North Carolina Botanical Garden


LUNCHBOX Talk: What's on Your Roadside? History, Character, and Conservation of Piedmont Prairie Remnants

with Alan Weakley, Director, UNC Herbarium ; Julie Tuttle, Ecologist
The registration period has closed for this event.

Date: Thursday, November 8

Time: 12-1 p.m.

Fee: Free, preregistration required.


Sun-loving plants once occupied the prairies, savannas, and open-canopy woodlands of the North Carolina Piedmont, natural habitats more prevalent historically thanks to fire and other ecological processes.


Now, those plants persist in roadsides and powerline rights-of-way, and their remnant populations are increasingly threatened by development and changes in management.


We'll explore our North Carolina Piedmont prairie flora, from the rare, endemic, and disjunct species to the more common plants in our area. We'll talk about the biogeographical processes that created our local flora and about the management and conservation necessary to prevent the loss of large suites of these special Piedmont plants and their associated pollinators.



About the Speakers

Alan Weakley is a plant systematist, plant community ecologist, biogeographer, and conservation biologist focused on the species and systems of the Southeastern United States. Prior to coming to UNC in 2002, he had an extensive career in applied conservation biology, working with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, and NatureServe (the Association for Biodiversity Information). Alan is the author of Flora of the Southern & Mid-Atlantic States, a taxonomic manual covering about 7000 vascular plant taxa, now the standard in use across much of the Southeastern United States.

Julie Tuttle is a biogeographer and plant ecologist whose research focuses on forests of the Great Smoky Mountains.  She holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from UNC-Chapel Hill and an M.S. in Geography from the University of Georgia. Since moving to North Carolina in 2005, she has spent much time exploring the plant communities of North Carolina, both personally and professionally.  She has experience teaching a variety of Geography and Ecology courses in the classroom and in the field, and she taught first-year writing courses on ecology and citizen science for four years at Duke University. She most enjoys being outside, whether she’s co-teaching forest ecology in the mountains of western North Carolina, or photographing plants and pollinators for her NC Piedmont Roadside Native Plants project on iNaturalist.


Share This


Reeves Auditorium

Allen Education Center, Building A
100 Old Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27517