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news and insights on conserving native plants & their habitats summer 2013

new england WI LD
The Ever-Changing
New England WILD
News and Insight on Conserving Native Plants & Their Habitats
Volume 6, No. 1, Summer 2013
New England WILD is published by New England Wild Flower Society,
an in depen dent, nonprofit, member- supported organization whose mission
is to conserve and promote the regions native plants to ensure healthy,
biologically diverse landscapes. Subscriptions to New England WILD are
included in membership dues, starting at $40/year for individuals.
Rachel Wolff Lander
Copyright 2013 New England Wild Flower Society. All rights reserved.
No material in this publication may be reproduced or used in any way
without written consent. For permission, contact Editor, New England WILD,
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA 01701.
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA 01701
NewEnglandWild Flower Society
Deirdre C. Menoyo
Vice Chair
Pam Resor
Charles A. Wain
Assistant Treasurer
John F. Page
Carrie Waterman
Assistant Clerk
Anita E. Springer
Executive Director
Debbi Edelstein
Board of Trustees
Lalor Burdick
Anthony T. Cope
Ruah Donnelly
Christopher R. Ely
Janet Ganson
Marjorie Greville
Phoebe McCarthy
Carolyn M. Osteen
Jessie B. Panek
Polly Pierce
Bonnie Potter
Charity Tremblay
Martha J. Wallace
board of trustees
On the cover:
Fall Foliage, Hop Brook,
Garden in the Woods
Photo: Steven Scholom
A quotation in the lead article of this issue of the magazine
caught my eye: To thrive and grow as time goes on. In its sim-
plicity, the phrase could serve as a goal for many of lifes activi-
ties, from gardening to parenting. It immediately struck me as
the small print mission statement for the Society, by evoking
our aspirations for natural areas and designed landscapes, for the
people we engage and educate, and for the organization itself.
If you love plants and the land, you often have to focus on
challengesyou fight invasive plants and pests, control deer,
oppose bad development projects, and lament weather that so far
this season has been by turns too cold and too hot, too wet and
too dry, for optimal gardening. And then a breathtakingly beau-
tiful day or a chance phrase puts it all in perspective. At the core
of what we all do as conservationists and gardenersas stewards
of the good green Earthis optimism and joy. Collecting or
planting a seed may be a defiant act in the face of grim realities,
but it feels like hope, like one of many parallel steps to ensure
that a much-loved corner of the world will thrive and grow.
From the Executive Director
Past is Prologue:
The Evolution of a Garden
A Special Place for Families
Volunteer Spotlight:
David Mittlestadt
Growing in a New Direction at
Nasami Farm
Controlling Invasive Winter Moth
Banking on the Future
Sanctuary Spotlight: Harvey Butler
Rhododendron Sanctuary
Celebrating Our 2012 Donors
Volunteer Spotlight: Robin Wilkerson
Go Botany: Bigger and Better!
Northern Gardening Symposium
From the Executive Director
Debbi Edelstein
New England WILD Summer 2013 2
Past is Prologue:
The Evolution of a Garden
The Gardener as Artist
Will Curtis and his partner Dick Stiles
imbued Garden in the Woods with their
spirit of experimentation, instinct for natu-
ralistic garden design, and a sense of wonder
that is clear some 82 years after the first
shovel hit the earth. Curtis was an artist
who, according to Stiles, never worked from
a plan, for it was all in that brain that could
envision and feel and know just how it should
be. Although they often appear effortless,
naturalistic gardens are the most challenging
to envision and among the most challeng-
ing to maintain. How can one improve or
perfect that which took eons for nature to
create? How does one choose which trees
to fell in a forest to create the perfect
amount of dappled light for a garden of
spring ephemerals? Where is the best place
to site a path to make it seem like a natural-
ly occurring feature of a garden? Curtiss
mastery of this art form, developed over a
lifetime of gardening, is apparent through-
out Garden in the Woods.
For longtime members of the
Society, the history of Garden in the Woods
is familiar. But what we dont often consid-
er is that Curtis, like most gardeners, never
truly finished his garden but simply ran
out of time to undertake whatever next
steps he envisioned. Given more active
years, he may have built more habitat gar-
den displays, expanded into the natural
areas serving as buffers, or even torn out
and replanted entire garden sections. No
one can say how Curtiss garden might have
evolved, but when I consider his passion, I
realize that I have never visited a finished
garden, private or public, because by their
very nature, gardens are dynamic and con-
stantly evolving. They change from season
to season, month to month, and often hour
to hour; they change by design and by nat-
ural intervention.
As an artist whose medium was
plants, Curtis was aware of the fragility of
his creations and, like all gardeners,
embracedeagerly or reluctantlythe
inevitability of change. The devastation
wrought by the 1938 hurricane nearly con-
vinced him to abandon his dream. Garden
in the Woods lost nearly three hundred
large trees. That kind of devastation is not
unlike the loss of the one perfect tree over
a small shade garden in a residential neigh-
borhood. The effect is the same on the gar-
denershock, sadness, and dismay at the
prospect of losing a lifetime of work, fol-
lowed by excitement at the possibility of
renewal in newfound sunlight. Curtis knew
that his garden was just as vulnerable to the
next storm, to late frosts, pests, or diseases.
But he devoted half a lifetime to creating a
big wild garden anyway. Despite the
threats, gardeners soldier on, intent on satis-
fying their own artistic interests and creat-
ing something beyond themselves, some-
thing beautiful to share with others. The
vision for the garden adapts to change out
of necessity, and the garden benefits from
the dynamism of creative thought.
The Path to Garden in the Woods
Born in Schuylerville, New York, in 1883,
Will Curtis was a plant lover from an early
agehe planted his first garden when he
was nine. While working for a florist as a
teenager, he began dreaming of one day
having a big wildflower garden. His passion
led him to earn a degree in landscape archi-
tecture from Cornell University and even-
tually to working as office manager for
landscape architect Warren H. Manning, an
early pioneer of the wild garden move-
ment and a founding member of the
American Society of Landscape Architects.
Manning apprenticed with Frederick Law
Olmsted, considered by many to be the
father of American landscape architecture,
before beginning his own design firm in
Billerica, Massachusetts, in the 1890s. His
influence on Curtiss naturalistic gardening
ethos is clear: Manning advocated for a
new type of gardening wherein the
Landscaper recognizes, first, the beauty of
existing conditions and develops this beau-
ty to the minutest detail. Mannings call for
an American style of landscape design that
enhanced and preserved the subtle beauty
of nature is expressed in the way Curtis
developed Garden in the Woods to take
advantage of, rather than compete with, the
natural features and topography of the site.
In 1931 Curtis stumbled upon a tract
of land in Framingham that had eskers
with steep-sided valleys between, a pond, a
wooden-bog, numerous springs, and an
ever-flowing brook. He described it as a
naturally beautiful place with interesting
contours, many old trees, and a variety of
typical New England vegetation that was
just the spot for a wild flower garden. The
Old Colony Railroad, which had mined
part of the land for its glacial gravel
deposits, sold Curtis 30 acres for $1,000, and
he began developing the gardens in earnest.
By this time, Curtis was manager of Little
Tree Farm in Framingham and was running
a fairly successful landscape design and
installation business. Garden in the Woods
would become a living showcase of his
capabilities, a more permanent exhibition
than the award-winning flower show
exhibits he designed and constructed to
promote his professional services.
By 1933 construction of the garden
was well underway, and the 50-year-old
Curtis recruited 23-year-old Dick Stiles to
help with the heavy lifting. Stiles was not a
Curtis cabin and pit greenhouse, circa 1937.
Dick Stiles and Will Curtis at Garden in the Woods.
New England WILD Summer 2013 4
horticulturist by training, but proved such a
quick study that Curtis invited him to
become a full partner in the garden in 1936.
