at the University 
of Richmond. This year was no excep¬ 
tion. The program was well attended 
and speakers offered thought provok¬ 
ing, informative and diverse views cen¬ 
tering on a theme of "Restoring 
Virginia's Roadsides, Hills and 
| Yards." We heard about restoration, 
revegetation, urbanization, incorpora¬ 
tion of native and non-native plants in 
a variety of settings, the Virginia De¬ 
partment of Transportation roadside 


program and alternatives to the tradi¬ 
tional lawn. And we discussed one of 
the biggest questions of all, what exactly 
is a "native" plant anyhow? Most can 
probably agree on common horticultural 
terms, but that definition is not so easy. 

What a day! The meeting came at 
the end of a dry, dry winter and, as we 
began our drive to Richmond, it was a 
foggy, soft day, with promise of rain fore¬ 
cast for later in the day. Registration and 
reception provided opportunity to meet 
VNPS members from other chapters and 
excellent handouts were available. 

(See Virginia's landscape, page 7) 


\ 







Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


From the president . 

Be an advocate for our native plants 

Have you made your 2002 pilgrimage to visit Symplocarpus 
foetidus ? Without snow and ice melting (evidence of the heat it 
produces inside its spathe), part of the excitement of visiting is 
lost, but skunk cabbage is surely the sign of changing seasons. 

The progression of wildflower pilgrimages will continue now 
through the year. May they bring you pleasure and inspiration 
and the will to protect their habitats. 

Enjoy your home habitats for our flora, but look beyond to the 
natural homesites for threatened plants like Helonias bullata (swamp 
pink), unusual plant communities, and submerged aquatic vegeta¬ 
tion. Be alert for threats to them. Know who to contact about im¬ 


pending doom for colonies of rare plants. Persist in their protection. 

If you need information or help in advocacy, let us know. We will 

help to the best of our ability. You can then anticipate next year's 

flora pilgrimages with hope. 

Your President, Nicky 

y 


ipgs 



Helonias bullata 

Sun searches for its shy lovers 
lilies like none other 
Helonias bullata 
tall sparkler shaft 
of tiny pink stars 
no longer threatened 
dead 
gone 

beavers continue watery frolic 
over the residue of four hundred 
sun retreats behind clouds 
to weep. 

.Nicky Staunton 

Page 2 - 


Our fund raising gifts from the 
year-end 2001 appeal are each 
appreciated. We are happy to re¬ 
port $3,505 has been received to 
help VNPS. These gifts have en¬ 
abled us to upgrade the computer 
for our office and replace the mal¬ 
functioning printer with a new 
one. Thank you! 

VNPS Board of Directors 


D.C. Herbarium on line 

The entire "D.C. Herbarium" (Wash- 
ington-Baltimore Area) of the National 
Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian 
Institution, has been posted at the Flora 
of the Washington-Baltimore Area site 
(www.nmnh.si.edu/botany/projects/ 
dcflora) with a direct link to the VNPS 
site. You can look up a species and get a 
list of specimens in the herbarium and 
their label data. For a specimen, you can 
ask for a map plot of the collection local¬ 
ity. For a species, get an outline dot-map 
for the area covered in the Annotated 
Checklist of the Vascular Plants of the Wash¬ 
ington-Baltimore Area, by Stan Shetler and 
Sylvia Orli. At the VNPS site, click "Re¬ 
lated Links," then "Flora of the Washing¬ 
ton-Baltimore Area," and "DC Herbarium 
Collections on-line." 


Hugs & Handbooks 
for VNPS volunteers 

As the level of volunteerism con¬ 
tinues on its downward spiral in this 
country, I believe it becomes more 
important to hug the volunteer — the 
person who carves out the time and 
shares the talent; the one who comes 
to the table and antes up with gener¬ 
osity and integrity. 

In this case, I commend those 
who lead our chapters and who serve 
on our chapter boards. The men and 
women who chair meetings, who at¬ 
tend those meetings, lead wildflower 
walks, serve as botany instructors, 
bring the munchies, write the articles 
and pull together the programs. 

A chapter can only be as strong 
and effective as its leaders. As VNPS 
Membership Director, I want to help 
them grow even stronger and be more 
effective. To that end, a forthcoming 
tome, the VNPS Chapter Handbook, is a 
work in progress. By summer it will be 
in the hands of our chapter presidents. 
Its contents include: administrative 
guidelines, detailed material on build¬ 
ing a cohesive board and its working 
committees, directions on financial re¬ 
porting, useful forms, model bylaws, 
and so very much more. 

The intent is not that this docu¬ 
ment replace our VNPS Administra¬ 
tive Handbook, but rather build upon 
it. The VNPS Chapter Handbook 
should serve as an invaluable aid to 
established chapters, as well as those 
steering the formation of new chap¬ 
ters. And if a hug and a handbook 
are not enough, Nicky Staunton and 
I are working on plans to conduct a 
summer workshop/retreat, hosted by 
the VNPS, for the presidents, treasur¬ 
ers and membership chairmen repre¬ 
senting each of our 10 chapters. We're 
looking at a July or August gathering 
in the mountain resort of Winter- 
green. Quite possibly by then we may 
enjoy the added company of those 
representing one or two newly- 
formed chapters. In the meantime, we 
direct an appreciative nod to our vol¬ 
unteer members and directors through¬ 
out every chapter territory. 

Mary Painter 
VNPS Membership Director 
= April 2002 





















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Skunk cabbage ranks at the top of nature's curiosities 


One of the most curious, unique, 
and unusual plants in nature is the 
skunk cabbage. It starts its reproduc¬ 
tive cycle in autumn, has a thermostat 
to regulate temperatures of its flower 
that appears in late winter, makes its 
food for the following year with leaves 
that have no stem and goes dormant in 
the summer. Furthermore, it does not 
have what we consider a typical flower, 
but rather a spadix shielded by a spathe. 

Skunk cabbage has accumulated 
many common names. Most American 
Indian tribes called the plant Skota. The 
white settlers added Indian cabbage, 
meadow cabbage, clumpfoot cabbage, 
swamp cabbage, stink cabbage, Irish 
cabbage, collard or colewort (suggest¬ 
ing a cabbage), cow-collard, 
skunkweed, polecat-weed, bear's-foot, 
bear's-leaf, bear's-root, Byron-blad, 
Byron-Ritter, dracontium, fetid-hellebore, 
Midas-ears and parson-in-the-pillory. 

This plant is known scientifically 
as Symplocarpusfoetidus and belongs to 
the arum family, Araceae. Araceae is a 
cosmopolitan family of 105 genera and 
about 2,950 species. Most are tropical, 
such as Anthurium, Caladium, Calla, 
Dieffenbachia, Philodendron and others. 
S ymplocarpus has several local relatives, 
Acorus calamus (sweet flag), Arisaema 
dracontium (green dragon), Arisaema 
stewardsonii (Jack-in-the-pulpit) and 
Orontium aquaticum (golden club). 

Symplocarpus has a relative in the 
western United States, Lysichitum 
americanum, which is also called skunk 
cabbage. This example calls attention 
to a weakness of using common names 
for organisms, two different genra 
within the same plant family, Araceae, 
commonly bearing the same name. 
Which one is THE REAL Skunk Cab¬ 
bage, Symplocarpus or Lysichitum ? 

If you find it disturbing that two 
different plants share the same com¬ 
mon name, skunk cabbage, what about 
a third one? Yes, skunk cabbage is the 
common name for Veratrum califomicum 
of the northwestern United States! This 
is reason enough to learn the generic 
name Symplocarpus (symploke , "connec¬ 
tion" and karpos, "fruit," referring to the 
joined ovaries that form a fused fruit) 
and the specific name, foetidus, mean¬ 
ing "evil smelling." There is no other 
organism in the world called 





Symplocarpus foetidus 
skunk cabbage 
Illustration by 
Anita Cooper 


Symplocarpusfoetidus! 

The S. foetidus leaf releases a 
"skunk-like" odor ONLY when it is 
bruised. The flower radiates an odor 
offensive enough to deserve adjectives 
such as stinking, fetid, rancid, putrid, 
noisome, rank, fusty or malodorous. To 
me, the flower has an odor not like a 
skunk, but rather like a blend of decay¬ 
ing meat mixed with garlic and burn¬ 
ing rubber tires. The phrase, "Take time 
to smell the flowers," definitely was not 
coined with the skunk cabbage in mind. 
You do have to get fairly close to detect 
the unpleasant odor it releases. 

With its odoriferous handicaps, 
one would not expect it to be highly 
recommended as a suitable subject for 
a home garden, but it is. Helen S. Hull, 
a Vassar College graduate, author and 
scientist, in her Wild Flowers for Your 
Garden, recommends it for moist loca¬ 
tions in a garden. Hull also cites Mrs. 
B. F. Mills, then the president of the 
Garden Club Federation of Indiana, as 
using columbines, larkspurs, trilliums 
and skunk cabbage in a wildflower 
garden along the north side of her 
house. However, most home gardens 
do not have the habitat suitable for the 
requirements of this plant. 

I have fond memories from boy¬ 
hood of a large patch of skunk cabbage 
in a bog near the road I traveled in my 
one-mile walk each way to the one- 
room elementary school that I attended 
during the first six years of my formal 
education. 

I was very impressed by "the little 
hermits of the bog" as they were always 
the very first wild plants to flower. 
Their humble beginnings first ap¬ 
peared in autumn, each plant repre¬ 


sented by two types of buds beneath 
the duff of decaying vegetative matter 
that covered the mucky bog. 

The flower bud develops first. It is 
constructed of a rounded, cowl-like 
sheathe called a spathe with a camou¬ 
flaged surface pattern of pale green that 
is mottled with purple, reddish-brown 
and rusty-yellow. This spathe, shaped 
like cupped hands, envelops the cen¬ 
trally located spadix, a spherical inflo¬ 
rescence covered with pistils and sta¬ 
mens that are purplish in color. The 
spathe will grow to 8-15 centimeters 
(3-6 inches) by pollination time. 

The leaf bud likewise forms in the 
fall and arises near the spathe from the 
top of a short stalk (or underground 
stem) attached to the root. It is about 
the size of the spathe, pale green in 
color and sharply pointed. It unfolds 
in a cabbage-like manner, giving rise 
to that part of its name. 

In late winter, usually by February, 
the flower bud enlarges, its unique wall 
thickens and becomes more sponge¬ 
like (structurally similar to styrofoam) 
and the spadix gradually begins to 
generate heat. Roger M. Knutson, in his 
article, "Plants in Heat," has determined 
that the large rootstock, 30 centimeters 
(1 foot) long by 5 centimeters (2 inches) 
wide, is filled with starch that is gradu¬ 
ally oxidized to generate heat as a by¬ 
product of increased metabolism. 

The thermal regulation within the 
spathe is astonishing. The spadix acts 
like a thermostat. With ambient air well 
below freezing, the internal heat re¬ 
mains near 70 degrees F. constantly. 

These unique thermal traits appear 
to have several functions. The soil is 
thawed, allowing the contracted lateral 
roots to extend and thereby push the 
spathe upward into a position more 
favorable for pollination. The in¬ 
creased heat promotes development of 
sex organs. Heat also increases the re¬ 
lease of volatile odors that will attract 
insect pollinators. Lastly, the flower 
will be prevented from freezing. 

Many animals die from starvation 
and/or freezing during winter. During 
spring thaws, their carcasses decom¬ 
pose, releasing heat and a strong stench 
that attracts flesh flies, carrion beetles and 
other insects. Skunk cabbage flowers 
(See Skunk cabbage, page 7) 


April 2002 


Page 3 










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

Equal protection needed for endangered plants 


Few people realize that the Fed¬ 
eral Endangered Species Act (FESA) 
provides almost no protection for most 
federally endangered and threatened 
plants -- among the most imperiled 
species in our nation. 

Why Equal Protection? Science 
tells us that plants and animals are 
inextricably intertwined and contrib¬ 
ute equally to the health of the ecosys¬ 
tems that sustain us all. If we are to 
conserve healthy ecosystems and bio¬ 
logical diversity, we cannot pick some 
species to save and ignore others. 

Healthy environments are com¬ 
plex and intricate assemblages in 
which all life forms — plants, animals, 
butterflies, ants, birds, fungi — are in¬ 
tegral and essential. These systems 
need all of their parts if they are to be 
stable, sustainable, and thrive. 

Once we allow the loss of species, 
the death of entire ecosystems cannot 
be far behind. The current FESA ne¬ 
glects not one species, not merely a 
group of species, but the entire plant 
kingdom. If we continue to tolerate 
unlimited destruction of our rarest 
plants, efforts to preserve biological 
diversity and a healthy environment 
will inevitably fail. 

The California Native Plant Soci¬ 
ety (CNPS), in 1999 formulated an 
Open Letter calling for Equal Protec¬ 
tion for Plants under the Federal En¬ 
dangered Species Act. Plants and ani¬ 
mals contribute equally to the stabil¬ 
ity, health and functions of the eco¬ 
systems on which we all depend for 
survival. However, plants and ani¬ 
mals are not treated equally under the 
Federal Endangered Species Act. 

Federally listed plant species are 
among the rarest and most imperiled 
species in our nation. But although the 
Federal Endangered Species Act pro¬ 
hibits the unauthorized destruction or 
even harm of federally listed animals 
everywhere they occur, it allows many 
listed plants to be killed, without 
limit, on non-federal lands, except in 
restricted circumstances/ In fact, some 
plant species can be knowingly driven 

to extinction without violating the 

Federal Act. 


Lesser protection for plants is 
unsupportable biologically. It disre¬ 
gards our current understanding 
that plants and animals are inextri¬ 
cably intertwined in the structure 
and functioning of healthy ecosys¬ 
tems. Unless plant species are pro¬ 
tected from extinction as vigorously 
as animals, efforts to conserve bio¬ 
logical diversity will inevitably fail. 
Plants and animals depend upon 
each other for food, habitat, indeed 
for their very survival. We cannot 
arbitrarily pick only one kingdom to 
protect. Ecosystems cannot survive 
with only one group or the other. 

For these reasons, the under¬ 
signed individuals and organiza¬ 
tions urge that the Federal Endan¬ 
gered Species Act be amended to pro¬ 
vide the same protection for plants 
that it currently provides for animals 
through all of its policies, programs, 
and penalties. Signed, in addition to 
CNPS, as of November 19 were: 

1. National Parks and Conservation As¬ 
sociation, Washington, D.C. 

2. Natural Resources Defense Council, 
Washington, D.C. 

3. American Lands Alliance, Washington, D.C. 

4. Endangered Habitats League, San Di¬ 
ego, California 

5. Endangered Species Coalition, Wash¬ 
ington, D.C. 

6. Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Cam¬ 
paign, Sacramento, California 

7. Pacific Rivers Council, Portland, Oregon 

8. California Botanical Society, Sacra¬ 
mento, California 

9. Oregon Natural Resources Council 
Action, Eugene, Oregon 

10. Sequoia Forest Alliance, Weldon, 
California 

11. Safe Alternatives for our Forest Envi¬ 
ronment, Hayfork, California 

12. Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers, 
Missoula, Montana 

13. Forest Issues Group, Grass Valley, 
California 

14. Center for Sierra Nevada Conserva¬ 
tion, Georgetown, California 

15. Whidbey Environmental Action Net¬ 
work, Seattle, Washington 

16. Oregon Natural Desert Association, 
Portland, Oregon 

17. Grassroots Environmental Effective¬ 
ness Network, Washington, D.C. 


18. Center for Biological Diversity, 
Tuscon, Arizona 

19. Society for Conservation Biology 

20. Student Environmental Action Coali¬ 
tion, Normal, Illinois 

21. Defenders of Wildlife, Washington, 
D.C. 

22. John Wesley Powell Audubon Soci¬ 
ety, Normal, Illinois 

23. U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 
Washington, D.C. 

24. Florida Native Plant Society 

25. Native Plant Society of Oregon 

26. Texas Committee on Natural Re¬ 
sources 

27. Washington Native Plant Society 

28. Southern California Botanists 

29. Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower 
Society 

30. The Wilderness Society, Washington, 
D.C. 

31. The Sierra Club, Washington, D.C. 

32. Friends of Georgia, Inc., Stone Moun¬ 
tain, Georgia 

33. North Carolina Wild Flower Preser¬ 
vation Society 

34. Botanical Society of America 

35. Society for Conservation Biology, 
Missouri Chapter 

36. T&E Inc., Cortaro, Arizona 

^Section 9 (a) (1) of FESA (16 U.S.C. § 
1531 et seq.) gives animals full protec¬ 
tion from destruction "within the 
United States or the territorial sea of the 
United States" or "upon the high seas." 
But Section 9 (a) (2) (B) of FESA prohib¬ 
its destruction of federally listed plant 
species only on "areas under Federal 
jurisdiction."Plants also cannot be 
killed in knowing violation of state law, 
while trespassing, or in violation of Sec¬ 
tion 7 of FESA which governs Federal 
agency actions. 

Therefore, listed plants are only pro¬ 
tected (1) on federal lands or during ac¬ 
tivities that are funded, permitted, or 
carried out by a federal agency and are 
therefore under federal jurisdiction, or 
(2) iii the unlikely event that it can be 
proved that they are destroyed in know¬ 
ing violation of state law or during tres¬ 
passing. Logging, housing develop¬ 
ment, mining and other activities may 
all kill unlimited numbers of federally 
listed plants, even cause species extinc¬ 
tion, as long as the destruction does not 
meet these conditions. 


Page 4 


April 2002 














-- Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society ■ ■ • 1 - : 

Virginia Wildflower Celebration 2002 

The 10 chapters of the Virginia Native Plant Society celebrate the rich diversity of the native flora of the Common¬ 
wealth each spring. 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 contact information provided to obtain further information. Plants 
propagated by members will be available at chapter plant sales. 

The 2002 Virginia Wildflower of the Year, witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, is a deciduous shrub or small tree for 
all seasons. In spring it bursts forth in a new robe of greenery, while in summer its thick, distinctively scalloped leaves 
with a matte finish form a dense cloak of dark green in the woodland understory. Autumn is when it shines. The leaves 
turn a rich buttery color, and last year's popping pods loudly announce its presence, as the spidery, lemon-yellow 
flowers burst forth on the suddenly leafless branchlets. Even in winter it's a standout with its zig-zag, naked twigs, 
bearing the squat, light brown, two-beaked capsules, both old and new. It is especially appropriate as a Wildflower of 
the Year because it was first discovered in Virginia, hence its specific scientific name, virginiana. 


Wildflower Calendar of Events 


First Saturday Walk at Blandy, 
"Stirrings of Spring, See the Sleep¬ 
ing Arboretum Awaken," - Saturday, 
April 6,10 a.m. - noon, leader: Carrie 
Blair, State Arboretum of Virginia, 
FOSA members $4, non-members $6. 
Children free. 

Botany Short Course - Satur¬ 
days, April 13 & 20, course taught by 
Hal Wiggins, Fredericksburg Area 
Chapter, contact contact Kiki Keske, 
detkat@erols.com or 540-659-6649. 



Balls Bluff Wildflower Walk - 

Sunday, April 14, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Led 
by Marion Lobstein, 703-257-6643 or 
mblobstein@earthlink.net at NVCC 
for reservations. 

Annual Bluebell Walk - Sun¬ 
day, April 14, 2 p.m.. Bull Run Re¬ 
gional Park, Centreville, $6 non¬ 
residents, 703-528-5406. 

Deep Run Ponds Field Trip - Sun¬ 
day, April 14, noon. Shenandoah Chap¬ 
ter walk in eastern Rockingham 
County, reservations necessary, con¬ 
tact Chris Bowlen 540-289-6801, 
bowlenchris@mail.firstva.com. 

Wildflowers of Caledon Lecture - 
Tuesday, April 16,7 p.m. Fredericks-burg 
Area Chapter, program by Mrs. Shelkey 


at Community Center, Canal Street, 
Fredericksburg, contact Kiki Keske, 
detkat@erols.com or 540-659-6649. 

Birds and Blooms Field Trip - 
Saturday, April 20, 7:30 a.m.. Joint 
hike between Blue Ridge Wildflower 
Society and Bird Club of Arcadia. 
Meet at Botetourt Commons Shop¬ 
ping Center in Daleville, call Julie 
Alexander, 540-427-0117. 

Potowmack Chapter Walk at 
Great Falls - Saturday, April 20, 2- 
4:30 p.m., Stan Shetler will lead a 
walk at Great Falls Park, call 703- 
920-1913. 

Botanical Sketching Workshop 

- Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.-noon. 
Green Spring Horticulture Center, Al¬ 
exandria, Barbara Stewart will share 
techniques, participants work in¬ 
doors and outdoors, no artistic expe¬ 
rience necessary, $20, 703-642-5173. 




Great Falls Park Wildflower Walk 

- Sunday, April 21, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Led by Marion Lobstein, mblobstein 
@earthlink.net or 703-257-6643 NVCC 
for reservations. 

Blooms and Butterflies - Sunday, 
April 21,1-3 p.m., Stroll through Green 
Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria with 
entomologist Dr. Dexter Hinckley, $20, 
703-324-3988. 

Great Smoky Mountains 52nd an¬ 
nual Wildflower Pilgrimage - April 22- 
28. Contact Great Smoky Mountains 
National Park, 865-436-1290 or register 
on line at www.goldsword.com/wild¬ 
flower/pilgrimage.html. 

Shenandoah Chapter Plant Sale - 
Saturday, April 27,10 a.m.-3 p.m. The 
chapter will be selling native plants 
and their cultivars at Waynesboro's 
Riverfest in Waynesboro. 

Friends of the National 
Arboretum's 11th annual Garden Fair 
and Plant Sale - Saturday, April 27, 9 
a.m.-4 p.m., National Arboretum, Wash¬ 
ington, D.C., 202-544-8733. 

(More events, page 6) 


April 2002 


Page 5 














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

Wildflower Calendar of Events 


Prince William Wildflower Soci¬ 
ety Wildflower Garden Tours - Sun¬ 
day, April 28, Contact Nancy Vehrs, 
703-368-2898, nvehrs@attglobal.net, for 
a brochure and map. 

Rock Garden Tea - Sunday, April 
28,1-3 p.m.. Green Spring Gardens Park 
in Alexandria, take in the beauty of the 
park's rock garden and join award-win¬ 
ning garden designer Don Humphrey 
as he talks about his garden, $20, 703- 
324-3988. 

