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Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section -
Plant Conservation Program

Plant Conservation Events Schedule 2017

Come out for a visit to the Plant Conservation Preserves. We will see rare flowering plants, amazing views, and hopefuly get some work done along the way.

All preserve visits must follow the "Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints" rule.

The Plant Conservation Preserves and their living and non-living natural resources are to remain intact. The only exception is with the explicit guidance of PCP Staff members to remove invasive and/or nuisance species.

Date/Time Event Additional Information

March 20

3rd Annual Ring the Bells
Hosts: NC PCP Staff
Oconee bells at the Caraway Preserve.  An easy afternoon stroll to the site of these charming plants found only in McDowell County.  A longer walk, but still just a mile or two, takes you to the top of the property, in sight of Pisgah National Forest and some Table Mountain pines.

March 24
10am -12pm

Pondberry at White Woods
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

The season for pondberry blooms (Lindera melissifolia) and if we are lucky, bog spicebush (L. subcoriacea), and if we are super lucky pondspice (Litsea aestivalis) are on the menu for this trip to Sampson County.  It’s also bloom time for Eaton’s lady tresses.  Easy walking and a great time of year to visit this part of the state.  Jenny Stanley can always turn up a few interesting things, and we’ll be on the lookout for ambrosia beetles.

May 26

Magnolias for May & Endangered Plants Day
Hosts: NC PCP Staff & Haywood Rankin

A moderate afternoon walk through the gentle hills, valleys, and fields of Redlair (Gaston Co.) with stops for the magnificent serving-platter size blooms of bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla). Haywood Rankin, who grew up on this land, points out plants, historic areas, creeks, and more.  Lots of habitat types and lots to see and enjoy. 

June 16

Eno Diabase Sill Preserve
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

Join us for a post fire hike at the Eno Diabase Sill Preserve in Durham County. Successful early spring fires bring a profusion of blooms. Join us for a joyous morning among the smooth coneflowers (Echinacea laevigata) and more. This will be an easy hike, but sturdy closed-toe shoes are recommended. Please prepare for the elements including long pants, insect repellant, sunscreen, and a hat. There are no facilities on site. Please bring water and snacks for yourself.

July 30


International Bog Day Workday and Tour at Bat Fork Bog Preserve
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

A visit to Bat Fork Bog (actually a fen) in Henderson County, home of bunched arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata).  Easy walks and plenty of bunched arrowhead to see, along with other bog plants. We will look at the invasive plant concerns at this preserve and dicuss PCP's managment goals. We'll also spend some of our time working on controlling some of the woody invasive plants alog the edges of the property. Bug spray and long sleeves/pants are recommended, as well as boots, rubber boots or waterproof hiking boots are recommended. Bring bug spray if so inclined, the PCP staff will also have some on hand. There are no facilities at this Presreve. We will bring snacks and a water cooler with ice water, please bring your refillable water bottles.  

August 12


Old Growth Cypress Boat Excursion
Hosts: Dr. David Stahle, University of Arkansas, Andy Woods, Coastal Plain Conservation Group & NC PCP Staff
An adventure on the river to view the ancient trees and a presentation by Dr. Stahle, Director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory at the Univresity of Arkansas, discussing the old growth bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) of the Black River in North Carolina and the need to further protect this natural wonder.

August 26

On the Trail of Liatris helleri
Hosts: NC PCP Staff & Chris Ulrey

A moderate to strenuous hike at the Paddy Mountain Preserve in Ashe County with Chris Ulrey and Lesley Starke.  We will be hiking to the top of Paddy Mountain to see Heller’s blazing star (Liatris helleri) along with a lot of other wildflowers along the way.  Wear your hiking boots, bring a lunch or snacks and enjoy a day out botanizing.

Sept 22

A Gentle Approach to Cedar Cliff
Hosts: NC PCP Staff

In search of mountain catchfly (Silene ovata) in bloom at the Cedar Cliff Preserve in Jackson County.  Though heading to the top can be a challenge, poking around on a slow ascent may help us to locate the elusive catchfly. There will be lots of other things to see:  American bittersweet, spiked crested coralroot, beard lichen and more. Sturdy boots, lunch, and plenty of resting places will make this a great trip, and it you haven’t been to the top, it’s a must see. Moderate to strenuous, depending on how high you want to climb. There are no facilities on site.

October 6


On the Hunt for Tiger Salamanders & Oxypolis canbyi

Hosts: Alvin Braswell and NC PCP Staff

The McIntosh Bays site, including Tunstall Bay and Big Cypress Meadow, are known to be home to Canby’s dropwort (Oxypolis canbyi) and tiger salamanders, along with many other plant and herp species.  Alvin Braswell, Lesley Starke, and Jenny Stanley will lead the way around this site in Scotland County. 

November 3
Lunch available at 12:30pm.
FOPC Annual Meeting at NC Botanical Garden
Hosts: FoPC and NC PCP Staff
Join us at the NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill to hear Wes Knapp, Western Biologist/Botanist with the NC Natural Heritage Program discuss plant extinctions: does it happen when the last known plant disappears, or are species functionally extinct much earlier? There are lessons to be learned, especially by keeping up with plants on the Watch Lists of the NC Natural Heritage Program. There will also be an update on the state of FoPC, election of the Board of Directors, and more. Register at

Contact Nancy Stewart to RSVP, (919) 707-3755 or You will receive directions and any additional information when you have registered with Nancy.

Due to the fragile nature of these sites, guided tours will be limited to 15 participants (unless otherwise noted)- RSVP is necessary.  There are no trails, no facilities, and no water.  Often, these are remote sites, so you will be asked to bring water and snacks with you. 

There is no fee for Friends of Plant Conservation members; members of the public will pay $15, which may be applied to membership. Plant and seed collecting is strictly forbidden on Plant Conservation Preserves. This is also true during guided tours.  

We ask that you leave your pets at home.

Guided Tours of NC Plant Conservation Program preserves are also avilable by request. If you would like to arrange a walk for a specific small group, contact Lesley Starke (919) 707-3758 or for more information.


NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division - Plant Protection Section
Division Director - Phillip L. Wilson
Mailing Address: 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: (919) 707-3753 | FAX: (919) 733-1041

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