The pair spent the next 30 years developing
a garden collection of North American
native plants, a novel concept during that
era. Among their creations, the First Garden
(what we now call the Woodland Garden) is
rich with spring ephemerals, woodland
perennials, and flowering shrubs set beneath
a high canopy of oaks. Here they used
plants to create an almost rhythmic experi-
ence of light and shadow and an impressive
spring display. They built the Lily Pond in
1935, using mules to dredge a shallow pond
and make it habitable for a variety of aquat-
ic plants. They created habitat gardens
named for their inspiration and showcasing
Curtiss wide-ranging interests as a collector
and propagator of plants: he developed an
alpine garden he called Mt. Washington, a
pine barren he called New Jersey, and a col-
lection of western plants he called
By the mid-1960s, Curtis and Stiles
had begun thinking about the future of
their garden. Concerned about the
encroaching suburban development, they
realized the only way to prevent bulldozers
from destroying their lifetime of work was
to find a partner to whom they could
entrust its care. Curtis shared his concern
with his client and friend, Homer C. Lucas,
an active member and fierce advocate for
the New England Wild Flower Preservation
Society. Lucas helped negotiate the transfer
of ownership to the Society, with an agree-
ment that required the Society to raise an
endowment to support ongoing care and
maintenance of the garden. On Curtiss
82nd birthday, May 8, 1965, Curtis and
Stiles gave Garden in the Woods to the
Society. The two remained on staffCurtis
as Garden Director until his death in 1969,
and Stiles as Curator until his retirement in
1970. (He passed away in 1984.) The
Society moved its headquarters from down-
town Boston to the site in 1968.
Past is Prologue:
The Ever-Changing Garden
Above: Stiles and Curtis in the greenhouse at Garden in the Woods.
Below: Stiles and Curtis giving Garden in the Woods to the New
England Wild Flower Preservation Society on May 8, 1965.
Thriving as Time Goes On
Since 1965 New England Wild Flower
Society has continued to care for Garden in
the Woods as a sanctuary for both plants and
people. The hand of a single man with a
vision became many hands shaping the
Gardens development. New challenges, like
expanding parking for visitors and adding
buildings to accommodate a growing staff,
have required a multitude of changes.
Through them all, the Society has clearly
maintained Curtiss rustic, naturalistic
design and his emphasis on experimenting
with why wild flowers will grow here and
not there. Garden in the Woods is both a
collectors paradise, with more than 1,000
taxa of primarily New England native flora,
and a casual visitors delight, especially in
spring, when thousands of blooms burst
forth in the warmth of April and May.
As the organizations mission has
evolved, so has the Garden. In 2010 the
Society renewed its focus on New England
native plants with a new mission state-
mentto conserve and promote the
regions native plants to ensure healthy, bio-
logically diverse landscapesand a strate-
gic plan that calls for a broader and more
engaged constituency for native plants. One
of the steps in building that constituency is
the development of a comprehensive master
plan for Garden in the Woods. In 2012 we
were fortunate to secure funding from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services
and the Hope Goddard Iselin Foundation
to pursue that effort. The plan, scheduled
for completion in October of this year, will
serve as the overarching vision for the
Garden for the next 25 years and beyond. It
will help unify the organizations conserva-
tion and horticulture messages, honor
Curtiss legacy, and build a roadmap for a
resilient garden that can adapt to the effects
of climate change.
The Societys hope is that the master
plan will launch a renaissance of Garden in
the Woods that blends Curtiss original
vision for the garden as a peaceful picture
of our land as nature intended it with
modern sustainable design. The planning
process, led by landscape architecture firm
Andropogon Associates, whose guiding
principle is designing with nature, reflects
a careful and measured approach to design.
The resulting plan will reflect our conserva-
tion ethos by embracing and guiding
change in a manner that is both naturally
beautiful and ecologically functional.
Dick Stiles wrote a tribute to Curtis
that was published in the American Rock
Garden Society Bulletin in April 1970, six
months after his friends death. In it, he
described Curtis as a most unusual charac-
ter: rugged, determined, resourceful, unde-
viatingly honest with no use whatsoever for
so-called diplomacy. He also referred to
Curtis as a man with vision, a true artist
who knew exactly what he wanted and
went to any amount of time and labor to
achieve it. In that same tribute, Stiles wrote
that his own hope for the Garden was for it
to thrive and grow as time goes on. That
is the essence of the master planto reshape
the vision for a garden that its founder cre-
ated as his contribution to conservation
and to ensure that it continues to thrive and
grow as time goes on.
mark richardson, director of horticulture
A Special Place for Families
Families with young children have long enjoyed coming to Garden
in the Woods, even though it has offered only a look, dont touch
experience for kids who might want to get their hands dirty. This
spring a group of children cut the ribbon on a new Family Activity
Area, and it has already become a prime destination for those seek-
ing opportunities to play, create, imagine, and connect with nature.
Located on the high path between the habitat displays and
the New England Rare Plant Garden, the Family Activity Area is in
the perfect shady spot above Hop Brook to find refuge from the
hot summer sun. Visitors enter through a rustic cottage entrance
designed and built by local craftsman Frank Hamm, who also makes
the lovely cedar benches throughout the Garden. Within the space
are a series of hexagon-shaped habitat boxes forming niches
inspired by British landscape designer Nigel Dunnetts habitat walls.
Kids are encouraged to build their own habitats with materials on
hand and to think about the critters that might live in them. Other
interactive features include a crawl-through critter cave and, later
this season, a fiddlehead labyrinth.
After some early brainstorming between staff in the
Horticulture and Education departments and a design charette with
students from the Conway School of Landscape Design,
Horticulturist Nate McCullin led the design and construction
of the interactive exhibit. The Family Activity Area officially
opened on May 10 as part of the annual National
Public Gardens Day celebration. The Society was
honored that State Senator Karen Spilka
joined us to mark the occasion.
National Public Gardens Day,
sponsored by the American Public
Gardens Association and Rain Bird,
a manufacturer of irrigation proj-
ects, celebrates the nations public
gardens to raise awareness of the
important role botanical gardens
and arboretums play in promoting
environmental stewardship, plant and
water conservation, green
spaces, and education in com-
munities nationwide.
The Family Activity
Area was made possible
thanks to generous sup-
port from Whole Foods
Markets of Framingham
and Wayland and grants from
the cultural councils of
Acton-Boxborough, Ashland,
Framingham, Hudson, Natick,
Southborough, Sudbury, and Weston.
nate mccullin, horticulturist
In the early 1990s, New England Wild Flower Society hired Sasaki
Associates, Inc. to conduct a building suitability study and design
the Rare Plant Garden at Garden in the Woods. Those projects
introduced us to David Mittelstadt, at that time a Senior Associate
with Sasaki, who has for nearly twenty years provided invaluable
service as a volunteer with the Society.
Originally from Racine, Wisconsin, David studied landscape
architecture under Phil Lewis at the University of Wisconsin.
Lewiss emphasis on resource management and environmental cor-
ridors shaped Davids interest in the field. Upon graduation in
1969, David began working for the Army Corps of Engineers in
Wilmington, North Carolina, on water-related recreational master
planning. After two short years in the field, he moved back up north
to pursue an advanced degree under Carl Steinitz at the Harvard
Graduate School of Design. David completed his studies in 1973
and went on to work for five years with Walter Gropiuss firm,
The Architects Collaborative (TAC). TAC employed an integrated
approach to design, with teams of architects, engineers, and land-
scape architects working collaboratively for corporate and public
In 1978 David began working for Sasaki, where his first proj-
ect was a 21-kilometer waterfront master plan for Kuwait City,
Kuwait. He led Sasakis Middle East project work, which included
his proposed design for the Baghdad Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Davids concentration soon became botanic garden master plans,
leading him to design projects for, among others, the University of
Wisconsin-Madison Botanic Garden, North Carolina Arboretum
in Asheville, and Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
When David was brought in to help with the two projects
here at the Garden, staff quickly realized the value he could bring
to the Society. Former Director of Horticulture Cheryl Lowe invit-
ed him to join the Horticulture Committee, where his design
expertise has been an indispensable asset. While still working full-
time, he completed the Native Plant Certificate program, with a
final project that culminated in the design and installation of a
native butterfly meadow at the Ecotarium in Worcester,
Massachusetts. His involvement with the Society expanded when
he was invited to become an Overseer and later a member of the
Board of Trustees.
