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Published by the Georgia Native Plant Society
January 2010
Volume XVI, Number 1

2010 Plant of the Year
by Jacqueline McRae & Paula Reith Page 3 The Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is not only beautiful, but is also edible and medicinal to both humans and butterflies.

Favorite Wildflowers
President‘s Message Plant Rescue News Chapter News Plant Focus Upcoming GNPS Events Member Page 2 13 14 16 17 19 By John Little Page 5 If I had to choose one wildflower that I consider my favorite, it would be trilliums.

Red or White?
By Ellen Honeycutt Page 8 Red and white labels are not just for wine, they are also an important distinction in the identification of the native oaks of Georgia.

Native Plants that Shaped the Commerce and Culture of Georgia
By Jim Smith Page 10 Dr. Charles Herty‘s research at his Savannah, Georgia lab made possible the practical manufacture of paper from southern pines.

Newsletter Editor Karen Wilkins Newsletter staff: Sharon Parry, Ellen Honeycutt and Lisa Betz, Proofreaders NativeSCAPE is published quarterly by the Georgia Native Plant Society. A subscription is included with membership in the GNPS. Copyright 2010 by the Georgia Native Plant Society. All rights reserved. Articles may not be reprinted without permission of the author.

Southeastern Flower Show

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In the midst of winter, you can come ―Discover The Beauty of Green‖ at the Southeastern Flower Show (SEFS).

Anticipation: 2010 GNPS Annual Spring Plant Sale
By Sheri George Page 12 Winter is a time of keeping warm, catching up with friends and those stacks of books and magazines that have been waiting to be read, but thoughts will soon begin to fill with anticipation.

Upcoming GNPS Symposium Membership Renewal Form

Page 15

The 15th GNPS Native Plant Symposium will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010, at Chattahoochee Technical College. Page 20


Georgia Native Plant Society P.O. Box 422085 Atlanta, GA 30342-2085 770-343-6000 GNPS Board of Directors President Ellen Honeycutt Vice President Don Stewart Secretary Shirley Center Treasurer Paula Reith Members-at-Large: Julie Newell Paul Shivers David Haimbach Director of Communications Sharon Parry Director of Conservation Marcia Winchester Director of Education Jacqueline McRae Director of Membership Jane Trentin
About your membership in the Georgia Native Plant Society Your membership dues and donations help support our mission which is: To promote the stewardship and conservation of Georgia‘s native plants and their habitats By sponsoring meetings, workshops, an annual symposium, grants, scholarships, the native plant rescue program, and this newsletter utilizing an all-volunteer staff of dedicated native plant enthusiasts. We look forward to and appreciate your continued support. Membership renewal forms for 2010 can now be completed online or by completing the form on p. 20.

NativeSCAPE January 2010
President‘s Message
By Ellen Honeycutt

Welcome to the New Year! As we look ahead to a year full of possibilities, I‘d like to say how excited I am to be a part of the Georgia Native Plant Society, even more excited than when I joined in 2000. In the past 10 years I have learned a lot from my fellow members and from the activities in which I have participated. I hope each of you, whether you are a longtime member or a new one, will take an opportunity this year to grow your native plant knowledge as well as to share with others what you already know. With 900 members statewide, we have a lot of resources within us. GNPS has a busy year ahead in 2010 and activities for the first 6 months are already in full swing: GNPS will again participate in the Southeastern Flower Show with a display garden February 4-6th, our annual Symposium will be February 13th, and we will resume our annual Plant Sale in April. Articles on all these events can be found in this issue of NativeScape. In addition to these activities, we have our regularly scheduled workdays at Heritage Park and the Stone Mountain Propagation Project. All of these are fabulous ways to learn more while helping the Society achieve conservation goals. Some very experienced folks participate regularly on these workdays, and they are happy to share what they know while they work. If your goal is to learn more about native plants, these workdays are where you should be! Check the Events page on the website for posted dates. The return to regular rainfall last year allowed the rescue program to resume and 2010 looks to be a similar schedule. Rescuing plants allows us to put back native plants where they might not be otherwise – our yards, schools, churches, and restoration projects. Use your rescued plants to introduce other people to natives by sharing what you find – you just might get them interested in using more native plants. Personal experience and convictions are some of the most convincing ways to get others involved in what you believe. Rescued plants can also be donated to GNPS for one of our plant sales, allowing the Society to raise money towards some of our activities like education, restoration, and grants. If you haven‘t been on a plant rescue, please consider joining one. Even new folks can find lots of neat plants thanks to the experience of our facilitators and seasoned rescuers. A new year is always full of possibilities, and I look forward to working with the new Board of Directors to lead GNPS into 2010. The creation of the West Georgia Chapter of the GNPS last year opened a new door for us. Chapters allow us to reach more people statewide, spreading our mission even further: To promote the stewardship and conservation of Georgia's native plants and their habitats through education and with the involvement of individuals and organizations. I hope other interested groups will form throughout the state and seek the support of GNPS in their efforts. And I hope that each and every one of you will take a more active role in the Society. We have committee openings for whatever your interest might be and could certainly use your help at any level. I look forward to seeing you at an event in 2010.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
2010 Plant of the Year: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
by Jacqueline McRae & Paula Reith orange to bright red. These flowers usually bloom from June to September, often extending through late fall here in the Piedmont. Appearing in the autumn, the fruit of the butterfly weed is quite distinctive. The seed pod is 4 to 5 inches long, oval-shaped and contains numerous small seeds each with a tuft of long silky hairs or floss, making them easily airborne. The root is spindle-shaped, large, branching, white, and fleshy with a knotted crown. It sends up several erect, stout, round and hairy stems, growing from 2 to 4 feet high. This plant is often slow to emerge in spring, preferring to wait for warmer temperatures. Since it is a prairie plant, butterfly weed is an excellent selection for meadow and other naturalized plantings because it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Asclepias tuberosa will perform well in dry conditions, but will also tolerate a wet environment. Due to its long bloom time and other attributes, this ‗weed‘ is a wonderful, low maintenance perennial for the sun garden.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Voted the GNPS 2010 Plant of the Year, butterfly weed is a common, long-lived and striking perennial native to North America from southern Canada and New York to Minnesota, south to Florida and Colorado. This flowering perennial is often found along roadsides and naturalized areas, dry open fields, and grassy places, making the butterfly weed a great subject for ‗ditch botany.‘ The bright orange, yellow, and red flowers of Asclepias tuberosa are, as the name suggests, a butterfly magnet. Other common names are butterfly milkweed, butterfly plant, orangeroot, or orange milkweed. Butterfly weed is a type of milkweed (Asclepiadaceae or Apocynaceae): this family includes plants with milky sap which is poisonous to most insects. Unlike the other milkweeds Asclepias tuberosa contains little or no milky juice. The leaves are two to six inches long, grow closely all the way up the stem and are hairy, unserrated, lanceolate, alternate, sessile and dark green on top, lighter beneath. Stems are branched near the top and have flat clusters (umbels) of many very showy quarter-inch flowers in shades varying from pale to deep yellow through vibrant

