Botanical Rambles

Welcome to the Washington Native Plant Society Blog

February: Time to Plan

As I write this, it's a bit soggy and cold and gray. Out in the garden, though, buds on evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) are pinking up, the hazelnut (Corylus) catkins are starting to dangle, and the inflorescences of the red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) on the south side of the house are busting open.

February is a month of possibilities and planning. Here are a few of the many offerings from the Washington Native Plant Society and friends.

Cover of the 2017 Washington Native Plant Society Calendar (Copies of the calendar are still available, by the way! Call the WNPS office for details) Photo: Ted Alway

Photo Contest: deadline February 13, 2017

The Washington Native Plant Society 2017 Photo Contest has extended its deadline until February 13. So that gives you a little more time to submit your great shots!

Open to all WNPS members (and you're welcome to join any time!) who'd like to help us promote the beauty, importance, and usefulness of native plants in Washington. You could see your photo in the publicity for 2017's Native Plant Appreciation Week or in the 2018 Native Plants of Washington calendar.

The judges suggest these as possible subjects:

  • Native plant portraits
  • Native plants in their places (native plant communities)
  • Native plants and people
  • Native plant habitat protection or restoration
  • Native plant gardens
  • Seasonal variation of Washington's native plants (fall color, etc.)

Take a look at the photo contest rules, look through your photos, and fill out an entry form!

WNPS Conservation Grants: deadline March 1, 2017

The WNPS Conservation Committee has a fund of $2,000 available, from interest generated by the WNPS Endowment. Donations to the WNPS Endowment provide stable, long-term funding for native plant research, education, and conservation grants and projects.

The committee is seeking proposals for Conservation Grants of up to $1,500 (typical grants range from $250-$1,000). Proposals must be for work that furthers the conservation of Washington native plants and provides public benefit. Typical projects restore, improve, or support on-the-ground, functioning native plant ecosystems; they must be site appropriate. Projects must align with the WNPS Conservation Principles.

Grant requests from WNPS members (and you're welcome to join any time!) may be made on behalf of WNPS chapters, organizations, or individuals.

Deadline for applications is March 1, 2017. Learn more.

Long-flowered bluebells (Mertensia longiflora) Photo: Ben Legler.

Washington Botanical Symposium: March 15, 2017

This symposium sets out to bring together some of the extensive network of professional, academic, and amateur botanists who are actively engaged in the conservation, management, and study of Washington's diverse flora.

Invited speakers and poster presentations will share new insights and discoveries about topics ranging from managing biodiversity, to understanding climate change impacts on plant communities, to naming and classifying the flora's rare, common, and invasive elements.

Sponsored by Burke Museum, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Washington Natural Heritage Program, and Washington Noxious Weed Control Board, the event will take place at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. Learn more.

Antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) Photo: Ben Legler

Native Plant Appreciation Week: April 23–29, 2017

Every year since 2004, Washington has celebrated Native Plant Appreciation Week with field trips, programs, and plant-loving activities of all kinds. Will you be helping to plan a walk or a native garden tour this year?

While we wait, a little impatiently, for April's flowers, feast your eyes on the Native Plant Appreciation Week posters from years past.

2017 Study Weekend: May 19–21, 2017

Save the date! The Northeast Chapter of WNPS is hosting this year's Study Weekend: From Sagebrush to Subalpine: Exploring the Diversity of Eastern Washington Landforms & Flora

The event will be based at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney. Registration will be opening this month.

The Study Weekend is open to WNPS members (and you're welcome to join any time!). Watch online for more information or—if the office has your email address—look for information in your Inbox.

Botany Washington: June 9-11, 2017

Another date to save! This annual event, sponsored by WNPS and the University of Washington Herbarium, will be held at the Tierra Retreat Center, near Leavenworth.

Registration will open online this month.

Plant Sales

Watch the WNPS Plant Sales page for details. The South Sound Chapter of WNPS has scheduled its spring plant sale for Earth Day, April 22. The Central Puget Sound Chapter will hold its sale the next week, on April 29.

In the meantime, many conservation districts hold bare root sales during this early planting season. Our friends at Northwest Natural Resource Group have put together this handy table:

Benton County, OR
​January 31, 2017​February 25, 2017
Hood River County, OR​March 24, 2017​April 7-8, 2017
Linn County, OR​February 4, 2017
Marion County, OR​March 11-12, 2017
Multnomah County, OR​January 18, 2017​February 18, 2017
Polk County, OR​February 4, 2017
Yamhill County, OR​March 2-4, 2017
Chelan County, WA​March 1, 2017​April 1, 2017
Clallam County, WA​January 26, 2017​February 25, 2017
Clark County, WA​February 17, 2017​February 25, 2017
Island County, WA​January 31, 2017​February 25, 2017
Jefferson County, WA​February 13, 2017​February 25, 2017
King County, WA​March 11, 2017
Klickitat County, WA​February 28, 2017​March 18, 2017
Lewis County, WA​May 13-14, 2017
Lincoln County, WA​March 10, 2017​March 30-31, 2017
Mason County, WA​February 1, 2017​February 24-25, 2017
Pierce County, WA​January 20, 2017​March 3-4, 2017
Snohomish County, WA​January 31, 2017​February 11, 2017
Stevens County, WA​March 31-April 1, 2017
Thurston County, WA​January 30, 2017​March 2-4, 2017
Whatcom County, WA​March 13, 2017​March 24-25, 2017

And many more… 

So many possibilities, so little time. Don't forget that each chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society holds programs, field trips, volunteer stewardship events, and other activities. What are you planning for the year?

Washington’s Cherries
Starting the Year with Nature

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