David retired from Sasaki in 2011, which has freed him to
devote considerable time to the Gardens master plan, for which he
has long advocated. His years of experience on the other end of
the designer/client relationship have made him a vital resource
throughout the process, and his Zen-like, analytical approach to
landscape design has had a powerfully calming effect on a challeng-
ing and complex process. When asked what he would like to see
from the master plan, David resisted the urge to target a pet proj-
ect or a specific garden type; rather, he described his hope to help
the Society make the vision developed by Andropogon Associates a
reality at Garden in the Woods.
Since retiring, David has started a small landscape architecture
firm of his own. In addition to his design work, David enjoys travel-
ing to Italy with his wife and taking watercolor courses at Bostons
Museum of Fine Arts.
kristin desouza, senior horticulturist and plant records
David Mittelstadt
Volunteer Spotlight
New England WILD Summer 2013 8
Finding the right plant material is at the
heart of any garden design project.
Traditionally, this process has been fairly
straightforward: identify a reputable source
for the right plants at the right size and price
and in the quantities necessary. As we look
ahead to the implementation of the master
plan for Garden in the Woods, we face a dif-
ferent, more complex challenge: growing,
rather than buying, the right plant material,
which is defined by the Societys strategic
plan as plants native to the ecoregions of
New England and of known origin within
those boundaries. With that challenge in
mind, and in line with the strategic goal to
develop, demonstrate, and advance scientif-
ic and practical knowledge about the regions
native plants, Nasami Farm Nursery
changed its focus last year to producing
plants of known origin that are genetically
diverse, regionally adapted, and well-suited
to support our native ecosystems.
Unlike many operations that order
seeds and plugs from other nurseries,
Nasami propagates native plants from seeds
sustainably harvested from wild sources.
Thats not easy. It takes considerable time
and research to identify large plant popula-
tions throughout the region from which we
can sustainably harvest enough seed for
production and research. Cayte
McDonough, Production Manager at
Nasami, relies heavily on tips from Plant
Conservation Volunteers, staff, and others to
locate those large populations. In the 2012
season she collected seed from about 100
speciesno small feat. She does most of the
collecting herself, with help from a small
group of volunteers, and works closely with
Propagator Kate Stafford and a team of ded-
icated volunteers to clean, store, and sow
Through the efforts at Nasami, we
have formed partnerships with nurseries
that share our desire to expand the availabil-
ity of genetically diverse native plants. We
have developed a model that plays to the
partners core strengths: Nasami concen-
trates on seed collection, research, and prop-
agation, while Van Berkum Nursery, Project
Native, and Amherst Nurseries use their
expertise and facilities to grow the plants to
finished retail size.
Nasami also partners with municipal-
ities and other nonprofit conservation
organizations to grow plants for restoration
and ecological landscaping projects. Several
Growing in a New Direction
at Nasami Farm
A volunteer separates healthy seed from less viable seed and chaff in preparation for sowing. We record details of what is sown in our seed-
sowing log. Photo by Chuck Walla
Controlling Invasive
Winter Moth
If youve wandered in the woods in eastern Massachusetts
and parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island on late fall
evenings, you might have noticed the large numbers of win-
ter moths (Operophtera brumata) flying around. An invasive
European insect that was first discovered in Nova Scotia in
the 1930s, winter moth is a generalist feeder that poses a real
threat to many of the dominant native deciduous trees and
shrubs throughout the region, including Amelanchier, Betula,
Carpinus, Quercus, and Rhododendron. Already established in
southern New England, this pest has recently been discov-
ered in Maine. A team of entomologists from the University
of Massachusetts, led by Dr. Joseph Elkinton, is working on
a plan to halt its spread and has asked the Society to partici-
pate in a research project at Garden in the Woods.
In 1954 a European parasitic tachinid fly, Cyzenis albi-
cans, was released in Nova Scotia, where it effectively con-
trolled the outbreak of winter moth. In the 1970s, another
outbreak of winter moth in the Pacific Northwest also was
effectively controlled by C. albicans. Monitoring has shown
that in both locations, the flies breeding populations
declined with the population of winter moth, but continued
to provide effective control decades after the initial release.
Adult flies lay eggs on the foliage of plants that winter moth
caterpillars eat. Fly larvae then hatch inside the moths and
parasitize. One concern about introducing non-native bio-
logical control mechanisms is the possibility that they will
affect multiple species, but C. albicans is host-specific and has
not been shown to parasitize anything but winter moth.
Since 2005 Dr. Elkintons team has been collecting,
breeding, and releasing flies in locations throughout New
England. In 2010 they were excited to find fly larvae at a site
where they had not conducted a release, which was evidence
that the flies could establish themselves without assistance.
This spring, the team attempted to release flies at Garden in
the Woods, which has a winter moth problem. Dr. Elkinton
chose the Garden because of its strategic location west of all
previous releases in Massachusetts and because of our organ-
ic management practices, which ensure that neither the flies
nor the winter moth will be killed by insecticides. He also
hoped that a release here might help to establish breeding
populations across a large section of eastern Massachusetts
and keep winter moth populations at bay for generations.
Part of the plan for this spring was an experiment with a
new method for timing the release of the flies with the opti-
mum larval stage of the winter moth caterpillar. Due to the
lifecycle of the flies, they need to be kept alive onsite for
about two weeks prior to release. The approach tried at the
Garden was not a complete success, as most of the flies died
in containment. Nonetheless, the experiment yielded good
information about how to successfully rear the flies on site,
which will contribute to future releases.
dan jaffe, propagator and stock bed grower
years ago, for example, we grew thousands of Chamaecyparis thyoides
(Atlantic White Cedar) for the restoration of the Eel River in Plymouth,
Massachusetts. More recently, we partnered with the Rhode Island
Natural History Surveys Rhody Native initiative, which aims to build
capacity for the production of native plants for habitat restoration in
Rhode Island. This partnership has resulted in the exchange of informa-
tion about coastal plant communities in Rhode Island, as well as the
exchange of seed and plugs. Many of the species we grow or plan to
grow are of interest to Rhody Native, including Amelanchier canadensis
(eastern shadbush) and Gaylusacia baccata (black huckleberry). Last sea-
son we received seed for nine species of plants from Rhody Native,
including Rhexia virginica from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, which will
eventually find its way into the new coastal sand plain display at Garden
in the Woods.
In July we delivered 1,600 plugs for a habitat improvement proj-
ect in the old mill town of Lawrence, Massachusetts, which is turning
an area of industrial wasteland into the citys largest park. Groundwork
Lawrence had funding to replace invasive and unsightly brush and black
locust trees with native species for a meadow, pollinator garden, and
habitat for urban wildlife, especially birds. Other contracts include prop-
agating plants for turning a degraded park in Braintree, Massachusetts,
into a wildflower meadow and for a project on cranberry bogs and pol-
linators undertaken by the Department of Environmental Conservation
at the University of Massachusetts.
This season the Garden Shops at Garden in the Woods and
Nasami Farm are carrying about thirty species of New England native
plants grown from wild-collected seed and propagated at our nursery,
including Aralia racemosa (American spikenard) and Rubus odoratus (flow-
ering raspberry). The number of true New England native plants we
offer for sale will grow to nearly fifty species in 2014 and will continue
to grow each year as we find more wild populations from which to col-
lect and as our production seed bank expands.
mark richardson, director of horticulture
Plant Propagator Kate Stafford (center) and volunteers Evelyn Villa (left),
and Lesley Harrington, sowing seed in the greenhouse at Nasami Farm.
We sow much of our seed in early winter, allowing it to experience a cold
period, which many species require for germination. Photo by Chuck Walla
New England WILD Summer 2013
The scientific community overwhelming
accepts the clear evidence that the earth is
warming and our climate is changing.
Although there is uncertainty about the
pace and extent of the effects of this climate
shift, it is likely that the Northeast of
the future will be a very different place.
