Philadelphia Botanical Club

Field Trips and Workshops

Please feel free to provide feedback or comments that may enhance our offerings to our field trip coordinator, Ryan Rebozo, or 609-859-8860 ext. 26.

Field trip leaders can download instructions for trip reports.


April 7 (Saturday) at 10 AM: Turkey Run Park, Virginia
Joint trip with the Botanical Society of Washington. Turkey Run Park is part of the national park, George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Directions: The park is on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near I-495. Map of the meeting place.

April 14 (Saturday) at 9 AM: Bear Island, C and O Canal, Maryland
Joint trip with the Botanical Society of Washington. The plan is for these trips to be led by the group members themselves, many of whom have been to this site a multitude of times over the past years. The society has posted a list of spring-blooming species for the area of the park we will be visiting. It's based on Dan Nicolson's list, with some additions by Alan Whittemore. They have also posted a key to the species. Alan has been updating these files for the last few years. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, hand lens, binoculars, field guides, etc.
Directions: Meet at the parking area across from Old Angler's Inn, 10801 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, MD 20854.

May 12 (Saturday) at 1-3 PM: Grass menagerie: a workshop on grass identification, taxonomy and morphology, Philadelphia, PA
By popular demand, we are offering a repeat of the workshop we held last fall on grass identification. The grass family contains some of the most common plants on the planet. However, the high diversity of species in the family (over 11,000 worldwide) and the idiosyncratic terminology used to describe their morphology can be intimidating for both amateur and professional botanists. This workshop will include a brief overview of grass classification and morphology as well as an introduction to identification of common species in the Philadelphia area. Attendees will learn diagnostic features needed to use dichotomous keys and characters that correlate with the major taxonomic divisions in the family. No previous experience in grass identification is required, though some familiarity with basic botanical terms and identification keys/guides is desired.
Directions: Held in the Botany Classroom on the 5th floor at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. We will assemble at the reception desk of the Academy's side entrance on 19th Street at 1 PM.
Leaders: Jordan Teisher, PhD, and David Hewitt, PhD. Jordan is the Herbarium Collections Manager at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Jordan completed his Ph.D. on grass systematics and evolution at Washington University in St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Garden and is an authority on the grass subfamilies Arundinoideae and Micrairoideae. David is a Research Associate in the Department of Botany, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
Cost: $10 for members, $20 for non-members, cash or checks at the door on the fifth floor, No credit cards.
Equipment Hand lens or loupe is recommended (but optional).
Credits for continuing education: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has certified this workshop for 2 credit hours of continuing education in landscape architecture
Registration: The workshop is now full. To be added to the wait list, email Ken Frank: . Include name and email address of every person.

May 20-24 (Sunday to Thursday): Joint Field Meeting (BotSoc)
Lancaster County, PA

Each year the Botanical Society of America, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in the area of the northeastern United States. The 2018 meeting will explore Lancaster County and will be housed at Millersville University. Lancaster County is famed for rich limestone habitats, including Shenk's Ferry, which has one of the best wildflower displays in the northeast. Nearby is our region's greatest concentration of serpentine sites, which host a distinctive set of plants, including some that almost never grow off serpentine.
Field Trips: In the three days of field trips, we will visit six sites. SERPENTINE BARRENS, where we will see fire-maintained serpentine prairies that have many rare plants, as well as rare animal species. LOCK 12 AREA, where scouring by the Susquehanna River has exposed the bedrock, creating habitat for many regionally uncommon and rare plants. SHENKS FERRY PRESERVE, a limestone glen with one of the region's most abundant and diverse displays of woodland wildflowers. LANCASTER COUNTY CENTRAL PARK, which has one of our area's few limestone cliffs. WALNUT RUN, where we will see a rich woodland on diabase soils and a sparse ericaceous community on sandstone. MIDDLE CREEK AREA, with a fire-managed meadow, a reclaimed meadow, and acidic woodlands.
Tour of Millersville Herbarium: Led by Christopher Hardy, the herbarium curator
Evening Programs: Roger Latham, "Serpentine Barrens"; Mike Slater, "Pollination"; Joel Fry, "John Bartram"; Tim Draude, "Prairies of Adams County, Ohio"
Lodging and Dining: Housing will be in one of Millersville's dormitories. Each person will be able to have his own room and bathroom. Breakfast and dinner will be cafeteria style with boxed lunches.
Registration and additional information: Download the meeting invitation. For questions about the meeting, contact Link Davis, .

June 16 (Saturday) at 10 AM: Cobbs Creek, Philadelphia, PA
Cobb's Creek Environmental Center is the largest environmental center in Philadelphia, and features a lab, classroom, exhibit and meeting room, bird feeders and gardens. The center is located along the Cobb's Creek Trail. Visitors can learn about and experience a variety of habitats including the aquatic life, meadows and wetlands. We can expect to see a late spring urban palette of plants, such as: jumpseed (Polygonum virginianum), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), red maple (Acer rubrum), American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) among many others.
Directions: Meet at the Cobb's Creek Environmental Center, 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway, in West Philadelphia.
Leaders: Tony Croasdale, , and Dan Efroymson, .

June 30 (Saturday) at 10 AM: Maiden Creek, Berks County, PA
We will follow a well maintained trail along Maiden Creek up to where the creek widens into Lake Ontelaunee. Along our walk we will visit both wetlands and limestone outcrops and can expect to see Campanula americana (American bellflower), Asplenium rhizophyllum (walking fern) and Euonymus atropurpurea (burning bush).
Directions: The meeting place is the parking lot on Rt. 662 (on the left if you are coming from the east) less than a quarter of a mile west of the bridge that crosses Maiden Creek. The hamlet of Moselem is on the other side of the bridge, which is about three miles west of the intersection of Rt. 662 and Rt. 222 at Moselem Springs.
Leader: Susan Munch, .