Bent Mountain Field Trip - Satur¬ 
day, May 4, 10 a.m. See an abundance 
of birds and butterflies on this Blue 
Ridge Wildflower Society trip, meet at 
the Bent Mountain School. Allen and 
Robin Austin to provide lunch after¬ 
ward. Call Robin Austin, 540-929-9071. 

The Conservation Collection at 
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens - Sat¬ 
urday, May 4, join Potowmack Chapter 
members in this visit to see 
Meadowlark's collection of native 
plants of the Potomac River Valley, tour 
led by park administrator Keith 
Tomlinson, 703-920-1913. 

First Saturday Walk at Blandy, "A 
Mantle of Flowers, Come Enjoy the 
Vibrant Colors," - Saturday, May 4,10 
a.m. - noon, leader, Howard Slothower, 
State Arboretum of Virginia, FOSA mem¬ 
bers $4, non-members $6, children free. 

Spring Wildflower Sale - The Vir¬ 
ginia Living Museum & the John Clayton 
Chapter, Saturday & Sunday, May 4 & 5, 
Saturday & Sunday, 11 & 12, Saturdays 9 
a.m.-3 p.m., Sundays noon-3 p.m. Held 
at Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde 
Morris Blvd., Newport News, 757-595- 
1900 or visit www.valivingmuseum.org. 

Wildflower Tour of Caledon - Sun¬ 
day, May 5,2 p.m., Fredericksburg Area 
Chapter, meet at Caledon Parking Lot, 
contact Kiki Keske, detkat@erols.com or 
540-659-6649. 

Wintergreen 19th annual Spring 
Wildflower Symposium - Friday-Sun- 
day. May 10-12 at Trillium House, Win¬ 
tergreen Resort, Info@twnf.org, 
www.twnf.org, 434-325-7451. 

Prince William Wildflower Soci¬ 
ety Wildflower Plant Sale - Saturday, 
May 11, 9 a.m. - 12 noon. Bethel 

Page 6 . " - ..: • 


Lutheran Church, Manassas. Contact 
Nancy Arrington at 703-368-8431. 

Blue Ridge Wildflower Society 
18th annual Spring Plant Sale - Sat¬ 
urday May 11,9 a.m.-noon, Commu¬ 
nity Arboretum, campus of Virginia 
Western Community College, rain or 
shine, call Rich Crites, 540-774-4518. 

Shenandoah National Park's 16th 
Annual Wildflower Weekend - Satur¬ 
day & Sunday, May 11 & 12, hikes, slide 
programs and children's activities, 540- 
999-3397, www.nps.gov/shen, or 
mara_meisel@nps.org, cost is $10 per car. 

Botanical Watercolor - Tuesdays 
and Thursdays, May 14, 16, 21, and 
23, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., instructor 
Merri Nelson. $150 FOSA members, 
$180 non-members. 540-837-1758 x 
23 before May 7 to register. 

Green Spring Gardens Plant 
Sale - Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.- 
3p.m., with Potowmack Chapter, na¬ 
tive plants donated by members or 
propagated at Green Spring Gardens, 
commercial native plant nurseries 
also participate. Directions to Green 
Spring Gardens Park: from Interstate 
395, exit at Route 236 West (Little River 
Turnpike) in Alexandria, turn right at 
Green Spring Road and proceed 1 
block north to the park entrance, 703- 
642-5173. 

Jeeters Chapel Field Trip - Satur¬ 
day, May 25, Blue Ridge Wildflower 
Society, time and place TBA, call Allen 
and Robin Austin, 540-929-9071. 

Herb and Garden Festival - Sat¬ 
urday, June 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., James 
Madison Edith Carrier Arboretum, 
Harrisonburg. 

Rhododendron Day on the 
Blue Ridge Parkway - Saturday, 
June 8, Blue Ridge Wildflower So¬ 
ciety to host a field trip. Meet at 
Peaks of Otter for breakfast at 8:30 
or at visitor center for trip at 10 
a.m., pack a lunch, call Julie 
Alexander, 540-427-0117. 

Crow's Nest Update & Discussion 
- Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m., Frederick¬ 
sburg Area Chapter, at Community Cen¬ 
ter, Caneil Street, Fredericksburg, contact 
contact Kiki Keske, detkat@erols.com or 
540-659-6649. 


Rhododendron Day at Altavista - 

Saturday, June 22,10 a.m., meet at Ross 
Laboratories, pack a lunch, call Sandra 
Elder, 434-525-8433. 


Hickory Hollow Hike 

A Hickory Hollow Hike 
(Monday, May 20, 11 a.m. -1:30 p.m.) 
is a wonderful opportunity to start the 
week in Lancaster County, Virginia. 
Hickory Hollow is a Virginia Natural 
Area Preserve, part of a system that 
now includes 33 dedicated natural ar¬ 
eas totaling 20,152 acres. 

Hickory Hollow's 254 acres of 
mixed pine-hardwood forest, ravines 
and Cabin Swamp form an important 
habitat for migratory songbirds, wild 
turkey and rare plants. Cabin Swamp is 
an exceptional quality wetland commu¬ 
nity that supports a high plant diversity 
- perhaps 500 plant species - including 
several mountain disjuncts. Of 500 plant 
species reported, eight are orchids. 

Hickory Hollow Nature Trail offers 
3.5 miles of footpaths that meander 
through second growth deciduous for¬ 
est. The site is protected by the Northern 
Neck Audubon Chapter. Hike leader will 
be Rebecca Wilson of the Virginia DCR- 
Division of Natural Heritage. She works 
as a Natural Area Steward for the Chesa¬ 
peake Bay Region. To reserve space on 
this 15-person trip and get directions, 
contact Shirley Gay by e-mail, 
shirleywg@comcast.net or by phone, 
703-920-1913 (leave your phone num¬ 
ber). Remember to bring a lunch or snack. 

Walks, tours, courses 

Marion Blois Lobstein, Associate 
Professor of Biology, NVCC-Manassas 
& Adjunct Professor, Blandy Experimen¬ 
tal Farm (UVA Field Station), will con¬ 
duct a number of wildflower walks find 
tours as well as teach workshops and a 
botany/plant identification course 
through the University of Virginia at 
Blandy Experimental Farm and State 
Arboretum of Virginia. For information 
about these events and her spring wild¬ 
flower video, e-mail her at 
mblobstein@earthlink.net or or visit http: / 
/home.earthlink.net/~mblobstein. 

.-. = April 2002 















• Skunk cabbage 


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

- River s Edge outdoor weekend 


(Continuedfrom page 3) 

emulate the heat, odor and appearance of decaying meat and thereby draw insects 
that will pollinate the flowers on the spadix. 

After pollination has been completed, the spadix forms the seeds and gradually 
bends toward the earth as the spathe decomposes. Seeds need prolonged cold-moist 
stratification to germinate. Exposed seeds are sometimes eaten by rodents, such as 
squirrels, and by certain birds, especially grouse, quail and pheasants. 

While the spadix is completing its development, and the spathe is withering, 
the leaf bud is developing rapidly as spring days lengthen and the sun gives its 
warmth. The leaves are vivid green, usually 1-2 feet long, but can reach 3 feet. 
Thoreau was impressed by this plant and entered it 39 times in his journals. 
Regarding the plant's leaf, he said it ".. .makes the best vessel to drink out of at a 
spring..." He also noted that it grows nearby, it is dish-shaped, and the odor is 
offensive but does not flavor the water. 

Bears often eat the leaves, especially as their first meal after coming out of 
hibernation. They also will eat the large rootstalk (underground stem) that bears 
numerous, long feeder roots that are up to an inch in diameter and go deep into 
the soil. Bears hibernate on a full stomach and require a large mass of vegetable 
matter to flush the "food-plug" from their gastro-intestinal tract when they cease 
hibernation. A patch of skunk cabbage is a timely answer. 

Some naturalists think this plant has a very long life span with estimates up 
to 1,000 years. It is often called the Methuselah of the plant kingdom. However, I 
have not found any documented literature to support its longevity. 

It is often considered a good indicator plant since it will not grow in a pol¬ 
luted habitat. Too many sites in its endemic range are now becoming polluted, or 
destroyed, as our wetlands are being drained for various reasons. 

Its geographic distribution includes bogs, marshes, and other seasonally 
damp sites, both open and wooded, from Nova Scotia westward through Ontario 
and Minnesota, then southward to Iowa and eastward through the Carolinas 
and points within. 


Elwood Fisher, Shenandoah Chapter 


•Virginia's landscape 

(Continued from page 1) 

Nicky Staunton kicked off the meet¬ 
ing with remarks, followed by John 
Townsend, Virginia State Botanist with 
the VA-DCR National Heritage Pro¬ 
gram, who spoke about creation ver¬ 
sus restoration and lessons learned. 
We saw many examples of hard work 
being done to reclaim bottom lands, 
mined out areas and property devoted 
to power lines. Unfortunately, some of 
that work has proven to be counterpro¬ 
ductive when flora, both native and 
non-native, are introduced to an in¬ 
compatible location. The message? 
Sometimes no management is better 
and you let nature take its course. 

Dr. W. Lee Daniels, from Virginia 
Tech, talked to the group about revegeta¬ 
tion challenges, particularly when top¬ 
soil has been removed and subsoils com¬ 
pacted. Dr. Daniels spotlighted compac¬ 
tion and low levels of organic matter 
as major impediments to restoration of 
natives in disturbed areas. His tips on 
rebuilding soils are particularly rel¬ 
evant and useful to any of us who live 
April 2002 


in a home where bulldozers and other 
equipment were used during the con¬ 
struction process. Mixed soil hori¬ 
zons, compaction, and inclusions of 
debris and building materials in the 
soil are problems confronting most 
homeowners. 

Jody Booze-Daniels, a research as¬ 
sociate at Virginia Tech, has been work¬ 
ing with VDOT since 1993. She spoke 
to us about the incorporation of native 
grasses and flowers into the roadside 
program. I found the section on warm 
and cool weather native grasses to be 
especially informative but, if you 
missed it, all is not lost. She has a web 
site at http://filebox.vt.edu/users/ 
jodaniel, and she encouraged us to e- 
mail her at jodaniel@vt.edu. Booze- 
Daniels left us, and everyone of like 
interest, with the challenge to persuade 
government agencies to expand their 
use of native plants. 

After lunch, Dr. Stanwyn Shelter, 
a long time VNPS member and profes¬ 
sional botanist, gave us his perspec¬ 
tive on when natives are aliens. If you 
have attended statewide functions be- 


Mike and Pat Jones will open 
Springview Farm/River's Edge on Sat¬ 
urday and Sunday, April 20-21. This 
sprawling property adjoins the beau¬ 
tiful Nottoway River in northern 
Greensville County, Virginia. It is lo¬ 
cated on the fall line, 12 miles north of 
Emporia, and offers excellent birding 
opportunities in a variety of ecosys¬ 
tems on 350 contiguous acres. 

Existing ecosystems include non- 
tidal wetlands, mature hardwood for¬ 
est, regenerated pine forest, old-field 
sites and riparian haunts. Approxi¬ 
mately four miles of walking trails will 
be open to birding arid wildlife-watch¬ 
ing enthusiasts. Two individuals re¬ 
corded 62 species of birds in one morn¬ 
ing last spring. Mountain bicycles will 
be allowed if desired. Guides will be 
provided as necessary. 

A $10 per person donation will be 
requested for the American Cancer So¬ 
ciety. Attendees provide their own food, 
drink and/or picnic lunch. The area will 
be open sunrise to sunset. Preregistra¬ 
tion recommended (434-634-9719, after 
6 p.m., or mpkact@telpage.net). Spring- 
view Farm/River's Edge is located at 
11254 Purdy Rd. (Hwy 619), Jarratt. 


fore, you know Stan and, what can I 
say? I sure didn't see anyone sleeping 
after lunch! His bottom line? We are 
only simulating natural landscapes, 
not creating them, when we plant road¬ 
side gardens with natural plants. If we 
want "natural habitat" we have to work 
to save what little we have left - we 
cannot recreate it. 

Deanne Eversmeyer, from the 
Washington Golf and Country Club, 
closed out the seminar with a program 
titled "Little House on the Suburban 
Prairie - A Natural Alternative to the 
Lawn." Deanne's "before" pictures of 
the front yard in her (then) new home 
and her "after" pictures, tracked the 
conversion of her traditional lawn into 
a low maintenance meadow. The 
meadow combines the liberal use of 
mulch, to reduce work, with native 
grasses and flowers. 

When we left Richmond, it was in 
the low 70s and as we started the drive 
home, it began to rain - who could ask 
for more? It was a fun, entertaining and 
informative day. See you there next year? 

Leo Stoltz, PWWS Vice-President 

Page 7 










Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Invitation to 

The Virginia Academy of Science 
Symposium on the Flora of Virginia 

Marion Lobstein, vice president of the Virginia Academy of Science, VNPS mem¬ 
ber, and board member of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project, Inc., extends a 
special invitation to VNPS members to attend the Symposium on the Flora of Virginia. 
It will be held on May 24 at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy at Hampton 
University in Hampton, Va. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Virginia Academy 
of Science and the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project, Inc. 

For more information, contact Marion Lobstein at 703-536-7150 or by e-mail at her 
address: mblobstein@earthlink.net. The following is the schedule and description of 
the Symposium on the Flora of Virginia. 

2002 Virginia Academy of Science Symposium: 

The Flora of Virginia 
Hampton University 
May 24 

9 a.m. until noon 


9:00-9:15 

9:15-9:45 

9:45-10:15 

10:15-10:30 

10:30-11:00 

11:00-11:15 

11:15-11:45 

11:45-12:00 


Introduction - Marion Lobstein & Dr. Camellia Okpodu 
Historical Exploration of Virginia's Plant Diversity - Dr. Donna Ware 
Virginia's Rare Plants - Johnny Townsend 
—Break— 

Conserving Virginia's Plants - The Nature Conservancy 

The Problem of Invasive Plants in Virginia - Dr. Ruth Douglas 

The Flora of Virginia - Chris Ludwig 

Flora of Virginia History at Hampton University: 


The Emancipation Oak and an Invitation to Visit - Dr. Camellia Okpodu 


Description of the Symposium on the Flora of Virginia - This symposium on the plant life of Virginia will 
cover the rich heritage of the Commonwealth's botanical exploration from 1607 to current efforts to 
produce a modern identification manual to Virginia plants, the Flora of Virginia. Only 12 states, all larger 
in landmass than Virginia, have more plant species than the Commonwealth. Reasons for this floristic 
diversity and the importance of rare species will be considered. Challenges in conserving this diversity 
and the problem of invasive species are other topics that will provide symposium participants with a 
wider view of the present and future status of Virginia's flora. With over 3,700 vascular plant taxa in 
Virginia, the critical need for a modern Flora of Virginia will be addressed. At the conclusion of this 
symposium, the head of Hampton University's biology program will present her research on the historic 
Emancipation Oak located on the Hampton University campus and will extend an invitation for partici¬ 
pants to take a short fieldtrip with her to visit this important Virginia tree specimen. 













— - : g u u e ti n 0 f the Virginia Native Plant Society — 

Flora of Virginia Project News Update: 

The Flora Advisory Board Has Been Established 

Significant progress continues to be made on the Flora of Virginia Project. The Flora Advisory Board (FAB) has 
been established to contribute to the development of the Flora of Virginia. The FAB is made up of almost 50 
botanists from around the Commonwealth and had its first meeting in Richmond in February. Thirty-four members 
took part in this meeting together with Chris Ludwig and Alan Weakley, the two primary authors of the Flora. 

At this meeting the role of the Flora Advisory Board was discussed. Members will provide advice on ques¬ 
tions of format and content. Among other possible roles discussed were the testing of dichotomous keys, provid¬ 
ing plant material for illustrations, and assisting with the website or other electronic media associated with the 
project. Ludwig and Weakley outlined their current approach to writing the Flora. The mission of the Flora of 
Virginia Project was also clarified by Ludwig and Weakley and the mission statement was supported by the FAB 
participants. This mission of the Flora of Virginia Project is to: 


• Provide a tool for plant identification and study for use by the broadest of profes¬ 
sional and avocational users from academia, government, industry and the public. 

• Assimilate and build on the rich tradition of botanical exploration of Virginia 
culminating in works such as the 1739 Flora Virginica by John Clayton. 


The third Board of Directors meeting of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project, Inc. was also held in 
February. At this meeting Joslin Gallatin, fundraiser for the project, was nominated as a new board member and 
unanimously elected to the board. Plans for seeking grants and other sources of funding were the main points of 
focus at this meeting. Updating the website was discussed and will occur by the middle of March. 

Marion Lobstein, board member and vice president of the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS), reported on 
plans for a Symposium on the Flora of Virginia to be held at the May 23-24 annual Meeting of the academy. Board 
members Ludwig, Ware and Lobstein will take part in the symposium. The VAS Symposium is open to the public 
and VNPS members are invited to attend. 

Be sure to check out the updated website for the project at: www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/vaflora.htm. 


See the address label for your membership expiration date 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 

Name(s)_ 

Address_ 

City_State_Zip_ 

_Individual $20 

_Family $30 _Student $15 

_Patron $50 _Associate (groups) $40* 

_Sustaining $100 _Life $500 

*Please designate one person as delegate for Associate membership 
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 or_Chapter in the 

amount of_$10_$25_$50_$100_$(Other)_ 

___Check if you do not wish your name to be listed to be exchanged with similar 

organizations in a chapter directory 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2, 
Boyce, VA 22620 

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


The Bulletin 

ISSN 1085-9632 
is published five times a year 
0an., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 
(540)837-1600 

vnpsofc@shentel.net 

www.vnps.org 

Nicky Staunton, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulletin 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 consider¬ 
ation. Items should be typed, on disk in Microsoft Wond 
or e-mailed to: Editor, 3419 Cold Springs Rd., Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440, or lotswife@rica.net 

The deadline for the next issue is June 1 


April 2002 


Page 9 

































. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

•St. Louis 


(Continued from page 1) 
scheduled to take place in Chicago in 
late September. However, the Codes have 
already been endorsed by several key 
stakeholder groups, including the 
American Nursery and Landscape As¬ 
sociation, American Society of Land¬ 
scape Architects and the Garden Club 
of America. VNPS members who have 
discussed the matter, including Faith 
Campbell, have recommended that our 


organization consider formal endorse¬ 
ment, a move which would lend weight 
and encouragement to all who hope the 
codes will evolve into effective guides 
not only for tire gardening public but for 
industry and professional groups. To 
read the entire resolution, visit 
www.vnps.org or Missouri Botanical 
Gardens website, www.mobot.org/iss. 

Jocelyn Sladen, co-President, Piedmont Clmpter 
(Jocelyn was a participant in the St. Louis work¬ 
shop, representing the Garden Club of America.) 


Virginia tax check-off 
helps natural resources 

Protecting the Commonwealth's 
open spaces and restoring the health 
of the Chesapeake Bay are two of the 
state's leading environmental con¬ 
cerns. Virginians can now help do both 
when they file their state tax returns. 
Schedule ADJ allows taxpayers to con¬ 
tribute any or all of their tax refund to 
either the Open Space Conservation 
Fund or the Chesapeake Bay Restora¬ 
tion Fund. And there's an added ben¬ 
efit: these contributions are tax-deduct¬ 
ible on next year's income tax returns. 
Designate your voluntary contribution 
on line 24 of Schedule ADJ, to accom¬ 
pany the individual income tax return 
Form 760. If you choose the ''Open 
Space Conservation and Recreation 
Fund," write in the code numbers 6-8. 
If you choose the "Chesapeake Bay 
Restoration Fund," write in the code 
numbers 7-1. 

"A recent survey of Virginians re¬ 
vealed that 92 percent felt it was im¬ 
portant to protect open space re¬ 
sources," said W. Tayloe Murphy Jr., 
Virginia Secretary of Natural Re¬ 
sources. 

?'ilFdii questions about either con¬ 
tribution fund, call the Virginia De¬ 
partment of Conservation and Rec¬ 
reation at 804-786-7961. 


Study shows exotic plants affect soil properties 

For many years environmentalists have been concerned about the relentless in¬ 
vasion of exotic plants into natural areas. The fact that alien species invade areas 
once inhabited by native species is obvious. What may not be so obvious are the 
changes taking place underground. Recently the USDA sponsored a research forum 
in Annapolis. Dr. Joan G. Ehrenfeld of Rutgers spoke on "Soil Properties and Exotic 
Plant Invasions: A Two Way Street." Dr. Ehrenfeld studied soil properties in three 
New Jersey sites where two exotic species, Japanese barberry ( Berberis thunbergii) and 
stiltgrass ( Microstegium vimineum), grow. Her observations included: 

•soil pH significantly elevated under Berberis and Microstegium as compared to natives 
•nitrification rates are higher in both exotics as compared to native vegetation and 
increase is associated with increased soil pH 

•extractable NH 4 concentrations higher under the exotics as compared to natives 
•leaf litter under Berberis decomposed extremely quickly as compared to natives 
• fine root biomass of native species significantly lower in the presence of exotics 
•significantly higher earthworm densities found under exotic plant species but they 
were all European earthworm species 

•exotic species invasions often associated with nutrient-rich habitats such as ripar¬ 
ian zones, sites with high cation (a positively charged ion) concentrations or sites 
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•soil changes induced by exotics will likely persist and may impede restoration of 
native flora in cleared sites. 

Those interested in a copy of this research should send a SASE to: Sam Jones, 620 
Pyle Rd., Forest Hill, MD 21050. 


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A publication of the VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY 

www.vnps.org Conserving wild flowers and wild places 


Explore Fall Flora on the Fall Line at Annual Meeting 


The Pocahontas Chapter of VNPS 
invites you to attend this year's An¬ 
nual Meeting, to be held at the Cul¬ 
tural Arts Center of Glen Allen, Fri¬ 
day, September 13 through Sunday, 
September 15. 