'Hello Yellow' Butterfly Weed, available in the nursery trade Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Butterfly weed is easy to grow and easily propagated from seed or cuttings. It is a little more difficult to transplant as this plant has a deep taproot. Although non-invasive, butterfly weed can spread energetically given the right conditions.
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NativeSCAPE January 2010
2010 Plant of the Year: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
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Being a milkweed, butterfly weed is a potential host larval plant for the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly (Lepidoptera nymphalidae), although the common milkweed is perhaps a better choice. It is also a favorite nectar-source for a number of butterfly species, including the tiger swallowtail and black swallowtail. As a bonus for your garden, butterfly weed is deerresistant.

pods, was used mainly for food and clothing. The seed pods are edible when cooked young before the seed floss forms. Cooked flowers are reported to taste like sweet peas. Leaves and new buds are edible and when cooked taste like spinach. The stems have been used to make a quality fiber and woven into twine or cloth. Interesting historical uses of the seed floss was for stuffing in pillows and life jackets, and candle wicks. Research indicates the floss is effective at cleaning up oil spills at sea. Asclepias tuberosa has a long history of use as an alternative medicine in America. The root harvested in fall and then dried is medicinal with a number of characteristics: antispasmodic, carminative, mildly cathartic. It is a diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, tonic as well as a vasodilator. Butterfly weed has been used internally for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, chronic rheumatism, and as an expectorant. Due to effect on the lungs, butterfly weed is also valuable as a remedy for many chest complaints and lung diseases. In fact, one of its traditional common names is pleurisy root. A medicinal poultice of the roots has been used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, and skin ulcers.

Butterfly Weed Seed Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Butterfly weed is both edible and medicinal. The plant, including its stems, leaves, flowers and seed

Sign Up Early for Fourth Annual GNPS Hike Inn Field Trip
On Sunday, May 2nd, up to twenty four lucky GNPS members will have the opportunity to hike the five mile trail from Amicalola Falls State Park to the environmentally friendly Len Foote Hike Inn in the North Georgia mountains near Dawsonville. Last year, at almost this same time, we saw the pink lady‘s slippers at their peak of bloom along the trail! Twelve rooms have been reserved for our group with discounted room rates thanks to member Lynn Almand's husband Bob, who is on the board of the Hike Inn. Anyone wanting a single room will pay only $100.05, and each person in a double room will pay only $73.03. Dinner on Sunday night and breakfast on Monday morning will be included in this room rate. Meals are prepared on site and served family style in the dining hall. After dinner, there will be some type of entertainment and/or educational program. There are books and games in the sunrise room for those wanting to read or play until bedtime. Quiet time starts at 10 p.m. The dining room opens early for coffee the next morning, and breakfast is at 8 a.m. Trail lunches can be ordered the night before and paid for ($6) upon checkout. Sign up will be until March 30th. All room fees will be due on or before that date, and checks should be made payable to the Len Foote Hike Inn. Please contact trip leader Jane Trentin ( for further information or to sign up.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Favorite Wildflowers
By John Little

