Philadelphia Botanical Club

Field Trips and Workshops

Philadelphia Botanical Club field trips offer a way to become familiar with our region's plants and habitats, along with good places to see them. The trips are run by volunteers who know the site, and everyone on the trip can participate in spotting and identifying the plants. Unless noted otherwise, all trips are free and open to the public.

Please feel free to provide feedback or comments that may enhance our offerings to our field trip coordinator, David Lauer,

Field trip leaders can download instructions for trip reports.


The 20232 field trip schedule is under development. Below are the trips scheduled so far.

April 23-27, 2023 (Sunday to Thursday): Joint Field Meeting (BotSoc)
Mountains of Western North Carolina

Each year the Botanical Society of America NE section, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in eastern North America. The 2023 meeting will explore the mountains of western North Carolina and will be housed at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. Lake Junaluska is about 35 miles from the Asheville Regional Airport. The nearest town with amenities is Waynesville.
Field Trips:
Day 1: We traverse the Blue Ridge Parkway and visit Red Bank Cove, Graveyard Fields, and the Pink Beds. Red Bank Cove has a diverse flora of early spring blooming herbaceous species. Graveyard Fields has high-elevation species, rock outcrops, seep and waterfalls. The federally listed rock gnome lichen (Gymnoderma lineare) occurs at Graveyard Fields. The Pink Beds is a Southern Appalachian bog with federally listed swamp pinks (Helonias bullata).
Day 2: We will contrast a low-elevation site, Harmon Den (2000-2500 ft), with a high-elevation site, Waterrock Knob (6000 ft). Harmon Den has mountain catchfly (Silene ovata) and a large population of pirate bush (Buckleya distichophylla). Waterrock Knob is at the crest of the Pott Balsams along the Blue Ridge Parkway with Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense) and scattered mountain wood fern (Dryopteris campyloptera).
Day 3: Highlights include a very rare serpentine barren with three endemic plants (serpentine ragwort, Rhiannon's aster, and Buck Creek heartleaf), a southern Appalachian Bog at Whiteoak Bottoms, and a rich cove forest along Waslick Poplar Trail. Buck Creek Serpentine Barren hosts nineteen state-listed rare plant species (three endemic) and four state-listed butterfly species.
Evening Speakers: Sunday: Josh Kelly, "Overview of Southern Appalachian Flora"; Monday: Dr. Charles Williams, "André Michaux Live"; Tuesday: Dr. Shane Schoepfer and Gary Kauffman, "Unique Geology within Southern Appalachians and Buck Creek Serpentine Barren Flora"; Wednesday: Brent Martin, "William Bartram Visits in the Southern Appalachians"
Lodging and Meals: Housing, breakfasts, and dinners will be at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center, 689 N Lakeshore Dr., Lake Junaluska, NC. Lunches to take in the field will be provided at breakfast time.
Registration and additional information: Download in PDF or Word format. The registration deadline is February 24.

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.