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Catawba Alumnus Rediscovers Rare Flower in Maryland

March 21, 2016

Category: Alumni, Biology


Last summer, 2001 Catawba College alumnus Wes Knapp rediscovered Solidago rupestris in Maryland with several partners at the National Park Service as part of a larger project with NatureServe.

Solidago rupestris, known as the rock goldenrod or riverbank goldenrod, is a North American species of flowering plants in the sunflower family. Until this discovery, the species had not been seen in Maryland since 1903.

Knapp attributes his start as a botanist to his mentorship by Michael J. Baranski, Professor Emeritus of Biology at at Catawba College. He currently servces as Eastern Region Ecologist/Botanist at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the Wildlife and Heritage Program.

Knapp was recently featured in an article by The Washington Post.