If I had to choose one wildflower that I consider my favorite, it would be trilliums. I use the plural because there are many different species of trilliums. Georgia may be considered the center of the "trillium universe." There are more species of trillium (22) growing in Georgia than anywhere else in the world. The variety of colors, leaf patterns and other morphological characteristics is astounding. If variety is the spice of life, then trilliums are indeed spicy. In fact, some people insist they can distinguish between similar species by flower odor alone. Some plants do have a distinctive fragrance, or "stench," as described of a certain western U.S. species by one trillium expert. For example, Trillium luteum, which is common in the lower elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is similar to a yellow form of the more widespread species, Trillium cuneatum, but often has a pleasant lemony fragrance. I had come to appreciate trilliums while hiking and backpacking in the north Georgia mountains. In those days I knew little about them, only that I liked how they filled the woods with interest and beauty, and that they always seemed to be growing in botanically rich areas with a lot of other wildflowers - an Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum) indicator of forest ecosystem health. I never dreamed I would ever be able to Photo Credit: Mary Tucker bring many into my wooded acres to study and admire with more regularity. I had been given some trilliums by friends who owned property in the mountains, and obtained others (with permission) in "unofficial" rescues when I saw bulldozers pushing them out of their path while preparing sites for houses. After joining GNPS, some of the first group activities I participated in were plant rescues. At that time, Jeane Reeves was leading almost all the rescues. Whenever I heard (before GNPS used email) that trilliums were on a rescue site, I was eager to sign up and that was the plant I desperately wanted to find. It took some time for me to become proficient at finding them in all stages of growth. I would be wandering the site aimlessly looking for them while Jeane seemed to spot them left and right. More than once she had to corral me and remind me to stay with the group when I became impatient at not locating any trilliums. We were finding mostly Catesby trilliums (Trillium catesbaei) in the Cherokee County woods, and young plants, especially, eluded my focus. Eventually I learned to spot them easily. Experience is a great teacher, and Jeane and some of the other rescuers were helpful. On other sites all over the metro Atlanta area we found ‗toadshade‘ trilliums, Trillium cuneatum. Cuneate trilliums, or ‗sweet Betsy‘ as they are also known, seemingly have an infinite number of leaf patterns mottled with several shades of green, including a very light, pale shade some call "silver." Sometimes the leaves will be all green, dark or light, or all "silver." Flower petals vary from maroon, bronze, green, to yellow, sometimes with mixed colors, such as a green or yellowish primary color with maroon veins. It's hard not to call this species a favorite. I am growing these from seed, which is easy but requires patience, for it will be probably 7 years before I see if I have something special. When permission was obtained to rescue on the North Springs MARTA station construction site, we discovered a large population of large Trillium rugelii or southern nodding trillium. As the name indicates, the flower nods so one has to get down on hands and knees to see the usually burgundy anthers hanging down from the center of the large white petals. To make things interesting, sometimes the flower doesn't nod, the stamens may be almost cream colored, and rare forms have petals that are maroon. But I haven't seen these in person. Didn't I say trilliums have variety? Even more exciting than finding the T. rugelii was discovering lanceleaf trillium or T. lancifolium along a section of the
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NativeSCAPE January 2010
Favorite Wildflowers
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Cobb County Connector road construction project. This is a trillium with quite narrow leaves and is not at all common in metro Atlanta. Now I had four species from plant rescues and my interest was growing. I soon found out there were two new books devoted almost exclusively to trilliums so I bought them. I studied them and practically drooled over the many photos of all the different species and forms, each with its own distinctive features, but true to the genus name, containing parts in threes. Almost everyone who knows anything about trilliums learns early on that they are composed of plant parts in threes: 3 leaves, 3 sepals, 3 petals …. But don't underestimate the capacity of this genus to surprise. Sometimes you might find plants with more or less than the usual three. While I was helping with a DNR rare plant project, a lanceleaf trillium was spotted with two leaves, two sepals, Trillium (Trillium pusillum) and two petals. It was informally dubbed Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt ―Tom's billium,‖ for Tom Patrick, the DNR botanist who spotted it. That project involved several species of plants including the rare Georgia dwarf trillium, T. pusillum var. georgianum which grows on only one site in Georgia and nowhere else. It was added to the endangered species list recently.

Trillium Variation Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt

I have visited a number of parks and protected sites to see many different species. The Pocket of Pigeon Mountain, west of Lafayette in NW Georgia, was my first sighting of decumbent trillium, T. decumbens. This trillium appears to sit directly on the ground without stems but in reality that is because the stems are decumbent, i.e. leaning over and not visible underneath the trillium leaves. Leaves of this species are strongly mottled in shades of green and silver, in patterns, which I often think are more symmetrical than other species. I could say these have the most beautiful of all trillium leaves, but I would be shortchanging a couple of coastal plain species, T. underwoodii and T. decipiens which many would award the "most beautiful" label. These two species may have as many as five contrasting color shades, including some nearly black blotches, and silvery stripes down the center of each leaf. It's hard to choose a favorite trillium. For many years it has been very difficult for trillium enthusiasts to bring the different species into their gardens to enjoy and study. Indeed it is not wise to try growing some species, as they have exacting requirements and are best enjoyed in their natural habitats. I know of no one in the U.S. who has successfully grown painted trillium, T. undulatum, for any extended period of time, anywhere

Trillium (Trillium decumbens) Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt

