Delaware Native Plant Society

Delaware Native
Plant Society

P.O. Box 369
Dover, DE 19903

Flash photos courtesy of
David G. Smith at


The DNPS Vision
The purpose of the Delaware Native Plant Society (DNPS) is to participate in and encourage the preservation, conservation, restoration, and propagation of Delaware’s native plants and plant communities. The Society provides information to government officials, business people, educators, and the general public on the protection, management, and restoration of native plant ecosystems. The DNPS encourages the use of native plants in the landscape by homeowners, businesses, and local and state governments through an on-going distribution of information and knowledge by various means that includes periodic publications, symposia, conferences, workshops, field trips, and a growing statewide membership organized by the DNPS.

On 18 March 1998, 15 people met in the conference room at the Aquatic Resources Education Center (DNREC) in Smyrna, and at 7:30 PM that night, the organizational meeting for the Delaware Native Plant Society commenced. We officially became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in late 2001, and are officially recognized as a publicly supported organization.

The President at the time came to the Society with the idea for a native plant nursery on 17 April 2000. He organized a nursery planning meeting on 2 May 2000 and our nursery at the St. Jones Reserve came to life with the ground breaking and creation of the first bed on 9 June 2000. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Delaware and the St. Jones Reserve to operate the nursery, and this MOU has been successfully renewed every three years.

The DNPS plant mascot logos
When the Delaware Native Plant Society was first formed, it was deemed that the Society would have a set of symbolic native plants. During the organizational meeting in March of 1998, the 15 participants each recommended one or more plants. Everyone was given a chance at a blind vote on their favorite set of tree, shrub, and herb from the recommendations. When the results were tallied, the Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum), seaside alder (Alnus maritima), and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) were the winners.

The Turk’s cap lily is a common, herbaceous perennial that is an extremely representative plant of our wetlands, the seaside alder is a rare deciduous shrub endemic to the Delmarva Peninsula, and the bald cypress is a deciduous tree that is at its northernmost limit in Delaware.

In a subsequent meeting we determined that we needed an artist to make technical drawings that were scientifically accurate, of our three plant species. With some discussion, and knowledge of his artistic skill and record of past commissions, Chris Bennett was asked to draw our plants.

By late fall 1998, Chris had provided us with three excellent drawings that he had scanned digitally and that were ready to be used. So, in our Spring 1999 issue of The Turk’s Cap newletter, Chris’s drawings were unveiled. We replaced the rather cumbersome transparent cut-out copy of the Turk’s cap lily that we were initially using on the top of the first page with Chris’s simple but elegant drawing of a single Turk’s cap lily bloom.

The original illustrations are a pen & ink stippling style and were based on photographs and pictures seen in magazines and field guides. The newly formed relationship between our hosting and website design company, Delaware.net, has brought about a transformation and evolution of these initial drawings to the beautiful, electronically illustrated color renditions you see in our logo, which were done by Jessica Griffin and Christine Fairbanks in January 2008.

No current items