Botanical Rambles

Welcome to the Washington Native Plant Society Blog
Jul
01

Yellow Lady's Slipper - Signed Limited Edition Print

Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb. Signed Limited Edition Print 12" X 18" Print run limited to 150 prints. In celebration of the Washington Native Plant Society's 30th Anniversary, we are excited to announce our first limited edition print of a botanical watercolor. The subject of this print is the Washington threatened yellow lady's slipper. The yellow lady's slipper ( Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb.) is a Washington state threatened plant. It is found in wet forests, bogs, and on the periphery of...
  247 Hits
247 Hits
May
05

A Cavalcade of Coloring

In bookstores these days, I see masses of coloring books marketed to adults. People are snapping them up, I understand, for stress relief, for mindfulness, for a creative outlet. This brought to mind a treasure trove of coloring book pages prepared by the late Karl Urban (1943-1999), who was a botanist on the Umatilla National Forest in Oregon. Karl Urban prepared these northwestern United States wildflower illustrations for Celebrating Wildflowers and other educational activities (Celebrating W...
  207 Hits
207 Hits
Mar
30

The Poetry of Botanical Foolishness

By a lucky coincidence, April Fools Day always kicks off National Poetry Month . And Botanical Rambles is celebrating this year with a small collection of botanical foolishness. Spring has sprung, and we're getting down to the serious business of the enjoying and learning about Washington's flora during the growing season. Two recent Rambles ( here and here ) provide information on numerous opportunities. But this post celebrates three writers whose botanical foolishness has delighted generation...
  188 Hits
188 Hits
Dec
06

Six Gifts for Plant Lovers

Hanukkah is upon us. Christmas and Kwanzaa are coming up. And New Year's will follow. Which means…ample opportunities to give gifts to those we love and to those who do so much for us throughout the year. What gifts will you give this year? Hey, I have a half dozen ideas for you! Native Plants of Fort Townsend Mural by Larry Eifert, all rights reserved. Larry Eifert's mural at Fort Townsend State Park has been turned into a 500-piece jig-saw puzzle . The mural shows flora and fauna of old-growth...
  198 Hits
198 Hits
Mar
05

A note from Dick Olmstead, Professor and Herbarium Curator, University of Washington

Friends and Colleagues, As many of you know, Hitchcock and Cronquist's "Flora of the Pacific Northwest" has been the authoritative guide to the region's flora since its publication in 1973. Generations of students, academic researchers, and field botanists have relied on this work to support their diverse botanical interests. However, the systematics, nomenclature, and distribution of our region's flora has changed over the course of 40 years due to ongoing research, access to more information, ...
  240 Hits
240 Hits
May
20

Hitchcock Springs Eternal—Especially in the Spring

Flora of the Pacific Northwest, aka “Hitchcock” Perhaps you, like me, are panting a bit from all your spring-season activities. A plant sale here, a volunteer activity there, an evening walk in the Mima Mounds, a couple of marathon gardening sessions, and voila! I'm ready to lie down in the shade of a big tree and have a glass of lemonade. So, my hat is off to the stalwarts who participated in Botany Washington 2014 on May 17–18. A capacity crowd signed up to enjoy the floristic splendors of the...
  202 Hits
202 Hits
Feb
18

Botany in the Movies, 2013

It's time to catch up on movies before the Oscars on Sunday, March 2 nd . Thank you for tolerating this quirk of mine; next week we'll return to Washington's native plants. Once again, I found scarce mention of botany and botanists in the movies I saw in 2013. For some reason, movie makers focus more on things that go really fast, blow up, burst into flames, or all three. 2013 was a good year for: Post-apocalyptic scenarios—Elysium, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oblivion, World War Z Fantasy char...
  182 Hits
182 Hits
Dec
11

Snail Mail: Still Thriving

My name is Sarah, and I am a snail mail addict. I love to get paper mail. Personal letters are the best, of course, followed by magazines (especially our Washington Native Plant Society journal, Douglasia ). But as my family will attest, I'm not immune to the charms of catalogs, fundraising appeals, and even the well-crafted credit card offer. Say what you will about the commercial and material excesses of December, it is also a time when snail mail can get really interesting. News and photos fr...
  191 Hits
191 Hits
Oct
01

Natural Dyes from Native Plants

Blue elderberry is among the many native plants that have been used to make traditional dyes. Photo by Catherine Hovanic Many people who own forestland are looking for new ways to use the native plants that grow there. One project would be to learn which plants will produce natural dyes and how to use them to produce finished items. Native plants have provided colors for paintings, craft decorations, foods and body art for thousands of years. Much of the knowledge about which plants to use, how ...
  197 Hits
197 Hits
Sep
04

Back to School

It's really happening, isn't it? August has ended, September is here. And with September comes that back-to-school combination of mourning (for the summer that's ending) and speeding up (for the autumn activities ahead). Time to learn something new, don't you think? The energizing briskness of fall opens up all kinds of opportunities. In addition to a new season of programs offered by Washington Native Plant Society chapters , here is a six-pack of educational and fun choices around the state. D...
  249 Hits
249 Hits
Jul
31

Quileute Indian Tribe: Weaving Traditions

Quileute basket with wolf design, utilizing bear grass, sweet grass and cedar bark, early 1900s. National Museum of the American Indian. "If you aren't in the mood, don't weave. It shows up in the work." That's one of the many things Quileute tribal member Cathy Salazar has learned after 16 years of basket weaving. "The weave will get too tight or sloppy if you aren't in the right frame of mind," she said. Despite years of weaving, Salazar didn't fully appreciate the traditional ways of preparin...
  189 Hits
189 Hits
Jun
26

Three Photo Contests

While you're out and about this summer, botanizing, hiking, gardening, or lying on the lawn, you may find yourself taking pictures. If so, here are some opportunities to get Washington's native plants into the public eye: WSECU Calendar Photo Contest While it's not yet time for our Washington Native Plant Society photo contest (that call will come later this year), the Washington State Employees Credit Union Calendar Photo Contest is open until July 15, 2013. This contest is limited to photos ta...
  197 Hits
197 Hits
May
08

This! Fort Townsend State Park’s New Mural of Old-Growth Forest

Native Plants of Fort Townsend Mural by Larry Eiffert, all rights reserved. In November, 2010, I suggested to our Friends of Fort Townsend group that we commission a natural history interpretive painting for the park. We put together the funding for the project, including an education grant from the Washington Native Plant Society. Fort Townsend State Park is 2 miles south of Port Townsend off of Highway 20. The park includes seven miles of hiking trails through old-growth forest. The WNPS plant...
  175 Hits
175 Hits
Feb
06

Botany in the Movies, 2012

February is movie month, as we count down to the Oscars on Sunday, February 24 th . While this topic is only tangentially related to Washington's native plants, please indulge me. After Chris Cooper won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as orchid hunter John Larroche in Adaptation in 2002, I was hopeful that we were on the cusp of a time of botanical greatness in film. However, it's been a slow couple of years for botany and botanists in the movies. I didn't see 2011's Unknown , with Liam Nees...
  244 Hits
244 Hits

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