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NativeSCAPE January 2010
Favorite Wildflowers
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outside their natural range. It needs very acidic soils and cool summer temperatures such as are found in high elevation mountain areas. More species are becoming available in the nursery trade. This will help discourage aggressive commercial wild collecting which along with overbrowsing by deer, development, and timber harvesting are threats to healthy continuing populations. Tony Avent, of Plants Delight Nursery in North Carolina, is now growing and selling a number of species from seed and has more species coming along in large beds where he is selecting cultivars for vegetative propagation. A custom furniture and cabinet maker in Tennessee is pursuing a hobby with trilliums that he hopes to provide him with a modest retirement income. He has large beds of seedling trilliums of at least four species labeled with the years the seeds were sown. Some seven year-old flowering specimens were available for purchase at the Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Garden in Spring 2009. These included the particularly Trillium (Trillium sulcatum) Photo Credit: John Harkins nice rainbow trillium, T. sulcatum, a species named by Georgia Department of Natural Resources botanist Tom Patrick in 1984. I have not gone into detail to describe the genus trillium or the many trillium species. This is intended as a personal exposition of my own passion for and experience with trilliums. There are a lot of resources available on the Internet, and several books which offer ample opportunity to learn more about these fascinating plants. Don't forget to register for the GNPS Symposium in February. Tom Patrick is one of the foremost authorities on the subject of trilliums and he is one of the speakers. You will not want to miss his presentation.

Visit our New Online Discussion Forums
GNPS has a new and improved method of communicating with other native plant lovers. Here is an excellent way to exchange information with others interested in all aspects of native plants. There are currently four forums: General Discussion, Native Plants in the Garden, Plant Identification, and Garden Shots. There are many new features, including the ability to: attach pictures, up to 6 pictures at 2 MG to each posting; receive emails when postings are made to specific topics/forums; choose which topics/posts you want to view; sort and search topics/posts; and change your personal settings in the User Control Panel. Register for our new discussion forums at: and let‘s share conversation about our favorite subject this winter season, while we wait patiently (or not) for the arrival of spring.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Red or White?
By Ellen Honeycutt

Red and white labels are not just for wine, they are also an important distinction in the identification of the native oaks of Georgia. The following article will not give you all the information you need to identify an oak down to the exact species, but I hope it will give you enough clues to get started and will pique your interest in learning more. The genus Quercus (oak) is a member of the Fagaceae family which also includes Beech (Fagus) and Chestnut (Castanea). Trees in this family have dominated the forests of North America for thousands of years. Oak trees are monoecious (the organs or flowers of both sexes borne on a single plant), have alternate, simple leaves and are deciduous or evergreen. Some deciduous oaks like Pin oak and White oak hold onto some of their leaves through the winter. In the absence of leaves, one can identify the winter twigs of oaks by the presence of lateral buds clustered at the tip of the twig. The size and shape of the acorn and its cup can also be helpful in identification. According to the ―Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America," 50 oak species are found in just 2/3 of the eastern North American forest and these dominate 68 percent of hardwood forests. Chances are that you have at least one type of oak in your yard. As I walk around my yard on a fall day, the ground is covered with the leaves of Southern Red oak (Quercus falcata), White oak (Quercus alba), Post oak (Quercus stellata) and Water oak (Quercus nigra). Blowing in from the neighbor‘s property is the occasional colorful leaf of the Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea). If I walk down the street a bit, I find mixed among the leaves of maple, hickory and beech, the large leaves of Red oak (Quercus rubra). Although there are hundreds of species in the genus Quercus, identification seems a bit more manageable when you realize that the genus is divided into two major groups that are commonly considered the Red and the White oaks. Now that can initially be a bit confusing when you consider that there are two specific plants called Red oak and White oak, but that is not what we‘re talking about. Oaks in the white oak group have leaves lacking bristles on the lobes. Acorns from this group mature in a single growing season. Familiar oaks in the White oak group are: White oak (Q. alba), Post oak (Q. stellata), Chestnut oak (Q. montana), and Swamp white oak (Q. bicolor). Oaks in the red oak group have leaves with bristles at the tips of the lobes as well as the leaf apex. Unlike the white oaks, red oak acorns require two growing seasons to mature, therefore you can find mature acorns on the previous year‘s growth and new immature acorns on the current growth (at the end of the branch, or on the twig). Oaks in the Red oak group include: Red oak (Q. rubra), Scarlet oak (Q. coccinea), Southern Red oak (Q. falcata), Water oak (Q. nigra), Shumard oak (Q. shumardii), and Pin oak (Q. palustris). So already you have two quick ways (depending on the season) to identify an oak into the proper subgenus: bristles on the leaves and the maturity of acorns. Other clues for identification in regard to acorns: The acorn caps can be fairly distinctive as well. In the red oak group, the caps are generally composed of flattish, overlapping cup scales while the cup scales on the white oak group tend to be thick, almost warty and not overlapping. Also, acorns of white oaks have low concentrations of tannin (a germination inhibitor) – you‘ll find them germinating almost right away. Red oak acorns have higher concentrations of tannin and don‘t germinate until the next spring.

Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Note bristles on tips Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt

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NativeSCAPE January 2010
Red or White?
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I collected some leaves from my yard to show some of the variation that can exist.

