Each summer, the Highlands Biological Foundation hosts free evening lectures at the Nature Center on Thursdays focused on the theme of natural history and conservation, a tradition that began in the 1930s. Today, these lectures are known as the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, which serves to educate and inspire through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers.
This summer’s lecture series includes a great variety of topics including bears, fire ecology, coyotes, climate change, and carnivorous plants. Following the lecture, there is a short reception outside of the Nature Center to continue the conversation and give guests an opportunity to meet the speaker.
The first lecture on July 11 at 6 p.m. will feature a Highlands’s favorite, Dr. Larry Mellichamp, Director Emeritus of UNCC Botanical Gardens, discussing “Carnivorous Plants of the Highlands Plateau”.
The Highlands Plateau is a unique region for carnivorous pitcher plants, sundews and bladderworts. These mountain bog habitats are among the rarest left on earth. The Highlands Botanical Garden has an unparalleled collection of conserved pitcher plants in captivity. Mellichamp will also talk about related species on the coast (such as Venus Flytrap), why they are all so fascinating and endangered, and how to grow many at home in an artificial bog garden.
All are invited to participate in these free lectures, which will be held at the Highlands Nature Center, 930 Horse Cove Road in Highlands at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights between July 12 and September 13. For a full schedule of lectures, as well as information on other programs click HERE, or call the Highlands Biological Foundation at 828-526-2221. A free shuttle will run from Founders Park to the Nature Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp is recently retired Professor of Botany and Horticulture and was director of the Botanical Gardens at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Larry is an expert on carnivorous plants and other plants of all kinds, and has received several teaching awards and written several books, including the recent Native Plants of the Southeast…the best species for the garden (Timber Press, 2014). He has been assisting for several years with updating activities in the Highlands Botanical Gardens. He is the 2016 recipient of the Tom Dodd Plantsman Award of Excellence from the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference.