February 25, 2017, 12:00 pm, Trout Lilies at Paces Mill, CRNRA, Cobb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Meet: 12:00 pm, (note special meeting time) at the Paces Mill Pocket Parking Lot off Us Highway 41

Erythronium umbilicanum

Trout Lily, Erythronium umbilicanum

Description: What better way to anticipate spring than to wonder at the site of hundreds of Trout lilies, Erythronium umbilicanum, covering the hillsides above Rottenwood Creek in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The 12:00 pm meeting time is scheduled to coincide with the early afternoon opening of these exquisite wildflowers. There will be an optional walk to see the ruins at the old Akers Mill grist mill, which is also covered with Trout Lilies.  We may also see the rare bay star vine, Schisandra glabra, although it will not yet be in bloom.

Location: Palisades Unit, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area,  Paces Mill parking area; 3445 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30339.  The Paces Mill parking area is located on the north side of the Chattahoochee River and on the east side of S. Cobb Parkway, US Hy 41 in Smyrna,  1.4 miles south of I-285.  For map, see www.nps.gov/chat

Walking: About 3 miles, flat except for the short but steep climb up to the old mill ruins.

Facilities:  Restrooms at parking area.

Bring:  $3.00 parking fee or annual or senior national park pass; water and snack to eat on the walk.  Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes.

Leader: Mike Christison (770) 973-6482, mikepaddler@netscape.net.  Cell for day of walk: (770) 596-3564

Saturday, March 11, 2017.  10:00am – 2:00pm, Vegetation Management Workshop, Berrien County

Posted under: South Georgia; Workshops.

Meet: 10:00 am,   Gaskins Forest Education Center, Alapaha, Georgia, Berrien County

Description: We will cover the basics of vegetation management for landowners, green-space managers, and homeowners with acreage.  We will discuss strategies and techniques for controlling weeds and other undesirable vegetation using mechanical, cultural and chemical techniques.  We will review names and formulations for all major chemicals necessary for good vegetation management.  We will focus on safe and effective use of these chemicals and touch on the concept of integrated pest management.  We will discuss strategies for dealing with most non-native invasive species.  Because this is not a course in plant identification, participants should have a basic knowledge of common weeds and invasive species.

The first half of the workshop will be indoors.  We will break for lunch and then go out in the field to demonstrate some of the techniques discussed.

The workshop is limited to 15 people and open on a first come first serve basis.  Cost of the workshop is $15.  If you are interested in participating, please send Walter Bland an email to the address below.  Once your seat in the workshop is confirmed, you will send a check to the address below.

Walter Bland

Rock Spring Restorations

12 Paces West Drive NW

Atlanta, Georgia  30327



March 18, 2017, Japanese Paper Plant Trip Cancelled

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

The Japanese Plant trip to Rabun County has been cancelled. The plants bloomed early this year and none are expected to be blooming on the scheduled date.  We are working on a possible alternate trip which we would post here.

Description: The Japanese Paper Plants are located in the National Forest of Rabun Co.  They were introduced into Ga. in the early 1900’s and planted at an old home site.  They have naturalized along Wolf Creek for 4 miles, and  bloom the first 3 weeks of March.  This site is near the Wolf Creek Baptist Church which was built in 1851. The largest patch of plants are one half mile from the church.

Facilities:  No

Difficulty: Easy

Bring: Lunch, water, camera

Directions:  From Tallulah Falls, GA in Rabun County,  proceed N on 441 approx. 4 miles to the Lakemont sign, turn Right on Wolf Creek Rd., go 3.6 miles to Wolf Creek Baptist Church sign, turn onto the church road and go 1 mile to the church parking lot.

Contact:  Louis Schweizer, louis30576@gmail.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017, Oconee National Forest, Greene County

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

Description: Although fungi are now considered botanically illegitimate and hence excluded from the plant kingdom, we will survey an area for examples of various mushrooms, conks and allied types of fungi to review.  Scull Shoals Experimental Forest is in the Oconee Nat’l Forest between Greensboro and Athens.  There is a variety of drier upland (mostly pine) and wetter bottomland (mixed) habitats with different forest cover types.  Prescribed fire is used in some areas of the forest which may also increase diversity, although the burns are mostly in the pine areas.  We hope this combination will better our chances of finding areas with enough moisture to have several types of fungi fruiting.  Oconee forest is pretty far south for morels, but we did schedule this trip early in the growing season just in case we get lucky.  Morels are fond of ash so we will at least scan the riverbanks and low ground as well as any low areas that were burned. 

