A Botanist's Adventures In Avalonia at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Thursday, 01 February, 2018


Why is a botanist interested in a region that was formed about 500 million years ago when several volcanic island arcs collided with North America? That region was given the name Avalonia, an area that includes Dr. John Hayden’s home town and many places that he botanizes. This University of Richmond Professor of Biology will share information about the underlying geology as an introduction to the region’s plant life at the February 1 meeting of the Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

This free meeting is open to the public and takes place in the Education and Library Complex of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA. Start time is 7 p.m., but the room is available at 6:30 p.m. so you can come early and get to know others with similar interests. A short business meeting will follow the presentation. 

Hayden investigates botanical biodiversity with two general aims, to improve understanding of plant relationships (systematics) and to document plant diversity that exists within particular geographic locations (floristics). The approach is largely structural, and work is done both in the field and in laboratory settings. The full range of plant morphology—from overall plant form, to macroscopic structures, to anatomical features discerned only with light or scanning electron microscope–is of interest. He also curates the University Herbarium and is primary care provider for the plants in the Department of Biology greenhouses. In addition, he is an avid home gardener.

 The Pocahontas Chapter is one of 12 Virginia Native Plant Society chapters, and serves the counties of Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond.  In addition to the monthly meetings, the chapter conducts field trips, holds a May picnic and wildflower walk, hosts the annual Virginia Native Plant Society Winter Workshop, and sends a monthly newsletter.

Membership in a chapter is available to anyone who joins the Virginia Native Plant Society.  VNPS members enjoy the natural world and support efforts to preserve Virginia’s native plants. Ranging in age from students to seniors, members are professionals, knowledgeable amateurs and many who are just beginning to learn about our flora. While some members join enthusiastically in activities, others help out occasionally or support the society solely with their memberships and their interest. All are welcome.

For more information visit the chapter and state websites.




Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, VA 23228

Event Contact

Suzanne Jenkins

Phone: 804-330-8787
Website: Click to Visit

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