Predictions include warmer temperatures,
an increase in the number of extreme rain-
fall events (causing floods), an increase in
precipitation as rain, a decrease in snow,
drier and hotter summers with increased
periods of drought, and a rise in sea level.
Scientific studies around the world
have documented range shifts and species
declines directly related to climate change.
Given the current climate trajectory, scien-
tists predict that 57 percent of the planets
plant species will lose more than half their
range by 2080. In New England, as else-
where, changes will be felt most dramatical-
ly in forests, with the likely extirpation of
the spruce-fir forest type from parts of the
region; the reduction in, but possible reten-
tion of, aspen-birch; a large reduction in
maple-beech-birch; and an increase in oak-
hickory and oak-pine types. Maple-beech-
birch is likely to be completely displaced by
more southern forest types by the end of
the century. In general, plant communities
will come apart and re-form in new com-
binations related to their seed dispersal
mechanisms, differing migration rates, and
establishment success.
Adaptive Responses
to Climate Change
A number of steps can be taken to prepare
for and adapt to these predicted changes in
the landscape. Increasing connectivity
between natural areas to facilitate migra-
tion, removing invasive species to produce
healthier plant communities, and building
resiliency by maintaining larger blocks of
habitat are some of the recommended
actions. Another tactic, assisted migration
or assisted relocation (moving plant
species that cannot migrate successfully to
new locations outside their historic ranges),
is being hotly debated among biologists and
ecologists. Some species, especially the
rarest endemics, will not be able to migrate
fast enough to avoid extirpation. Only one
action guarantees their survival, at least as
genetic material for potential reintroduc-
tion to the wild: seed banking.
Seed Collection Targets
We know that most seeds of temperate
species can be successfully stored in seed
banks for many years, but where should we
put our efforts? According to Botanic
Garden Conservation International, priority
targets for seed banking in response to cli-
mate change include rare and endangered
species, plants of alpine areas, and plants
from other habitats that are under threat
from climate change (for example, coastal
regions). Although collection of seed from
common species affected by climate change
is vital for the future restoration of changing
habitats, seed collection of rare and endan-
gered species is a top priority because the
threat of extirpation for these plantsgen-
erally limited to a few populations in niche
habitatsis already significant without the
additional impacts of climate change.
As a national leader in plant conser-
vation, we have invested in the research and
on-the-ground monitoring that enables us
to assess the state of New Englands rare
flora. The recently published second edition
of our ground-breaking Flora Conservanda
shows that 388 plant taxa in our region are
either globally or regionally rare. (For the
full report, go to
and search for Flora Conservanda.) Of those,
62 are globally rare species, which have a
combined 1,300 occurrences in New
England. Also critical to conserve are the
326 regionally rare taxa, with approximate-
ly 2,000 occurrences. To date, we have col-
lected seeds of 146 species, but from only
316 of the combined 3,300 populations.
Meeting the Challenge
We need to dramatically increase the pace
of seed collection. The full program in New
England will require approximately $5 mil-
lion and up to ten years to complete. In the
process, the Society will develop and pilot a
replicable, comprehensive, science-based
approach to preserving species in the region
and gather crucial information ranging
from population sizes and genetic variation
to changes in community composition, seed
set, and other measures of species health and
persistence. Furthermore, having represen-
tative genetic samples of a species in the
bank will enable us to compare changes in
the genetics of wild populations over time.
Seed banking also gives us the ability to
develop germination and propagation pro-
tocols in advance of any potential need for
transplanting or reintroducing species.
Given the strength of our conserva-
tion program, the Society is in a unique
position to develop the protocols to be used
by seed collection efforts in other regions,
including guidance on selecting occur-
rences across the region, evaluating sites,
sampling strategies, and determining moni-
toring needs.
Measures of Success
Banking seeds does beg the question: What
do you plan to do with them? While seed
banking is the best form of ex situ conserva-
tion, the ultimate goal is to have function-
ing ecosystems (of whatever composition)
with species continuing to evolve in the
wild. Retaining seeds in a seed bank or a
rare plant in a botanic garden is much the
same as holding an endangered tiger in a
zoo. Without appropriate habitat in the
wild, the seeds, plants, and tiger are museum
artifacts of bygone eras.
Augmenting existing wild popula-
tions or introducing new ones is a difficult
process, but we know from past efforts that
it can be successful. We were part of a col-
laborative project to save the endangered
Banking on the Future
Potentilla robbinsiana (Robbins cinquefoil),
a diminutive alpine plant found only in
two areas in the White Mountains of New
Hampshire and endangered by over-collec-
tion and by hikers roaming off-trail. While
others relocated the trail, we banked the
seed and grew plants to augment the wild
population. The collaborative effort resulted
in Potentilla robbinsiana becoming the first
plant removed from the Endangered
Species List due to the recovery of the wild
populations and the success of the intro-
duced plants.
We have also had success with recov-
ery of another species, Agalinis acuta (sand-
plain gerardia), a small annual species that
must attach its roots to a host plant to
flower and set seed, which is how an annu-
al species survives. Found in about 12 loca-
tions in the coastal plain from Maryland to
Massachusetts, it has had been able to hang
on in several graveyards on Cape Cod,
apparently because of the disturbance
caused by mowing. Research at Garden in
the Woods indicated that the plant was able
to use Schizachyrium scoparium (little
bluestem), a common component of sand-
plain grasslands, as a host species.
Experiments with sowing seed in scarified
soil in the wild led to the establishment of
thousands of plants in suitable habitat on
protected land; research into the proper
management necessary to keep it thriving is
Although we can cultivate many rare
species, successful re-introductions are
uncommon, which indicates that plants
need more than apparently appropriate
habitat. Nonetheless, it seems likely that we
will be assisting some species by either relo-
cating them to appropriate habitats within
newly developed climate envelopes or by
constructing new populations from the seed
Some people advocate moving plants
now, well ahead of clear knowledge of the
local impacts of climate change. But just
because it is now possible to successfully
grow a species further north does not mean
that the climate or the habitat or the plant
community will be suitable in the future.
Recent models are beginning to predict
where plants might naturally end up under
different climate scenarios. Seed banking
gives us the ability to time our interventions
well and base them on scientific evidence of
changes in climate and habitat. We can then
make the best decisions about augmenting
populations at existing sites, reintroducing
species to sites from which they have disap-
peared, or introducing them to new sites in
the historic range or beyond.
Seed banking is critical to the con-
servation of our New England flora and
enables us to act intelligently, saving each
cog and wheel along the way.
bill brumback, director of conservation
to keep every cog and wheel is the first
precaution of intelligent tinkering.
-aldo leopold, A Sand County Almanac

The Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary in Springvale,

Maine, is a 56-acre, forested property with low rolling hills and sev-
eral wetland basins. Acquired by New England Wild Flower Society
in six land transfers from several landowners between 1964 and
2005, most of the site is covered by a mature northern hardwood
forest mixed with coniferous trees. The sanctuarys namesake,
Harvey Butler, was a Springvale resident who formerly owned the
parcel of land on which most of the rhododendron plants grow.
Butler was aware of the significance of this area and managed his
land accordingly; access was monitored, and firewood harvesting in
the surrounding woods was kept well away from the grove.
Common tree species in the sanctuary include Acer rubrum
(red maple), Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch), Betula papyrifera
(paper birch), Fagus grandifolia (American beech), Picea rubens (red
spruce), and Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock). Located on glacial
till deposits and with acidic soils, the property lacks high plant
diversity, but a range of spring- and summer-blooming wildflowers
brings color to its woodlands and wetlands. Among the 140 species
of plants identified in the sanctuary by Society staff and volunteers
are Chelone glabra (white turtlehead), Clintonia borealis (yellow blue-
bead-lily), Coptis trifolia (three-leaved goldthread), Iris versicolor (blue
iris), Trillium undulatum (painted trillium or painted wakerobin), and
Viola pallens (northern or smooth white violet). The property also
has numerous ferns, including Osumunda claytoniana (interrupted
fern), Osmunda regalis (royal fern), Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (cin-
namon fern), several Dryopteris species (wood ferns), and Phegopteris
connectilis (long beech fern).