A hand lens will be useful.

Directions:   Starting at Greensboro GA, Exit 130 on I-20, Take GA 44 towards Greensboro for 2.6 mi, At the corner of Broad and Main, turn left on GA 15 North for 0.3 mi. At Holcomb’s BBQ turn right (still on GA 15), Continue on GA 15 for 11 mi

Right on Macedonia Rd for 2.5 mi, Left on FS (forest service Rd) 1234 for 0.1 mi (stop and see Dr Durham’s herb walk)

Continue on FS 1234 for 2.9 mi to Scull Shoals historical site 

(33.733155, -83.289843 approx location)


 Facilities:   At the historical site.  






Trip Leader:  Elliott Horner,  elliott.horner@encee.org

April 1, 2017, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Cochran Shoals Unit, CobbCounty

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Showy Orchis, Orchis spectabilis,  Photo by Mike Christison

Showy Orchis, Orchis spectabilis, Photo by Mike Christison

 Meet:   10:00 at Powers Island Unit – across the bridge in Fulton County.

Description: We’ll  take a short walk across the bridge and use the busy riverside trail to reach the Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk over the wetlands. Here we’ll enter another world occupied by hundreds of southern nodding trilliums (Trillium rugelli) in various stages of bloom. We will continue walking in the Gunby Creek area of Cochral Shoals to find other spring delights including Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco), showy orchis (Orchis spectabilis ) and foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia). We will probably find Hepatica leaves, but the flowers will have bloomed a month ago. We’ll lunch in the woods along the way or and enjoy our time in this beautiful forest.  If we cannot find suitable logs  and rocks to sit on, we may lunch at the picnic tables along the river.

If Spring is early, we may head over to Paces Mill ( a 10 minute drive) to look for horsesugar trees  (Symplocos tinctoria) in flower along the river and flames azaleas (Rhododendron flammeum) on top of the ridge. Both normally blooom the first week of April.

Directions: Meet at the Powers Island Unit in Fulton County where parking is plentiful. We will walk over the river to the Cochran Shoals Unit.  The GPS coordinates for Powers Island are: 33° 54′ 10.42″ N, 84° 26′ 28.3″ W. If you need specific directions, please contact trip leader.

Leader: Maureen Donohue,   marinadono67@gmail.com, 770-990-7756.

Atamasco-lily, Zephyranthes atamasca, Photo by Richard and Teresa Ware

Atamasco-lily, Zephyranthes atamasca Photo by Richard and Teresa Ware

Facilities: Restrooms are available at Cochran Shoals and Paces Mill Units

Difficulty: Mostly flat terrain with a few short hills, ~ 3 miles at Cochran Shoals and 2 miles at Paces Mill where there is one large hill to see the azaleas, but they are worth it.At Cochran Shoals we may have to walk/climb over fallen trees on the trail.

Bring: Bring camera, hand lens, field guide, $3.00 parking fee or annual /senior pass, water and a pack lunch or snacks.

Sunday, April 2, 2017, Violets Workshop and Hike through Cloudland Canyon, Dade County

Posted under: Northwest Georgia.

Cloudland Canyon SP

Sunday, April 2, 2017, Violets Workshop and Hike through Cloudland

Canyon, Dade County

Meet:  10:00 am at the Overlook parking lot in Cloudland Canyon State Park

Halberd-leaf Violet, Viola hastata

Description: Part of Georgia’s Cumberland Plateau province, Cloudland Canyon is a place of great scenic beauty and interesting  wildflowers.   We’ll start the day with a Violet workshop, led by Dr. Harvey Ballard of Ohio University. Dr. Ballard is a world expert in the Violet family.  The workshop should last about an hour.  Afterwards, we’ll practice what we’ve learned as we hike through Cloudland Canyon.  We’ll pass two waterfalls, then hike 2.5 miles along the Sitton’s Gulch Trail.  We should see several species of violets, as well as many other spring delights, including Southern Red Trillium, Trillium sulcatum, Dwarf Larkspur, Delphinium tricorne,  Spotted Mandarin, Prosartes lanuginosa and Spotted Mandarin, Prosartes maculata, among many others.   A few cars will be located at the end of the trail so that we don’t have to climb back up to the top. The hike, including the side trips to the waterfalls is approximately 4 miles. 