July 15 (Sunday) at 10:00 AM: "Blue Hole" at Mount Misery and the Franklin Parker Preserve, Burlington County, NJ
The famous "Blue Hole," a recent acquisition by the NJ Conservation Foundation from the Zemel family, is along the North Branch of Mt. Misery Brook, Browns Mills. At this site, an outstanding quaking bog community harboring at least 15 sphagnum species and a diverse complex of carnivorous plants and associated species (orchids, pipeworts, curly grass ferns), we will develop a comprehensive species list. In the afternoon we will evaluate the impact on rare species of a severely hot prescribed burn on segments of the Parker Preserve near Apple Pie Hill, Chatsworth. We will visit a Pickering's Morning Glory site and will try to relocate a population of the rare grass, Torrey's Muhly or Smoke Grass. Be prepared for wet walking and bring tick repellent. Please register in advance with the trip leaders.
Directions: From 4-Mile Circle, the intersection of state routes 70 and 72, continue east on Rt. 70 ca. 3.9 miles. Meet on the south side of Rt. 70 just past Mt. Misery Rd. that leads to the Pinelands Center.
Leaders: Ted Gordon, or 609-859-3566, and Ryan Rebozo, 609-859-8860 ext. 126.

July 28 (Saturday) at 10 AM: Coastal Plain Flora: Inspiration for the Gardener (Delhaas Woods, Bucks County, PA)
This trip is designed for landscape architects, garden designers, and gardeners. The coastal plain—the flat land along the mid-Atlantic and southeastern coast—is characterized by low nutrient, acidic soils. It is also home to quite a few horticulturally important species. On this trip, we'll have a chance to see many of those plants in the wild, and we'll discuss how to best use them in the landscape. For example, in the wild, sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) can grow in large masses where the soil is wet—suggesting similar mass plantings in problematic wet areas in the landscape. The site, Delhaas Woods, has Pennsylvania's most intact coastal plain ecosystem. This trip is timed to catch Clethra and several showy meadow plants in bloom. The trip will involve around two miles of walking on flat ground. Some of the walking may be on soggy ground, so choose your footwear accordingly.
Credits for continuing education: This event is certified for 2 hours of continuing education credit in landscape architecture for Pennsylvania.
Directions: Meet at the parking lot of the Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Road, Bristol, PA. From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take exit 358 and merge onto US-13 south. After 1.3 miles (at a traffic light), turn right onto Bath Road. On Bath Road, drive 0.8 miles, passing Silver Lake Park, then turning right into the Nature Center. From I-95 northbound, take exit 40 for PA 413 North. At the end of the ramp, turn left onto 413 North. After 0.6 miles, turn right onto Ford Road. Proceed 0.3 miles and bear right onto Bath Road. Silver Lake Nature Center will be on your left after 1.3 miles.
Leader: Janet Novak, or 215-534-6700 (cell)

Trip cancelled. August 25 (Saturday): Coastal Plain Seasonal Ponds of Blackbird State Forest, New Castle County, Delaware
The planned trip to see a complex of coastal plain seasonal ponds had to be cancelled, because the ponds are flooded. We hope to offer the trip next year.
Leader: Bill McAvoy: 302-492-3541; .

September 8 (Saturday) at 9 AM: Pennypack on the Delaware, Philadelphia, PA
Pennypack on the Delaware is a gem of a park that is at the confluence of the Pennypack Creek and the Delaware River. It is visited by many species of migrating birds and hosts a pair of nesting bald eagles. Spotting beavers and foxes is not uncommon. This park hosts a tall grass meadow restoration and two freshwater tidal marshes. Having over 100 acres, this site has pleasant grounds for strolling and picnicking. It is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking on site.
Directions: See map below, or see a map of the area. Park in the first spots after you come down the long driveway from State Road. We will meet near there and begin our journey!
Leader: John Jensen, Stewardship Manager, Delaware River City Corporation, .

Map of Pennypack on the Delaware, showing to place to park

October 27 (Saturday) at 10 AM: Cherry Hill Road, Wharton State Forest, Burlington County, NJ
Cherry Hill Road, south of Atsion, is a nice place to see fall flora in the Pinelands. The shrubs will be in their fall color, contrasting with the green of the pines. We can expect to see goldenrods and some other members of the aster family still in bloom, and perhaps the pine barrens gentian (Gentiana autumnalis). We will also see some nice grasses and sedges: sugarcane plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum), pine barrens sandreed (Calamovilfa brevipilis), and pale beakrush (Rhynchospora pallida). The walking may be wet if there has been recent rain.
Directions: Meet at the parking area for the ranger station (next to Atsion Mansion) on Route 206 just north of Atsion Lake. This is 10.4 miles south of the traffic circle where Route 206 intersects with Route 70.
Leaders: Mark Szutarski, , and Janet Novak, or 215-534-6700 (cell).

dwarf pitch pines (Pinus rigida)
Pygmy pine trees near Warren Grove, New Jersey. These pitch pines are less than 6' tall, thanks to dry, infertile soil and frequent fires. The botanical club visited the site on a field trip in late April, 2017. Photo © 2017 Terry Schmidt.