Acorn Caps: Red Oak Group - top White Oak Group - bottom Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt

Now for the disclaimer: there are some exceptions to the rule of bristle tips and oaks do hybridize naturally, creating hybrids that have characteristics of both parents. When using leaves to identify oaks, be aware that leaf shape can be variable, so it is best not to identify an oak using a single leaf. In particular, leaves on young plants and on sprouts that come from the base of a mature plant (root sprouts) can be quite atypical. Some very similar species require you to use a hand lens to distinguish characteristics like the presence or absence of fine hairs on the back of the leaf.

White oak (Quercus alba) leaves Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt

If you would like to explore more about oak identification, two of my favorite oak identification resources are: Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America by Stein, Binion and Acciavatti. This publication is out of print, but you can find it in pdf format on the web: foresthealth/technology/pdfs/fieldguide.pdf Native Trees of the Southeast: An Identification Guide by Kirkman, Brown and Leopold. Other resources: The International Oak Society: http:// USDA Plants Database: index.html

Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata) leaves Photo Credit: Ellen Honeycutt


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Native Plants that Shaped the Commerce and Culture of Georgia
By Jim Smith

Dr. Charles Herty‘s research at his Savannah, Georgia lab made possible the practical manufacture of paper from southern pines. The resulting burgeoning industry based on wood fiber attracted a number of immigrant foresters – I among them. This was shortly after Herman Talmadge‘s admonition not to knock the Yankee visitors since each one was worth ―two bales of cotton and twice as easy to pick.‖ Pine fibers soon supplanted cotton as the most economically important fiber industry. Even today, of Georgia‘s 37 million acres of total land area, about 66% is forested.

Fibers of pine and cotton have been extremely important to Georgia‘s economy and culture, but before the Europeans arrived, the native Georgians were using the fibers of many native plants as essential ingredients of their lives and culture. Among the most important was Dogbane or Indian Hemp, Apocynum cannabinum and Apocynum androsaemifolium. The former is found in every county in Georgia, most often on sunny moist sites on abandoned open land. It can be made into extremely strong cordage that was used in snares, bowstrings, fishnets, cloth and fastenings of many kinds. It is not difficult to do and might be an interesting project Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum) to counter the ―nature deficit disorder‖ that marks much of Photo Credit: Mike Strickland today‘s society. Several interesting internet sites explain the fiber gathering and cordage making in detail. One of the best can be accessed under ―Dogbane Cordage‖ by Colhane (http://

Beargrass (Yucca filamentosa) Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

A number of other native plants were similarly used, among them Stinging Nettle, Urtica chamaedryoides, and Pawpaw, Asimina triloba. The inner bark of Basswood, Tilia spp., was often fashioned into superior cordage and ropes. Beargrass, Yucca filamentosa, furnished fibers of exceptional strength that were adapted for use by the European settlers; in fact, its fibers are the strongest of any native plant in North America, and the native Americans of the southwest wove durable sandals of Yucca leaves – another interesting project for those who like to experiment in these areas.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Southeastern Flower Show, February 4-6, 2010
In the midst of winter, you can come ―Discover The Beauty of Green‖ at the Southeastern Flower Show (SEFS). The Georgia Native Plant Society will have a display garden in the Discovery division of the SEFS being held at Cobb Galleria Centre from February 4 through the 6th. Our last display garden at SEFS was in 2004, so we are excited to exhibit this year and hope that our exposure will attract new members while showcasing the beauty of native plants. Since our exhibit will be in the Discovery division, there will be a strong educational approach yet viewers will get a taste of how native plants can be used in a residential setting such as a backyard seating area with raised beds and containers. The design for our exhibit is being done by our own Shannon Pable and implementation is being donated by Unlimited Landscapes, Inc, a partner in our 2004 exhibit as well. We‘ll be looking for volunteers to help as the show date approaches, so please stay tuned! To give you some idea of what we‘ve done in the past, here are some pictures from our displays in 2004 (Chairperson: Shannon Pable) and 2003 (Chairperson: Kathryn Gable): 2004: The GNPS exhibit was a landscape exhibit entitled "Barbarians in the Riparian" that focused on issues related to stream bank restoration.

Photo Credit: Shannon Pable

Photo Credit: Shannon Pable

2003: GNPS's garden was titled "Fiddle-De Dee" and featured ferns suited for Georgia's environment in an "Alice in Wonderland" setting.