The greater Richmond area, 
home to this year's annual meet¬ 
ing, is known for the ever-chang¬ 
ing James River, an interesting 
skyline, and intriguing social 
history. What's less well known 
is Richmond's complex natural 
history, which is the theme of this 
year's annual meeting. Rich¬ 
mond straddles the Fall Line, a natu¬ 
ral geological hurdle for plant and 
animal life. The annual meeting pro¬ 
gram is equally complex and varied, 
offering wildflower walks/informa- 




tive presentations on both Friday and 
Saturday evenings, visits to hard-to- 
locate sites, and half-day and full-day 
trips to some of the best kept secret 
wild areas in the Piedmont. There's 


VNPS Annual Meeting 
September 13-15 
Richmond area 


something for everyone, whether 
you're a new member or a returning 
veteran. So come and slog through 
our wetlands, amble along the lazy 
James River in search of avian or plant 


life, go raptor-watching and catch a 
glimpse of resident bald eagles and 
osprey, watch heron spear their din¬ 
ner, or meander through the quiet 
woods of our state and local wood¬ 
lands in search of wildflowers, 
ferns and mosses. 

On Friday evening at 7 p.m., 
plan to join your friends and fel¬ 
low members for dessert and cof¬ 
fee, and at 7:30 p.m. enjoy a lively 
talk by aralia expert Gregory M. 
Plunket, assistant professor of 
biology at Virginia Common¬ 
wealth University, about his 
work in Virginia and on the exotic 
island of New Caledonia. 

On Saturday, pick up a fancy box 
lunch, and take a half-day or all-day 

(See Fall Line, page 10) 


\ 


S 


Natives enhance golf course 

Chip Heartfield, a member of VNPS and the Chevy Chase Club in Maryland, 
arranged for a tour of the club's nature trail. He has supported and encouraged 
the development of the trail emphasizing use of native plants and wanted to 
share the results. 

A golf cart carried us across a green of the Chevy Chase Club golf course, past 
a planting of fringe trees ( Chionanthus virginicus ) an image of which still lives in 
my memory. A group of the trees in full bloom formed the edge of the understory of 
an island of mature hardwoods. There were clouds of white near each other, but 
planted in a random pattern. 

David Hall, arborist for the Chevy Chase Club, was sharing the results of 
how he has incorporated native plants into the club landscape over the 12 years 
since his arrival. The islands containing beautiful groupings native plants flowed 
along the golf course greens. There was one containing flame azaleas, Rhododen¬ 
dron calendulaceum, he had obtained from North Carolina. The blossoms varied in 
color from white with one golden petal to all petals of a dark flame color. Ferns 

(See Chevy Chase, page 9) 


Inside this issue 


• Special insert - 
Annual Meeting 
Registration form 

• Page 3 - Planning 
for Better Habitat 
Conservation 


















. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society - - : 

From the president . 

Many people , many places need a Virginia flora 


The Flora of Virginia Project is under way 
and descriptions are now being written by the 
co-authors. Past Bulletins have brought you 
progress reports on this project. 

This floral manual, which will contain 
descriptions and illustrations of all 3,700 plant 
species identified in Virginia, is needed now . A 
more than 300-year-span between the time the 
first flora was written and sent to England 
and the present does not mean that there is no 
urgency in producing our Virginia Flora as 
speedily as possible. 

Botanists and everyone who works with 
plants and ecosystems need this manual now . 
As habitats diminish, natural areas shrink and 
plant species are lost, there is a race to iden¬ 
tify plant species across Virginia. Looking in 
the other direction, new plants are being 
discovered for the first time and need to be 
classified and named. 

We needed this Flora of Virginia for educators 
years ago. Can you imagine teaching botany and 
having to use six or eight volumes to identify a 
plant? None of the books identify all of the plants 
which are peculiar to Virginia; rather, each volume 
has some of the plants in Virginia, but not all of the 
state's 3,700 identified flora species! 

In May, I met with a team of high school 
students competing at the state level in the 
Virginia Envirothon II. This year's theme is 
invasive alien plants. The team requested some 
intensive study in order to identify trees and 
differentiate between those that are invasive 
and look-alike natives. We were out for several 
hours as they learned to recognize the identi¬ 
fying features of the trees we found. Several 
tree books, including Wildflozoers by Peterson/ 
McKenny and Woody Plants of Maryland, were 
used but it would have been better to use one 
definitive book of our Virginia flora. 

The point is, identifying plants you live 
with and work with is essential, no matter 
what your field might be. Students need this 
floral reference manual now. The Flora of 


Virginia will give the field of botany a boost in 
Virginia by giving Virginians the tool that has 
been missing for our state. 

Back to the students. You cannot control 
invasives unless you recognize them and 
sometimes it is difficult. For example, Ailan- 
thus altissima has pinnate leaves. Walnut and 
sumac have a similar leaf arrangement as do 
many other species. If that were the only key to 
identifying, it could lead us to removing the 
wrong tree. So, descriptions of native as well as 
non-native trees are necessary. 

VDOT work crews who eradicated most of 
the roadside sumac along a state road last 
year believed they were spraying Ailanthus. 
They needed the information in our Flora of 
Virginia. Members of VNPS-Shenandoah 
Chapter who are going to be monitoring an 
area of the George Washington National For¬ 
est as a spraying program gets under way 
need the book. Members will be visiting the 
site ahead of the work crew and will advise 
the managers of what and where native plants 
are located in the spray zone. They will prob¬ 
ably use Core's Flora of West Virginia for 
plants they don't recognize. Why not have the 
Flora of Virginia, an overdue reference to all of 
the plants in Virginia? 

The challenge for us as VNPS members is 
to generously support the writing and illus¬ 
trating of the Flora of Virginia immediately and 
through the next seven years. Individual gifts 
— substantial or modest — will be the fuel for 
the production of our flora. Several VNPS 
chapters are deciding how much support they 
can give and when. 

The Flora of Virginia will let us each learn about 
the flora in our ecosystems and increase our 
appreciation of their beauty and use by human 
and other species. That, in turn, makes us will¬ 
ing to work to conserve them where they live in 
natural settings. It’s a mighty challenge and 
VNPS members are "up to it." 

Your President, Nicky Staunton 


Page 2 


June 2002 














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

Military fort provides unique approach to habitat management 


Fort A.P. Hill Military Base, lo¬ 
cated in northern Caroline County, is 
a 76,000-acre site that is an excellent 
example of a portion of Virginia's 
Piedmont ecosystem. The base con¬ 
tains a variety of habitats and unique 
flora and fauna, some of which are 
becoming less common or are threat¬ 
ened today. The primary purpose of 
the base, which was established in 
1941, is to serve as an important on- 
the-ground training facility for the 
army's various training needs. 

Over the years and more recently, 
there has been a strong commitment 
to manage the base's natural re¬ 
sources in concert with the military's 
training activities. A group of natural 
resource professionals employed 
through the base's Environmental 
and Natural Resource Division col¬ 
lectively manage the site with the mili¬ 
tary staff. The group has collaborated 
with the Virginia Division of Natural 
Heritage and other state and federal 
offices to conduct various assess¬ 
ments and inventories of some of the 
base's flora and fauna resulting in 
quality protection and stewardship. 

One of the unique management 
efforts has been to encourage and di¬ 
rect some of the training activities 
that create fires in the "impact zones" 
of the base. Approximately one third 
of the base is used for high intensity 
activities, some of which result in 
various levels of fire and burning. As 
a result, these fires have contributed 
to creating a grassland-loblolly pine 
savannah with open or partially 
closed forest canopies. This type of 
open forest mimics long ago savan¬ 
nah-like habitats created by fire from 
lightening strikes. Some of the grass¬ 


land species include little bluestem, 
numerous species of goldenrod, and 
broomsedge. This particular grass¬ 
land environment is also home to one 
of the two habitats statewide for the 
state threatened Bachmans's spar¬ 
row. 

Other vegetation management ef¬ 
forts include the removal of the highly 
invasive exotic autumn olive which 
was planted throughout the base in 
the late 1970s. A large severe-duty 
shredder to clear the shrub is used in 
concert with periodic controlled 
burns to eliminate re-sprouting. Na¬ 
tive warm season grasses and other 
herbaceous plants have been used to 
revegetate these areas. 

In order to provide habitat for 
bobwhite quail as well as provide an 
area for the military's tactical maneu¬ 
vering activities, selective thinning of 
a 16-acre loblolly pine stand has 
been performed. Controlled burning 
has followed the thinning activities 
in order to maintain an open forest 
canopy with native grasses and forbs 
at ground level. The goal has been to 
allow for natural regeneration in the 
stand to a mix of 75 percent pine and 
25 percent hardwood. 

A large portion of Fort A.R Hill 
also contains groundwater seepage 
wetlands which occur near the head¬ 
waters of streams. Some of these wet¬ 
lands, which contain a large diver¬ 
sity of plants on the base, have also 
been affected by various disturbances 
including fire, resulting in the cre¬ 
ation of "bog-like" habitats. These 
areas have produced habitat for 
cuthbert turtlehead and sizeable 
populations of the state endangered 
swamp pink. The Virginia Division 


^Planning for^ 

iti 

Habitat 

^Conservation ^ 

Editor's Note - This article marks the 
last of a five-part series by VNPS Con¬ 
servation Chair Jessica Strother on the 
various ways to ensure and plan for 
habitat conservation. This series has 
been intended to provide examples of 
successful and helpful ways taxpayers 
and professionals can purposefidly plan 
for biodiversity. The information pro¬ 
vided is only an overview of the issues. 

of Natural Heritage conducted an 
inventory of the swamp pink popu¬ 
lation on the base in 1994 and this 
information has been used to man¬ 
age for and protect the swamp pink 
from disturbance. 

Upland habitats that contain 
small whorled pogonia have also 
been studied resulting in recovery 
plans that have been used by the base 
staff for protection efforts. The Virginia 
Native Plant Society is investigating 
the possibility of a field trip to Fort A.P. 
Hill to study the special and unique 
habitats found there. Watch for a pos¬ 
sible announcement in the future. 


Flora of Virginia Foundation is granted non-profit status 

In an early ruling, the IRS has granted a 501-(c)-3 status for the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia 
Project in May 2002. The Foundation now has a permanent address for all communications and gifts 
for the Flora of Virginia Project: P. O. Box 512, Richmond VA 23218-0512. This address may be used for 
all correspondence relating to the project. An account is being opened to handle gifts of securities. 

For any questions you have, you may call Flora of Virginia Executive Director Chris Ludwig at 804- 
371-6206 or e-mail: jcludwig@dcr.state.va.us or check out the website at www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/ 
vaflora.htm. 

VNPS has pledged to support this, the most important project in our history in every way possible. 
Members gifts will be gratefully received to support the writing and editing of the Flora of Virginia. 
June 2002 — • —--- - - Page 3 













Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


The lawn is gone, but the beauty has increased 


When I moved into my house in 
the fall a few years ago, the next 
door neighbor told me that the our 
back- yards were full of small flow¬ 
ers in spring. In March I was pleas¬ 
antly surprised to find spring beau¬ 
ties littering the lawn. Now the lawn 
is gone, but the spring beauties 
thrive in the company of Virginia 
bluebells, wild phlox, partidgeberry 
and many 


Pachysandra procumbens 
Last year's mottled leaves 
Illustration by Nicky Staunton 



other wood¬ 
land natives. I 
brought in these 
other beauties and 
planted them through a layer of 
smothered, decaying turf that had 
been a thin lawn under a huge, old 
tulip poplar. So now, instead of fol¬ 
lowing a noisy, stinky lawn mower 
around on Saturday, I spend my 
spare time marveling at the early 
emergence of the bloodroot, hunt¬ 
ing for the odd little flowers of the 
wild ginger, or watching a Christ¬ 
mas fern frond unfurl. 

The tulip poplar is the best 
thing in my quarter-acre suburban 
yard. Its roots are fleshy and deep 
and its canopy is elevated, leaving 
the ground beneath in high, open 
shade. It's the perfect combination 
for our native woodland plants. 
One of my favorite natives is the 
foamflower ( Tiarella cordifolia). This 
four- to six-inch tall, running peren¬ 


nial erupts into a display of soft 
white foamy flowers in April and 
May. The maple-leaf foliage is a 
bright green, sometimes marked 
with a wine stain in the center, and 
persists through the winter after 
taking on a coppery cast in the fall. 
Many named varieties have 
popped up in specialty catalogs, 
including pink flowered forms 
and those with foliage deeply in¬ 
cised or even variegated. In rich, 
humusy soil the foamflower can 
cover ground quickly, sending out 
runners in all directions, but it tol¬ 
erates and even performs well in 
drier, shady sites. This is a great 
companion to spring ephemerals 
such as bluebells, filling in the va¬ 
cated spaces left as they go dor¬ 
mant for the summer. 

Competing with the foam¬ 
flower for favorite native 
groundcover is the wild sweet 
William ( Phlox divaricata ), an¬ 
other herbaceous evergreen 
spreader. From a low, dark green 
carpet of foliage arise foot-tall 
wiry stems topped with clusters 
of sweet-scented, soft lavender- 
blue flowers in May. When 
planted in large masses the ef¬ 
fect is of a fragrant cloud float¬ 
ing just above the ground. A 
few varieties are available, includ¬ 
ing one with white flowers and an¬ 
other with purple. This phlox is 
fairly self-cleaning, with the old 
flower stems melting back to earth 
as the plant puts out new ground- 
hugging growth for the sum¬ 
mer. Stem cuttings can be 
rooted easily after this new 
growth has hardened or just 
bury part of the stem and 
come back after a couple 
of months to separate 
it. Given a fairly 
humusy soil and 
high, partial shade, 
this native makes an 
attractive, low- 
maintenance 
groundcover. 

Another 


spreading native, golden ragwort 
(Senecio aureus), should come with 
a warning, for this spring lovely 
will take over when planted in the 
moist garden. But, for covering a 
large, wet area quickly, this one 
can't be beat. The dark purplish- 
green foliage emerges in early, early 
spring and is followed by one to 
two-foot-tall stems topped with 
clusters of bright, golden-yellow 
daisies in April to coincide with the 
bluebells. The foliage remains at¬ 
tractive through the summer. 

Everyone is familiar with the 
ubiquitous groundcover, Japanese 
spurge, Pachysandra terminalis, but 
the Southeast is home to our own 
species, Pachysandra procumbens, 
the Allegheny spurge. This ever¬ 
green member of the Boxwood fam¬ 
ily is found in deciduous woods 
from West Virginia to Kentucky and 
south to Florida and Louisiana. By 
winter the old foliage is a mottled 
bronze-green with a dappling of 
silver, mostly prostrate, radiating 
out from the center. In midwinter, 
tight chains of flower buds can be 
found at the crown, waiting for the 
earliest signs of spring. As soon as 
the weather begins to warm, short, 
bottlebrush-like spikes of fragrant 
pinkish-white flowers emerge. The 
floral display is followed by the 
emergence of new, bright green fo¬ 
liage. The new foliage stands up¬ 
right and unfolds into a matte green 

(See Spurge, page 6) 


Pachysandra procumbens 
Illustration by Nicky Staunton 



Page 4 


June 2002 






















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Exotic Pest Plant Council 
to meet in West Virginia 

The Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest 
Plant Council is planning its annual 
business meeting and member gather¬ 
ing for August 7-8. This year's meet¬ 
ing is at Canaan Valley State Park in 
wild and wonderful West Virginia! The 
gathering starts with a social on the 
evening of August 7; the MA-EPPC 
business meeting will follow on the 
morning of August 8. The remainder 
of August 8 will be spent learning 
about the impact of one species invad¬ 
ing the bog, yellow flag iris (Iris 
pseudacoris ); and working on a removal 
project in this sensitive wetland habi¬ 
tat. For further details, contact Faith 
Campbell at phytodoer@aol.com or by 
telephone at 202-547-9120. Hope to see 
you there! 


Forest & tree bills update 

Earlier this year the Virginia Gen¬ 
eral Assembly considered two bills that 
would amend and reenact 15.2-961 of 
the Virginia Code relating to the con¬ 
servation and replacement of trees dur¬ 
ing development in certain localities. 
House Bill No. 105, sponsored by R.G. 
Marshall and McQuigg, and Senate Bill 
No. 484, sponsored by Howell, Byrne, 
Puller and Ticer; and Delegates 
Amundson, Bolvin, Callahan, Devolites, 
Plum and Watts were tabled until 2003, 
when they will be reconsidered. 

Atlas of Virginia flora once again available 

Because of continuing high demand, the Virginia Botanical Associates, Inc. is now offering reprints of the 1992 
publication. Atlas of the Virginia Flora, Edition III while supplies last. This volume is the most up-to-date informa¬ 
tion offered on the state-wide distribution of individual vascular plant species in Virginia. It is an indispensable 
tool for educators, avocational naturalists, environmental professionals and amateur scientists alike. 

With Atlas III, you can discover: 

•The range of any plant known from Virginia on a county-by-county basis 
•Which wildflowers grow in any region of the Commonwealth 

•A comprehensive listing by family, genus and species of trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and weeds 

•A history of botanical exploration in Virginia 

•The floristic diversity of Virginia 

•A commentary on the Coastal Plain flora 

•A comprehensive list of floristic novelties and waifs 

To receive this book postpaid, send check/money order for $22.75 payable to Virginia Botanical Associates at 
the following address: Robert Wright, Sec./Tres., Virginia Botanical Associates, Inc., 10210 Commonwealth Boule¬ 
vard, Fairfax, VA 22302. Larger orders can be accommodated on request. 


Wildflower Calendar of Events 


Raingarden Program - Wednes¬ 
day June 19, 7:30 p.m. Lake Jack- 
son Garden Club program on 
raingardens at the Lake Jackson 
Fire Hall, Coles Drive, Manassas. 
For more information contact Diane 
Flaherty at 703-330-9862. 

Green Spring Garden Sprout 
Program - Wednesday June 19-Fri- 
day June 21. Green Spring Gardens 
Park program for children 3 to 5 
years of age. "Water, Water Every¬ 
where." Help collect stream water 
from Turkeycock Run, learn about 
the Chesapeake Bay and make an 
ocean in a bottle. For more informa¬ 
tion contact Sherrie Chapman at 
703-642-5173 or go to Green 
Spring's website at www.green- 
spring.org. 

Dragonflies Program - Satur¬ 
day June 22, 1:30-3 p.m. Green 
Spring Gardens Park. The family 
can go down to the ponds to study 
the dragonflies perched on the cat¬ 
tails and grasses at the water's 
edge. Limit 20 families, $15 fee. For 
more information contact Sherrie 
Chapman at 703-642-5173 or check 
www.greenspring.org. 


Rhododendron Day at 
Altavista - Saturday June 22, 10 
a.m. Blue Ridge Wildflower Soci¬ 
ety trip. Meet at Ross Laboratories. 
From Roanoke, take the 460 bypass 
to the Rt. 29S Danville exit which is 
near the Lynchburg airport. Take the 
first exit and turn left at the end of 
the ramp. This will take you to 
Altavista. Ross Labs has a large sign 
and is by the railroad track. Bring a 
lunch. For more information, contact 
Sandra Elder at 434-525-8433. 

Green Industry Professional 
Field Day and Trade Show - 
Thursday July 25. Held at Ameri¬ 
can University, Washington, D.C. 
It is sponsored by the Northern 
Virginia Nursery and Landscape 
Association and the D.C. chapter 
of PGMS. This day-long event fea¬ 
tures landscape design/architec¬ 
ture discussions, a tour of the new 
campus arboretum, talks about 
uses of perennials and 
hardscapes, equipment demon¬ 
strations, demonstration of tree fer¬ 
tilization and much more. Lunch 
will be served. Free parking and 
Metro access. For information call 
703-250-1368 or e-mail Lanelle 
Kyle at greenisdc@cs.com. 


June 2002 


Page 5 
















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society — 

Olmsted Woods: Urban woodlands restoration project 


“The great charm of approach¬ 
ing the Cathedral through and up 
a wooded hillside, leaving the city 
far behind and below, helping one 
to forget the hurly-burly, and busy¬ 
ness of a work-a-day world, must 
be taken advantage of to the fullest 
extent. The great sweeping 
branches of the trees seem to brush 
off...the dust of the city, so that one 
at last reaches the Cathedral 
cleansed in mind and in spirit." 
Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. 

Anne Petri of the Washington 
National Cathedral's All Hallows 
Guild in a 1996 interview by Adrian 
Higgins of the Washington Post, 
cited the pilgrim experience from 
middle ages as shown in art from 
that period that included Gothic ca¬ 
thedrals of Europe. The guild chose 
the restoration of Olmsted Woods 
as a monumental project to fulfill 
Olmsted's vision. 

The vision of Frederick Law 
Olmsted Jr. had dissolved with the 
decline of the urban forest at the 
Washington National Cathedral 
and the Cathedral's All Hallows 
Guild is currently continuing its 
quest to restore the small track of 
five acres that one would enter from 
Garfield Street off of Wisconsin Av¬ 
enue. 

The forest was filled with com¬ 
pacted soil and devoid of native 
plants. Storm water damage areas, 
the result of considerable impervi¬ 
ous surface on the close (grounds), 
soil erosion, aging and diseased 
trees and invasive alien plants 
were evident throughout the tract. 

Anne Elsbree, of All Hallows 
Guild and a member of VNPS, is 
working toward restoration of the 
site through the efforts of the guild. 
Storm water control is the focus at 
this initial stage of restoration. 
Leslie Sauer and her colleagues at 
Andropogon Associates Ltd. in 
Philadelphia have furnished a new 
plan for the forest. Elsbree and 
ecologist Elizabeth Brewster met 
me at the forest to lead an early 


spring walk to see what has been 
accomplished since June 2000. 

My pilgrimage began on 
Garfield Street with a dash up 
through the forest on the efficiently 
and beautifully designed quarter- 
mile stone path. Traffic had been 
bad that Cherry Blossom celebra¬ 
tion day. As Olmsted had planned 
in 1927, the path was crafted with 
a perfect grade winding up the hill 
to frame the cathedral. The group 
for the walk had gathered at the 
statue of George Washington at the 
beginning of the forest. “The new 
path was completed mainly by 
hand and without use of large me¬ 
chanical equipment in order to 
minimize soil compaction and 
damage to existing tree roots and 
doubles as an innovative 
stormwater collection system, di¬ 
recting surface water away from 
steep slopes. Stone gutters and in¬ 
filtration pits in turn help decrease 
water runoff," said Elsbree. 

