alnifolia flowers (Lohr)Virginia I. Lohr

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

Former Selected Teaching Activities:

Hort 232 class (V.I.
              Lohr) Hort 330: Landscape Plants for Urban and Community Environments
- Plants for solving problems in human-dominated landscapes: their characteristics, functions such as storm water management and climate change mitigation, ecology, identification, and selection.

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

Hort 231:  Landscape Plant Materials I 
Hort 232: Landscape Plant Materials II 


Impacts Of Plants On People (also called "human issues in horticulture"):
Environmental Horticulture (sustainable ways to keep plants around us):

Selected Publications:

Early childhood experiences in nature: Does it matter who is present with children? 
V.I. Lohr.  2016.  Proc. 29th International Horticultural Congress, Brisbane, AU.  Acta Horticulturae 1121:103-108.
Childhood experiences in nature with adults who are important to a child are particularly important.
Author text PDF

Linking ecology and aesthetics in sustainable agricultural landscapes: Lessons from the Palouse region of Washington, U.S.A.
Klein, L.R., W.G. Hendrix, V.I. Lohr, J.B. Kaytes, R.D. Sayler, M.E. Swanson, W.J. Elliot, and J.P. Reganold.  2015. Landscape and Urban Planning 134:195-209.
Buffers improve ecological and aesthetics of agricultural lands.
Press release

Global patterns of diversity in the urban forest: Is there evidence to support the 10/20/30 rule?
Kendal, D., C. Dobbs, and V.I. Lohr.  2014.  Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 13(3):411-417.
Diversity in urban trees is still lacking; few cities world-wide have 10% or less of any single species of tree.

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 PDF

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.
    • 2014: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.Epacris longiflora (V.I. Lohr)Pinus contorta (V.I. Lohr)Daffodils and Roses (V.I. Lohr)
    • 2013: 3rd place.California Poppy - PAX 2013 (V.I. Lohr)
    • 2011: 2nd and 3rd places.Darlingtonia californica - 2011 Pi Alpha Xi
                      (V.I. Lohr) Plant Category 2nd place (V.I. Lohr)Zelcova
                      serrata - 2011 Pi Alpha Xi Plant Category 3rd
                      place (V.I. Lohr)
    • 2005: 2nd place.Pinus
                      contorta - 2005 Pi Alpha Xi Ornamental Category
                      2nd place (V.I. Lohr)
  • Invited Speaker:
    • Australian National Botanic Gardens Thursday Talks, Canberra, Australia, 2013.
    • 28th International Horticultural Congress, Colloquium Speaker, Lisbon, Portugal, 2010.
    • International Workshop on Health, Environment and Town/Life Planning for Sustainable Welfare Society, Kashiwa, Japan, 2009.

Selected Professional Activities:

  • Editorial Board:
    • HortTechnology, 2011 - 2014.
    • ISHS Acta Horticulturae 881, 2nd International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture, 2009.
  • Doctoral Dissertation Review:
    • Department of Work Science, Business Economics & Environmental Psychology, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden, 2014.
    • Department of Agriculture & Ecology, Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.
    • Department of Resource Management & Geography, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2011.

Selected University & Departmental Activities:

  • Horticulture Undergraduate Curriculum and Recruitment Committee, Co-Chair, 2014-2016.
  • WSU Common Reading Selection Committee, 2011-12.
  • Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Strategic Planning Committee, 2011.
  • WSU Learning Goals Revisioning Committee, 2010.
  • WSU Faculty Affairs Committee, 2004-2008.
  • Association for Faculty Women, WSU, Web Wizard, 2003-2006.


  • Current Position:
    • Emeritus Professor, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA (retired June 30, 2016).
  • Before coming to WSU:
    • Taught at The University of Tennessee and 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, Emeritus Professor
Department of Horticulture
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington 99164-6414 U.S.A.

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Page updated October 23, 2017