The botanical highlight of the Butler Sanctuary is the five-
acre Rhododendron maximum (great rhododendron or great rosebay)
stand in the northern section of the property. The stand is a dense
monoculture of shrubs ranging from three feet to ten feet in height.
It extends from the middle of a north-facing slope with a partial
canopy of yellow birch, beech, and aspen down to the edge of a large
red maple swamp. To the west of the main rhododendron stand,
small clumps are scattered in and around a small, wet basin under a
cover of hemlock and Thuja occidentalis (northern white-cedar).
The spectacular blooms of this large stand attract scores of
visitors to the sanctuary every year. Peak flowering period is in early
to mid-July. The Butler rhododendron population is one of only a
handful of native populations in Maine, where it is near the north-
ern limit of its natural range. The species is listed as Threatened by
the Maine Natural Areas Program. The Butler population, which is
the largest in Maine, has been known since at least the eighteenth
century (Korecki and Jalbert 2004).
About ten years ago it became apparent that deer were
browsing the population. By 2005 sections of the rhododendron
stand were riddled with deer trails, where the herd had eaten its
way toward the core. In response to this threat, in the fall of 2006
the Sanctuary Committee, Society staff, and volunteers constructed
a ten-foot-tall deer fence around four acres of the stand. The con-
struction was a logistical challenge and a laborious effort, but it has
paid off. In the seven years since its construction, there has been
minimal herbivory inside the fence. The rhododendron population
is thriving and robust. Herbaceous perennials near the rhododen-
drons have also rebounded: Trillium undulatum, Aralia nudicaulis
(wild sarsaparilla), and Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumber root) are
all noticeably more abundant inside the fence.
Regular inspection and maintenance of the deer fence is nec-
essary to minimize the possibility of deer browse. Despite the remote
and heavily wooded terrain, the fence is surprisingly resilient, and few
major breaches occur. The most common problem is the errant
branch or dead tree that blows down during heavy winds.
Local resident Shawn Jalbert has been the Steward of the
Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary for more than ten years. Shawn
acts as the local representative for the Society and makes regular
Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary
Sanctuary Committee members Jim Wickis and Doug Payne working
on a deer fence at Butler Sanctuary.
Sanctuary Spotlight
Rhododendron maximum (great rhododendron or great rosebay).
continued on page 20
New England WILD Summer 2013 12
annual report 2011, continued
Message from the Treasurer
2012 was a year of significant investment in the Society. We
invested in infrastructure, such as migrating all membership,
development, education, and retail records into one integrat-
ed, cloud-based software system; and in the future, by deciding
to expand the chronically understaffed philanthropy program.
After three years of development, funded by a $2.5 million
grant from the National Science Foundation, we also
launched the first phase of GoBotany, a website for teaching
botany to the next generation.
Those planned investments, and the increased deprecia-
tion related to the five-year write down of the software devel-
opment for GoBotany, contributed to an operating deficit in
FY12, two-thirds of which is non-cash depreciation of assets.
The deficit was anticipated in the FY12 budget approved by
the Board of Trustees.
Investment returns, capital grants, and endowment gifts
increased the Societys net assets by $572,062 to $12,751,434
as of December 31, 2012. Overall, the Society remains fiscally
stable as it invests in long-range planning for growth in revenue.
Thanks to the hard work of our Board, dedicated staff,
committed volunteers, and the generous gifts of our many
members and supporters, the Society had a successful year.
Charles A. Wain
Fiscal 2012 Expenses
Program Services G&A and Facilities
Fiscal 2012 Income
Grants and Contributions
Program Income
Membership Dues
Investment Income
Fiscal Year 2012 Operating Results
Grants and Contributions $1,420,448
Program Income 718,827
Investment Income 190,092
Membership Dues 262,796
Total Income $2,592,163
Program Services
Conservation $1,142,005
Horticulture 560,825
Education 191,269
Sanctuaries 21,007
Retail Shops 216,319
Member Services 216,315
Total Program Services $2,347,740
Support Services
Fundraising $188.443
G&A and Facilities 417,124
Total Supporting Services $605,567
Total Expenses $2,953,307
Operating Surplus(Deficit) (361,144)
The deficit is primarily non-cash depreciation, including the first
year of a five-year write-down of software development costs for the
$2.5 million GoBotany website.
The Societys net asset value increased by $572,062 to $12,751,434 as
of 12/31/12.
A copy of the audited financial statements is available upon request
annual report 2012
Conservation Circle
and Leadership Gifts
The Conservation Circle
honors individuals whose
personal philanthropic sup-
port was $1,000 or more in
2012. Total giving during the
fiscal year reflects restricted
and unrestricted gifts, mem-
bership, and pledges. Many
leadership gifts and grants
from companies and founda-
tions also had an extraordi-
nary impact on the Society,
and we are pleased to pub-
licly thank all of you.
denotes deceased donors
$200,000 or more
National Science Foundation
Lalor and Patricia N. Burdick
Hope Goddard Iselin Foundation
Dorothy S. Long Revocable Trust
The Estate of Margaret Moody
Martha Wallace and Ed Kane
Anonymous (2)
and Dudley B. Dumaine
Maude B. Elkins Trust
Fidelity Charitable Gift Funds
Christina T. Hobbs
Janes Trust
Litowitz Foundation, Inc.
May H. and Daniel Pierce
Asenath S. Blake
Center for Plant Conservation
Marjorie D. and
Nicholas P. Greville
John R.
and Scottie Held
Johnson-Stillman Family
Louise S. and Lewis E. Lehrman
Jessie B. and Jon Panek
Geri and Douglas D. Payne
Barbara S. Schneider
Bruce and Sarah Schwaegler
Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust
Jackie and Thomas E. Stone
U.S. Charitable Gift Trusts
William P. Wharton Trust
Helen T. Chapell
Frances H. Clark and
Bernard J. McHugh
Stuart L. Cummings
Frederick Pratt
Mary Ann Streeter
Caroline Blanton Thayer
Charitable Trust
Timber Press, Inc.
Whole Foods
Elizabeth Willey and
Richard Mlynarik
Schwab Charitable Funds
Anonymous (2)
Daniel S. and Louise F. Ahearn
Annemarie Altman and
David Cook
Molly and John E. Beard/Beard
Family Charitable Trust
Bernardi Auto Group
Bose Corporation
Roland H. Boutwell III
Kim and Lawrence Buell
Marcy and John Busch
Capital One Services, LLC
Keena and Chris Clifford
Community Foundation of
Western MA
David L. and Rebecca E. Conant
Judith H. Cook
Anthony T. and Judith A. Cope
James Underwood Crockett
Agricultural Technology
Growth Fund
Ruah Donnelly and
Steven E. Dinkelaker
Pamela B. and David W. Durrant
Suzanne R. Dworsky and
Alan J. Dworsky
Eaton Vance Management
Ecological Landscaping
Debbi Edelstein
Caroline Edwards
Ellis Charitable Foundation
Christopher R. and Carole M. Ely
Elizabeth S. and
Frederic A. Eustis
Allen E. Everett
Lisa and George B. Foote
Framingham Garden Club, Inc.
George L. Shinn and Clara S.
Shinn Foundation, Inc.
Greater Boston Convention and
Visitors Bureau, Inc.
Becky and David E. Hamlin
Helen C. Hamman and
Peter C. Isakson
Dena and G. Felda Hardymon
Thelma K. and John H. Hewitt
Lucile P. and William C. Hicks
Highland Street Foundation
Daniel Hildreth
New England WILD Summer 2013 14
Celebrating Our 2012 Donors
Primary funders for the period January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012, are listed below.
New England Wild Flower Society thanks our generous donors for helping us
thrive and enabling us to conserve and promote the regions native plants.
Mary B. Griffin, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department
of Fish and Game, and Debbi Edelstein, Executive Director,
New England Wild Flower Society, enjoying the conversation
about climate change and seed collection during the first
annual Leadership Summit on April 18, 2103.
