Event Details

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Mark Garland—D**n Yellow Composites!

(7 p.m.--welcome early to say hello)
Event Sponsor: Triad Chapter

Mark Garland with Monster, by Yvette Garland

Hypochaeris radicata, hairy cat’s ear, by Mark Garland

In North Carolina, one in eight species of wild flowering plants is a member of the aster, daisy, or sunflower family—the Compositae or Asteraceae. From a possible origin in the southern hemisphere, the family has spread explosively all over the world and is now found on every continent (except Antarctica) and on most oceanic islands.  Worldwide, it includes over 24,000 species—about 10% of all species of flowering plants. The family includes some weeds like dandelion, ragweed, and thistles, but also plants with beautiful flowers, like sunflowers, asters, and coreopsis.  Learn a bit about where this family might have come from, the biology of the flower heads, how to tell whether or not a plant is a “comp,” and recognize some of the major groups within the family. And no, they’re not all yellow.

Mark Garland is a botanist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Plant Data Team in Greensboro.  He helps maintain the PLANTS database (, which assembles basic information about 30,000 native and naturalized species of vascular plants, mosses and liverworts, and lichens in North America north of Mexico, Hawaii, and U.S. possessions in the Caribbean and Pacific.  Mark has a degree in botany from the University of Georgia and did graduate work at Florida State University on the hawkweeds of eastern North America. He worked for the state of Florida for fifteen years, first at the Department of Environmental Protection and then as the state botanist for the state Department of Agriculture. He lives outside Greensboro with his wife Yvette and too many cats.

Join us Wednesday, November 6th, 7 p.m. at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library, 1420 Price Park Dr, Greensboro, NC 27410 (phone 336-373-2923). All are welcome, though of course we hope you’ll be inspired to join the NCNPS and support efforts to plant more natives and wildlife habitat!

Attendees often arrive a little early to chat and check out door prizes or books. We don’t always have these, but often do. Feel free to bring a native plant to share or save it for fundraisers at the spring and fall outings, or our annual picnic in June. Funds raised support native plant research mini-grants or scholarships to attend the wonderful Cullowhee Native Plant Conference in July.

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