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The Wenatchee Valley Chapter

Chapter Information

Wenatchee Valley Chapter Meeting and Presentation

Schedule for 2017-2018

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Topic: Intertwined Fates: Conserving Taylor's Checkerspots and Golden Paintbrush
Presenter: Dr. Peter Dunwiddie, Adjunct Professor of Plant Ecology at the University of Washington
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA
Recovering threatened and endangered species can be complicated, especially when several rare species are ecologically linked, as is the case with Taylor's checkerspot, an endangered butterfly, and Golden paintbrush, a threatened plant. This talk will examine the challenges encountered in the conservation of these federally listed rare species in Washington.

Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Topic: The Conifers of Washington
Presenter: Members of the Wenatchee Valley chapter of the WNPS
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Pybus Market, 3 N Worthen St. Wenatchee, WA
As summer turns to fall and leaves begin to change and fall off the trees, many see the evergreen conifers as a symbol of winter. These amazing plants are used for their wonderful photographic beauty, aromas, wood, holiday wreaths and decor, and may even be collected from public lands with a Christmas tree permit. Please join the Wenatchee Valley chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society as we explore conifers you may encounter in our area. This will be a kid-friendly event with touchable examples of many conifers from our region.

Date: Thursday, November 09, 2017
Topic: Alchemy of Herbs: Medicinal Uses of Plants
Presenter: Rosalee de la Foret, herbalist and author
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA
From deliciously edible to potently poisonous, join eastern Washington herbalist and author, Rosalee de la Forêt, on a photo tour of our local plants and discover the edible, medicinal and poisonous plants of this beautiful area. From the pain relieving properties of Arnica to the immune enhancing benefits of elderberry, she’ll discuss both historical and contemporary ways humans have been interacting with many of our native plants. This event is free and open to the public. Invite your friends!

Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Topic: Seed Banking: An Age-Old Art Used for a New Purpose
Presenter: Wendy Gibble, Manager of Conservation and Education, University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA
A seed is one of nature’s marvelous adaptions. It makes the perfect receptacle for an embryonic plant, providing protection from the elements and transportation to a new home. Early humans took advantage of seeds’ resilient nature, storing them through winter months and transporting them over trade routes. One could argue that without the seed, the course of human society may have taken a drastically different trajectory. Today, seeds are serving another purpose, this time for their own species benefit. In seed banks across the country, scientists and land managers hold millions of seeds of the nation’s native rare plants, painstakingly gathered from wild populations. In this talk, Wendy Gibble will explore the biology of seeds, seed dormancy and how it is used in seed banking, and some of the ways we break dormancy to initiate germination. She will also talk about seed banks in the US and their efforts to conserve rare native species.

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Topic: Social and Slideshow: TBA
Presenter: TBA
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: TBA

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Topic: TBA
Presenter: TBA
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2018
Topic: TBA
Presenter: TBA
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA



Wenatchee Chapter 2016 Plant of the Year:

Nicotiana Attentua (Coyote Tobacco)

by Molly Boyter

Nicotiana attenuata is a rare annual that is found in Washington east of the Cascades, as well as other parts of the West.  It is strong smelling, hairy, and sticky, and grows to 3-10 dm.  The leaves are larger and lance-ovate at the bottom to reduced and more linear at the top.  The corolla is up to 3.5 cm long, white, and blooms from June to September.Coyote Tobacco

As part of my job as a botanist at the Bureau of Land Management I am responsible for monitoring rare plants, and have been trying to relocate Nicotiana populations since 2010.  After reading the descriptions of this flower I thought it would be easy to recognize, monitor, and report my findings.  However I was unable to find the plants at any of the former sites on BLM lands in Douglas Creek and Moses Coulee.  What was I missing?

In 2015, while driving through an area that burned in the 2014 Palisades fire, I saw a few rather tall forbs with white flowers which stood out starkly against the rocky coulee walls.  I thought it was strange to see a showy flower so late in the season since most things have begun to dry up on the Columbia Plateau by this time.  It was just about the only thing blooming at this location, which was just starting to recover from the fire the year before but had very little vegetative cover.

I hopped out to see if I could identify this mystery plant.  Maybe, just maybe, this was the elusive Nicotiana!  It was sticky, and stinky, and growing big and bold where almost nothing else was.  There were hundreds of these plants growing on the coulee floor and even into the rocky slopes.  I returned a few days later with a botany intern and we counted over 2000 plants on 40 acres, an astounding number since most sites in our records reported only scattered handfuls of individuals. Pam Camp graciously volunteered her time to look at the plants and confirmed their identity.  It was Nicotiana attenuata!

Since noting this population in 2015, I have become a fire follower, looking for ‘new’ Nicotiana populations in areas of likely habitat that have recently burned.  In 2016, BLM interns and I have documented sites in many recently burned areas of Douglas Creek, Burton Draw near Jameson Lake, and the Columbia River.  Though recent large fires have been extremely devastating to the sagebrush habitat in our region, it has been fascinating and exciting to discover the persistence of this little plant that has been hiding in the seed bank.  Where will it pop up next?


Updated: October 22, 2017
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