N A TIVE NOTES
Kate’s Mountain Clover
BILL GR A FTON – EDITOR
WEST VIRGINI A N A TIVE PL A NT SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
Volume 15:2 AUGUST , 2007
September 22 & 23 – A NNU A L MEETING
Saturday , Sept . 22
10 A M Forked Run State Park , Botanical Foray , meet at parking lot : 63300
State Route 124, Reedsville , Ohio
4:30 PM Dinner in Pomeroy , Ohio at Bob Evans
6 PM Membership Meeting at Ohio State Univ . Extension Ofc . in Pomeroy
Information about and directions to Forked Run SP :
www . dnr . state . oh . us / parks / forkedrn . html
http :// www . stateparks . com / forked_run . html
Sunday , Sept . 23
8 A M Porterbrook Native Plant Nursery , a tour of Dr . Frank Porter’s nursery , landscaping , and a workshop on native plant propagation .
Lodging options :
1 . Meigs Motel – 740 992-5531. It is located right behind Pomeroy on Oh . Rt . 7
2 . Super 8, Ripley , WV 1-800-403-4176 or 1-304-372-8880
3 . Best Western – McCoys , Ripley , WV 1-304-372-9122
4 . Holiday Inn Express , Ripley , WV 1-304-372-5000
5 . There is also camping available at Forked Run State Park .
WEST VIRGINI A – 2007 BOT A NIC A L HOTSPOT OF THE YE A R
Three nationally known botanical organizations held meetings in West Virginia this year .
1 . North A merican Rock Garden Society - June 14-17 at Canaan Valley .
2 . Joint Field Meeting of the Botanical Society of A merica – Northeastern Section , Torrey Botanical Society , and Philadelphia Botanical Club – June 17-21 at Davis and Elkins College .
3 . Delaware Valley Fern Society – July 8-11 at Canaan Valley State Park .
The North A merican Rock Garden Society ( N A RGS ) had about 170 participants from the US and Canada . Martha Oliver ( Scottdale , P A) who is one of our WVNPS members was the primary coordinator of the event and did a fantastic job . Charles Oliver ( Martha ’s husband ) was always present and helping organize trips , setting up A V equipment , and troubleshooting where needed . They along with Bill Grafton were leaders on most of the tours along with another 10 or so leaders . Martha presented the opening talk about the exploitation of Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley in the opening address titled , “ A Series of Unfortunate Events” . Bill Grafton presented information on flora of Dolly Sods and the WV Shale Barrens in a talk titled “Dolly Sods & Shale Barrens : One degree below tree line and one step above desert” . Fields trips were taken to Blackwater Falls State Park , Dolly Sods and Larenim Shale barren .
Bonnie Isaac from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History talked about the ecology and phytogeography of Canaan Valley plants . Bill Cullina from the New England Wildflower Garden presented two talks on rare plant introductions and woodland plant propagation , that were excellent .
Note from your Editor : This was one of the best organized conferences I have ever attended . It was very exciting to be around people with such a love for our native plants .
The “Joint Meeting” at Elkins must have been fabulous . Hopefully we can get a report from one of our attendees .
Elizabeth Byers presented “High elevation wetlands of the A llegheny Mountain region” .
Elizabeth and Jim Vanderhorst led an all day field trip to Cheat Mountain .
Kathy Gregg ( WV Wesleyan College ) presented “Do orchids hedge their bets ? ”
Kathy and Brian Streets led an all day field trip to Dolly Sods .
Bill Roody presented “Mushrooms : a world of wonder” .
Elizabeth Byers and Leah Ceperley led an all day field trip to Canaan Valley .
Rodney Bartgis ( WV TNC ) presented “Dry limestone communities of the upper South Branch” .
The Delaware Valley Fern Society explored for ferns and wildflowers in Tucker , Grant and Mineral Counties . Most of the field trips were led by Bill Grafton and Mike Breiding . A field trip between Parsons and Hendricks resulted in seeing Goldies shield fern , 3 Cystopteris species ( protrusa , tenuis , and bulbifera , royal fern , interrupted fern , walking fern , glade fern , Polypody Fern ( Polypodium appalachianum ), and maidenhair spleenwort . We also found Maianthemum stellatum ( Star - flowered Solomon’s Seal ).
