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   N A TIVE    NOTES
        

K A TE’S   MOUNT A IN   CLOVER

BILL   GR A FTON     Editor

WEST   VIRGINI N A TIVE   PL A NT   SOCIETY   NEWSLETTER

Volume  15:3                                                               DECEMBER , 2007

Dear   WVNPS   Members ,

I   hope   everyone   had   an   exciting   spring ,  summer   and   fall   and   took   many   opportunities   to   botanize .   I   attended   several   Tri - State   Chapter   trips   and   the   Fall   State   field   trip .   Getting   together   with   friends   and   fellow   botanical   enthusiasts   is   always   a   treat .   I   encourage   you   if   you   haven’t   already ,  to   take   advantage   of   these   trips   next   summer .   It’s   a   great   chance   to   learn   about   the   flora   from   excellent   botanists   such   as   Bill   Grafton ,  Donna   Ford - Werntz   and   Judy   Dumke   and   wildflower   gurus   such   as   Romie   Hughart ,  Helen   Gibbons ,  Jeff   Patton   and   many   others   who   regularly   attend   these   fields   trips   and   willingly   share   the   knowledge   with   participants .   Even   though   I   work   with ,  identify   and   read   about   plants   for   my   job ,  I   always   learn   new   things   on   our   field   trips .  

I’d   like   to   thank   our   Chapter   presidents ,  the   WVNPS   Board   and   Frank   Porter  ( Fall   meeting   host   and   organizer )  for   organizing   excellent   field   trips   and   working   to   educate   and   involve   our   WVNPS   members .

Please   remember   that   the   WVNPS   is   a   organization   for   all   seasons ,  not   just   the   growing   season .   This   winter   we   will   continue   our   annual   lecture   series   at   Marshall   University   (see   schedule   in   this   issue ).  A t   the   first   talk   in   December   I   will   present   on   the   topic   of   fire   ecology .   The   use   of   prescribed   fire   by   land   managers   is   an   important   tool   in   conserving   biodiversity   and   rare   plants .   I   will   explain   why   that   is   and   discuss   some   of   the   controversy   surrounding   the   use   of   prescribed   fire .   The   next   topic   of   our   lecture   series   in   January   features   a   similar   but   more   specific   theme ;  How   does   fire   and   other   forest   management   practices   affect   mosses ?   This   will   be   presented   by   John   Willey   a   graduate   student   at   Ohio   State   University .  A nother   graduate   student   and   colleague   of   mine ,  Gerald   Scott   will   present   his   research   on   the   effects   of   the   invasive   species   Tree - of - Heaven   on   plants   and   soils .   Many   of   you   are   probably   familiar   with   this   species   and   its   stench .    Not   only   does   this   plants   stink   literally ,  but   its   also   stinks   for   the   plants   and   soils   that   have   to   live   with   it .   Last   but   not   least ,  Jim   Boggess   of   Barboursville   will   prime   us   for   spring   wildflower   season   by   giving   us   a   virtual   tour   of   the   wildflowers   of   Barboursville   park .   Jim   will   discuss   many   virtues   and   uses   of   the   plants   he   has   photographed   at   the   park .  

Thanks   for   your   continued   support   of   the   WVNPS   and   I   look   forward   to   seeing   you   this   winter   or   next   summer .

Cheers ,

Chad   Kirschbaum WVNPS   President


SILENT   INV A SION :  ECOLOGIC A L  A ND   HE A LTH   THRE A TS   OF   INV A SIVE   SPECIES


A   silent   invasion   is   taking   place   in   our   precious   forests ,  meadows ,  and   wetlands .  Little   by   little   invasive   plants   are   out - competing   native   plants   as   they   vie   for   nutrients   to   survive .  The   list   of   invasive   species   is   growing   at   an   exponential   rate .  These   invasives   arrive   in   cargo   containers   from   abroad   either   as   seeds ,  roots ,  or   plants .  They   also   are   brought   into   this   country   intentionally   by   nurseries   who   sell   them   to   unsuspecting   gardeners   who   are   delighted   by   the   flowers   and   foliage ,  but   are   completely   unaware   of   the   ecological   havoc   these   plants   can   cause   in   our   native   ecosystems . A ttempts   to   eradicate   these   invasives   will   always   be   hampered   until   the   public   is   made   aware   of   the   damage   caused   by   them .  One   solution   is   to   begin   using   native   plants   as   substitutes   for   these   invasive   species .  Native   plants   are   not   only   extremely   ornamental ,  they   are   also   well - adapted   to   the   growing   conditions   in   which   they   will   be   placed ,  requiring   little   or   no   irrigation ,  needing   no   fertilization ,  and   requiring   no   insecticides .  The   use   of   native   plants   lessens   the   destruction   of   fragile   ecosystems   that   are   inundated   with   chemicals   as   the   result   of   too   much   irrigation   and   use   of   pesticides   and   insecticides .

