Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Plenary 1 – David Mizejewski – Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation, Gardening for Wildlife:
Using Native Plant Landscapes to Restore Habitat
Native plants form the foundation of wildlife habitat. By using native plant material
in our own yards, gardens and neighborhoods, we reconnect our communities back into
the local ecosystem and at the same time are rewarded by seeing birds, butterflies
and other “backyard wildlife” right outside our windows. Join naturalist David Mizejewski
of the National Wildlife Federation to learn how to create sustainable, wildlife-friendly
landscapes with native plants at the backbone, and how to have those landscapes recognized
as Certified Wildlife Habitats via the Garden for Wildlife program.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. - Plenary 2 - Doug Tallamy- Making Insects: A Guide to Restoring the Little Things that Run the
Insect populations have declined 45% globally since 1974. The most alarming part of
this statistic is that we don’t seem to care, despite the fact that a world without
insects is a world without humans! So how do we build landscapes that support the
pollinators, herbivores, detritivores, predators and parasitoids that run the ecosystems
we depend on? Tallamy will remind us of the many essential roles insects play, and
describe the simple changes we must make in our landscapes and our attitudes to keep
insects on the ground, in the air and yes, on our plants.
Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Plenary 3 – Ron Lance - Our Native Hawthorns; Finding Structure in the Thicket
There are at least 200 recognizable hawthorn (Crataegus) taxa in the Southeastern
U.S. The challenge of their separation into species is notorious but not hopeless.
Ecological significance, ornamental landscape potential and fruit utility of several
selected species will be illuminated. A few of these hawthorns are so locally significant
or regionally rare that their stories are worth knowing. Participants will see how
these most "glamorous" examples of our native hawthorns can open the door to a broader
appreciation of these enigmatic plants. For a more comprehensive interest, a reference
book on Crataegus for the Southeastern states will be available at discount, by the
Conference book dealer.
Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Plenary 4 – Mike Berkley- Species vs Cultivars VS ‘Nativars’
Fortunately, the popularity of native plants has grown so much in the past few decades
that the number of varieties, or cultivars, is astounding. As if the battle lines
have been drawn, the controversy between the use of native cultivars and the pure
species is widening. In this discussion, there will be comparisons of each of the
‘tags’ given to native plants and examples of them. Sometimes good. Sometimes not.
Mike will also explain why the word ‘Nativar’ is not used in his house.
Concurrent Sessions - Thursday Afternoon
Thursday 2:45 p.m. Concurrent 1A – Native Plant Podcast, Live at Cullowhee
The Native Plant Podcast came onto the Podcast scene in January of 2016, forged from
friendships first conceived here at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. Join the
hosts as they invade their old stomping grounds and have some fun while educating
the public about our beautiful native plants. This session is open to all comers and
should be fun for the amateur, professional, teachers and homeowners alike. One of
gardening's most popular casts will be taking your questions and making you laugh.
Be careful, you might learn something and have fun while doing it.
Thursday 2:45 p.m. Concurrent 1B – Apps for Mapping Invasive Species Across the Southeast
with Karan Rawlins
The Southeast Early Detection Network (SEEDN) app brings the power of EDDMapS to your
smartphone. Now you can submit invasive species observations directly with your smartphone
from the field. These reports are uploaded to EDDMapS and e-mailed directly to local
and state verifiers for review. SEEDN was developed by the University of Georgia's
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. SEEDN is more than just a smartphone
app; it is an integrated invasive species reporting and outreach campaign for the
Southeastern United States that includes the app and the EDDMapS website
Thursday 2:45 p.m Concurrent 1D – Diervilla, our native bush-honeysuckles with Kathy
The genus Diervilla, bush-honeysuckle, contains three species native to the eastern
U.S. Its sister group and east-Asian counterpart is the shrub genus, Weigela. In its
native habitat, Diervilla grows on high- to medium-elevation, rocky sites. Diervilla
sessilifolia (southern bush-honesuckle) is a common component of the thin soil-dwelling,
pseudo-alpine plant communities of high-elevation rock outcrops in the Southern Appalachians.
As such, it is presumably a relict of a southern, ice-age flora. There is much morphological
overlap among the species of Diervilla, including petiole length and hairyness, particulary
between the two southernmost species, D. sessilifolia and D. rivularis (hairy bush-honesuckle).
This has made them difficult to identify and their taxonomy and geographic ranges
controversial. Field work, measurements of environmental and morphological characteristics,
and genetic work reveal all the Diervilla species to be little differentiated and
that D. rivularis may be an extremely restricted, Cumberland Plateau endemic.
Thursday 4 p.m. Concurrent 2E – Monarchs & Milkweed: Conservation and Preservation
of Florida's Native Milkweed Species with Lilly Anderson-Messec
The rising awareness of the monarch butterfly’s plight is an opportunity for this
species to become an ambassador for habitat restoration and conservation, as well
as for the preservation of dwindling native milkweed species. Florida has 21 species
of native milkweed, many of which are native to the entire Southeast, but their populations
are declining and few are available to home gardeners. Take a tour of Florida’s varied
milkweeds, learn why they are declining and how we are working to map, conserve and
propagate them. I will focus on the species we’ve found to have the most potential
for cultivation, as well as the most critical species for monarchs. The non-native
tropical milkweed is still the most readily available species for gardeners, learn
why this can be more hurtful than helpful to monarchs in the Southeast.