Following the clearing of un¬ 
dergrowth, brush and debris, the 
oak-beech forest floor is mostly 
clear of understory and trees were 
beginning to leaf out when I visited. 
A few spring ephemerals greeted 
us: bluebells, sessile trillium, 
spring beauties and ferns were un¬ 
der dogwood, viburnum, redbud, 

•Spurge- 

(Continued from page 4) 

canopy 6 to 10 inches tall, bigger 
than its Japanese cousin in all parts. 
There are a few named varieties in 
commerce, based on the amount of 
mottling on the leaves. 

Allegheny spurge performs best 
in a rich, moist, woodland soil in 
part to full shade. Propagate by cut¬ 
tings taken in June or division of 
mature plants. Instead of spreading 
by runners, our Pachysandra forms 
a clump, radiating out from the cen¬ 
ter. This, according to Carole 
Ottesen in her book The Native Plant 


sycamore and spice bushes. There ^ 
were isolated remnants of non-na- ^ 
tive species. One was akebia that was 
in bloom, growing on a sapling near 
Garfield Street. The petals of choco¬ 
late brown had strange stamen that 
resembled snail's eyes — a stalk 
with a very glossy terminus. This 
sole plant on a steep slope remained 
due to inability to reach its roots. 

Seeing this restoration in 
progress moves one to want to visit 
again to see the progress and to 
help to replant the site. A “wish list" 
for Olmsted Woods Restoration in¬ 
cludes Phlox divaricata, Mertensia 
virginica, Claytonia virginica, Asarum 
canadense, royal fern, ebony spleen- 
wort, Christmas fern. Ilex opaca, 
Cornus florida, Cercis canadensis, 
Hammamellis virginica, varieties 
trees and andropogon grass spe¬ 
cies. This would be a perfectly 
grand place to offer your divided* 
plants, saplings, and plant sale sur¬ 
plus. With a $1.5 million project cost, 
financial donations are also wel- (( 
corned. For more information, con¬ 
tact: All Hallows Guild, Washing¬ 
ton National Cathedral, Massachu¬ 
setts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW, 
Washington, D.C. 20016-5098, 202- 
537-2937. 

Nicky Staunton, VNPS President 


Primer, makes the Allegheny 
spurge ideal“as an edger along a 
shady path, where its beautiful col¬ 
oration can be appreciated and 
where more robust groundcovers 
would be too invasive." Although 
Allegheny spurge is easy to grow 
and not troubled by the problems 
which plague Japanese spurge, it 
is not always easy to find. Ask at 
your local native plant nursery — 
with demand comes supply. ({ 

Deatine M. Eversmeyer, Potowmack Chapter 
VNPS Horticulture Chair 


Page 6 


June 2002 










Virginia Native Plant Society 

Annual Meeting, September 13-15, 2002 
The Flora and Fauna of the Fall Line 



The Pocahontas Chapter of the VNPS invites you to the 2002 Annual Meeting. Explore the varied flora and fauna in 
the historically rich region of Central Virginia. The greater Richmond area and the James River provide an exciting 
backdrop for hiking, canoeing and kayaking, exploring the urban and rural wilds, hearing exciting speakers, and 
visiting with old and new friends. 

Weekend Schedule of Events 

All meetings, programs, gatherings, and banquet take place at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. All 


field trips leave from the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen (CACGA). 

Friday, September 13 


Dinner on your own 
3-5 p.m. 

6 p.m. 

7 p.m. 

7:30 p.m. 


—many restaurants nearby (list available) 

Quarterly Board Meeting (Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen) 

Registration. Chapter and state displays 
Dessert Social 

Silent Auction items available for viewing 

Opening remarks and featured presentation by Greg Plunket, Assistant Professor of 
Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University 


Saturday, September 14 


Breakfast on your own 

Note: Glen Allen Days, a local event, will be held at Meadow Farm on Mountain Road. Exit the parking lot of the 
Cultural Arts Center going east to avoid the heavy traffic. All other events take place in the CACGA Ballroom. 

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Field trips. All trips leave from the CACGA parking lot. 

5-7 p.m. Social, silent auction, cash bar 

6 p.m. Annual Business Meeting, Election 

7-8 p.m. Dinner (casual dress) 

8:15 p.m. Evening program: Cole Burrell, contributing editor, Horticulture Magazine & VNPS Director-at-large 


Sunday, September 15 

Breakfast,lunch on your own 
9 a.m. - noon Field trips and short workshops 


Accommodations 

Because the meeting site is separate from motel/hotel accommodations, no motels/hotels have been set aside. Richmond, Va. and the 
Glen Allen area contain a wide variety and price range of accommodations. Listed below are three motels close to the Cultural Arts 
Center of Glen Allen. Use on-line reservations (such as Expedia.com; Travelocity.com), call the motel directly, or contact your travel 
club to obtain discounts. All information subject to change. Book early. Ask for any discounts you may be entitled to. 

Spring Hill Suites—a new suite motel, closest to the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, Va. Located next to Virginia Center Com¬ 
mons on 9701 Brook Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23059. Phone: 804-266-9403; Toll free: 1-888-287-9400. 

Residence Inn Richmond NW (a Marriott motel)—a suite motel located on West Broad Street toward Innsbrook near Capital One. 
Quiet. Includes a continental breakfast. 3940 Westerre Pkwy, Richmond, Va. 23233. (Directly off West Broad Street) Phone 804-762- 
9852. (No toll free number listed). 

Courtyard Richmond NW( by Marriott)—a suite motel located on West Broad Street right next door to the Residence Inn. Quiet and 
off the main road. Restaurant/cofifee shop on the premises, 3950 Westerre Pkwy, Richmond, Va. 23233. (Directly off Broad Street) 804- 
346-5427; Toll free: 1 -800-321-2211. 

Both Residence Inn and Courtyard are conveniently located next to Panera Bread a really great place to eat breakfast or lunch. 

Panera Bread 10301 West Broad Street, Glen Allen, Va., 804-270-2266. Open only for breakfast and lunch. 


The Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen is located at 2880 Mountain Road, Glen 
Allen, Va. 23060, off Springfield Road. It is easily accessible to Rt. 1-295,1-64, 
1-95 (via 1-64,1-295). Glen Allen, Va. is located between Rt. 1 and Innsbrook 
in Henrico County, slightly northwest of Richmond, Va. 




















f FIELD TRIPS & WORKSHOPS 

Field trips leave from the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen at 9 a.m. (canoe trip leaves at 8:30 a.m.) 
Box lunches will be provided. Trips are full-day or half-day. On the registration form circle your field 
trip preferences. Please mark a second choice. Field trip questions, contact Dean Walton 
(dwalton@dcr.state.va.us); all other information, Karen York at 540-837-1600 or (vnpsofc@shentel.net). 

SATURDAY FULL-DAY FIELD TRIPS 

1 _Cumberland Marsh and Warreneye Trail: See a sea of yellow tick-seed sunflowers in the freshwater 

tidal marshes of the Coastal plain. These interesting plant communities support several rare plant species including 
sensitive joint-vetch and Parker’s pipewort. Then go to the Chesapeake Co. Nature trail where you can see marl 
outcrops that support a host of montane disjunct plant species. (Strenuous) 

2 _Henricus/Dutch Gap Conservation Area: Travel to one of Virginia’s earliest settlements and see a pot¬ 

pourri of Virginia and natural history; a site where dozens of blue heron nests look down on a host of other 
waterfowl. See osprey and juvenile bald eagles. Walk on the bluff overlooking the James and follow the boardwalk 
through the wetlands and bottomland forests. (Moderate) 

3 _Pocahontas State Park: Hike along classic piedmont forests at this state park and site of the May “Virginia 

BioBlitz,” an all-species inventory where 1,377 species were documented in a 24-hour period. (Moderate) $3 fee. 

4 _Flowerdew Hundred: Stroll along the borders of this working farm with its fringe of riverine forests along the 

James River. View bald eagles as you scan upland woods, streams, and freshwater tidal wetlands. Search for the 
rare partridge pea, Cassia sciculata var. macrosperma. (Moderate) 

5 _Lee Park-Petersburg: Explore history, both natural and human, with expert botanist, author, and herbarium 

curator, Donna Ware. This trip to the edge of the Appomattox River ties field biology together with development of 
women as professional documenters of our state’s flora. (Moderate) 


***_ Canoe trip: Come paddle the Pamunkey, one of Virginia’s most pristine rivers. This strenuous trip 

(requires previous experience) follows the meandering inlets of Cumberland Marsh where tickseed sun¬ 
flowers gild the landscape and rare flowers dot the marsh edges. Trip starts just past high tide (8:30 a.m.) 
and against the outflowing current, but returns with the current.$25 charge; minimum 10 people.*** 

SATURDAY HALF-DAY FIELD TRIPS AND WORKSHOP 

6 _Three Lakes Nature Center: Visit one of Richmond’s finest Nature Centers with a wonderful bog garden 

jam-packed with wonderful plants, a host of habitats, and a wonderful setting. (1 -2 hours) (Easy) 

7 _Early bird bagels and birding at Bryan Park: Planning on getting up early? Join us for an early bird walk 

at Bryan Park to check fall migrants and anything else flitting about in the open woodland garden park (1 -2 hours) (Easy). 

8 _The where-in-the-world of GPS/GIS or in other words: Understanding global positioning devices and 

geographical information systems in plant conservation. Workshop will help explain how wildflower conservation¬ 
ists currently document the locations of rare plants and find new habitat. See how a personal GPS device can help. 
Look at the differences between $200 units and $2,000 ones. Look at mapping software that can simultaneously 
show geology maps, topographic maps and any location determined by your GPS device. 

Please take full advantage of all the other wonderful public and private gardens in the Richmond Area. 

Check the VNPS website (www.vnps.org) for a list of specialty sites. 

SUNDAY TOURS & WORKSHOP 


9 _The Moss Gardens of Norie Burnet: Explore the miniature world of mosses at the gardens of Norie 

Burnet. This garden has been featured in several magazines and supports a host of exquisite and delicate patterns. 
Limited to 15. (1 -2 hours) (Easy) 

10 _Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area: Check out the coastal plain at this WMA to see cypress 

swamps, tidal marshes, ravine woodlands, open fields, streams and a warm slow moving river. (Full day; Moderate) 

11 _Plant Pressing: Learn how to press and mount plants as a way to document the flora of your area. Botanists 

are dependent on pressed specimens or vouchers to understand the differences between varieties within species 
and differences between species. These vouchers form a way to verify the geographic distribution of plants. This 
workshop shows how to press native plants in your backyard, plants that might be very big, plants that might be 
very small and even delicate aquatic species. 




























Name__ 

Signature ** 
Address 


City_ 

Telephone ( 


VNPS REGISTRATION FORM 
Annual Meeting 
September 13-15,2002 


(required) 


Chapter Member_ 

_ State_Zip 

Email 



All events take place at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen (CACGA). Field trips leave from 
the CACGA parking lot. 

Registration Fees 


Event Fee Amount 


Full Annual Meeting 

(Friday evening programs, Saturday box lunch, Saturday Evening 

Banquet, Sunday a.m., All field trips except canoe program**) $65 ($55 Earlybird)* _ 

Optional Canoe trip—Saturday *** TBA (yes)_ 

Separate registration/liability/canoe rental information will be sent to you if you check yes)** 

k Saturday/Sunday only 

(Saturday programs, Saturday box lunch, Saturday Banquet, $60 ($50 Earlybird*) _ 

Sunday programs) 

Total Amount Enclosed _ 

For more than one person, copy the registration page and complete one form for each person. Please make out 
separate checks. Most programs have minimum and maximum participant limits. Register early. Programs are 
rain or shine except for the canoe trip. 

SAVE MONEY!* Register by August 13 and save $10 per participant! Final registration deadline is 
August 28. No refunds after August 28. 

**Signature required on all registrations. By signing this form the above registrant shall hold harmless the staff 
and volunteers of the Virginia Native Plant Society and those designated to serve as their providers. 


***Canoe registration is covered by an independent contractor and a signed liability waiver provided by the 
canoe livery will be required. 


Mail this form with check payable to VNPS to: VNPS Annual Meeting 

400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 

L For information, please contact Karen York, VNPS Office Manager 
At 540-837-1600 or vnpsofc@shentel.net 








































About our Guest Speakers 


Gregory M. Plunket, Assistant Professor of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
received his Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary. He is the author of Flora of Isle 
of Wight County, Va. His specialty is aralias and he focuses much of his time on the Island 
of New Caledonia, the center of aralia diversity on Earth. Conservation International lists 
the little island on its top seven biodiversity hot-spots of the world. He will speak about his 
work in New Caledonia and on local flora, such as the watch-listed Panax quinquefolius 
(G4/S4) and rare local species Aralia hispida (G5/S2) 

Cole Burell, is a garden designer, award winning author, photographer, naturalist and teacher. 
A certified chlorophyll addict, Cole is an avid and lifelong plantsman and gardener. He is 
currently designing and planting a 10-acre garden of natives and the best plants of the global 
garden in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Va. He is principal of Native Land¬ 
scape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artis¬ 
tic design. Cole is author of several books, including Perennials for Today’s Gardens, Pe¬ 
rennial Combinations and A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers , which won the 
1997 AHS Book Award. He serves as contributing editor to Horticulture Magazine, writes 
regularly for Landscape Architecture, Fine Gardening, American Gardener and the Brook¬ 
lyn Botanic Garden and lectures internationally on topics of design, plants and ecology. He 
worked as curator at the U.S. National Arboretum and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and 
has devoted a lifetime to studying native plants in the wild and in gardens which led to undergradu¬ 
ate degrees in botany and horticulture. He has an M.S. in horticulture and has coalesced his 
interests in botany, horticulture, ecology and design with a master of landscape architecture from 
the University of Minnesota. He is a VNPS charter member and a Director-at-large. 

Silent Auction 

Each VNPS Chapter will be providing nature-theme gift baskets and other items for 
the Silent Auction. Proceeds benefit VNPS. Bidding opens at 5 p.m. on Saturday at 
the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Ballroom and closes at 6:30 p.m. Cash or 
personal checks accepted. Winners will be announced at the meeting. Sponsors and 
patrons will be recognized. 





















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

Development compromises habitats 

Rescuing relations in the land community 


Many of us, some 30 persons, 
mostly women and several men, had 
not met before. Yet, we spoke with each 
other and shared what we knew as if 
we were related. 

We came together on a mid-April 
morning with a common purpose: to 
rescue plants and animals from a 23- 
acre rectangle of forested land, a last 
place of nature between a road and a 
10-lane freeway, where an office build¬ 
ing will be put on the land. 

It was a young oak-hickory-red ce¬ 
dar forest, a place of second growth 
trees about 20 to 40 years old, with some 
older, pioneering successional Virginia 
pine. The land had probably been 
cleared for farming, and then left to 
grow into a forest again. 

The young forest was compro¬ 
mised with the usual exotic invasive 
plants, especially Japanese honey¬ 
suckle. And here and there, people 
had dumped an assortment of items: 
stoves, washers, dryers and automo¬ 
bile parts. But amidst the invasive 
plants and rusting machinery, we 
found native herbs, ferns, shrubs 
and tree saplings to rescue from the 
coming bulldozer blades, which 
will scrape bare this forest place, ex¬ 
cept for a narrow "tree shelter" strip 


parallel to the road. 

We found, dug out, and carefully 
placed iia plant pots and bags: deer- 
tongue grass, huckleberry and blue¬ 
berry shrubs, Christmas fern, lady fern. 
New York fern, bellwort, wintergreen, 
cranefly orchis, partridgeberry, blue 
and green sedges, dogwood trees and 
other plants. 

One fellow found a baby black rat 
snake, and someone found a ringneck 
snake. Both were put in a bucket for 
release later in a place of nature. 

There were droppings of deer too. 
Where will they go to live? Probably in 
unwelcome places, such as peoples' 
back yards. And what about the insects, 
reptiles, mammals, and birds we didn't 
see: such as bees, salamanders, moles, 
flying squirrels and owls. Where will 
they go? 

We carried our bags and pots out 
of the forest to cars and pick-up trucks, 
and wished each other well in re-plant¬ 
ing the saplings, shrubs, ferns and 
herbs in nature parks and back yard 
wildlife habitats. 

Later, I wondered, what are we? 
Persons who hear the call and come 
together to rescue and restore. Perhaps, 
kin of the land — people making islands 
and connecting corridors of native 


plants and animals, amidst the bur¬ 
geoning roads, houses and buildings. 

The rescuing of plants and ani¬ 
mals, and the restoring of habitats can 
be seen as a preparing for a rebirth of 
the land community, where plants, 
animals and humans live well to¬ 
gether. In doing this, people may be 
learning just how long we have known 
each other, and how closely we are re¬ 
lated to the land. 

I am appreciating more and more 
a saying of aboriginal peoples, for ex¬ 
pressing our close connections with 
each expression of life: All my relations. 

When we rescue plants and ani¬ 
mals, we are rescuing relations, our fel¬ 
low inhabitants of the land. And 
maybe we human beings are also res¬ 
cuing relations with each other by 
learning to live and work together in 
the land-community. 

Lome Peterson , a writer and photographer, 
lives in Spring Branch Valley, Arlington, Vir¬ 
ginia. The plant/animal rescue took place on 
April 12, in Reston (Eastgate), Virginia. The 
rescue was sponsored by Friends of 
RunnyMede Park, Herndon, Virginia. Fur¬ 
ther rescues continued through June. A sched¬ 
ule of rescue dates will be posted on the Vir¬ 
ginia Native Plant Society website: 
www.vnps.org 


Checkerspot-turtlehead relationship endangered 


Tramping through 100 yards of 
tall grass on a humid, sticky afternoon, 
Susan Muller could see her triumph 
clearly. There, perched on a green 
thistle, was a beautiful Baltimore 
checkerspot butterfly - perhaps the first 
to appear in Howard County in years. 

"That was exciting," said Muller, 
who has toiled to set the environmen¬ 
tal stage for a checkerspot renaissance. 

Her work is part of a growing ef¬ 
fort by a loose coalition of allies to re¬ 
verse a grinding assault on 
Maryland's most attractive, but least 
seen natural symbol. Deer and devel¬ 
opment have destroyed most of the 
habitat for Maryland's official state 
insect — including the turtlehead plant 

June 2002 


(Chelone glabra ), which this increas¬ 
ingly rare species relies upon. 

"The butterfly is becoming more 
and more scarce," said microbiologist 
Fred Paraskevoudakis, president of the 
Maryland Entomological Society. In 
1973, his group persuaded the Mary¬ 
land General Assembly to name the 
Baltimore checkerspot — adorned with 
the orange, black, red and white colors 
of Maryland's founder, Cecilius 
Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore — 
the state insect. 

"The problem is a creation of 
man's. We develop and develop and 
develop," Paraskevoudakis said. 

Phil Kean, a co-founder of the so¬ 
ciety, said suburbanization has created 


another problem. In order for the but¬ 
terflies to spread, "there has to be an 
opportunity for them to migrate from 
one suitable location to the next. 
Suburbanization increases the separa¬ 
tion between these islands of habitat." 

And butterflies aren't just pretty, 
said Wayne Wehling, an entomologist 
for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
"They're probably second only to the 
bees as pollinators," he said. 

Now efforts are mounting to save 
the checkerspot, both for its utility 
and its beauty. Pat Durkin, who 
helped found the Washington Area 
Butterfly Club, is trying to breed 
checkerspots in her backyard garden 
(See Butterfly, page 8) 

Page 7 









Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


• Butterfly 

(Continued from page 7) 

in Washington, and Pam Jones is mak¬ 
ing a documentary film about them, 
using Jay W. McRoberts' butterfly 
breeding facility in Montgomery 
County and money from Potomac Elec¬ 
tric Power Co., the Washington-area 
utility company that has offered its 
10,000 acres of power line right of way 
for ecological projects. 

"Informally, we're trying to restore 
the Baltimore checkerspot," Durkin 
said, describing how much she has 
learned tending the turtlehead plants 
she put in her garden. Mature butter¬ 
flies, including one female, have devel¬ 
oped from caterpillars she brought 
home, she said. 

"The real test is going to be whether 
these young caterpillars that come from 
these eggs will hatch and get through 
the end of summer," she said. 

The eggs, which are deposited on 
the underside of a leaf, hatch during 
the summer. The young caterpillars eat 
the leaves, molting periodically as they 
grow. Eventually they crawl down the 
plant, convert their body fluids into a 
sort of natural antifreeze, and burrow 
into the ground for winter. The next 
spring, they wake up, crawl back up 
the plant and begin eating again until 
they develop into adults in June. 

If all that sounds encouraging, 
consider the effect of development over 
the past several decades, said Muller, 
who is a Howard County natural re¬ 
sources worker. The spread of new 
homes over woods and farmland has 
led to an explosion in the local deer 
population, which can't be hunted in 
residential areas. The deer, in turn, 
have eaten virtually all the dark-green, 
arrow-shaped leaves of the turtlehead 
plants that Euphydryas phaeton — the 
Baltimore checkerspot — relies upon al¬ 
most exclusively as a breeding site. 

Despite the obstacles, Muller and 
her friends are determined to shift the 
balance. "Every species has its niche 
in the ecosystem," said Muller, who 
works for Howard County's Depart¬ 
ment of Recreation and Parks. "I think 
any species that used to exist here — if 
there's a possibility to restore it, the ef¬ 

Page 8 = 


fort should be made," she said. 

Muller used $130 in county grant 
money to buy turtlehead plants and 
caterpillars. Last spring, she planted 
the turtleheads in four marshy county- 
owned spots, including Cabin Branch 
Farm in western Howard and Timbers 
of Troy golf course in Elkridge, protect¬ 
ing each planting with a mesh cage. 
Another site is at Warfield Pond Park 
near Glenwood. 

Her efforts were rewarded when 
she checked her site off Route 108 in 
Clarksville and found a checkerspot. 
The insects live about 10 days after 
emerging from their cocoons as adults 
-- enough time to lay eggs for the next 
year. Later, just off the eighth hole at 
the county-owned Timbers course, two 
large deer grazed at the edge of a wood 
a few feet from Muller's caged turtle- 
head plants. 

Jones, who has created an indepen¬ 
dent firm called Checkerspot Commu¬ 
nications, said she hopes to show the 
documentary film about the butterfly 
around the state. And Stephen Genua, 
chief forester for PEPCO, said that in 
the past three years, the utility com¬ 
pany has begun using the acreage un¬ 
der its 330 miles of transmission lines 
for habitat-creation projects, often in 
partnership with citizen groups. 

