June 27 and 28, 2015, Brasstown Bald and Anna Ruby Falls Geology and Natural Communities

Posted under: North Georgia.

The natural communities workshop scheduled for June 20, 2015 at Whitley Gap has been cancelled by the trip leader. It will replaced by two walks the following weekend:

Saturday, June 27 at 11:30:  Brasstown Bald Geology and Natural Communities

Leaders:  Bill Witherspoon and Leslie Edwards

Location:  Brasstown Bald Visitor Center.

Description:  A one hour talk on the geology of Brasstown Bald and the surrounding area, and how it influences the formation of natural communities there is followed by a brief walk on the summit and on the trail leading to the parking area.   Learn more at:  http://georgiarocks.us/events/index.htm

Sunday, June 28 at 1:00  Anna Ruby Falls Geology and Natural Communities

Leaders:  Bill Witherspoon and Leslie Edwards

Location:  Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center.

Description: Geology and Natural Communities Walk.   A walk on the short paved trail to Anna Ruby Falls, highlighting the geology of the area and its influence on natural communities along the way.

Learn more at:  http://georgiarocks.us/events/index.htm

Contact: Leslie Edwards, edwa1616@bellsouth.net, 404-915-9944

Friday, July 10, 2015, 5:00 pm, Valdosta State University Herbarium, TRIP POSTPONED

Posted under: South Georgia.

The scheduled tour of the Valdosta State University Herbarium has been postponed due a conflict with the installation of a new high-density storage system that has been made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation.  The tour will be rescheduled to a date in the fall or next spring.  Stay tuned.

Field Trip Leader:  Richard Carter

Description:  We will tour the Valdosta State University Herbarium and see a short presentation on its history, significance, and special features, including digitization of the collection and the VSU Virtual Herbarium project.  The Valdosta State University Herbarium [VSC] is a regional collection of more than 71,000 accessioned, museum quality voucher specimens.  An important resource documenting the distribution of native and naturalized plant species in the state and the region, the herbarium is particularly rich in plants of the Georgia coastal plain and has extensive collections of graminoids, ferns, and bryophytes.  It includes significant collections by C.T. Bryson, R. Carter, W.R. Faircloth, R.K. Godfrey, R. Kral, and R.K. Lampton.  The herbarium collection is housed in a modern facility that allows constant control of temperature and relative humidity to archival specifications.  The Valdosta State University Herbarium actively lends and exchanges specimens for use in scientific research at herbaria throughout the country, and herbarium personnel routinely identify specimens and provide data to a variety of researchers throughout the state and region.  Additional information about the Valdosta State University Herbarium can be found at http://ww2.valdosta.edu/~rcarter/HERB/Herbindex.htm. Location & Directions:  Location: Bailey Science Center [30.850337, -83.289211], Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.  Directions: Take I-75 exit 18 east onto St. Augustine Road.  Travel east on St. Augustine Road 0.35 mile and take a left onto Gornto Road.  Travel north on Gornto Road 0.35 mile and turn right onto Baytree Road.  Travel east on Baytree Road 2.0 miles until you reach the T-intersection with North Oak Street at the Valdosta State University main campus.  Turn left onto North Oak Street.  Travel north 0.3 mile to Georgia Avenue.  Turn right and travel east on Georgia Avenue about 0.2 mile.  You will see several parking lots on your left along the north side of Georgia Avenue.  You may park in any of these lots without a parking permit after 3 pm Friday.  Walk a short distance south across Georgia Avenue past Powell Hall, and you will see the Bailey Science Center, a very large three-story building just south of Powell Hall.  The herbarium is accessible through Room 1040 on the first floor of Bailey Science Center and will be visible through windows near the east end of the atrium.

Meet.   5:00 pm  Bailey Science Center, Room 1040.

Bathroom Facilities: yes

Walking Difficulty: easy

Bring: If there is interest, the group might eat dinner at a local restaurant.

Contact: Richard Carter, rcarter@valdosta.edu, 229-222-5338 (work), 229-506-2099 (cell)

July 11 and 12, 2015, Roadside Botanizing, Waycross to Folkston, and Okefenokee Swamp, Ware and Charlton Counties

Posted under: Roadside Botanizing; South Georgia.