Directions: Located on  GA Hy 136, 8 miles east of Trenton and I-59 (Exit #11), and 18 miles west of LaFayette.

From Atlanta take I-75 to exit 320. Go west on GA 136 through Villanow and Naomi (slight jog to left and then right). At Lafayette, take US 27 bypass around town to the north and follow the signs for about 18 miles, staying on GA 136  to the Park’s main entrance. Meet at the Overlook parking area.


Cloudland Canyon State Park
122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road
Rising Fawn, GA 30738 
Walker County 

GPS Coordinates:

N 34.8402630 | W -85.4828810

Bring:  Lunch (we may picnic along the trail), plenty of water, comfortable walking shoes, binoculars.

Difficulty:  Moderate, due to ~600 downhill steps leading to the canyon floor.  Otherwise, the trail through the canyon is mostly flat and easy.

Facilities:  Available at parking area. 

Note:  A $5 parking pass is required in the park.  Registration is required so as to help in planning the shuttle.  If you are able to help shuttle a few people in your car, please contact Aliya, the trip leader.

Trip Leader:  Aliya Davenport, aad@reinhardt.edu or 336-209-9789.


Sunday, April 2, 2017, Arabia Mountain National Natural Heritage Site, Dekalb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Spring Colors on Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain National Natural Heritage Site Mountain Loop, Lake Loop, and Salamanders Pools, Sunday; April 2, 2017, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Trip Leader: Jerry Hightower

Description:  Join the Georgia Botanical Society and Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a leisurely paced hike up and around the mountain to view the solution pool gardens, the amazing mosaic of lichens, and small, but interesting, patches of trees and shrubs.  Sculpted over geologic time by wind, rain, cold, and heat; these extraordinary gardens are beautiful to behold.  After lunch we will take the forest loop to the lake and then on to the salamander pools.  This DeKalb County park is both a geological and botanical treasure.

Meet:  10:00, Park Visitor Center

Facilities: In Visitor Center

Difficulty:  Moderate with some fairly steep, but short, ascents and descents.

Bring:  A lunch and water to carry along and we will picnic on the mountain.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, and camera.  

Limit: 30

Please contact Jerry Hightower at 770-206-0338 or jerryhightower@hotmail.com if you are planning on joining this trip.


April 15, 2017, Discovered and Undiscovered Treasures, Shooting Stars and Jacobs Ladders Kearns property, Floyd county

Posted under: Rock Outcrops; Uncategorized.

Meet: 10:00, at property of Dave and Jennifer Kearns,  670 Rush Chapel Road, Adairsville, GA, 30103

At spring on Kearns Property

Description:  We first visited this wonderful property in 2014, and are fortunate enough to have been invited back this spring.  After two winters of invasives removal, the owners are seeing more botanical wonders: Jack in the Pulpits, Comfreys, Lance Leaf Trilliums, Buckeyes, Delphiniums, Wood Sorrel, Geraniums, Green Dragon etc., in addition to the previously discovered Shooting Stars and Jacobs Ladders.  

Directions: From Atlanta, I-75, Exit 306, left on Highway 140, going west  on Highway 140, 7 miles, left on Rush Chapel Road, go 1.5 miles, house on the right, 670 Rush Chapel Road.

Jacob’s Ladder, Polemonium reptans

Bring:  long pants, walking shoes/boots, water, hat, lunch, rain wear if necessary

Facilities: Bathroom at house

Walking: Easy walk through woods, fields, approximately 2 miles

Shooting Stars, Dodecatheon meadia

Shooting Stars, Dodecatheon meadia

Trip Leader:  Jennifer Kearns, 706-409-0946, davjen@bellsouth.net


Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16, 2017, Roadside Botanizing: Waycross and Okefenokee Area, SE Georgia

Posted under: Roadside Botanizing; South Georgia.