Thursday 4 p.m. Concurrent 2F – The New Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek with
A new botanic garden is in the works for southern Delaware! Join Director of Horticulture,
Gregg Tepper, for an informative and entertaining lecture on this exciting new public
garden. Learn the history, hear the latest news, see the progress and preview the
amazing Master Plans for this unique coastal plain garden that will reflect a sense
of place for Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Thursday 4 p.m. Concurrent 2G – Saving an Old Growth Forest from the Vicious Grip
of Invasive Plants with Eli Dickerson
In Fall 2014, Fernbank Museum of Natural History embarked on an ambition task of restoring
a 65 acre old-growth forest. The forest had become host to 50 different non-native,
invasive plant species that were choking out native plants and decreasing forest biodiversity.
Since that time over 30 acres have been at least partially restored. This presentation
will cover means, methods, successes and challenges of this restoration project and
include advice on how you can tackle these ever present invasives in your local forest
or home landscape. Target species include English ivy, Chinese wisteria, thorny olive,
leatherleaf mahonia, and various species of monkey grass.
Thursday 4 p.m. Concurrent 2H – Beyond Beauty: fascinating stories about our native
plants and their names with John Manion
Many of our native plants are beautiful in appearance and are essential food sources
for many of our pollinators, their larvae. and myriad other living things. Covering
many common favorites such as Poke Sallet, Bloodroot, Yellowroot, Resurrection Fern
, Jack in the Pulpit and others - this talk will focus, instead, on the intriguing
stories (both fact and folklore) that accompany some of our native species and their
Friday Plenary Sessions
Friday 2p.m. Plenary 5 – Brian Jorg -- Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Native Plant Program- The Role of
Botanical Gardens in Conservation
We will take an overview of the current conservation projects the Zoo is engaged in.
One such project is cryogenic preservation of endangered plant tissue. Developing
the protocols to freeze trillium seed is more than challenging. Other ventures include
propagation and reintroduction of various endangered species, such as Short’s Goldenrod,
northern monkshood and other critically endangered flora species back into the wild.
We will also look at the roles of botanical gardens in saving our native flora, disseminating
science backed information, and educating the public, as well as the horticulture
industry.We will also explore the restoration project the Zoo is currently engaged
in. Turning an agricultural farm back into a thriving wetland. Reintroducing hundreds
of species of native flora and the resulting return of wildlife.
Friday 4:30 p.m. Plenary 6 – Larry Weaner- Living in the Liberated Landscape
All too often in our gardens and landscapes we think of static compositions of carefully
placed and managed plants. But our approach can be more dynamic—and arguably more
rewarding—than that by taking advantage of plants’ natural abilities to reproduce
and proliferate. Learn how designer Larry Weaner combines design with the reproductive
abilities of plants as well as ecological processes to create compelling, ever-evolving
landscapes that bring new meaning to partnering with nature. Using examples from
his own property as well as diverse client projects, Larry will share how this give-andtake
approach can result in compelling, low-maintenance landscapes that free plants to
perform according to their natural abilities and liberate people from having to cater
to their landscapes’ every need.
Saturday Plenary Session
Saturday 9:30 a.m. Plenary 7 – Andrew Fox - Cultivating Care: Building Ecological Communities through Engagement
Ecological design involves environmental and social processes that are often complex
and difficult to see and comprehend. Educating individuals and organizations in ways
that increase understanding of and value for ecologically based projects therefore
becomes critical in establishing and maintaining sustainable sites. This session will
introduce engagement and education strategies used by the NC State Department of Landscape
Architecture to challenge various cultural norms related to understanding and appreciating
the importance of landscape design and management best practices. The discussion will
focus on the ways these principles are used to guide research, teaching, and engagement
activities, including discussion of native plants, green infrastructure and sustainable
stormwater management, and methods of community involvement and service-learning.
The presentation will use case studies to illustrate how various models of interdisciplinary
design have centralized programming, policy, and stakeholder agendas, while also transforming
ecologically dysfunctional spaces into environmentally responsive and celebrated community
Saturday 10:30 - 11:30 Plenary 8 - Rediscovering the Lowcountry Landscape in the Footsteps of our Forebears with Richard
Porcher and Cecelia Naomi Dailey
Man and nature shaped today's Lowcountry landscapesince ever since Native Americans
arrived eleven million years ago. Native Americans created calcium-rich shell middens,
where a rare community, the maritime shell forest, developed. Beginning in the late
1700s, slaves banked then cleared 150,000 acres of tidal freshwater swamp where rice
was planted. The abandoned fields today are mostly marsh communities, supporting a
plethora of wildlife and wildflowers. Many acres of uplands that were cleared for
agriculture today support diverse secondary forests, a community unknown before first
contact, but nonetheless rich in wildlife. Coastal rivers and uplands were mined for
phosphate, leaving the landscape not too unlike a bomb-scarred battlefield, but with
a beauty of its own. Introduced invasive species, like Chinese tallow tree, have altered
the native landscape. Prescribed fire today, replacing for the most part natural fires,
has maintained the longleaf forests in their natural state, treasures for wildlife
lovers. Man and nature, then, have worked together to product today's Lowcountry landscape,
a rich and diverse landscape that offers much for the naturalist to behold and enjoy.