The next stop was Big Run ( Olson ) Bog on top of Backbone Mountain . Our goal was to see the Bog clubmoss , and the larger A ppressed Bog Clubmoss , which we did . We also saw about 200 Pogonia ophioglossoides ( Rose Pogonia ) in bloom . Pitcher plants and
Round - leaved Sundew were everywhere . The Pitcher Plant population has literally exploded during the past few years . Where there were several hundred there are now thousands of plants .
And then we hit a bonanza !!! Tom Weiboldt ( Curator at Virginia Tech , Chip Morgan , Mo Stevens , and Mike Breiding found a small patch of Bog rosemary . This is only the second population known from WV ( the other is in Cranberry Glades ).
I ( Bill Grafton ) had to see this rarity . Fortunately , Tom W . had taken a GPS reading of the location . We walked around a large clump of Winterberry where we expected to find the Bog Rosemary , but instead I saw a large clump of a shrub I had never seen before . Tom was familiar with it and named it Leather - leaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata ). A second smaller clump of Leather - leaf was a bout 2 0 feet away . A s I started toward it , I saw another evergreen shrub that I have seen in Canada and New England . It was Pale or Swamp Laurel ( Kalmia polifolia ). I was so happy that it took me several minutes to see the Bog Rosemary that was literally mixed in with the Pale Laurel .
The last native shrub I can recall being found in WV was Prairie Redroot ( Ceanothus herbaceus ) found by Rodney Bartgis well over a decade ago .
To find two new native shrubs in an area that has been heavily botanized and located within 20 feet of each other and mixed with the very rare Bog Rosemary was a once in a lifetime experience for the five of us .
Our next field trip was along the Dobbin House Trail in Blackwater Falls SP and on US Forest Service lands . The objective was to locate and make a definite identification of Lycopodium lagopus ( One - cone Clubmoss ) which was found here about 3 years ago . We accomplished our goal and then spent considerable time discussing the hybrids and varieties of Lycopodium clavatum , L . lagopus , L . annotinum , L . digitatum , L . obscurum and L . hickeyii that were all growing in close proximity to each other .
The next field trip was to A bes Run in Canaan Valley SP to look at unusual wildflowers such as Showy Ladies’ Slipper , Swamp Saxifrage , Purple A vens , Purple Fringed Orchid , Kidney - leaf Twayblade , glade spurge , and Jacob’s Ladder . We also saw the rare Cranberry Bush ( Viburnum trilobum ) and A lder - leaved Buckthorn .
Before we even got our feet wet , Mike Breiding spotted a nice stand of Meadow Horsetail ( Equisetum pratense ). This was also a new state record .
Later field trips took us to see Oak Fern ( Gymnocarpium dryopteris ), Long Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis ), Wood Horsetail ( Equisetum sylvaticum ), and Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris ).
FUTURE FIELD TRIPS & EVENTS
September 22 & 23 ( Sat . & Sun .) WVNPS A nnual Membership Meeting at Pomeroy , Ohio . Field trips , workshop , and business meeting .
September 8 th – Margaret Dennison Fall Nature Walk at Kanawha State Forest . Contact : Shirley Schweizer 304 925-2771 Registration starts at 9 A M at the swimming pool area . Hikes start at 9:30 A M . A dult fee - $5 & Under 16 fee - $2
Check these websites :
WV Native Plant Society : www . wvnps . org
Wayne Nation al Forest : www . fs . fed . us / r 9/ wayne / events
Ohio Wildflower Pilgrimage : www . highlandsanctuary . org / CalendarOfEvents
Kentucky Native Plant Society : www . knps . org / knps %20 events
G A S WELL CONTROVERSY IN K A N A WH A ST A TE FOREST
Senate Bill 460 was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Manchin to protect the forests and vegetation of Kanawha State Forest and all of our 9 state forests from poorly located and maintained gas well roads . Unfortunately , during the negotiations efforts to reclaim all roads and well sites with native plants was deleted . Public input recently ended and DNR will now write the “rules” to implement the law . It is hoped that reclamation with native plants can be reinstated in the rules . Considerable input has been provided by a number of our WVNPS members , such as , Bill Hall , Julian Martin , and Mae Ellen Wilson . Helen Gibbins wrote the following letter to represent views of WVNPS .
