Botanical Rambles

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Explorations in 2017 with the Washington Native Plant Society

Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) Photo: Ben Legler

By . Published March 12, 2017

Registration is now open for three stellar events of the Washington State botanizing year: the annual Study Weekend, Botany Washington, and the Know Your Grasses Workshop.

Study Weekend 2017—WNPS Annual Member Event

This year's study weekend is hosted by the Northeast Chapter of WNPS. Titled From Sagebrush to Subalpine: Exploring the Diversity of Eastern Washington Flora, the three-day event (May 17–19, 2017) will be headquartered at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Mid-May is glorious in that part of the state, and it's a great time to visit the diverse botanical and geological landscapes shaped by massive prehistoric floods. Northward, you can botanize in the westernmost extent of the Rocky Mountains, and to the south, you can get lost among the rolling loess hills of the Palouse.

When you register, you will have 25 field trips to choose from. The evening speaker line-up includes restoration ecologist Kurt Merg, who will talk about Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife habitat restoration projects, and Jack Nisbet and Gene Kiver, who will present on the geologic and human history of the Spokane River and Channeled Scablands.

The study weekend is a great opportunity to see and learn about a lot of plants and to hang out with other people who love plants and nature study.

Register now

One-flowered broomrape (Orobanche uniflora) Photo: Ben Legler

Botany Washington 2017—Late Spring in the East Cascades

Join botanists from WNPS and the University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum for a weekend of study and mountain air. The Tierra Retreat Center near Leavenworth will be your home base for visiting one of the finest wildflower blooms in the region during the season peak, June 9–11, 2017. You'll enjoy evening speakers, day excursions, and the opportunity to practice technical keying with the Flora of the Pacific Northwest.

Botany Washington provides botanists, plant ecologists, restoration ecologists, conservation biologists and other professionals access to experts and an opportunity for in-depth study of selected taxonomic groups. It is also an opportunity for individuals new to the Flora of the Pacific Northwest to gain additional practice in technical keying.

Friday evening's speaker will be Dr. David Tank, Associate Professor at University of Idaho. He will discuss his research on the taxonomy and evolutionary history of the Orobanchaceae (broomrape family). Dave has done extensive field work throughout western North America, and he is an internationally recognized authority on the family.

On Saturday evening, Dr. Susan Waters, Rare Species Ecologist for the Center for Natural Lands Management, will present. She will talk about her research on the pollination ecology and recovery of native butterflies and other pollinators throughout the prairies of the south Puget Sound region.

Register now

Sloughgrass (Beckmannia syzigachne). Photographer Clayton Antieau, all rights reserved.

Know Your Grasses Workshop: The Identification and Appreciation of Grasses

Knowing the grasses is critical to many fields of science and practice, including wetland identification and delineation, ecosystem restoration, erosion control, and interpretation of natural history. Beautiful and diverse, grasses are globally important in many ways—fundamental to the past and future survival of humans.

WNPS and the UW Herbarium are partnering to offer this grass identification workshop with a man who can teach you the grass language, Clay Antieau.

The workshop will be June 28–30, 2017, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

Register now

Chapter Programs and Field Trips

If you can't get away for a whole weekend, can't plan ahead, or just want to do something closer to home, don't forget that the Washington Native Plant Society has chapters statewide. Each chapter has its own personality, and each offers programs and field trips. Many offer plant sales, volunteer stewardship activities, and other fun stuff.

You can get the full scoop here:

Goodbye Koz
Washington’s Cherries

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