Genua said the company has a 
partnership with Durkin's group, the 
McRoberts' International Butterfly 
Breeders Association, and the National 
Capital Park and Planning Commis¬ 
sion to create another butterfly habitat 
along a transmission line near a pri¬ 
vately run butterfly breeding facility in 
northwest Montgomery County near 
the Potomac River. 

McRoberts, a retired orthopedic 
surgeon who raises butterflies on a 
farm near Poolesville, said he has about 
300 checkerspots. He also raises turtle- 
head plants, in hopes of re-establish¬ 
ing colonies of the insect. 

"It's fun to do, and it's very worth¬ 
while. Everybody loves butterflies. 
They're ambassadors of good will for 
all insects," he said. 

Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun, By 
Larry Carson, Sun Staff, originally published 
June 24, 2001. 



Ragweed 


% 


V 


If wildflowers could choose 
their incarnation 
many would select the 
Sunflower for their family, 
though few, if any, would want 
to be 

that particular member. 
Ragweed— 

a fall placed plant with 
sickish-green blooms 
that wave in moldy wands 
beside the bold, yellow flares of 
its sister, Goldenrod; 
she, a family favorite with her 
gilded locks, 

setting fields and roadsides 
ablaze in golden blossoms, 
with such a shimmering beauty 
the bees ignite with passion 
to collect her pollen in their 
leggy baskets, 
while Ragweed, indistinct, 
can't attract a single insect 
and must cast its pollen 
to the wind 

until the air is laden with its 
discharge, 

and from July to September 
folks respond with hay fever; 
their noses run, 
eyes are red and itchy, 
they sneeze until they can only 
breathe in wheezes. 

But Ragweed with a 
sibling's revenge, 
inconspicuous, is able 
to shift the blame 
until these sufferers in their 
ignorance 
rail to God and any 
who will listen 
against the innocent 
Goldenrod. 

Karla S. Souder 
^Shenandoah Chapter^j j 


June 2002 





















Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


•Chevy Chase- 

(Continued from page 1) 

were randomly growing near them. 

We passed a berm where fescues had been removed and replaced with plugs of 
native grasses, switch grass ( Panicum virgatum), Indian grass ( Sorghastrum nutans ), 
and Andropogon spp. Autumn will bring a bank of grasses with the golden seedheads. 

The proximity of the natural areas to the greens exhibited a striking contrast. 
There was an island containing huge, blooming, mature wild black cherry trees 
( Prunus serotina ) mixed with other hardwoods that was approached through a 
meadow of little blue stem and andropogon species. 'Husker Red' penstemon 
leaves were here and there in this meadow of grasses with some Joe-pye weed 
leaves in their first growth spurt. Several Baptisia australis were in bloom through¬ 
out the meadow showing areas of blue spikes above the grasses. 

Around the edge of the club, oaks, tulip poplars and other trees were in leaf. 
Nearby were three Magnolia tripetala. They were in full bloom and a welcomed 
city surprise bringing back the memory of seeing one in bloom along the Blue 
Ridge Parkway years ago. These trees and native plants formed a buffer from the 
nearby traffic. There was a mixed sprinkling of invasive alien plants, lending a 
note of reality. A wetland has been encouraged nearby and the surprise plants 
blooming happily on the high points of land were Phlox divaricata profusely 
happy surrounded by grasses, Joe-pye weed, and a generous planting of a varie¬ 
gated leaf cornus that was accompanied by Senecio aureus. 

Golfers at the Chevy Chase Club are enjoying the best of both worlds! David 
Hall has moved native trees into areas that had been planted with exotic trees. 
Many of the exotics have been moved back to a remote area. There were some non¬ 
native trees in bloom, including a grouping of Paulownia tomentosa that had been 
left from years ago. Not far away, a lovely newly planted Aesculus sp. sported its 
pale pink to white flowers, repeating the same inflorescence structure as the 
Paulownia. 

A brief stop at a bluebird box and our tour continued for a little over an hour. 
Respecting the members playing where we would have next visited, we headed 
for the club. There was more to see another day. The Chevy Chase Club members 
chose their arborist well by putting their natural areas in the hands of David 
Hall. He has used native plants and their cultivars with a free and artistic flair. 

Nicky Staunton, VNPS President 

See the address label for your membership expiration date 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 

Name(s)_ 

Address_ 

City_State_Zip_ 

_Individual $20 

_Family $30 _Student $15 

_Patron $50 _Associate (groups) $40* 

_Sustaining $100 _Life $500 

*Please designate one person as delegate for Associate membership 
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 or_Chapter in the 

amount of_$10_$25_$50_$100_$(Other)_ 

_Check if you do not wish your name to be listed to be exchanged with similar 

organizations in a chapter directory 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2, 
Boyce, VA 22620 

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


Wild-collected plants 
still in chain stores 

For the second year in a row, Mary¬ 
land Native Plant Society member and 
native plant nurseryman Sam Jones has 
brought to our attention that Home De¬ 
pot is selling Trillium grandiflorum, six 
rhizomes for $7.96 under the Growing 
Colors line. WalMart is selling Trillium 
grandiflorum, and two other species, six 
rhizomes/rootstocks for $6.47, under 
the Better Homes & Gardens label. 

Both have the MISLEADING state¬ 
ment: "Grown in the USA from cultivated 
stock. Inspected by the US Department of 
Agriculture." According to the Investiga¬ 
tive Division of the USDA (APHIS) the 
USDA does NOT inspect any plant mate¬ 
rial. Not only is the label blatantly false, 
the price of these plants is so low, that the 
plants are surely wild-collected. 

The shelf life of the plants is prob¬ 
ably less than a month. Head to these 
stores immediately and protest the sale 
of unethically, and often illegally, col¬ 
lected plants. Bring the plant cards 
available from the Maryland Native 
Plant Society website at http:// 
mdflora.org / publications/ 
shopping_cards.html. 

Inform those who may not know 
about this threat to our native plants, 
so that they won't purchase them. 

The Bulletin 

ISSN 1085-9632 
is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 
(540)837-1600 

vnpsofc@shentel.net 

www.vnps.org 

Nicky Staunton, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulletin 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 consider¬ 
ation. Items should be typed, on disk in Microsoft Word 
or e-mailed to: Editor, 3419 Cold Springs Rd., Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440, or lotswife@rica.net 

The deadline for the next issue is July 1 


June 2002 


Page 9 



























Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Last call for Virginia wildflozver license plates 



We have been waiting for several 
years for Virginia to issue a new wild- 
flower license plate, one with real native 
wildflowers that is to replace the earlier 
one with cosmos and other Virginia De¬ 
partment 
of Trans¬ 
portation 
(VDOT) 
plantings 
of non¬ 
native s. 

The 
latest 
tally as 
of mid- 
April is 
299 sub¬ 
scribed plates. Before June 30, a total of 
350 plates needs to be ordered before 
plates will be printed and issued to us. 
That means 51 more orders are needed. 

Everyone who orders a Virginia 
Wildflower License Plate will be: 

1. Endorsing the roadside plant¬ 
ing of regional native plants along 
Virginia's highways - not the garden 
flowers now used. 

2. Financing future plantings for 

the currentftjf ' 

ter the first $1,000 sales, $15 of every 
license plate sold will purchase plants 


and pay for labor and equipment for 
the native plant roadside areas. 

3. Even if you are not "into" spe¬ 
cial license plates, your purchase is a 
"YES" vote and an endorsement for 

Virginia's 
highway 
plantings. 
Your im¬ 
mediate 
one-time 
support 
will get 
the plates 
released 
to the 

....„ public, 

and your 

fee will help finance the enhancement of 
the VDOT highway flowerbeds of native 
plants. 

To learn more about the plate de¬ 
signed with Virginia bluebells, 
butterflyweed, and black-eyed Susans, 
visit the VDOT website at 
www.virginiadot.org/infoservice/ 
prog-wflowr-faq.asp. You can even 
print an application from the website. 

Again, the minimum order of_350_ 
1 11 ii’d sHbri onfyfl)! Urders. Therein oriftyW 
short time left to reach our goal and you 
can be the Virginian to do it! 


• Fall Line 

(Continued from page 1) 
field trip or enjoy the GPS/GIS (Glo¬ 
bal Positioning System Devices and 
Geographical Information Systems) 
for Plant Conservation workshop. 
That evening, enjoy a cash bar and 
sumptuous banquet prepared by the 
Reflections Restaurant staff and hear 
fellow VNPS member Cole Burrell, a 
well-known lecturer on gardens and 
plants and contributing editor of Hor¬ 
ticulture Magazine, give his program. 

Also on Saturday evening, plan 
to bid on Silent Auction baskets and 
other items of natural and horticul¬ 
tural interest provided through the 
courtesy of all the VNPS chapters. 

On Sunday, cap off the weekend 
by sleeping in or get an early start with 
a marvelous visit to the famous moss 
garden of VNPS member Norie Burnet 
in Bon Air. You could also hike the 
Chickahominy WMA, attend our in- 
house workshop on Pressing Wild¬ 
flowers: The secrets of the trade or ex¬ 
plore greater Richmond. 

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen 
Allen (CACGA) is the site for all 
speakers and banquets. All field trips 
4^§4?£?4m the CACGA parking lot. 
Hotel/motel accommodations this 
year are on your own. See registra¬ 
tion form for details. 


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A publication of the VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY 


Conserving wild flowers and wild places 
www.vnps.org ° J ' 



Long live the longleaf pine...hopefully 


Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) is 
a long-lived tree species that conjures 
up images of open park-like forests, 
tar kilns, and frequent low-intensity 
fire. Diverse virgin longleaf pine for¬ 
ests dominated more than 75 million 
acres of southeastern forests at the 
time of early settlement. 

Longleaf pine is classified as a 
pyrophytic or fire climax species, re¬ 
quiring bare mineral soil for seed ger- 
' x mination and having the advantage 

{ i\y .. m \/ of thick insulating bark and a fire-re- 
' ' U ''^^-A^Vl^sistant seedling stage. Today, due to 
jp^Tire exclusion/suppression and con¬ 
version of longleaf sites to other fast¬ 
growing timber species such as 
loblolly pine (a commercial pine spe¬ 
cies intolerant of fire in the seedling/ 
sapling stages), the area once domi¬ 
nated by this ecological cornerstone 
species has dwindled to less than 
four million acres. 

Longleaf pine ecosystems are also 
characterized by high vegetative di¬ 
versity, with aii estimated 900 endemic 
plant species. This high level of plant 
diversity also leads to high insect and 
invertebrate species richness. 


The northern extent of the native 
longleaf range just barely extended 
into southeastern Virginia and the 
Eastern Shore. After nearly 400 years 
of settlement in this region, longleaf 
pine has been nearly extirpated and 
is considered an extremely rare and 
critically imperiled species. 

In Virginia, fewer than 800 acres 
remain of an estimated 1.5-million-acre 
historical level of occurrence, mostly 
concentrated in Southampton and Isle 
of Wight Counties, and the City of Suf¬ 
folk (formerly Nansemond County). 

Active ecosystem restoration 
work is currently under way in one 
of these areas, the Blackwater Eco¬ 
logical Preserve in Isle of Wight 
County, a dedicated state Natural 
Area Preserve owned by Old Domin¬ 
ion University (ODU). This preserve 
is managed by a team of scientists 
and land managers from the Depart¬ 
ment of Conservation and Recreation 
(Division of Natural Heritage), The 
Nature Conservancy, International 
Paper and ODU. Portions of the pre¬ 
serve are characterized by a 45-year- 

(See Longleaf, page 3) 


• Remember to vote - proxy ballot i 

• Attend the Annual Meeting from Sept. 13-15 


























— Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society = 

From the president . 

I hope to see you at our VNPS celebration of friends and flowers this coming September. It is an 
exciting meeting for us. Our current year ends on October 31, so this is the gathering where we 
celebrate the accomplishments of the year and the people who have been effective advocates for 
native plants and their communities. 

Our Pocahontas Chapter is hosting the September 13-15 Annual Meeting and our gathering 
will be held in the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen. I expect that this will be a bit different 
atmosphere than our usual motel banquet room. 

You have received the registration form that gives you a choice of motel suggestions and choice 
of field trips. Get your reservation in now to ensure your spot on the field trip of your choice. 

Dr. Gregory M. Plunket of Virginia Commonwealth University is an international specialist in the 
plant family Araliaceae. In addition to his work in New Caledonia, he will speak about Virginia's Panax 
cjuincjuefolius and Aralia hispida on Friday evening. The next night, Saturday, Cole Burrell, will talk about 
some wonderful native plants we can use instead of non-indigenous invasive plants. Cole authored one 
of my favorite wildflower books, A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildfloivers. Flis company, Native Land¬ 
scape Design and Restoration, in Free Union is near Charlottesville, Virginia. 

We will have some business to conduct for our organization on Saturday evening. There we 
will give recognition to members who are going off the board of directors and we will elect new 
members to serve. We have a wide variety of opportunities on our VNPS Board of Directors for 
those who want to be active advocates for Virginia's native plants. Perhaps you are the person 
who could make a difference in issues that affect our native plants and the habitats where they 
live. If you are invited to serve, please carefully consider serving and conclude that you will be 
happy to say, "Yes." 

The opportunities include: Chair of Conservation, Fund Raising, and Registry. Please call me or 
send me an e-mail (nstaunton@earthlink.net) if you would like to talk about the responsibilities of 
each office and an estimate of time each would require. 

It is a pleasure for me to serve on the board because I believe in the important VNPS mission 
and I believe we are effective as we advocate for native plants and their habitats. Besides, I wel¬ 
come the opportunity to interact with people who have the same goals and values and are really 
fun to know. 

See you in September! 

Nicky Staunton 



Welcome Upper James River Chapter! 

We welcome the 11th chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, the Upper James 
River Chapter (UJR). The petition to become a chapter of the Virginia Native Plant 
Society was presented by Katherine Smith, representing members of the forming chap¬ 
ter, and approved by the board of directors in June. 

Our newest chapter will cover Rockbridge, Bath, Alleghany and Amherst Coun¬ 
ties and their included independent cities all sharing a connection with the Upper 
James River and its tributaries. This connection was the basis for the selection of 
their chapter name. The group selected Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot, to be its 
chapter logo. 

The organizing group has grown to nearly 34 members in the past several months and 
will have meetings at Boxerwood Arboretum in Lexington. It is anticipated that most 
meetings will be daytime meetings. Organizing officers will be: Katherine R. Smith, presi¬ 
dent; Peggy Dyson-Cobb, vice president; Dorothy Perkins, secretary; and Laura Neale, 
treasurer. 

We welcome our newest chapter and we look forward to partnering with its mem¬ 
bers as we pursue the VNPS mission as advocates for native plants. 


I 


Page 2 


August 2002 












Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society —— 

Research station focuses on restoring ecosystem 


Meadowview Biological Re¬ 
search Station is a non-profit IRS 
501(c)(3) organization that was 
started in 1995 to preserve and restore 
the remaining fragments of Virginia 
and Maryland's imperiled pitcher 
plant ecosystem. Many pitcher plant 
habitats have been lost in both states 
through drainage, development, fire 
exclusion, agricultural land silvicul¬ 
tural practices, urban expansion, or 
neglect and most of the associate 
plants found in these unique ecosys¬ 
tems are threatened with extinction. 

The rarity of these habitats is fur¬ 
ther highlighted by the rarity rank¬ 
ing of many of the plant species found 
in these sites. Many of these species 
are either state threatened or endan¬ 
gered in Maryland or extremely state 
rare in Virginia (Virginia has a very 
conservative listing process of rare 
species despite clear biological en- 
dangerment of species). The signifi¬ 
cance of these sites is further high¬ 
lighted by the fact that southern Vir¬ 
ginia is the northern limit for Sarrace- 
nia flava and the associated longleaf 
pine, Pinus palustris, ecosystem. The 
longleaf pine ecosystem has emer¬ 
gent properties that support the 
pitcher plant community. 

One of the major properties pro¬ 
vided by longleaf pine is mediation 
of natural, lightning caused fires. 
Longleaf pine needles, longer than 
other southern pines, provide a ma¬ 
trix of aerated fuel in the 
groundcover, and are both slower to 
decompose and have a higher resin 
content than other southeastern U.S. 
pine species. All of these factors come 


into play to provide the requisite fre¬ 
quent fire to maintain pitcher plant 
habitats in an early successional state. 

Unfortunately, 400 years of settle¬ 
ment in Virginia has resulted in al¬ 
most the complete destruction of the 
longleaf pine-pitcher plant ecosys¬ 
tem. Less than 100 clumps of S. flava 
remain in the wild in four natural 
sites in southern Virginia. Virginia 
longleaf pine covered 1.5 million 
acres at settlement but now only 
4,432 trees remain on less than 800 
acres, based on a 1998 census by 
Meadowview Biological Research 
Station. Unfortunately, half of these 
remaining trees are less-fit, non-native 
planted Louisiana trees. Clearly the 
longleaf pine-pitcher plant ecosystem 
is in need of preservation and restora¬ 
tion in Virginia. 

To successfully accomplish pres¬ 
ervation and restoration of the 
longleaf pine-pitcher plant ecosys¬ 
tem Meadowview Biological Re¬ 
search Station developed a five-step 
process. In this manner the staff can 
intelligently address the challenges 
of modern conservation. The process 
involves the following steps: 

Discovery - This involves iden¬ 
tifying new bogs or seepage wetlands 
that contain rare bog species. 
Meadowview biologists have an ac¬ 
tive field schedule and have found 
several new populations of bog spe¬ 
cies at the edge of their range in Mary¬ 
land and Virginia. 

Research - The staff is conduct¬ 
ing studies on the genetics, biochem¬ 
istry, ecology and population biology 
of the pitcher plant genus Sarracenia, 


long leaf pine and white cedar. Un¬ 
derstanding these factors is central 
to effectively managing, preserving 
and restoring remaining sites. 

Propagation - Plants of rare 
populations are propagated both 
from seed and divisions to serve as a 
backup for wild populations, aug¬ 
ment existing populations and to re¬ 
turn to the wild. 

Reintroductions and Out- 
plantings - Most biologists have come 
to recognize that preservation of habi¬ 
tats is simply not enough to maintain 
biodiversity in the face of continued 
fragmentation and loss of natural ar¬ 
eas. Restoration of rare plants requires 
a vigorous effort to return rare plant 
populations to at least their historical 
ranges. Meadowview is actively solic¬ 
iting landowners with appropriate en¬ 
vironmental conditions to receive and 
maintain unique populations of bog 
plants. 

Education - This is key to pre¬ 
serving our natural heritage in the 
future. Biologists are available for in¬ 
struction on the proper care and 
maintenance of bog habitats. Several 
projects have been successfully com¬ 
pleted involving elementary school 
students raising, experimenting with, 
and reintroducing rare plants to their 
historic range. 

The Joseph Pines Preserve, 
Restoring and Preserving 
Virginia's Rare Plant Heritage 

The five-step process has en¬ 
abled Meadowview to almost meet its 
five-year goal of having one yellow 
(See Bog preserves, page 6) 


Longleaf 







(Continued from page 1) 

old mixed loblolly pine ( Pinus taeda), 
pond pine ( Pinus serotina) and 
longleaf pine forest. Frequent low- 
intensity prescribed fire has been re¬ 
introduced to the system, and the re¬ 
sult is a lush and diverse herbaceous 
understory with a reduction in com¬ 
peting woody shrubs. 

With natural regeneration as a 


restoration goal, cone production has 
been monitored for the last three years, 
and some areas that lack seed trees 
have been identified for planting with 
native Virginia containerized seed¬ 
ling stock. More than 150 permanent 
forest sampling plots have been estab¬ 
lished on the property. Several other 
state-rare plant species have also been 
discovered that are associated with 


longleaf pine on dry, sandy soils of 
the Virginia Coastal Plain. The Divi¬ 
sion of Natural Heritage is currently 
working with The Nature Conser¬ 
vancy to seek out and protect addi¬ 
tional habitat for this important spe¬ 
cies in southeast Virginia. 

Curtis ]. Hutto, Virginia Division of Natural 
Heritage, State Natural Area Steward. 


August 2002 


Page 3 









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

The Bruce offered quest for orchids and more 


What better way to describe our 
week-long search for the showy lady 
slipper orchid ( Cypripedium reginae ) in 
Ontario, Canada's Bruce Peninsula 
than Frost's poem? On the first day, 
leaves and a few tight and color¬ 
less buds by week's end became 
fresh white blooms with rose 
purple striped lips. The sense of 
completion, though, was punctu¬ 
ated with people leaping into cars 
or wandering the grounds in 
search of one last something. 

In the meantime, while the or¬ 
chids unfolded, Nicky Staunton 
led us to various sites on the pen¬ 
insula and nearby Flower Pot Is¬ 
land, as we checked plants, birds 
and other creatures off our lists at 
a surprising pace. Stan Shetler was 
a personable and knowledgeable 
guide, sharing not only the names 
of plants, but many other pieces of 
information. For instance, we 
learned that ferns may have odd 
geographic distributions because 
the lightweight spores become a 
component of atmospheric dust, 
and can travel far. And that wet 
areas like bogs and fens become a 
refuge for plants when the climate 
changes, because they are some¬ 
what insulated from temperature 
changes. And that the hollow 
stems of the ninebark shrub 
(Physocarpus opulifolius ) were once 
used to tap sugar maples. Elaine 
Shetler organized our carpools ex¬ 
pertly, and recorded every plant we 
saw. After supper, we met to go over 
the lists of plants and birds we 
had seen that day. It was a good 
way to fix the plants and places in 
our minds, and to clear up ques¬ 
tions about plant identification. Joe 
Coleman gave us an interesting 
presentation on bird songs, and he, 
Stan, Lisa Billow, and Ellis Squires 
were all able to pick out birds by 
their songs, and willing to share 
that with the musically challenged 
among us. 