WEST VIRGINI A N A TIVE PL A NT SOCIETY
6 128 Gideon Rd .
Huntington , WV 25705
gibbins @ verizon . net
July 25, 2007
Kenneth Caplinger , A cting Chief
Parks and Recreation Section
Division of Natural Resources
Building 3, Room 714, Capitol Complex
1 900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston , WV 25305-0662
Dear Mr . Caplinger :
I am writing on behalf of the West Virginia Native Plant Society membership to support the proposed regulations for oil and gas well drilling and road construction / maintenance in West Virginia’s state forests . We believe the new rules represent a major step forward in protecting the special ecological and recreational environments of our state forests . We commend you and the DNR for this effort and welcome the opportunity to provide input into the development of the final document .
We recommend adding requirements to ensure the seeding of plant species native to West Virginia in the reclamation of areas disturbed or damaged by well sites or access roads . This is vital to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species which are destructive to West Virginia’s long term biodiversity and health of wildlife populations . There are several sources in adjacent states of native seed mixes that would be effective in erosion control as well as promoting the sustainability of the forest ecosystem .
We also urge a requirement for an inventory of plant species and wildlife habitats , especially with respect to rare species that might be found in proposed well sites . While consulting a list of previously identified threatened or endangered species is also highly recommended , a current survey further assures no adverse impacts to rare plant and animal species would occur .
A thorough survey conducted by field botanists and / or biologists would allow environmentally sound decisions regarding location of new drilling projects and potential mitigation by the developer for damages to the natural forest community .
Once again we are grateful for the advances in preserving the integrity of our state forests delineated in the proposed rules . Please consider our comments in formulating the final draft and advise us if further consultation would be helpful in this process .
Helen Gibbins , Recording Secretary
West Virginia Native Plant Society
CR A NBERRY GL A DES FIELD TRIP : by KEVIN C A MPBELL
During the weekend of June 22-24, 2007, the WV Native Plant Society , Kanawha Valley Chapter had an outing to the Cranberry Glades region of Pocahontas County . In attendance were ; Elizabeth Byers , Chris Gatens , Bill Hall , and Kevin Campbell . We stayed at the Handley Wildlife Management A rea near Edray , WV . The weather was fantastic and during Saturday we observed and identified sixteen sedges” and ten orchids . I should clarify that “we identified” for the sedges means Elizabeth Byers . A mong the discoveries were Heart - Leaved Twayblade in Cranberry glades and Early Coralroot in a small bog in Handley WM A.
Cypripedium acaule Pink Ladies Slipper
Listera cordata Heart - Leaved Twayblade
Goodyera pubescens Downy Rattlesnake Plantain
Habenaria clavellata Green Wood Orchid
Habenaria orbiculata Round - Leaved Orchid
Habenaria psycodes Purple Fringed Orchid
Pogonia ophioglossoides Rose Pogonia
Calopogon tuberosus Grass Pink
Liparis loeselii Loesel’s Twayblade
Corallorhiza trifida Early Coralroot
Scirpus cyperinus Woolgrass
Eriophorum virginicum Cottongrass
Rynchospora recognita Beaked Rush
Dulchium arundinaceum Three - Way Sedge
Carex atlantica Prickly Bog Sedge
Carex echinata Star Sedge
Carex plantaginea Plantain Sedge
Carex prasina Drooping Sedge
Carex torta Twisted Sedge
Carex crinita Fringed Sedge
Carex gynandra Nodding Sedge
Carex utriculata Beaked Sedge
Carex lurida Sallow Sedge
Carex baileyi Bailey’s Sedge
Carex intumescens Greater Bladder Sedge
Cymophyllus fraserianus Fraser’s Sedge
HIGHLIGHTS OF BO A RD MEETING ON M A Y 5, 2007
Meeting held in Canaan Valley . Present were : Chad Kirschbaum , Lawrence Beckerle , Kevin Campbell , Donna Ford - Werntz , Bill Grafton , Chris Gatens , Bill Hall , Steve Mace , Jeff Patton and Helen Gibbins .