The   intentional   and   accidental   introduction   of   alien   species   of   plants   is   one   of   the   dire   threats   to   the   natural   resources   of   the   Ohio   Valley .  One   need   only   drive   along   our   major   highways   and   look   at   the   rapid   spread   of   Kudzu   vines ,  Paulownia   trees ,  and   the   ornamental   grass   Miscanthus   sinensis   to   see   how   devastating   these   species   can   be .  Invasive   species   are   even   more   prevalent   within   the   confines   of   our   federal   and   state   forests   and   parks .  Microstegia   vimineum  ( Stiltgrass )  is   literally   choking   out   hundreds   of   species   of   wildflowers   and   grasses .  It   is   an   annual   grass   that   produces   thousands   of   seeds   per   plant   that   attach   themselves   to   any   object   that   passes   through   them . A TVs   are   one   of   the   main   culprits . A s   they   ride   along   trails   covered   with   Stiltgrass ,  their   tires   spread   the   seeds   wherever   the  A TVs   venture . A nd   all   too   often ,  the   riders   stray   off   the   trails   and   traverse   the   sides   of   the   mountains   or   along   gullies   and   cuts   dissecting   the   slopes .  Within   a   matter   of   weeks ,  there   are   green   strips   present   where   the   tires   have   dispersed   the   seeds .

Invasive   species   also   present   health   risks   to   humans .  Tree   of   Heaven  (A ilanthus   altissima )  is   not   only   invasive   but   also   poisonous .  There   have   been   instances   where   individuals   who   were   sawing   these   trees   became   seriously   ill   from   the   sap .  Another   pernicious   invasive   plant   that   is   a   public   health   hazard   is   Heraclelum   mantegazzianum  ( Giant   Hogweed ).  Originally   from  A sia   and   introduced   as   an   ornamental   plant ,  Giant   Hogweed ' s   clear ,  watery   sap   has   toxins   that   cause   photodermatitis .  Skin   contact   followed   by   exposure   to   sunlight   produces   painful ,  burning   blisters   that   can   develop   into   purplish   or   blackened   scars .

There   are   far   too   many   other   species   that   have   invaded   the   forests ,  meadows ,  and   waterways   of   the   Ohio   Valley . A  regional   effort   must   be   implemented   to   prevent   and   control   the   continued   spread   and   introduction   of   these   non - native   species .  Efforts   are   already   underway   by   both   federal   and   state   agencies   to   eradicate   specific   invasive   species .  But   it   will   prove   to   be   a   fruitless   effort   if   these   same   non - native   species   are   allowed   to   grow   in   adjacent   private   lands   and   continue   to   be   a   source   of   seeds   that   will   ultimately   spread   back   onto   public   lands .  Private   landowners ,  as   well   as   federal   and   state   agencies ,  must   be   made   aware   of   the   health   hazards   and   ecological   catastrophe   that   is   taking   place   because   of   non - native   invasive   plants .

KEYNOTE   SPE A KER :   Mark   Rose

Mark   Rose ,  of   Greensboro ,  North   Carolina ,  has   been   interested   in   native   plants   since  1954. A t   an   early   age ,  he   began   cultivating   native   orchids ,  trilliums ,  lilies   and   hexastylis .  His   primary   interest   is   in   shade   gardening   and   spring   ephemerals .  He   owned   and   operated   a   commercial   tropical   orchid   nursery   from  1964  to  2007.  He   is   a   Life   Member   of   the  A merican   Orchid   Society   Inc .;  a   fellow   in   the   Royal   Horticultural   Society   of   London ,  England ;  a   co - founder   and   Board   Member   of   the   Native   Orchid   Conference   Inc .;  and   a   member   of   the   North   Carolina   Native   Plant   Society   and   serves   on   its   board .  In   March   of  2006,  Mark   was   appointed   by   Governor   Easley   to   the   North   Carolina   Plant   Conservation   Board .