The week started out cold, the 
kind of days you disliked at the 


time, but can remember fondly in 
these way-over-90-degree July days. 
Even the feel of slanting rain seems 
appealing now, although at the time 


it drove us inside early. But after the 
first day or two, the weather warmed 
and more flowers began to unfold. As 
we traveled from place to place, certain 
plants could always be spotted 
along the roadsides. The best of 
the roadside spectacle included 
the yellow lady slipper ( Cypripe- 
dium calceolus), the Indian paint¬ 
brush ( Castilleja coccinea ), and blue¬ 
eyed grass ( Sisyrinchium 

mucronatum). We also regularly 
saw roses of several species, with 
showy single pink blooms and Iris 
versicolor. Forests of northern 
white cedar ( Thuja occidentalis), 
spruces ( Picea glauca, P. mariana ), 
white ash ( Fraxinus americanus), 
paper birch ( Betula papyrifera), and 
quaking aspen ( Populus 

tremuloides ) lined the roads, with 
red, white and jack pine ( Pinus 
resinosa , P. strobus , P. banksiana) in 
the sandier, drier woods. 
Nannyberry and cranberry bush 
( Viburnum lentago, V. trilobum) of¬ 
ten lined the wood's edge, and red- 
osier dogwood ( Comus sericea) gets 
the ubiquitous plant of the penin¬ 
sula award. 

The part of the Bruce Penin¬ 
sula we traveled is about 50 miles 
long and 10-15 miles across. It di¬ 
vides Lake Fluron on the west side 
from Georgian Bay on the east. 
Wildwood Lodge, our home base, 
is on Red Bay on the Lake Huron 
side. The water is shallow for a 
long way out and there are islands 
offshore. Sunsets were usually 
wonderful, and when it was cold, 
a moody fog rose off the lake. Fol¬ 
lowing closely the east side of the 
peninsula is the Niagara Escarp¬ 
ment, a sometimes steep cliff, 
which continues underwater, 
making the waters of Georgian Bay 
deep and cold, and giving the bay 
a beautiful blue color. Our first 
visit to Georgian Bay was on a day 
so crisp that the white cobble 
beach terraces and the deep blue 
water took our breath away. The 
escarpment, the same feature that 
(See Bruce adventure, page 5) 
- . = August 2002 


The Quest of the Purple-Fringed 

I felt the chill of the meadow underfoot, 

But the sun overhead; 

and snatches of verse and song of scenes like 

this 

I sung or said. 

I skirted the margin alders for miles and miles 
In a szveeping line. 

The day was the day by every flower that 
blooms, 

But I saw no sign. 

Yet further I went to be before the scythe, 

For the grass was high; 

Till I saw the path where the slender fox had 

come 

And gone panting by. 

Then at last and following him I found — 

In the very hour 

When the color flushed to the petals it must 
have been — 

The far-sought flower. 

There stood the purple spires with no breath of 

air 

Nor headlong bee 

To disturb their perfect poise the livelong day 
'Neath the alder tree. 

I only knelt and putting the boughs aside 
Looked, or at most 

Counted them all to the buds in the copse's 
depth 

That were pale as a ghost. 

Then I arose and silently wandered home, 
And I for one 

Said that the fall might come and whirl of 
leaves, 

For summer was done. 

(Poem by Robert Frost, from Robert Frost Sea¬ 
sons, Poems selected by Edward Connery 
Lathem, with Photographs by Christopher 
Burkett, MJF Books, N.Y.) 


Page 4 









Virginia Native Plant Society Slate of Candidates & Bylaws Changes 

The following slate of candidates is proposed by the 2002 VNPS Nominating Committee to replace 
officers and standing committee chairs whose terms expire and to fill existing vacancies in other classes. 
In addition, the following VNPS bylaws changes are proposed by the board of directors. To be counted, 
proxy ballots MUST BE MAILED BY SEPTEMBER 9. 

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT (2002-2004) - Sally Anderson (Piedmont) - Sally lives in Winchester, is 
currently co-recording secretary of VNPS, and vice-president and regional director for Clarke-Frederick 
in the Piedmont Chapter. She is also Eastern Panhandle Native Plant Society representative at the West 
Virginia state organization. She has a B.A. in Botany from the University of Texas (1976) which was 
updated in 1999 by taking Blandy's Field Botany class. She chairs the Nancy Larrick Crosby Native 
Plant Trail at Blandy. 

TREASURER (2002-2005) - Rebecca Rice Clay (Piedmont) - Rebecca has been a self-employed accoun¬ 
tant for 19 years with offices in Middleburg, Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from 
Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She lives, gardens and wages war with the deer population 
near the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, Virginia. 

HORTICULTURE CHAIR (2002-2003) - Cole Burrell (Jefferson) - Cole is a VNPS life member. He is a 
garden designer. Native Landscape Design and Restoration is the name of his business in Free Union, 
Virginia. Cole is a freelance garden writer (one of his publications is A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wild 
Flowers), photographer and native plant zealot. 

EDUCATION CHAIR (2002-2005) - Shirley Gay (Potowmack) - Shirley has been a member of the 
Potowmack Chapter since 1992 and has helped the chapter by working in its propagation beds, helping 
with plant sales, and, for the last two years, serving as program chair. She is a retired high school 
mathematics teacher. Her local activities include helping plan, plant and maintain a native plant and 
butterfly garden at a local elementary school. 

BYLAWS CHANGES 

It is recommended by the Virginia Native Plant Society Board of Directors that the Bylaws Article XII 
Budget and Finances Section 5 be changed to read: 

Annual Review . The Board shall provide for an independent review of the Society's financial records at 
the close of each fiscal year, and shall send an audited financial statement to the membership in the next 
regular correspondence after ninety (90) days following the end of the fiscal year, 
changed from: Annual Audit . The Board shall provide for an independent audit of the Society's finan¬ 
cial records at the close of each fiscal year, and shall send an audited financial statement to the member¬ 
ship in the next regular correspondence after ninety (90) days following the end of the fiscal year. 
Rational: This motion came at the recommendation of Treasurer Roma Sherman from the CPA who filed 
the required IRS 990 report for 2001. The reason for recommending the change is that a full audit by a CPA 
is more expensive than our annual budget requires or can sustain. It was suggested that a review of the 
financial records for the year by a qualified member or committee of members is more appropriate. 


Your vote helps us reach our quorum for the Annual Meeting. Please mail by Sept. 9. 


PROXY, 2002 VNPS ANNUAL MEETING 

I hereby authorize the Corresponding Secretary to 
cast my vote for the proposed bylaws changes and 
for the slate of candidates proposed by the Nominat- ^ 
ing Committee. 

Signed 

PROXY, 2002 VNPS ANNUAL MEETING 

I hereby authorize the Corresponding Secretary to 
cast my vote for the proposed bylaws changes and 
for the slate of candidates proposed by the Nomi- Cd 

nating Committee. 3 —■ 

Signed ® 

Address E* 

Address a £» 

c 

— ' w 

a "* 

as 

Mail by Sept. 9 to: jjjf 

Corresponding Secretary, VNPS — 

400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 * 

Boyce, VA 22620 

3 ^ 

5 

Mail by Sept. 9 to: S® 

Corresponding Secretary, VNPS ^ 

400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 nj 

Boyce, VA 22620 ™ 













Weekend Getaway to Chfncoteague Island 
VNPS Fundraiser Drawing 

$2 tax-deductible donation for one ticket; $10 donation for 6 tickets. 

Win a 3-Day, 3-Night Weekend Getaway at Chincoteague Island, 
Virginia. Relax in a renovated 1906 farmhouse with 4 bedrooms, 
2 full baths, central heat and A/C, microwave, TV, VCR, W/D, 
porch, outside shower & grill. Available April through May and 
Labor Day through Christmas. Have a look at some of the rooms 
by going to www.harbourrentals.net, click onto 3 to 5 bed¬ 
rooms" and scroll down to Summer Quarters. Estimated value 
is $350. (Donated by Jim and Joslin Gallatin. Call 703-528-0125 
to schedule your adventure.) 


To enter, fill out one or six tickets to the right (For additional 
tickets, make photocopies.) Mail tickets and your tax-deductible 

donation to: Virginia Native Plant Society 

Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 


Name 
Address. 
Phone_ 

Name_ 

Address. 

Phone_ 

Name_ 

Address, 
Phone_ 

Name_ 

Address. 
Phone_ 

Name_ 

Address. 

Phone 

Name_ 

Address 

Phone 


Come join us for Fall Flora on the Fall Line 


Flora this fall on the Fall Line of the 
James in Richmond will be the focus of 
the 20th annual meeting of the Virginia 
Native Plant Society. Recently someone 
asked, "What is a fall line?" The dictio¬ 
nary tells us that the fall line is an ir¬ 
regular line joining the waterfalls on 
numerous rivers that marks the point 
where each river descends from the up¬ 
land to the lowland. Usually the fall line 
marks a river's limit of navigability. 

The falls of the Potomac form a sec¬ 
tion of Virginia's fall line and one can 
follow the line across Roosevelt Island 
through Prince William Forest Park and 
southward to Richmond and beyond to 
Emporia where the Meherrin River 
crosses the Fall Line. Keith Frye, author 
of Roadside Geology of Virginia is the 
source for this and more information 
about Virginia's Fall Line. He says the 
Chickahominy River is distinctly flat- 
bottomed and swampy.. .the upper por¬ 
tion of a once deeper valley now filled 
with swamp debris piled in during the 
last 10,000 years. The Chickahominy 
Wildlife Management Area is a Sunday 
destination with cypress swamps, tidal 
marshes, ravine woodlands, open fields, 
streams and a warm slow moving river. 

The Cumberland Marsh and 
Warreneye Trail on Saturday promises 
yellow tickseed sunflowers in the fresh¬ 


water tidal marshes and the plant com¬ 
munities that support sensitive joint- 
vetch and Parker's pipewort. The sec¬ 
ond leg of this field trip at the Chesa¬ 
peake Co. Nature trail will reveal marl 
outcrops supporting a host of montane 
disjunct plant species. Large evergreen 
trees dominate this biogeographic zone 
of relatively moist cool upland slopes 
below timberline. 

There are many other field trips of¬ 
fered to meet every interest of VNPS 
members. One is the location of the de¬ 
pression era conservation work done by 
women in Petersburg and described in 
"With Paintbrush and Shovel." Women 
documented the regional flora with an 
herbarium collection and watercolor il¬ 
lustrations. Dr. Donna Ware of William 
and Mary College will lead this trip. 

The other part of our weekend cel¬ 
ebrating our native plants will be high¬ 
lighted with two speakers unmatched in 
their fields. Cole Burrell, originally of 
Richmond, will guide us to use some 
native plants that can outshine those 
invasive alien plants that have enjoyed 
popularity to the point of overuse. Cole 
is principal of Native Landscape Design 
and Restoration, has been published 
widely and lectures across the United 
States and abroad. 

Have you been wondering about 


Panax quinquefolius? Well, Greg Plunket 
Ph.D., of Virginia Commonwealth Uni 
versity, will be able to tell you about gin 
seng and also Aralia hispida, bristly sar 
saparilla, a rare local species. His stud 
ies on the Island of New Caledonia cen 
ter on aralias. The small island is one o 
the top seven biodiversity hot-spots o 
the world. 

Add a delicious Saturday nigh 
banquet at the Cultural Arts Center o 
Glen Allen (our headquarters for th< 
weekend) after a silent auction of won 
drous flower related gifts donated fo 
this fund raiser and there is only om 
other thing we need — you. You and fel 
low VNPSers bring the warmth of see 
ing friends of 20 years and new friend 
from our Fredericksburg Area, Uppe 
James River Chapter and the now-form 
ing Kilmarnock area group. Oh, yes, anc 
the Annual Meeting is held to conduc 
the formal business of elections and, thi 
year, a recommended change in our by 
laws will be considered. Come and ex 
ercise your vote. 

If you have misplaced your las 
newsletter that contained the registra 
tion form, please let us know. (540-837 
1600; vnpsofc@shentel.net or visi 
www.vnps.org where you will find , 
form under "Events.") 





























- : Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society - 

Bruce adventure filled with new and strange habitats 

(Continued from page 4) 


forms Niagara Falls, was designated a UNESCO Biosphere 
Reserve in 1990. The purpose of this program is to reconcile 
conservation of biodiversity with sustainable development. 
Each reserve is intended to fulfill the functions of conserva¬ 
tion, development and research concerning the ecosystem 
and human interactions with the land. A regional commis¬ 
sion is set up to oversee the reserve. There are public lands 
owned by the Foundation of Ontario Naturalists (FON), 
Parks Canada, and the provincial government, while some 
special sites are on private property and First Nations lands. 

Visits to the escarpment side of the peninsula included 
rich woods at Kemble Forest, Bruce Caves and the trail at the 
(charmingly named) Halfway Log Dump. These are shady 
and damp, and there are often areas of boulders, outcrops 
and caves. Kemble Forest is considered a Carolinian or Ap¬ 
palachian forest, and would feel familiar to anyone in our 
area. Sugar maple ( Acer saccharum) is a prominent species in 
these woods, and of course, a Canadian symbol. There are 
mixed hardwoods and understory trees, and a carpet of ferns, 
mosses and flowering plants that are mostly well known 
here. Species that set it apart include the hart's tongue fern 
(Phyllitis scolopendrium), northern holly fern ( Polystichum 
lonchitis), male fern ( Dryopterisfilix-mas ) arid red baneberry 
(.Actaea rubra). The view from this steep portion of the escarp¬ 
ment was beautiful. At Bruce Caves we found the walking 
fern ( Aspenium rhizophyllum, a.k.a. Camptosorus rhizophyllus). 
In the woods at Halfway Log Dump we added squawroot 
(Conopholis americana ) to the master plant list. 

Between the coasts the landscape is rolling farmland, 
with lakes, marshes and swamps interspersed. The more 
hilly topography is formed by glacial drumlins. These lakes 
are great birdwatching territory, and in nearby fields we saw 
bobolinks, meadowlarks, tree swallows, kingbirds and red¬ 
wing blackbirds. On Isaac Lake we watched blue winged 
teals, back terns and saw a tagged tundra swan. A special 
sighting there was a coyote. 

Away from the escarpment the forests were more likely 
to contain conifers mixed with hardwoods, and the forest 
floor ranged from sandy through dry organic to boggy. Taxus 
canadensis was seen frequently. This is a species that occurs 
in western Virginia, but is not often found because it is a 
favorite of deer and therefore heavily browsed. A visit to 
Walkers Woods and Sauble Beach North, a dune area along 
the road, gave us a taste of these habitats. At the roadside 
dune, we were shown a single plant of moonwort (described 
as underwhelming by some, the plant is quite small to begin 
with, and was not fully grown when we saw it). In the same 
area, we found three Pyrola species growing side by side. 
Bearberry ( Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) grows in low mats on the 
dunes. In Walkers Woods we saw royal ferns (Osmunda 
regalis), goldthread ( Coptis trifolia), pitcher plants ( Sarracenia 
purpurea), bog rosemary (Andromedaglaucophylla), Laborador 
tea ( Ledum groenlandicum), and buckbean (Menyanthes 
trifoliata). A visit to the picnic area at Sauble Falls was made 
during this part of the trip. 

August 2002 - 


Fens, wet areas that have both an inflow of water and 
an outlet, were visited at Oliphant and Petrel Point. These 
are marl fens, so the substrate is basic instead of acidic, and 
the wet soil appears chalky. The fens are now mostly seen 
from boardwalks that have been erected to protect the veg¬ 
etation. We visited them on the cold and rainy first day, and 
so we revisited them as the weather improved. Most con¬ 
spicuous during our visit were the deep red flowers of the 
pitcher plants, but by week's end some previously unseen 
showy lady slippers ( Cypripedium reginae) had come up and 
begun to bloom. You cannot call sundews ( Drosera 
rotundifolia and D. anglica) conspicuous — they are best seen 
by lying on the boardwalk with your head hanging off the 
edge! The yellowish leaves and blue flowers of butterwort 
(■Pinguicula vulgaris) were eyecatching, especially since they 
are only a little taller than the sundews. The tall spikes of 
the tall white bog orchid ( Habenaria dilatata ) were just begin¬ 
ning to come up, and the spikes of common arrow grass 
(Triglochin maritimum- not a grass) were often seen. On a nice 
boardwalk in the woods at Petrel Point, we got our first 
glimpse of gaywings ( Polygala paucifolia), which we would 
later see in many places, and starflower ( Trientalis borealis), 
often seen with the gaywings. 

Beaches on Georgian Bay at the end of Halfway Log 
Dump Road and Lake Huron at Dorcas Bay (Singing Sands 
Trail) had some plants in common with these fens, but each 
beach had special plant and animal features of its own. At 
the beach on Georgian Bay, we saw two water snakes, a 
garter snake, a loon and a spotted sandpiper. An area of flat 
rock had a stream trickling over the rocks and supported a 
wide variety of plants, including the rare lakeside daisy 
(.Hymenoxys herbacea), the Ontario goldenrod ( Solidago sim¬ 
plex) just beginning to bloom, one flowered cancer root 
(Orobanche uniflora), birdseye primrose ( Primula mistassinica), 
and masses of a western shore violet ( Viola nephrophylla) in 
the stream itself. At Dorcas Bay, we had the Masasauga rattle¬ 
snake as a lunch companion, and watched Caspian and 
common terns diving. On the trail in open woods near the 
beach, we found numerous stems of the ram's head orchid 
(Cypripedium arietinum). 

The day of our trip to Flower Pot Island was stunning, 
and we cruised over shipwrecks (easy to see in the remark¬ 
ably clear water) and past several islands studded with caves. 
The first trail we took led us past a carpet of twinflower 
(Linnaea borealis), gaywings (Polygala paucifolia) and rattle¬ 
snake fern (Botrychium virginianum), to a world of blue bead 
lily (Clintonia borealis) and several, often inconspicuous, or¬ 
chids. Two of the showier species were a single remaining 
calypso in bloom (Calypso bulbosa) and large roundleaved 
orchid (Habenaria orbiculata). Beyond this, we stood on a 
quaking sedge mat at the edge of a marl pond to see dwarf 
lake iris (Iris lacustrus), tall white bog orchid (Habenaria 
dilatata) and tall northern bog orchid (H. hyperborea). 

The afternoon hike took us to the cave area where study 
of a fern wall added green spleenwort (Asplenium viride), 
(See Explorations, page 7) 


Page 5 








. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

Bog preserves protect unique habitats 


(Continued from page 3) 

pitcher plant population in each his¬ 
toric county of its original range (and 
they would have it completed if they 
could have found landowners who 
wanted the plants). 

The project's 10-year goal is to 
have a system of bog preserves in 
Maryland and Virginia which will 
guarantee the preservation of these 
unique ecosystems. The case for out¬ 
right acquisition of a property in 
southern Virginia to preserve the 
longleaf pine-pitcher plant ecosys¬ 
tem is demonstrated by several 
factors. Chief among them is 
the fact that there is no pre¬ 
serve in Virginia for native 
longleaf pine and yellow 
pitcher plants. While reintroduced S. 
flava populations have served as im¬ 
portant stopgap efforts to maintain 
biological diversity, there is no guar¬ 
antee that they will be managed or 
maintained indefinitely. Populations 
of both these rare plant species, as well 
as their important associates, continue 
to go extinct on unprotected land. 
While buying all of these remaining 
rare plant sites may be desirable, this 
goal is unrealistic from a financial, 
political (some landowners may not 
want to sell), and biological point of 
view (some sites are degraded to the 
point that only a few rare plant ele¬ 
ments are left). 

The Meadowview Biological Re¬ 
search Station staff thinks that the so¬ 
lution to this problem is the creation 
of a preserve to protect remaining rare 
plant stocks of Virginia's longleaf 
pine-pitcher plant ecosystem. A par¬ 
cel they are working on acquiring is 


located in the gently rolling terrain of 
Sussex County, Virginia in the heart of 
the historic range of the yellow pitcher 
plant, S. flava. They have worked with 
the landowner over the past several 
years to successfully reintroduce the 
native Sussex County yellow pitcher 
plant and have performed test 
plantings of longleaf pine. They 
currently have a 
two-year 



lease on 
the property to be¬ 
gin restoration efforts 
while funds are being raised for 
acquisition. The preserve will protect 
the entire remaining population of na¬ 
tive Virginia yellow pitcher plant. 
Meadowview is currently maintaining 
six Virginia yellow pitcher plant popu¬ 
lations in raised beds at the research 
facility. Two of these populations have 
gone extinct in the wild. 

The preserve will also be dedicated 
to capturing the entire Virginia 
longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) genome 
by grafting, fascicle rooting, or seed 
propagation. With less than 4,432 na¬ 
tive longleaf pine trees left in Virginia, 
capturing the entire genome of this eco¬ 
nomically and ecologically valuable 
tree species is entirely possible. 
Longleaf pine is an associate species 
of yellow pitcher plant and is a key¬ 
stone species in fire-maintained eco¬ 
systems. The preserve will perform the 
vital role of preserving rare components 
of the longleaf pine-pitcher plant eco¬ 
system which are left in small, isolated, 
unprotected fragments in southern Vir¬ 
ginia. Examples of the many extremely 


rare components which will be pro¬ 
tected are toothache grass, pink and 
dwarf sundew, short-leaf sneezeweed, 
bog buttons, white-fringed orchid, 
spreading pogonia, and purple 
pitcher plant. 

Due to extensive field work in 
southern Virginia by the Meadowview 
staff, the locations of the frag¬ 
mented populations are 
known and contact has 
been made with the land- 
owners to obtain permission 


to collect divisions. The preserve will 
also be used for educational and scien¬ 
tific endeavors. In brief, Meadowview 
is attempting to restore a property to its 
pre-settlement condition while at the 
same time preserving rare biological di¬ 
versity in Virginia. By gathering to¬ 
gether fragments of an ecosystem at the 
limits of its range, breeding popula¬ 
tions will be restored and genetic res¬ 
ervoirs for future restoration work will 
be maintained. Without this effort, the 
loss of valuable genetic material and 
subsequent loss of diversity will con¬ 
tinue. Meadowview feels competent to 
handle this undertaking because its 
staff members have the requisite field 
experience and understanding of the 
ecology of the respective species. They 
also have designed the preserve to en¬ 
sure that hydrologic regimes are main¬ 
tained in seeps and ecological pro¬ 
cesses are restored for species persis¬ 
tence and spread. 

For more information about 
Meadowview and Joseph Pines go to 
meadowview@pitcherplant.org, 
www.pitcherplant.org or call 804- 
633-4336. 