TRE A SURER ’ S REPORT :
T - shirt sales amount to $646. We agreed to subsidize this project up to $200 if needed . Chad Kirschbaum was commended by the Board for his efforts .
Finances discussion : We may have a deficit budget unless :
1 . We finance fewer projects ..
2 . We increase our membership . Present membership is 85.
3 . More members get the newsletter by email
4 . Increase dues $3 for members who prefer postal mail rather than email
Note : The Native Notes will continue to be sent by postal mail unless you specifically request sending it by email .
Public Relations :
· Cultivate members of the press such as Scott Shalaway ( send names & email to Helen Gibbins )
· Target at least two members of the press
· Ask Frank Porter to write a press release for the 2007 annual meeting
· Develop a display featuring native plants for the 2008 Bee Keeping convention to be held in Huntington .
Helen Gibbins agreed to chair the Nominating Committee . She will ask Lois Kuhl and Romie Hughart to serve again .
Wilderness : Helen Gibbins reported that , in the name of WVNPS , she sent a letter to WV ’ s Congressional delegation asking them to desiginate more wilderness areas in WV . The emphasis of the letter was on stopping invasive plants from moving into special areas .
Invasive Plants : Lawrence Beckerle said that he had contacted the Forest Service , asking what plan it had to eradicate Japanese stilt grass from the Cranberry Wilderness . He emphasized the need to take aggressive action early on . From his conversation he gathers this is a new activity for Forest Service employees .
It was agreed that WVNPS would sponsor a winter workshop on eradicating invasive plants . The workshop would include speakers and a display to help identify invasive plants . Proposed speakers were Kent Karriker , David Dick , Scott Eggerud , Cindy Huebner , Chad K . and Lawrence B will contact individuals who might be willing to make presentations at the workshop . Date and place to be determined later .
The board approved Chad Kirschbaum using our name on grant applications .
The WV Legislature passed new rules that update the WV List of Noxious Weeds .
K A N A WH A V A LLEY N A TIVE PL A NT SOCIETY HIKE
D A TE : A ugust 4, 2007 - 10:00 am
PL A CE : Kanawha State Forest
BY : Christopher M . Gatens of Leon , WV
On this date , three brave chapter members hiked to the top of the Middle Ridge Road to search for three plant species that are tracked by the WVDNR Natural Heritage Program . Present for this hike were Mae Ellen Wilson of Charleston , WV , Kevin L . Campbell of Walker , ( Wood County ), WV and myself . The temperature for the hike climbed to near 90 F near the end of the trip , but a good time was had by the participants . A partial plant list for the day included the following species :
Yellow - Fringed Orchid Platanthera ciliaris
Chain Fern Woodwardia areolata
Climbing Fern Lygodium palmatum
Glade Fern Diplazium pycnocarpon
Broad Beech Fern Phegopteris hexagonoptera
Devil’s Walking Stick A ralia spinosa
Small - headed Sunflower Helianthus microcephalus
Tickseed Sunflower Coreopsis major
Pink Lady Slipper Cypripedium acaule
Downy Skullcap Scutellaria incana
Giant Cane A rundinaria gigantea
Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata
WVNPS NOMIN A TING COMMITTEE REPORT for 2008
Helen Gibbins – Chairperson
Lois Kuhl – member
Romie Hughart - member
2 008 Officers / Trustee
President – Chad Kirschbaum
Vice Pres . – Lawrence Beckerle
Corresponding Sec . – Steve Mace
Recording Secretary – Helen Gibbins
Treasurer – Donna Ford - Werntz
Bd . of Trustees – Judi White – 1 year term
- Lois Kuhl – 3 year term
M A RYL A ND NPS – A NNU A L CONFERENCE
Climate Change : Global Effects , Local Impacts
- Western Maryland’s Flora at Risk ?
