Check our Events Calendar
for all upcoming events. Events posted here generally reflect the next upcoming VNPS Potowmack chapter happening.
Newsletters for download are here
Sunday December 15, 2013
10:00am - 3:00pm
trip co-sponsored by the Maryland Native Plant Society, Potowmack
Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Botanical Society of
and Mattawoman Watershed Society
Leaders: Rod Simmons, Jim Long, John Burke, Alan Ford, Richard
Murray, Carole Bergmann, and Greg Zell
the winter season at Chapman Forest (Chapman State Park) with its
spectacular scenery and remarkable diversity of native plants, wildlife,
and natural communities.
Field trip is free and open to non-members. Registration is not required.
For ARMN members, this event will apply towards advanced training hours in botany, dendrology, forest ecology, and geology.
Bring: Wear sturdy shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water. Most of the walk traverses
rolling, fairly open forest along trails, though some steep grades will occasionally be encountered.
Indian Head Highway (Rt. 210) south from Capital Beltway (495).
Proceed south on Rt. 210 for app. 15 miles. Continue on Rt. 210 past
the Rt. 227 intersection at Bryans Road
(McDonald's, Burger King, and shopping center on right and a builders
supply will be on left) and start looking for Chapman Landing Road on
right. Take half right on Chapman Landing Road and proceed a couple of
miles to entrance to Mount Aventine (Chapman
State Park) on right. Park and meet in parking lot at entrance gate
(additional parking is available along the shoulder of Chapman Landing
Road, though please be mindful of the neighboring residents and careful
not to damage the road edges when parking).
*Field trip cancelled for heavy-steady snow, sleet, or pouring rain, but not for snow flurries or drizzling rain.
Location: Norma Hoffman Visitor Center - Huntley Meadows Park, 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, Va, 22306
Date/Time: Wednesday November 13
Topic: CSI: Plants
Speaker: Steven B. Carroll
Plants have been used in criminal investigations for hundreds of years. Seeds or plant debris found at a crime scene, details of plant anatomy, stomach content analysis, DNA sequence information, and more have provided evidence in crimes ranging from smuggling to kidnapping to murder.
At the Friends of Dyke Marsh quarterly meeting Dr. Steven B. Carroll will discuss famous cases, modern techniques, and some surprising ways in which plant evidence is used in the investigation of crimes. Steve Carroll is Director of Public Programs at the State Arboretum of Virginia and Blandy Experimental Farm, University of Virginia. He is a botanist and plant ecologist, speaks frequently about plants and gardening, and is co-author of Ecology for Gardeners, published by Timber Press.
The program is cosponsored by the American Horticultural Society, the TreeStewards of Arlington & Alexandria, and the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.
It is free and open to the public.
The Potomac Gorge: Natural Community and Plant Species Diversity
By Gary P. Fleming
Sunday, October 13
Meeting & Lecture: 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Followed by Field Trip to Great Falls National Park at 3:30 pm
RSVP for field trip:
The Potomac Gorge is the "crown jewel" of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont,
containing approximately 200 rare species and communities.
Natural Heritage Program ecologist Gary Fleming will provide an
overview of the varied natural communities and rich vascular flora of
the Gorge, along with the environmental factors that shape their
habitats. Using several different methods, the overall biological
diversity and significance of the Gorge will be compared to other
important sites in the Mid-Atlantic region.
P. Fleming is a senior vegetation ecologist with the Virginia
Department of Conservation and Recreation's Natural Heritage Program. He
is a contributing writer for the recently published Flora of Virginia,
producing two introductory chapters and all the habitat information in
the species accounts. He has more than 35 years of experience in
botanical and ecological inventory of natural areas in the mid-Atlantic
region, including extensive work in the Potomac Gorge. Mr. Fleming’s
work has been published in Castanea, Banisteria, the Virginia Journal of
Science, and other scientific journals. He is also a long-time member
and current President of the Virginia Botanical Associates, and a
co-author of that group’s Atlas of the Virginia Flora III (1992) and current on-line Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (http://www.biol.vt.edu/digital_atlas/).
VNPS programs are free and open to the public, but reservations are
required for field trips.
Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society
PO Box 5311
Arlington, VA 22205www.vnps-pot.org and www.vnps.org
Our fall plant sale is Saturday October 5th at Green Spring Gardens Park, from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Please visit us behind the greenhouse! Click here
for a Google Map to the beds.
