Amelanchier alnifolia flowers (Lohr)Virginia I. Lohr

Dept. of Horticulture
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington, 99164-6414, U.S.A.

Teaching Activities:

Hort 232 class (V.I. Lohr)Hort 231:  Landscape Plant Materials I - Characteristics, ecology, nomenclature, identification, selection, and use of important woody and herbaceous landscape plant species. 

Hort 232: Landscape Plant Materials II - Characteristics, ecology, nomenclature, identification, selection, and use of important woody and herbaceous landscape plant species.

Hort 331: Landscape Plant Installation and Management - Principles and practices for installation and management of landscapes; specifications, site preparation, transplanting, growth control, problem diagnosis.


Impacts Of Plants On People (also called "human issues in horticulture"):
Environmental Horticulture (sustainable ways to keep plants around us):
    • Issues with low biodiversity and genetic diversity in urban landscapes.
    • Water conservation in landscapes.
    • Incorporation of native plants in gardens and landscapes.

Selected Publications:

Survey of wholesale production nurseries indicates need for more education on the importance of plant species diversity.
Polakowski, N.R., V.I. Lohr, and T. Cerny-Koenig.  2011.  Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 37:259-264.
Industry superficially understands the problem.
Full text PD

What are the benefits of plants indoors and why do we respond positively to them?
Lohr, V.I.  2010.  Acta Horticulturae 881(2):675-682.
We are beginning to understand why people might respond positively to plants indoors and out.
Author text PDF

Does It Matter What Color Tree You Plant?
Kaufman, A.J. and V.I. Lohr.  2008.  Acta Horticulturae 790:179-184.
All canopy colors are calming, but medium green was the most calming.

Responses to scenes with spreading, rounded and conical tree forms.
Lohr, V.I. and C.H. Pearson-Mims.  2006.  Environment & Behavior 38(5):667-688.
People feel happier looking at any tree rather than no tree, but feel happiest when it has a spreading form.

Children's active and passive interactions with plants and gardening influence their attitudes and actions towards trees and the environment as adults.
Lohr, V.I. and C.H. Pearson-Mims.  2005.  HortTechnology 15:472-476.
Children who play around trees and who plant flowers appreciate the value of trees as adults.

How urban residents rate and rank the benefits and problems associated with trees in cities.
Lohr, V.I., C.H. Pearson-Mims, J. Tarnai, and D.A. Dillman.  2004.  Journal of Arboriculture 30(1):28-36.
The general public, not just tree-lovers, rate the benefits of urban trees highly.
Full text PDF

Physical discomfort may be reduced in the presence of interior plants.
Lohr, V.I. and C.H. Pearson-Mims.  2000.  HortTechnology 10(1):53-58.
People tolerate pain better when plants are around.

Particulate matter accumulation on horizontal surfaces in interiors: Influence of foliage plants.
Lohr, V.I. and C.H. Pearson-Mims. 1996. Atmospheric Environment 30(14):2565-2568.
Indoor plants reduce dust!

Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment.
Lohr, V.I., C.H. Pearson-Mims, and G.K. Goodwin. 1996. J. of Environmental Horticulture 14(2):97-100.
Indoor plants help people relax!
Full text PDF

Landscape preferences and stress responses of ethnically diverse adolescents.
Berge, B. and V.I. Lohr. 1994. In: M. Francis, P. Lindsey, and J. S. Rice. The healing dimension of people-plant relations: Proceedings of a research symposium, p. 101-113. The University of California, Davis, CA.
Teenagers like trees.

Assessing and influencing attitudes toward water-conserving landscapes.
Lohr, V.I. and L.H. Bummer. 1992. HortTechnology 2:253-256.
People are willing to save water in landscapes.

Modifying a technical course to meet baccalaureate objectives.
Lohr, V.I. 1989. HortScience 24:737-739.
Applied classes can be intellectually rigorous.

Selected Honors or Awards:

  • Sabbatical leaves:
    • Visiting Fellow, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australia National Univ., Canberra, 2012-13.
    • Aix-en-Provence, France, 2002-2003.
    • Univ. of Michigan and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ., 1991-1992.
  • Pi Alpha Xi Photography Contest:
    • Plant Category, 2nd and 3rd places, 2011.Darlingtonia californica - 2011 Pi Alpha Xi Plant Category 2nd place (V.I. Lohr)Zelcova serrata - 2011 Pi Alpha Xi Plant Category 3rd place (V.I. Lohr)
    • Ornamental Category, 2nd place, 2005.Pinus contorta - 2005 Pi Alpha Xi Ornamental Category 2nd place (V.I. Lohr)

Selected Professional Activities:

  • Editorial Board:
    • HortTechnology, 2011 - .
    • ISHS Acta Horticulturae 881, 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture, 2009.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Review:
    • Department of Agriculture & Ecology, Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.
    • Department of Resource Management & Geography, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2011.

Selected University & Departmental Activities:

  • WSU Common Reading Selection Committee, 2011-12.
  • Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Strategic Planning Committee, 2011.
  • WSU Learning Goals Revisioning Committee, 2010.
  • Horticulture Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Chair, 2007 - .
  • WSU Faculty Affairs Committee, 2004 - 2008.
  • Association for Faculty Women, WSU, Web Wizard, 2003-2006.


  • Current Position:
    • Professor, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
  • Before coming to WSU:
    • Taught statistics at The University of Tennessee
    • Taught horticulture at New Mexico State University
    • Managed garden centers in Colorado
    • Served as the first intern at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College
  • Education:
    • Ph.D. - University of Tennessee - Plant and Soil Science
    • M.S. - New Mexico State University - Horticulture
    • B.A. - Swarthmore College - Psychology

Contact Information:
Dr. Virginia I. Lohr, Professor
Department of Horticulture
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington 99164-6414 U.S.A.

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Page updated October 11, 2012