Roadside Botanizing: Waycross to Folkston and the general area (Saturday – July 11) and Eastern Okefenokee Swamp and Night-Flowering Wild Petunia (Sunday – July 12), Southeast Georgia

Platanthera nivea

Platanthera nivea

July 11:  10:00 AM,

Meet at: Hampton Inn Waycross

Description: We will travel along Hwy 82 take 301 south to Folkston, then take GA 23 south past the entrance to the Okefenokee toward the St. Marys River (the southernmost point in GA).  We will poke around on some of the side roads and eventually take GA 23 back north to return to the hotel We will investigate interesting stuff along the road such as few-flowered milkweed (Asclepias lanceolata), short-stemmed meadow beauty (Rhexia petiolata), Pickering’s dawnflower (Stylisma pickeringi), snowy orchid (Platanthera nivea), yellow meadow beauty (Rhexia lutea), and Bartram’s rose gentian (Sabatia bartramii). We also may re-encounter large-flowered rose gentian (Sabatia grandiflora).  We will be a little flexible in what we do, as the flowers will dictate where we ultimately go.

Sabatia bartramii

Sabatia bartramii

Directions: Take I-75 south to US 82. Take US 82 east to Waycross. Hampton Inn is on US 82 just past intersection with US 1.

Bring: Lunch to eat on the road – purchase along the way will be difficult due to extremely sparse pickings, water, bug spray.

Walking: Short excursions along the roadside, never out of sight of the vehicles – can be muddy or wet.

Facilities: Possible at stores/stops along route, but unlikely after leaving hotel.

Asclepias lanceolata

Asclepias lanceolata

Carpooling is encouraged to make pulling off easier for our roadside botanizing.

July 12: 7:00 AM (Note Early Start Time – Yes you read that correctly! We go in search of night-flowering wild petunia in the early morning before the flowers drop prior to heading off into the swamp.)

Meet at: Hampton Inn Waycross

Description: We will start the day heading back to 301 south to look for the Ruellia.  After that we have options:

Gordonia lasianthus

Gordonia lasianthus

We can head past Folkston to the Okefenokee NWR (ENTRY FEE REQUIRED), where we would drive to the Chesser Island parking area (stopping along the way to view the plants) and walk the boardwalk.

We could bypass the Okefenokee and enjoy the roadsides of 301 and 1 again, eventually ending up on with an excursion along GA 177 south for nice roadside stuff there. Along this road we normally see much interesting stuff, such as non-blooming pitcher plants (Sarracenia minor and Sarracenia psitticina), more snowy orchids and rose gentians, spoonflower (Peltandra sagittifolia), narrow-leaf barbara’s buttons (Marshallia tenuifolia) loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus) and others.

Marshalia tenuifolia

Marshalia tenuifolia

Directions: same as the July 11, just starting much earlier.

Bring: Lunch to eat on the road, water, bug spray.

Walking: Short excursions along the roadside or the prairie boardwalk at Okefenokee NWR.  Usually within sight of the vehicles (except boardwalk) but it can be muddy/wet.

Facilities: Possible at stores/stops along route, but unlikely after leaving hotel.

Ruellia noctifloraDE

Night Flowering Wild Petunia, Ruellia noctiflora

Carpooling is encouraged to make pulling off easier for our roadside botanizing.

Contact: Rich Reaves   rich.reaves@ att.net    770-827-5186 – cell but may not have service once out of town


July 25, 2015, Lakeside Trail at Lake Winfield Scott, Followed by our Annual Meeting, Union County

Posted under: Meetings; North Georgia.

Georgia Botanical Society – Annual Meeting at Lake Winfield Scott, Suches, Union County 

Saturday, July 25, 2015      10:00 am

Description:   The annual meeting will begin at 10:00am with a walk around Lake Winfield Scott, led by Linda Chafin, where we will see Orange Fringed Orchids, Rattlesnake Orchids, Appalachian Sunflower, Joe-Pye-Weed, and other summer flowering species. The meeting itself will begin immediately after the walk at approximately 11:00am.  Following the meeting, we will have lunch around noon. During lunch and the meeting, we will have a silent auction and book sale. These books belonged to Dr. Frances Kennedy, a botanist and college teacher who served on the Georgia Botanical Society’s Board of Directors. Her husband, Virgil Kennedy, donated her books to Bot Soc. We have put some books in a silent auction and some are in a general book sale. There are books on botany and the environment, as well as field guides and botanical keys. Proceeds from the auction and the book sale will go to the Marie Mellinger Research Grants Program.  So bring your lunch, your checkbook or cash, and participate in the book auction and sale.  The meeting will last about an hour during which Board members will advise us of the status of all our programs and tell you about our future plans. After the meeting, you may wish to walk up the Jarrard Gap Trail to the Appalachian Trail and back.  It’s a pleasant two mile walk round trip.