Date :  March  27, 2008

Location :   Meigs   County   Extension   Office ,  Pomeroy ,  Ohio

For   further   information   contact   Frank   W .  Porter   at   sr 2642@ dragonbbs . com  

Wvnps . org  ----------- You   can   pay   your  2008  dues   now .   Check   our   website .----------- wvnps . org

Our   winter   lecture   series   has   been   finalized   for   this   season .   See   the   schedule   below   and   feel   free   to   forward   it   to   anyone   you   think   would   enjoy   these   lectures .   Hope   to   see   you   all   this   season . 

Winter   Lecture   Series

Fire   Ecology   of   the  A ppalachian   Foothills

Chad   Kirschbaum ,  Wayne   National   Forest  

Wednesday ,  December  12 th  

Silvicultural   Effects   on   Forest   Mosses   in   Vinton   County :  Ohio   Records   and   Species   Trends

John   Wiley ,  Ohio   University

Wednesday ,  January  16 th  

Tree - of - heaven   its   history ,  biology ,  and   invasion   into   the   deciduous   forests   of   southern   Ohio  

Gerald   Scott ,  Ohio   University  

Wednesday ,  February  13 th  

The   Wildflowers   of    Barboursville   Park

Jim   Boggess

Wednesday ,  March  12 th

All   Lectures   will   be   held   at   

Marshall   University

Science   Building   Room  376

6 :30  –   7:30  P . M . Free

Public   welcome !   Please   join   us   for   a   series   of   talks   about   wildflowers ,  mosses ,  ecology   and   invasive   species . 

 

wvnps ------------ wvnps ------ 2 008  dues   are   now   due -------- wvnps --------- wvnps ---------

WVNPS   BO A RD   MEETING  :  Will   be   held   in   Charleston  ( Saturday ,  January  19, 2008

Back - up   date   will   be   February  19 th .    Time   and   place   on   website   and   by   email .    We   hope   to   have   a   guest   speaker   talking   about   invasive   species .

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Summary   of   the  A nnual   Joint   Meeting   of   the   Torrey   Botanical   Society ,  the   Philadelphia   Botanical   Club ,  and   the   Botanical   Society   of  A merica ,  Northeastern   Section  ( June  17-21,  2 007).  

By   Elizabeth   Byers with   thanks   to   Larry   Klotz   and   Ed   Miller   for   their   notes   on   the   event

The   meeting   took   place   at   Davis   and   Elkins   College   in   Elkins West   Virginia and   featured   a   program   of   three   all - day   field   trips   plus   four   evening   lectures .   This   was   the  60 th   BOTSOC   foray The  42  full - time   and   five   part - time   participants   represented  11  northeastern   states   plus   the   District   of   Columbia   and   Florida .   

The   field   trip   leaders   were   Jim   Vanderhorst Elizabeth   Byers and   Brian   Streets   from   West   Virginia   Natural   Heritage   Program Dr Katherine   Gregg   of   West   Virginia   Wesleyan   College and   Leah   Ceperley   from   Canaan   Valley   National  

Wildlife   Refuge .   Evening   lectures   were   given   by   Elizabeth   Byers Katherine   Gregg Bill   Roody  ( West   Virginia   DNR ),  and   Rodney   Bartgis  ( The   Nature   Conservancy ).   Larry   Klotz   was   the   Chair   for   this   meeting Marcia   Minichiello   was   the  A ssistant   Chair and   Karl  A nderson   again   served   as   Treasurer .   The   next   meeting   for   June  2008  will   be   in   southern   New   Jersey   and   organized   by   Ted   Gordon   and   Walt   Bien .

The   program   opened   on   Sunday   evening   with   a   slide   presentation   by   Elizabeth   Byers   on  " High   elevation   wetlands   of   the  A llegheny   Mountain   region ."   We   distributed   field   trip   materials including   maps   and   a   checklist   of  733  species   which   have   been   documented   at   the   field   trip   sites .   On   Monday   morning we   departed   for   Cheat   Mountain  in   the   area   of   Gaudineer   Knob .   We   began   with   an   upland   limestone   forest   on   west   flank   of   Cheat   Mountain .   This   was   the   lowest   elevation   stop   of   the   day and   was   situated   along   a   band   of   Greenbrier   limestone   that   forms   a   ring   around   the   entire   Tygarts   Valley   River .   The   forest   here   is   successional with   black   cherry   and   slippery   elm   over   a   rich   herbaceous   layer .   There   was   an   abundance   of   land   snails This   area   also   had   lots   of   black   cohosh  (A ctaea   racemosa in   bloom   and   blue   cohosh  ( Caulophyllum   thalictroides )   in   fruit Goldie’s   shield   fern   ( Dryopteris   goldiana ) and   other   calciphiles In   the   dense   shade   of   June the   spring   ephemerals   had   disappeared except   for   wild   leek   flowers  ( Allium   tricoccum ) which   are   known  ( and   relished as   “ramps”   to   the   locals