Photo Credit: Website Staff

Photo Credit: Website Staff


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Anticipation: 2010 GNPS Annual Spring Plant Sale
By Sheri George, Plant Sale Chairperson

Winter is a time of keeping warm, catching up with friends and those stacks of books and magazines that have been waiting to be read, but thoughts will soon begin to fill with anticipation. Anticipation of all the wonderful spring ephemerals that will begin the succession of color that Georgia‘s native wildflowers, shrubs and trees provide. Hopefully all that anticipation and excitement will inspire GNPS members to volunteer for the 2010 Spring Plant Sale! There is something for everyone— even for those who don‘t want to wait until April. Currently, members are needed to go on rescues or into their gardens to look for plants to pot up for the sale (the earlier they are potted up, the better they will look for the sale). Several months before the plant sale volunteers are needed to solicit donations from nurseries. Weeks to days before the sale, plants will need transport from members‘ homes who cannot deliver the plants themselves and from donating nurseries. Friday, many volunteers will be needed to mark off areas of the plant sale, unload plants in the general area and take plants to designated areas. (Reminiscent of ants working the mound.) Also needed are those who can identify plants, spell the names of plants for labels (cheat-sheets available), water plants if necessary and, finally, price all the plants. Saturday Sale Day! Several hours before the plant sale begins, volunteers need to place directional signs and, once ―the doors open‖, volunteers are needed to answer customer‘s questions, staff plant holding area, sell, write up customer‘s orders, and cashier. Equally important as what one can give to the GNPS Plant Sale, the GNPS Plant Sale offers members a wonderful learning opportunity. GNPS is filled with experts from all interests including azaleas, shrubs, trees, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, bogs, plant communities and even wildlife. Visit the GNPS Spring Plant Sale Page or click here to sign up or ask questions.

2010 GNPS Spring Plant Sale Information: Friday, April 23 Plant Sale Set-up 10 am to ? Workday includes T-shirt, lunch and first crack at purchasing plants AFTER everything is setup ready for Saturday. Saturday, April 24 Plant Sale 10 am to 2 pm Sale Workday includes T-shirt and lunch Location: McFarlane Nature Park (East Cobb almost Fulton County) easily accessed from 285/75/400 280 Farm Road SE Marietta, GA 30067 Anticipating a fun and successful plant sale!


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Native Plant Rescue News
By Lynn Almand

Rescues, Rescues, and MORE Rescues
It‘s an understatement to say I‘m not a ―numbers‖ person. It‘s a joke in my family that my standard answer to any math word problem is ―it takes three days to get to Chicago.‖ But there are some numbers I‘m very pleased and willing to talk about—our stats for 2009. Total number of rescues: Facilitator activity Led a rescue Co-facilitated Number of active facilitators: 61 61 129 41

WOW! That‘s 190 times our facilitators were on the job leading or co-facilitating rescues with our members and saving those plants from the bulldozers. But there is so much more to rescues than just saving plants. We are teaching and learning every time we set foot onto a site. We are building relationships with people who share a common interest in natives and planet Earth. We are supporting GNPS by digging plants for the plant sale, Heritage Park, restoration projects like Grant Park and Lullwater, or the Stone Mountain Propagation project. We are digging plants to support private and public spaces. And you know, we are just plain happy to be in the woods, and there‘s nothing wrong with that. It lifts our spirits and calms our souls. And last but not least, each plant we save contributes to the Earth as shelter or food for birds and insects, prevention of soil washed into our watersheds, or just the intrinsic beauty each plant provides. I don‘t have the stats on the number of participants (we can only count so many things and still have time to do rescues), but based on an average of 12 rescuers per rescue, that‘s 732 times a GNPS member was out there learning about native plants. We don‘t keep track of the number of plants collected or the number of species we dig, but maybe we should because it is important to recognize not only the number of plants we are saving, but the impact those plants have in their new homes--restoration project sites, schools or public gardens, or our own gardens. I think we might surprise ourselves. I‘m telling you this for two reasons. I‘m so proud of our facilitators and the effort they put into the rescue program. I‘m also happy that you keep coming on rescues. Now I‘d like to ask you to do two things in 2010 that will help GNPS grow stronger. First, I‘d like to challenge you to share your native plant knowledge and strengthen GNPS by bringing in a new member. There are several ways to do this: Bring them to a meeting Tell them about the Symposium and offer to take them with you. Give a gift membership Invite them to a rescue as your guest. We really get a lot of new members that way. They may come one time for free; to participate further, they must join. You will need to ask permission, but if there is room on the rescue (members have priority), our facilitators will be happy to accommodate. Lastly, dig for a cause. If you‘ve stopped coming on rescues because your garden is full or you don‘t come because you don‘t have any place to put the plants, I have the solution! Come dig for the plant sale, Heritage Park, or any personal project you are working on in a school or neighborhood. We do not have scheduled rescues in January—it is just too cold, but the schedule for February will be out near the end of the month. I hope to see you on a rescue in 2010, and I guarantee I will not have a calculator with me.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Chapter News
By Gina Strickland