Barbara M. and Robert A. Keller
John M. and
Marilyn K. Kucharski
Peggy Lahs
Greta B. Layton/GBL Charitable
Lucinda H. and David S. Lee
Emily L. Lewis and George Lewis
Helen and Anthony Lewis
SusanA Litowitz
Sharon E. and Alistair Lowe
Brian K. and Anne S. Mazar
Phoebe and Stephen McCarthy
Deirdre Menoyo
Edith N. K. Meyer
Michele H. and
David R. Mittelman
Martha S. Moore
William L. Murphy and
Claire M. Corcoran
New Hampshire Charitable
Carolyn M. and Robert T. Osteen
Overhills Foundation
Elizabeth S. Paynter
Richard B. and Beverly S. Peiser
Karen D. and Matthew V. Pierce
Gloria J. and Roger P. Plourde/
Plourde Family Charitable Trust
Bonnie B. Potter
Barbara F. and Frederick M. Pryor
George and Nancy Putnam
Pamela P. and Griffith L. Resor
The Sandra S. Rodgers Estate
Johanna Schmitt
Bruce M. and
Sarah T. Schwaegler
Anne T. and Douglas H. Sears
Kathleen E. and
Robert C. Shamberger
Wendy Shattuck and
Samuel Plimpton
Edwin E. and Katharine T. Smith
Rachael Solem and Barry Herring
Nancy B. Soulette
Anita E. Springer and
James P. Lerner
Natalie Starr
Robert J. Terkanian
The Robert Treat Paine
Robert H. Traylor
Charity and Thomas Tremblay
Emily Wade
Tony and Lorraine A. Wain
Carolyn and
Sturtevant Waterman
Hartley D. and Benson Webster
Gray H. and Paul M. Wexelblat
White Flower Farm
Jim and Betty Wickis
Tracey Willmott
Richard and Christine Wood
Elizabeth H. Wright
David and Susan Zimmerman
Vanguard Charitable Endowment
William S. Andreas
Dorothy H. Baldini
Kathleen Lucas Barber
Christine F. and Randall Battat
Beacon Hill Garden Club
Peter M. and Elaine Brem
Aviva and Douglas Brooks
Frederick and Judy Buechner
Anne L. Cross
Martha R. Davis
Ralph C. Eagle Jr.
Bayard C. Ewing
Elaine W. Fiske and
Philip L. Ladd
Emily L. Lewis/Middlecott
Walter J. and Anne Gamble
Janet W. and John P. Ganson
Charles A. and
Barbara A. Grunden
Jane C. Hallowell
Richard K. Johnson
Mary A. Lambert and
David Litwack
SusanA Litowitz and Jim Hill
Elizabeth A. and Bernard Meyer
Anthony Mirenda and
Tracey Cornogg
Erhart and Ruth Muller
Donna L. Nimec
Noanett Garden Club
Marcela and Paul Noonan
Bruce Patterson and Roberta Fox
Rare Plant Group, G.C.A.
David B. Rundle and
Catherine M. Huntley
Amy and John Saar
Sacajawea Charitable Foundation
Loring L. and Andrew M. Schwarz
Seamans Capital Management, LLC
Anne K. Serrell-Jones
Lee A. Shane
Nicholas A. Skinner
Anne G. St. Goar
Claire B. and Meir J. Stampfer
Lisa A. Standley
Anne Symchych
The MathWorks, Inc.
Ellen Withrow and Robert Noah
Kathy H. Wrean and
Hugh W. Chandler
Susan and Paul Young
what a lovely way to add more plants to your beds
and meet other people who are equally enthusiastic
about their gardens. sharing your abundance
with fellow gardeners is almost as much fun as
capturing a prized plant for yourself!
barbara keller at the members plant swap, on june 29, 2013.

Guests, including Lucinda and David Lee (pictured left), greatly

appreciated the opportunity to learn about the American naturalist
landscape design style favored by Will Curtis and his peers during
the inaugural Horticulture Directors Talk on June 1, 2013.
New England WILD Summer 2013 16
Supporter Members
Ellen Abdow
Walter L. and
Beverlee A. Adamski
Michael Alterman
Lisa M. Bendixen
Lisa A. Bielefeld
Stephen J. and Maria R. Blewitt
Ken Blumberg and
Sarah Weinstein
David A. Bristol and
Barbara F. Bristol
Patricia A. and Russell E. Brooks
David and Marti Budding
Jonathan Bush and
Amanda Dean
Mary Ann and Churchill G. Carey
Bill and Lisa Chioffi
Patricia B. and
Richard R. Clemence
Ann R. and Peter B. Coffin
Loring and Louise R. Conant
Barbara David
Gail Davidson and
Thomas R. Gidwitz
Lucy W. and Neil J. Dean
Karen P. Doppke and
Philip F. Judy
Margaret P. Farley and
David Elkind
Louisa Ferree
Sandra Peters and
Alan L. Frohman
Caroline B. and
Ralph A. Gakenheimer
Sarah Garland-Hoch and
Roland Hoch
Joan P. Gulovsen
Benjamin W. Guy III
Susan Smith and
Rodney J. Hager
Tammy C. Harris
Michele L. Hertz and
Lawrence B. Friedman
Fred Hicks
Stanley Howe
Yutaka and Sally T. Ishizaka
Sara Jaeger
Fern and David Jaffe
Atakan and Sevim Kadi
Elizabeth F. Kamio
Barbara Katzenberg
Kate Kruesi
Ellen A. and Stephen Little
Cynthia J. Manson and
Timothy LaVallee
Mason/Hamlin Family
C. D. McLain
Thomas J. and Jo-Ann Michalak
Roberta and Colin Moore
John W. Murphy
Linea K. and Robert A. Murray
Andre J. and Christine W. Navez
C. W. Eliot Paine and
Linda Paine
Robert A. and
Veronica S. Petersen
Richard and Carol Rader
Elisabeth A. Raleigh
Stephen Real
Kathy Rehl
Jacqueline Rigolio
Heather and Thornton Ring
Sharon and William Risso
Robert and Nancy Sawyer
Alice Bragg Schori
Nicholas A. Skinner
Mary G. Slavet
Dick Snellgrove
Charles Spencer
Anne Felton Spencer
Elizabeth F. Spiess and
Gary A. Spiess
Betty and Frank Stanley
Carolyn Summers and
David A. Brittenham
Heather and Jared F. Tausig
Louis J. and Linda C. Wagner
Carl M. Wallman
Charles H. and Louise E. Weed
Life Members
These dedicated individuals
have chosen to play a long-
term role in the preservation
of our regions native flora
by becoming life members.
Judy A. Artley and
Charles T. Moses
Nancy H. August
Patricia Callan and Chuck Crafts
John S. and Jane Chatfield
Terry A. Chvisuk
Edward H. and Sandy Coburn
Robert S. Coburn
Barbara F. Coburn
Virginia and Jay Coburn
Martha Franklin Coburn and
Robert W. Carlson
John D. Constable
Judith H. Cook
Paul Cook
Harriet Daams
David L. DeKing
Elizabeth Dudley
Elizabeth S. and
Frederic A. Eustis
Janet Fillion and Richard Laine
Mary F. and Joseph Fiore
Joanne C. and Lionel L. Fray
Anne and Walter J. Gamble
Nancy Goodman and
Mike Kotarba
Marjorie D. and
Nicholas P. Greville
T. C. Haffenreffer
Jane C. Hallowell
Dena and G. F. Hardymon
Allyson Hayward and
P.H. Kareiva
Thelma K. and John H. Hewitt
Robert C. Hooper
Larry Lee Jones
Kristina Niovi Jones and
Peter Hecht
Kathleen A. Klein
Catherine Z. Land
David R. Longland
Ellen West and
George M. Lovejoy, Jr.
