Author Archives: B. W. Wells Association

A Rare and Diminutive Skullcap: Scutellaria leonardii

Scutellaria is a large genus, with 350+ species scattered all over the world.  One of the smallest and rarest of these is Scutellaria leonardii, which is found in only 5 counties in North Carolina, but is mostly confined to Durham … Continue reading

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Beware the Orange Queen! (Vespula squamosa)

There are two common species of yellowjackets in North Carolina and the Southeast.  They are: the eastern yellowjacket – Vespula maculifrons, and the southern yellowjacket – Vespula squamosa.  They are industrious and hard working social insects with somewhat similar life … Continue reading

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The Sandhills Lily and the Orange Fringed Orchid

The Sandhills Lily (Lilium pyrophilum) and the Orange Fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) can  occasionally be found growing together in the Sandhills Region of North Carolina.  However, their circumstances are very different.  The Sandhills Lily is one of nine species that … Continue reading

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B. W. Wells Paintings Traveling Exhibit

North Carolina State Parks has created a traveling exhibit on the paintings of B.W. Wells. They are re-creations/re-printings of digital images of the real paintings. Printed directly onto canvas material they look visually authentic. The display is now set up … Continue reading

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Early Whitlow Grass – Draba verna – and Another Dimension to Plant Blindness

Draba verna, Early Whitlow Grass, is not a grass at all, but an herbaceous winter annual, a member of the large mustard family, the Brassicaceae.  The Whitlow part of its common name came from its purported medicinal qualities for healing … Continue reading

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Artifacts Found at Rockcliff Farm Provide a Glimpse into North Carolina Prehistory

Bertram Whittier Wells was an accomplished and influential ecologist and botanist, and an important advocate for studying plants as parts of natural communities.  His book “The Natural Gardens of North Carolina”, published in 1932, is a classic work on the … Continue reading

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The Enigmatic Dual Forms of Virginia Snakeroot (Endodeca serpentaria)

Virginia Snakeroot – Endodeca serpentaria –  is a common , low growing, native perennial that can be found in a variety of forest habitats in North Carolina.  It is a member of the Birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae) , a family primarily … Continue reading

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Spring Flowers of the Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

The Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a native tree known for its formidable thorns and its long, twisting pods.  The pods contain seeds that are surrounded by a sweet, honey-colored pulp.  The thorns and pods are shown below. The Honey Locust … Continue reading

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Eastern Gray Squirrels and the Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Early blooming trees like Elms and Maples produce a bonanza of high energy seeds, greatly coveted by Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).  Their frenetic activity high in the trees is a common sight in early spring.  In some areas, they appear … Continue reading

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The Developmental Stages of the Smooth Coneflower – Echinacea laevigata

Echinacea laevigata – the Smooth Coneflower – is among the rarest plants in North America.  It is not mentioned in the B. W. Wells classic The Natural Gardens of North Carolina.  More significantly, the historic habitat of the Smooth Coneflower … Continue reading

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