Fall is approaching and that means many things but most importantly resumption of our monthly lectures!
Oaks of Virginia:
The Quirky Quercus
Christopher Puttock, PhD
Thursday, September 12
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Oaks are the predominant trees of Virginia, dominating much of the landscape
in nearly every forested community. Twenty-seven native species of oaks are
currently known from Virginia. In addition, many exotic species are used as
parkland and street trees, as well as elements in designed landscapes.
Distinguishing between species poses a challenge for all of us.
Dr. Puttock will take us through the morphological tool-kit needed by the
amateur naturalist and professional botanist if he or she is to have any
hope of identifying these sometimes difficult species, and thus avoiding the
common quercus refrain: "it's a hybrid".
Dr. Puttock is a botanist with more than 35 years of experience in flora
writing, herbarium management, and marine and terrestrial environmental
conservation. He is the past President of the Botanical Society of
Washington and a Maryland Native Plant Society board member. He is currently
working on several botanical projects, including developing an electronic
key of the North American paper daisies (the Asteraceae tribe Gnaphalieae);
documenting the status of ginseng in Maryland; and preparing a book on
Maryland oaks. His passion is in the landscape restoration of matrix plants
and animals, without which the sustainability of rare and declining flora
and fauna will never be achieved.
VNPS programs are free and open to the public. No reservations are
necessary for lectures.
Marion Lobstein is one of VNPS's non-floral treasures. Among her many projects she is writing articles describing changes to the taxonomy of some of our favorite plants. Definitely check out this link! http://vnps.org/wp/pwws/botanizing-with-marion/
Due to the severe weather alerts which have been issued for our area today,
we are rescheduling the June meeting until NEXT THURSDAY evening, June 20.
The same time, the same place - just one week later!
on the Mason Neck peninsula, surrounded by Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and
the Potomac River, this is an especially good place to witness many
interesting Coastal wetland plants. We will walk through the trail along
the wetland to the pond and to the marsh area to see an amazing variety
of Coastal species, including some great patches of lowbush and
highbush blueberry, black huckleberry, swamp doghobble, serviceberry,
possumhaw, and VA sweetspire. We will also find pickerel weed, arrow
arum, three squares, rose mallow, cardinal flower, smooth beggarticks,
fringed and shallow sedge, sneezeweed, and many others.
is co-founder, Executive Director and Dharma Teacher of the Earth
Sangha. She has been studying and propagating the native plants of the
mid-Atlantic since 2000 and has spent many years collecting seeds from
local forests and meadows for the Wild Plant Nursery. She has covered
Mason Neck and many natural areas in our region repeatedly in different
seasons over the years, but says she always finds new species overlooked
in previous seasons.
Plant Roots and their Fungal Partners:
The underground view of plant communities
Thursday, June 13, 7:30-9:00 pm
Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria VA
organisms within the soil decompose and recycle organic matter as they
build good soil structure and promote growth of healthy plants. Of
paramount importance in this living community are fungi that form a
symbiotic relationship with plant roots. Via this symbiosis, called
mycorrhiza, plant roots provide sugars to the fungi as the fungi
transfer nutrients and water to the plant. In addition, the mycorrhizal
fungi promote resistance to plant disease as they improve soil and
plant quality. How to best garden with the mycorrhizae will also be
presented, as will contributions the mycorrhizae make to plant community
Speaker Bio: Paulette
Royt earned a BS and MS degree in Biology from American University, and
a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Maryland. After a
fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Paulette joined the
Biology Department of George Mason University where she taught numerous
courses within microbiology and pursued research in pathogenic
microbiology. Upon retiring from GMU, Paulette became a Master Gardener
at Green Spring Gardens where she serves as a docent and speaker on many
topics of horticulture.
Magnolia Bogs of the Fall Line
May 9, 2013. 7:30-9:00pm
Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, VA.
Rod Simmons, Natural Resource Specialist, City of Alexandria Natural Resources Division.
In 1918, W. L. McAtee described the “magnolia bogs” as a distinctive habitat present in a few dozen places on the innermost Coastal Plain (near the Fall Line) in the Washington, D.C., area. Occurring where cool water seeps from hillside gravel deposits, these specialized wetlands are characterized by the presence of the native sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) as well as other distinctive plants, such as peat moss (Sphagnum) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix). While many of McAtee’s localities have been destroyed or badly degraded by development over the past decades, a few good examples remain. This natural community of VA is now Critically Impaired globally and statewide, G1/S1.