Directions:  From Atlanta, take GA 400 north for about 60 miles, until it ends just south of Dahlonega.  Turn left there onto Ga Hwy 60 and take GA 60 toward and around Dahlonega.  Continue for about 15 miles on Hwy 60, heading toward Suches through the National Forest. You will drive through Stone Pile Gap, bearing to the left at the pile of rocks to stay on GA 60. Continue uphill, crossing Woody Gap, then going downhill, passing Woody Lake on the right.  Shortly after the lake, watch for Ga Hwy 180 on the right (there is a service station/convenience store at that corner).  Turn right on Hwy 180 and go for about 4.5 miles.  Turn right into Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, stop to pay the entrance fee, then continue to the parking area above the lake.

Meet At:  Lake Winfield Scott group picnic shelter. Park in the parking lot above the bath house at Lake Winfield Scott and walk down the paved road a short distance till you see the picnic shelter on your left.

Facilities:  At the bathhouse on the lake near the picnic shelter.

Walking around the lake:  Easy and flat, though with some treacherous exposed roots, approximately 0.5 miles.

Lunch:  Bring to eat at the picnic shelter.

Bring:  Five dollars (per vehicle) for entrance fee to Lake Winfield Scott. If you have a federal interagency or senior pass, the parking fee is only $2.50 for the day. Prepare for afternoon showers and heat.

Contact:  Maureen Donohue <marinadono67@gmail.com>  or Linda Chafin <Lchafin@uga.edu> 706-548-1697

Camping: If you wish to camp, you can do so at Lake Winfield Scott. Single campsites cost $18 per night.  If you have an interagency or senior pass, you are entitled to a 50% discount on fees.  For more information, please contact the Blue Ridge Ranger District office at 706 745-6928. Reservations may be made through www.reservations.gov

August 1, 2015 9:00 am, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Woodland Spider Lily, Morgan County

Posted under: Uncategorized.

Field Trip Leaders:  Hugh Nourse, Carol Nourse, Kathy Stege 

Description:  The new bike trail at Hard Labor Creek State Park goes along a lovely creek with rock outcroppings.  Park historians say the riparian area has been logged, though not extensively, and was never farmed.  There’s a delightful shady forest trail with the most Carolina spiderlily (Hymenocallis caroliniana) the three leaders have ever seen in the wild; last year there were about 30 clumps of 10-40 lilies each.  We hope to catch them in full glory again this year.  There’s additional fall forest growth to explore.

Location & Directions:  Hard Labor State Park, Rutledge GA

Meet:  9:00 am at the visitor center (Note early meeting time).  There is a $5/vehicle parking fee.

Bathroom Facilities: Clean flush toilets at the visitor center.  Thick shrubs on the trail.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is moderate, including a stream crossing and ~2 miles walk. We’ll picnic by the stream, and cool our feet in it.  Be aware: this time of year, the yellow jackets are angry.  Kathy plans to hike further after botanizing, so feel free to come along for a vigorous 1 hour hike at the end.  Or you can simply wander back to the cars.

Bring: Lunch & water.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Kathy Stege 478-955-3422 (cell with coverage at park visitor center) kath22steg@gmail.com

August 1, 2015, 9:30 am, Plant Genetics Class and Workshop, State Botanical Gardens, Clarke County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Plant Genetics Class and Workshop  Saturday August 1st  at (9:30 am)   Please note early start time.

Location: State Botanical Gardens – 2450 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30605.  Class will be held in the Education department located in the Visitor’s Center building whose doors open at 9:00 am.

Decription:  This class provides an overview of plant genetics including evolutionary biology, classic genetics and other topics in the field.  Dr. James Hamrick, UGA Plant Biology, will teach the morning class.  In the afternoon workshop, he will review proposals submitted to the Marie Mellinger Research Fund for members of the class who are interested in the evaluation of these proposal.  You may elect to take just the morning session or both sessions

Directions:  www.botgarden.uga.edu

Class coordinator/leader: Contact Maureen Donohue  at marinadono67@gmail.com or 770-990-7756  for more information

Note: Pre-registration is required and class size will be limited.  Please register with Maureen as soon as possible. This is a charge of $10 for the class; entrance to the garden is free.  To register, send a check made out to “Georgia Botanical Society” to Maureen Donohue 136  Courtyard Circle Apt C-2, Clarkesville, GA 30523

Bring:  notebook or paper,  pen, lunch to have in the Visitor’s Center or on the grounds.

