Evening meetings of the Gila Native Plant Society will be held throughout the fall, winter and spring on the third Friday of the month at 7.00 p.m. in Harlan Hall, second floor, Room 219, corner of Alabama and 12th Streets, on the Western New Mexico University campus. Free and open to the public. Refreshments following the program.
Upcoming Meeting Programs
Owing to the threat of the corona virus, GNPS events in March and April have been cancelled. As May approaches, we will reassess the situation.
Friday, March 20, 2020 – Meeting. “Spring Blooms in the Southwest: Not Just Creosote Bush,” presenter Donna Stevens. CANCELLED
One of the best things about March is the anticipation of spring wildflowers in bloom. These species are among the first to emerge early in the year in southwest New Mexico: Golden Smoke (Corydalis aurea), two small wild mustards, Draba cuneifolia and Draba mogollonica, the lovely Desert Anemone (Anemone tuberosa) and Stemless Townsend Daisy (Townsendia exscapa). A short time later, if we receive any rain, we’ll see the gorgeous Mariposa Lily (Calochortus ambiguus) and Arizona Onion (Allium macropetalum). In a good year, entire hillsides turn yellow and orange with the yellow mustard Gordon’s Bladderpod (Physaria gordonii) and the sunny Mexican Poppy (Eschscholzia californica subsp. mexicana).
This presentation features some of the lovely wildflowers of spring in the Gila region, a few early-flowering trees and shrubs, and an invitation to get outside to renew your spirit with beauty. Donna Stevens is a co-author of Common Southwestern Native Plants: An Identification Guide, now in its third edition. Her idea of a good time is taking a hike to observe our beautiful native flora.
The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking beauty
Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.
~ Credo, Robinson Jeffers
April 17: Manda Jost, “Insect Conservation” – CANCELLED
May 15: Ed Leuck, “Diversity of form, function, and habitat in the Cactaceae, with special reference to New Mexico cacti” CANCELLED
Friday, January 17, 2020 – Meeting. “Medicinal Plants of the Silva Creek Garden,” presenter Naava Koenigsberg.
Naava’s talk focused on some of the native plants that will be included in the new medicinal plant bed at the Silva Creek Botanical Garden, to be put in this spring. She discussed the habitats and medicinal properties of several plants, as well as how to use them. Naava Koenigsberg is the owner of Bear Creek Herbs and has been a practicing herbalist for over 20 years. Naava moved to Silver City in 1996 after working for several years for Plants of the Southwest in Santa Fe. In addition to being a Clinical Herbalist, she is a Certified Permaculture Designer and Certified Ecological Horticulturalist.
Friday, February 21, 2020 – Meeting. “Madagascar: The Red Island … A Naturalist’s Paradise”, presenter Zachary Rogers
Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is home to tens of thousands of native species of plants and animals that occur only there and nowhere else. Over millions of years, these fascinating endemic species have evolved specialized, often unique, adaptations for survival, with all of this taking place in isolation from ancestors living on nearby landmasses like Eastern Africa, India, and small Indian Ocean archipelagos. Sadly, as a slowly developing country, Madagascar also has one of the most highly threatened floras and faunas in the world.
At our February meeting New Mexico State University plant scientist, Zachary Rogers, guided us on a virtual tour of the island, surveying its “mega-biodiversity” while showcasing recent taxonomic plant research and new conservation efforts aimed at protecting the rarest, most threatened species. Zachary is Herbarium Curator in the Animal and Range Sciences Department at New Mexico State University. He also worked for many years for the Missouri Botanical Garden and has done extensive botanical research in Madagascar.