Plant ecologist Tim Spira will present a program “Beyond Identification: The Ecology of Wildflowers,” Thursday, June 26, at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Macon County Public Library.
Spira will expound on the many interesting ways that plants adapt to their environments and how to interpret common features of native plants. He will answer such questions as, why flowers are so variable in size, color, shape, and fragrance or why fruits change color as they age, and why some fruits are sweet and others are not? And, why leaves differ in size, shape, and color? The answers to questions such as these adds a new dimension to understanding and appreciating wildflowers.
Spira is a plant ecologist, native plant gardener, hiker, and professor of botany at Clemson University where he teaches field botany and plant ecology. Spira received a Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Berkeley, for which he studied alpine gentians in the White Mountains of California. Most recently, he’s the author of the award winning book, “Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia” (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Spira and his spouse Lisa Wagner divide their time between Clemson, S.C, and Asheville, where they’ve transformed their lawns into meadows, shrub borders, and woodlands featuring native plants.