After class you may wish to visit the grounds at garden which is open until 8:00pm on Saturdays.  Some special gardens that might be of interest include the Elaine Nash prairie – a wonderful grassland or the native plants garden.



August 15, 2015, Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site, Paulding County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site (Entry Fee Required)

Triphora trianthophora (20)

Three Birds Orchid, Triphora trianthophora

Atlanta Area (west of the city) 

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Meet:  10:00 am at the park visitor center

Description: The ultimate goal will be to see three bird’s orchid in bloom, although the plant and the weather may not cooperate.  There is a nice population of this species in the park and it has graced us with blooms at this time in the past.  We also will enjoy the other plants we find along our path.

Directions: Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site, 4432 Mt. Tabor Church Rd, Dallas, GA 30157

From I-75, about 15 miles north of Marietta, take exit 277 (Acworth/Hwy 92), and proceed south on GA 92.  Be careful: GA 92 makes several turns, including an unexpected right turn just off the freeway. Proceed for 12 miles heading south on GA 92 and turn right at the small, brown, state park sign onto Due West Road (NOT Due West Street!). In 1.8 miles, turn right onto Mt Tabor Church Road. The park entrance will be just a short distance on your right.

Walking: Easy to moderate, about 2 miles, with one fairly long climb on the way back

Facilities: at the visitor center.

Bring: water, snacks, bug spray.  This walk likely will not be of as long a duration as most BotSoc walks.  If you are so inclined, you may bring a lunch to eat at the picnic tables.

Contact: Rich Reaves   rich.reaves@ att.net    770-827-5186 – cell but may not have service at trailhead

August 22, 2015, Freeman Trail and Blood Mountain, Union County­

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:   10:00 am 

AT Woody Gap to Slaughter Gap, GA

Ovate Catchfly, Silene ovata

Trip Leader:  Linda Chafin

Description:  We will meet at the Byron Herbert Reese (BHR) Parking Area and hike the first 0.7 miles on the BHR Trail, which switchbacks through rhododendron and mountain laurel up stone staircases to Flatrock Gap, where the Freeman Trail begins. The Freeman Trail winds around the south side of Blood Mountain, over a rugged and rocky terrain, crossing several small rocky streams and rock outcrops. Outcrops should be ablaze with late summer wildflowers, such as sunflowers, tickseeds, goldenrods, and lobelias.  We should see two rare species, ovate catchfly (Silene ovata) and eastern figwort (Scrophularia marilandica), in flower. After 1.8 miles, we will reach Bird Gap and the Appalachian Trail (AT). At this point, some of us will  return to the parking lot on the Freeman Trail (for a moderate, round-trip hike of 5 miles) and others may want to continue on the AT to the summit of Blood Mountain and then return to the parking lot on the AT (a strenuous hike of 6.8 miles).

Directions to Meeting Location:  10:00 a.m. at the Byron Herbert Reese parking area on the west side of U.S. Hwy 129 North, about 0.5 mile north of the Mountain Crossing Appalachian Trail Store at Neel’s Gap. Neel’s Gap is 18 (slow and curvy) miles north of Cleveland. There is a $5.00 parking fee to park at the BHR lot; parking is not allowed at the Trail Store.

Bathroom Facilities: None on the trail; bathrooms, snacks, water, etc at the Trail Store.

Walking Difficulty: The BHR trail is moderately steep. The Freeman Trail is relatively flat but there are some very large, tricky boulders to scramble over and several rocky streams to cross. Hiking pole and ankle-protecting boots strongly advised.

Bring: Five dollars for parking fee, and lunch, snacks, and water.  Dress for hot weather and possible afternoon thunderstorms.

Contact: Linda Chafin, 706-548-1697 or Lchafin@uga.edu


Sept 12, 2015, Hinds Road Outcrop / Little River Canyon NP, AL (Etowah, DeKalb Cos.)

Posted under: Alabama.

