About WNPS
Contact WNPS
Online Store

Native Plant Lists

Local Chapters
Field Trips
Plant Sales

Photo Gallery

Garry Oak
Invasive Species

Growing Wild
Ivy Out
WNPS Stewards


Desert yellow daisy (Erigeron linearis) photographed by Aaron Theisen. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Home > Botany Washington

Botany Washington 2014

Columbia River Basin landscape
Lower Columbia River Basin landscape. Photographed by Joe Arnett. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Spring Diversity in the Lower Columbia River Basin, May 16–18, 2014 (Registration Deadline is April 15th; no refunds after this date)


(If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list, please e-mail us)

Botany Washington is co-sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society and the University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum. Our goal is to provide an outstanding learning opportunity for participants of all botanical skill levels. This year we will be exploring the floristic diversity of the Lower Columbia River Basin. Participants choose one field trip each day from the three tracks of study offered: 1) taxonomic, where the classification and identification of a particular plant family is the focus of activities; 2) improving plant keying skills in the field using Hitchcock and Cronquist's Flora of the Pacific Northwest; and 3) general wildflower walks designed for individuals with less technical botanical backgrounds but who are interested in learning more about wildflowers of the area.

  1. Taxonomic Study

    Participants in this track will be studying the Apiaceae (Umbel Family) on Saturday with Mark Darrach and Poaceae (Grass Family) with Clay Antieau on Sunday. It will be assumed that participants in the taxonomic track will have botanical and/or professional backgrounds and wish to improve their knowledge and understanding of specific taxonomic groups with botanical experts on these groups.

  2. Keying with Hitchcock

    Join others who wish to hone their technical keying skills using the Flora of the Pacific Northwest in the company of an experienced botanist, who will provide guidance as you identify species both known and unknown to you by working through Hitchcock’s technical keys. It will be assumed that you have basic knowledge of botanical terminology and basic keying skills utilizing the Flora of the Pacific Northwest or another comparable technical flora. Opportunities will be provided for group keying and individual keying.

  3. Columbia River Basin Wildflowers

    Participants in this track are interested in exploring the native flora of different regions in Washington in a more informal setting. Your wildflower study will include field trips on Saturday and Sunday to areas of interest with botanists knowledgeable about the local flora.

Base Camp

Located in the Simcoe Mountains of Klickitat County between Goldendale and Satus Pass, Brooks Memorial State Park Environmental Learning Center will be our base. This 700-acre park sits just above the Columbia River Basin in a transition zone between sagebrush-steppe and lodgepole pine forest. The Environmental Learning Center is a state-run facility and is ours for the weekend. Seven cabins sleep 10 each. Participants will bring their own sleeping bags and other weekend essentials for a camp experience. Six meals will be provided and are included as part of the Botany Washington package (Friday and Saturday evening’s dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfasts, and Saturday and Sunday sack lunches).

Evening programs

Friday's program will be "Fifty Years of Chasing Wild Buckwheats" by Dr. James Reveal, Professor Emeritus of the University of Maryland and currently Adjunct Professor of Plant Biology at Cornell University. Among a wide range of accomplishments in his career that includes unparalleled expertise on the genus Eriogonum (wild buckwheats), Dr. Reveal has been a contributing author to every major flora project in western North America over the past 40 years, including the original Flora of the Pacific Northwest. He has also authored several treatments for the Flora of North America Project.

On Saturday evening Ben Legler from the University of Washington Herbarium (WTU), Burke Museum will present "Revising Hitchcock and Cronquist's Flora of the Pacific Northwest." Ben is currently WTU's Informatics Specialist and has collected and photographed plants throughout western North America. In addition to being an outstanding botanist, Ben is known to many in the region as the designer and developer of both the Plants of Washington Image Gallery, where he has contributed over 9,000 of his own photos of plants from across Washington, and the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

Why register?

Botany Washington will provide botanists, ecologists, conservation biologists and other professionals with 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 with the support of expert guidance. The interested enthusiast wishing to learn more about regional floras of Washington will have two days in the field with knowledgeable local experts. Finally, it is an opportunity for botanists and others interested in our native flora to work together in a shared community of botanical learning. Membership in the Washington Native Plant Society is not required.

More about the instructors


The cost of the weekend will be $250. This includes two nights rustic lodging, six meals, and the opportunity to explore the flora of the Lower Columbia River Basin with knowledgeable botanists who will help you enhance your botanical skills, no matter where on the botanical spectrum you reside.


Questions? Please contact David Giblin at (206) 543-1682 or dgiblin@u.washington.edu.