Check our Events Calendar
for all upcoming events. Events posted here generally reflect the next upcoming VNPS Potowmack chapter happening.
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.
If you can't get enough of plant sales - I know I can't - here's a listing of all the area native plant sales we could find.
April 11th, 7:30pm-9:00pm
Green Spring Gardens Park
Come to our April lecture and hear Janet Davis,
owner and principal landscape designer of Hill House Farm and Nursery, as she
shares her expertise in bringing the intrinsic beauty of the flora and fauna of
Virginia’s natural habitats into the managed landscape. Janet will take a deep
dive into the use of native plants as groundcovers, to help you make a list of
plants for the upcoming plant sale season.
Using the new Flora of Virginia:
A manual to the manual
By co-author Chris Ludwig
Thursday, March 14
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Green Spring Gardens
VNPS programs are free and open to the public. No reservations are
necessary for lectures.
The 1554-page Flora of Virginia contains vast amounts of
information to help beginners through experts understand and appreciate
Virginia's native and naturalized plants. During this talk, Chris Ludwig
will present many features designed into the Flora manual to help us
thoroughly understand these plants.
You are encouraged to bring your copy of the Flora.
Chris Ludwig is co-author of the Flora of Virginia. He is the Chief
Biologist for Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he
directs a team of botanists, zoologists, and ecologists in their quest to
identify all of the rare species populations and significant natural
communities in Virginia. He co-founded the Flora of Virginia Foundation,
formed to produce the first modern manual to the vascular Flora of Virginia.
The Flora was published in December 2012.
NOTE: If you do not yet have a copy of The Flora of Virginia, there are
still some copies available from the first printing. They can be purchased
Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society
PO Box 5311
Arlington, VA 22205
Saturday, February 23, 2013
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Field trip co-sponsored by the Ford Nature Center and the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.
Leaders: Rod Simmons, Jennifer Millwood, and John Burke.
Wear good shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water. We'll walk
mainly on trails, but the terrain
is steep and rocky in places. (Folks who aren't comfortable with steep
grades can turn back when the gently rolling upland ridge trail of the
first segment of the walk reaches the point where it becomes steep.)
Field trip is free and open to non-members.
Please RSVP Jennifer Millwood at (703) 746-5559 or
scenic Holmes Run Gorge is one of the most floristically and
geologically diverse areas of northern Virginia. Dramatic cliffs and
massive outcroppings of bedrock
abound, capped by ancient gravel terraces and deposits of the Potomac
Formation. The vegetation of the Gorge is diverse, with old-age forest
stands and many species that are uncommon to rare in the region.
We’ll walk the section of the gorge from Columbia Pike downstream to the western edge of
the City of Alexandria at Dora Kelley Nature Park.
From western Fairfax County or Maryland, take the Capital Beltway (495)
to Braddock Rd. (Rt.
620) north exit. Follow Braddock Rd. north for several miles, crossing
Little River Turnpike (Rt. 236) and Lincolnia Rd., to its end at
Columbia Pike (Rt. 244). Turn right onto Columbia Pike and stay in
right lane for a couple of blocks to crest of hill
above the Lake Barcroft Dam at Holmes Run. Turn right onto Fairfax
Pkwy. and make immediate half left onto parallel service road along
Columbia Pike, park along service road, and walk downhill on sidewalk
along Columbia Pike across the pedestrian bridge over
Holmes Run to the parking lot at the park entrance. Otherwise,
continue past the Fairfax Pkwy. entrance on Columbia Pike to the parking
area at the trail entrance just opposite the Lake Barcroft Dam.
(Parking lot can only be accessed from the northbound
lane of Columbia Pike.) This area is about halfway between Bailey's
Crossroads and Annandale.
*Field trip cancelled for heavy-steady snow, sleet, or pouring rain, but not for snow flurries or drizzling rain.
For ARMN members, field trip applies per usual towards advanced training hours in botany, ecology, and geology.
Thursday, February 21
7:30 ‐ 9:00 pm
VNPS programs are free and open to the public.
No reservations are necessary for lectures.
The wealth of resources now available on regional plant communities gives the
landscape designer opportunities to move from simple/superficial plant
arrangements to increased complexity in the assemblage of a design.
The concept of plant communities enables the designer to explore natural systems and the power they have to help
heal our fragmented landscapes.
Susan Abraham, principal at Lush Life Landscape Design Associates, leads a
team of environmentally-minded designers in the Northern Virginia region.
Native plants are always the first choice for Lush Life designers. Susan is on
the faculty of The George Washington University, teaching design and native
plants in the graduate Landscape Design program.
Field Trip to Old-Age Hemlock Forest at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park,
Fairfax County, VA
Sunday, February 3, 2013
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Field trip co-sponsored by the Potowmack Chapter-VNPS and the Botanical
Society of Washington.
Leader: Rod Simmons
Bring: Wear good shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water. We'll walk
mainly on trails, but the terrain is steep and rocky in places. (Folks who
aren't comfortable with steep grades can turn back when the gently rolling
upland ridge trail of the first segment of the walk reaches the point where
it becomes steep.)
Field trip is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to
Directions: Take Ox Road (Rt. 123) or Fairfax County Pkwy (Rt. 7100) east to
Burke Lake Road (Burke Lake Road becomes Clifton Road south of Rt. 123).
Take Clifton Road southwest towards Clifton, but turn left onto Yates Ford
Road (Rt. 615) before the town of Clifton and proceed app. 1-2 miles to
parking area at entrance to Hemlock Overlook Regional Park.
*Field trip cancelled for heavy-steady snow, sleet, or pouring rain, but not
for snow flurries or drizzling rain.