Phil Sheridan, Meadowview Biological 
Research Station, Woodford, Virginia 


Momentum continues to grow for Flora of Virginia Project 


The Flora of Virginia Project con¬ 
tinues to make important progress 
and gain momentum. As reported in 
the last issue of the Bulletin, the 
501(c)(3) (Federal tax exempt status) 
for the Foundation of the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia Project, Inc. (FFVP) was granted 
in May. On May 24 at the 80th An¬ 
nual Meeting of the Virginia Acad- 

Page 6 


emy of Science at Flampton Univer¬ 
sity, a symposium on the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia was held. There was an excel¬ 
lent turnout for the symposium with 
approximately 50 attendees. FFVP 
executive director Chris Ludwig, and 
VNPS members Donna Ware, Johnny 
Townsend and Ruth Douglas were 
presenters. Work on keys, plant de¬ 


scriptions, illustrations, and other 
technical aspects of the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia has begun. Chris Ludwig and 
Alan Weakley have been working 
with the Flora Advisory Committee 
on details of the descriptions. As of 
June, Alan Weakley, a co-author of 
the Flora, is the Curator of the Uni- 
(See Flora Project, page 10) 

August 2002 














Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


• Explorations- 

(Continued from page 5) 

fragile fern (Cystopterisfragilis), bulblet 
fern (C. bulbifera), wall rue (Asplenium 
ruta-muraria) and Steller's rockbrake 
(Cryptogramma stelleri ) to our list. Some 
of us took the remainder of this trail to 
the lighthouse and over the high part 
of the island. We were rewarded by yet 
another incredibly rich woods, but 
punished by having to race through it 
to catch the boat. Flower Pot Island 
seems to have most of the various habi¬ 
tats that we saw on the peninsula, and 
the flora was extremely varied for such 
a small place. 

Another very unusual habitat on 
the peninsula is called alvar or pave¬ 
ment, and is a dolomitic limestone rock 
surface that looks like a piece of aban¬ 
doned asphalt from a distance. These 
may have been formed when an ice 
dam from a glacial lake burst and 
swept the rock clean of soil and vegeta¬ 
tion. The water would also have dis¬ 
solved the rock in areas where cracks 
had been. The plants live in cracks or 
on thin accumulations of organic mat¬ 
ter in shallow depressions. The alvars 
are characterized by flooding and 
drought alternately, and temperatures 
that may reach 140 degrees. That 
doesn't deter the lakeside daisy 
(.Hymenoxys herbacea), the harebell 


(Campanula rotundifolia), or the Vir¬ 
ginia saxifrage ( Saxifraga virginiensis ) 
that grow on the alvar on Halfway Log 
Dump Road. Diminutive plants with 
needlelike leaves, such as sandworts 
(Arenaria stricat and A. serpyllifolia ) and 
the fragrant calamint ( Calamintha gla¬ 
bella) are at home here too. On the Dy¬ 
ers Bay Crossroads alvar, limestone 
oak fern ( Gymnocarpium robertianum) 
and purple cliffbrake ( Pellaea 
atropiurpurea) were found in cracks in 
the open sun. 

All of the wonders of our trip 
should be well documented. Lots of 
photos were taken, both film and digi¬ 
tal, drawings were made, and lists were 
kept. We added at least 15 plants to 
the list VNPS members have been com¬ 
piling over the years. We saw 37 of the 
47 ferns on the list, and half of the 29 
listed orchids (I'm counting half for an 
uncertain identification here). I feel like 
I've left out so many trees, shrubs and 
herbs that we saw, and I'm having a 
hard time thanking everyone who 
helped because there are just so many. 
The bird list topped 90 species seen 
and/or heard. We also saw a young 
porcupine waddle under the cabin one 
evening — Nicky has the photos. 

Sally Anderson, Piedmont Chapter 


Dreamtime Center hosts 
two herbal programs 

The Dreamtime Center for 
Herbal Studies, located in Washing¬ 
ton, Virginia, has two upcoming 
events with a native plant focus. On 
September 21, a "Backyard Medi¬ 
cines" Dreamtime Garden Tour will 
be held. Visitors can see plants or¬ 
ganized into beds representing the 
major systems of the human body 
(cardiovascular, digestive, etc). The 
event is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is 
a $40 fee and visitors should bring 
a bag lunch. 

From October 9-13, a Native 
Plant Apprenticeship will take 
place at Peter Heus' Enchanters 
Garden Nursery in Hinton, West 
Virginia. This is an extraordinary 
opportunity to see hundreds of na¬ 
tive species and to learn the tech¬ 
niques of seed gathering, preparing 
woodland beds, transplanting and 
more. The fee is $500 (room and 
board not included). 

For registration or more infor¬ 
mation about these events, contact 
Dreamtime at 540-675-1122, 
drmtime@shentel.net or visit 
www.dreamtimeherbschool.com. 


The Bulletin 

ISSN 1085-9632 
is published five times a year 
(Jan., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 
(540)837-1600 

vnpsofc@shentel.net 

www.vnps.org 

Nicky Staunton, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 

Original material contained in the Bulletin 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 consider¬ 
ation. Items should be typed, on disk in Microsoft Word 
or e-mailed to: Editor, 3419 Cold Springs Rd., Green¬ 
ville, VA 24440, or lotswife@rica.net 

The deadline for the next issue is October 1 


See the address label for your membership expiration date 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 

Name(s)_ 

Address_1_ 

City__State_Zip_ 

_Individual $20 

_Family $30 _Student $15 

_Patron $50 _Associate (groups) $40* 

_Sustaining $100 _Life $500 

*Please designate one person as delegate for Associate membership 
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) 

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amount of $10_$25_$50_$100_$(Other)_ 

__Check if you do not wish your name to be listed to be exchanged with similar 

organizations in a chapter directory 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2, 
Boyce, VA 22620 

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


August 2002 


Page 7 

























Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Virginia wildflower 
license plates released 

We did it! Enough calls werere- 
ceived from our members and others 
to meet the required 350 orders nec¬ 
essary to release the new Virginia li¬ 
cense plates that sport Asclepias 
tuberosa, Rudbeckia hirta and 
Mertensia virginica. You may already 
be seeing them on cars in your area. 
The non-personalized plates are out 
there now. 

Ken Oristaglio of Virginia De¬ 
partment of Transportation called to 
express appreciation to all who 
helped make possible this design 
honoring Virginia native plantsi; 

After the initial orders are met, a 
portion of each fee will be routed to 
VDOT's project wildflower to main¬ 
tain and establish new median strip 
plantings of wildflowers. What a 
great thing you are doing by order¬ 
ing the Virginia Wildflower Plate. 

If you would like to order a wild¬ 
flower plate you may do it online by 
going to the website for Virginia's 
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 
Every time your wildflower plate is 


•FloraProject - 

(Continued from page 6) 

versity of North Carolina Herbarium 
in Chapel Hill. 

The next FFVP board meeting, 
which will mark the one-year anniver¬ 
sary of the FFVP, will be on Saturday, 
August 24, at the Wintergreen Nature 
Foundation Trillium House. Public 
outreach regarding the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia Project continues. During the last 
few months, two major newspaper ar¬ 
ticles on the project were published, 
one in the Washington Post and the other 
in the Virginian-Pilot from the Hamp¬ 
ton Roads area. A new flier about the 
project is available at the FFVP address. 
Fudwig and other members of the 


board of the FFVP continue to make 
presentations on the project. Lobstein 
is currently working with Ludwig on 
details on how VNPS volunteers can 
be involved. VNPS chapter and mem¬ 
ber financial and moral support con¬ 
tinues to be crucial to the start-up and 
progress of the Flora of Virginia 
Project. Donations may be made to the 
following address: The Foundation 
of the Flora of Virginia Project, Inc., 
PO. Box 512, Richmond, VA 23218- 
0512. If you wish to donate securities, 
please contact Fudwig at 804-371- 
6206. For more information, visit the 
Flora of Virginia Project website at 
www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/vaflora.htm. 


noticed, ycwqyft 
native plants.' 



Thanks go to members for special donations 

Gifts to the Virginia Native Plant Society are still arriving. An important 
VNPS source of financial support is from members through their dues and 
from gifts. Chapters have plant sales and some sponsor seminar workshops 
for additional income, but VNPS has no other source of income. 

Each of you who has sent gifts in response to our appeal at the end of last 
year and the beginning of this year deserves the sincere appreciation of the 
VNPS Board of Directors. 

Several chapter boards have sent gifts to VNPS in response to the needs of 

U| t 1 ^4^ *W? se hel P ed kee P our mem - 

i ,,,p rT • 1 •l* 0 rlHfp»duyg‘ai fheifcurreritlevel."These special gifts create a close chapter- 

state organizational bond as we continue to work to protect native plants and 
the natural areas of Virginia. Thank you. 


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www.vnps.org 


A publication of the VIRGINIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY 

Conserving wild flowers and wild places 


Tragedy at Spring Pond shows flaws in the system 


Spring Pond, a natural spring-fed 
depression in the Maple Flats area of 
Augusta County, is one of a series of 
globally unique wetlands hosting rem¬ 
nants of late Pleistocene flora. Pond 
sediments have yielded spruce, fir and 
jack pine pollen from the great boreal 
forests of 15,000-18,000 years ago. 

The site lies generally in the north 
shadow of the Blue Ridge and still con¬ 
tains species that are northern relicts 
as well as coastal plain disjuncts that 
are likely descended from plant migra¬ 
tions that happened thousands of years 
ago. Scientists believe boreal forests 
held on here until about 9,500 years 
before the present. Some experts think 
the Coastal Plain genetic element is 
even older than the northern relicts and 
may have "held on" from some previ¬ 
ous interglacial Gulf Coast migration 
route. Some animals associated with 
this site and adjacent vernal wetlands 
are also uncommon or rare and likely 
have ancient lineage (tiger sala¬ 


The great lily family flourishes in 
springtime in our gardens and in our 
native hills and hollows. Whether you 
skip through April's garden among the 
snowdrops, daffodils, and tulips or 
walk in April's sunlit woods amid en¬ 
trancing drifts of trilliums or trout-lil¬ 
ies, spring would not be spring in Vir¬ 
ginia without the lily kin. 

Yellow trout-lily, Erythrotiium 
americanum, a Paul Revere of spring, is 


manders, several species of dragonfly 
and several reptiles). The unique and 
rare assemblage of plant species at 
Spring Pond prompted the Virginia 
Division of Natural Heritage biologists 
Chris Ludwig and Gary Fleming to 
give the site a Global One ranking. 

Sometime during the early 1990s 


beavers appeared at Spring Pond and 
dammed the narrow eastern outlet rais¬ 
ing the water one to two feet above its 
traditional level, inundating the rare 
plant community. After being advised 


a signature member of that band of 
ephemerals of the forest floor that march 
through their life cycles and disappear 
for another year almost before you have 
time to notice them. It is one of the ear¬ 
liest to send up its leaves— broad, yel¬ 
lowish to dark green, pointed tongues 
dappled with brownish maroon spots- 
and flowers soon after. Some would 
say that these leaves, which suddenly 
(See Trout-lily, page 8) 


of the potential impact, the U.S. Forest 
Service implemented some low-level co¬ 
operative intervention measures. Some¬ 
times local field science experts volun¬ 
tarily helped by breaching the dam to 
allow the fragile "littoral fringe" plant 
community to "breathe." The beavers 
increased in numbers and volunteer in¬ 


tervention was not enough to keep up 
with constant inundations. Volunteers 
were chastised on March 20, 2000 by 
the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger 
(See Spring Pond, page 5) 



Wildflower of the Year: A lily of many aliases 


ff... the ancient, globally ranked community we 
knew as Spring Pond 
will take many years to 
recover (if ever). . . f f 
















- Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 

From the president . 

All is not equal for our endangered plant friends 


An interesting conjuncture of events occurred 
earlier this year. The first was an alert by Doug 
Coleman, the Wintergreen Nature Foundation di¬ 
rector and a VNPS member, to scientists and con¬ 
servation leaders, including VNPS. The alert con¬ 
cerned Spring Pond in the George Washington 
National Forest near Sherando Lake in Augusta 
County. Four hundred Helonias bullata, swamp pink, 
and an ancient Global One community were drowned 
after two years under water. Swamp pink is federally 
listed as threatened and Virginia lists it as endangered. 
When the U.S. Forest Service was notified of the prob¬ 
lem resulting from beaver construction on Spring 
Pond, a service decision of "no action" was made 
because beaver had been nearly extirpated and have 
an important ecological role in nature. 

Shortly after our being alerted, we received 
information about the National Native Plant 
Campaign by the California Native Plant Soci¬ 
ety and the Center for Biodiversity focus on 
an Equal Protection for Plants Campaign. Their 
premise is that under the Endangered Species Act, 
plants do not receive the same protection as animals. 
To correct this situation, increased funding is proposed 
for the federal agencies responsible for protecting 
listed plants so they can increase their botanical staff. 


We have been told that the George Washington 
National Forest has one botanist for 1,061,080 acres. 
This tells part of the story. 

The VNPS board of directors voted to sign on 
to support the national Native Plant Conservation 
Campaign. It is unacceptable to have insufficient 
funds to protect our native plants that are feder¬ 
ally listed and on federal property in Virginia. In¬ 
deed, Endangered Species Act listed plants do not 
receive equal protection when their death is cho¬ 
sen over moving a beaver family to a location that 
is not a home for a globally rare community and 
a threatened plant species. We mourn the pass¬ 
ing of the huge colony of swamp pinks and 
praise the vision of the Native Plant Conser¬ 
vation Campaign. 

As we enter our 21st year as advo¬ 
cates for native plants and their habitats, 
your support is appreciated. Your mem¬ 
bership and your personal commitment 
and actions on behalf of all of our plants, 
especially our rare, threatened and endangered spe¬ 
cies are needed now more than ever. Four hundred ( 
swamp pinks rejected by the agency charged to pro¬ 
tect them must not happen again. 



With hope. 

Your President, Nicky 


Important work with native plants funded with dues increase 


The board of directors has 
been struggling for two years 
with the problem of how to sup¬ 
port our first-ever office without 
increasing dues for members. 
When we hired our first em¬ 
ployee, duties included the book¬ 
keeping that had been done by 
our volunteer treasurers. The 
work of receiving, recording, and 
depositing funds and preparing 
financial reports has grown be¬ 
yond what we can expect of any 
volunteer. In addition, process¬ 
ing membership records, recoup¬ 
ing expired memberships and 
creating new efforts for member¬ 
ship growth had demanded more 


Page 2 


of the membership chairs than was 
reasonable. Karen York's job de¬ 
scription for four hours a day, five 
days a week, fills her time when in 
the office. All communications by 
mail, phone and website come 
through our office. It used to come 
to the home of the president. 

At the September meeting of the 
board, following examination of the 
baseline proposed budget for 2003, 
an increase for individual member¬ 
ship of $10 was approved unani¬ 
mously. The current individual mem¬ 
bership fee is $20 and will now be 
$30, effective January 1, 2003. All 
other membership categories will re¬ 
main the same at this time. 


Your board has determined that 
there is no waste in expenditures. 
After considering reducing our Bul¬ 
letin by one issue, the board decided 
to continue with five issues a year 
of our newsletter. However, in or¬ 
der to hold the line on costs, there 
were no salary increases this year 
for newsletter editor, Nancy 
Sorrells, or for Karen York. Our office 
space at Blandy continues to be free, 
supported by the State Arboretum of 
Virginia for the Virginia Native Plant 
Society. Our webmaster, Sylvia Orli- 
Stone, volunteers hei^time on web 
work for VNPS. 

On behalf of your board of di¬ 
rectors, I thank you. 

Nicky Staunton, VNPS President 


November 2002 












Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Visitors to Cumberland Marsh find Desmodium paradise 


After a 40-mile drive east from the 
VNPS Annual Meeting being held at 
the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 
we stopped first at the Warreneye Trail, 
which belongs to New Kent County. 
Our leaders, Rebecca Wilson and Phil 
Coulling, from the Virginia Natural 
Heritage Division of the Virginia De¬ 
partment of Conservation and Recre¬ 
ation, showed us the marl 
outcroppings and plants that typically 
grow in that environment. We found 
not only calcareous outcrops, but also 
huge chunks of disturbed soil masses 
containing whole shells. 

Not much was blooming along the 
woodland trails. One participant noted 
elephant's foot ( Elephantopus 
carolinianus) and said it grew rampant 
along her driveway. I had never seen it 
before, but only a week later saw it 
again on a VNPS walk at Banshee 
Reeks in Loudoun County. We saw a 
cardinal flower ( Lobelia cardinalis) in 
bloom along the creek and several 
clumps of walking fern ( Camptosorus 
rhizophyllus). In the open area of a high- 
tension wire cut we saw Maryland 
meadow beauty ( Rhexia mariana) and 
two species of boneset growing side by 
side: tall and round-leaved ( Eupato- 
rium altissimum and £. rotundifolium). 



Desmodium lineatum 
All Desmodium illustrations by 
Nicky Staunton 

We drove to the Nature 
Conservancy's Cumberland Marsh 
Natural Area Preserve and ate our box 
lunches on a wooden platform at the 
edge of the Pamunkey River. We looked 
over the freshwater tidal marsh with 
spatterdock ( Nuphar variegata ) below 
us and grasses blooming all around. 
Rebecca set up a spotting scope to show 
us sensitive joint-vetch ( Aeschynomene 
virgitiica ), a federally threatened member 
of the pea family, on the other side of the 
river. Unfortunately, the yellow mass of 
blooming bidens we expected to see 
across the marsh wasn't there. Phil 
speculated that the drought had low¬ 
ered the fresh water flow in the river, 
raising the salinity level, which keeps 
the bidens from sprouting. However, 
the seeds are still there to sprout when 


the fresh water rises in the future. 

After lunch we hiked to another 
marsh overlook, through the woods, 
and around some ponds. Sally Ander¬ 
son and I tried to identify some evening 
primroses ( Oenothera ) at a pond, but 
couldn't get close enough without get¬ 
ting wet. Nearby on safer ground we 
found buttonweed ( Diodia teres), wild 
sensitive plant ( Cassia nictitans ), mad- 
dog skullcap ( Scutellaria lateriflora), 
and another Eupatorium, the beautiful 
mistflower (£. coelestinum), which looks 
like tall ageratum. 

Back near the cars at the edge of a 
soybean field, we saw a strand of wild 
grapes hanging down from the vine in 
the trees. I had been taking digital pic¬ 
tures of the flowers as we went, and 
realized on reviewing them that we had 
seen five different species of tick trefoil 
(Desmodium ): lined (D. lineatum), Mary¬ 
land (D. marilandicum), naked-flowered 
(D. nudiflorum), panicled (D. 
paniculatum) and showy (D. canadense). 
All of them still showed some of the 
beautiful purple, pea-type flowers on 
the panicles, along with the jointed 
pods ready to attach their triangular 
segments to our clothing. 

Richard Stromberg 
Piedmont Membership Chair 




Flora of Virginia update 

As your director from VNPS, I'm ex¬ 
cited to be able to report that in August of 
2002, the Foundation for the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia Project celebrated its one-year anni¬ 
versary. Executive Director Chris Ludwig 
reported that both text and illustrations 
have been started. Chris and Alan 
Weakley are writing descriptions of the 
plants and the Flora Advisory Board 
members are reviewing the descriptions. 


The illustrator is receiving live plant ma¬ 
terial from which to draw illustrations for 
each described plant. The task is expected 
to continue at least until 2007 since Vir¬ 
ginia is blessed with immense plant diver¬ 
sity (over 3,700 species). 

Elections were held at the August 
meeting and officers are: Chris Ludwig, 
president; Chip Morgan, vice president; 
Michael Garson, treasurer; and Donna 
Ware, secretary. Meanwhile, many of you 


who volunteered to assist with the Flora of 
Virginia have been contacted to furnish 
photographs, to work on the website data 
and about other specific jobs for which 
you are best qualified. Your support is an 
important part of the production of the 
Flora and its support media of CDs, 
website, history and uses of plants. 

Your financial support for the Flora is 
what makes it possible to move ahead on 

(See Flora, page 7) 


November 2002 


Page 3 



















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

VNPS Invasive Alien Plant Display put to good use 


Psst! Wanna see a great display of 
invasive plants, fresh off the roadsides 
and natural areas, tastefully arranged 
in Mason jars and delicately draped 
over a backdrop of photos of invasive 
plants on a RED background? Come on 
by the next time the exhibit is up at an 
event near you—or borrow it from VNPS 
and use it yourself at a natural history 
event. Ted Scott created this exhibit with 
support from Nicky Staunton, in part¬ 
nership with the folks at the Virginia 
Department of Conservation and 
Recreation's Natural Heritage Divi¬ 
sion. It all packs up into a (relatively) 
handy case for easy transport. It's been 
used twice recently, and draws a good 
crowd, attracted by a striking stem of 
tree-of-heaven, a.k.a. stink tree (my fa¬ 
vorite name) and a delicate vine of 
kudzu, not to mention other favorites 
such as autumn olive. Oriental bitter¬ 
sweet, Japanese honeysuckle, privet, 
multiflora rose and porcelain berry. 
When we have folks looking at our 
"lovely" collection, we then begin to en¬ 
gage them in discussion about the prob¬ 
lem of invasive plants in Virginia, and 
provide them with fact sheets and other 
information on invasives. Not wanting 
to strike only a negative note, we also pro¬ 
vide information on Virginia natives to 
plant in the home landscape, and then 
encourage them to consider joining the 
Virginia Native Plant Society. 


In early September, I brought the 
display and my own handpicked col¬ 
lection of fresh invasives (all collected 
within about three miles of my home 
in Charlottesville) down to Virginia 
Tech's Farm and Family Showcase, a 
three-day extravaganza held on VT's 
farm several miles outside of 
Blacksburg. (It's a wonderful event, 
rather like a county fair without the 
rides and very educational for folks of 
all ages. Only in its second year, the 
event attracted 12,000 visitors the first 
year, a staggering 38,000 this past Sep¬ 
tember, and a projected 50,000 visitors 
next year.) A number of VNPS mem¬ 
bers in southwest Virginia provided 
great help with the display, including 
Vicky and John Barden, who helped 
in many ways; Suzie Leslie, Pat 
Polentz and Julie Alexander who 
helped recruit other volunteers; and 
display volunteers Vicky Barden, Pat 
Polentz, Jan Spahr, Butch and Betty 
Kelly, and A1 and Vi Sheridan. We had 
a great location, in the horticulture tent 
next to the Virginia Apple Growers dis¬ 
play, with free apples, which drew 
quite a crowd. We hope we educated 
the many visitors who stopped by the 
display, and we sure did have a good 
time talking with them, too. We were 
so busy we didn't have enough time to 
visit the many other exhibits at the 
showcase, so next year we hope to have 


more volunteers staffing the display so 
we can all take the time to visit the farm 
animals, various plant displays, and 
other informative exhibits. For more 
information on this event, visit the 
website: www.farmand-family.vt.edu. 
To learn more about the display and 
how you can help with it, contact me 
(Ruth Douglas) of the VNPS Invasive 
Alien Plant Project at 434-293-6538 
or ruthd@cstone.net. In addition, I 
has an illustrated presentation on in¬ 
vasive plants (also created by Ted 
Scott), which may be borrowed, or I 
will come along with the slides and 
do a presentation for your chapter. 

