2023 Joint Field Meeting of the: BSA NE Section, Torrey Botanical Society & Philadelphia Botanical Club

Contributed by aneely on Jan 13, 2023 - 04:17 PM

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Invitation to the 2023 Joint Field Meeting of the:
Botanical Society of America, Northeastern Section Torrey Botanical Society & Philadelphia Botanical Club

April 23-27, 2023 (Sunday to Thursday)
Lake Junaluska, NC

Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center
PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

Each year the Botanical Society of America NE section, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in northeastern North America. Those attending the 2023 meeting will explore the mountains of western North Carolina and will be housed at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. Lake Junaluska is about 35 miles from the Asheville Regional Airport. The nearest town with amenities is Waynesville.

Sunday, April 23, 2023 (arrive at Lake Junaluska for dinner and evening program) to Thursday, April 27, 2023 (breakfast and depart for home)

Special note:
This year the 73rd Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park ( is 26-29 April, immediately following our event. You need to preregister well in advance if you want to attend. The slots fill up fast.

Lake Junaluska does not allow public consumption of alcoholic beverage or public intoxication on property owned by Lake Junaluska. The Terrace Hotel at Lake Junaluska is a smoke-free environment.

Be prepared for various weather with temperatures that could go as low as 30°. Bring good foot gear & good rain gear. Mountain driving requires a safe vehicle with good tires, slowing down and lots of patience.

We have a list of area attractions that you can ask for if you are interested in staying in the area or coming down early. Just ask & we’ll send it along separately.

Field Trips (more details of each site are available by request)
Field trip locations were selected based on diverse or unique sites, ease of access, parking, and distance from Lake Junaluska. This is a tentative outline, subject to change. Our exact itinerary will depend on conditions & timing.

We plan to spend Day 1 traversing the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting Red Bank Cove, Graveyard Fields, and the Pink Beds. Red Bank Cove has a diverse flora of early spring blooming herbaceous species. Graveyard Fields has high elevation species, rock outcrops, seep and waterfalls. The federally listed rock gnome lichen (Gymnoderma lineare) occurs at Graveyard Fields. The Pink Beds is a Southern Appalachian bog with federally listed swamp pinks (Helonias bullata).

The second day we will contrast a low elevation site Harmon Den (2000-2500 ft) with a high elevation site Waterrock Knob (6000 ft). Harmon Den has mountain catchfly (Silene ovata) and a large population of pirate bush (Buckleya distichophylla). Waterrock Knob is at the crest of the Pott Balsams along the Blue Ridge Parkway with Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense) and scattered mountain wood fern (Dryopteris campyloptera).

Day three highlights include a very rare serpentine barren with three endemic plants (serpentine ragwort, Rhiannon’s aster, and Buck Creek heartleaf) a southern Appalachian Bog at Whiteoak Bottoms and a rich cove forest along Waslick Poplar Trail. Buck Creek Serpentine Barren hosts nineteen state-listed rare plant species (three endemic) and four state-listed butterfly species.

Trip Leaders:

  • Josh Kelly – Biologist/Ecologist with local environmental advocacy group, Mountain True
  • Ron Lance – native to western NC, author of books on woody species, Crataegus and winter guide to woody plants of SE
  • Gary Kauffman – Botanist/Ecologist for USFS in NC – 30 years working in western NC
  • Sue Fruchey – Pisgah NF botanist – 6 years working in western NC
  • Maria Dunlavey – Nantahala NF Botanist -4 years working in western NC
  • Jess Schaner – western NC field botanist for NC Natural Heritage Program
  • David Siripoonsup – consulting botanist for NC Natural Heritage Program
  • Owen Carson – Botanist with Environmental Consulting Firm, Equinox Environmental 

Evening Speakers

  • Sunday Evening – Josh Kelly -overview of Southern Appalachian Flora
  • Monday Evening – Dr. Charles Williams - "André Michaux Live"
  • Tuesday Evening – Dr. Shane Schoepfer and Gary Kauffman – Unique geology within Southern Appalachians and Buck Creek Serpentine Barren Flora
  • Wednesday Evening – Brent Martin – William Bartram visits in the Southern Appalachians

Housing will be at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, 689 N Lakeshore Dr., Lake Junaluska, NC.

Breakfasts and dinners will be served at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. Lunch will be picked up at breakfast.

To see the PDF and registration form click here.


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