The   group   then   ventured   into   the   balsam   fir  ( Abies   balsamea )   swamp   at   Blister   Run .     This   is   perhaps   the   finest   stand   of   balsam   fir   in   WV   near   the   southernmost   extent   of   the   species   range This   large   swamp   hosts   numerous   wetland   plants   including   several   rare   species .   We   saw   several   pad   orchids  ( Platanthera   orbiculata ) One   was   in   perfect   bloom   which   greatly   pleased   the   photographers

Lunch   was   at   the   Gaudineer   Picnic  A rea .     Gaudineer   Knob   is   over  4400  feet   elevation   and   is   clearly   in   the   “spruce   zone .    The   picnic   area   is   surrounded   by   a   young   spruce   forest   with   a   ground   carpet   of   the   liverwort   Bazzania   trilobata At   the   lunch   stop we   enjoyed   a   southern   beauty the   southern   mountain   cranberry ( Vaccinium   erythrocarpum ) Its   fruit   dangles   like   deerberry   but   is   red   when   ripe Mountain   wood   fern  ( Dryopteris   campyloptera )   and   a   budding   woodland   orchid   ( Platanthera   clavellata )    were   additional   highlights We   then   ventured   into   the   old   growth   spruce   forest   at   Gaudineer   Scenic  A rea .     This   is   a   rare   old   growth   remnant   of   upland   spruce   forest   in   WV said   to   have   survived   the   loggers   by   a   surveyors’   error so   that   ownership   was   in   question .   Ed   Miller   observed   that   in   the   Adirondacks   of   New   York , A LL   of   the   adjacent   landowners   would   have   logged   and   asked   questions   later . A  loop   trail   meanders   through   the   stand   which   is   near   the   ecotone   of   the   red   spruce   and   northern   hardwoods   ecosystems .  

The   final  ( or   first if   you   were   in   the   second   group stop   of   the   day   was   the   high   elevation   river   scour   prairie   on   the   Upper   Shavers   Fork   River .     Our   northern guests   enthusiastically   waded   the   river   to   what   they   attractively   called   an    “ice   meadow” .   Ed   Miller   said   it   reminded   him   strongly   of   the   ice   meadows   on   the   upper   Hudson   River which   also   have   sticky   tofieldia  ( Triantha   glutinosa )   and   a   green   orchid  ( Platanthera   flava ) Two   rare   Central  A ppalachian   endemics Barbara   buttons  ( Marshallia   grandiflora )   and   long - stalked   holly  ( Ilex   collina )   provided    a   geographic / botanical   thrill   to   the   group .   Other   highlights   were   smooth   azalea   ( Rhododendron   arborescens ) Carolina   tasselrue  ( Trautvetteria   caroliniensis ) glade   St Johnswort  ( Hypericum   densiflorum )   and   a   pretty   phlox  ( Phlox   maculata ) .

Monday   evening Kathy   Gregg   gave   a   fascinating   slide   presentation   entitled  " Do   orchids   hedge   their   bets ?"   Tuesday   morning   we   set   out   in   windy threatening   weather   for   Dolly   Sods .    Luckily the   rain   and   lightning   and   held   off   until   the   afternoon and   we   were   able   to   enjoy   the   spectacular   views   and   breathtaking   expanse   of   mountain   laurel   in   bloom .   We   began   with   a   brief   stop   in   the   upland   forest   at   Laneville   Cabin .   Dolly   Sods   is   drained   by   the   high - gradient   Red   Creek which   crosses   the   Greenbrier   limestone   at   this   point .   We   looked   at   the   transition   from   the   rich   deciduous   forest   to   the   high   elevation   spruce   zone .   There   is   a   small   colony   of   exotic   but   uncommon   strawberry - raspberry  ( Rubus   illecebrosus )   at   this   site with   a   large   white   flower   and   pleasant   odor .   We   then   drove   up   to   the   top   of   the   ridge   and   visited   the   beautiful   shrub   and   bog   communities   along   the   Northland   Loop   Trail .   Lunch   was   at   the   Red   Creek   Campground followed   by   a   brief   visit   to   the   tall   shrub   community   and   views   of   the   Ridge   and   Valley   ecological   province   on   eastern   side   of  A llegheny   Front .

The   last   stop   of   the   day   was   at   Bear   Rocks .   Here   the   landscape   was   covered &