April 15: 

Rose Pogonia, Pogonia ophioglossoides, photo Anita Reaves

Meet:  10:00, Walmart in Waycross – On US 1 on east side, just over 1 mile south of US 1/US 82 intersection.

Sarracenia minor and S. psittacina, photo Anita Reaves

Sarracenia minor and S. psittacina, photo Anita Reaves

Description: We will drive GA 177 north of Okefenokee Swamp Park, stop at a wet ditch by a power substation on US 1 just north of Folkston, stop at the HWY 23 bridge at Spanish Creek south of Folkston, and then drive the Swamp Island Drive in the Okefenokee NWR.

Wildflowers we should encounter on one or both days include Sarracenia minor, Sarracenia flava, Sarracenia psitticina, Pinguicula caerulea and Pinguicula lutea, Pogonia ophioglossoides, Zephyranthes atamasca, Baptisia perfoliata, Polygala lutea and Polygala nana, Drosera brevifolia and Drosera intermedia, and Asimina reticulata.

We will be a little flexible in what we do, as the flowers will dictate where we ultimately spend our time.

Directions: Take I-75 south to US 82. Take US 82 east to Waycross and US 1 south to the Walmart parking lot.

Bring: Lunch to eat on the road (purchase along the way will be difficult to impossible 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: Gas station at Folkston during the day.

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.


April 16

Meet: 8:00 AM (Note early start time) at Hampton Inn Waycross (on US 82)

Description: Our first stop will be on GA 301 where we see Ruellia noctiflora in mid-summer.  This will be an exploratory stop, as I have not been at this site in spring – however, I do expect interesting spring plants.  Then we will make a couple of stops on the route back to Waycross on HWY 82 and finish off the day at a Sarracenia flava bog west of Waycross. 

Wildflowers we would expect to see are similar to those mentioned above and include Sarracenia flava (obviously).

We should finish early afternoon to allow folks plenty of time to get home.

Directions: Meet at the Hampton Inn in Waycross (on US 82), just past the intersection with US-1 at 8 AM. 

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: As we travel back through Waycross late morning we will stop at the Flash Foods on the west side of town for a refreshment break.

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


April 22, 2017, Till Ridge Cove, Trillium Grandiflorum, Rabun County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

Field Trip Leader: Clayton Webster

Meet:  10:00am, Ingles Parking Lot, 176 US 441, Clayton, GA. Ingles is on the right as you head north on US 441, just after passing the turn offs for US 76 east and west, and passing Wendy’s and Burger King. We will carpool to Patterson Gap off of Betty’s Creek Road due to limited parking at the trailhead.

Description:  This hike has two options. Number 1 – We will hike from 3,323 foot Patterson Gap to Till Ridge Cove to see the spectacular display of trillium grandiflorum in this rich cove. We should also see nearly two dozen other spring ephemerals in bloom, including showy orchis, Mayapples, star chickweed, bluets, foam flower, wild geraniums, and Solomon seal.   Those who return to Patterson Gap will have a little less than two mile round trip. Number 2 – Those who would like to continue on up to 4,169 foot Nichols Gap to eat lunch will enjoy great views down into the Betty’s Creek Valley and across and up to Pickens Nose, 5,007 Ridgepole Mountain, and 5,280 foot tall Albert Mountain. These hikers will have covered a little over five miles.

Note 1: You will have to decide which option you want to choose at our meeting point for carpool assignments.

Note 2: This area was included in the Rock Mountain fire last fall, so we are not sure how that has affected the spring wildflowers.

Bring:  Water, lunch, bug spray, and rain gear

Facilities: None except at meeting place.

Walking difficulty: Option one is easy. Option two is moderate. Trail is not regularly maintained.

Group limit: 20 due to parking limitations

Registration: Sign up so carpools can be determined

Contact:  Clayton Webster webs4740@bellsouth.net  404-633-8955 Home 678-925-1091 Cell (day of hike)




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