North Carolina Botanical Garden


Excursion: Establishing a New Species, Firelily in the Sandhills

with Julie Moore, Jeff Marcus, and Bruce Sorrie, Friends of Plant Conservation

The registration period has closed for this event.

Date: Saturday, August 1, 2020

Time: 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Fee: $48.00 ($43 for members of either NCBG or FoPC)


This two stop excursion to the NC Sandhills will introduce you to this distinctive, biologically rich region of the state and to a newly described species of lily – the firelily. We will see firsthand how this lily 'fits' into the unusual scenario of requiring wet soil yet also needing fire or other disturbance to reproduce. We will observe how it competes with neighboring shrubs and other plants, discuss its life cycle, and relate why it is a rare plant range-wide. The specialized 'streamhead pocosin' habitat supports a fascinating collection of plant species; among those we hope to see are white-fringed and orange-fringed orchids. Directions to the meeting location will be sent by email in advance of the event date.


Transportation not included. Meeting location and directions provided upon registration.



You will be asked to stay at least 6 feet apart from other participants and excursion leader and carry a face covering with you at all times. The face covering must be worn if you are unable to stay 6 feet apart from others. Excursion leaders have the authority to enforce these restrictions and may ask you to return to your vehicle for non-compliance.


What to bring:

Bring a bag lunch and water. Also bring a face covering and a broad-brimmed hat to ward off sun, bug repellent to ward off possible chiggers, and you may find binoculars useful.


What to wear:

It will be hot and humid, so plan to bring a long-sleeved shirt if you are sensitive to sunburn; otherwise short-sleeved shirt, long pants, and old sneakers that you don't mind getting wet.  Note: there will be poison sumac in among the lilies, so be careful where you step and grab. 


We're expanding our partnership with the Friends of Plant Conservation to offer several excursions and Lunchbox Talks that highlight some of our state's rarest plants and natural areas. 


 This event is a partnership between the NCBG and the Friends of Plant Conservation.


Also see the LUNCHBOX Talk: Establishing a New Species, Firelily in the Sandhills on June 18 (Unfortunately, this lecture event was cancelled.). 


Remaining Seats: 8

Registration open through 7/29/2020 9:00 AM EST |

About the Program Leaders

Bios found below

Bruce Sorrie

Bruce Sorrie is a botanist, an associate at the UNC Herbarium, and the author of A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. He worked as a botanist at the Natural Heritage Program in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to North Carolina in 1991, where he worked for the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program studying Coastal Plain phytogeography from Virginia to Texas, primarily within the longleaf pine ecosystem. He retired from the NC Natural Heritage Program in 2014 after completing inventories of Tyrrell and Dare Counties. Sorrie has collected more than 5,000 plant specimens for the UNC Herbarium. In 2011, Hexastylis sorriei (Sandhills heartleaf) was named in his honor by L.L. Gaddy.

Jeff Marcus

Jeff Marcus is a wildlife biologist who has been working for longleaf conservation and management for the past 18 years. He and his wife, Ellen, and two daughters serve as caretakers and preserve stewards for the Eastwood Preserve. Jeff currently works for The Nature Conservancy in the NC Sandhills.

Julie Moore

Julie Moore is an endangered species biologist active in native plant organizations and local land trusts, is past president of the Botanical Society of Washington D.C.; a board member of the Longleaf Alliance, the B.W. Wells Association, Friends of Plant Conservation, and NC Plant Conservation Program. She retired in early 2019 after 15 years as the national coordinator of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Safe Harbor Program which engages private landowners to conserve species listed under the Endangered Species Act. She authored “Managing the Forest and the Trees,” for longleaf forest landowners funded by The Nature Conservancy. With Dorothy Wilbur-Brooks, she created “Southeastern Summer Flower Finder” to be published in 2020. For The Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, she has led daylong field trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway teaching use of plant identification keys.


Share This


Meeting location and directions provided with registration confirmation.