Jane Lyman
Eugene I. Majerowicz
Ellen B. and Duncan McFarland
Michele H. and
David R. Mittelman
Monadnock Garden Club
Erhart and Ruth Muller
Sally McGuire Muspratt
Beverly and Herbert Myers
Ann Dinsmore and
Richard Nemrow
May H. and Daniel Pierce
Peggy and Hollis Plimpton
E. M. Poss
Patricia Pratt
Christine A. Psathas and
Robert E. Shabot
Harriet D. Purcell
Paul John Rich
Chandler S. Robbins
Johanna Ross
Barbara V. and
George R. Rowland
(Left to right) Carrie Waterman, Robin Wilkerson, Kathleen
Shamberger, and (front) Barbara Pryor at the Old Friendships and
New Endeavors luncheon, on March 26, 2013.
we have great fun bringing together
long-time supporters and helping them make
new connections. it is wonderful to see
how excited everyone gets about coming
together in anticipation of spring and
another amazing year for the society!
carrie waterman

David B. Rundle and
Catherine M. Huntley
Beverly H. Ryburn
Aire-Maija Schwann
Catherine and
George G. Schwenk
Robin R. Shield and John Tariot
William and Hatsy Shields
Mary M. Smithline
Gwen L. Stauffer
Galen L. and Anne Stone
Robert H. Traylor
Mary Ann Tynan
Edward S. Valentine
Emily Wade
Nancy L. Weiss
Louise Westcott
Weston Garden Club
Cheryl K. Wilfong
Robin E. Wilkerson and
Steve Atlas
Patricia Plum Wylde
Margaret F. and
T. C. Price Zimmermann
Trillium Society
The following generous
friends have included the
Society in their estate plans,
to help ensure our future
ability to conserve native
plants and their habitats.
Elizabeth L. Aghajanian
Annemarie Altman and
David Cook
Lalor Burdick
Paul Cook
Stuart L. Cummings
Peter V. Doyle and Ellen Clancy
Nancy Goodman
George C. and
Diantha C. Harrington
Patti Laier
Ann R. Lemmon
Carole M. Merrifield
Geri and Douglas D. Payne
Karen D. and Matthew V. Pierce
Beverly H. Ryburn
Dori Smith
Anita E. Springer
Leslie Turek
Mary Ann Tynan
Cheryl K. Wilfong
Patricia Plum and
John H. Wylde
In 2012 we received
honoraria or memorial
donations in tribute to the
following friends, colleagues,
mentors, and loved ones.
In Honor Of
Dutchie August
Annemarie Altman
Laura Bagnall
David and Jean Baldwin
Anne L. Cross
Closey Dickey
Jessica Fry and Jacob Strauss
Marjorie D. Greville
Jane C. Hallowell
Carol Hausner
Barbara M. Keller
Henry Kesner
Karen D. and Matthew V. Pierce
The Crew at the Pumpkin Brook
Organic Gardening
Bert & Dori Reuss
Michael J. Robinson
Sarah and Bruce Schwaegler
Carolyn Waterman
Gray E. and Paul E. Wexelblat
Robin E. Wilkerson
Steven Ziglar
In Memory Of
Charlotte Brown
Ruth S. Capers
Maria C. Caturello
Eric Drobinski
Avis Golub
Myrtle King
Ronnie Lewin
Dotsy Long
Robert Thomas Martin
Cynthia Moller
Helen Nowers
Betty Porter
Valerie Portway
Marie Silverstein
Sara Silverstein
Hilda Strait Cardwell
Mary M. Walker
Richard Wheeler
Corporate Donations
We extend special thanks
to the following businesses
for their generous support
in 2012.
Bernardi Toyota
Longfellows Wayside Inn
Whole Foods
Matching Gift Companies
Adobe Systems
Bank of America
The Citizens Charitable
The Clowes Fund
The Coca-Cola Foundation
The IBM Corporation
Pfizer, Inc.
The Waters Corporation
Services and
We gratefully acknowledge
the hands-on and practical
assistance of the following
Cabot Creamery
Carol S. Englender
Nancy Goodman
Susan Phillips
Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Inc.
Jackie Stone
James Thomson
Trader Joes
With an eye to the future
Anita Springers management career finely tuned her
ability to see the benefits of planning for tomorrow while
also taking good care of today, so it was no surprise she
was attracted to the options offered by planned giving.
But she was surprised how easy it was to include New
England Wild Flower Society in her estate plans. I was
always interested in providing major support for this
wonderful organization, in addition to my annual gifts,
but thought it would be a complicated process requiring
significant investments. Not true! In talking to the staff,
I learned how to make a planned gift to the Society far
larger than that I could donate during my lifetime.
By letting us know she had designated a bequest to the
Society, Anita became a member of the Trillium Society,
which enables us to thank her now for her generosity.
Thank you, Anita, for having a keen eye to the future and
helping protect native plants in years to come.
James P. Lerner and Anita Springer
New England WILD Summer 2013 18
Volunteer Spotlight
Ask Robin Wilkerson what part of Garden
in the Woods is her favorite and shell tell
you about a place that changes every time
she visits, that evolves with the seasons and
the years, and seems like a painting in
motion. Its the meadow gardenhabitat
for butterflies, bees, and birds. Robin loves
the Garden, old parts and new.
More than twenty years have passed
since she first became involved as a volun-
Robin Wilkerson
teer tour guide at Garden in the Woods. At
that time, hostas and epimediums grew
alongside North American native plants in
Curtis woodland garden, providing foliar
interest when flowers faded. As more and
more non-natives were removed in an
effort to give the garden a more native
focus, Robin admits to being initially
somewhat resistant to change. Now, howev-
er, she has come to fully embrace the
changes, and has adopted a nativist view,
both for the Garden in the Woods, which
she loves dearly, as well as for her own
beautiful property in Lincoln,
Massachusetts. She has become inspired as
an ecological gardener, not just an aesthetic
gardener, and her enthusiasm shines
through as she leads visitors through the
Garden on tours each year.
The Garden has changed my life,
Robin admits, telling the story of almost
passing out with shyness addressing some
initial groups. But the experience of sharing
the Gardens beauty and the Societys mes-
sage over time has helped build her confi-
dence to the point where she now helps
train and inspire new guides each spring.
She travels the region presenting slide pro-
grams about such topics as The Super
Natural Garden and Native Heroes,
which focus on the wildlife value of native
shrubs. She also teaches as part of our
Certificate in Native Plant Studies program.
Providing electric golf cart tours
gives Robin a special pleasure, since it
enables her to share the Garden with peo-
ple who might not otherwise have the
chance to enjoy a garden experience. I also
enjoy the interactions of the family groups,
mothers and daughters, husbands and
wives, as we ride through the woods.
In addition to leading tours, teaching
classes, and presenting programs, Robin has
served on the Education, Plant Sale, and Go
Wild committees and most recently on the
committee that organizes our Old
Friends luncheon. Robin says she feeds off
the collective energy from working
together with others to benefit the Society.
We were pleased to recognize Robin with
our annual Service to the Society award in
2009 for all the energy she has shared with
us over the years.
The Wild Flower Society has kept
its hold on me because of its conservation
mission, its beautiful garden, the wonderful
people involved, and the opportunity to
keep learning and growing, Robin says.
There are so many tangible and intangible
benefits, the payback is way beyond what
I give out. Volunteers like Robin ensure
that the Society itself continues to grow
and thrive. For this we are most grateful!
bonnie drexler, former director of
The meadow garden at its peak in August
at Garden in the Woods.
New features on a
computer near you!
Were celebrating the success of Go Botany
by noting that in its first year more than
150,000 unique visitors came to the web-
site, and usage continues to grow by the
day! New features that went live in July
should appeal to a broad spectrum of plant
enthusiasts and make Go Botany even more
The interactive dichotomous key
proudly exhibits all the rich information
available in Arthur Hainess Flora Novae
Angliae (Yale University Press 2011).
Guaranteed to please any budding plant
geek, this key enables users to identify any
plant in New England (more than 3,500
taxa); keys to families, genera, and species
are all here. All technical botanical terms
are defined with drawings and text when
you roll the cursor over them. All 900 tech-
nical illustrations by Gordon Morrison and
Elizabeth Farnsworth also pop up when
you move the cursor over a figure number.