The West GA Chapter of GNPS held its annual business meeting on Dec 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Carroll County Agricultural Center. We had a reading of the finance report by the treasurer and elected and installed the Board of Directors and Officers for 2010. President: Gina Strickland Vice President: Carol Hight Secretary: Florence Hayes Treasurer: Fran Forsyth Co-Director Rescues & Conservation: Mike Strickland & Wendell Hoomes Director of Education: Marc LaFountain Director of Programs: James Dickenson Announcements included the new GNPS plant of the year for 2010 and Chapter news. We discussed the Buffalo Creek Trail and how to solicit volunteers for a privet pull in early spring. Calendars and mugs were sold, and 2009 plant of the year t-shirts were distributed to those who had pre-ordered. We reminded everyone to renew their membership. We enjoyed combining a holiday pot-luck supper with the meeting.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Upcoming GNPS Symposium
The 15th GNPS Native Plant Symposium will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010, at Chattahoochee Technical College‘s North Metro Campus: 5198 Ross Road, Acworth, GA, 30102. We have an exciting group of speakers as well as book and plant vendors to tempt you. As usual, the symposium registration fee includes coffee, juice and pastries in the morning and lunch. Speakers Dan Long, ―Native Vines for your Garden‖ – Owner of Brushwood Nursery, which specializes in vines and climbers, Long will be speaking about the variety of native vines that can be incorporated into your garden. He is a past instructor at Longwood Gardens and the New York Botanical Garden and is in the process of relocating his nursery business to Athens, GA. Tom Patrick, ―Trilliums: An Appreciation‖ – Botanist with the Nongame Conservation Section of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), his job entails rare plant exploration, maintaining a statewide plant conservation database, natural area management, issuance of plant collecting permits, and research on native plants. He will be speaking on the wide variety of Trilliums found in Georgia. George Kish, ―Climate Change and Plant Phenology in the Southeastern United States‖ – Coordinator of the Southeastern Regional Phenology Network, Kish will be speaking about monitoring the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the Southeastern United States. Phenology is the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, such as leafing and flowering of plants, maturation of agricultural crops, emergence of insects, and migration of birds. Gil Nelson, ―Plant Communities of the Coastal Plain‖ and ―Native Hollies of the Southeast‖ - Drawing from his extensive knowledge as a botanist and his research as an author, Gil Nelson will cover two topics this year. Explore the plant communities in Georgia‘s Coastal Plain in the morning and learn about the native members of the genus Ilex in the afternoon. Rick Lewandowski, ―Nurturing Gardens Inspired by Nature‖ - Consider how nature-inspired gardens can be developed with richly layered and diverse plant elements, exemplifying regional character and promoting positive environmental and wildlife impacts. Lewandowski brings his experience as Director of Mt. Cuba Center and his extensive exploration of regional plant habitats to good use in this topic. Registration materials can be found on our website – you can even register online:


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Plant Focus: ―Early Risers‖
By Lynn Almand

It‘s never too early to think about the early spring wildflowers we find on plant rescues. There are plants that love to snuggle under the leaves, and then there are those that just don‘t like being covered. You‘ll usually find the latter next to trees or on a slope where the wind blows off the leaf cover. Want to see Hepatica americana in its natural environment? Look around the north side of an oak tree in a rich woodland forest. Its round three-lobed leaves and tiny white or pale lavender blooms in very early spring just make my heart sing. It is evergreen, so it is a plant that can be found when
Vernal Iris (Iris verna) Photo: Bob Almand

late winter, often poking up straight through a decaying leaf. That‘s the day that I know the end of winter is in sight. The bloom is so cheerful; it just screams WAKE UP EVERYBODY!

Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) Photo: Bob Almand

not much else is still visible during winter. Green-and-Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) and Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) are two more that like the fresh air and are evergreen to semi-evergreen. Green-andGold doesn‘t bloom until March or April in my garden and the Pussytoes even later, so site them carefully to ensure they don‘t get covered in the long winter months. Put mulch over them and they will be short-lived. Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) and Vernal Iris (Iris verna), two more harbingers of spring, react the same way to a heavy leaf cover. Two early risers that push their way through the leaf litter are Trout Lilies and Bloodroot. The Trout Lilies (Erythronium umbilicatum) are just about the first to show their delicate yellow flowers and mottled green leaves in

Bloodroot blossom (Sanguinaria canadensis) Photo: Jerry Cudworth

Most people love the bright white of the Bloodroot blossom (Sanguinaria canadensis), but my favorite Bloodroot moment is when you see the pointed flower bud tip with its leaves wrapped tightly around it piercing the ground and any leaves that get in the way. You can practically stand and watch the leaves unfold on a warm, late winter day. I hope this will inspire you to go out into your own woods on a cold day—or to sign up for a rescue in February.


NativeSCAPE January 2010
January 12 at 7:00 PM: GNPS Meeting When? Social Hour begins at 6:45, Speaker at 7:30 PM. Where? Day Hall at the Atlanta Botanical Garden at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Wyatt, an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia, will speak on "Moss Gardening". Dr. Wyatt is a Professor of Botany and Ecology and was previously Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, NC. In addition to his work at UGA, Dr. Wyatt is involved in teaching core courses in the certificate program in native plants at the State Botanical Garden. Dr. Wyatt and his wife, Dr. Ann Stoneburner, have done extensive research on mosses over the years and recently gave a similar presentation at the Highlands Native Plant Conference. They will bring moss samples for us to examine and identify. We hope you will come and join us for a good time. And please think about carpooling! You‘ll save money on parking and enjoy company on the ride. January 16, 10:00 AM: Field Trip As a follow up to our January 12th member meeting on mosses, GNPS member Faye Borthick will lead a field trip at Stone Mountain to explore some of the many mosses found there. Bring a hand lens if you have one - it will make the experience more interesting. Please meet at the Walking Trails parking lot. The field trip will be followed by a tour of the GNPS propagation area. Come see what we‘ve been working on! Entering the West Gate of Stone Mountain Park through the village of Stone Mountain: Turn left and go 0.2 miles. Turn left into the "Walking Trails" Parking lot. Entering the East Gate of Stone Mountain Park off of Stone Mt. Hwy. (Hwy 78): Turn right at the first turn. Then proceed about a mile to the "Walking Trails" parking lot on your right. February 13: GNPS Symposium The Georgia Native Plant Society‘s 15th symposium is approaching! It will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at the North Metro campus of Chattahoochee Tech in Acworth, GA. A brochure about the symposium was mailed to all GNPS members in early November; details are available on the GNPS website and on Page 15 of this newsletter: If you are interested in assisting with the event, contact symposium chairperson Ellen Honeycutt at