Phemeranthus [Talinum] mengesii (Large-flowered Rock-pink)

Phemeranthus [Talinum] mengesii (Large-flowered Rock-pink)

Meet: 10:00 am – at Jack’s Restaurant, 1502 Noccalula Road, Gadsden, AL 35901

Description: This trip will feature visits to several sandstone rock outcrops in northeast Alabama to see a variety of wildflowers (and tree) that are rare or not even found in Georgia. We will explore Hinds Road Outcrop near Gadsden, then travel to Little River Canyon to Lynn Overlook and possibly other sites for Nuttall’s rayless-goldenrod (Bigelowia nuttallii), Sandstone Tickseed (Coreopsis pulchra), Longleaf Sunflower (Helianthus longifolius), Small-head Blazing Star (Liatris microcephala), Menges’ Fameflower (Talinum mengesii), Boynton Oak (Quercus boyntonii) and other goodies.

Bigelowia nuttallii - Nuttall's rayless-goldenrod

Bigelowia nuttallii – Nuttall’s rayless-goldenrod

Directions: From I-75, exit 290 in Cartersville, take Ga. 20 and then US 411 to Rome. At first traffic signal turn right onto Ga. Loop 1. Follow Loop 1 around Rome, making 1 left turn at intersection of Garden Lakes Blvd. and Mathis Dr. Go past Walmart and Sam’s Club, turn right onto Ga. 20. Go 14.2 mi., enter AL (Hwy. becomes AL-9). Go 14.7 mi. turn right on AL-68. Go 2.2 mi. turn right on US 411. Stay on US 411 to Gadsden, AL (21.4 mi.). At Gadsden turn right on US 431, continue on US 431 for 1.5 mi. turn right on AL 211 (Noccalula Road). Go approx. 1.5 mi. look for Jack’s Restaurant on left.

Liatris microcephala (Small-head Blazing-star)

Liatris microcephala (Small-head Blazing-star)

Facilities: at meeting & lunch sites

Lunch: bring lunch to eat at picnic tables or fast food may be available.

Walking: mostly short distances on relatively flat rock outcrops, however, very rough terrain.

Bring: Lunch, water, bug spray, camera etc.

Leader(s): Richard Ware (706-232-3435, cell 706-766-5143, gabotany@comcast.net) – Mike Christison (770-973-6482, cell 770-596-3564, mikepaddler@netscape.net).

September 19, 2015, Buck Creek Serpentine Barren, Clay County, NC

Posted under: North Carolina.

Field Trip Leader: Gary Kaufman, US Forest Service Botanist Description:  Buck Creek Serpentine Barren in Clay County, NC just west of the Macon County line in the Chunky Gal Mountains.  A physiognomic patchwork of forest, dense grass patches (over 20 species) and partially open woodland occurs across a serpentine site surrounding Buck Creek in Clay County, North Carolina.  The dominant rock types, serpentinized dunite and olivine, influence the striking vegetation present on this site.  The serpentine plant communities occupy both east and west-facing slopes extending over 300 acres from 3400 feet elevation along Buck Creek to over 4000 feet elevation atop Corundum Knob. One hundred acres within the site is managed by the Tusquitee Ranger District as a Special Interest Area and registered as a Natural Heritage Area with the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.  Plants of interest include Gentianopsis crinata, Parnassia grandifolia, Symphyotrichum rhiannon, Sporobolus heterolepis, & Packera serpenticola. Location & Directions:  From Blairsville, Ga  to meeting site approximately 34.3 miles.  Follow Young Harris Highway for about 11.5 miles taking a left onto GA-515 which becomes NC-69.  Follow for about 4.5 miles to intersection with US 64 in Hayesville, NC.  Turn right following US 64 for about 16.5 miles to a left on Buck Creek road. Meet:   10:00 am.,  by the gated road, Forest Service Road (FSR) 6269, which is about 0.6 mile north of US 64 off FSR 350 along Buck Creek. Bathroom Facilities: None Walking Difficulty:  The hike will follow FSR 6269 for 0.3 mile, an easy climb with an elevation change of 150 feet.  Off trail in the barren the hike about a 0.1 mile hike will progress through a moderate grade with uneven terrain.  A 1-mile hike in similar terrain will be undertaken on the west side of Buck Creek. Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera. Contact: Gary Kauffman, gkauffman@fs.fed.us, 828-231-5354