Conservation

Spring Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge

Tim Spira. Photo by Lisa Wagner

On Thursday, March 7, the Sierra Club of Western North Carolina (WENOCA) presents Spring Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a presentation by Dr. Tim Spira, emeritus professor of botany at Clemson University. Spira will show photographs of both common and rare spring wildflowers while discussing their characteristics, as well as how the plants interact with pollinators, herbivores and seed dispersal agents like birds, bears and ants. “My passion for wildflowers began when I was awestruck by their natural beauty,” says Spira. “As I learned interesting things about their biology and ecology in college, I became hooked on plants for life.”

Spira has been researching plant-pollinator interactions for more than 20 years. He has published more than 30 papers in scientific journals, including a cover article in the journal Nature. He is the author of the book Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. His latest book is Waterfalls and Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians: 30 Great Hikes. “The southern Appalachians have an exceptionally high diversity of plants, with more than 2,500 species of flowering plants and 130 species of trees, making it one of the most species-rich, temperate deciduous forest regions in the world,” Spira says. “My hope is that this presentation will heighten interest in wildflowers.” Spring Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Mountains will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 7 p.m.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation is located at 1 Edwin Place in Asheville. For more information, visit WENOCA.org.

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