Also known as Halberdleaf rosemallow, Hibiscus laevis All. It’s a forb that grows all over the eastern U.S. and in Ontario. I’ve got one in a pot here on my front porch that I dug up to get it out of the next path mowing. No, they don’t have much of an odor. Yes, they are five-lobed flowers, and they do seem to like disturbed soil. The ones I have are not in a swamp; they’re in upland woods.
Elsie Quarterman was born in 1910 in Georgia. She completed her
undergraduate work at Georgia State Woman’s College in 1932.
Post-graduate studies were done at Duke Univ. where she obtained her
Ph.D. in 1949 under Henry J. Osting. She accepted a faculty position
at Vanderbilt Univ. and later became the University’s first female
department chair, heading the Biology Department in 1964.
Dr. Quarterman is best known for her work on the ecology and plant
communities of the cedar glades of the Central Basin. She is widely
recognized for the re-discovery of the Tennessee Coneflower
(Echinacea tennesseensis) in 1969, a plant once thought to be
extinct and subsequently the first plant endemic to Tennessee to be
protected by the Endangered Species Act. She has received many
honors including our very own TNPS Conservation Award. The Elsie
Quarterman Cedar Glade State Natural Area was named in her honor in
Dr. Quarterman was a longtime member of the Natural Areas Association, the professional organization representing the interests of natural area professionals in the US. She received the NAA George Fell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 at the 35th Annual Natural Areas Conference in Nashville. In receiving the award, she humbly said that there “is no greater honor than to be recognized by my peers.” Her most significant legacy will be the thousands of acres of natural areas she helped to protect in Tennessee including the cedar glades and the once endangered Tennessee Coneflower.
(Tennessee Natural Areas Program Administrator Brian Bowen works in
the Department of Environment and Conservation in Nashville.)
a video about Elsie,
A Crusader for Conservation,
19 September 2014,
by Tennessee’s Wild Side, “The Emmy Award winning show produced through the generosity of the Jackson
Foundation, Tennessee State Parks, and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.”
Lots of good pictures, some video snippets of Elsie, and some narration by her nephew Patrick and by Biologist Tom Hemmerly, who reminds us of Elsie’s work at Radner Lake, in addition to her cedar glades work.
Ranger Buddy Ingram explains her biggest contribution may have been
in getting numerous different segments of society to cooperate
in saving whole ecologies.
Botanist Kim Sadler and others explain how inspiring all that is to generations
As Elsie said in 2006:
The general public needs to know what’s around them.
They need to be learning that there’s a world that is not paved.
There are lots of things that have life and function in the whole scheme,
people as well as plants and animals.
Not just dogs you’ve got on a leash, but animals that live out there,
are part of the whole ecosystem.