A set of beautiful photographs illustrates all
the families, genera, and species, updating as
you narrow down the possible taxa that fit
your choices. But best of all, this unique
dichotomous key displays the path you have
taken as you make choices at each step of
the way. Thus, you will never get lost. If you
end up at an unexpected dead-end, the key
enables you to change your mind at any
juncture. No more turning pages to retrace
your missteps! Students, professors, experi-
enced naturalists, and professionals will all
find this resource valuable; there is simply
nothing else like it on the web.
Our major new feature is PlantShare,
where a community of plant fans can share
discoveries, ask questions of the community
and expert botanists, and compile checklists
of the plants they have seen. We envision
PlantShare as a useful way to gather and
share information on plants and learn from
others. Imagine youre a teacher who wants
to engage your students in compiling a
schoolyard flora. Here are all the tools you
need to form a group (e.g., Mrs. Smiths 8th-
grade biology class), challenge your students
to go out and locate plants, use the Simple
Key to identify plants, post photographs and
information on plants your students observe,
and create a truly collaborative flora.
Or perhaps youre a land trust stew-
ard, charged with developing a baseline
plant list for a conservation area. You can do
this in PlantShare and create a lasting pub-
lic archive. PlantShare participants can
choose who can see their sightings and
checklists, protecting both privacy and
information on rare plants. You can even log
on from Facebook, but youll never be
besieged by ads or unwanted contacts. Sign
up and join the conversation!
We are also making the display of the
Simple and Full Keys more pleasing on
smaller, handheld platforms like iPhones.
Leveraging funding from a project with the
Smithsonian Institution to build a version
of Go Botany for North American orchids,
were collaborating with programmers and a
design team to create a truly user-friendly
experience within the confines of a small
screen. This means you will only need a cell
signalnot high-speed wifito access the
rich world of Go Botany anywhere, anytime.
You can also check out Go Botany at
the Early Spring: Henry Thoreau and Climate
Change exhibition at the Concord (MA)
Museum through September 15. Weve
adapted our database to enable researchers
to identify the flora of Concord. So many
ways to use Go Botany. Enjoy!
elizabeth farnsworth, senior research
ecologist and acting director of
Go Botany: Bigger and Better!
Americorps Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow (MassLIFT)
conservation volunteers learn how to use Go Botany at a workshop
led by Elizabeth Farnsworth (not pictured). Society staff and partners
have conducted workshops for more 5,000 people in the last year.


The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, one of our educational
partners on Go Botany, teaches high school students to use the tool
to identify invasive plants on the universitys West Campus.


New England WILD Winter 2012
Northern Gardening Symposium
One important annual rite of spring, the
Societys Northern Gardening Symposium
in Randolph, Vermont, was a bittersweet
success for the 83 participants this year. The
program on April 13 was the last to be
organized by Thelma Hewitt, who for
eighteen years has gathered wonderful
speakers and dedicated gardeners to envi-
sion the landscape once the snow has melt-
ed. The Societys Executive Director, Debbi
Edelstein, honored Thelmas dedication,
presented her with a gift, and promised to
continue the tradition by organizing the
symposium through the Education
The common thread in the three
presentations at this years symposium was
sustainability, though not in the typical use
of that word. Justin Nichols, Horticulturist
at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
(CMBG), began the day with a presentation
that looked at the Gardens sustainable
horticulture practices, trail construction,
and great native woody plants for a variety
of places.
The Societys Director of
Horticulture Mark Richardson looked at
both the history and the future of Garden
in the Woods. He shared thoughts about the
Gardens founder and his development of
the Garden as a naturalistic landscape and
offered a glimpse into the current develop-
ment of a comprehensive master plan for
the site. Finally, Arthur Haines presented a
compelling case for preserving the knowl-
edge once commonplace among native
peoplethe many and varied nutritional
and health uses for native plants.
The excited guests left this years
symposium energized, ready to get out into
their gardens, and with a hearty see you
next year for the event that signals the
arrival of spring in New Hampshire and
trips to the property to repair fence breaks and keep trails open. Every
year he fields calls from prospective visitors and gives them directions as
well as guidance on the best times to see the plants in bloom. The
Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary is almost like an urban myth
around here, having a secret garden mystique, Shawn notes.
Interestingly, a lot of people think that the sanctuary is a planted gar-
den; they are a bit taken aback when I tell them that this is a naturally
occurring population.
Visitors are welcome at Butler Sanctuary. There is parking at the
entrance along Route 11A west of Springvale. A marked trail of approx-
imately one mile leads through the woods to the rhododendron stand.
ted elliman, senior botanist
Deer predation has long been known as a problem for rhododendron populations in
Maine. An analysis of the Maine populations in the 1950s noted that one of the states
largest stands was being heavily browsed by deer (Hodgdon and Pike 1960).
Hodgdon, A.R., and Radcliffe Pike. April 1960. Recent changes in some Rhododendron
colonies in Maine and New Hampshire. Rhodora: Journal of the New England Botanical
Club. 62, 87-93.
Korecki, J. and S. Jalbert. 2004. Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary Management
Plan. New England Wild Flower Society Conservation Department. 10 pp.
Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary
continued from page 12
Thelma Hewitt at the April 13 Northern
Gardening Symposium.
We invite you to join us on a 16-day excursion
offering an exceptional opportunity to explore the
natural heritage and unique flora and wildlife of
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in
the world and has been isolated from the African
continent for 30 million years. It is home to at
least 12,000 plants, a high percentage of which
are unique to the country. Ninety-five percent
of the lemurs and reptiles, 80 percent of the
flowering plants, 98 percent of the palms, and
more than 100 birds are found nowhere else.
Leading this tour will be Herilala Jonah, a
superb Madagascar naturalist. Representing the
Society will be John Burns, our Plant Conservation
Volunteer Coordinator, who has extensive knowl-
edge of tropical plants and wildlife.
Travel with us
to Madagascar
October 4-19, 2014
We hope you will join us for this adventure and
discover the magnificence of Madagascar in 2014!
For more information, visit
Looking for great gifts for your friends and family?
The Garden Shop offers a growing selection of
books and gifts... and well gift wrap and ship.
for everyone on your list
The Garden Shop
visit us online
plants on
Oct 31
specialty gifts
and more...
Floras are dynamic. Species enter and leave areas
because of changes to the landscape, changes to the
climate, and chance happenings. Some changes are
small-scale, such as site successiona progression
of floristic and soil changes a site passes through
from earlier stages (e.g., disturbed) to later stages
(e.g., mature forest). Some changes are large-scale,
such as glaciation and global temperature rise. Some
changes occur as a result of humans, and some from
non-human processes. Change is a constant on natural
A few examples will illustrate how
change occurs. Lycopodiella
alopecuroides (foxtail bog-clubmoss)
was not documented to occur in
Maine until 2000, when it was found
growing in a power line right-of-way
a human-created opening in what had
been a forested swamp before the trans-
mission corridor was cleared. The near-
est known population was
about 155 miles away
in Massachusetts. Lycopodiella alopecuroides is a more
southern species that appears to be expanding its
range north, utilizing small openings in the forested
landscape of Maine.
We often hear of plant species moving north as
the global temperature increases (resulting in a net
increase in our flora), but we must remember that
species already near our northern boundary will also
migrate north (resulting in a net decrease in flora).
Thus several species that were once found in north-
ern New England are no longer part of our flora.
Examples include Carex praticola (northern meadow
sedge, last seen in 1898) and Carex sychnocephala
(many-headed sedge, last seen in 1943), which disap-
peared for one reason or another and now may not
be able to grow in New England due to ongoing
climate change. These and other examples document
the dynamic nature of our flora, which is a key factor
in any strategy for the long-term protection of plant
diversity in New England.
arthur haines, research botanist
Change Is Constant
headquarters & garden in the woods
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, Massachusetts 01701-2699