September 29 – 30, 2007
2 26 Compton Hall , Frostburg State University , Frostburg , MD
Registration fee ( includes lunch ) $50- members $65- nonmembers
- Saturday social fee ( includes dinner ) $30 per person
Rodney Bartgis – State Director of WV The Nature Conservancy is a speaker .
Liz McDowell and Ron Boyer ( owners of Elk Ridge Nature Works ) and Jessie Harris are WV NPS members who will be field trip leaders .
The conference will have 3 excellent speakers and 5 exciting field trips to choose from .
Website info : http :// www . mdflora . org
Registration info : Beth Johnson 301 949-6338
Or email : bajohnson @ verizon . net
S A Y IT A IN’T SO
For 30 years I have told people that Coltsfoot ( Tussilago farfara ) is
nothing to get worried about . It has invaded roadsides and disturbed
soils with occasional plants showing up in unmanaged pastures .
However , during a recent trip to Canaan Valley State Park , I
discovered Coltsfoot competing with a half dozen rare species
in wet mucky , highly organic soils . I was very surprised to see
this . A dding to my surprise was the wet thicket is at least 200
feet from any road or disturbed soils .
Web site : WVNPS . ORG
On a Warm Summer Day feels like South Central A laska
Few landmarks in West Virginia receive more acclaim than the numerous escarpments along the A llegheny front . Of all the wild places most photographed and most written about , the Dolly Sods Wilderness and Recreation A reas could win hands - down as the poster child for “Most Scenic West Virginia . ” A lthough many of West Virginia’s lesser acclaimed scenic treasures deserve mention , I am again inspired to share another perspective of the Dolly Sods plateau . First I digress to another journey made prior to the wonderful July 17 visit to Dolly Sods with my husband Bill .
Bill and I took our first trip to A laska in June of this year . We spent two weeks exploring the Kenai Peninsula in south central A laska and then north to Denali National Park . We drove south from A nchorage on June 21 in a tiny Ford Focus with only two scheduled destinations . In between these points of interest we explored a variety of trails , mountains and coastal areas . Each side trip on any given day was selected by studying the map , picking what looked like the most promising area and letting intuition guide our way . It worked ! A lthough we may never know what we missed , not one excursion was a disappointment .
Alaska’s scenery exceeded all expectations and imaginings in its scale and raw beauty . The wildlife was for the most part all new and exciting . However , the vegetation and bird song below the sub alpine areas was oddly reminiscent of the high red spruce landscapes of our home state . The visual textures and structures of some plant communities and natural sounds throughout south central A laska evoked visual and auditory connections with the oddly diverse plant communities of Dolly Sods .
My first inkling of West Virginia in A laska occurred on a hike into a beautiful Sitka spruce forest along the rocky - mossy Resurrection River Trail . It immediately felt like Dolly Sods in those areas where the spruce has matured . A lthough the species of spruce was different , the composition of the plant community included numerous species ( or at least close cousins ) of plants and plant arrangements found on Dolly Sods .
Another notable resemblance , the endless jumble of rocks and boulders festooned with thick clumps of moss and Lycopdium . The vegetation emerged in a random tier - like fashion on the slopes above the trail . A rching clumps of wood ferns ( Dryopteris spp .) rose between boulders interspersed with patches of skunk currant , alder , chokecherry and mountain ash between numerous stilted birch and spruce . With each step along the trail , familiar plants native to WV appeared along the trail dwarf cornel , teaberry , twin - flower , sarsaparilla , gold - thread , baneberry , cow parsnip , bishop’s cap , twisted stalk and wild geranium . The shrub layer also included menzizia , elderberry and blueberry . Plants all commonly seen on Dolly Sods
And all the while as I walked dreamily through the myriad shades of green , my ears were serenaded by the lilting flute - like calls of the hermit thrush and Swainson’s thrush . Black capped chickadees bustled all about through the branches above calling the familiar sounds of home . Golden - crowned kinglets and tufted titmice also made their presence known . The one constant reminder that we were not home was the brisk yet musical song of the gray - cheeked thrush .