In October, Jessie Strother and I at¬ 
tended the Virginia Environmental As¬ 
sembly in Williamsburg, and used the 
display and more fresh invasives to 
educate others concerned about the en¬ 
vironment in the state. While the num¬ 
ber of visitors was far smaller that at 
Virginia Tech, they were all people con¬ 
cerned about the environment, and ac¬ 
tive in various conservation organiza¬ 
tions. It was a worthwhile day of talks 
and discussions, especially focusing 
on legislative matters. 

Ruth Douglas, VNPS Director-at-large 


Plant invaders guidebook 

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural 
Areas, a guidebook produced by the Na¬ 
tional Park Service and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Of¬ 
fice, will be available this month. The book 
provides color photographs and informa¬ 
tion on 49 species of highly invasive plants 
affecting aquatic and terrestrial natural ar¬ 
eas in the mid-Atlantic region. The intent of 
the publication is to increase public aware¬ 
ness about this threat to our environment, 
our economy and human health. The 
manual includes an introductory section 
explaining the invasive species problem, 
write-ups on each species, a glossary, refer¬ 
ences and information sources. The target 
audience is the general public. The majority 
of the content of the guide was obtained 
from the Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien 
Plant Working Group's "Weeds Gone Wild" 
web page at: http://www.nps.gov/plants/ 
alien. To request a copy, call U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service at 410-573-4582 (Kathy 
Reshetiloff), 410-573-4581 (Britt Slattery), or 
the National Park Service at 202-342-1443, 
ex. 218 (Jil Swearingen). 


California Equal Protection for Plants Campaign 

Few people realize that the Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) pro¬ 
vides almost no protection to most federally endangered and threatened plants. 
In fact, although FESA protects federally listed animals everywhere, it allows 
nearly unlimited destruction of federally listed threatened and endangered 
plants outside of federal lands — where more than 80 percent of federally 
listed plants live in California. 

This outdated policy flies in the face of biological reality. Science tells us 
that plants and animals are inextricably intertwined and contribute equally 
to the health and survival of the ecosystems that sustain us all. If we are to 
conserve healthy ecosystems and biological diversity, we cannot pick some 
species to save and ignore others. 

For these reasons, the California Native Plant Society has launched the 
Equal Protection for Plants Campaign. The goal is to amend FESA, and state 
species protection laws where necessary, to provide plants with the same pro¬ 
tections that are currently provided to animals. CNPS has launched a public 
education campaign and a petition drive to build support for this idea. For 
more information on the Equal Protection for Plants Campaign, contact Emily 
Roberson — EMILYR@cnps.org or the CNPS office 916-447-2677. 

Page 4 - — 


November 2002 











-— . : ~~ Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society — — 

Spring Pond gives reason for new legislation 



(Continued from page 1) 

in a stem letter of reprimand when they 
"breached" the dam and water rushed 
downstream, resulting in a phone call 
from an adjacent land owner who suf¬ 
fered no damage but noticed the change 
in water level. The letter further stated 
that the George Washington National 
Forest Service botanist as well as the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service knew that 
a federally listed "threatened" plant 
species was at stake and that they were 
taking required measures to protect the 
swamp pink ( Helonias bullata). 

All volunteer cooperative efforts 
were stopped at this point and later vis¬ 
its revealed that Spring Pond's rare 
plant community stayed inundated 
until severe drought conditions oc¬ 
curred in the summer of 2002. During 
this period, the Virginia Division of 
Natural Heritage on several occasions 
contacted forest service representatives 
offering help and recommending miti¬ 
gation to protect the site's rare plants. 
All offers and recommendations were 
refused with little explanation. 

In late September, the Wintergreen 
Nature Foundation called a meeting of 
its Field Science and Education Advi¬ 
sory Committee, a group of scientists 
with over 200 years of combined knowl¬ 
edge and research history on the site. 
The group included co-authors of At¬ 
las of the Virginia Flora , a Smithsonian 
plant ecologist, a former head re¬ 
search forester from the Virginia Di¬ 
vision of Forestry, a herpetologist, a 
macroinvertebrate biologist, an orni¬ 
thologist, and our VNPS president 
among others from various state agen¬ 
cies. The Virginia Division of Natural 
Heritage was asked to present "before 
and after inundation" site information 
and a trip to the site followed. Dismayed 
by what had transpired, the group im¬ 
mediately contacted the U.S. Forest Ser¬ 
vice Supervisor and staff in hopes of 
precipitating a meeting for discussion. 
Twelve letters were written on institu¬ 
tional letterheads. Not one letter was 
answered by the supervisor, but forest 
service personnel did respond by con¬ 
vening a meeting with the group in Feb¬ 


ruary 2002. They heard the concern of 
the group and pledged to respond and 
a pipe to maintain constant water lev¬ 
els was installed in Spring Pond in late 
July of this year. 

Repeated trips to Spring Pond by 
field science experts during the spring 
and summer of this year to look for re¬ 
covery of the federally listed swamp 
pink were not encouraging. Not a 
single submerged plant appeared to 
survive the prolonged inundation. Not 
a single bog orchid was observed. Some 
of the rare state ranked "obligate" wet¬ 
land species (spike rushes, pipeworts, 
pondweed and maidencane) have re¬ 
appeared in smaller numbers. Some in¬ 
vasive species such as fireweed 
(Erechtites) have appeared and will 
likely dominate until water levels re¬ 
turn. It remains to be seen whether 
propagules of swamp pink and bog 
orchids like grass pink ( Calopogon ) and 
rose pogonia ( Pogonia ) survived the in¬ 
undation. All are apparently slow 
growers from seed. (Mt. Cuba experts 
indicate that the tiniest rosette of 
swamp pink may take three years to 
appear from seed.) 

In summary: the ancient, globally 
ranked community we knew as Spring 
Pond will take many years to recover (if 
ever) according to all biologists but one 
who viewed the site and understood its 
ecology and the associated species. 


PR\MC VokIV — 

F ti — 

fcfeK *>** l 

How did this happen? Who is re¬ 
sponsible? Should we blame an over¬ 
worked, under-budgeted forest service 
which has millions of acres to manage 
and all of the general public to please? 
Yes, for not prioritizing management 
on a site with this ranking. How about 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Most 
certainly to some degree. They actually 
have an expert dedicated to the preser¬ 
vation of swamp pink, they knew of 
the problem, but they did not engage 
until too late. Should we blame the 
botanists, ecologists, and wildflower 
enthusiasts? For those of us who knew 
and didn't put enough pressure in the 
right places to get mitigation quickly, I 
certainly feel some share of blame. We 
must be more vigilant and sometimes 
more outspoken on behalf of special 
plants in special places. (This has not 
been my style in the past. I have too of¬ 
ten wrongly assumed that good science 
always precipitates correct decisions.) 

Perhaps most importantly, future 
legislation should be considered to 
give rare plants the same degree of pro¬ 
tection as rare animals. Almost every 
rare animal is associated with a rare 
plant community and until this is un¬ 
derstood, appreciated, and acted upon, 
we will likely continue to witness com¬ 
promise on globally ranked sites in our 
Commonwealth and our nation. 

Doug Coleman, The Wintergreen 
Nature Foundation Director 


November 2002: 


Page 5 


























. Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society — 

Take a trip (or two) with VNPS to Virginia places and beyond 


Native Plants & Habitats 

Our successful visit to Hickory 
Hollow and the Kentucky lady slipper 
has encouraged us to continue to 
schedule trips in Virginia to visit our 
flora where it lives. 

We have had many inquiries about 
the Virginia Native Plant Registry 
sites. We will try to schedule visits to 
them throughout the year, coordinat¬ 
ing with the chapters which recog¬ 
nized their value and registered them. 
Visit the VNPS website at 
www.vnps.org to read about our reg¬ 
istry sites. Let us know of any special 
site you would particularly like to visit. 

The Department of Conservation 
and Recreation, Natural Heritage Pro¬ 
gram (NHP) has acquired 36 Natural 
Area Preserves, such as Hickory Hol¬ 
low in Lancaster County. We would 
like to begin a series of visits to these 
locations, but need to coordinate with 
the land stewards of the sites through 
NHP to arrange trips before announc¬ 
ing dates and locations. To learn more 
about the Natural Area Preserves, visit 
www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh or write to 
VDCR Natural Heritage Program, 217 
Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219 
and ask for the brochure about 
Virginia's Natural Heritage Program 
that contains a map and list of current 
Natural Area Preserves. The bond is¬ 
sue on November 5 would enable more 
locations of importance to be pur¬ 
chased and added to the Natural Area 
Preserves protection. 

Orchids & Ferns of the Bruce 

VNPS members are invited to 
travel to Wildwood Lodge, Mar, 
Ontario to enjoy the Bruce Peninsula 
flora along the Niagara Escarpment 


and shore of Lake Huron from June 8- 
14. The visit begins Sunday afternoon 
with check in at Wildwood Lodge. Field 
trips will occur daily on both sides of 
the peninsula. Lake Huron (west) and 
Georgian Bay (east). One full day will 
be spent on Flower Pot Island. 

Nicky Staunton is organizing the 
trip, her eighth. If you are interested, 
please let her know and trip informa¬ 
tion will be sent to you. The August 
2002 Bulletin contained a detailed ar¬ 
ticle by Sally Anderson about the 2002 
trip. She described the orchids, ferns, 
other flora, wildlife and Lake Huron 
sunsets. If you do not have it, a copy 
will be mailed with the other informa¬ 
tion about the week-long visit in the 
territory of the Objibway and Scotch 
settlers. An updated 2002 plant list will 
be made available before the trip. 

Trip cost is $600 a person. Cost in¬ 
cludes lodging and all food plus the 
boat ride and fee to Flower Pot Island 
across the Georgian Bay. Transporta¬ 
tion to and from Canada is not in¬ 
cluded. It is approximately 650 miles 
from Northern Virginia. The first 
evening of the drive is usually spent 
near Buffalo, N.Y. To reserve your 
space, send a deposit of $200 (payable 
to VNPS) to Nicky Staunton, 8815 Fort 
Drive, Manasses, VA 20110. 

Wildflozvers of Newfoundland 

VNPS members will enjoy this trip, 
July 12-21, led by botanist-birder- 
naturalist and fellow VNPSer, Karl 
Anderson, and Gale Cannon, an accom¬ 
plished plant and bird field trip leader. 

Karl is an expert field botanist, co¬ 
author of P lant Communities of New jer¬ 
sey (Rutgers, 1993), and former director 
of the New Jersey Audubon Society's 


travel program. He has led 18 natural 
history tours to the Canadian Maritime 
Provinces, including six to Newfound¬ 
land, two of which were specifically 
for wildflowers. Gale has been on all 
of the Newfoundland tours. 

Newfoundland is perhaps the 
most scenic, unspoiled area of eastern 
North America. Habitats visited on this 
tour will include conifer forest, 
peatlands, coastal limestone barrens, 
heath-crowberry barrens, coastal head¬ 
lands and cliffs, ocean shores, serpen¬ 
tine outcrops, and marshes and pond 
edges. The focus will be on plants — 
not just the most showy wildflowers, 
but also trees, shrubs, grasses, and 
sedges. Similar tours in 1998 and 2001 
each took note of over 300 species of 
plants (with over half of them in bloom), 
including 20 species of orchids. Birds 
and mammals will not be ignored, and 
the group will also learn something 
about local history. 

Cost of the trip, excluding round 
trip transportation: $960 includes mo¬ 
tel accommodations for nine nights; 
tour leadership; and van transporta¬ 
tion in Newfoundland. Meals are not 
included. The group will be traveling 
from site to site and staying at nearby 
motels. Local restaurants near each 
motel will be our source of meals. 

Travel to Newfoundland by air is 
recommended. Estimated airfare 
roundtrip to Deer Lake where the week 
begins is $600 to $700. 

To reserve a place, send a deposit 
of $250 (payable to VNPS) to Nicky 
Staunton, 8815 Fort Drive, Manassas, 
VA 20110; 703-368-9803; nstaunton- 
@earthlink.net. For more information 
about the trip, a detailed itinerary 
will be sent to you. 


Travel to the desert with plant lovers and friends of Blandy 


Join Foundation of the State Arbore¬ 
tum (FOSA) members for an "Arizona - 
The Desert In Bloom" travel tour. Experi¬ 
ence the striking beauty of Arizona's desert 
gardens... from captivating cacti to desert 
succulents to specialty gardens! Plans are 
currently under way for an April 3-8 tour 
to the Phoenix/Tucson area. This six-day 
tour features visits to the Desert Botani¬ 
cal Garden, Heard Museum, Boyce Th¬ 
ompson Arboretum, Arizona-Sonora 

Page 6 - = 


Desert Museum, Taliesin West (Frank 
Lloyd Wright's desert masterpiece). Mis¬ 
sion San Xavier del Bac, and other unique 
gardens and sights. 

Tour includes airfare, lodging at first 
class hotels, 10 meals, admission fees, and 
a professional tour manager. Estimated 
tour cost is $1,750 per person (price may 
vary depending on the number of 
participants). This cost includes a donation 


to either the Foundation of the State Ar¬ 
boretum or VNPS. 

Future tours planned by FOSA include 
"The Gardens and Art of Northern Italy" in 
September of 2003 and "The Gardens of 
Charleston and Savannah" in April of 2004. 
For additional information about the Ari¬ 
zona trip, including a complete itinerary, 
please call FOSA Development Coordinator 
Jen Peachey at 540-837-1758 Ext. 21. 


November 2002 










New York Botanical Garden Library 


Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society . o 5. 


85 00345 5787 


Chapter News 

Jefferson Chapter 

This fall Jefferson's long-serving 
Chapter President Pat Willis con¬ 
cluded her distinguished reign. Asked 
how long it had been, she replied, "a 
thousand years." With an uncanny 
knack of finding the best speakers and 
also to fledge our plant sale transplants 
we will undoubtedly still draw on her 
many talents. 

Fall speakers included nature 
writer Marlene Condon who capti¬ 
vated us with stories and slides of her 
backyard wildlife refuge, including one 
of a bear carrying off a birdfeeder. 

Without our expert guide, Ruth 
Douglas, chapter members set off in 
pursuit of the elusive green violet 
(Hybanthus concolor) on a September 
wildflower climb at Humpback Rocks 
on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A won¬ 
drous assortment of plants was discov¬ 
ered. However, to our embarrassment, 
the green violet was sighted but not posi¬ 
tively identified until after our return. 

Shenandoah Chapter 

The Shenandoah ChapteFiTwork- 
ing on a book that compiles the ethno- 


botanical writings of retired James 
Madison University biology professor 
and chapter member Elwood Fisher. 
Elwood’s plant personality articles 
have been staple for the chapter news¬ 
letter for years. The book will be well 
illustrated by professional artist Anita 
Cooper, another chapter member. Chap¬ 
ter member Nancy Sorrells is working 
on the book layout and design and is 
writing an introductory essay based on 
interviews with Elwood. Chapter mem¬ 
ber Elaine Smith is editing the book. 
The publication is being sponsored 
through a grant from the Special Col¬ 
lections Library at James Madison. 

Upper James River 

The Upper James River Chapter 
met on September 26 at Boxerwood 
(just west of Lexington in Rockbridge 
County) to celebrate its official recog¬ 
nition as a chapter and to approve by¬ 
laws and elect officers. The charter of¬ 
ficers are Katherine Smith, president; 
Peggy Dyson-Cobb, vice-president; 
Laura Neal, treasurer; and Dorothy 
Perkins, secretary. Welcome Upper 
James River! 


Prince William Society 

The summer garden tours spon¬ 
sored by the Prince William Wild¬ 
flower Society were a big hit with 
more than 150 visitors. Gardens were 
opened by Ken and Fran Bass, Tiana 
Camfiord, and Marie and Paul Davis. 
Volunteer hosts were Nancy 
Arrington, Charlotte Cochard, Kathy 
Ehrenberger, Jeanne Fowler, Nicky 
Staunton, Linda and Leo Stoltz, 
Nancy Vehrs, and Helen Walter. 

•Flora 

(Continued from page 3) 

the Flora of Virginia Project. Our major 
development program is being written by 
Joslin Gallatin, Chair of the Flora of Vir¬ 
ginia Project Development Committee. It 
is possible for you to help with the pro¬ 
duction of this long-anticipated listing of 
all flora in Virginia. Your financial dona¬ 
tions or gifts of securities may be sent di¬ 
rectly to: The Foundation of the Flora of 
Virginia Project, Inc., P. O. Box 512, Rich¬ 
mond, VA 23218-0512. Please visit the 
Flora of Virginia Project website: 
www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/vaflora.htm 
to learn more. 

Nicky Staunton, Director, Flora of Virginia Project 


Holiday shopping? 

A Virginia Native Plant Society membership would be a fine gift throughout 2003! 


See the address label for your membership expiration date 

VNPS Membership/Renewal Form 

Name(s)_ 

Address_ 

City_State_Zip_ 

_Individual $20 (until 1-1-03) _Student $15 

_Family $30 _Associate (groups) $40* 

_Patron $50 _Sustaining $100 

_Life $500 

*Please designate one person as delegate for Associate membership 
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 or_Chapter in the 

amount of_$10_$25_$50_$100_$(Other)_ 

_Check if you do not wish your name to be listed to be exchanged with similar 

organizations in a chapter directory 

Make check payable to VNPS and mail to: 

VNPS Membership Chair, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2, 
Boyce, VA 22620 

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


The Bulletin 

ISSN 1085-9632 
is published five times a year 
0an., March, May, August, Nov.) by 

Virginia Native Plant Society 
Blandy Experimental Farm 
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2 
Boyce, VA 22620 
(540)837-1600 

vnpsofc@shentel.net 

www.vnps.org 

Nicky Staunton, President 
Nancy Sorrells, Editor 
Original material contained in the Bulletin maybe 
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 consider¬ 
ation. I terns shcxikd be typed, on disk in Microsoft Word 
ore-mailed to: Editor,3419Cold Springs Rd.,Green¬ 
ville, VA24440, or lotswife@rica.net 

The deadline for the next issue is January 15 

, = Page 7 


November 2002 














































































Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 


Trout-lily a welcome spring ephemeral 


(Continued from page 1) 

arch above the dried leaf litter like a 
serpent's tongue and virtually pant for 
sunshine, are the basis for one of the 
plant's well-known common names, 
"adder's-tongue." Personally, I sus¬ 
pect it was the extruding stamens of 
the flower that, to some name-coiner 
long ago, conjured up the darting 
tongue of a snake poised to strike. 

The trout-lily has more vernacu¬ 
lar aliases than a scam artist, bespeak¬ 
ing its widespread occurrence and 
popularity as a wildflower. Each fea¬ 
tures some prominent characteristic of 
the plant. Most apt are "trout-lily" and 
"fawn-lily," said to have been coined 
by naturalist John Burroughs to replace 
the inappropriate name "dogtooth-vio¬ 
let." Indeed, the plant is a lily by affin¬ 
ity, and its nodding 1-2-inch flowers 
that bloom a mere 5-10 inches above 
the ground are shaped like miniature 
lilies. Why "trout"? Maybe because the 
flowers bloom at the beginning of trout 
season, maybe because the mottled 
leaves suggest the speckled sides of a 



n 


gest the fawn's spots, and to some 
the two basal leaves that flank the 


solitary flower on its naked, 4-6-inch 
scape also mimic the fawn's erect ears. 

Probably the earliest English name 
was dogtooth-violet, originally applied 
to the European species, Erythronium 
dens-canis, first described by Linnaeus. 

Its white corm was fancied to look like 
a dog's tooth, hence the dens-canis. 
Erythronium referred to the red or pur¬ 
plish flower, suggesting a violet. Of the 
approximately two dozen species of 
Erythronium worldwide, all but this one 
are North American and yellow- or 
white-flowered. Thus, while the "dog¬ 
tooth" shape of the corm applies as well 
to the North American species, the "vio¬ 
let" color of the flower does not. 

From seed to blooming takes 4-7 
years, and a mature plant may not 
bloom every year. The corm gets larger 
and goes deeper into the soil the older 
it gets, sometimes going down well over 
a foot. Until the corm reaches flower¬ 
ing size, it produces only a single, 
ground-level leaf per season. Flower¬ 
ing plants bear two basal leaves. The 
species spreads not only by seeds but 
also by offshoot runners from, the . _ 
i ic<Di!mB, fawning extensive clonal colo¬ 
nies, carpeting the forest. Most plants 
in any given colony are single-leaved. 




not yet reproductively mature. In one 
study the colonies were found to aver¬ 
age nearly 150 years in age and were as 
old as 1,300 years. 

The yellow flowers track the sun 
and more or less close at night. The 
three sepals (outer whorl), which may 
be tinged with brownish red on the 
outside, and three petals (inner whorl), 
which may be spotted at the base in¬ 
side, are otherwise similar. In bright sun¬ 
light all may recurve so strongly as to 
give the flower an almost spherical look. 

The yellow trout-lily grows in moist 
deciduous upland and especially bot¬ 
tomland woods and even in meadows 
almost throughout the eastern states and 
adjacent Canada. In Virginia it can be 
found in most counties, often in profu¬ 
sion. It blooms primarily in April. 

Most of the 22 American species of 
Erythronium are western. A second yel¬ 
low species, E. umbilicatum, has been 
recognized recently in the Southeast, 
which occurs less commonly in Vir¬ 
ginia i-han E. americanum. The two are ^ 
separated by small technical differ¬ 
ences. The wide-ranging midwestem 
white trout-lily, E. albidum, reaches Vir¬ 
ginia only in the Washington, D.C., area 
along the Potomac River. 

Stanwyn G. Shetler, VNPS Botany Chair 


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