On a chilly Saturday morning 24 plant-hunters joined Helen Hamilton and Gustav Hall for a walk into Longhill Swamp to see Skunk Cabbage. This unusual plant is the first blooming flower of the year, and the population was in prime condition. Many were releasing pollen and beginning to form fruits and a few were sprouting leaves. We had to watch where we step, since there were many small tufts of emerging plants in the leaf litter. With the help of biologists Alicia Garcia, Joey Thompson and Meegan Wallace, small groups of us identified trees, vines, grasses and emerging spring weeds. Helen found mosses and liverworts, most very common around homesites. Additionally, Kathi Mestayer and husband Mac picked up a lot of trash in the area. Other plant walks will be scheduled throughout the year, sponsored by the John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society. Photos by Helen Hamilton of the group.
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