NativeSCAPE January 2010
April 18, Members Garden Tour Hold the date for the Members‘ Garden Tour. This annual event (free to GNPS members) features several private gardens and usually one or more public gardens which demonstrate how native plants can be creatively used in the landscape.

April 24, Annual Plant Sale Mark Your Calendars-(for more details, please refer to page 12 of this newsletter) We have a date for the 2010 GNPS Spring Plant Sale! When? Saturday, April 24 with set-up Friday, April 23

Where? McFarlane Nature Park 280 Farm Road SE Marietta, GA 30067


NativeSCAPE January 2010
Tough Guys
By Sharon Parry

Plants have always fascinated me. The first memory I have of the wonder of plants was from 2nd grade science class. The Lima Bean Project: plant a lima in a Dixie cup full of dirt, take it home, and watch what happens. The discovery of what was inside that seed, a complete plant with a root, a stem, and a pair of leaves, made quite an impression on me. I‘ve been a plant lover ever since and have always managed to have them close by, especially plants that thrive and are easy to grow. Luckily, our current home came with a small piece of woodland. Growing naturally is a mix of mature hardwoods and Green-and-Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) pines along with heart leaf ginger (Hexastylis arifolia), Solomon‘s seal (Polygonatum biflorum), rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), cranefly orchid (Tipularia discolor), perfoliate bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata), common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium albidum), green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), and ebony spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron). These natives were here before me, and after twenty-one years, they or their offspring are still here in spite of me, so they make my ―short list‖ of tough natives. Thanks to the GNPS plant rescue program, I‘ve been introduced to native plants that weren‘t found in my little piece of forest. It‘s always exciting to see these plants growing in their natural environment, making each rescue an adventure. Bringing a sample home to enjoy up close and personal is also a great joy. Pointing out these gems to friends and family while on a backyard stroll adds to the enjoyment. But even though the soil is rich and full of nutrients in my woodland garden, the large trees, getting ―first

dibs‖ on rainfall, challenge the herbaceous plants for moisture. So when I bring a plant home from a rescue, I pot it up and give it lots of TLC until its roots are established before planting. Several plants have succeeded thanks to this bit of extra effort. The very toughest of these plants have been Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), mouse ear coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata), galax (Galax urceolata), alumroot (Heuchera americana), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and solitary pussytoes (Antennaria solitaria). Once established, these guys tolerate the dry shade quite well. Not quite as tough, but almost, are foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), round-lobed hepatica (Hepatica americana), and birdfoot violet (Viola pedata). The moisture loving plants that I‘ve rescued are growing near the corners of my home (near the downspouts!) and are quite happy. It took me awhile to come up with this solution (I spent a lot of time moving plants around), but this is the kind of thing you do when you REALLY love a plant. They include cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea), soapwort gentian (Gentiana saponaria), and Carolina spider lily (Hymenocallis caroliniana). Plants still Soapwort Gentian (Gentiana saponaria) fascinate me, native plants most of all. And my very favorite natives are the ―tough guys,‖ especially those I‘ve rescued and replanted in my less than perfect home garden, returning each spring to provide the same wonder as that magical lima bean.


Georgia Native Plant Society Membership Renewal
Memberships are effective for one calendar year, beginning January 1st. Submit renewals by March 31st to avoid cancellation.

Choose membership level: (Select one) ___Individual/Family ($20) ___Full-Time Student ($15) ___Lifetime Individual/Family ($250) ___Senior, 55 and older ($15) ___Corporate/Commercial/Educational ($50)

Affiliation: ___No Chapter Affiliation ___West Georgia Chapter

___Check here if in addition to my membership renewal, I have included ______ to be distributed as follows: ___Education ___Jeane Reeves Memorial Grants and Scholarship Program Total Enclosed: ____________ ___Conservation/Propagation/Restoration ___Unrestricted Check # _______________

Trade Name (if applicable):


First Name: ______________________ Middle Initial: ____ Last Name: __________________________________ If Family, list additional names: ____________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________ Home Phone: ___________________________________ Work Phone: ____________________________________ Email Address: ___________________________________________________________________________________ (Email address is required if you wish to receive the Listserv and/or Electronic Newsletter.)

___ Check here if you prefer NOT to receive emails from our list server which contain information about meetings, plant rescues, work parties and other items of interest to the membership.

The full-color newsletter will be sent electronically. If you require a print version, which will be black and white, check here: ___

Please mail completed renewal form to the following address: GNPS, PO Box 422085, Atlanta, GA 30342-2085