Similarities in the overall patterns and distribution of vegetation across the landscape of Alaska washed over me even more strongly as we ambled along the first mile of South Prong Trail on the southern end of the Dolly Sods plateau . A t the trail head , nearly ¼ of the plant species are exotics , including heal all , birdsfoot trefoil , queen A nne’s lace and crown vetch . But within a few feet beyond the road , the rocks , and water shape and support the rich diversity of native plant species that thrive in the harsh climates of our highest elevations and south central A laska .
Another comparable landscape feature of West Virginia’s high mountain plains and A laska ’s south central mountains is water . Standing water , running water , rain , snow and fog remain a constant presence nurturing a wide variety of micro - habitats and numerous plant species . Sounds very much like Dolly Sods . The similarities in vegetation composition and certain landscape features could not have resulted from such significantly different geologic histories and certainly incomparable climatic differences due to the extreme northern latitude of A laska . Or maybe there are a few common threads .
The high elevations of West Virginia are subject to extreme cold for many months of the year with significant snowfalls . Both regions are ravaged by severe icy windstorms in winter and the intense heat of the summer sun . Both areas have been subjected to catastrophic disturbance in the past . South Central A laska’s landscape was repeatedly scraped and scoured by glaciers – although thousands of years ago . But the landscape is still a patchwork of rock , rivers , avalanche trails interspersed with forest and scrubby shrubs .
The A llegheny Front including the Dolly Sods area was scraped of all vegetation in a “leave no twig behind” manner during the peak of the industrial growth of the United States . Vast areas were left exposed to erosion and fire . Fires sparked by trains , lightning and other sources burned through the sun - baked layers of soil and sub - soil to leave bare rock on the highest areas devoid of standing water . The devastation was quick , complete and yet relatively recent -80 to 100 years ago .
Consequently , similar climatic and other physiographic features would lead to the kinds of similar vegetation in these two so vastly different landscapes as far as the scale of size and breadth of latitude . The dominant vegetation in both areas thrives in nutrient poor , rocky habitats exposed to deep winter freezes and baking heat for a few summer months . A nd , most likely the vegetation in the A llegheny Mountains followed the glaciers as they receded 1 0,000 years ago . A lthough West Virginia was never glaciated or even subject to glacial wash , the climate was very , very cold with heavy snowfall during the ice ages .
No wonder I could feel at home in A laska’s forests and bogs . We have a strong historical connection . Of course , from this point the similarities pretty much end . But , after Alaska , I am even more excited to scramble across every square inch of the Dolly Sods areas discovering a host of micro - habitats and plant species new to me . Within the first ½ mile of South Prong Trail , Bill and I identified 78 native species of plants on July 17. Dolly Sods is very much alive and thriving and changing with every year and every decade .
By : EMILY GR A FTON
Email ( this is especially needed ):
1 . Please rank the following from most important ( number 1) to least important ( number 4) as a reason that you belong to the West Virginia Native Plant Society :
2 . Which of the following areas would you be willing to volunteer your time and talent ?
3 . What do you consider to be the most important activities of the WVNPS ( rank 1-13, with 1 being most significant ):
_____field trips to see rare plants
_____field trips to specific habitats
_____field trips for observing many
_____field trips to collect scientific data
( involving members with research )
_____work with other conservation
groups on restoration projects
_____working with other organizations
on invasive species control
_____establish rare and native plant
gardens or seed banks
_____displays on the WVNPS and native
plant conservation at conferences
_____sponsor periodic lectures around
the state or in chapter areas
_____fund student research and
establishment of native plant
gardens at schools
_____education of public on native and
non - native plants
_____g ifts to herbaria and projects
such as native plant gardens and
4 . What format would you prefer to receive the newsletter ?
( email or website download )
Any other comments on the future of the WVNPS are appreciated :
How to get this information to us :
1 . Print and fill in this form and mail to :
311 A lleman Hill Road
Walker , WV 26180
2 . Fill - out this form electronically , S A VE and email to Hazwaste 99@ hotmail . com
3 . Complete the survey ONLINE at www . wvnps . org
Thank You !
WV N A TIVE PL A NT SOCIETY
PO BOX 808
NEW H A VEN , WV 25265-0808